Restoring an Antique Paper Cutter

How wonderful it is to have a sharp paper cutter that cuts paper without chewing or tearing it! We have this antique wood and iron Ingento paper cutter which had served the studio wonderfully for a number of years, but had been set aside, in disrepair for over a year. I offered to take “the baby” to Hida Tool & Hardware in Berkeley for sharpening.

Milford Brown at Hida Tool tested the sharpness (or shall I say, dullness) of the blade by cutting a single sheet of newspaper. Apparently there was a tension issue as well as a sharpness issue. It didn’t even cut or tear the paper. It pushed the paper down along the base edge. Thank goodness, it’s a good old paper cutter with real metal parts that makes it easy to disassemble for repair and maintenance. It took Milford 2 1/2 hours to sharpen, grind, remove rust, file a spring and reassemble. Then, the moment of truth. It cuts a single sheet of newspaper beautifully. What a delight!

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hida Tool can be found in Berkeley. You can visit their web site at

Mitsuko Baum
Letterpress Apprentice

2 thoughts on “Restoring an Antique Paper Cutter”

  1. I also have an old wood and metal paper cutter that has gotten stiff and though it cuts it is hard to get to the end of the item if it has any weight. I use it to cut core board and it is tired. It measures 16″ across. Can you give me a ball park figure as to what it may cost for repair. I live in Menlo Park on peninsula I am 78 and do not drive like I did so try to get cost factoring before I attempt to travel
    Thank you

    1. I can’t quote a price as it isn’t my business and I wouldn’t know how to give an ballpark figure. I can say that their charge to us for the work mentioned above was reasonable. I’m sure the folks at Hida Tool can give you something more accurate. I looked up their phone number for you. Here it is: (510) 524-3700 or (800) 443-5512. Good luck! – Kim

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