Cutting Tools for Paper Artists and Bookmakers


Once I discovered paper cutting, I started collecting any and every tool or knife I could get my hands on.

It wasn't until I had tried a wide variety that I found my preferred knife, and which knives just didn't work with my style. Some of them I have retained in my arsenal, utilizing them here and there, or maybe I just feel proud of the collection. Here is what I currently have in my toolbox:

Cutting Tools for Paper Artists and Bookmakers |


1.     #11 X-Acto® Precision Knife. This is my favorite knife for paper cutting projects. However, always keep extra blades when working (see the container below the knife) as I find myself breaking the fine tip very easily. 

2.     Fiskars® Fingertip Detail Knife. I try to force myself to use this knife, but the switch from the long handle of my regular knife to this small, knuckle grip makes this a big change. I do enjoy whipping it out when I am in a tight spot for details, and I have heard that for many, this is a very comfortable knife.

3.     X-Acto Craft Swivel Knife. The small blade of this knife actually swivels 360° around. I bought it when I was told graphic designers love it for the ease-of-movement when cutting curvy shapes. I haven't personally managed to wrangle the blade, and have instead set it aside, pulling it out from time-to-time for experimentation. (If you have any experience taming the swiveling beast, I would love some tips!)

4.     An Awl. Obviously, this isn't a knife. But, I keep an awl in my kit because I love the look of varied texture from punctured holes. Also, if you ever want to create a small eyeball or "starry" background, use this, and save yourself from anguish. This specific awl has a very thin handle, but you might prefer one with a more bulbous, wooden handle. I use this one for paper cutting, and a bulbous, wooden handled awl for punching signatures when bookbinding.

5.     #2 X-Acto Medium Weight Aluminum Knife. This hefty handle is great for cutting out large shapes. It is especially good in those spots where you would use scissors but don't want to take as much time.

6.     SliceTM Precision Cutter. Touting a ceramic blade that 'lasts longer than steel,' I found the blade to be shorter than I prefer. Their claim of strength is true, however, as I have yet to break this blade. I tend to keep this in my 'to-go' art bag because of its easy-to-store design and tight cap.

7.     A Box Cutter. Always have one around even if you don't plan on cutting Davey Board. You never know when you may want to cut several pieces of thick cardstock down to size.


What are your favorite cutting tools? Do you have some unique or bizarre tools that you absolutely love?



Blog, Handmade Books, Mixed-Media Supplies, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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