Quick Tip: Fast (and cheap) Classic-size paper

Tired of guillotining or roll-cutting letter-size paper to make classic-size forms for your D*I*Y Planner? Go to your local big-box office supply store or printer, buy a 500-page pack of paper, and they'll slice it in half for you for a few dollars. Some places, especially those also specializing in printing, might also be able to punch the holes too.

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Maybe, but I'll pass

A local craft store and paper supply offered to do just that for me. But when I was shopping there for the Rollabind stuff they carried, I noticed some precut covers they sold, and the cut was not quite perfect. I am rather picky about it, and imagining 500x2 mistakes was enough for me to spring for a paper cutter to make the mistakes myself. I am satisfied with that decision, except that I should have gotten the more expensive cutter the first time, did not do so until recently (a small guillotine for 34 bucks at staples).

Thanks for the tip.

Are there any particular office store chains you recommend?

Personally, I like to go local

There are several mom-and-pop print shops in my area and I like the service better at these shops than at the big chain stores. Of course, your mileage may vary. ;)

If you are a student...

Check your school for a print shop or graphics or document production department
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Office Max does quite well

I have a Staples, Office Depot, and OfficeMax all within 10 minutes of my house. Staples and Office Depot have both let the stack slip while cutting, so that the papers are not rectangular, but cut at an angle. OfficeMax appears to have a different type of cutter that works better. At least at the San Bernardino, Ca, location, they do a great job.

For making holes: I find the classic Franklin-Covey punch works well and is fairly inexpensive.

I went to Office Max and they did a great job!

I ended up going to Office Max and also found they did a great job and it only cost $1.50 to get a whole package of paper cut : )

I second

the vote for Office Max. Everything I've had cut there comes out beautifully square and even. Office Depot let the paper slide so badly that they destroyed the entire stack of paper - their cutter was different, too. The person gave it back with a "sorry, I'm not charging you for the cuts".

That's nice, but what about my paper that you ruined? It wasn't just purchased, I had brought it in, so they claim no responsibility.

Well maybe I was wrong

A couple of days ago I went through my huge stack of paper cut by Office Max and was punching it for my Franklin Covey journal and discovered most of the pages had a dent in them from where the paper clamp was holding them and I found the bottom half of my stack was cut super crooked. He cut it in portions, so the top stuff looked perfect but the bottom looked not so hot. Oh well, I'll still use it. Just thought I'd mention it. I'd still get my paper cut there again though. I'm not overly picky, the price is definitely right and the employees I met were really nice.

It depends on how consciencious the employees are...

...so it's a matter of chance. But the people at the Office Depot in Plano TX (at Collin Creek Mall on 75) have always been great. I think it may be best if you stay there while they're doing it and then inspect the paper before you leave. And if they do it wrong just don't pay for the paper or the cut.

Better than Office supply stores: Print shops!

Look around for a small print shop. Every one I've checked with has these fantabulous hydraulic powered paper cutters.

Awesome machines!

Instead of some clerk trying to keep the paper still and chop through, what, 25 sheets at a time? the machines have adjustable adjustable rails and clamps and such to keep the paper completely locked in place.

The last time I went I needed to get 8 reams cut -- we use half sheet inserts in the church bulletin. The guy set up the rails for a precise half cut (really, he was super careful, did two one-sheet cuts and measure and tweaks) then he stacked FOUR REAMS OF PAPER onto the machine and pushed a button. Ten seconds to cut! 30 seconds to set those piles aside and put the next four reams on.

In less than a minute I had 8000 perfectly cut half-sheets!

And it was dirt cheap, too -- something like $10 plus the cost of the paper. Basically it was a flat fee to cover time/effort to get the machine set, nothing for the cuts. He said if I actually had a 'large' amount of paper to cut at some point he'd have to start adding a buck more per cut. (My mind boggles that 8 reams isn't considered 'large.')

I just fold it over

I take an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper print it so that it has one page on one half of one side and the other page is on the other half and fold it down the middle

I invested in a hole punch they aren't that expensive

and now I can make anything I want

Good tip for A4 to A5

Thanks for the tip Doug.

I agree. It's the easiest and cheapest way I've found to get professional looking paper.

I've found professional guillotining is always better than what I could do myself. Perhaps it's my lack of skill or that I've been using a guillotine at my office, but the paper I cut ends up with either a fuzzily cut edge or a wonky (not square) cut.

A5 paper office paper is hard to find and a ream costs markedly more than a ream of A4 (2x A5) paper, here in Australia. If you can find A5 paper in the first place.

So, it costs less to buy a cheaper A4 ream and to pay have it sliced into two A5 reams than it costs to buy one A5 ream!


P.S. SusanBeth, my husband used to work for a print company. A 'big cutting job' for them was 40 reams and over!

Reflex market a ream of 80

Reflex market a ream of 80 gsm in A5 but as you have observed, it is far more expensive than the equivalent A4 ream. If does however come in a reclosable cardboard box.