JCJXXL

MH721 - Tracking Feed Problem

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Hello everyone. I know there are a TON of problems to be found online regarding the MH721.  I'm just hoping maybe someone here has a suggestion I haven't tried. This cutter is "OK" at best (and not all the time) for small cuts. But even those can get screwed up due to bad feed/tracking of vinyl.

I am currently trying to cut a 72" long sign (biggest I'll probably ever cut) and there is just no way. And to make this worse, it was going to be a 2 color layered sign, so proper tracking is critical so I can layer it properly. The tracking of the vinyl goes to crap at various points. It could start off bad or it could stra off just fine and 2ft into the job it goes to crap.

I have tried EVERYTHING. I feed the vinyl off the roll so there is plenty of "free vinyl" to help the rollers pull as easily as possible. I've removed the pinch rollers and cleaned them. I've adjusted the pinch rollers tension. I've made sure the vinyl lines up with the ruler on the front and back. I've tried feeding a little (using the buttons on the cutter) and as soon as it starts to go off track readjust the vinyl. I've made sure the pinch rollers are positioned properly with the textured metal roller bar. Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING seems to help with proper tracking of vinyl. I completely and entirely hate this cutter. In another thread a user mention shooting it..... I dont blame him. I am so close to knocking the complete crap out of this thing.

Without the blade down, I will manually feed the vinyl using the arrows on the cutter and you can literally watch it come off tracking by 1/2 to 1 inch (or sometimes more!) within a second or two. Its like someone is holding the backside of the vinyl at a slight angle.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just desperate for a solution. If there is no hope for this piece of junk any suggestions on a 24" cutter that WILL FEED VINYL PROPERLY that doesnt cost an arm and a leg? Thanks in advance for the help/advice/suggestions.

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35 minutes ago, JCJXXL said:

Hello everyone. I know there are a TON of problems to be found online regarding the MH721.  I'm just hoping maybe someone here has a suggestion I haven't tried. This cutter is "OK" at best (and not all the time) for small cuts. But even those can get screwed up due to bad feed/tracking of vinyl.

I am currently trying to cut a 72" long sign (biggest I'll probably ever cut) and there is just no way. And to make this worse, it was going to be a 2 color layered sign, so proper tracking is critical so I can layer it properly. The tracking of the vinyl goes to crap at various points. It could start off bad or it could stra off just fine and 2ft into the job it goes to crap.

I have tried EVERYTHING. I feed the vinyl off the roll so there is plenty of "free vinyl" to help the rollers pull as easily as possible. I've removed the pinch rollers and cleaned them. I've adjusted the pinch rollers tension. I've made sure the vinyl lines up with the ruler on the front and back. I've tried feeding a little (using the buttons on the cutter) and as soon as it starts to go off track readjust the vinyl. I've made sure the pinch rollers are positioned properly with the textured metal roller bar. Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING seems to help with proper tracking of vinyl. I completely and entirely hate this cutter. In another thread a user mention shooting it..... I dont blame him. I am so close to knocking the complete crap out of this thing.

Without the blade down, I will manually feed the vinyl using the arrows on the cutter and you can literally watch it come off tracking by 1/2 to 1 inch (or sometimes more!) within a second or two. Its like someone is holding the backside of the vinyl at a slight angle.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just desperate for a solution. If there is no hope for this piece of junk any suggestions on a 24" cutter that WILL FEED VINYL PROPERLY that doesnt cost an arm and a leg? Thanks in advance for the help/advice/suggestions.

I see several things in your post that could cause problems - the first one not in your post is I am willing your blade has too much exposure - causing excessive drag ,  second those "rulers" you are using to line up are stuck on by the thousand by someone in a chinese factory and are never "straight"  the only way to make sure it is straight is to jog the vinyl in and out before the job , watch which way it drifts and release - re position until it feeds straight.   next thing is messing with the pressure of the rollers - too many people have adjusted them , usually to reduce marks that are normal and then have the vinyl move while cutting

Any value cutter takes a lot more fidgeting with to get decent cuts and by choice you purchased the bottom tier cutter.  a lot of people have made a lot of money with them but they usually went thru a learning period to get there.  

