When it comes to scrapbooking there are some basic tools (see our article on “Beginner’s Tools“) you need to get started, and cutting or cropping tools are one of them.

There are a ton of cutters you can buy, but there are a few that we would say are essential: at least one good pair of scissors, and either a good roller or rotary cutter or guillotine cutter.

Here are some recommendations and information on good quality and useful cutting tools. These tools are by no means a full list of opportunities you have at your disposal. You may have other scrappers who have given you their recommendations–you would do well to at least check them out.


Scissors provide the least expensive cutting option. They provide the scrapper the opportunity to cut paper, card stock, vellum and other scrapbooking material. Scissors can cut shapes not easily cut by other means. One drawback with scissors is they are not as neat or accurate in their cut . . . straight lines are not as precise or clean looking. A single pair of scissors can suffice, but two is better–a small pair for more detailed cuts, and a larger pair for making fast and larger cuts. Fiskars easily leads the way in good quality scissor options. Here are two that could meet your needs:

Fiskars Straight Shears 8″ – Ambidextrous

fiskars classic8 scissors1 Basic Scrapbook Cutting Tools

Fiskars No. 4 Mini Craft Scissors

fiskars no 4 mini craft scissors Basic Scrapbook Cutting Tools


Roller (or Rotary) Trimmers are easy and safe to operate. They are great for scrapbookers. Roller cutters provide convenience and accuracy. These cutters will easily cut through paper, plastic, card stock and matte board of reasonable thickness. Rotary cutters come in varying levels of quality and cutting capabilities. The more sheets it can cut, the paper size it will cut and machine quality will determine price. Here are a few suggestions:

Carl CC-10 Handheld Rotary Disk Trimmer: (Around $11)

Cuts paper, film and cloth. The pivoting head provides 5 different cutting positions. The blades are replaceable.

Carl DC-95 6″ Rotary Trimmer: (Around $11)

carl cc10 rotary cutter 150x150 Basic Scrapbook Cutting Tools

A portable trimmer that will cut up to 6″ lengths and 5 sheets at a cutting. Straight, perforating and scoring blades are available. Carl also has models that will cut more and larger pieces of paper, film, etc. Prices for these other models vary based on their functionality.

GBC Accucut A100 12″ Rotary Trimmer: (Around $22)

carl dc95 rotary trimmer 114x150 Basic Scrapbook Cutting Tools

This cutter will handle up to 5 sheets of 12′ length paper at a time. The stainless steel blade cuts in both directions. The base is sturdy and the cutter has a transparent cutting guide. Other modes provide additional features–such as a patented 3-blades-in-0ne (straight, score and wave).


The guillotine or arm cutter is the one we most often think of for paper shearing–like we used in school. Their ease of use makes them an excellent selection. Like most cutters, they come in varying sizes and levels of quality. A good suggestion for a muti-use guillotine cutter is:

GBC ClassicCutâ„¢ CL300 Series: (Around $50)

gbc classiccut cl3000 Basic Scrapbook Cutting Tools

This arm cutter has a self sharpening blade, and cuts up to 15 sheets of paper–up to 12″ in length–at a time. It will cut tissue to matte board. There are alignment grid rules on the cutter table. Other models provide for larger cutting capabilities: number of paper sheets and paper size.

With these three cutters (scissors, roller or rotary and guillotine or arm) you should be able to do much of your scrapbook projects with ease and accuracy.

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Ron on January 1st, 2009 | File Under Basics | No Comments -