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Your vinyl cutter is the most imperative element of your business. Keeping it operating smoothly is obviously crucial…not only to your production, but your sanity if you are the one weeding your designs. An often overlooked consumable part of vinyl cutters is the cutting strip. Our technicians are frequently dishing out direction on when and how to replace them.
The cutting strip is a thin strip that runs across the front of your cutter, on the bottom where your material lays. Its main job is the support your media while protecting the blade from “resting” on a hard plastic surface should it puncture through the release liner.
So how do you know when it is time to replace this strip? A simple test you can do is to lightly run your fingers over the surface of it. If you feel any imperfections or gouges, it may be time to change it. A red flag you may run into is cut lines that look perforated or like the blade was skipping. These tiny, uncut sections can be the result of the blade hitting divots or scores in the cutting strip. Another potential sign is if you have a large design that is cut as it should be towards one side of the graphic, but starts bunching or showing snags on the other side. This is a common symptom as your cutter is often starting its cuts on one side and wearing the strip more in that area.
Test cuts are an essential tool for preventing unnecessary damage to your consumable parts. They are quick and easy to do so ensure that you do one each time you load a new material! If your blade is cutting all the way through the carrier of your vinyl and you don’t do a test cut, you are risking damaging your blade, cutting strip, and not to mention the wasted vinyl. Coincidentally, the worst only happens when you are working with a strict deadline. To avoid running into any obstacles we recommend keeping spare parts such as cutting strips, blades, and blade holders on hand at all times.
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