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Manual vs Hydraulic vs Electric Guillotine Paper Cutter: A Simple Buyer’s Guide

By Randy Green October 04, 2022

Having a guillotine paper cutter in your busy office or print shop is a life-saver. With a massive cutting capacity of up to 360 sheets of paper in a single stroke, this sturdy machine will save time and give you clean, precise cuts.

Ideally, there are three major types of guillotine paper cutters—manual, hydraulic, and electric—all of which have their key advantages and drawbacks.

So how do you make the right choice?

For a worry-free shopping experience, we’ll take you through all you need to know about guillotine paper cutters.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Key features of each guillotine paper cutter
  • The latest price for each cutter
  • What makes each cutter unique
  • Where to purchase the best guillotine paper cutters

But first, let’s discuss the different types of paper cutters available. 

Types of Cutting Machines

Armadillo Industrial Supplies offers several types of cutters for various tasks and materials. Below are a few options:

  • Hydraulic Paper Cutter: Has automated and programmable modern technology that offers various cuts of massive pieces of paper at once
  • Multi-Function Slitter/Cutter/Creaser: All-in-one machine with multiple presets to slit, cut, or crease flyers, brochures, business cards, and other papers
  • Business Card Cutter: For fast production of business cards, photos, and postcards
  • Guillotine Paper Cutter: Heavy-duty paper cutter with a handle-weighted clamp that holds the papers firmly in place and give precise cuts with ease

Now, let's go through three major types of guillotine paper cutters, and their features in more detail.

1 - Formax Cut-True 15M Manual Guillotine Cutter

A manual guillotine cutter requires you to physically lift and press down on its cutting lever or blade handle for effective cutting. It’s the ideal choice if you’re handling less paperwork or if you have a tight budget, as they’re cheaper than other cutters.

The Formax Cut-True 15M Manual Guillotine Paper Cutter allows you to control the amount of pressure applied to a stack of paper. This is a major advantage because although automatic machines are handy, at times you just need the artistry of your hands for successful cutting.

Formax Cut-True 15M manual guillotine cutter

Important Features of the Formax Cut-True 15M Manual Guillotine Cutter

  • Hardened steel blade: Swiftly cuts through paper stacks of up to 2.36" high and 16.9” wide
  • Calibrated scale: Helps to make fine adjustments
  • LED Laser cut line: For extreme accuracy during cutting
  • Rugged all-metal stand: For maximum durability 

How the Formax Cut-True 15M Compares With Other Paper Cutters

  • Manual cutting action: Operated manually, unlike most modern cutters, which are automatic
  • Budget friendly: The cheapest option on our list


2 - Formax Cut-True 29H Hydraulic Guillotine Cutter

A hydraulic guillotine cutter is the most powerful machine for precisely cutting up to 800 sheets of paper at a time. 

Despite its several advanced features, the Formax Cut-True 29H hydraulic cutter remains easy to use; no technical skills are needed to operate it.

Formax Cut-True 29H hydraulic guillotine cutter

Important Features of the Formax Cut-True 29H Hydraulic Guillotine Cutter

  • Heavy-duty: Precisely cuts high volumes of paper, including stacks of up to 3.15" high and up to 20.5" wide
  • User-friendly: Features an automatically-adjusting back gauge and a touch screen control panel for easy operation
  • Infrared light beam safety curtain: Shuts down operation if light plane is interrupted, providing safety and convenience 
  • Internal lighting: Lights up the cutting area

How the Formax Cut-True 29H Compares With Other Paper Cutters

  • Versatile: Has up to 100 programmable jobs with close to 100 steps each
  • Heavyweight: The heaviest on the list, with an average weight of 1,014 lbs (460kg). This provides sturdiness, but may also challenge its portability


3 - Formax Cut-True 29A Automatic Electric Guillotine Cutter

An electric paper cutter has an automatic motor that drives its cutting operations and can efficiently cut large stacks of paper of up to 1,000 sheets at a time.

The Formax Cut-True 29A cutter is fully automated and uses photoelectric technology to detect machine activity, and rings an alarm once it runs out of paper or discovers a problem. 

But not all electric guillotine cutters are fully automated. Others, like the Formax Cut-True 31A, still require hand operation.

