Do You Really Need a Paper Trimmer?

Apparently, I am not the only one who scrapbooks without a paper trimmer.

Misery loves company, I guess.

My previous post, revealing that I spent years scrapping with little more than a few decorative scissors and a used office paper cutter, hit a nerve with some readers. I received a few emails from fellow scrappers who admitted that they too create layouts minus a personal paper trimmer.

For the record, I wouldn’t place a scrapbook paper trimmer in the must-have tool category like I would a ruler and adhesives, but it does come in very handy in a pinch. What’s more, basic models don’t cost too much. I’ve found some compact versions that sell for less than $30. Rotary cutters cost more, with some exceeding the $80 mark. There are also replacement blades to consider. Fortunately, most don’t cost more than $10 each. You can save on replacement blades by using coupons from Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

However, before you drop $50 to $100 on a scrapbook paper cutter, you should evaluate whether or not you even need one. Just because all the ladies at your last crop had portable cutters, doesn’t mean you need to rush out and buy one. If you decide that your life would be easier if you have a cutter at your disposal, then ask yourself the following questions before selecting a particular model:

1. Are you planning to use the cutter for other projects? If you make greeting cards on the side you might want to get a trimmer that can cut through cardstock or multiple sheets of patterned paper at one time.

2. Are replacement parts readily available? Most scrapbook cutters will need new blades or mats at some point. Being able to run to your local scrapbook supply store to find replacements is much easier than having to special order the parts from a company that’s thousands of miles away.

3. What size trimmer do you need? Are you planning to take your trimmer to crops, parties or other scrapbooking events? If so, then you should consider getting a portable, lightweight model that can easily fit in your tote. If you are scrapping at home, then size really isn’t a factor.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.