Table top saws, sanders, lathes, drills, dishwashers, cookers, lamps, TVs, microscopes, telescopes, and heaters, but no Table-Top Scissors?

The idea for the table-Top Scissors came from a discussion I had at work with a colleague in the workshop. We were talking about things which could be motorized, and for reasons only known to him, he said scissors.

So I got to thinking on how best to do it......

Step 1: Materials & Preparations

Receipt printers have a mechanism for cutting the paper so you can walk off with your receipt without taking the entire roll of paper, and the printer along with you. Next time you go shopping listen for the blade shortly after the printing has finished. There will be a noise like the slicing of paper. It is that slicing mechanism we will be exploiting for our table-top scissors.

There are two different cutting actions, one which moves an entire blade forwards to cut the paper, and another, the one we are interested in, rotates a blade around a point at one end. The rotating action is identical to cutting with scissors and with a bit of jiggery-pokery we should be able to get as much control from the cut as you can with a pair of manually operated scissors.

I'm going to be using an old Epson M147B thermal receipt printer as the donor for this project, any receipt printer will do so long as it has the correct cutter. We'll need to strip the machine and remove all the fun parts. The two main items are the mechanical cutting blade and the fixed blade.

Scissors are sharp. Please avoid cutting yourself. Blood will stain wood, clothing, and your reputation. Take care, and keep any rocks away from the scissors.

Parts used from the Printer;

  • The mechanical cutting blade.
  • The fixed blade.
  • The power switch.
  • One large gear.
  • One small gear.
  • One Extension Spring.

Additional parts;

  • 12v-24v DC Motor Controller (link).
  • Plywood.
  • 2 x 4-Pin sockets (link).
  • 2 x 4-Pin plugs (link).
  • 2 Meters 4-Core cable (link).
  • Wood Stain (link).
  • Various Screws.
  • 1 x Compression Spring.


  • Dremel.
  • Electric Hand Drill.
  • Electric Hand Jig-Saw.
  • Sanding Block.
  • Needle Files.
  • Screw Drivers.
  • Hacksaw.
  • Clamps.

Searching on Google for the motor's model number (FK-180SH) brought up a datasheet detailing the motor's power specifications. Using this information I selected a 12-24v DC motor controller.

Video at the end....
Great idea. I like what you have done... This has inspired me to make a bench top nibbler for sheet metal
Cool, you'll need a well geared motor to cut through sheet metal :)
Well, i was just thinkin of mounting a nibbler under a table! Lol K.I.S.S. :)
I just did the same thing and cut some aluminum stencils for burning a pattern onto a wooden panel. What a great tool!
This is a great idea. I have actually wondered why nothing has been invented like this before. I love papercuts and I cut stencils all the time, but after a while your fingers get sore either using an exacto knife or tiny scissors. <br> <br>If you could expand on this idea so it could work like a scroll saw on paper, how awesome would that be? Like an exacto knife scroll saw that you could use to cut out intricate shapes within uncut areas, etc. You'd make a fortune on an invention like that.
Great idea, great instructable. It also appears you've made scissors that are safe to run with. Mothers everywhere will thank you. Attached a pic of an SJ410 I owned in the mid 90's.<br> <br>
LOL thanks. <br> <br>Nice SJ, I had one the same colour except she was a soft top. It got a bit cold and windy inside at times!
Superb bit of engineering. Well done!
Awesome design &amp; engineering! I admire your skill, and the fact that you made it using simple tools. Very detailed &amp; comprehensive ible.
Thank you.
Good design!
Thanks, it took a fair bit of head-scratching to get it right!
finally something to do with all those spare motors i have
Cool! Market this man!

About This Instructable




Bio: A passionate make of things. Chief engineer for the BigBox 3D printer and inventor of the MicroSlice Mini Laser Engraver & Cutter. I spend my time ... More »
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