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Also, don't confuse vinyl drift with poor tracking. If you load the vinyl in at an angle, it will drift as it goes through the cutter, HOWEVER, so long as the whole piece of vinyl is moving though the cutter at the same rate, which is should, then the tracking will be fine and the cuts will line up. The only "problem" with not getting the vinyl loaded straight is if you have a design that uses the full width of the vinyl, then you need to have things lined up straight to start with to eliminate the drift.

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Thanks Dakota and Darc for the prompt replies. Sorry I've been slow to check messages.

Dakota you mentioned the blade having too much exposure but if you reread my message you'll see where I mention using the up and down arrows to feed the vinyl without the blade being engaged in order to see how much the tracking is thrown off. I'll line up my vinyl on front and back... lock down the pinch rollers and feed the vinyl. Tracking will sometimes stay on course for a foot or two and then after that it will start to come off track as much as an inch. I know you said the rulers are worthless and I'll double check or maybe somehow place my own markers at the appropriate length on front and back.

Anyway I'll try a couple more things and if not, I'm done with this cutter.

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trying to use any markings will drive you crazy - best way is to jog the vinyl back and forth - noting which way it is drifting and adjust the vinyl, repeat until it runs true.  most of the old timers on here use this method even on our expensive cutters rather than using "marks, rulers" or other short cuts that are less reliable.  lots of people have made enough money with the mh cutters to upgrade but they do require a lot more fiddling to get decent cuts than better plotters - the reason most of us on the forum recommend the better plotters.  but price sells and the cheapest sells a lot of cutters - every company has one bottom plotter that people buy on price and they all have similar issues - but they can be made to work with patience 

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Thank you again everyone for the advice. Honestly, I really cant complain too much. It has been a fairly decent cutter for the window decals I sell on my site. I've had the MH721 for about 2 years. I've tried the recommendations given by everyone and still having trouble with long jobs (2ft+). I have been cutter shopping and I really like the Graphtec CE-6000, but at $1,800 I cant justify it for what I'm going to use it for. I'm not like some of the people on here that actually run a vinyl business for their living. The window decals I make are just an add on to the product line I already sell..not the main source of revenue. I could see where more/larger vinyl items MIGHT come more into my business down the road..MAYBE. But until then I was hoping to stay somewhere in the $500-$700 range. Any suggestions? Servo vs stepper.. I dont care. I think for how tight I am on my price range I can just plan on a stepper motor model.

Models I've considered  -

LaserPoint 3
Vinyl Systems Edge 28"
GCC Expert II 24 LX 

Any thoughts on the models above or maybe steer me in a complelet different direction? Thank you again for all the help.

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Servo is always better than a stepper.  More accurate, quiet and better tracking,  There are still great deals out there on used higher end cutters.  Check, Ebay and Craigslist,   Graphtec CE5000-60 going for $600-800.  Graphtecs hold up.  I picked up a used GraphtecFC8000-75 last month for $1000 with stand and basket.  I couldn't let that sit there for that. I would never want a cutter that didn't have a stand. You think an MH cuts wonderful.  You would be astonished at how well a servo cutter cuts.  Set it and forget it. 

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Skeeter - Thanks for the info! Yes I have been checking Craigslist, Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. I did find a Roland GX-24 for $1,000 along with a heatpress included on Craiglist but havent heard back in days.  I may hit them up one more time. And thanks for the info regarding the servo. I know you're right!  :)

Dakota -

After I saw your first response I did a search for a Titan 2. THe one you linked above looks like it would fit my current needs at a price I can handle.

I also found this one:  https://www.uscutter.com/Titan-2-SE-Vinyl-Cutter

I'm comparing the two and the only things that jump out at me is the one you recommended is a stepper motor instead of a servo in the link I provided.

Yours say MAC and PC compatible. Mine says PC.. I own both but cut primarily on the PC.

