What is a vinyl cutter? On a basic level, a vinyl cutter is similar to a printer. You create artwork using design software but instead of sending the artwork to print in the traditional sense, you send it to a vinyl cutter to be trimmed and cut. Instead of printer heads, a vinyl cutter moves a blade along heat transfer or sign vinyl cutting letters and shapes. Both heat transfer vinyl and sign vinyl have a carrier or backing. Although the vinyl material is being cut, this carrier isn’t cut through. This allows you to peel or “weed” away any excess material.
Vinyl cutters are not just for heat printers. Embroiderers can also benefit from owning a vinyl cutter as it can cut out applique, such as twill. For heat printers, a vinyl cutter is perfect for short runs and personalization. Names and numbers for team uniforms top the list of garments needing personalization. A new trend to tap into that ties into this market is replica fan jerseys.
Although adding names and numbers to jerseys can be lucrative, another way to offer customers a way to personalize items is with monograms. Having a vinyl cutter gives you the ability to raise the value of what you sell. You can sell a blank item and still make a profit, but by adding personalization, you’ve increased that profit even more.
Another reason to consider the investment of a vinyl cutter, if you do not already own one, is the ability to create items with special effect materials that are popular and on-trend. In a lot of cases the only way to achieve these sought-after heat transfer vinyl finishes is by cutting them yourself on a vinyl cutter. One of the most popular finishes is Glitter Flake™. Inks and embroidery thread simply do not have the same effect of shimmer and shine as Glitter Flake™.
The video below goes into more detail about the different HTV finishes as well as other insights for adding a vinyl cutter to your business.
By owning a vinyl cutter you no longer have to outsource that piece of your production. You’ll also save time by being able to quickly produce designs and cut them on-demand; perfect for one-offs. A vinyl cutter’s versatility gives you the ability to create screen-print type designs, create your own applique, contour cut, and even cut inkjet transfer paper.
A vinyl cutter is a small investment for a quick return. Just think – you’ll no longer have to worry about setup fees or screen charges! Plus, you know that one customer who calls with a last minute addition? With a vinyl cutter you’ll be able to meet your customer’s immediate needs, and often times do so at a premium.
The bottom line: a vinyl cutter is a worthwhile investment.