3 Vinyl Cutter Troubleshooting Tips: Maintenance & Problems Explained

Spring is a time for deep cleaning and getting organized. Don’t overlook your vinyl cutting equipment! There are many common maintenance tips to keep your vinyl cutter running efficiently all year. Recognize when it’s time for some upkeep on your cutter with these 3 common vinyl cutter troubleshooting tips below.

1. Skipping Cuts & Perforated Lines

vinyl cutting troubleshooting

Have you noticed any errors in your cutting lines? Does it seem like the blade is skipping along your HTV leaving your cut lines looking perforated? Do you remember the last time you replaced your cutter protection strip? Many people don’t realize the importance of such an inexpensive replacement part. Run your finger along the strip, located across the length of the machine where the blade cuts. Do you feel any gashes, gaps, or divots anywhere on the strip? If so, it’s time for a replacement!

The strip protects the blade and allows for a smooth pivot when cutting. Sharp cuts and crisp cut lines are crucial to easy weeding and quality heat application. Cutting strips are inexpensive to replace.  Be sure to check your strip regularly. Simple maintenance will cause less material waste and prolong the life of your blades and vinyl cutter. In the video below, learn more about the cutter protection strip and keeping your blade holder clean.

2. Shallow or Deep Cuts

Are you cutting through the vinyl carrier even with proper force? Do you see faint or missing cut lines completely? The logical solution seems to be to extend the blade out for a deeper cut and withdraw the blade for shallow cuts. This isn’t exactly incorrect; however, what’s most important is to make sure you have the blade depth set to a specific standard. The blade should never extend more than the width of a credit card below the blade holder. Keeping the blade depth consistent is important to protect your blade and ensure complete cuts.

We always recommend following the force and speed settings within the manufacturer’s specification for the heat transfer vinyl. Be sure to perform a test cut first. Test cuts are a great way to reduce waste. Controlling your blade depth will save time, material, and potential frustration. To properly adjust the blade depth, check out the tutorial below.

3. Rounded Corners

vinyl cutter troubleshooting

Are you seeing rounded cut corners rather than sharp, crisp edges? Does it look like little flags in the material of your design? Your vinyl cutter will come with a factory default offset. Many people disregard this setting because it’s not as easy to find as force or speed. Changing the offset doesn’t need to be a challenge. The offset is how the machine balances itself depending on what blade you are using. When using a standard 45° blade, start with a .25 and slowly go down to .20 until you get a clean cut. For a 60° blade, a good place to start is .50. Rounded corners mean the offset should be raised; if there are small flags, the offset should be lowered. To better understand the importance of the offset setting on your vinyl cutter, make sure to check out this video.

If you’re interested in upgrading your vinyl cutter, be sure to check out our exclusive vinyl cutter packages we offer. These vinyl cutter packages are designed to give you the equipment, materials, accessories, and training you need – all while saving you hundreds of dollars.

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27 thoughts on “3 Vinyl Cutter Troubleshooting Tips: Maintenance & Problems Explained”

  1. I have a fairly new Roland GS24. Last night I printed some stuff, no problems. Using the same material, it stopped cutting the next time I installed some vinyl. It leaves a slight imprint when I do a test cut but wont weed (without difficulties). I increased the down force and checked blade depth without any success. I also checked everything for dust and debris and all is clean. Would you have any suggestions?

    Thanks, Martin

  2. I do Print, Laminate and then Cut on a xr-640

    in theory, the cut head will go to the first register mark,
    spin around the circle,
    then travel to second circle, read it,
    then 3 and then 4.

    lately, it would travel to second circle, and either not find it,
    or just stopped. (requiring a reboot)
    and it works on second or third time.

    I think its the reading / sensing device,
    where should I check first,
    clean decoding strip ?
    is there a sensor on the cutting head ?
    what else ?

  3. I have an issue with the Vevor Vinyl cutter. My issue is that when I was cutting the other day the cutter all the sudden stopped and started flashing on the screen and then clicking. I have reached out to the company with no reply as of yet. The screen is flashing blank. Any idea what this could be and how I could possibly fix it.

  4. Angela, sorry to hear that! I am not familiar with Vevor, but it definitely sounds like something is getting in the way of the “communication” between the cutter program and cutter itself. If you can’t get through to the company, I would recommend seeing if you could download a manual PDF online, OR see if anyone created a YouTube video that you could follow along with. I hope that helps!

  5. I have a D140 and would like to cut heat transfer material, it is as if the cutter does not see the material. It did cut vinyl I tested. I have put the pressure up?

  6. Hi Lelanie. Have you used this cutter before or is it new? If you have used it before, which materials are you cutting on it?

  7. Hi.
    My cutter cuts fine and deep enough however its creating lines through the project i’ve created. Basically while its cutting the blade doesn’t pick up when moving to another area which creates a line through the vinyl essentially messing up whatever image was supposed to be cut. Trying to remove the unwanted vinyl is now twice as tedious because some of the cuts are not the actual cut of the image and once you pull it off you’re screwed. I’ve tried troubleshooting, adjusting the force, recalibrating, even when I test it with the Pin it still creates lines through it. HEEELLPPP ANYONE?!?!

