How to Sharpen a Paper Cutter

Is there anyone who can afford to survive without using paper? Well, despite the advent of digital technology, paper work remains a stubbornly indispensable part of our lives and so is the paper cutter. Made to operate through a guillotine-style of cutting this machine comes in handy in ensuring paper work is kept neat.

But in order for that to happen, a blade has to be used. It is the work of the blade to chop the paper into tiny pieces. Unfortunately, the more you use this blade, the higher the likelihood that it will lose its sharpness. As the blade becomes dull, sharpening presents you with a better opportunity to keep it working at its best.

Blades – whether on a pair of scissors, knife or cutter – are meant to be very thin. However, the more the blade does its job, it tends to lose its sharpness in the sense that it actually increases in thickness. This slight increment in thickness makes it extremely difficult to deliver a neat cut. That’s why it’s imperative to take time off to sharpen this blade.

In that regard, there are a few mandatory steps one needs to follow. Without adhering to these, one would easily end up delivering a below-par experience or even damage the entire paper cutter. Of course, you don’t want that to happen – right? Well, here is a quick run-down of the steps you need to follow.

Step 1:

Always start by removing the blades. To do this, you’ll only need to unscrew the hexagonal bolts that hold the blade in place. You can do this easily using an Allen wrench. The best way to do this is by removing the bolts from each end while working your way toward the middle. Note: Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s manual for detailed instructions on this.

Step 2:

Once you’ve removed the blade, the next important task is to sharpen it. But in order to make sure you’re doing it correctly, you might want to refer to the recommended blade angle. You need to make sure that you sharpen it in line with its specified angle. Note: If the pitch is too steep or shallow, it might affect the blade’s cutting performance.

Step 3:

Choosing the kind of material to use for the sharpening process is quite important. You can either have it done using a stone or a grinder as follows.

-Using a stone

Get a 1000-grit stone which is large enough to allow you to draw the entire blade across on each stroke. Ideally, the higher the number of grits, the higher the effectiveness of the stone. Be sure to stroke the blade upon the stone in repeated motion – this should be done until it is sharp when touched. Afterward, you can turn to the second side of the blade and repeat the process.

-Using a grinder

Using a grinder makes sharpening a paper cutter much easier than using a stone. But in order for this to happen, it’s best to start by investing in a bench grinder. At the same time, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the grinding angle of choice. Once that is done, you simply need to leverage on the high-speed wheel to do the rest of the job for you.

Step 4:

Once you’re fully sure that the blade is sharp enough, the only challenge is to ensure it is properly re-installed in its original place. This is, however, a no-brainer. All you need to do is bring down the guillotine before inserting the blade and fully attaching the bolts. While at it, it’s imperative to ensure the blade is kept at the correct level. Most importantly, double-check to ensure that the blade comes into contact with the contact stick simultaneously from side to side.

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Extra Tips on Sharpening a Paper Cutter

Tip #1:

It’s important to always keep in mind that after several years of sharpening, you may eventually need to replace the entire blade.

Tip #2:

If you’re not sure that you can do this job on your own, you may want to consider working with a professional sharpener. Some of these companies require you to ship the blade to them and it usually takes a few weeks to get the sharpened blade back.

Tip #3:

It’s a prudent idea to always keep a spare blade around just in case. This is particularly important for busy offices where there’s only one cutter. That way, you can avoid getting any downtimes as you wait for the blade to be sharpened.

Tip #4:

Your safety is always important. Whenever you’re interacting with sharp objects such as a sharpened paper cutter blade, it’s imperative to be extra careful. You don’t want to end up injuring yourself in the process of trying to make your paper cutter better.

Tip #5:

Whichever way you look at it, sharpening using a bench grinder tends to be faster than using a stone. So, if time is of the essence, we’d recommend the former method over the latter. That said, grinders tend to wear your blade faster than the hand sharpening stone.

Final Thoughts

Paper cutters are here to stay. If you’ve ever worked in a busy office where papers have to be trimmed from time to time, you probably know why we’ve made that comment. Ultimately, if every cut has to come out clean and professional and that’s why you need to make sure the blade of your paper cutter is well cut.

While at it, be sure to always begin the process by carefully removing the blade. This should be followed by carefully checking the blade angle before deciding whether to use a stone, grinder or a professional service.

Note that the grinding process can sometimes require a couple of strokes. The best way to determine that your blade is ready is by feeling it with your fingers. This can, however, be a dangerous process and we’d recommend exercising extra caution.

We hope that the step on how to sharpen a paper cutter as discussed above will help you get the job done perfectly. Most importantly, it’s our hope that your paper cutter will start to do its job as perfectly as usual once you complete this process.

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