Turn to Dahle 12" Rotary Trimmer When Fiskars Fails Sobriety Test
Oct 24, 2004 (Updated Oct 24, 2004)
Review by mind-full
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:straight lines, accurate measurements, not more wavy lines for me
Cons:no 12" horizontal measuring, can't save cutting into unneeded paper exactly
The Bottom Line: Accurate, straight cutting for paper and photographs, solidly built and a huge improvement on the Fiskars models I've owned.
The Dahle 12" Rotary Trimmer (507) has saved me hours of frustration, wasted paper and so-so finished products ... which were the results time after time when working with a Fiskars 12" Personal Paper Trimmer.
Recommend this product?
Thank you, Dahle, for providing accuracy, a straight edge and affordability all in one package.
Although It's Not a Cardinal Sin ...
When working with paper as a craft or professional medium, accuracy is everything. Matching edges and corners matters, and a small nick or wave in the end result may mean another trip to the drawing board. Literally.
My time wasted working with the aforementioned Fiskars product, not to mention the card stock tossed in the trash during those hours, really had me wondering why so many people were snatching up Fiskars products as fast as they make them.
Affordability. That's the key. For under $20 you can have what appears to be a nice paper trimmer. Fold-out ruler on the side to gauge your measurements (inaccurately, I might add) and easily replaceable blades, along with the option of a perforating blade and a scoring blade, should you wish to make those purchases. I was replacing my cutting blade approximately every 5 hours ... because I thought blade sharpness was a culprit in my slightly-off cuts. The blade, as I know now, was probably the most accurate piece of the whole product. Flexible plastic and inaccurate plastic molding made my scrapbook experiences just shy of "perfect" ... if there is such a thing.
The right tools will actually offer little nudges and pushes toward the perfection we so desire. The Dahle Rotary 507 is just one of those tools.
Living on the Edge
When lining up edges of various paper goods or photographs, accuracy isn't something to trifle with. If you have even a drop of perfectionism in your blood (me! me! me!), it'll gall you that easily-procured paper trimmers from craft stores and discount outlets will not allow that accuracy no matter how much blood, sweat and tears you pour into your project.
Once you've experienced the use of this Dahle trimmer, all those old frustrations and wavy lines disappear. Advertised as offering a burr-free cut, the Dahle rotary blade also offers a superiorly-housed blade ... just try to cut yourself. I don't see how you can, unless you're changing the blade with carefree abandon.
The Dahle blade also self-sharpens, something Fiskars couldn't do in the confines of its plastic housing and blade guide. Dahle provides a metal "blade" inside the rotary blade guide on the base of the trimmer, against which the blade runs and thus, self sharpens. Three cheers!
If, over time, the blade does become dull, replacements cost up to $24 dollars, depending on the deals available. Replacement is as simple as popping off an end cap, removing the cutting bar and then the blade and housing, placing on the new blade and housing and putting the bar back in place. Don't forget that end cap!
The rotary blade cuts in either direction, forward and back, so no you need not waste time adjusting blade position for a new cut. I haven't used a trimmer that cuts in only one direction, aside from the guilloutine style paper cutters, so I can't comment on such a feature, but I can imagine I wouldn't want to give up the ability to cut in both directions.
Other paper trimmers I've used can send a cut in the wrong direction or slightly askew because of user error. Namely, the inability to keep the paper lying flat against the cutting edge.
Not so with the Dahle 507. It comes with an opaque paper "holder", about an inch wide, under which you slide your paper before cutting. This holder sits against the rotary blade and allows you to exert pressure on it and along it, if you wish, safely. Certainly there's room for error, but not much, unless you don't hold the paper down at all or you suddenly pull it away from the blade. The trimmer isn't at fault in either case.
The Dahle rotary trimmer also boasts some weight, about 5 pounds worth, according to the packaging. I think it's less, as it's definitely not as weighty as a sack of flour. I'd say 3 pounds soaking wet.
This may be a drawback to those who tote lots of gear to scrapbook crop nights or to friends' homes for cropping get-togethers, but really, doesn't accuracy win over weight? My answer is a resounding YES. You can pack up the Dahle, allowing just a little more headroom for the rotary blade, and enjoy your cropping without the hassle of inaccuracy.
That weight is due to the fact that the Dahle 507 actually has a metal base. No plastic here, except for the paper holding piece, the top and bottom frame of the base and the blade housing. The rest of the trimmer is metal ... believe it. It's true and wonderfully sound in the way it feels when you use it.
Details on the Dahle
First off, the Dahle trimmer boasts a lifetime warranty. The blade isn't covered, of course, and the plastic paper holder doesn't count, either, but the solidly-constructed trimmer bar and base should last a lifetime. A reasonably, non-cliff-diving or otherwise abusive lifetime.
The 507 trimmner allows you to make use of interchangeable blades, including a wavy, perforated or "deckle" (torn edge) blade choice. These come separately or in a set, the latter being the best bet on price.
It's possible to cut paper up to 12-1/2" in length, up to five sheets at a time (standard paper, not card stock). Overall dimensions of this product come it at 17" long by 8-1/4 inches wide. These measurements do not reflect just the cutting surface, but the ample frame of the cutter as well.
Just a Few Drawbacks -- Nothing Detrimental
The crowning glory of the inaccurate Fiskars trimmer, for me, appears in the fold-out ruler that allows for 12" measurement on the horizontal plane. No such ruler exists on the Dahle 507, but I'll take cutting accuracy instead.
Next on the "I would if I could" list, there's no way to cut just to 5" along a piece of paper (or whatever measurement you choose between 0 and 12"). You come really, really close, but it's not a sure thing that you won't go over your measurement a bit. Straight-blade cutters usually provide notches at at all four points of the blade guide to allow for such cuts.
I'm getting pretty good at eye-balling the exact stopping place, but I may never master it. I'm willing to continue onward with Dahle.
The smooth, accurate cutting lines are worth 1/4" of paper.
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