Paper Crafting With RA
due to ongoing physio rehab for my new knee, i fell behind on my product reviews but i’m back at it.
because of severe RA (rheumatoid arthritis), i have limited grip strength and grasping motion, which means not all paper crafting tools are universally designed and useable by me.
for years i used two tonic guillotine cutters: the 6 by 12 inch which i’m still happy with for large paper cutting tasks, especially heavy watercolour paper, and the 6 inch tonic guillotine cutter. however, following wrist and finger fusions and deformities, it became difficult to apply pressure on the plastic finger guards meant to steady the paper. i was also frustrated with the small tab used to raise the arm.
when the tim holtz 8 inch comfort guillotine/trimmer debuted in 2016, i wondered if it might be a good replacement for my small cutter and it is – i love it!
i can place my fingers anywhere on the plastic guard, i can easily use the arm and i really like the raised edge on the bottom so i can cut better when i’m seated. i also love the easier to read contrasting black measurement markings in inches and centimetres and it even seems lighter than my old 6 inch cutter.
the only negative, which has nothing to do with usability, is that when i use the 140 lb. cold pressed watercolour paper, the plastic edges inside the arm leave indents when they hit the blade.
why not other cutters?
other cutters require replacement blades and pinching and sliding motions that are painful and subject my joints to further wear and tear so i avoid those that have not been universally designed.