Printer Paper

The paper we all have lying around, you can buy reams of 500 for anywhere between £2-£6 and it’s one of the most common questions in paper cutting, Can I cut printer/copier paper?

Confession time – other than using it to do this test yes I have I tried it when I first started cutting I decided then it was too thin and before I really started I gave in on it. I also used it to make a stencil to draw something for a lino cut I hate cutting this but I wasn’t going to use nicer paper on a throw away stencil.

Printing

Since the paper is designed to go through a printer it is really easy to print on, but it’s thin so full black is going to show through.

Drawing

The standard HB pencil is best as harder leads will indent the paper and soft pencils will easily smudge.

Cutting

It’s difficult to get the blade going right in this paper, new blades can go through a bit too fast and you can be sure there will be “fluffy bits” in the tight edges. But if you take it slow you can get somewhere near your intended cut. In this test cut the area where the roses are isn’t very clear and looks messy though the larger area of the tail didn’t fair to badly.

Blades

Copier paper seems to blunt the blades quite quicker than heavier papers I really didn’t get much done with one blade especially compared to some of the other papers. If you try to get a bit more out of a blade this is the point where you end up with tears.

Price

As mentioned before copier paper is pretty cheap, at an average of £4 for 500 sheets.

Conclusion

Yes its possible to cut printer paper but its hard. When you understand all the principles of when to change your blade, how much pressure to use, etc. then you are going to get a half decent cut. It’s OK to use as a throw away template for when cutting on black papers that you can’t print on, but I’d use tracedown before attempting to double cut.

It doesn’t look that pretty either, lets face it you aren’t going to gift or sell something made on printer paper, it just doesn’t look the part.

Certainly not for new cutters! If you are thinking you might have a go a paper cutting as you have printer paper in the house you will tear your hair out trying to learn with this.