What are gibs and other questions about paper cutter

Thanks for the help in advance.

There has been some general questions about cutters and the word “gibs” is used. For us new folks, what does that word mean?

I have a Pearl 19” cutter (#822 although I do not know what that represents) and I have several questions. It seems to cut fine.
1. There are four bolts that seem to be holding the blade to the mechanism that helps perform the cut. Are these bolts also used to adjust the blade so that it is parallel to the bed?
2. If so, how does one make that adjustment? Loosening the bolts and letting the blade rest on a known thickness of material and then tightening them?
3. Can anyone please suggest where I might get a blade such as this sharpened? And, also, get a second blade?

Sorry for all the naive questions but this is the only place I can get the information I need. Thanks, Neil

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

While not exactly the same cutter, most of your questions are answered in this manual from Challenge:


Ask your local commercial print shops where they get their blades sharpened. Most cities seem to have a couple of options. Let us know where you are, and someone will likely offer a suggestion.

I’ve seen some blades on ebay, but I can’t speak to their quality. Every paper cutter I’ve owned came with at least one extra. Maybe someone on the site has an extra to sell you?

Gib screws or gib plates take out unwanted movement of the blade. Most cutters have some type of adjustment based on the gib screw. With wear the blade carriage (the heavy piece of metal that holds the blade) creates wear between the sides of the frame of the cutter and by having gib screws you can adjust out the wear and keep your cutter working as when it was new. You can easily check for this wear by grabbing the carriage and try to move it toward you and away from you with the blade in its up position. KEEPING YOUR HAND AND FINGERS AWAY FROM THE BLADE
Hope this was a little clearer than mud.

Luke and Chuck - all very clear and thank you. Neil

Neil- now that you know what they are, from a practical standpoint, I have always kept the gibs on my cutter slightly tighter than ‘snug’.
Meaning that they create just a little drag during the cut. The challenge cutter I have has a plaque mounted on it that states you should keep the gibs tight and that they should create a little drag.
It’s also important that you set the lower half of the gibs with the blade in the knife down position, and then raise the knife and set the upper portion. The reverse did not create the intended situation for me (learned that through practice, or maybe it’s just me).

Good luck with your new cutter!

I like to lube the knife bar surface that toutches the gibbs with Johnsons floor wax, even more importantly the back surface also. Thats right, floor wax, I like that better than grease. Grease seems to hold, even attract dust, etc.
Also for those who don’t allready know, old fashoned paste floor wax in a can is the only thing to use on the bed / table of your cutter. After several applications you can have a slick, no stick top as smooth as glass.
Happy cutting,
James ‘Mac’ McGraw

Great thanks to all. Neil