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mor1287

Blades that last longer than Clean Cut?

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After a ton of research, I've found most people to recommend Clean Cut blades. However, I bought the 3 pack from USCutter and each blade lasted no more than 2 weeks before I had to switch to a new one. I don't even cut much (approximately ten 11x17 inkjet heat transfer sheets a day) and I definitely don't use too much pressure (around 25g downforce on my GCC Expert..any less pressure and it will not cut the vinyl). I have the blade sticking out about 1/2 of a credit card's thickness and my cutting strip is new with no issues.

Can anyone else recommend blades that last longer?

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I too, use cheap chinese blades, I cut a lot of  HTV glitter vinyl, clean cut blades just do not last. I don't know if they are to hard or what, or the tips break off, but I quit using them years ago, I've spoken with Ross (the owner of CC) before about them, but he has no good answer, he swears that "everybody" uses them. I used to get some good cheap ones from my vinyl supplier but he quit carrying them, he reason was he wanted to use suppliers from the USofA. But when I mentioned where all the Glitter comes from he didn't have to much to say, as most of it is made in Korea. We were his biggest customer, but still wouldn't get them for us.

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2 hours ago, mor1287 said:

. I have the blade sticking out about 1/2 of a credit card's thickness 

 

That is your problem !! Way too much blade exposed,  You should just barely see and feel the blade tip out of the blade holder.  That is 10 times too much blade exposed..  Your just wearing them down in no time. .   This is how to set your blade correctly.  If blades are set correctly they will last 9 months to a year..   I only use Seiki blades from Ebay.  Never had problems with them.  Last almost a year. 

To start with, you should set your blade depth correctly, by taking the blade holder out of the machine, and firmly cut across a piece of scrap vinyl, you will be cutting. You should only be cutting the vinyl and barely a mark on wax paper backing, Adjust blade to get there, Then put the blade holder back in machine, and use the force of the machine to get there, same results, only cutting the vinyl and barely a mark in wax paper backing.

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in my roland and graphtec I get 10 months to a year on the 60 degree cleancut - unless you are doing reflective or metallics there is no reason they should not last that long - but then again I buy them direct from cleancut.

with 1/2 a credit card sticking out that cutting strip has to be cut up and would be surprised if you have not broken tips of blades

I have tried many blades - the oem graphtec blades are good but expensive and last about as long - in my roland nothing else has came close to lasting as long.  so to answer the question of something lasting longer I have found none - but with the amount of exposure you are using you might as well stock up on the cheap blades

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On 8/10/2018 at 8:38 PM, MZ SKEETER said:

That is your problem !! Way too much blade exposed,  You should just barely see and feel the blade tip out of the blade holder.  That is 10 times too much blade exposed..  Your just wearing them down in no time. .   This is how to set your blade correctly.  If blades are set correctly they will last 9 months to a year..   I only use Seiki blades from Ebay.  Never had problems with them.  Last almost a year. 

To start with, you should set your blade depth correctly, by taking the blade holder out of the machine, and firmly cut across a piece of scrap vinyl, you will be cutting. You should only be cutting the vinyl and barely a mark on wax paper backing, Adjust blade to get there, Then put the blade holder back in machine, and use the force of the machine to get there, same results, only cutting the vinyl and barely a mark in wax paper backing.

 

On 8/10/2018 at 9:23 PM, Dakotagrafx said:

in my roland and graphtec I get 10 months to a year on the 60 degree cleancut - unless you are doing reflective or metallics there is no reason they should not last that long - but then again I buy them direct from cleancut.

with 1/2 a credit card sticking out that cutting strip has to be cut up and would be surprised if you have not broken tips of blades

I have tried many blades - the oem graphtec blades are good but expensive and last about as long - in my roland nothing else has came close to lasting as long.  so to answer the question of something lasting longer I have found none - but with the amount of exposure you are using you might as well stock up on the cheap blades

There is so much misinformation online about how far out the blades should stick. I literally see that "1/2 of a credit card" suggestion on every website.

