The present invention includes a surgical stapler having a staple cartridge, an anvil, and a cutting member having a cutting surface, wherein the cutting member is relatively movable with respect to the anvil and the staple cartridge. In at least one embodiment, one of the anvil and the staple cartridge defines a slot which is configured to receive at least a portion of the cutting member and guide the cutting member as it is moved relative to the anvil and the staple cartridge. In these embodiments, the slot can define a path having linear and/or curved portions. In various embodiments, the path can include a curved portion having a first portion that extends away from the shaft axis and a second portion that extends toward the axis. In one embodiment, the path can include a curved portion defined by an arc corresponding to an angle greater than 90 degrees.