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When I staple and fold zines, the edges come out a little uneven, with the inside pages sticking out past the outside pages.

Is there a way people make the edges of their zines nice and neat? A paper cutter? Some other tool? Some other technique? Any particular models of tools people recommend buying? Any resources/guides people recommend looking at?

Thanks!
Dan

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I don't know, but I would LOVE to know. I'd assume it's something like a paper guillotine, but maybe some people can just handle scissors in ways I can't...
I use a paper cutter and it turns out great. Just make sure you give yourself enough room around the edges of your layout so you don't accidentally cut off text/images. And make sure the zine is completely flat while you're trimming it.

I've used the sliding cutters at Kinkos and it's worked out alright, but the paper cutters with the arm you pull down work a lot better.
Derek,

Thanks! Could you tell me a little more about what you do?:

Do you slice through the cover too, or set it up so it's just cutting off the inside pages that stick out? Do you do the top and bottom too or just the side? Do you do anything specific, other than just pay attention to what you're doing, so make sure things come out nice and straight and not cut at a bad angle or anything?
Joe hit the nail on the head. I cut the cover and pages, that way they're all even. I usually cut a little off all 3 sides (obviously not cutting the side with the staples). trial and error and you'll get the hang of it. I usually cut a couple too close so i always print more than i need, and give the mis-cut ones away for free or leave them in free boxes or in coffee shops.

Dan said:
Derek,

Thanks! Could you tell me a little more about what you do?:

Do you slice through the cover too, or set it up so it's just cutting off the inside pages that stick out? Do you do the top and bottom too or just the side? Do you do anything specific, other than just pay attention to what you're doing, so make sure things come out nice and straight and not cut at a bad angle or anything?
Those paper cutters that lock down your project before the cut work awesome for this.
Thanks everyone!
FWIW, I like uneven edges on zines. It makes it easier to flip through to the bit I want. Getting it all lined up just perfect is more trouble than it's usually worth, if your zine is under 40 pages, and in my opinion it kind of damages the DIY charm of zines.

But if you're dead set on perfect edges, most mid-sized print shops, and Kinko's, have those giant industrial papercutters with the slab that locks down the stack before cutting. Kinko's charges something absurd like $2.50 per cut, but the machine can do a big stack all at once, and it does make the edges perfect.
I don't have a paper cutter, but I use an exacto knife and a ruler and cut my zines that way. Two out of three issues all have good edges. My latest zine had uneven edges because of the way I photocopied it, but I tried not to care about it.
I have a guillotine that has all the various paper sizes marked on it - my zines are a6, so I just cut them according to the line, so they are all exactly the same size. I think it's easier with international paper sizes, as each size is exactly half of the previous one.
I tried a scissors and never got a neat edge so I use a paper cutter instead. But make sure the blade is sharp!
My dad does his this way and his always look nice.

Dorian Shaw said:
I don't have a paper cutter, but I use an exacto knife and a ruler and cut my zines that way. Two out of three issues all have good edges. My latest zine had uneven edges because of the way I photocopied it, but I tried not to care about it.
I have heard of some people taking them to a place like Kinkos and having them chop the sides. They can do it in a big stack.

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