As I See It – Review: Fiskars Paper Trimmer, 30cm.

Vision loss can be quite the barrier to accuracy, something that is quite important when using a paper trimmer.  I have no detail vision at all, so my only real option is to make things as big as possible in order to be able to ‘guess’ what things might be.  While on a computer, I can enlarge things as big as I need to, take my time, and generally make things a little easier.  I’m still slow, but I get there.  When it comes to physical things in the ‘real world’, enlarging them is not an option.  I have to try and find the right balance of practicality vs functionality.

I chose the Fiskars trimmer because it is lightweight, folds away nicely when not in use and the blade is a nice bright colour so I can see where it is more easily.

Image Description: A picture of the Fiskars paper trimmer, taken from above with the extendable arm collapsed.

Image Description: A picture of the Fiskars paper trimmer, taken from above with the extendable arm collapsed.

I liked that you could fold away the extender arm within the unit (it stores underneath).

Image Description: A close up view of the extendable arm of the paper trimmer.

Image Description: A close up view of the extendable arm of the paper trimmer.  Picture taken from above.

While I love the ability to stow the arm away underneath the trimmer, the arm is a shade lower down than main unit when extended, so a LOT of times, I am having to guess at measurements before I cut.

Image Description: End-on view of trimmer, with arm extended, showing the extended arm lower than the main unit.

Image Description: End-on view of trimmer, with arm extended, showing the extended arm lower than the main unit.

It is such a fine balancing act to keep the paper in place, while looking at the measurements (see further on for an idea of that), and having to cope with the fact that your paper ‘hovers’ over the extended arm rather than nestles nicely against it.

Image Description: An end-on view of the trimmer, with the arm extended.  I have placed a book on the trimmer to show the gap between the arm and the item being cut (I used a book so you could see it better).

Image Description: An end-on view of the trimmer, with the arm extended. I have placed a book on the trimmer to show the gap between the arm and the item being cut (I used a book so you could see it better).

It means that in practical use, the extendable arm is not as helpful as I thought it might be.  That being said, I think I do prefer having to deal with the arm than having a full sized paper trimmer on my desk.

When I first bought the trimmer, I thought because the measurements were black on a lighter background, I would be able to see it a little better, once I was using my magnifying glass.  In theory, that was a great idea.  In practise, not so much.

To use my magnifying glass is quite an ordeal, and can only been done for incredibly short periods of time.  I have to wear my reading glasses (with a x10 magnifying lens), plus my magnifying glass (x10 or x20 depending on my lighting), and put my face so close to the item I want to see that my nose is touching it.  I often find though that my head is in the way of light, so it is rare that just one look is enough to see what I need to.

Also, as I breathe, moisture gets trapped in the area between my mouth/nose and the paper trimmer as it is usually resting against my chest/chin.  There is only so long I can hold my breath!  I need to touch the trimmer and paper more than is ‘normal’ around the measuring area as the paper needs securing due to my breath lifting the paper up, and to make sure that there is no shifting of the paper as I move my head away from the trimmer as I would not be able to tell if the paper had shifted.  It is very tiring, very time consuming, and often disheartening.

Due to all of these issues, the measurements have worn off in the areas I use most often, making the trimmer incredibly difficult to use.  This happened very quickly, within the first 3-4 months, which I found very disappointing.  Obviously, as these are the areas I use most often, it has made the trimmer very difficult to use, and I am often just approximating my measurements.

Image Description: A close up of the measurements worn off on the trimmer.

Image Description: A close up of the measurements worn off on the trimmer.

Image Description: A close up of the worn measurements on the trimmer.

Image Description: A close up of the worn measurements on the trimmer.

I am happy with the cutting blade itself.  I was right that the orange blade is easy to find, and the blade stays sharp for a long time and handles cutting everything I have thrown at it (up to 300gsm card) – although the thicker card obviously dulls the blade a lot faster than a lighter weight paper or card would.

I did purchase the optional scoring ‘blade’ as when I first bought this trimmer I thought it would be a good way to get more precise scoring lines – I had been using a wooden crease board.  Sadly, I still am using the wooden crease board as the process was made far more difficult by all the issues that have made this trimmer not a practical paper trimmer for me.  Which is a real shame as I had very high hopes for it.

Overall, I think that if I did not need to use the trimmer in the way that I did (at such close quarters) then this would have been an ideal paper trimmer for me because of its lightweight, compact design.  However, the fact the measurements wore off very quickly and I am having to guess measurements most of the time, means that I am very much looking for a replacement paper trimmer.

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