If you want to wrap well, you must cut a vinyl film well. Cutting is an essential skill for car wrapping. You will bring efficiency and quality to the next level if you can master it. Here is an all-in-one guideline for you, from what you need to what you should do regarding cutting. Let’s learn the tricks!
Metal or plastic knife?
There are generally two types of knives: plastic and metal. It is safe to choose a plastic one, as a metal one can scratch the car accidentally when dealing with a vinyl wrap film. If you want to keep it from the body, it will be challenging to control the knife, which makes the cut risky and hard to achieve high quality.
Stainless steel, carbon, or ceramic blade?
For blades, there are stainless steel, carbon, and ceramic. It is recommended to use a stainless-steel blade. A carbon blade is stiff, so you may cut through the vinyl wrap film and damage the surface. While a ceramic blade is hard and extremely sharp, it is even more difficult to handle.
Make your cut safe
There is a trick to make your cut safe if you come across a challenging section. You can always cut with a short blade. By doing this, there is no way you will cut through the car wrap and damage the surface. And with a plastic knife, even if you push the knife against the surface, the blade will not jump out. So it is safe.
The better you know your vehicle wrap and the workspace, the better you can handle the material. Thus, before cutting, think about these two things: the thickness of the film, and the temperature of your workspace.
If your vinyl film is thick, press it harder when cutting, and vice versa. For temperature, the cooler your workspace is, the easier you can feel the right depth to cut. However, the hotter the space, the higher the risk of accidentally cutting too deeply. It is recommended to keep the car wrap under 25 Celsius or 75 degrees.
Some other vital tips before approaching the material:
Always sharpen your blade beforehand to achieve a clean cut.
Run your finger on the vinyl wrap film to tighten it before cutting.
If you want to cut it straight, keep your knife at a 45-degree angle.
If you are a newbie or not that confident in your cutting skills, here are a few ways you can improve your craft:
You can take a scrap piece of vinyl wrap film, squeegee it directly on a surface, and apply a second piece on top. Draw a line from side to side, where you start your practice. Don’t forget to sharpen your blade and consider the two factors mentioned above before approaching the film.
When cutting a straight line, you should ensure your blade is at a 10-degree angle, which will keep you cutting at the right depth. Still, you need to press hard enough for the blade to cut through. Otherwise, the wrap film will not split. And when you try to pick it up after cutting, the material will tear.
Do not peak your blade to make it at a 45-degree angle when cutting. This will affect your judgment regarding the depth of your cut. Thus, you might accidentally cut too deeply and damage the surface.
Curves are typical for sections like doors and bumpers. Like cutting a straight line, when making a curvy cut, you should keep your blade at a 10-degree angle for the right depth and cut with the right pressure.
Besides, you should also keep your knife perpendicular to the surface the whole time, even on curves, instead of rounding the corners. Doing the latter will make an inconsistent depth when cutting, and the material will tear as you pick the piece up.
Practice a few times with the scrap piece and see how well you can do. If there is any sign on the base layer as you remove the top piece, you know your cut has gone too deep.
If you initially put the pieces on a window, you can also tell if you have cut too deeply as you remove the base layer. Because the surface energy of a window is high, the base layer will tear apart as you remove it, which is a sign of cutting too deeply.
Learn from your experience to find the right instinct, and you are not far away from mastering the art of cutting. Equip yourself with more wrap tips at teckwrap.com