5 Best Guillotine Paper Cutters for Card-Making & DIY Projects


Did you know that your run-of-the-mill paper cutter has a devious name, which adds many layers of characters and coolness to it?

The name, as the title suggests, is Guillotine. That’s right – such is the sharpness and possible danger of using this device, that it was named after the medieval instrument of delivering quick death.

More to the point, however, their sharpness and accuracy ensures that your projects, cards and other expressions of your creativity will turn out as good as possible. Normal garden-variety scissors can’t come close to the level of control you can exercise over the shape and depth of your cuts.

So today, we’re about to go through five of the best designs available on the market. They’re thoroughly reviewed, with their pros and cons explained. Further, there’s a small guide which outlines what to look for when you’re investing into a high quality cutter.

With the outline out of the way, let’s proceed with the reviews!

Best Guillotine Paper Cutters

  1. Fiskars Recycled 12-Inch Bypass Trimmer

With the global effort ongoing towards sustainability and eco-friendly development, you can now cut and design to your heart’s content while making sure you’ve done your bit to save the environment. This 12-inch bypass trimmer gives you clean cuts, comes with a self-sharpening blade, and multiple safety features to ensure there’s little chance of stray cuts.

Fiskars 01-005452 Recycled Bypass Trimmer, 12 Inch
  • Great for heavy use: fliers, handouts,...
  • Trimmer base is made from 100% recycled...


Built from 100 percent recycled post consumer (after at least a single use) resins, this product stands tall in both quality and eco-friendliness. The other dimension of this product, which gives it immense value for money,  is the self-sharpening blade. This blade would not need to be replaced for any foreseeable amount of time, as reports suggest.

The side handle adds ergonomic value, and the safety lock gives you an extra sense of peace. While the lightness means it is very portable, the rubber feet ensure it doesn’t move around while you’re working. The blade can cut through a number of cardstock sheets at once and about a dozen or so sheets of paper at once. All in all, a wonderful product.

  • Comes with a safety lock to ensure only you can use it
  • Gives straight cuts with precise measurements regardless of thickness
  • Compact and lightweight, useful for classrooms where frequent cutting is required
  • May be a little tough to line up paper correctly due to the scale
  1. Swingline Guillotine Paper Trimmer – ClassicCut Lite

If you’re in the market for a dependable, useful paper cutter which can cut through hundreds of sheets of paper at once, you should probably consider the Swingline. It comes with an incredibly sharp blade which can deal with large scale projects like wedding invites and bulk cardstock with ease. Further, it’s lightweight, and attractively priced for all its cutting prowess.

Swingline Paper Trimmer, Guillotine Paper Cutter, 12" Cut Length, 10...
  • EASY TO USE TRIMMER - Lite trimmer is simple and...
  • 12" CUTTING LENGTH - With a 12" cutting length,...


With the best blade in business in your hands, you’re unlikely to go wrong. Hence, if you’re someone who deals with projects of a large scale and high frequency, but don’t like the heft that generic guillotine cutters have, this should be on your list of cutters to look out for. This cutter states a ten-sheet capacity, but users report much higher volumes.

The guardrail for protection purposes and the side lock for safety are appreciated, given the nature of the blade – rest assured, you can have a safe and comfortable experience. Whether it be multiple layers of cardstock or different varieties of paper, getting a perfect straight line takes minimal effort with this cutter. You can choose one out of three possible sizes as per usage.

  • Delivers a wonderful experience
  • Comes with a number of safety features to ensure your blade stays in the right hands
  • Flexibility in size of the base and blade as per your specific requirements
  • The blade has to be used very carefully in order to avoid injury
  1. ClassicCut Ingento Swingline Paper Trimmer

Catering to all sorts of users, Swingline has a version for those dealing with large sized and high volume projects – this one is recommended for most professional users. However, once you see it, you can probably guess its high-end nature. No plastic on this one – it’s made out of maple, and comes with an 18 (!) inch self-sharpening blade.

ClassicCut Ingento Solid Maple Paper Trimmer, 15 Sheets, Maple Base,...
  • Maple 15-sheet paper trimmer with steel blade,...
  • Self-sharpening hardened steel blade.


While you might be wondering why you’d need such a large cutter, consider the bells and whistles that come with the product – a latch hook, a guard for your fingers, and a printed grid to adjust the alignment of the object you’ll be cutting. It weighs in at a hefty 8 pounds, making it one of the most stable and hefty products on the market.

It can handle literally any job you can throw at it. You have the ruler which is above the surface, which means you can measure all your dimensions properly without the paper covering them up – very useful for a number of applications. The grid still stays, so your alignments are proper. This has been on the market for a while and lasts for years – go for it if you want the best.

