I was wondering do most printers cut their own paper with paper trimmers or does the supplier do that? I have seen some really nice work printed on stock with round corners is that also pre cut? : ).

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Either way, but the Paper supplier will charge you for the cut.

It is ideal to be able to cut your paper in house.
Not only can you save money by buyingpaper in larger sheets, but you have alot more flexibility in what you can run. If you are printing a job where the design bleeds of the edge, for example, then you want your paper to be a bit oversize for printing, and then trimmed to size after. Also, your press may require a certain amount of margin for your grippers and guides, and this can sometimes mean having your stock cut both before and after printing.
Around here, a small, used and basic hand operated cutter will run a few hundred bucks, and a larger power cutter runs into the thousands.
It also seems risky to me to trust my post press trimming to someone else, after putting alot of hours into printing a job.
Rounded corners can be acheived either by die-cutting, or you can pick up a corner rounder for not much money. Its just a little hand punch thingy that rounds off the corners.
Hope that helps :)

Thanks heaps! so you think a cheaper paper cutter is the way to go! As I am just trying to start up a small letterpress business. I am using a heidelberg t platen. Any specific tips on cutting paper for that press?

Thanks so much for your help - it is great!

I think Neenah Paper has letterhead size in a text weight pre-cut with rounded corners. I saw it offered in their swatch book. I am not sure how this paper is on letterpress, so it might take some experimenting.

Assuming that your Heidy is a 10 x 15 (inches), that will be your maximum paper size.

If you want to have that deep letterpress impression, you will soon realize that some papers work much better than others. You will want to look for thick soft papers with high cotton content like Somerset, Cartiera Magnani, or Lettra from Cranes. Unfortunately, most papers like this come in oversized flat sheets and you will need a decent paper cutter to handle it. Not to mention that the paper is very expensive and you would hate to ruin it on your cutter.

Paper cutter technology hasn’t changed much in printing’s history and you should be able to find one from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s, either hand operated or hydraulic, that should be pretty affordable. Remeber that the older cutters don’t have very good safety’s on them and can do a lot of damage to you in a hurry. Keep you hands out!

There is an old saying in the industry about cutters. You can’t make any money with them and you can’t make any money without them. This unfortunately is true, so do some research and buy the best cutter that you can afford, especially if you are thinking about going into business. Don’t be afraid of older cutters. As long as they were greased and oiled, well kept, and have blades that can still be sharpened, they should be OK.

My shop has a cutter that my father bought used in 1959. As long as we keep the blades sharp, it works fine. If we were to sell it, we could get maybe $400.00 for it (American). We also have a 1988 computerized fully programmable monster that is worth about $6500.00 (It cost $60,000 new). They obviously depreciate very quickly, so keep your eyes open for a deal.

Good Luck

Cool thanks! what are some of the brands for cutters to keep a look out for? so I can do a little search on ebay or something.

Thanks for the tips on paper, I went to Magnani papers and they were very helpful, the paper was so beautiful I didn’t want to cut it up, mind you I had a ruler, cutting knife and board for the job - then I thought there has to be a better way!

What thicknes of paper is good for letterpress?

Look forward to your reply :)

Magnani papers are beautiful. I always get nervous when I cut them.

The papers I use are usually in the range of 200 - 350 gms. 200 - 250 for a folded program or brochure and 300 - 350 gm for a single card or invitation.

As far as searching for paper cutters, the older names are escaping me, but Challenge has made cutters forever and Baum has been around for a while also. If I think of anymore, I’ll let you know.

Good Luck!

I have a local offset shop cut my larger sheets down to letter size and then I trim to final size from there. I bought a 12” stack cutter on ebay. It’s a little limiting, b/c I can only cut small stacks at a time, but I don’t do high volume so it works for me.

Eventually I’ll get a better cutter, like a Challenge, when I have the resources to move one into my shop. I’m always on the lookout for one in my area.

You can also have your paper supplier cut the paper down before shipping it. I know Limited Papers and will do it for a fee. And Crane Lettra is available in letter size reams on their website.

I will check it out - thank you everyone : ).