How To STOP Cutting Through Vinyl Backing.
For me, this is the bane of using vinyl! It took me a long time to get it right and I often have to make small adjustments for various reasons ie: trying out new vinyl or felt, a blunt blade or any other number of reasons.
The general rule of thumb is…test, test and test again, until you get it right! And then record those cut settings in a notebook or text document so you can refer back to them in the future.
Default Cut Settings Rule
The first port of call is to use your machines preset cut settings, so for example, in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space, start with their default cut settings especially if you are using their own brand products ( eg: heat transfer vinyl, glitter sign vinyl, faux leather, card etc ).
Things get a bit trickier if you are buying your vinyl from a manufacturer other than your machine brand. This is where you may need to work a little harder to get the settings right.
Cricut Own Brand Faux Leather And Independent Glitter Vinyl Brand
New Settings For New Blades
And if you buy a new blade, you will just have to test, test and test again, as I’ve found the settings for your old blade will probably not work with a brand new blade that’s all sharp and shiny new! The chances of cutting right through the backing paper on sign vinyl are high and this is something I’ve done more than once with a new blade! I even managed to cut through the mat on one occasion! Doh!
For example, heat transfer vinyl is thinner and more flexible than sticker vinyl. HTV is thin and has a stronger clear plastic backing as opposed to glitter and fluorescent sticker vinyl, which is thicker than standard sticker vinyl. Plus, here in the UK both glitter and flouro vinyl have paper backing which is very easy to cut right through ( as I have done many times! 🙂 )
Can You Tell I Love Glitter HTV!
Save On Materials (and money!)
To make sure you don’t waste materials (and money) make sure you only test on small off cuts until you find the correct setting for each different type of vinyl. For future efficiency and time saving, save your settings as detailed below, for use with the relevant type of vinyl you are working with. ( These same principles apply to cutting fabric, balsa, metal, paper and card too )
Test On Offcuts, Offcuts, Offcuts First!
Save Time And Frustration – Keep A Record, Here’s How:
• Keep a record of your cut settings and the vinyl used ( eg: where you bought if is it isn’t own brand ), in a word or text document, along with the date you bought your blade. Then you know how long you’ve had the blade too, if it starts to blunt and the cut settings aren’t working as well with a used blade.
• Blades get blunt over time and even faster with lots of use, so settings will need to be adjusted or the blade replaced if you’re using it a lot and your cuts aren’t as effective or are no longer crisp and clean.
• Only make small adjustments when changing your cut settings. When I first started, I used to make big adjustments and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting it right…small adjustments make sure you don’t miss the correct setting for your blade by going too far in one direction or the other.
• Always do a test cut on a small off cut BEFORE you do your main cut. This will allow you to make micro adjustments to get your cut settings right, and saves you wasting tons of precious vinyl too!
• Find a good vinyl supplier and stick with the same brand of vinyl as this lessens your chances of having to re-adjust your cut settings so often.
• Sometimes the machine just doesn’t want to co-operate and shutting it down completely, cleaning out the blade (if applicable) and restarting can help.
Yay! I Got The Cut Settings Right For This Independent Glitter Vinyl Brand
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