Cutting Machine Operator

Set up and operate machines to cut paper stocks.
picture of Cutting Machine Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Cutting Machine Operators do?

Sets up and operates machine to cut paper stock and glue from spine of book bodies preparatory to printing, binding, and rebinding: Reviews job sample containing dimensions or specifications to determine page sequence, kind of fold, size of sheet, and amount to trim from spine of book body. Measures from edge of page, using scale, and types instructions on keyboard of computer, pushes buttons to activate computer program, or manually sets cutting guides, clamps, and knives, using wrench, to cut paper or spine to prescribed dimensions. Places book body or stack of paper sheets on bed of machine, rolling or folding oversized sheets as necessary. Fans edges of sheets to prevent adherence of pages. Aligns edges by tapping against paper guide, using hand or stick, to ensure square, true edges. Pushes button, types instructions on keyboard, or pulls lever to activate knife and removes trimming preparatory to next cut. Examines cut stock and spine of book body for trimming imperfections, such as ragged edges and incomplete cuts, and to verify that sheets are cut square and to specified size or cut marks. Removes sheets or book body from machine and stacks on skid. Lubricates machine, changes dull knives, and performs running repairs as needed. Jogs book bodies to align edge or edges against back section of guide or three sections of guide in turn to trim spine or head, tail, and fore, pressing buttons or depressing pedal to clamp cut edges at each position [BOOK TRIMMER 640.685-010].


Should I be a Cutting Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Bias-Cutting-Machine Operator, Vertical, Corner-Cutter-Machine Operator, Cutting-and-Creasing-Machine Operator See More

    How to become a Cutting Machine Operator

    Most Cutting Machine Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2888%25%29|certificate+%2812%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,88,88
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