The following is a short glossary of terms related to paper cutting and handling, as well as to paper cutting machines. You’ll want to remember that these terms are not completely set in stone; but for the most part, they are used by people who know what they’re talking about. If you’re communicating with a seller or a buyer about a product, and are unsure of the meaning of something specific, it’s often a good idea to use the formal term in order to avoid confusion.
The back gauge is located on a heavy-duty guillotine cutter. The back gauge helps to adjust how deep the cut will be. The back of the paper sits against the back gauge.
The base is where the paper lies while being cut.
The cutting wheel is used with rotary paper cutters. The cutting wheel is located in the cutting head, which slides across a bar while cutting.
The cutting head houses the cutting wheel on a rotary cutter. The cutting head slides across the rotary cutting bar while cutting.
Cutting blocks are placed in the base of a guillotine cutter. Cutting blocks are usually made of plastic. The blade meets the cutting block after cutting paper. The cutting block keeps the blade sharp by preventing it from cutting into the metal base.
The cutting arm is what is manually pulled to cut paper on economy and arm trimmers.
The cutting clamp is what holds the paper in place while cutting. This prevents any movement.
LED stands for light emitting diode. These are lights on an instrument panel that turn on and off, indicating what you should do or what is being done.
Arm cutters have a lower blade that stays in place while the upper blade slides against it. This sliding motion cuts the paper, much like scissors.
The narrow cut is the smallest amount of paper that a guillotine cutter can cut.
Many guillotine cutters have a pre-illuminated cutting line that makes a lighted line exactly where the blade will cut through the paper.
Many rotary cutters feature a self sharpening cutting wheel. While the cutting wheel is being used, it slides against a metal bar that helps keep it sharp.
The side guide helps you align the sides of your paper before cutting.
Arm and economy trimmers have an upper blade. The upper blade is what you manually pull down to cut paper.
Don’t get caught with you’re foot in your mouth. Brush up on this brief vocabulary list before you begin to pursue your paper cutter. It’s also a good idea to make sure you ask a lot of questions. It can’t be emphasized enough that you need to know just what it is that you’re buying, and that what you’re buying is really what you need. Good luck!
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