Monday, 4 February 2013

Stamping 101: Basic Tools-Your Paper Trimmer

When it comes to basic tools for card making and scrapbooking, your very first purchase hands down should be a quality paper trimmer. There is nothing more useful to the paper crafter than being able to cut clean, straight lines at precise measurements.
There are three basic styles of trimmers out there.
guillotine trimmer
A guillotine-style trimmer has an arm with a blade along it’s length that chops your paper in one long cut. These trimmers are good if you’re cutting large amounts or thick amounts of paper, as the blades are usually self sharpening.
rotary trimmer
A rotary-style trimmer has a circular blade that is covered with a protective casing and rolls along a guide bar. If you like decorative edges, this is a style worth considering because you can purchase all sorts of decorative blades and the cutting is much cleaner compared to decorative edged scissors.

A slicer-style trimmer has a small, replaceable blade that slides down a track to cut your paper. This style is very portable (perfect for on-the-go crafters) and allows you to stop and start your cut anywhere along the paper, so you can cut slits, windows and frames without resorting to scissors. It is also the easiest style to use if you need precise, accurate measurements, in my opinion.
I  think choosing a paper trimmer is a lot like buying a bra. You have to try a lot of different kinds before you find one you like and that feels comfortable! Just like a bra you have to wear everyday, you will use your paper trimmer every time you craft, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more money and get one you truly love.
If you hate shopping for bras, then my ultimate recommendation is the brand new paper trimmer from Stampin’ Up! and please believe me when I profess that I am not just saying that because I sell their stuff! In the past ten years, I’ve bought nine different trimmers and this one truly is head and shoulders above the rest for many reasons. Here’s a few:
  • The trimmer’s base is wide enough that I can measure out a standard card base (5 1/2 x 4 1/4)  without swinging out an extension arm or having the paper go over the edge of the trimmer, yet it is small enough to be portable.
  • The measuring grid extends to the right side of the trimmer up to 1 1/4”, which is super handy for cutting thin strips.
  • I can keep my scoring and trimming blades on at the same time. The track has been made long enough to slide the extra blade out of the way.
  • It feels great. The base is sturdy and doesn’t slide around when I’m trimming. There’s a nice place on the track to stick your hand and help hold the paper in place. The blades themselves have a comfortable grip and don’t wobble or stick when you slide them.
  • There’s a clever storage compartment in the base for extra blades and other doo-dads, so you never have to tear apart your stamp room looking for that fresh pack of blades you knew you had. Not that I’ve ever done that. *ahem*
Here’s a video that shows the trimmer in detail if you still don’t believe me. Good luck finding the best trimmer for you!

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