For a better user experience, please upgrade your web browser. Try Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.
Engineered and developed in Germany, each Dahle Trimmer carries with it the quality synonymous with the Dahle name.
Trimmer Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions- Trimmers

We understand that selecting the right trimmer to fit your needs can be difficult. With many things to consider, the options can seem overwhelming. At Dahle, we receive many questions on the performance and capabilities of our trimmers. To help answer some of your questions we have compiled a list of the ones we are asked most frequently. For additional information, you can contact Dahle Customer Relations at (800) 995-1379.

General Questions

How are your paper trimmers “self-sharpening”?

The action is similar to sharpening knives. Dahle self-sharpening trimmers (excluding Vantage® Trimmers) feature two blades, the cutting blade (rotary or guillotine) and the counter blade which runs along the side of the trimmer. The cutting blade slides across the counter blade at an angle that hones the cutting edge.

If your trimmers are self-sharpening, does that mean I will never need a new blade?

It means your blade will stay sharper and last longer over time. Although the blade is high-quality steel, it will eventually wear down and you will need to replace it. Rotary blades have a shorter lifespan than Guillotine blades. For the best blade performance, use the blade a few times without paper to keep it honed and ready.

How long will my cutting blades last?

The life span of a cutting blade varies depending on what you are cutting and how often the trimmer is used. If you trim photo paper occasionally, the blade will have a longer life than if you cut card stock daily. Rotary cutting blades have a shorter lifespan than Guillotine blades. You can contact a Customer Relations Specialist to help you choose a trimmer that suits your needs at 800-995-1379.

What is an automatic paper clamp?

An automatic paper clamp compresses your work evenly and firmly as you cut so there is no need to hold your work down manually or use excessive cutting pressure.

What do the imprinted lines and numbers on the base of the cutter represent?

The grids and numbers represent standard cutting sizes and angles. Dahle products are German designed, so some of the grids represent European paper sizes.

Why is sheet capacity listed in the trimmer’s specifications?

Sheet capacity is a standard specification used to measure the capability of a paper trimmer. While effectiveness should not be measured in sheet capacity alone, it is a helpful guide. Always follow your trimmer recommendations for sheet capacity and material specifications for proper function and optimal results. If you need assistance choosing the right trimmer for your needs, give us a call at 800-995-1379.

Are your cutting heads and blades replaceable?

Rotary trimmer cutting heads and some guillotine cutting blades are replaceable. Please contact us at (800) 995-1379 for availability.

Rotary Trimmers

With such a sharp blade, can I easily hurt myself?

Safety is Dahle’s #1 concern. The blade is almost fully encased in a protective hard plastic housing for safety to protect your fingers.

Do I have to press down on the cutting head for it to cut?

No, you don’t need to apply any downward pressure. Just place your material under the guide and slide the cutting head in either direction to make your cut. The automatic paper clamp will hold your work in place and ensure accurate results.

Are your Personal Trimmers as precise as your Premium Trimmers?

All Dahle products offer precise results. Precision is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish and how much you are trying to cut. You should receive the same results on either trimmer when cutting a single sheet of paper. It is important to use each trimmer for what it is intended so make sure you are staying within the sheet capacity limits and only cutting recommended materials for your specific trimmer.

Do your rotary trimmers cut in both directions?

Since our trimmers feature a circular rotary blade, instead of a unidirectional blade, it will cut in either direction. This can prove to be useful if you have to make repetitive cuts or are left-handed.

Can I just buy a new rotary blade or do I have to buy a whole new cutting head?

For safety and proper trimmer function, we only provide complete cutting head assemblies.

My rotary trimmer is no longer cutting. Do I need to replace the blade?

There are two things to check before replacing the blade. First, if you use your cutter mainly for photo trimming, there may be an ink build-up on the blade. The blade just needs to be carefully cleaned. Second, if you tried to cut a material too thick for the trimmer it may have caused the blade to “jump track” and the cutting head needs to be realigned. Please contact our Technical Service Team at 800-995-1379 to receive instructions.