The bundle on yours is nice but I already a ton of Oracal 651 and I use SureCutsAlot for my software.

Any thoughts on why I would choose one of these over the other? I think it is down to these 2 for me. Thank you for the Titan recommendation!

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, JCJXXL said:

Skeeter - Thanks for the info! Yes I have been checking Craigslist, Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. I did find a Roland GX-24 for $1,000 along with a heatpress included on Craiglist but havent heard back in days.  I may hit them up one more time. And thanks for the info regarding the servo. I know you're right!  :)

Dakota -

After I saw your first response I did a search for a Titan 2. THe one you linked above looks like it would fit my current needs at a price I can handle.

I also found this one:  https://www.uscutter.com/Titan-2-SE-Vinyl-Cutter

I'm comparing the two and the only things that jump out at me is the one you recommended is a stepper motor instead of a servo in the link I provided.

Yours say MAC and PC compatible. Mine says PC.. I own both but cut primarily on the PC.

The bundle on yours is nice but I already a ton of Oracal 651 and I use SureCutsAlot for my software.

Any thoughts on why I would choose one of these over the other? I think it is down to these 2 for me. Thank you for the Titan recommendation!

 

 

 

 

 

titan 2 over the titan all day long but it was slightly over your price point - once you go servo you won't ever touch a stepper again

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LOL! Yeah it's going to run me about $100 more.. but once you are already willing to spend $700 what's another $100? It's like people buying a house and unwilling to finalize the deal over $1,000. You're already spending a couple/few hundred thousand so whats another $1,000? You just need to be careful because it can become a slippery slope and I was not in a position to buy a $2,000 cutter.

I think I will be placing an order for the Titan 2.

Thank you again to you, Skeeter and Darcshadow for jumping in and helping me out. You guys have no idea how grateful I am. Great group here.

 

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Nice! The MH is being donated to someone who has few means and is trying to get her vinyl business started. Not sure who is more excited me or her. LOL. Thanks again!

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I hate when people start a thread and once they get their answer they disappear. I always wonder what the outcome was so I thought I'd drop in and close this thread with my final thoughts on my purchase (Titan 2 SE 28") and experience after about a month of ownership.

Dakota and Skeeter were right about the servo motor. Holy crap. I will never go back to a stepper motor. I really like how quiet and smooth it is. Part of me wonders if the vibration and rough performance of the previous stepper motor cutter I had played a factor in some of my vinyl shift. The difference between servo and stepper is night and day.

If you're looking for a cutter that is a great balance between cost, features and performance then I would highly recommend the Titan2. It was a bit mentally tough going from a Silhouette and a free MH721 to dropping $850 on the Titan 2 SE 28" but I am so glad I did. A few weeks after I purchased mine it was $100 less on some special sale so keep an eye out! With the past 2 cutters I had it seemed like it was such a chore to cut even the simplest thing (tracking issues, cutter going bonkers halfway through cut, limited vinyl size,etc,etc..I could on and on). It's nice to be able to say "Hey no problem let me cut that real quick." and know that it's going to be a simple and aggravation free experience. . The longest I have cut so far is 3ft and 15" wide complete coverage using vinyl from edge to edge. The Titan2 performs flawless - perfect cut, quiet and smooth. The vinyl catch basket is a HUGE PLUS for me. My cutter sits in an office with wood floors so naturally dust builds up that you dont notice (no matter how much you clean!) until your vinyl hits the ground. Being able to throw a roll of vinyl in the cutter and let it hang freely in the basket and know you wont have to deal with floor dust is nice!

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase. It has made vinyl cutting an enjoyable experience rather than a pain in the butt chore I would hate doing. I doubt I will ever use the full width of 28" but I went with that model because you never know where you'll end up. I will be cutting a 12 ft long x 15" inch tall floor logo in the coming days. I may split it in two 6 ft pieces.. If the Titan pulls off a 6ft run flawless I may just throw a party ;)

Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions and advice. I really appreciate it!

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