Adjusting Paper Cutter Blade

Hey all-

I’m trying to adjust the blade of the Challenge paper cutter in our shop and having a ridiculously hard time. I’m not sure of the model number on our cutter, but it’s from the 300 series from Challenge, with digital read out and a 30-inch bed. The blade has 6 bolts fastening it into the cutter, and 2 screws above the blade for adjustment.

Currently, the blade seems to be coming down too hard, but every time I back off on the top screws, I lose the cut entirely, or get a cut at the ends of the blade, but not in the center. In addition to this, I’m getting a bunching of paper near the center of the sheet I’m cutting. I feel as though there is an easy trick to fix all of this, but I’m just going back and forth with too little and too much pressure. None of this is helped by the fact that the top screws can’t be adjusted unless the blade is in its lowest position, so I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how much adjustment to make.

Any help would be much appreciated, I’m definitely starting to feel a little crazy working with this thing!

Emily Wismer
Lady Pilot Letterpress

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You may need to turn the cutter stick under the blade if the cut is that uneven. Try that.

I usually only turn the top screws 1/2 to 1/4 of a turn at a time. As mentioned you should be setting it with a new stick. If the blade stops cutting through the bottom mot sheet replace the stick. If it still doesn’t cut all the way through it needs the top screws adjusted again or needs to be changed. I use a sheet of NCR when possible to set the blade.

Always put a new face of the cutting stick to a sharpened blade. I first bring the stick up to bed level using a straightedge and shims cut from #80 book and tracing paper. Then I slowly level the blade (from a higher non-cutting position) until it cuts a full-bed width of #80 book paper, and that may take more shimming in spots under the stick.
If the stick isn’t level with the bed, the sheet will deform as it is clamped against an uneven surface.