What about the downforce setting? I thought the amount the blade sticks out doesn't matter much eitherway if the downforce is set low enough to not damage the wax paper backing. 

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on the forum Skeeter has literally helped hundreds if not thousand of people that was using too much blade and cured their problems with her description - even uscutter still has a mention of the 1/2 credit card thing as a starting point BUT then goes on to describe the rest of skeeters instructions that reduces that exposure, unfortunately too many stop reading before they finish.   
In your description you are using the silicone backed paper to determine when your blade stops going down - so it will be affected by how sharp that blade is at that point in time, what the density of the paper is etc.   I could get way with way too much force and blade with easyweed as the backing is tough - but my blade point would be farther away from the center point where the plotter is compensating for the offset at.

There is a fb group that I believe also would use a hot tea kettle to apply HTV but that doesn't make it the right and trouble free way

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You only cut with the very tip of the blade, So why would you have so much more blade tip extended? Your not cutting with that blade shaft.  Your force is set after you set your blade correctly. You should just barely see and feel the blade tip out of the blade holder.  Most  sign vinyl is only 2.5-3 mil.   Not thick at all. Even if you need it a little deeper, you just bump up the force a hair.  This works, and saves blades, and makes them last 9-10 months to a year.  Or keep doing what your doing and buy 50 blades. It does not bother us.  We can only give advice, It's up to you whether you want to use it. 

My Graphtec tech told me,  put the blade all the way into the blade holder. Push the blade holder down to the cutting strip. Get down eye level with the cutting strip. Turn the blade holder until you just see daylight between the blade holder and the cutting strip. That is all you need. 

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This was from my roland when I put the wrong blade holder in (laminate instead of regular vinyl) - was set too deep and not near as far out as yours.

It doesn't take long for a bad carpenter to destroy a good chisel 

34708778_10204823149655084_5425396520734162944_n.jpg

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On 8/10/2018 at 1:12 PM, mor1287 said:

After a ton of research, I've found most people to recommend Clean Cut blades. However, I bought the 3 pack from USCutter and each blade lasted no more than 2 weeks before I had to switch to a new one. I don't even cut much (approximately ten 11x17 inkjet heat transfer sheets a day) and I definitely don't use too much pressure (around 25g downforce on my GCC Expert..any less pressure and it will not cut the vinyl). I have the blade sticking out about 1/2 of a credit card's thickness and my cutting strip is new with no issues.

Can anyone else recommend blades that last longer?

Back to the OP's original inquiry - If you have seen that most people have recommended Clean Cut blades, why are you buying other stuff? When I bought my new Graphtec, I had the Clean Cut blades in my hands well before the cutter even showed up at the warehouse for me to pick-up - because that's how awesome they are.

Blade depth is hugely important because that will help determine the longevity of the blade (see Scott's picture of the broken tip). That being said, you're not specifically telling us why you're needing to switch to a new one - is the tip broken? do you feel that it's just too dull? is it tearing up the vinyl?

In my case, the blade angle (45 or 60), down force, and speed are determined on a case by case basis of material that I'm cutting, the design (or intricacy of the design), color of vinyl and age of vinyl - because even I mostly cut with 651, the different colors are different ages, and some require more force for the best cut than others.

I know that you're looking for a blade that will last long, or at least longer than the USC blades you bought. I'm going to tell you right now that I've had a Clean Cut blade in my original LP and it's been there for the last 8+ years. I took the time to set the depth properly, and will adjust the cutter setting according what I'm cutting. Does it take time to make the adjustments on a case-by-case cut? yes, but it sure beats wasting my time because I've snapped off the tip and have to do the whole new blade set up.

Try a Clean Cut blade, take the time to set it up properly, and you should be good to go.

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CC Blades are a proven performer. If you are having failures with them then you can correctly assume user error. Most of us that run high quality blades get at LEAST 6 months out of them unless we do something dumb. I change them out if I even begin to sense that there is some dullness happening and I save those used blades for cutting paper or glitter. 

