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What do heat printers need to know about adjusting their vinyl cutter blade?

Answer

In a recent Stahls' TV video, Josh Ellsworth breaks down blade adjustments. 

Typically, every cutter manufacturer has at least one low-degree blade (45), which is used for any standard vinyl cutting, and one high-degree blade (60 or higher), which is for thicker or more detailed cutting. 

Regardless of which cutter decorators are using, it's important to have it dialed in correctly. 

The extension of a blade should only be sticking out from its holder about the half of a credit card's thickness. Blade holders might adjust slightly different across manufacturers, but when it comes down to it, you only want the blade to be sticking outside of the holder just enough to prick your finger. 

The extension of the blade will also depend on the thickness of the material. Decorators can dial in cutting with the downforce setting on their machine. The idea here is that you want to cut into the material not all the way through it. 

Often decorators will stock two blade holders—one set up for a 45-degree blade and one set for a 60-degree or higher angle blade. 

Keep in mind, a 45-degree blade is ideal for all standard films, while a 60-degree or higher is ideal for flock, glitter, or highly-detailed work on foils. 

Whenever a blade is changed, the offset settings on the cutter must also be changed. Consult with the blade or cutter manufacturer for offset settings. 

Stahls'