Paper Cutters

Hi everybody. I am looking to acquire a paper cutter (one of the last pieces to complete my shop!). I want to get an old lever arm guillotine cutter (c&p, challenge etc). My husband wants me to get one of the new guillotine cutters he found on ebay for like $300. What are your thoughts on paper cutters?

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The old lever cutters work well, i used one for 20 years, you keep the blade sharp and it will cut great, the new $300 cutters in my opinion are toys. The best cutter for a small shop is the 30” challenge hydralic, i looked for one for years, the best thing i ever bought. If you’re not cutting large amounts of paper the lever cutters will serve you well. Dick G.

I’ve got to agree with dickg. Many old lever cutters have been around for at least fifty years and ready for another fifty. Read some previous discussion here about modern cutters getting out of square, not clamping sufficiently to get accurate cuts, etc. Leave these modern toys for the crafters, rubber stampers and the folks in the church basements putting out a weekly bulletin!
Wait for an older C&P, Challenge, Advance, Paragon or ? to show up. It’ll be worth the wait!!

Agreed. I can be found on previous threads complaining about the new cutters, and now that I have space I am looking for an old Challenge. I’d be happy with the 19” table-top cutter which seems relatively common, just haven’t seen one close enough to me yet.

Thank you all SO much. That is what I had in my head too. But I didn’t know if I was letting the aesthetics (I LOVE old stuff!!) get to the bets of me… :) I will show this thread to my husband. I used a large (not table mounted) paper cutter when I lived in Providence and printed at a community print shop (AS220). Cutting that large stack of cotton paper was my favorite part of the day - I am weird…. :)

You are not too far from Letterpress Things in Chicopee, MA, also The Printing Museum In North Andover, i thing both places have small lever cutters for sale. Good Luck Dick G. (cutting paper doesn’ t make you weird, you have to already be weird to cut paper, i love cutting paper also)

My father’s original business partner lost some digits on a lever cutter when he bumped the lever and it fell away from him. I’ve never seen one with a lever that moved away from the operator. Did this pre-date the version we see more commonly?

I used a C&P lever guillotine for years in my binding business and could never fault it. I regret selling it and my Kraus board cutter as these things are so hard to replace these days.
I have just acquired a Figgins guillotine that is operated through a geared up wheel and lever. Although it works fine I feel I had better control over the cutting with the hand lever C&P.I coul stop the cut any time and was less at the mercy of the “machine” doing its own thing. As an aside, I have seen a guy almost slice off the tops of two fingers while cleaning one of these “wind-up” models, but that was more his stupidity than any inherent fault in the Guillotine.

We have a left handed model of the Paragon cutter. No idea of what it is worth. Make an offer. Call me at 785 823 2772.

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Hey Bill:
That’s my Paragon 22.5 inch. The little lever to the left of PARAGON in the two-o’clock position prevents you from pulling the handle without releasing the lever. The left-handed part is sort of strange but not at all hard to get used to! It’s somewhere about 120 years old, and good for another 120.

Dancing Pen:
The old man is back again with more advice. Here’s something I posted several days ago regarding lightweight imported cutters….

“Forget the COME, (an import) please! The $600+ you’d spend on that will buy you a cutter that’s good for another 100 years. E bay is loaded, I mean loaded, with these lightweight, flimsy imports. Many of these are described as slightly used, which means they have been returned by unsatisfied buyers. Real printers use real cutters. I own and use a 22.5” Paragon, patented about a 120 years ago, good for many more years. Blades are still available for all of these. Look for Challenge, Advance, Chandler & Price, Reliance, Peerless and many other old-time brands. Stay away from anything with welds. Take my word…wait for one of these to show up, it’ll be worth the wait.”

I am in Houston TX and have been waiting and WAITING for a nice manual old fashioned guillotine to show up and nothing… When I lived in RI I saw them all of the time!!! I have seen some on ebay, but shipping is of course ridiculous!

I finally got a 23” Challenge tabletop with stand and OSHA guards and two blades. Finally tested it out and it’s working. Time to sell the QCM stack cutter bought off the internet.

So jealous…. :)

We have an old 1881 Paragon paper cutter. Need to sell. Have picture attached. Buyer needs to handle pick up and/or shipping ie. crating cost, etc. Make best offer.

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If you have not found one yet I have a Reliance paper cutter in great working condition. Asking $500 but will negotiate.

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where is it located?