Paper cutters: Changing a blade, where to sharpen, without losing digits

Hello y’all,
I’ve looked high and low for instructions on changing a blade on a challenge 193 manual cutter?
I’ve never done it before, and am a bit afraid of it! (or of setting something off kilter with the cutter.)
I visited a local printer, but his cutter was of course auto and has these bolted handles that screwed right in… I ordered handles for my model but I swear I cannot find the darn holes to screw them into!

Can anyone give me the lowdown for dummies such as myself?


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Determine this first……Make your if your blades are not the same (tallness) because of sharpening. You will have to compensate on the adjustments for the depth of the cut. There should be an adjustment on the top of where your blade goes in. Turning the adjustment screws my not appear that it’s doing anything, your must check around back and you will see the gap being created or lessened depending on the way you turn the adjustment. Move the adjustments up or down to compensate for the difference in the blade (tallness) “MEASURE ITLOOK around back and see how far you have to move them — up or down. Mine is turning to the left is Depth increase, to the right is Raise the blase. If you don’t make this adjustment correctly, your blade will cut down to far into the cutter stick (made of wood or plastic) or it won’t cut far enough. After making adjusting turn your stick to a new side. so it gives fresh cuts. Use 20lb paper stretch it across the cutter bed right under the blade bring the clamp down and then cut the paper “BE EASY” don’t slam it hard, your adjustment maybe off and you may nick the blade. It should just kiss cut the 20lb.
Then……1. Lower your blade, 2. Loosen all bolts, remove only where the notches would allow you to slide the blade down and out. 3. There is where you put your handles in (while blade is down) 4. Tighten them so your blade won’t move. 5. Raise your blade up remove other bolts. 6. Then Grab a hold of your handles turning them to loosen and slide your blade down an out. Lay your dull blade on your cutter. remove handles. Put them in your shape blade. Remove it from your holder. Lay your sharpen blade on your cutter or some where safe, till you can put your dull blade back in the blade holder. CAREFUL NOT TO NICK YOUR BLADE. Basically reverse the process. Do this when you won’t be interrupted. I reread this thru… but USE COMMON SENSE.. SAFETY FIRST

Here is my take, I thought about it quite a bit as I am facing the same situation.
Preliminary observations:
You want to avoid dropping the blade any amount! You want to be prepared before detaching the blade, so you have a safe place to put it - a carrier. Have the carrying handles ready. Think ahead to when you have the knife free and the handles in. The bolt/handles should be positioned about 1/3 of the width in from either sides, to allow lifting of the blade and sliding to one side into the slot and then moving the free side forward, and sliding the blade out - all without touching the blade edge on any surface.

Removing the blade:
1. place a 1/8 to 1/4” full width piece of plywood or fibre board (the pad) under the blade.
2. Lower the blade, just touching the pad. Notice where the end of the left hand side is with respect to the frame.
3. Measure from the pad to the bottom edge of the blade-carrier (the cast iron part that the blade is bolted to on both sides of the blade).
4. Loosen and remove the bolts.
5. Slowly move the lever up, raising the blade-carrier just until the threaded holes in the blade are fully exposed. Stop there.
6. Thread in the handles or bolts you use as handles. Keep one hand on a handle to hold the blade in position and raise the blade-holder (by the lever) all the way up.
7. Grab hold of the blade with both hands and manoeuvre it out of the cutter. as planed beforehand.
8. When carrying and walking with the blade carry it by one handle only, so it is in a vertical position. That way you have a hand free if you slip and the blade is not in a position to cut your feet when it is dropped.
9. Only place the blade into a blade carrier - nowhere else. Bolt it in right away.

Attaching the sharpened blade:
10. With the new blade in the carrier, attach the bolt/handles.
11. Position the pad on the cutter as in step 1 above.
12. Manoeuvre the blade into position as it was in step 2 above, touching nothing until the blade is vertically flat against the rear guide surfaces and the carefully lower it onto the pad.
13. With one hand on a bolt/handle, slowly lower the lever and blade carrier until the bottom of it slips over the top of the blade, nearing the bolt/handles.
14. Remove the bolt/handles.
15. Carefully keep lowering the lever and blade carrier until the bolt holes in the blade become visible in the blade carrier slots.
16. Fasten the washers and blots just snug. Try to achieve the measurement(s) obtained in step 3.
17. Raise the lever and blade carrier a little and remove the pad.
18. Fine tune the final blade position with the jack screws attached to the rear of the blade carrier, that push down on the blade to get an even contact with the cutting stick.
19. Tighten the blade holding bolts.

If anyone has ideas to improve it please say so.


Thanks for the advice guys!

You still have your typing fingers then !
Read line 7……

As a wee tip it is useful to place a couple of beermat thickness card on the guillotine about beer mat size these then can be your “rests” should the blade need temporary rest due to weight or minor error in your approach to the placing beneath the carriage ,this way reduces the risk of chipping on the steel of the bed , i was shown this as i found the blades so darn heavy as a teenager .

Yes thanks for the additional comment Peter! In step 7 I should have been clearer about gripping the now loose blade from above with both hands (not risking the fingers). Ever since making the deal on my cutter I had nightly bad dreams about the various kinds of damage the wicked blade could do. When I finally got to pick it up, I saw the previous owner had put a safety block under the knife. I thought it was a great idea. But it is not a good idea to leave that in place during a move. It chipped the edge of the best blade I have got (from rattling during the 1000km move with the blade resting on the block).