by Juliet Kalmeta, Training
Vinyl cutters come with a 45° blade, but not all heat transfer vinyl can handle that type of blade best. Different blade types may be required to cut through the material thickness or to achieve better results when cutting a detailed graphic. Some blades are sharpened and chiseled a special way for better cutting results. This chart represents the various blade types available and their purpose.
To make sure your blade will make the cut, remember these five things….
1. It’s in the name of the blade. For example, the Roland/GCC Twill Blade for Poly-TWILL™ or Roland/GCC Flock Blade for CAD-CUT® Flock. These blades are shaped and sharpened for optimal results. The Graphtec 1.5mm blade is ideal for either Twill or Flock.
2. Use a 60° or 1.5mm blade for thicker media. The average media thickness for when to switch from a 45° to a 60° is 127 microns or more. For Graphtec, switch from the 45° 0.9mm blade to the 45° 1.5mm blade for thicker vinyl.
3. Use Premium Carbide or 1.5mm blade for stretchy vinyl or media that are composite glass or metal. The stronger metals in these blades will help reduce friction when gliding across rubbery or coarse textures.
4. Make sure the blade is compatible with the cutter brand. Blades are not all universal between vinyl cutter brands; Roland and GCC just happen to fit the same blades in their blade holder.
5. Make sure you have the appropriate blade holder, or better yet, an extra one! Graphtec vinyl cutters come with the blue tip blade holder and 0.9mm blade, so if you need to cut thick or coarse media with a Graphtec, make sure to get the 1.5mm blade and red tip blade holder. Using designated blade types with their own blade holder for various materials will increase the longevity of the blade and holder over time.
For help in deciding which blade to use with your heat transfer vinyl, download the CAD-CUT® Material/Blade Quick Reference Chart.