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Trimming Machines & Book Trimmers

The final look of the book is largely determined by the quality of the trim. Binders are very accurate, but it's common for books to be made with a measure of 'bleed' that is to be trimmed off as a final step. This final trimming process ensures that each book is the perfect finish-size and has straight edges and pages that line up.

Many of those who venture into booklet making neglect the trimming step before their customers teach them a lesson. The binder is often the main focus when starting a book making project, but the trimmer is equally important. For short runs it is possible to trim your books on a hydraulic or guillotine style paper cutter. However, paper cutters are not ideally suited to chopping books, and they are rather slow at this task. Learn more applications paper cutters should be used for here.

Trimming machines come in many shapes and sizes. There are face trimmers, which only cut the right-hand side of the book. There are also three knife trimmers and three side trimmers. Those two can easily be confused. A three side trimmer cuts all three sides, but it does so with three complete cycles with one common blade. A true three knife trimmer cuts all three sides each with a dedicated blade. Three knife trimmers are, well, three times as fast as a general statement. There are also automated trimming machines, which can dynamically adjust their finish book size based on the book that's currently being conveyed into the system.


Most often book trimming is done inline with a book binder. It's quite simple to program a book binder to cycle automatically whenever a book comes down the pipeline. There are offline trimmers, such as the Horizon HT-30, which we refer to as a "robotic trimmer." The HT-30 has a single blade but it automatically picks up each book, trims, rotates, trims, rotates, trims ejects, and restarts the cycle. This robotic trimmer can be loaded with a stack of books and left alone to process them unattended.

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Horizon BQ-470 Binder + HT-80 Trimmer Used HT-30 Three-Side Trimmer Standard Horizon HT-1000V Variable Three-Knife Trimmer
Horizon BQ-470 Binder + HT-80 Trimmer Used HT-30 Three-Knife Trimmer Standard Horizon HT-1000V Variable Three-Knife Trimmer
Challenge CMT 330 Three Knife Trimmer Challenge CMT 130 Book Trimmer Challenge CMT 130TC Book Trimmer
Automatic Book Trimmers Challenge Machinery CMT-130 Book Trimmer
Challenge Machinery CMT-130TC Book Trimmer
Horizon 7-Clamp Perfect Binder SB-07 Horizon Three-Knife Trimmer HT-80 Horizon HT-30C Three-Side Trimmer
Horizon 7-Clamp Perfect Binder SB-07 Horizon Three-Knife Trimmer HT-80 Horizon HT-30C Three-Side Trimmer

Horizon HT-110 Three-Knife Trimmer
Horizon HT-110 Three-Knife Trimmer
   
 
The final stage of bookletmaking is trimming. For a high quality look books should be three-knife trimmed to square up the final look and ensure that sheets are not shingled out of the face. Trimmers come in single knife and three knife variants. Many small publishers use a guillotine cutter for this process before growing their volume enough to justify a trimmer.