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On 8/10/2018 at 8:38 PM, MZ SKEETER said:

That is your problem !! Way too much blade exposed,  You should just barely see and feel the blade tip out of the blade holder.  That is 10 times too much blade exposed..  Your just wearing them down in no time. .   This is how to set your blade correctly.  If blades are set correctly they will last 9 months to a year..   I only use Seiki blades from Ebay.  Never had problems with them.  Last almost a year. 

To start with, you should set your blade depth correctly, by taking the blade holder out of the machine, and firmly cut across a piece of scrap vinyl, you will be cutting. You should only be cutting the vinyl and barely a mark on wax paper backing, Adjust blade to get there, Then put the blade holder back in machine, and use the force of the machine to get there, same results, only cutting the vinyl and barely a mark in wax paper backing.

 

On 8/10/2018 at 9:23 PM, Dakotagrafx said:

in my roland and graphtec I get 10 months to a year on the 60 degree cleancut - unless you are doing reflective or metallics there is no reason they should not last that long - but then again I buy them direct from cleancut.

with 1/2 a credit card sticking out that cutting strip has to be cut up and would be surprised if you have not broken tips of blades

I have tried many blades - the oem graphtec blades are good but expensive and last about as long - in my roland nothing else has came close to lasting as long.  so to answer the question of something lasting longer I have found none - but with the amount of exposure you are using you might as well stock up on the cheap blades

I tried your suggestions with some 45 degree Chinese blades that arrived today and I'm running into some weird issues that make absolutely no sense to me. I hope one of you have an idea of what's going on here.

First, I tested on Siser Easyweed Stretch with the blade barely sticking out and it worked beautifully at a downforce of 50g. Then I raised the blade just a bit, tested with Paropy Premium Inkjet paper (much thicker and has a different texture than regular vinyl...very grainy...using a cutting mat every time) on a hard surface to make sure I go just deep enough. But then I had absolutely terrible results when I actually tried to do a real print. The main problem is that the corners kept lifting as you can see in the attached image. I'm assuming it's because I have to use a stronger downforce, 90g or higher in this case. Any lower and it just would not cut through the first layer. I tried adjusting the blade up and down slightly and the downforce up and down slightly but got the same results every time. Literally spent hours doing this. VLCD (the software that comes with my GCC Expert 24 LX) doesn't have a setting for speed but I'm estimating about 25cm/sec and I don't believe that's too fast.

Then I decided to go back to the 1/2 of a credit card's thickness to test the inkjet paper further and it completely resolved the corner lifting issue and the cuts came out perfect. I'm completely confused about what's going on here. Does it sound it's an issue with this paper? 

IMG_5504.jpg

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Corners lifting like that is usually too much blade exposed.  On thicker stuff, just leave the blade alone and make 2 passes instead of 1 pass. Sometimes 3 passes. 

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also being not a new machine try adding a drop of 3 in 1, reel oil or similar lightweight oil in the blade holder to make sure it spins freely. with that said if it is cutting prefect leave it alone even though none of us can replicate a perfect cut with that much blade out -if it works for you why go further - cut and enjoy.  usually we see just the opposite of what you described. also check inside your blade holder for bits of vinyl and clean the bottom of the blade holder good with some alcohol

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I agree with Scoot - the blade doesn't look like it's rotating freely, or easily as it should. you should also check that there isn't gunk or random teeny pieces of vinyl in the blade holder itself - when I cut tiny stuff, my blade holder would notoriously get bits of vinyl in the blade holder.

sharp edges, intricate cuts, i usually go with a 60-degree and slow the speed down a bit.

if it's thick, then i much prefer multiple passes versus increasing force/pressure.

be patient, it happens to the best of us every once in a while, with experience and practice you'll get to know the quirks of all this stuff.

