Paper trimmers can be an indispensable tool for crafters. If you are cutting many items- like holiday cards- or working with large sheets of paper- a trimmer can really save your hands as well as time.
Purple Cows has a number of paper trimmers- including the FreeStyle Mouse that I reviewed last year. One of the things that I really liked about that particular trimmer was the ability to change out blades for scoring, deckle edges, etc. Well, now Purple Cows has taken it up a notch with their “Craft Geek” line and the 9 pattern Trim It paper trimmer.
Like the name suggests, there is not one, not two but -yes, my friends- nine blades in the housing to give you unparalleled versatility in your trimmer. What’s more, you don’t have to swap out the blades- just a simple turn of the knob selects your blade so you never have to face an exposed blade. Amazing!
So this is how it’s described on the website:
CraftGeek Trim It 9 Blade Trimmer is a unique all in one multi-blade portable trimmer with replaceable cutting head and dual fold out arms for alignment and measurement accuracy in a single compact unit.
- Included:Â 15″ cutting base unit with 2 swing out arms, replaceable cutting head with 9 built in blade styles and replaceable cutting stripÂ
- Â 9 blade cutting head blade styles:Â straight, perforating, scoring, scallop, deckle, victorian, colonial, wave, squiggleÂ
- Compact 15″ base for easy portabilityÂ
- Pullout side rulers are clearly marked with both inches and millimetersÂ
- Transparent cutting guide
As mentioned, the Trim It features not one but TWO swing out arms- great for lefties or large-format papers. (Did you catch that it’s 15 inches long?)
The markings include both inches and centimeters, which is also very helpful. It took some getting used to not having a “table” to work on- the only straight edge to line your paper up with is about 3 inches at the top of the trimmer- but I quickly adapted.
My first cut was not terribly successful, but that was because the trimmer was not on a completely flat surface. And because it’s only 3 inches wide, it rocked a bit. But once I had it flat on the table, it worked very well. Here’s a swatch sampling of all the papers I tried with it.
I was satisfied with how it cut all of the samples, even the cereal card board. One thing to be aware of, though- there is no way to raise the the cutting track completely. It will bend up slightly, but not lift up all the way. Consequently, if the paper or cardboard is too bulky- like corrugated cardboard- it won’t even go underneath. Furthermore, if you cut small strips, they may get caught underneath and be difficult to remove.
However, this is a minor issue compared to the brilliance that is the 9-pattern trimmer head. Here’s a close up.
To change the cutting head, you must “park” the cutting head all the way to the end of the trimmer. Only THEN can you rotate the selection knob (it goes both right and left) to choose your cutting blade. This is a wonderful safety feature, along with the point that you never even SEE the cutting blade- it’s completely contained within the track. This trimmer is safe enough for my first-grader to use successfully.
I went through each blade and tried it out individually.
I have to say that I’m really impressed that they included a “perforate” blade- so much fun for making little tear-off tickets.
So now I decided to put the Trim It to the test by making a 3″ box with a set of notecards.I used the straight blade, the scoring blade, the deckle and the Victorian to make the set.
My only stumble was when I needed to cut a strip smaller than 1.5 inches- there are no smaller marks than 1 3/4 inches. (I measured, and the edge of the trimming track is 1 1/2.) So if you want to cut a 1 inch strip, there is no way to accurately measure that.
I used the decorative edges toÂ make the top unique, and again, it was far easier- and more accurate- than using decorative-edge scissors. Great for using with 12X12 paper to give it that little “pop.”
One other thing to note is that the cutting MUST be kind of small to fit in the housing- which means the patterns are very small and may be hard to get the full effect of the pattern at that scale. If you can see in my sample, some of the patterns kind of look the same because the repeat is so small. Again, though, I am still impressed with the design & all of the patterns you get.
Now for price- the unit costs $29.95 USD. You can buy a replacement head (for when the blades get dull) for only $16.95, and you can even swap out the cutting strip (the part under the track) for $5.95.Â For the price, it’s a good value. After all, you can’t buy 8 pairs of scissors and a scoring board and tool for that! If you need small increments of cutting or scoring under 1.5 inches, than this might not be the one for you- but if you mostly are working with cutting down large papers and working in quantity, this is a great tool for your worktable.
Disclosure:sample provided for review purposes.
If you are considering purchasing a Purple Cows Trim It, I’d appreciate it if you used my affiliate link:
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