How do I clean my rotary cutting blade?

If you find that ink or other material has accumulated on the blade of your trimmer, there are two ways to clean it. First, run the blade back and forth several times without paper – this may loosen any debris. Second, you can carefully use a cotton cloth with alcohol to gently remove ink or other substances. We recommend using protective gloves to protect against injury.

My rotary trimmer is squeaking. What can I do?

It could be the cutting head is slightly out of alignment. Pull the cutting head to the middle of the bar and turn it slightly away from the base. Run it back and forth a few times without paper to be sure it is still running smoothly. Also, you can lubricate the blade with graphite spray. Just be sure to wipe it clean before using the trimmer again.

My new rotary trimmer arrived and the blade is up on the plastic clamp. Does it need to be returned?

From the vibrations and jostling in shipping, the cutting head may have “jumped track.” The cutting head needs to be realigned. Please contact our Technical Service Team at 800-995-1379 to receive instructions.

How do you change the cutting head?

Cutting heads can be fairly simple to replace. To guarantee optimal accuracy, please refer to your user’s manual for complete instructions or contact our Technical Service Team at 800-995-1379 to receive instructions.

My rotary trimmer is not cutting square. How can I adjust it?

Before you take apart your cutter, make sure to check the printing alignment of your material. Due to the feeding mechanism, sometimes a printer will often print at a slight angle. The best way to verify that your trimmer is out of square is to check it with a steel square. If indeed your trimmer needs to be adjusted, please contact our Technical Service Team at 800-995-1379 to receive instructions.

Guillotines

Can I sharpen the blade on my lever-style cutter or guillotine?

The blades on the Dahle Professional and Premium guillotines can be sharpened. We do not have a sharpening service but we recommend you call a professional knife or scissor sharpener (Excludes Vantage® Trimmers).

Sharp objects make me nervous, what are the safety features to prevent me from getting hurt?

Safety is Dahle’s #1 concern. It is our responsibility to design safety features that are useful, automatic, and unobtrusive to the user. The following are safety features are incorporated into most of our lever-style/guillotine cutters.

Automatic Paper Clamp- Some models include a clamp that compresses the paper automatically as you cut and eliminates the need to place your hand near the cutting blade.

Rotary Safety Shield- Dahle Premium Guillotines includes a unique safety shield that rotates around the blade as you cut, protecting you from the blade through the entire cutting process.

Finger Guard- Protects fingers from being near the blade.

Self-Sharpening Blade- Ensures your blade is always sharp and cuts easily without the need to apply excessive force.

Non-Slip Rubber Feet- Prevents the trimmer from moving while you are cutting.

Exact Placement Blade- Prevents the blade from flying up or falling unexpectedly.

Locking Blades- The Dahle Premium 567, 569, 580 and 585 Guillotine models allow you to lock down the blade to prevent unauthorized use.

Can the blade fall accidentally?

Our guillotine blades are designed to stay in place in any position and not fly up or fall unexpectedly. Over time, the lever arm may need to be tightened.

What is the plastic piece on the lever of the Premium Guillotines?

This piece is an innovative rotary shield. This shield is designed to rotate around the blade as you cut to protect you during the entire cutting process. Since the safety shield is automatic, you never have to be worried about your fingers being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Are your Professional Guillotines as precise as your Premium Guillotines?

All Dahle cutting products offer precise results. Precision is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish and how much you are trying to cut. You should receive the same results on all trimmers when cutting a single sheet of paper. The size and thickness of the blade, flexibility of the lever arm, and accuracy of the grid and paper guide will all have a combined effect in determining the accuracy of your cut. It is also important to use each trimmer for what it is intended so make sure you are staying within the sheet capacity limits and only cutting recommended materials for your specific trimmer.

Large Format Guillotines

Can I sharpen the blade on my Large Format Guillotine?

The blades on the Dahle Professional and Premium guillotines can be sharpened. We do not have a sharpening service but we recommend you call a professional knife or scissor sharpener.

Sharp objects make me nervous, what are some safety features to prevent me from getting hurt?

