* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this paper cutter a couple of years ago in order to get nice straight cuts on some photos I had printed out from my computer.
I bought this following issues I experience with another Ryman paper cutter so was already apprehensive with buying another Ryman branded product. My apprehension was justified as this one was almost as bad as my previous one.
Out of the box it was very easy to set up but it just went downhill from there.
Firstly, the edges which are supposed to align your paper at 90 degrees to the blade was skew, at both ends, this means that I was never guided correct when cutting the photos and never managed to cut across the correct line. One the cut had been made once it cannot be corrected as it will merely fold over small pieces of paper instead of cutting them. This means that I had to correct my prints with scissors which completely defeated the object of buying a cutter!
This was if the cutter even cut my prints, I soon noticed that the cutting blade was not lined up with the base either, this meant that I would have to pull the blade towards me as I pressed down for it to cut at all.
Admittedly, if the cutter did cut the paper it was a nice clean cut. However this does not make up for me having to adjust the blades direction and it cutting the wrong line!
The trouble with being self-employed is trying to find customers. Being a self-employed Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) on a part-time basis I really don't want to have to travel too far to find work. There is a gross over-supply of DEAs due to the initial hyping of the opportunities that the job offers and the influx of former Home Inspectors who can now only carry out Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) surveys since this Government robbed them of their employment to produce HIPS packs!
My solution has been direct selling: I have been dropping advertising cards through local letterboxes, looking to circumvent the Estate Agents, who have been trying their best to exclude us from this market through what I consider anti-competitive practices. The outcome has been reasonably effective and I have picked up many commissions from these sources. It also provides me with lots of exercise, which is always a good thing.
I decided to use cards as paper leaflets tend to be immediately binned. Cards look a bit more serious and hopefully, should a householder not immediately require my services, maybe they'll pin the card up on their board until they do.
I decided on A6 size cards as being a convenient size and also forcing me to really think about my message and how to fit a convincing sell incentive into a relatively small space. However, packs of A6 printer cards are few and far between and so I have resorted instead to buying A4 card packs and printing the cards 4 to a page. Currently I can get packs of 100 sheets from Ryman's at just under £8 on a BOGOF deal. You can get card pre-scored to A6 that you can simply print A4 and tear apart to A6 after printing but these are difficult to find and relatively expensive.
As I am printing thousands of cards, the best solution seemed to be to print on standard A4 and then cut the cards down to A6. I had been using a steel rule and a craft knife but the results were never very satisfactory. The edges often looked a bit ragged and unprofessional. I definitely needed something better.
When buying my latest supply of printer card in Ryman's I browsed the various paper cutters looking for something reasonably substantial that wouldn't fall apart as soon as I started using it. This basically eliminated the types of paper cutters which have a blade that slides along a rod. What I wanted was the old-fashioned type of guillotine with the long blade. I saw one that seemed to fit the bill at just under £20.
The guillotine has a blade that is attached at one end of the base and has a substantial handle at the other. A plastic guard attached to the blade with a finger bolt and plastic collar, to prevent fingers accidentally getting under the cutting edge. The base is not very wide but is long enough to take an A4 sheet lengthways or an A3 sheet sideways. The base is marked with guides for positioning sheets to cut to various sizes, including A5, A6 and CD and DVD inserts. Whilst A3 sheets could be cut, the base isn't wide enough to have any useful guide markings for anything bigger than A5.
In use the cutter has a limited capacity of sheets that can be cut at the same time. I found that the maximum it can reliably handle is 5 x 160gms card. The reason is that although the blade is L-shaped to stiffen it, it still remains somewhat flexible. Consequently, trying to cut too many sheets at a time results in the blade flexing away from the base and so tearing the card rather than cutting it cleanly.
So far I have produced several hundred cards with only a few ruined by being torn. The result looks far more acceptable than my previous efforts using a knife. It's also a lot quicker even with the limit on how many cards can be cut at one time.
If you have a need to cut large amounts of paper or card as I have then this product is a reasonably good solution. I would have preferred a guillotine with a more substantial blade but that would undoubtedly have been a lot more expensive. As it is the Ryman A4 Guillotine is effective and represents quite good value for money.