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How to Identify a Dull Paper Cutter Blade

How to Identify a Dull Paper Cutter Blade

Paper Cutter Blade

To keep cutting paper efficiently, you need to make sure your blade is in top shape at all times. But how can you tell when you're working with a dull paper cutter blade? Keep reading to learn what to look for.


After a while, all blades, knives, and cutters become dull. When blades on paper trimmers, stack cutters, and guillotines go dull, the quality of their work goes way down.

It can be hard to tell if a misstep in performance is because of a dull blade or a mechanical issue with the paper cutter. But we've written this article to help you identify the signs of a dull paper cutter blade.

Read on to learn more!

Does the Kind of Paper Cutter Matter?

There is a whole range of different kinds of paper cutters available on the market today, but people usually use one from the three main categories: rotary, stack, and guillotine.

All three of these use a sharp blade to cut paper, but everything else is different. Each of the different systems shows different symptoms of the blade is dull.

Rotary Paper Cutter

With rotary paper cutters, you use a round blade that rolls across and cuts the paper. Think of it like a pizza cutter.

Some of these cutters are "self-sharpening" and as they roll along the paper, they also roll across a base blade. This ensures that there's an accurate cut and keeps the round blade sharp.

When a rotary cutter blade becomes dull, you will notice that it has a decreased cutting capacity. If your rotary cutter used to be able to cut 15 sheets but is now only cutting 7, you need a new blade.

You can replace the blade in a cheap and affordable manner. If you own a self-sharpening rotary cutter, replace the wheel and the base blade.

Stack Paper Cutters

Stack paper cutters have a flat, wide blade that cuts through lots of paper at once, even thick card stock. You bring the blade down horizontally and use your strength, electric motor, or hydraulic pressure to drive it down.

Print shops and copy centers usually made the best use out of these sorts of cutters.

When your stack cutter blade is dull, you won't be able to cut through all the paper. Just make sure that you're not dealing with a worn-out cutting stuck.

Most of the time the blade is misaligned or you need to rotate the cutting stuck.

If your stack cutter is manually powered, you might notice you need to put in more effort when you cut paper. It might also start showing cutting lines along the edge of the stack.

Before you replace your blade, consider resharpening it. Most of these blades can be resharpened six times. This will save money over buying a new blade every time.

Guillotine Paper Cutters

These cutters use a curved, long blade with a handle on one end. You pull the blade down manually to cut the paper.

If you notice that your paper cutter cant cut through as much paper anymore, you probably have a dull blade. One surefire way to dull your blade every time is to run staplers or paper clips through it.

These blades are simple to replace. They just require you to remove the safety guard and change the blade.

Replacing a Paper Cutter Blade

We hope that now you understand the signs and symptoms of a dull paper cutter blade. If you want your paper cutter to operate the way it's supposed to, it needs a sharp blade to do it. While we don't offer guillotine or rotary cutters here at Triumph Cutters, we do offer replacement blades for the high-quality paper cutters that we have.

If you're thinking about stepping up your paper cutting game or want to order blades for your paper cutter, visit us today!