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Subject: Shopping for a paper cutter. Suggestions? rss

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Joel Ricker
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So I've started with some PNP games and I have really enjoyed making them more than playing them it seems. So far I've made due with printing on label paper that I could mount onto pre-purchased tokens or reused old cards.

I feel like I'm ready to jump into some more chit heavy games such as Valor & Victory but I'm not sure on what piece of equipment to buy. Reading through lots of posts it looks like I would mount my printed chit pages to chipboard then cut either with an Xacto knife or some sort tabletop cutter. I'm leaning towards tabletop cutter but my question is, will something like this cut chipboard: http://www.amazon.com/CARL-Professional-Rotary-Paper-Trimmer...? The claim is 10 sheets of 20lb paper. Is that equivalent to chipboard? The kind of chipboard I had found while shopping was this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Medium-Weight-Chipboard-Sheets-12X.... Not sure if that is the right chipboard either.

If it doesn't work, is it better to invest in good cutting tools rather than spend the money on a tabletop cutter?

Thanks for any advice.
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Mordor
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I've got 2 different paper cutters, and they just haven't topped being careful with scissors for me.

So my recommendations is a good pair of scissors.

I use cheap ones and they cut through picture frame matte board (which I use instead of chipboard-can't find it!) as well as the label paper. I've already used it to make chits too.
 
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Rich Shipley
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jmricker wrote:
I'm leaning towards tabletop cutter but my question is, will something like this cut chipboard: http://www.amazon.com/CARL-Professional-Rotary-Paper-Trimmer...?


I have a similar one from Fiskars and it works very well. Chipboard takes a few passes, but makes a good cut. I tend to go with mat board since it cuts easier. The white edges can be nice looking also.

If you are cutting a grid of counters, remember to leave a margin on one edge so you can cut strips that are still attached on one side. Then you can cut across and get an accurate cut of a whole row at a time.

edit: Here's the one I have that I can vouch for:

http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Classic-Rotary-Paper-Trimmer/d...
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Richard Pomeroy
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I have the rotary cutter you linked, and while it is excellent for regular paper, photos and cardstock I am doubtful that it would be a good candidate for chipboard. I'm not sure I would go for 10 sheets for regular paper either. It is great for precision cutting but does not allow for a lot of down pressure.
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Holger Doessing
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jmricker wrote:
... mount my printed chit pages to chipboard then cut either with an Xacto knife or some sort tabletop cutter.

You can get pretty far with a straightedge (preferably with a right angle piece) and a plain box cutter.
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Ridley Bojangles
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I bought the Fiskars ProCision cutter and I've made short work of medium weight (~1.5mm) chipboard. Made several maps by trimming the chipboard to fit.

http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-ProCision-Rotary-Trimmer-10058...

I'm guessing for double thick chipboard you'll want a putty knife or shears.
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Steve S
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Personally I prefer a rotary cutter & a ruler...
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Joel Ricker
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will give a hand rotary cutter a try before investing in paper cutter. I was afraid of I would have problems with "drifting" away from the straight edge but its definitely worth trying before moving on to a paper cutter.

If I'm not happy with that the Fiskar suggestions sound really good to.

Thanks again
 
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Chris Schumann
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I bought that Fiskar cutter and returned it. I found it could not cut chipboard because you cannot make several light passes; nor could it cut cleanly in one pass. This is the one I use for cards, tokens, and boards and I highly recommend it.

Whatever you get, you'll want a rotary cutter because the blades last much longer. Chipboard is especially hard on them. If you use a handheld one and a straight edge, that will take practice to make straight cuts, but can be a cheaper way to go.

ETA link: www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Portable-Rotary-Trimmer-199080/dp/B00...
 
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Steve S
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jmricker wrote:
I was afraid of I would have problems with "drifting" away from the straight edge


It's happened to me a few times, usually when I'm "on a roll" and not taking as much care as I should with my cuts - very frustrating when it happens and it just makes me want to slap myself in the forehead.

