Thursday, 4 August 2016

Tonic Studio Paper Trimmer Review

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! How's your week been? Whether it's been pants or totally brilliant just think it's nearly the weekend so hopefully you'll have plenty of time to get some crafting done. I'm extremely pleased with my latest purchase - a 22cm Tonic Studio Trimmer although I suppose it's really a guillotine rather than a trimmer as it has a chopping blade rather than the slidey (lol not the technical term!) blade of a trimmer.Whatever it should be called I'm loving it! It isn't perfect for my needs but it's pretty close and I'm loving the fact that everything I've cut so far has been perfectly straight. Up to now I've primarily had Woodware trimmers and the original one was brilliant until I dropped it on the floor (ok I confess it wasn't just once but a few times!) and bits of it broke off but when I wanted to replace it my local craft shop only had the new version which is a lot flimsier and horrors of horrors has smaller blades than the original so all my lovely decorative edge blades don't fit! The main problem is one that's quite common with rotary bladed trimmers and that is it just doesn't cut perfectly straight - this isn't something exclusive to Woodware either - I recently bought a WRMK score and trim board and that's even worse! WARNING NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY AS IT'S A PIECE OF CRAP QUITE FRANKLY - the trimmer fishtails the end of the cut every time regardless of how much pressure you apply and even though it's in inches on one side and metric on the other you can only use the inches side with any sort of accuracy because there isn't an edge to butt your paper against so you always get a wonky cut AND you can't even score in cm because hardly any of the scoring grooves match up because they are designed to match with the imperial measurements. To make matters worse because it's designed to be "portable" it folds in half but means it's very unstable when fully opened and squashes downwards as you cut or score so anything around the 6" mark ends up wobbly. This could have been a brilliant idea if American Crafts and WRMK has not tried to be too clever and made it a larger trimmer (as in a 12" x 12" scoring area) instead of a folding one - yes it would take up space but it's not like you have to keep them out all the time, I try to keep the original packaging and store them in that so they don't get dusty or damaged and store them on their sides (it's the same way I store all my embossing boards etc) and that takes up a lot less room. The only good thing I can say about my purchase is that I shopped around (pity I didn't read the reviews before hand though!) and didn't pay the £32 it was priced on the first site I looked at but over a tenner less - it's still a heck of a lot of money to have wasted though.

