Papercutters use a variety of cutting implements including small scissors, the ubiquitous Xacto/Excel craft knives (especially #11 blades), medical scalpels and even sheep shearing scissors! Actual scalpels used by surgeons are popular and used, and available from Cincinnati Surgical and Swann-Morton Surgical (#15a, 10a and 11 blades are the most used scalpel sizes). For extra control, Fiskars Fingertip Precision / Detail Knife uses standard #11 blades as well. Zamberg offers sturdy and precise steel clippers in a small, 7-piece stainless steel manicure set for men. Also offering blades,
knives and scissors of various sizes and finenesses are Paper Panda (UK) and MicroMark, specializing in small hand tools. For specialized uses such as punching, cutting papeles picados, etc., punches are used with a small hammer. Prefabricated punches for various shapes and patterns are available from Joann and other hobby/crafting suppliers. Sets of round die punches (“hollow punches”) can be used to create perfect small circles for stars or other effects. A small set of these can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
Polish papercutting traditions include the use of large (13.5″) sheep shears to cut delicate paper patterns; in this video, Guild Member Carolyn E. Guest demonstrates how she uses her 13.5″ long sheep shearing shears to cut extremely intricate papercut artwork. (This video is the first of three; for the others, go to YouTube and access directly.)
Papercuttings by Alison was a longstanding, beloved source for tools and other papercutting helps, including an amazing array of templates and guides. Now defunct. See our Tribute Page to Alison Tanner and Gloria Cosgrove, and if you can contribute photos, please contact us!