  • Comes close to being the best overall guillotine cutter on the market, period
  • The heft from the exquisite maple construction gives a solid feel, lasts for years
  • Can handle large projects as well as cutting through tissue paper and small chits
  • Premium features and a premium look come at a not-inexpensive cost
  1. Westcott TrimAir Titanium Wood Guillotine Paper Trimmer, 15″

If the prospect of an old-school cutter doesn’t appeal to you, we present something equally sturdy and a part of our zeitgeist. It comes with a wood base, but the blades are finished in titanium – the stuff used in high end sports cars and space applications. Yes, a piece of premium and rare metal, used in your guillotine cutter!

Westcott TrimAir Guillotine Wood Trimmer with Anti-microbial...
  • Contemporary design, comfortable handle with "must...
  • Handle infused with Anti-microbial protection to...


With arguably the best material possible being used for the blade, the Westcott TrimAir gives serious competition to the best in business. Although it comes in heavy at around 7 pounds due to the wooden base, it does not feel unreasonably large due to the compact 15 inch blade. You can use it for labels, small or large papers, any size of greeting card or invitation.

The plastic guard will make sure your fingers stay safe, while the rubber grip handle for the blade makes cutting quick, clean and incredibly second-nature. Regardless of the material you’re using, you’ll find yourself making precise cuts in no time. The 30 sheet capacity makes for a truly versatile experience. Westcott has come up with an absolute joy of a machine here!

  • Daily driver guillotine paper cutter – rubber grip makes sure you don’t get tired easily
  • Clean, safe, quick and easy cuts with the titanium blade
  • Rough and uneven cuts are almost unheard of with this cutter
  • The guide is somewhat unclear on usage instructions
  1. Tonic Studios 808 8-1/2-Inch Guillotine Paper Trimmer

Let’s face it, a vast majority of the guillotine paper cutters and trimmers on the market range between 12 inches to 18 inches. This product from Tonic Studios, however, is an iconoclast. With an 8½ inch long blade, and a small base for cutting with embossed grid lines, this 1 pound heavy cutter can match the bigger models cut-for-cut.

Tonic Studios 808 8-1/2-Inch Guillotine Paper Trimmer
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Perfect for use with vellum paper all the way up...


The fact that this comes with a blade and a base with grid lines and still comes in at a pound means it’s a highly effective cutter for those who need to keep moving. The quality of cuts is as good as any blade on the market with durable high-end stainless steel materials. Further, you can easily chuck it into a drawer or a cupboard without needing a special workspace.

The fact remains, with very few quality competitors, the 808 is in a league of its own. Incredibly well priced, with a guiding base to boot, it can easily cut through cardstock and small sized papers. Another popular use case for this cutter is photos – a number of people report brilliant results after months of use. You will, however, need to keep it out of children’s hands.   

  • Lightweight and easy to carry around for other settings as desired
  • Bad cuts are very rare – unexpected from a cutter at this price point
  • Comes with a carrying handle for better ergonomics
  • Lack of safety guards or other locks, needs care and patience for safe use

Now that we’re done reviewing the top five guillotine paper cutters on the market,  we now come to the most important question: how do I decide which guillotine cutter is best for me?

Guillotine Paper Cutters Buyer’s Guide

Though our reviews might have given you some idea on how to choose one that’s best for you, we’re outlining the major criteria you should keep in mind when investing into a paper cutter. There are many other small factors, but the following should be on top of your mind while checking out possible cutters:

  • Price. While most would consider this an obvious point, here’s the catch. There are a large number of truly awful and issue-ridden paper cutters on sale today, and most of them are concentrated near the bottom of the price range. Hence, go in for something near the middle of the range – they offer good quality and value for money.
  • Durability. The durability of the cutter should also be a prime consideration. The cutter should not move around when you adjust angles and take measurements, and it should not also have a cheap finishing. The materials on offer include metal, wood, and plastic – metal and wood are definitely better.
  • Ease of Use. The presence of a guide and adjustable rulers can make a world of difference when it comes to cutting precisely and when margin of error is near nil. Even if not, most cutters don’t come with a scale or grid lines.
  • Sharpness of the blade. This is clearly another important point. You should be, at a minimum, be able to cut through 10 pages with complete ease. The dull blades of a number of shoddily manufactured cheap cutters tend to break or bend, or lose steam halfway. Hence, it should be able to cut a decent number of papers with ease.

This wraps up our list of considerations regarding buying a guillotine paper cutter. Whether it’s DIY projects involving cardstock, creating a number of custom labels, or designing custom wedding invitations – you are unlikely to go wrong if you buy any of the five products we’ve just covered.

All offer reliability, quality, durability and a certain peace of mind you get, and expect, from quality items. All have different uses and price points, however.  

If you need more tools for your creative endeavors in our review section you canl also find the Best Self Healing Cutting Mats and the Best Mat Cutters, check them out!

Hence, making sure you keep the points described above in mind, you’re highly likely to end up with a long lasting, high quality guillotine paper cutter. Have fun shopping!


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