ac3-decal-designs

US Cutter SC2 34" - Is it worth it?

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Ok, so I bought a Vinyl Express R Series plotter and so far I've had nothing but complaints from it while burning up 25 yards of vinyl trying to make one damn sign.  I'm sending it back but still need a cutter.  I'm working on a budget of about $500 for a new plotter and this one seems to fit the bill.   US Cutter SC2 34".  Is it worth the cost?

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Maybe I should have rephrased that question.  I know it'll do what I want, however, Is the cutter a quality machine.  I know its not going to outperform a top of the line, but I don't want to buy another garbage plotter like the VE E31.

 

 

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the redsail you are returning is equivalent to the mh series at USC.  the SC is the next step up with more memory and we have seen far fewer complaints on it than the mh series.  get one and use if for a couple of years = then move up to the titan until you make enough money to get a graphtec.   most of us moved up from a value cutter until we could afford the graphtecs - think you will be happier with the sc2 and the support more than your current situation.  the other plus is on this user forum there are several on all times of the day, night and weekends that volunteer to help newbies and each other

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What sort of problems were you having? Are you new to the world of vinyl cutting and vector graphics? If so, it's possible that your problems are not solely the machine but a combination of lack of experience and the machine being cheap. People new the cutting world also often times have expectations that are not always accurate and some times just wrong.

Please don't get offended at any of this, just trying to get a feel for your level of experience/understanding.  I'd hate for you to go through the hassle of returning the cutter, getting a new one, and still having issues.

I have a MH, which as Dakota said, is about equivalent to yours. I will attest it is not the best but after quite of while of playing and tweaking settings I've been able to get it to do what I need and have learned what the limitations are and have a pretty good feel of what I can and can not do with it.

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Its making random cuts, installation of this this was an absolute nightmare (3 hrs-ish).  It feels cheap, trying to get somone on the phone is next to impossible, tech support makes you leave voicemail.  Just the shipping was an adventure by itself.  In a nutshell, it was a big mistake buying one.  I ordered the SC2.  Im not offended by the question, its a very valid question.  I do have experience in vinyl cutting and using cutters, just never owned a big one like this.  I know it works, I was able to cut a 10x15 sign with no trouble once i got it installed and running, but this larger sign got destroyed twice (20+ yards dead) and thats not something im willing to risk again.

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Which cutter did you own?  Random cuts could be static, coming from the vinyl. These cutters have to be grounded. The static can happen on any value cutter.  Which is why you run a humidifier, Spray static guard on the vinyl and cutter.  Wipe down the vinyl and cutter with dryer sheets.  You can tell most likely if it is static by taking out the blade out and put the pen in.and run on paper.   If the design runs fine most likely static.  

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One I had a few moons ago was a real old Roland that was gifted to me.  When that one died at that time i was only doing small decals and shirts/hats/coozies etc... So when it died i bought a Cricut just to habe something while i saved for a new cutter.  It did the job fine, just a LOT slower.  Im a very small business..a lot of ecom and working out of my home office.  I had the money saved up for the new machine and had done a lotnof resesrch about the cutter so I bought the VE based on a few things, up to 500gr, tracking to 8ft, price point, included software, etc.. It was a mistake I made not doing enough side by side research.  Signwarehouse has a great marketing group, they really make it seem like the VE cutter is better than the 2nd coming of Jesus.

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The static problems still apply to the SC2.  These value cutters are not grounded like the higher end cutters. The vinyl static has to go somewhere.  So you have to ground the cutter to the stand if you have one. Or if no stand, try this.

I work out of my home also, I started with a Seiki 36" cutter and after 14 months  went right up to a new Graphtec FC7000MK2-75 (30") in 2008,  Been running the Graphtec without any problems for 11 years. 

https://www.uscutter.com/Anti-Static-Kit-for-Vinyl-Cutters

Also, learn your cutter and software very well before you go taking any orders. Get some scrap vinyl and make some decals for your friends, family. It is night and day between a Cricut and a larger vinyl cutter.  And it is night and day between an SC2 and a Graphtec or other Pro cutter. 

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I have an SC2 (the 28" size) and have had it for about 10 months or so.  Keep in mind that I've never used a vinyl cutter before and have no experience with any of the better quality models out there, (and yes, I completely agree that there are better quality models out there)  But I was up and running in minutes with mine, and haven't had any problems with anything.  I keep mine in my sunroom, on the carpet, and keep all the vinyl stored below it.  Never done anything to treat static, and have never had any problems.  Most of my work is about 12" square or less though, but I have had a few jobs that were 4-6' long.  

I have no desire to own a better unit, and my only complaint about this is that the stepper motors are noisy enough that I can't do any cutting late at night because my wife will hear it sleeping.  I'm using the included VM software and love it, and have no plans to upgrade yet.

From the complaints I hear online, the SC2 is the lowest model you would want to purchase.  I'm so happy with my SC2 that If this were to get stolen and I got insurance money to replace it, I'd have a hard time deciding if I would upgrade to a better machine. (but I probably would...)

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And just for clarification, you need to ground the vinyl, this is typically done by grounding the stand, typically done by running a wire from a bare metal point on the stand to a bare metal point on the cutter. The cutter is already grounded internally, or at least it should be.

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So my SC2 was delivered today.  Such a difference in the VE cutter and the SC2 cutter.  I think the oddest thing I have seen so far is I swear that this cutter was an off white, almost eggshell color when I took it out of the box and now its a light baby blue.  Other than that the VinylMaster Cuts software is easy to use, the machine is easy to operate and it cuts great.  I am extremely pleased with the cutter and the decision to dump the VE.  I have to pay the shipping to send the VE cutter back to SW, which is an expense I'll happily pay to get rid of it.

As a test I just cut out some words and it cut wonderful, in straight lines, no tracking issues.  For a more detailed test I cut out some back the blue flags for an FWC officer down the street to hand out.  Each flag was cut very well after a couple tries to get the speed and pressure right.  I am 100% positive that this cutter is going to make me some money.  The cutter is grounded to the stand and the stand itself sits on concrete.

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That is awesome! Glad to hear that you're able to hit the ground running and can start the addiction out the right way.

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1 hour ago, ac3-decal-designs said:

So my SC2 was delivered today.  Such a difference in the VE cutter and the SC2 cutter.  I think the oddest thing I have seen so far is I swear that this cutter was an off white, almost eggshell color when I took it out of the box and now its a light baby blue.  Other than that the VinylMaster Cuts software is easy to use, the machine is easy to operate and it cuts great.  I am extremely pleased with the cutter and the decision to dump the VE.  I have to pay the shipping to send the VE cutter back to SW, which is an expense I'll happily pay to get rid of it.

As a test I just cut out some words and it cut wonderful, in straight lines, no tracking issues.  For a more detailed test I cut out some back the blue flags for an FWC officer down the street to hand out.  Each flag was cut very well after a couple tries to get the speed and pressure right.  I am 100% positive that this cutter is going to make me some money.  The cutter is grounded to the stand and the stand itself sits on concrete.

Happy to hear this and Thank you very much for your first hand comparison of the plotters - 

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