How To Check Your Cutter Blades
If you use a vinyl cutter and CAD-CUT heat transfer vinyl, a sharp blade is the first step in getting great results. If you use CAD-CUT heat transfer materials for custom garment decoration, you need to understand the importance of using the right blade and more importantly, a sharp blade!
Check Your Cutter Blades Before You Cut
We know it’s easy to get frustrated when heat transfer materials are more difficult to cut and weed than expected. It’s also a huge cost to your business when materials don’t weed properly and easily. We take the quality of our heat transfer materials very seriously because we know that time is money, especially when you are cutting and weeding.
You Need a Sharp Blade
First of all, you must seriously consider the role of your cutter blade.
We have found that the fault is usually not with your cutter OR the materials—it’s usually the blade that is to blame for poor cutting production results.
It’s true. There is a very high cost to not using the proper blade or to using a damaged or dull blade.
Cutter blades are high precision tools. When they are manufactured, they are sharpened to within a few microns. When you receive them, they are usually very carefully wrapped and protected.
As you know, Tungsten Carbide—the material out of which most blades are made—is extremely brittle. Even though it is one of the hardest substances known to man, it becomes susceptible to damage when it is ground to the fine edge needed for cutting heat transfer materials.
However, many blades are in fact ruined by carelessness before they even cut their first piece of material. And many more are ruined after the first round of cutting. This damage is often not visible without a microscope. In fact, if you can see that the blade is damaged without a microscope, there is usually no chance you can continue using that blade.
Handle With Care
Remember, you have to handle your blades with care from the moment you take them out of their protective packaging.
In addition, you have to change them regularly and you have to realize you can’t use the same blade and setting for cutting high-tech performance stretch materials as you would for cutting much more robust CAD-CUT GlitterFlake or CAD-CUT Reflective materials.
It’s better to have several knife blades set up and ready to exchange. The weeding time needed on a badly cut job will cost you much more than the expense of a new blade.
Top Tips to Prolong Blade Life
- Always start with a low pressure setting and do a test cut
- If the initial cutting pressure is set too high, your blade can penetrate the backing paper
- High pressure can damage the cutting strip or roller underneath
- If you make this mistake the damage is instant and reducing the pressure AFTER the damage still leaves you with a damaged blade.
- Use undamaged scraps of material for testing purposes. If you use scraps with uneven edges, your blade can be damaged during testing.
- Use extreme caution when removing blade and blade holder. Accidentally touching blades on parts of your cutter can also cause damage.
- Blades should always be stored separately with tips protected
- When cutting thicker heat transfer materials, use one appropriate for the thickness
- Keep several blades and holders ready for exchanging as you change materials
- Never allow the cutting tip of the blade to touch anything other than the material
- Once the tip is damaged, the blade is irreparable
- Consider purchasing premium cutter blades for better results
We want you to have the best cutting results possible, with the least amount of time spent weeding. Our products are designed for ease of use but your blade plays a key role in your cutting success. If you are experiencing any problems when using CAD-CUT or CAD-COLOR heat transfer materials, please look into the possibility that you might need to invest in new blades. It could save you hours of time and frustration.