Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zutter Kutter - Part 2, a review

A couple of days ago I blogged about a new (to me) tool called the Zutter Kutter.  This thing retails for $169.00 but I found a used one on Amazon and decided to take a chance.  It arrived super-fast and in its original packaging.  The first owner indicated she only used it once.  Yeah!  But of course that makes me wonder why only once....hmmmm. 

Things to consider if you are thinking about purchasing this tool:
  1. It's heavy.  But it needs to be to do the heavy lifting of cutting board stock.  It's not as heavy as the Big Shot Pro, if that's a reference for you.
  2. It's about 15" long so you will need some space when you want to use it.  Not too surprising.  Board stock is larger than 12x12 most of the time so you'll need some space to swing that stuff around anyway. 
  3. Because board stock is larger than 12x12 you'll have to cut it down the old fashioned way before it will fit in this tool.  Not terrible and is what I expected. 
  4. I did some test cuts with some scraps of chip board and was not happy.  It went just shy of cutting through the whole thing.  I kept having to turn the piece over to get it to cut all the way through.  Odd.  And, definitely a drawback.  But then I remembered the original owner and her 'only one use of the thing'.  I pulled out the blade and found it was notched.  Bingo!  It was a simple thing to reverse the blade and begin cutting again.  Can you say "hot knife through butter"?
  5. To look at the thing - that large black knob looks like it's integral to the function of cutting.  It's not.  It's just a handle for you to hang on to with your free hand to keep it out of the way. 
  6. Safety is well thought out.  You can't even see the blade much less get yourself in the way of it.  I did, however, come close to bloody-ing myself when reversing the blade, but I admit, I'm a spaz.
  7. Blades are reversible (obvious by now) and cheap.  Between $5 and $6.
  8. It does not come with instructions.  You might think, that because mine was used, the original owner just forgot to include them.  But, no.  After a little Internet research, most of the people who reviewed this thing at their purchase site said it was a pain to have to download the instructions.  It was not a pain, just inconvenient. 
  9. It's not meant for cutting just one sheet of paper.  You can stack about 20 sheets, clamp them in and cut, but the heavy duty blade does not work well on just one sheet.  They tell you this in the instructions....that you have to download.  :o/   So - if you were planning to replace your every day cutter with this, that's a no.
  10. The measuring stay is only six inches long.  That's way too short in my book, but it is able to be used on either side of the machine.  It will be easy enough to create a jig for larger cuts when the time comes.  Maybe the company will read my review and create one for us!?
Overall, on the scale of 1-10, I'd give this thing a solid 8.  It will make my book making a LOT easier.

Regards, - AMK


Anonymous said...

I have a question that I hope you won't mind answering about the Zutter Cutter. Will this cutter cut the binding off paperback books so that I could bind them with spiral binding?

Anne King said...

Hi - I'm assuming you want to free all the pages of a paperback book and then rebind them with a spiral. If that assumption is correct, I don't see this being the right tool. You won't be able to remove the spine of the book with this tool. The blade is not deep enough and you cannot raise it higher than about the width of 20 sheets of paper.