Also when using one of these, a heads-up that if after a while it starts becoming tough to cut with and you find yourself having to press hard on the blade, stop and replace the blade with a sharp one.
I nearly lost a chunk of fingertip a few months ago when I was putting way too much pressure on my cutter, and it snagged on the ruler, jumped, and landed on/in my finger (you'd think that with all I learned about keeping your tools sharp for safety in woodworking I would have thought to apply the same thing here...)
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M.C.Crispy
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Whizkid wrote:
I bought that Fiskar cutter and returned it. I found it could not cut chipboard because you cannot make several light passes; nor could it cut cleanly in one pass. This is the one I use for cards, tokens, and boards and I highly recommend it.

Whatever you get, you'll want a rotary cutter because the blades last much longer. Chipboard is especially hard on them. If you use a handheld one and a straight edge, that will take practice to make straight cuts, but can be a cheaper way to go.
Link missing?
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Chris Schumann
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Added link. Thanks.
 
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jmricker wrote:
I was afraid of I would have problems with "drifting" away from the straight edge but its definitely worth trying before moving on to a paper cutter.


The trick with rotary cutters is actually the same as with knives, it just feels different so it may take you a few cuts to get used to it.

You just have to angle the blade of the cutter - in the direction of travel - ever so slightly towards the ruler you're cutting along. Like that, the bevel of the cutter hits the straight edge, the edge forces the bevel away and pushes it along the straight line. If you don't angle towards, then any slight angle variation away from the ruler will immediately allow the blade to wander.

As I said, most people do this instinctively with knives against rulers, it's just that the rotary cutter feels different to cut with, so it's a common mistake to not do the same angling.
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Steve S
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Whizkid wrote:


The thing that drives me nuts about these paper cutters that have a "flip-down" blade guide is that you can't see exactly what the path of the blade is going to be on the paper - you have to just hope you lined it up right. And maybe it's just me but I hate it when the cuts are slightly off or, worse, you misjudged and cut too close, which ends up meaning the page needs to be reprinted again to give it another try.

I developed a preference for just a straight edge (metal ruler with cork or rubber on the bottom, as it also sucks when your straight edge moves while you're cutting) because I can lay it directly on what I'm cutting and see exactly where the cut is going to be.
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David Fair
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The Cutterpillar Crop, it was a kickstarter project, but it should be in retail stores like Michaels soon

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1702547176/the-cutterpi...

Has an LED lighted paper guide that illuminates paper from under side so you cut EXACTLY where you want. Gear driven mechanism, self-sharpening blade. Its freaking awesome.

 
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M.C.Crispy
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Whizkid wrote:
Added link. Thanks.
No, thank you.

 
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Rich Shipley
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
The Cutterpillar Crop, it was a kickstarter project, but it should be in retail stores like Michaels soon

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1702547176/the-cutterpi...

Has an LED lighted paper guide that illuminates paper from under side so you cut EXACTLY where you want. Gear driven mechanism, self-sharpening blade. Its freaking awesome.


I took a look at that one and it looked great for paper, but the off-the-edge design didn't seem as well suited for thicker material as one with a cutting bar.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Bichatse wrote:
jmricker wrote:
I was afraid of I would have problems with "drifting" away from the straight edge but its definitely worth trying before moving on to a paper cutter.


The trick with rotary cutters is actually the same as with knives, it just feels different so it may take you a few cuts to get used to it.

You just have to angle the blade of the cutter - in the direction of travel - ever so slightly towards the ruler you're cutting along. Like that, the bevel of the cutter hits the straight edge, the edge forces the bevel away and pushes it along the straight line. If you don't angle towards, then any slight angle variation away from the ruler will immediately allow the blade to wander.

As I said, most people do this instinctively with knives against rulers, it's just that the rotary cutter feels different to cut with, so it's a common mistake to not do the same angling.
Top tip, nicely expressed. This was exactly my experience when I first used a rotary: lots of wandering initially, but now I'm as good at keeping the line as with a knife.
 
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Chris Schumann
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Shadoglare wrote:
The thing that drives me nuts about these paper cutters that have a "flip-down" blade guide is that you can't see exactly what the path of the blade is going to be on the paper - you have to just hope you lined it up right.
That is the drawback of these things. I am very comfortable knowing where the cut is going to be now, but it surely did take some practice.
 
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