In the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, you learned tips for cropping photos in the “To Crop or Not to Crop” article. But when it comes time to crop, which trimmer should you use? Consider these factors when selecting the perfect model for your holiday trimmings.
* Length of the Cutting Area. Some trimmers have a 12″ length between the ends of the blade track. That length works fabulous for cardstock, but it can be difficult when your patterned papers have the extra border strip that contains the manufacturer’s information. If you like to keep those borders intact, look for a trimmer with a 12.5″ length instead of just 12″.
* Interchangeable Blade Styles. If you love the look of scalloped or pinked edges, look for a trimmer with interchangeable blades. If you frequently cut long edges, using these blades will save you more time than always pulling out decorative scissors or punches.
* Blade Types. Factor in the price of replacement blades. Or look for trimmers with titanium blades or self-sharpening blades that won’t need to be replaced as frequently.
* Visible Cutting Area. Before you buy, try out the blade. Picture where your photos or cardstock will be placed in the trimmer. Will you be able to see where you’re cutting, or will you have to guess what part of your photo is approaching the cutting area if that area is covered around the blade? Some trimmers offer extra guides to help you see where the photo or paper will be cut, like a laser or wire guide.
* Clear Measuring Guides. Most trimmers have a base with marked guides to help you identify inch marks, but some guides are easier to read than others are; find a style that suits you. Also look for guides marked for basic photo or card sizes, like 4″ x 6″ and 5″ x 7″, for quicker measuring.
* Swing-Out Ruled Arm. If your trimmer base has a width less than 12″, look for an option with a swing-out arm that will allow you to measure long lengths on 12″ x 12″ sheets.
* Cutting Style. Watch for safety features, especially if you have young kids around. Look for guillotine blades that lock down and blades that remain covered when they’re not in use.
Now that you know the factors to consider when searching for the right trimmer for you, check out these four fabulous options.
The Laser Trimmer from X-acto features a laser guide for cutting, a self-sharpening metal blade, non-skid rubber feet, and a locking blade.
The Premium Crafter’s Trimmer from Fiskars Americas offers a 12.5″ length on the blade track, a wire guide to help you see exactly where to cut your photos and paper, rubberized feet, and a swing-out arm.
The 12″ Titanium Personal Trimmer with Cut & Score Blades from Westcott comes with scoring and cutting blades, a swing-out arm, a titanium blade, and a 12.5″ length on the blade track.
The Ultimate Trimmer from Purple Cows features 11 blade styles for creative crafting.
Win a Trimmer
Let the Creating Keepsakes team help you add to your holiday trimmings this year. Leave a comment on this post by December 19, and tell us what your favorite trimmer is. We’ll randomly select three winners to receive a portable trimmer from Fiskars Americas or Westcott. Check the Giveaways tab on our blog next week to see if you are a lucky winner.
—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor