Welcome To CARL USA. All products are serviced and sold here in the US!
I waited a few months to write a review. I have tried several cutters that I liked at first then found as I used them they lost favor with me. I wanted something to cut straight and leave clean lines. I was a bit worried that some of the reviews said it wouldn't do cut even after awhile. I found that true. HOWEVER, I had used it lots and realized with the volume of cutting, it might need a new blade. I replaced the blade and was good to go again. Since I work with paper in 4-5 hours per shift 4-6 days a week, I find that a blade lasts about 5 weeks. When the paper starts to get uneven cuts, I know it is time to change the blade. I am very happy with this purchase. It cuts thick, ultra thin and all the in-between thickness leaving that sharp clean cut I want. I have had a couple of trimmers equal in price that just seemed to wear out (one with a never replace blade, don't believe that tale, the one I had was tearing paper rather than cutting in two months). For the money, for the results, this has been my best results. The loading is sort of awkward at first (it has a lockdown step), but once I got used to it, it is great and I like it because once locked the paper does not move. Multi thick layers can slip (again especially if the blade is older), but it still cuts clean and with help the slip can be avoided. I would say it does not do sliver trim (like thread width) well, but I have never found a trimmer that does that well. Even with that I can say when I need to straighten a line cut it is the only one I have found that gives a cut that doesn't show a partial trim most of the time. I read some reviews on photo cutting, which isn't something I do. I have cut glossy photo paper and it did fine for me. In my experience cutting a lot of glitter paper seems to cause the blade to wear down faster (a lot to me is 75-100 cuts). I would buy this again, and have a stock of blades so I expect to use it for a long time. The cutting runner is usable 4 different ways, I turn that each time I change blades, just because I think it is good form to do so. Fresh blade, fresh runway seems like a good idea. I also like that the overall weight is not flimsy, yet not so heavy it takes everything to move it. It appears to be constructed well, I see no indication after months of use of any give or separation of parts anywhere.
I purchased this to primarily cut photo stock paper and laminate sheets, as a recent experience at my local office supply store left me very dissatisfied with what they deemed a "straight edge" on some very important trimming work I needed done. The CARL Heavy Duty Rotary Trimmer 18inch is fantastic for making perfectly straight* cuts that I need.
I've cut laminate sheets on this cutter up to 7mm thick with absolute ease. When moving past 3mm laminate I do have to press down a little harder (not much) and move the blade slightly faster to get a perfect cut, but make no mistake - this cutter does the job! Cutting laminate will dull the blade faster than your typical paper cuts, but CARL offers replacement blades at a very competitive price which makes this a non-factor for me.
*Straight - While the blade cuts extremely close to the guard there is a very slight 1mm play between the guard and the blade. My first few cuts were straight but ever so slightly angled after I had pressed the sliding bar back into locking position. I made a mental adjustment to factor in the 1mm play, and now I cut straight and level every time.
Seriously, if I could give this thing 10 stars in the Amazon rating, I would! This is a REAL rotary trimmer! !8" capacity width and the blades are S-H-A-R-P! the cutting head is smooth and even when I was cutting sheet after sheet of Hahnemuhle’s new 350gsm Canvas Metallic fine art canvas, I barely new I touched it!
Carl put extra blades, (1 straight and 1 perf, as well as 1 additional cutter strip), in this trimmer! The instructions are meant for those who've used a more advanced, professional quality rotary trimmer. Unlike some of the less advanced systems, the instructions for the Carl 18" trimmer don't spend much time reminding you of how to line up, watching for ripples in your paper, and best standing position, etc.
I've seen some reviews complaining about how the cutting strip didn't last, or moved on every cut or that the blade went dull after one or two cuts. I have a pretty good idea of what they're probably doing to get that result but because I wasn't there, I won't express any of my guesses here.
The bottom line is that this cutter is a good, flat, metal-based trimmer. The measurement lines are dead on, and don't get me started about how well and accurately the side guides are mounted 90 degrees to the cutting rail giving a very dependable 90 degree cut!
I store my rotary trimmers in the box they came with to keep them from dust and to avoid accidentally dropping something of the Cutting Head rail. I also use the foam supports when I store them as well. If you accidentally drop something on that cutting rail and inadvertently bend it, there goes the ball game! Be sure to avoid lifting the Trimmer from the box by the rail whenever you take it out. I always lift it from an edge under the table surface.
At first I looked at this like the smaller the blade diameter, the less the circumference, (remember: π x diameter), and that means lower edge life per inch. Then I realized that the smaller diameter blade is likely to be the reason why the Carl Heavy Duty Rotary Trimmer is so consistently accurate and the cuts are so straight.
There's a magnetic guide that comes with it but if you plan to use it as a stop for multiple, repeated, production cutting, don't count on it for squaring up your sheets. Always use the side guides for that.
The magnetic attachment is great as a stop because it has a powerful magnet and it takes a lot to move it once it's in place. However, it’s got enough play to make it undependable as a 'square guide' tool. I don't think it was even meant for that unless you square it up to the side guides with a square first.
I use it to help hold down the paper. It certainly can keep the paper from buckling or if you have a curled edge, this magnetic attachment would keep it flattened. When you lock down the paper, the high visibility you get from the paper lock is incredible! The lock holds that paper tight, whether it’s a sheet of standard 8 ½ x 11” paper or 350gsm+ high quality, canvas, that paper stays put until you unlock it.
