The board cutter that I use is the MBM Kutrimmer 1080. This is the smaller floor model, which means that it stands on four attached legs, in contrast to their table top models which, you guessed it, need to sit on a table! I have used it for eight years (as of 2016) and have not needed to sharpen the blade yet, but when the time comes, it can be removed and sharpened. I chose their floor model because I was doing enough production work that it was more economical to cut down full parent sheets of board than to have them precut. The 1080 has a big enough surface that I have been able to cut everything down from its parent size.

Here is a link with a breakdown of all of the different Kutrimmer models:

The table top models are also very nice. If you are thinking of purchasing one, and will be cutting binders board, I would skip the 1134, 1135 in favor of the stronger clamping capabilities of the other models. (The 1046 has an automatic clamp, which may be suitable, but I don’t have personal experience with it.) The model that I have uses a foot clamp, while the table top models use a hand clamp. Think about your hand strength before you buy. A foot clamp can be easier to operate than a hand clamp because you can channel the whole weight of your body into your foot.

There is an even better option than a Kutrimmer and that is the John Jacques board shear. There are other board shear companies, but in my mind John Jacques is the standard. These are heavy duty and have been a staple in binderies for hundreds of years. They are heavy duty workhorses with counterbalanced blades, and they happen to be beautiful (in my opinion!) as well. Here is a little more information on them from Jeff Peachey’s blog which is absolutely worth a look if you have time for a bookbinding rabbit hole.

Also, these machines aren’t currently manufactured, but you can still find them. One place that I recommend for all sorts of bindery equipment is Bindery Tools LLC, run by the very kind Paul Brubaker. The shop is in Pennsylvania but he travels across the country installing and calibrating equipment. He can often be found in the vendors room during Guild of Book Workers Standards of Excellence Seminars, so you can keep an eye out for when "Standards," as we call it, is in a town near you.

Here is a link to the board shears that he currently has for sale: He also has a Kutrimmer for sale right now which is the step up from mine, and a really reasonable price. You will notice that it is in the paper cutter section rather than a board cutter section. This differentiation is a testament to the heavy duty board shear. That said, Kutrimmers will in fact cut board, but as you may have noticed in class, a bit more sanding by hand may be required.