  8. Hi Cammie! What program are you using to create your designs before it gets to the vinyl cutter?

  9. My hx1360 Rabbit has stopped cutting. The blade appears to remain stationary (won’t go up and down). The blade holder is not snagged, just unresponsive. Any suggestions please. Regards, Mr G

  10. Hi Gerrit! Unfortunately, I am not familiar with that make/model of cutter. I would contact that manufacturer directly to get the best customer support from them. They should be able to troubleshoot that issue with you!

  11. Hello!
    5 years ago we upgraded to a Roland GS-24 from our old GX-24. In 2019 on the GS, upon hitting Enter the head would slam to the far left and grind to a motor error. After some investigation, it seemed that the motor was shot. Our supplier said they had never seen that before, ordered us one in. It took over 2 months to arrive and cost over $600. During that time we dusted off the old GX.
    3.5 months after installing the new motor on the GS, same issue! Our supplier basically said, sorry, new motor only warrantied for 2 months. So we are back using the old GX, but it is showing its age (Origin button no longer works, blade holder clamp doesn’t unscrew).
    I’m at a loss of what to do…. switch brands? We have other Roland equipment, and like the continuity.
    So question – have you heard of the GS motor having problems? I am reluctant to spend anothe $650 for a motor that might fail again!
    Thank you!

  12. Hi Susan! Sorry to hear about your GS issue. Unfortunately, we have not witnessed any motor issues with any of the GS models. I hear you…Spending that amount again wouldn’t seem worth it since that’s almost half the price of a new cutter altogether. I would highly suggest reaching out to our Quality Experience team and see what direction they can point you in. qe@stahls.com

  13. Hi there,

    I have and worked on my Roland gs-24 for 2 plus years. I use a 60-degree blade to cut through heavy vinyl material. Lately, I’ve been noticing inconsistent flagging. I’ve adjusted the offset, but the issue is it doesn’t appear on the test. It happens whenever it wants and if adjusted anymore, I’m compromising SOME but not all corners.

    The other issue that is driving me up the cutting wall, is horizontal lines not cutting through. I’ve done everything TWICE listed above. Fresh blade, fresh cutting strip, new blade holder, and force adjustment. I actually tried an aluminum holder and a new plastic holder. Cleaned out the little part that lint collects in the holder. Scoured as many forums available to me and the issue still persists. Too much force will cause it to cut through the non-horizonal parts of my design, so I feel at a loss.

    Thanks in advance!

  14. Hi Lenie! Thanks for reaching out and sorry to hear about the issues with your cutter. One of our technicians should be able to help you out. Email them at: qe@stahls.com

  15. Good day, I’m using a Rabbit cutting plotter and I’m experiencing a problem. I’m using corel draw to create the jobs that I want to plot before importing them to Artcut.

    My cutter cuts fine and deep enough however its creating lines through the project i’ve created. Basically while its cutting the blade doesn’t pick up when moving to another area which creates a line through the vinyl essentially messing up whatever image was supposed to be cut. Trying to remove the unwanted vinyl is now twice as tedious because some of the cuts are not the actual cut of the image and once you pull it off you’re screwed. I’ve tried troubleshooting, adjusting the force, recalibrating, even when I test it with the Pin it still creates lines through it.

  16. Hi Asser, I would try contacting Rabbit directly with this matter. It may be an issue with their machine that could require parts replacement or maintenance!

  17. My cutter Jinka GC1350ABJ desplays welcome then aging can’t initialised can U get help please

  18. Hi Mr Dee! Thanks for reading along. Your best bet would be to contact the manufacturer directly with that question. Since we don’t source that brand, not sure how to provide the best troubleshooting advice for you!

  19. how do you clean the eye on the plotter.I have vinyl express plotter. The head stops on the right edge of the plotter and wont move.

  20. hi i’m using Redsail Plotter when i cut my design it cuts fine half my design and suddenly stops working 🙁
    software : Artcut 2009

  21. Hi Jin. We suggest reaching out to the plotter manufacturer for troubleshooting with the cutter and software. If you are experiencing difficulty with our materials, please contact Customer Service at 800-478-2457. Thank you!

  22. Hi, where can I find what mm thickness my blade should be in the plunger? It gave me a magnifying glass and I see multiple other settings Stahl’s provides for my material. The only video I can find says half of a credit card. Seems a little off. Is there a certain mm suggested? For reference I just purchase the Graphtec CE7000-60. Thank you!

  23. Hi Kayla. You’ll want around .40mm as a good starting point. The half of a credit card thickness is for quick reference with something everyone likely has on hand. Thanks for reading along!

  24. We have a Roland cutter and we typically use the standard 60 degree Blade. Just ordered an Adjustable Vinyl Cutter Blade Holder for Roland and tried putting in a Standard 60 Blade and it’s stuck, the blade won’t move and can’t pull it out. Is the Roland Adjustable Vinyl Cutter Blade Holder not made to hold the Roland Standard 60 degree blade? If not, then how come there’s no specifications listed on what holder is compatible with what blade?

  25. Hello Amanda, it’s difficult to diagnose without knowing more information. There could be a variety of culprits, we suggest contact our Customer Service Team with more information, and they can help point you in the right direction. (800) 478-2457 or info@stahls.com. Thanks!

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