“ Brand: Fellowes / Type: Paper Trimmer / Paper Guillotine „
I am a keen crafter and so a good guillotine or paper trimmer is an absolute essential item when I sit down to make some cards. I am fortunate enough to have previously been given a fiskars small guillotine, which, even after a couple of years continues to cut and trim paper extremely efficiently, however this trimmer is more suitable for A5 paper, and it is difficult to cut A4 paper without a lot of twisting and turning. So, when my husband was looking for a Christmas gift for me, he wasn't surprised that I suggested a paper trimmer suitable for A4 paper, and obviously one that had reliable and sharp cutting blades to do the job properly.
Christmas Day arrived and I was given this Fellowes Neutron Plus Home Paper Trimmer, which currently retails on amazon for just over £27. It is immediately obvious that this paper trimmer would be suitable for A4 paper, and I was confident in its ability given that Fellowes is a reputable name.
This paper trimmer is advertised as having three important qualities: it is easy to use, it is portable and it has safecut blades. In fact, the box itself shows pictures of children using this trimmer for craft activities, and there are suggestions on the front of the box that it would be ideally suited for trimming digital photographs.
Upon taking the product out of its packaging, I was quite shocked at just how lightweight it was, and I started to think that something so light might not have the cutting power that I wanted. I didn't tell my husband this at the time however. In fact, on the reverse of the packaging, it actually states that this trimmer is only 1 kg in weight, making it substantially lighter than many other paper trimmers of guillotines.
On the first look of the product, I wondered what the three yellow button where for at the side of the trimmer. After reading, I realised that pressing one of these buttons released one of the four blades that come with the product. Of the four blades included in the product the main was that is already inserted into carriage is a straightforward straight cutting blade. The second of the four blades is for a wave cut. The other two blades are less about cutting and more about that added extra. One is for creating a perforated line, to allow you to carefully tear a sheet without ripping, and the other is for making a fold on the paper, so you can have a card which has been folded straight. I have to admit, that for crafting, I am unlikely to be using either of these later two blades, but I know my husband will probably make use of the perforated blade at some point.
On the flat cutting area of the board, there are the usual measurements to aid your cutting, given in both inches and centimetres. The trimmer itself can actually trim paper that is 32cm or 12" in length, which is a big step up from my other smaller trimmer. It can also cut up to 10 (80gsm) pages at a time, however I have only tried one so far. For those wishing to use this trimmer for cutting digitial photographs, then there is the added bonus of having measurements in degrees as well to allow you to create angled pictures. Now, I am not entirely sure how that works exactly, but I can oly assume that it is a useful extra when cutting photographs.
In terms of safety, there is no doubt that this trimmer is very safety orientated, and there is very little chance of someone getting cut with blades, unless they deliberately set out to do so. When you press one of the yellow buttons to remove a blade, the blade itself is nestles safely inside the blade card, so even young fingers can use this. Inserting new blades is also safe and easy to do, and is only a matter pf lifting the yellow carriage handgle, and removing a previous blade by pulling it up, and inserting a new blade. There are no sharp blades visible whatsoever.
The big test however comes to the actual cutting. When I first used the straight cut blade, I found that I had to run the blade over the edge of the paper a couple of times, to make sure it was entirely cut through, and a wave of disappointment filled me. However after using the trimmer a few times, I soon got the hang of it, and it is really only a matter of putting more pressure on the carriage as you trim your page, and then you only need to move the cutter once through. There is also a piece of plastic on the other side of the carriage runner that you can put your free hand on, to keep the paper in place when cutting. My only slight niggle, is that despite me putting more pressure on the carriage when cutting and getting a single straight cut through my page, it still feels very lightweight to me, and I question its durability longterm. It just doesn't feel that the strongest blade is cutting through the paper, and that is possibly due to the high importance placed on saftey in this product. I do wonder however has it come at the price of durability. Everything is working as it should at the moment, and I am certaily pleased with the cutting action, however whether it stands the test of time, one will have to wait and see, but I can't help having those small niggles about it, and I don't feel as confident about its durability as I do my A5 size trimmer.