Tools I Can’t Live Without: Kutrimmer

Hands down the most expensive, and also the most useful, tool in my studio is my Kutrimmer. I first used one of these wonders at the San Francisco Center for the Book and, after cutting Davey Board by hand for a bit, I went right out and found myself one.

(If you’ve ever spent hours cutting Davey Board with a craft knife  or box cutter you know what I’m talking about here. I know, the key is multiple long and shallow cuts. One layer at a time. Patience. Patience. Patience. But there was more than one time that my patience ran out and I ended up with the knife getting stuck into the board or into me. Ouch.)

My first Kutrimmer was used and I found it on eBay. It needed a bit of a tune up, but served me well for several years. You know how people remember their first car? Well my first Kutrimmer was a model 1038. I could cut Davey Board as thick as it comes with one cut. It cut through a stack of Rives BFK like butter.

But, alas, I had to trim everything first. With a cutting length of only 14 3/4″, Davey Board sheets had to be cut in four pieces and Rives BFK had to be cut in half. I dreamed of the day I could put large sheets of paper right through it.

So, after years of service, I said thank you and goodbye to my 1038 and bought my current Kutrimmer, a model 1071. Wow! I can put a 22 x 30  sheet of Rives BFK (or several sheets) right into that 1071 and come out with a stack of paper cut into just the right sizes. I still have to trim the Davey Board sheets once before they fit, but I decided on the 1071 because it can still be lifted by a normal human (or two) and it can sit on a table. The next level of Kutrimmer comes as a table and I just don’t have room in my studio.

I bought my Kutrimmer from (I have no association with them) because they had free shipping and the best price. Even better, when the finger guard came cracked, they got a brand new part shipped out lickety split. Any company with excellent customer service is a company I’ll recommend again and again.

My new Kutrimmer has a cutting length of 28 1/2″. Ooooh. Really. I spent the other day turning 50 sheets of Rives BFK into 300 sheets for Virtual/Reality and One Second of Time and, afterwards, when I was gazing at that lovely stack of beautiful, deckle edged, paper… Well, let’s just say it was as good as chocolate without the calories.

I certainly use other cutting tools and I’ll share those in other posts, but in the meantime, how do you cut your paper? Your Davey Board?


4 responses to “Tools I Can’t Live Without: Kutrimmer

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’ve recently moved away from NYC where I rented studio time at the Center for Book Arts and have been struggling with how to feed my habit without breaking the bank. The Kutrimmer is still pretty expensive, but it’s better than carpal tunnel syndrome and if I’m super frugal for the the next two months, I think I’ll be able to save enough. I’m thinking I’ll get the 1058–I’ll half to rip down large sheets of paper, but it should be able to handle half sheets of Davey board, which is is good enough for me if it saves me ~$175. I did wonder if you noticed a decrease in performance switching to the larger trimmer since its sheet capacity is actually 10 less than the smaller one. What’s the thickest binder’s board you cut?

    • Sarah,

      I did not notice a decrease in performance switching to the larger trimmer – but any paper stacked high enough will have furring and stretching – so I never cut more than about 4 sheets of Rives at a time. What I mean by this is – regardless of how sharp your blade is you have to stretch the top paper down to the part of the cutter where the blade slices through and that will result in a slightly larger piece of paper. (This is why you can try on three pair of the same size, same branded jeans and they’ll fit you differently!). I cut .098 Davey Board without any problem. I can cut .120 but I really have to put my weight into it. I think this is more an issue of how high up my cutter is (on a table) and the fact that I’m relatively short. Enjoy your new cutter. I especially enjoyed browsing your work on Etsy! (We’re big Psych fans, too…)


  2. Thanks for all the helpful information-I’ve scrimped and saved and am getting the 1058 for an early Christmas present! It should arrive next week and I’m so excited! The best deal I could find was on, too–even better than Amazon and it still came with free shipping.

  3. Pingback: Tools I Can’t Live Without {Redux} | Midnight Musings

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