Formax Cut-True 29A automatic electric guillotine cutter

Important Features of the Formax Cut-True 29A Automatic Electric Guillotine Cutter

  • Low-friction table surface: Allows operator to move large stacks of papers with ease
  • Fine-tuning knob: Lets the operator accurately adjust the back gauge position
  • Touchscreen control panel: Allows operator to conveniently set, adjust, and program cutting jobs 
  • Hardened steel blade: For precise cuts and maximum durability

How the Formax Cut-True 29A Compares With Other Paper Cutters

  • High cutting capacity: Precisely cuts huge paper stacks of up to 3.15” high and 20.5” wide 
  • High accuracy levels: Has a cutting accuracy of 0.1mm on paper stacks of up to 80 mm


The table below summarises the differences between the three guillotine paper cutting options.

Manual Guillotine Paper Cutter Electric Guillotine Paper Cutter Hydraulic Guillotine Paper Cutter
For small volume use For large volume cutting For large volume cutting
Ideal for home office and small businesses Used for commercial in house publishing and print shops Used in large commercial operations
Easy to carry as it weighs only 133 lbs Difficult to lift due to its heavy weight of 1,279 lbs

Before settling on your guillotine paper cutter, ask yourself a few critical questions about your business and the features you’ll need from the cutter. This will give you confidence in the purchase you make.

These questions should include:

  • What paper size and stack size do you need to cut? 
  • How many people will be using the paper cutter?
  • How frequent do you cut paper?
  • What are your top priority safety features?
  • How much storage space do you have?

guillotine paper cutters

Advantages and Benefits of Guillotine Paper Cutters

Cut Multiple Sheets of Paper at Once

Unlike trimmers, guillotine paper cutters are designed to cut thicker stacks of paper and are used for higher volume projects. 

The paper stacks are clamped together, and the handle is brought down in a slow motion to produce straight, clean cuts. Some heavy-duty cutters, like the Formax Cut-True 29A, can cut up to 1000 sheets of paper at a time.

Provide High Levels of Accuracy and Consistency

Guillotine paper cutters let you cut huge stacks of documents the same way time and time again. This high level of precision comes in handy with colored paper prints especially.

It’s also impossible to get the same crisp, clean, and consistent cut with scissors or any other small cutter. A quality guillotine cutter will give your documents nice, neat edges.

Price Range

Armadillo Industrial Supplies offers superior quality, up to date guillotine paper cutters, all at affordable prices. 

The table below shows the price ranges for our guillotine paper cutters.

Guillotine Paper Cutter Lowest Price Highest Price
Manual $2,012.00 $2,925.00
Hydraulic $21,114.00 $32,634.00
Semi-Automatic $3,950.00 $9,050.00
Electric $14,995.00 $27,474.00

When Is Using a Paper Guillotine Appropriate?

A paper guillotine cutter is used to accurately cut paper printed materials of any kind and across every field:

  • In workshops, agencies, educational institutions, multinational corporations, and private institutions
  • Whenever you need to cut huge stacks of paper or similar materials
  • When you need a straight or rectangular cut
  • When cutting large quantities of paper in a short time and with minimum effort

What Other Products Can I Purchase?

We are the leading distributors of data destruction equipment, mailing solutions, printers, and various supplies and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a small shredder for your home office, or a huge folder for your documents, you’re sure to find it here.

Below are some of our top products.

Hard Drive Shredders

Formax FD 87HDS hard drive shredder

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Proton T-5 degausser

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Formax FD 402TA1 tabletop air jogger

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Formax FD 4170 cut-sheet burster

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Industrial Shredders

Formax FD 8806SC strip-cut industrial shredders

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Pressure Sealers

Formax FD 2200-10 high-volume stand-alone pressure sealer

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Choose the Best Guillotine Paper Cutter for Your Business

Manual guillotine paper cutters are the ideal choice for small volume cutting or when working with a tight budget. Hydraulic and electric cutters, on the other hand, are suitable for commercial use where high-volume cutting is needed.

Whatever your cutting needs are, Armadillo Industrial Supplies has a guillotine cutter for you. We provide a wide range of paper cutters that are up-to-date, of exceptional quality, and provide value for your money.

Check out our entire collection of guillotine paper cutters here. If you need any more assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our highly experienced staff will help you select the most suitable machine.

... We live in a world where customer service is an afterthought ... But Armadillo have exceeded my expectations. Ryan

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