Safety is Dahle’s #1 concern. It is our responsibility to design safety features that are useful, automatic and unobtrusive to the user. The following are safety features are incorporated into large format guillotine cutters.

Paper Clamp- Large format guillotines feature a manual foot clamp to securely hold your work in place and keep hands away from the cutting blade.

Safety Shield- The acrylic shield provides a full protective barrier for additional protection.

Self-Sharpening Blade- Ensures your blade is always honed to cut easily without the need to apply excessive force.

Integrated Stand- Provides the ideal cutting height and leverage for stability.

Exact Placement Blade- The blade holds its position and won’t fly up or fall unexpectedly.

Lockable Blades- Large format guillotine blades can be locked down to prevent unauthorized use.

Can the blade fall accidentally?

Our guillotine blades are designed to stay in place in any position and not fly up or fall unexpectedly. Over time, the lever arm may need to be tightened.

Stack Cutters

Sharp objects make me nervous. What are some safety features to prevent me from getting hurt?

Safety is Dahle’s #1 concern. Dahle Stack Cutters have integrated safety mechanisms that prevent you from coming in contact with the blade. The blade cannot be lowered when the safety shield is up, nor can the safety shield be opened when the blade is down.

Can the blade fall accidentally?

The integrated safety mechanisms prevent the blade from ever falling accidentally. The blade cannot be lowered when the safety shield is open, nor can you open the safety shield if the blade is down.

I’m not very strong, how hard is it to cut through 700 sheets of paper?

Believe it or not, it's easy to cut through hundreds of sheets of paper at a time with minimal effort using a Dahle Stack Cutter. Less force is required because of multiple points of leverage and the blade slices horizontally as it’s depressed instead of cutting straight down for easier trimming.

How long does the cutting blade last?

The life span of the cutting blade depends on how often you are using the cutter, the types of materials you are cutting, and how often you rotate your cutting sticks. Dahle Stack Cutter blades can be professionally sharpened to extend their life or replaced.

Can I sharpen the blade on my Stack Cutter?

Stack cutter blades can be sharpened by a professional knife or scissor sharpener – Dahle does not provide this service. It is very important to maintain a sharp blade for optimal results. Continued use with a dull blade can lead to damage of non-replaceable parts. We also recommend having a spare blade on hand to eliminate downtime. To purchase spare blades, please call us at 800-995-1379.

Is my stack cutter blade replaceable?

The cutting blades are replaceable. Please contact us directly at (800) 995-1379 for more information.

What is a self-locking backstop?

Dahle Stack Cutter models 846 and 848 include a self-locking backstop which is an adjustable alignment guide for setting your desired cutting length. The spindle-driven backstop automatically locks in place once set. This ensures optimal accuracy and prevents accidentally moving the backstop. Model 842 has a manual backstop that is locked in place by tightening a screw.

Do I need to purchase a stand for my Stack Cutter?

The stands are not included with the cutter but can be purchased separately. The benefit of the stand is that it offers the ideal height for cutting leverage and offers additional stability.

Why aren’t the stands included with the Stack Cutters?

Some print shops and copy centers prefer to use their own tables or stands. For the most effective use of this cutter without the stand, please refer to the user’s manual for proper height adjustment.

Support & Purchasing

What does your trimmer warranty cover?

Dahle guarantees its trimmers to be free from manufacturing defects (materials/workmanship). Please visit the Dahle Warranty Information page for details.

Who should I contact if I need a warranty repair or my trimmer needs service?

Please contact Dahle's Technical Service Department at (800) 995-1379.

Where can I purchase replacement parts?

Some Dahle dealers supply common trimmers parts. An internet search is helpful to check pricing and availability. If you prefer, you can purchase these items directly through Dahle North America by calling (800) 995-1379.

What’s the best way to buy a Dahle Product?

Dahle has an extensive network of authorized dealers. They can be found with an internet search for the product you need or you may contact a Dahle Customer Relations Specialist for assistance at (800) 995-1379.

How do I become a dealer?

Please visit our Join Our Team page to apply.