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A Guide to Cutting Tools

Use our quick and easy guide to cutting tools to learn how to use, store and care for everything from scissors and paper trimmers to craft knives and paper punches.

Cutting Tools: Scissors, Rotary Cutters, Paper Trimmers, Craft Knifes, Decorative Scissors, & Paper Punches


  • Never cut with a dull blade. Dull blades can tear, rip, and damage. Paper dulls blades very quickly so keep extra blades for paper trimmers, rotary cutters, and craft knifes handy and sharpen scissors on a regular basis.
  • Rotary cutters are the easiest on your hands. Rotary cutters now come with a wide assortment of decorative blades as well as perforating and scoring blades.
  • Keep all cutting tools dry and stored safely. Wipe and clean blades that have any substance on them. Store flat. If you use your cutting tools with glued or painted items, consider investing in Teflon coated blades.
  • Sharpen punches with aluminum foil and “oil” them with wax paper if they begin to stick.
  • Craft knifes are best for cutting straight edges and curves. This is probably one of the most universal of all cutting tools and will cut through most materials with ease. There are swivel head knifes that make detailed cutting even easier.
  • If cutting out small items, consider a pair of micro-tip scissors. These are best for intricate cuts. When cutting bring the paper to the blade and move the paper, not the blade for the smoothest cuts.
  • Do not use blades for anything but cutting. It’s tempting to use the tips of scissors to pry something open, but you can end up breaking the tip. Blades can chip and once damaged the blade is no longer useful.
  • Keep track of what scissors and punches you have and keep the list handy when you are shopping for supplies.
  • By turning decorative or patterned scissors around you will get complete different look. Try cutting a strip of paper with scissors one direction and on other side of paper turn the scissors other direction.
  • Don’t use more than one or two different decorative edges on a page. Too many decorative edges makes the page look busy and confusing.
  • Punches often have guides or bottoms that open. These can be removed without harming the punch.
  • Hand punches with cushioned grips are the most comfortable for your hand. There are also hand tools that when combined with flat punches make it easier to “punch” down.

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Two Tone Leather Purse Pattern

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