The Guillotine Choice - Printfinishing

Whether you are a first-time buyer, or a veteran of the print industry, shopping for a new guillotine paper cutter offers you a wealth of choice. The print industry has changed dramatically in recent years with the emergence of high-speed digital presses and the infiltration of larger format printing into even the smallest print facilities.  From the finishing equipment perspective, one piece of equipment that has continued to be the most important part of the production process is the paper cutter. When purchased correctly to meet your specific needs and serviced regularly it can provide years of reliable operation. 

Sydney Stone has a team of sales and service experts which will provide the necessary guidance to help you through the process of a new paper cutter purchase. Many prints shops today have a very old paper cutter which requires replacement as it lacks automation, modern safety features, or replacement parts support from the manufacturer.  Another common scenario is the current machine is either too big or too small for their current applications. Offset printers that have switched to digital printing processes will no longer need a cutter in the 36” to 61” range, which are designed to cut downs skids of larger parent stock to feed a printing press. Conversely, many of the small format cutter paper cutters initially offered to digital printers had a cutting width of under 17” which leaves them unable to cut down a full-bleed 12” x 18” sheet which has become the industry standard for digital print. 

The options for a customer when looking for a new paper cutter are plentiful but do not need to be confusing. But before we move on, let's talk about an extremely important issue to first consider when considering the purchase of a new or used paper cutter, safety, and compliance in Canada. 

Safety and Compliance for Paper Cutters being sold in Canada

Before an electrical product or piece of electrical equipment is used, sold, displayed, or advertised for sale in Canada, it must be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency. The item must carry the office marking or label of the agency which indicates that the product has been independently assessed for safety. These rules define the standards for safe electrical products and electrical installations in Canada, and when followed, protect the public, workers, and contractors as well as business owners. For a list of the recognized certification marks see here: 

While many retail products for home use may carry a CSA designationproduction equipment for the printing industry will most likely be certified by laboratories such as ULc, Entela, and TUV. Alternatively, a local inspection is done on-site by companies in Canada offering these services such and ESA, JBL, and other independent engineering firms. Sydney stone has made it a policy to only offer new paper cutters and reconditioned paper cutters that meet and have applied and these recognized certification marks. 

Now let’s look at the different types of paper cutters based on their method of operation sold by Sydney Stone. 

Electric Stack Paper Cutters

Electric guillotine cutters are one of the more popular designs sold today for small to medium-sized print shops. They are a compact, affordable option and are a perfect fit for most digital print shops as they offer features like automatic clamping, digital cut line lights, programmability, and low maintenance requirements. These machines are the preferred choice amongst shops working in the 12” x 18” to 14“ x 20” paper sizes. 

A common misconception with electric cutters is that they don’t have enough strength to cut through heavier substrates. This is not true; they have a tremendous amount of mechanical cutting pressure due to the gearbox used for the operation of the machine. What this design does lack is the ability to adjust the clamping pressure. Where this feature is helpful is in the shops doing a lot of heavy card stocks, laminated or UV coated material. Not having this feature doesn’t mean you cannot do these types of applications; it just means you may need to do things such as limit the lift heights you are putting into the cutter.  

Electrically driven stack paper cutters are available starting with the semi-automatic EBA 4815 18.7” wide model which offers electric cut, manual clamping, and manual back gauge adjustments. This range then extends using the same 18.7” wide platform to add power clamping on the EBA 4850programmable back gauge control with memory on the EBA 4855 and finally a safety light barrier on the EBA 4860 at the top of the range. 

Many of the latest digital printing presses are now able to print larger sheet sizes to increase productivity and efficiency and it is no longer uncommon to have the requirement to finish printed sheets on 13” x 19” or 14” x 20”, and most recently paper stocks up to 26”. For this purpose, EBA offers two models in each the 20.5” width ( EBA 5255 with plastic safety shield ) and EBA 5260 ( safety light barrier) and two models in the 26” cutting width, ( EBA 6655 with plastic safety shield ) and the EBA 6660 ( safety light barrier ) .  To see the entire range please of EBA Electric stack cutters offered by Sydney Stone please  CLICK HERE 

Key benefits of an electric cutter:

  • Powerful gearbox for cut cutting
  • Lower capital cost 
  • Smaller footprint 

Hydraulic Stack Paper Cutters

Hydraulic paper cutters are ideal for medium to large-sized print shop that does more than a couple of hours of cutting per day. If you have the requirement to cut a volume of heavy card material, laminated stocks, UV coated stocks, or looking to cut down parent sheet sizes a hydraulic stack paper cutter is the best choice for you. Hydraulic stack cutters range in size from 20” and recently up to 45” widths. The most popular models in this category would be the EBA 5560 (21 5/8”),  MOHR 66 ( 26.4” ), and the MOHR 80 (31.5”). All the paper cutters in this range are fully programmable and offer adjustable clamping pressure up to 6000 psi. These machines are designed for a heavy workload on a single shift, and when properly serviced and maintained with knife changes and lubrication will provide years of reliable operation. 

Key benefits of a Hydraulic cutter:

  • More robust build 
  • Adjustable clamping pressure, including soft clamping
  • Advanced programming functions and options for jdf capability
  • Higher monthly duty cycle than an electric stack cutter

Lets now take a look at two of the world’s leading Paper Cutting manufacturers’ that Sydney Stone is proud to sell and service. EBA and Polar-MOHR. 

EBA Stack Paper Cutters

Krug and Priester are based in Bellingham Germany and is a family-run operation. It began manufacturing guillotine paper cutters in 1958 and the company is diverse in its product lines, they are the world leader in the manufacturing of office shredders, and more recently developed and build air purification systems. 

There are two main importers of Krug and Priester manufactured paper cutters into North America which is Sydney Stone Ltd distributing under the EBA brand name, and ideal.MBM distributing under the Triumph brand name. 

As manufacture, Krug and Priester offer a diverse model range offering manually operated, electrically operated, hydraulically operated paper cutters which range from 15” up to 28” cutting widths. In North America, with the predominant digital sheet size being 12x18, our most popular models are in the 4800 series but as can be seen below Sydney Stone stocks and supports the entire EBA model range. 



POLAR-Mohr was founded in 1906 as "Adolf Mohr, Maschinenfabrik" (machine factory) and It has grown from being a regional provider to the world’s number one manufacture for high-speed cutters and has sold over 130,000 units, more than any other manufacture. They are the first to develop many of the technologies we know and love today on most of our guillotines. Features like electronic controls, programmability, cutline lights, automatic clamping pressure regulation are just some of the innovations they have brought to market.  

Polar-Mohr is best known for its larger gear-driven machines typically found in offset facilities besides multi-shift printing presses. More recently they have moved their technology downmarket and have developed some smaller more affordable options to fit into the digital marketplace. Rest assured these new models are still built with the same precision and engineering that Polar-Mohr is historically known for and are all manufactured and distributed from their facility in Hofheim, Germany. The Polar-Mohr 56 (22”)Polar-Mohr 66 (26.4”), and Polar-Mohr 80(31.5”) click here for the entire line. These models are all hydraulic cutting systems and fit perfectly into any shop with paper sizes under 28”x40” depending on the model selected from.  

For a video review of the MOHR paper cutter range Sydney stone is pleased to offer : 




Given the long-term nature of the purchase of a paper cutter, it is wise to consider the partner you are choosing in both a manufacturer and a local distributor. EBA paper cutters, Triumph paper cutters, and Mohr paper cutters are manufactured by well established, reliable German manufacturers. Parts are readily available with a quick turn around and technical support is readily available. Your local support is also key, when purchasing your paper cutter, you need to be confident to select a distributor that has lots of experience, parts on hand and technicians who can support you should the need arise. Nearly every printed piece must pass through the paper cutter before being shipped, you cannot afford to have a paper cutter partner let you down without access to parts or reliable skilled service.

For information on Sydney Stone’s knife change and service programs please click here: 

Use Sydney Stone for the best advice – we bring meaning to expertise. 

When making your final decision on a guillotine paper cutter some of the factors that will come into play are listed below. Please be sure to contact your Sydney stone representative who can help guide you through your purchase. 

  • What is my maximum sheet size requirements, always worth considering one size larger for easier handling of paper?
  • How many hours a day are you cutting?
  • What types of stocks you will you be cutting daily?
  • Your space – ease of access and available power?
  • Have you picked a good partner for long term support?

This investment should be with you for a very long time, when chosen correctly, do your research, ask for references, try the machines out if you can so you can buy once and buy right.