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Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to commonly asked questions from our customers.


Where can I find instructions for my CARL product?

The Paper Trimmer is very easy to use and intuitive. We have designed illustrations located on the face of the Paper Trimmers that explain what materials can be cut, and how to change the blades and cutting mats. Also, there is a handy accessories chart located on the back of the Paper Trimmers (desktop models only - Personal and Handheld Trimmer information is located on the back of the package).

Some users try to trim the full capacity of the Paper Trimmers at one time, just like they would when using a guillotine-style paper trimmer. This puts unnecessary stress on the blades, cutting rail and cutting mats. Rotary Paper Trimmers are different, in that the blade rests directly on the surface of the materials being trimmed, slicing through them.

Pressing down on the Blade Holder will put a downward force on the Cutting Rail that will secure the materials and engage the blade to the top of the material being trimmed. Then, applying even pressure, simply move the blade handle away from you, and towards you until all the materials are trimmed. Rotary Paper Trimmers operate similarly to a meat slicer in a deli, continuously moving back and forth over the material to ensure a precise, exact cut every time.

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Why does my CARL Paper Trimmer only score the paper and not cut it?

Most likely, the cutting mat has fallen out of the cutting located directed beneath the cutting blade. The mat is a long, thin piece of plastic that is essential for proper cutting. The blade comes into contact with the mat when it slices through the material you're trimming. It will occasionally fall out of the channel, especially if you've stood it on end against a desk or filing cabinet, etc. Once you've located it, place it back into the channel directly below the cutting blade and your machine will work as perfectly as it did before.

The mats are designed to be replaceable, so having one fall out of the channel does happen, especially when cutters are moved. CARL Replacement Cutting Mats and Blades can be purchased here.

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Why does my CARL Paper Trimmer tear and rip the paper?

It is likely that the thumbscrews on the paper trimmer blade holder have been tightened too tightly. This prevents the blade from rotating and may tear the paper materials you are trimming. Loosen the thumbscrews to make sure they are snug against the blade holder, but not too tight. This situation occurs mainly when using the Decorative B- Series Blades.

It is also possible that the Paper Trimmer is overloaded by trimming too many materials at once. Remember that there is no need to put excess stress and pressure on the Paper Trimmer. Pressing down the blade holder and sliding the holder away from you and towards you to trim the materials will ensure a better cut.

CARL Replacement Cutting Mats and Blades can be purchased here.

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Why does my Paper Trimmer seem to get caught on the Cutting Mat?

This type of situation occurs mainly with the Professional RT Series Paper Trimmers exclusively when used with the B-Series Blades.

Take a look at the surface of the cutting mat. Does it look severely gouged? Since the B-Series Blades have "angled" designs, they sometimes dig into the surface of the cutting mat. Then when trimming again, these sharp edges "jam" the edges of the decorative blade and make it difficult to cut.

The solution is to run the edge of your fingernail across the mat to smooth the sharp "gouges" and insert it back into the Paper Trimmer. Do not apply excessive pressure when using the decorative-edged blades, but rather move the blade holder back and forth across the materials being trimmed.

Another solution would be to replace the Cutting Mat.

CARL Replacement Cutting Mats and Blades can be purchased here.

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Why does my CARL Paper Cutting Mat have a deep groove in it? Will this affect the cutting quality?

Yes, it will. However, there's a quick solution. If you've been using the straight blade only, you'll notice that the groove is slightly off-center on the surface of the mat. If you rotate this mat 180 degrees (so that the groove is still visible), and insert it back into the Paper Trimmer, the blade will have a fresh, new cutting surface to cut materials.

Similarly, once you've used one complete side of the cutting mat (showing two deep grooves), turn the mat over and you'll have an additional two lives before you'll have to purchase a new mat.

how to replace paper cutting mat

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Why does my Professional RT Series Paper Trimmer cut about 1/8" off?

Odds are you changed or replaced the blade and the straight blade is reversed. Simply loosen the thumbscrews and insert the blade into the blade holder with the thicker portion of the blue facing the inside of the holder. Then load the blade holder onto the sliding handle and snug the thumbscrews. This will correctly position the blade directly next to the translucent cutting rail.

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Why is the paper getting stuck to the bottom of the bar?

This problem happens primarily with photographic paper and inkjet printers. The problem is two-fold. First of all, the photographic paper is coated and non- porous. There are rubber strips on the bottom of the cutting rail and when these two come in contact, they create a "suction- cup" effect. Carefully slide a piece of chipboard or other thin, blunt material in between the paper and the cutting rail and slide it across the surface of the stuck paper until it becomes free.

Secondly, make sure that the ink from the print is completely dry before trimming. Wet ink also helps to increase this "suction cup" effect.

A simple solution is also to place a waxed paper between the digital print and the cutting rail. The waxed paper is transparent enough to see through for an exact measurement and the wax acts as a barrier to eliminate sticking.

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Where can I find accessories and replacement parts for my CARL products?

You can purchase accessories and replacement parts from our online store or locate a store near you that carries them.

Shop for accessories for CARL Paper Trimmers.

Shop for accessories for CARL Hole Punchers.

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What should I do if my CARL Paper Trimmer breaks?

CARL Paper Trimmers are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. If a Paper Trimmer should ever fail, CARL will repair or replace it free of charge. Shipping and handling charges may apply. All you need to do is email our customer service or call (847) 884-2842 to obtain a Return Authorization Number (RA).


Once you have the RA# and sent your Paper Trimmer or Paper Hole Punch to us, we will assess the problem and either repair or replace it and ship it back to you promptly.

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