Written by Allen Brown.
Is vinyl cutting your niche? If the answer to that is yes, and you are looking for a new cutter – you have come to the right place. The world of crafting, in general, is enticing, exciting, and full of different options. The only problem with that lies in the fact that it can be hard to find the right equipment. This is especially true if you are just starting and don’t know what to look for.
Now, how should you go about buying a vinyl cutter? This purchase is by no means an easy one if you lack information. All the important parameters must be assessed so that you buy a good cutter. Unfortunately, if you fail to do so, you will probably end up buying the wrong model. And buying the wrong model further leads only to frustration and you surely don’t want that. To help you enjoy vinyl cutting to the fullest, we have prepared this article for you. Here, we will help you choose a perfect vinyl cutter for your needs. Let’s dig right in!
Consider the type of material that you’ll be cutting
The materials that you use will behave differently when they’re cut with the same model. As vinyl cutting pros over at thebestvinylcutters.com explain, the type of the material directly dictates the optimal motor type that you should look for in a cutter. They go on to explain that the two main options here are a servo motor and a stepper motor. A servo motor is a common choice as they work great with a blade cutter, even on thicker materials. On the other hand, a stepper motor will burn out way quicker.
If you are looking to work with a versatile range of materials, it would be best if you opt for a servo motor-based cutter.
What about laser cutters?
Laser cutters are gaining popularity for a good reason. They are very efficient, but there are some things that you need to know as well. First of all, are you cutting materials that include PVC in their composition? If the answer is yes, then you want to avoid laser vinyl cutters. The reason for this is that lasers can damage such materials. More precisely, lasers tend to burn the edges of PVC-based materials. This can especially be problematic if you’re working with lighter colors.
Roll-fed or flatbed?
Flatbed models, pretty self-explanatory, always cut on a flat surface. The main advantage of this aspect is that you can cut more than one material by stacking them. On the other hand, you can’t do this with roll-fed vinyl cutters.
After assessing whether this is important for your work, there is another thing to consider. That aspect is the nesting area. When it comes to flatbed cutters, your nesting area is restricted. Sometimes, this means that you need to cut down rolls of materials into different sections. On the other hand, roll-fed models avoid this issue entirely. This ensured faster production, as they can feed rolled material continuously.
Don’t overlook computer compatibility
Even though many vinyl cutters are compatible with both Macs and PCs, this is still something to consider. While compatibility isn’t that big of a deal, how complicated the software in question is should be assessed in more detail. Not everyone is all that tech-savvy, but there are options for everyone. Having that in mind, inform yourself on how the program works. Be realistic about what works best for you, and you will find the best option.
How important is it for you to be accurate?
If you are working with larger pieces, you may not need the most accurate model out there. On the other hand, small text and graphics require more precision. That being said, more precise models are pricier. So, assess whether this aspect is important for your cutting.
Another thing to consider is that accuracy affects some other aspects. For instance, a low level of accuracy can induce ineffective weeding. Even worse, it can tear the material. Choose wisely!
Speed is a significant factor
Choosing the speed of a model is something that depends on your own needs. If you want to do your job quickly, of course, you’ll want a faster model. If not, it’s not worth it to pay more for it. But, how to look for the speed that you need in a model?
Even though speed is an arbitrary specification, it isn’t always that straightforward. Consider that a certain IPS rating wouldn’t be the same on every graphic. Acceleration rating is much more representative. In any case – looking for reviews is the best way to get a clear overview of the performance.
Ultimately, it all truly boils down to understanding how each variable affects the final product that you want to make. So, take your time to assess both what you want to make and what model can help you with that. After doing so, the probability is huge that you’ll end up finding the right vinyl cutter for your needs. Enjoying vinyl cutting to the fullest is the goal here!
And after reading this article, you’re fully ready to start looking into the purchase with more knowledge. Be critical, think about your own needs, and you will find the perfect model for sure!