Tonic Studio Guillotine Style Paper Trimmer

The cutting blade folds flat when not in use

Now lets get to the trimmer I do recommend - the 22cm Tonic Studio Paper Trimmer. As I stated earlier in this post, this trimmer isn't perfect, at 22cm which is 10 inches, it's a little bit small for some of my cutting needs for example trimming down 12" cardstock and even cutting A4 in half lengthways to make top folding cards and because it's a guillotine trimmer you can't do partial cuts. The other not too brilliant thing about it is the measuring guide only goes up to 6" which makes it very difficult to trim A4 card to anything bigger than that (makes making your own card blanks tricky) so ideally I would have liked an extendable measuring guide like other trimmers have. BUT and it's a big but everything else about it is pretty near perfect. The trimmer itself is very sturdy and has non slip feet on it's base, I have very little room on my craft desk and in fact the trimmer fills it as it appears in the photos so I often cut my card stock with part of my trimmer hanging off the edge of my desk and in all honesty that probably contributes to the problems I have had with my other trimmers. However because of this trimmer's sturdy construction it doesn't make any difference to the cut if it's hanging off the edge or perfectly flat on my desk, I still get a perfectly straight edge every time. A4 card is a different size to the standard USA card and is 29 and a bit centimetres by 21cm, the 21cm is easily divided in half (10.5cm) but it's really difficult to divide 29 and a bit cm in half (why the card isn't 29cm, 28cm or exactly 30cm I don't know) and as this paper trimmer doesn't have a handy extendable measuring guide I did struggle to trim my paper down to a useful size until I realised that the grey grided area of the trimmer (the main part you rest your paper/card on) also has card sizes on it. I like to pre-cut my card down ready for stamping so unless I'm doing a non standard card I have a stash of card cut to the correct size - for me this card is trimmed to 10.5cm x 14cm perfect for most of my stamps. To make my card pieces with this trimmer I just lined the A4 card to the A5 dash line mark on the grid and cut the card using the pull down handle, then I cut this A5 piece of card in half at 10.5cm. The first cut off piece is slightly bigger than A5 size so I have the choice of either having two sizes of cut card or what I've mainly done since getting this trimmer, lining the cut piece up with the A5 dash line cutting it to that size then cutting in half at 10.5cm - this does mean I have a thin strip of card spare but it's actually a good size for stamped sentiments. It is really fantastic to have standardised stamping card prepared, before getting this trimmer none of my card pieces were exactly the same size no matter how carefully I measured them which wouldn't be a huge problem (apart from setting my crafting OCD off) if the edges were perfectly straight - unfortunately they often wasn't so my cards always looked a bit "off" when layered. I don't want my cards to look manufactured (which is why I'm not really a huge fan of digital crafting) but I also want my cards to look professional and polished and not thrown together.(Sorry about all the ands!). I still may end up with some wonky cards but hopefully in the future it's be a deliberate choice and not the result of a dodgy cut!  The final thing about this trimmer that I love is the noise it makes as it cuts the card AND the cut edge of the card. I'm not sure what it is about the cutting noise that appeals so much to me - perhaps in a former life I was one of those old ladies knitting as people's heads rolled (lol) - but I have a big grin as I'm cutting away on it. The edge is great too - when you trim anything on a rotary paper trimmer, you get a slight lip on the underside, it's not a huge thing but you do have to be careful to make sure you cut your card etc without flipping it over otherwise you end up with odd looking edges (some smooth and others with the lip) and I don't really like using the 'wrong' side of the card if I make a mistake stamping. With the guillotine style trimmer you don't get that lip and the card looks like it's been pre-cut at the manufacturers. It's not a huge thing but it gives the finished card a more polished finish and it means I can use the reverse side without worrying. I think the best thing about this trimmer is something I'm afraid you won't be able to take advantage of - the price! The RRP of the 22cm Tonic Studio Paper Trimmer is £20.99 and I managed to get mine for only £7.50 from Every Craft's A Pound! Unfortunately as you can imagine the trimmers sold out pretty quickly, it was only because my husband is so lovely that I was able to order mine when I did because I'd already said I'd spent my crafty limit for last month. As usual because it was from Every Craft's A Pound, I had to spend a minimum of £20.00 plus £4.95 postage and packing but as they had some Tonic Studio Dies and Tim Holtz retractable craft knives and scratchers (not sure what I'll actually do with the last item), it wasn't exactly a hardship to buy even more fantastically priced bargains at the same time and in all honesty this trimmer would be worth buying at the full price. I've checked a couple of sites and it is available at less than the RRP at quite a few places, Amazon is probably the cheapest though. I love my trimmer so much that my indulgent hubby has lent me the money to buy the full size version too - RRP £37.99 (I think), Amazon price £22.20 plus free P&P (watch them though as they tried to charge me £4.95 standard delivery rather than the free delivery stated - just change the highlighted options to free delivery). I was quite happy to wait until I had some money but I'm not exactly going to turn down the chance to get it sooner. Obviously there are other places that sell the large guillotine but at the time of writing Amazon has the best price.

Sorry this is such a long blog post, I've not done reviews much before but I love this trimmer so much that I just wanted to share. I would heartily recommend keeping an eye on the Every Craft's A Pound site as they are getting a lot of Tonic Studio products in, not all are a pound but all are a bargain and a fraction of the RRP  and with the Tonic Studio items (though not the paper packs which I found to be a bit low quality) you are guaranteed quality and durability.

As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places, I would love to hear your views on reviews - is it something you'd like to see more of on my blog? I will have a card to share on Monday as it's my step-nephew's birthday but I don't want to add it here before he gets it (it has perfectly straight edges too!) I hope you all have a wonderfully crafty weekend and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx


1 comment:

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Sarah xxx