The manual sample cutter allows operator to remove and tag a sample from the bale. When bale moves into position, an operator directs the bale cutter module to move into the bale. The blade carriage is repositioned left or right to avoid sample cutter blades hitting metal bands when cutting the sample. The bale cutter blade is driven down to cut samples from both sides of bale. The cutter assembly returns to original position and bale advances from the manual sample cutter.