Really, this is the ‘cat’s meow’ of 18”, affordable, quality trimmers so stop reading and buy it. If I had one thing to say that may be called a ‘con’ it would be about the blades diameter. The cutting blades are 1.1” in diameter and my old, definitely not nearly as good or accurate, trimmer had a 1.77” diameter cutter.
That smaller diameter blade won’t “walk” as easily as a larger one and therefore, I can’t even call the 1.1” a con. The entire Trimmer is a Big Plus! 5 Stars, hands down! Now go buy it!
I was looking for a trimmer that would trim my booklets and decided on this one because of the features and especially because of the 5 star reviews. I am very pleased and well satisfied with the heavy construction and performance. The booklets I am trimming are 9 sheets of 24 # paper folded in half giving equivalent of 18 sheets 24 #.
The locking bar holds the paper securely in position. The inch scales along the edge seem to be very accurate. Rather than push down with a lot of pressure on the cutting head, I make 3 - 4 passes with lighter pressure. This will also lengthen the life of the cutting strip under the blade. The cutting strip can be reversed when it is worn and also turned over, giving the equivalent of 4 strips, since it is off-centered. There is also a spare strip & 2 extra blades provided, 1 regular blade and 1 perforating blade.
I highly recommend this cutter.
I was looking for a paper trimmer that could handle the demands of cutting accurately through several sheets of cardstock without frustration and I found it. I wanted to be able to cut multiple pieces of paper of large and small sizes.
The last reviewer made the comment that you have to take a couple of extra steps. No big deal, In fact this is a positive feature. You lift up a lever to elevate the cutting blade rail and push it back down to lock it into place. That brief extra step locks up to 8 pieces of thick textured cardstock in place without any shifting of the cardstock, and with little effort. This total thickness of the cardstock was 1/8th of an inch. I found that I could cut 4 pieces of thick textured cardstock in one very smooth effortless movement. If I put 8 pieces down it took one push forward and one back and to cut through all of them. Someone with fairly severe arthritis would find all of this easy to do. SO MUCH BETTER than my Fiskars rotary cutter. The magnetic paper guage did a good job of blocking the paper at the length I wanted. I found that I could use it to cut a piece of paper as short as 1 3/4 inch. The trimmer is sturdy and has well defined markings in both english and metric measurements. It also has marked areas for various photo and paper sizes. The trimmer has it's instructions in a picture form right on the platform and has a storage area for extra blades and cutting mats. It comes with an extra cutting blade, perforating blade and cutting mat. I will be giving away 3 paper trimmers and enjoying this one for a very long time. If you are more than a casual scrapbooker this trimmer is for you.
I have used this for about 8 months now and feel it is time to write a review. I am a bookbinder and I specifically purchased this trimmer for that purpose. This isn't a quick cut tool. If you are looking for something where you can quickly put in a piece of paper, make a cut and go about your day, this isn't for you. If you're looking to make really accurate cuts from a pile of papers, this is definitely something you would be interested in.
First off, it is heavy and isn't like a normal crafting trimmer. I've spent a bit of time in craft stores and around scrapbookers, card makers and various paper crafters. They have folding plastic trimmers that they carry with them everywhere. This isn't one of those. This is heavy, well made and not easily transported. It has its own table in my studio I love and respect it that much.
Book board is difficult to cut by hand. I always have good intentions of using a metal ruler and a blade, but somehow I can't get straight cuts because my hand always slips. That is where this trimmer really earns its keep. I can make my original measurement with pencil marks onto the book board. Then I slide it under the bar and lock it into place. There is a magnet guide that is very useful. I simply slide that right up next to my book board and I never have to measure again for that particular cut. The trimmer slices right through paper, cardstock, chipboard and book board well.
It does take a little getting used to at first. I was very comfortable with my other trimmer (Carl 12200 Bidex Professional 10-Sheet Rotary Trimmer, Metal Base, 12 x 11) and this one took a little while to get to know. Once I did, I realized this is one of those tools that I will have for life.
It also comes with spare blades and a cutting mat. Book board tends to eat through the blades pretty fast, but I have found if I fold a large piece of aluminum foil 3 or 4 times and cut several strips, it sharpens my blade very well.
Just opened the box, tried it. I am in LOVE! The cut is the cleanest cut I have ever experienced with any cutter. I did not have to put pressure, it just cut like butter. As a scrapbooker, I have spent a small fortune on cutters, all maybe 2 or 3 stars at best, and none ever cut truly straight. This one is dead on straight. You should know a couple of things. It has a locking mechanism where you lock it down after positioning the paper so nothing moves. And I mean does not move. 1 piece of paper stayed put like it was glued. I also cut along printed lines, and tried an 1/8" trim an edge ... you know the ones that often don't work because there is so little paper, this was perfect through the whole length.
It comes with an extra blade(s) and extra cutting mat, very nice. The instructions tell you that you can switch the cutting mat end to end or turn it over, which is basically the manufacturer telling you how to save money and get the best use ... before you have to buy another. How REFRESHING!
The one thing that I will have to get used to is the lock down, as it requires a stop and open, or stop and lock movement, so it's a minor extra step. I'll do it for this kind of precision.
It's well made, heavy and with the wide rail the blade does not waver or wobble, and I don't expect it ever will. It has a storage space where the extra blade(s) and cutting mat fit so the won't be lost. It looks exactly like the picture and looks professional, it's not cheap looking and is not pink or orange or flowery. It even comes with an instruction "manual". I am thoroughly impressed with this cutter. This cost slightly more than the high end version from the common name brand I own that now is poorly functioning. The quality comparison between the two is rubber raft to cruise ship. Am very happy I spent the money, and am excited to start a project so I can use this lovely.