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How do I properly take care of my paper-cutting machine?

I use my paper cutter sparingly, so it’s not worth the upkeep. Unfortunately, we cannot agree with this statement. Proper care of a paper cutter is essential, not only for those who use their paper cutter regularly. Even casual hobbyists should give their paper cutters some basic maintenance. So, the device will always be ready for use and work quickly.

This post explains how to care for your paper-cutting machine properly.

Summary: How can I take care of my paper cutter?

If you want to take care of your paper cutter, you can do the following:

  • Clean the components
  • Oil the metal parts
  • Adjust the angle system and the lever joint
  • Regrind the knife or blade
  • Replace or repair wearing parts

What do I need to consider when maintaining it?

Rotary and slitting cutters have a sharp knife. That is why care for them should be careful.


An essential point in maintenance is cleaning. Here, the knife or blade, the work surface, and the feet of the paper cutter should be cleaned regularly. Dust and adhesive residues on the work surface interfere with clean work. In addition, these impurities can cause the knife to cut uncleanly. Rubber feet offer a worse grip when they are dirty.

Wipe off dust and paper remains

Dust and paper residues can be wiped off easily with a dry, soft cloth. This applies to both the work surface and the knife. For the rubber feet, you may need a damp cloth to sufficiently remove the dust.

Remove adhesive residues correctly

With some luck, adhesions can be rubbed off or peeled off with the fingers. If that is not possible, then you should try water. Many adhesives are water-soluble and can be removed with a damp cloth. The combination of water and cloth is most compatible with most surfaces. A little washing-up liquid in the water usually dissolves the adhesive even better. However, it would help if you were careful with scouring agents. These may remove the color markings.

If the adhesive is not water-soluble, then alcohol or oil will help. Alcohol, turpentine, and acetone are suitable for loosening strong adhesions. However, you have to be a little careful because alcohol and especially methylated spirits dissolve the adhesive and possibly the surface paint. That is why you should first test the resistance of the ink on the back of the paper cutter. Alcohol is not a problem on metal surfaces as long as they are entirely cleaned afterward.

A more gentle alternative is oil. This can be used to remove oil-soluble adhesives very well. Another advantage is that oil protects against corrosion.


Oil can be used not only to remove dirt. A significant advantage is protection against corrosion. An oiled knife is protected from oxidation. This does not require a large amount of oil. A few drops on a cloth are already enough. The knife should not leave any oily marks on the cut paper. It is best to wipe the blade with a clean cloth after oiling.

You should not use cooking oil. Acid-free oil is more suitable.

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Screwed parts can become loose over time. They can be adjusted again with a screwdriver or an Allen key.

Mounting the blade

For example, this may be the case when attaching the lever blade. If you think that the attachment is loose, then please make sure to tighten it carefully. If the screw is tightened too much, the blade can no longer be pulled down smoothly.

Angular system

Occasionally, the angle system of the paper cutter shifts. Or it is already delivered slightly delayed. The angle system can be readjusted in just a few simple steps. Then a straight cut will also be possible again.

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Guillotine paper cutting machine

Regrinding is usually only necessary for lever/guillotine-cutting devices. With these, the edge of the blade must be straight and clean. This blade is sharp because the cut is made by pushing the knife close to the table’s edge. By the way, a pair of scissors works the same way.

If the blade of a lever/ guillotine cutting machine no longer cuts cleanly, then it should be sharpened by a professional. The right tool is usually not found in the home or office. In general, however, grinding is only required very rarely.

Rotary cutting machine

Many roller cutting machines regrind themselves. Therefore, regrinding is optional here. On the other hand, rotary cutters that do not have a self-sharpening blade should not be re-sharped by you. This will hardly succeed or is so dirty that you will have no more fun with the rotary cutter. That’s why it makes more sense here to buy a new blade* and replace the old one. Replacement blades are usually available from all manufacturers.

Slitting paper cutters

The same applies to slitting paper cutters. These use a cutting mandrel or a blade like a paper hanger knife. For these, replacement blades are also a simpler solution.

Replacement and repair

As mentioned above, some paper cutters need to replace the knife. If a cutter’s blade is warped, it is better to return it for repair.

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This post is also available in: German

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