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On 8/12/2018 at 2:58 PM, haumana said:

Back to the OP's original inquiry - If you have seen that most people have recommended Clean Cut blades, why are you buying other stuff? When I bought my new Graphtec, I had the Clean Cut blades in my hands well before the cutter even showed up at the warehouse for me to pick-up - because that's how awesome they are.

Blade depth is hugely important because that will help determine the longevity of the blade (see Scott's picture of the broken tip). That being said, you're not specifically telling us why you're needing to switch to a new one - is the tip broken? do you feel that it's just too dull? is it tearing up the vinyl?

In my case, the blade angle (45 or 60), down force, and speed are determined on a case by case basis of material that I'm cutting, the design (or intricacy of the design), color of vinyl and age of vinyl - because even I mostly cut with 651, the different colors are different ages, and some require more force for the best cut than others.

I know that you're looking for a blade that will last long, or at least longer than the USC blades you bought. I'm going to tell you right now that I've had a Clean Cut blade in my original LP and it's been there for the last 8+ years. I took the time to set the depth properly, and will adjust the cutter setting according what I'm cutting. Does it take time to make the adjustments on a case-by-case cut? yes, but it sure beats wasting my time because I've snapped off the tip and have to do the whole new blade set up.

Try a Clean Cut blade, take the time to set it up properly, and you should be good to go.

 

10 hours ago, haumana said:

I agree with Scoot - the blade doesn't look like it's rotating freely, or easily as it should. you should also check that there isn't gunk or random teeny pieces of vinyl in the blade holder itself - when I cut tiny stuff, my blade holder would notoriously get bits of vinyl in the blade holder.

sharp edges, intricate cuts, i usually go with a 60-degree and slow the speed down a bit.

if it's thick, then i much prefer multiple passes versus increasing force/pressure.

be patient, it happens to the best of us every once in a while, with experience and practice you'll get to know the quirks of all this stuff.

I'm sorry I somehow completely looked over your last post in here. You asked what the reason was that I needed a new blade. I primarily contour cut on Inkjet heat transfer paper (not ideal but it's paying my bills for now). The issue is that the blades got dull quickly and I had to keep increasing the force in order to go through the top layer. While that still worked, it caused the edges of the prints to be white (I guess the dull blade caused it to lose ink), but the bigger problem was it became impossible to use application tape to lift up the design. I learned that when forcing the blade too hard, it pushes the material deep into the backing paper making it impossible to use application tape.

Also, I'm realizing that these Chinese blades just don't work properly which is why the corners are lifting. I did some test cuts of squares and text and they were not accurate...pretty bad actually. I played with the offset and still couldn't get them to be accurate. I thought it might be the blade holder (which I oiled and cleaned) but I just tried the Clean Cut blades again and they cut the squares and text perfectly.

I ordered more Clean Cut blades yesterday and I will give it another shot with putting the blade deeper into the blade holder. If it still doesn't do the job, I'm thinking I may need to try 60 degree blades since the inkjet paper is thicker than most vinyl.

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9 minutes ago, mabscotthandyman said:

I cant remember when I changed my blade Orem graphtec blades. Still cuts clean

graphtec super steel blades are great too - even more expensive than cc

 

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I probably don't cut every day, however I too have always used CC blades. They absolutely last longer. I always use scrap vinyl and do test cut until it is correct depth/pressure(TITAN 2). Learned the hard way after incorrect setting and ruining the cutting strip.

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17 minutes ago, bigmax said:

I probably don't cut every day, however I too have always used CC blades. They absolutely last longer. I always use scrap vinyl and do test cut until it is correct depth/pressure(TITAN 2). Learned the hard way after incorrect setting and ruining the cutting strip.

I have been known to do that a time or two ... or even didn't pay attention where 0,0 was actually at and had the blade cutting into the strip. Ugh! What a nightmare. For that reason, I always have a spare cutting strip, and when I have to use one, I make sure to order another to have on hand. You'd think I'd learn my lesson by now. :lol:

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