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Help In Choosing a Cutter...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Plotters' started by KeeWay, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. KeeWay

    KeeWay New Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Hello all... i have been searching the forums for about a week after stumbling upon this site and it is very informative and it has shown me that my first cutter (12" SM-12 "Chineese Redsail cutter") was not a wise choice but it has served me well for the last couple of months doing little projects but just can't cut small enough letters for the wifey or cut anything of length.

    so this brings me to my question... i am looking for a 24" cutter for around 1K (i know it may be hard) but i will be mainly using this for the wife's scrapbooking and for paintmasks to paint mine and my friends RC/Heli canopies. i do have one thing that my mom wants that will be pretty big, she wants a full length dragon either on the hood or doors of her suv. i just want to get something that will last throughout the years and will be accurate and still cut small enough letters under 1/2"...

    i have been looking at these:

    JSI 24-p cutter $499 (i believe that it is a CT630 from researching)

    Referb Panther on ebay for $1095

    Ioline SmartTrac I/S60 $1200 (used in a signshop for 3 years is it worth that price?)

    enduracut plus from signwarehouse with servo $699

    any help in deciding would be appreciated or if you know of any others..

  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    I'm not sure you can get the quality you seek for the budget you propose. Have you considered outsourcing the cutting to someone local that would be willing to handle that aspect of your needs?
  3. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

    Nov 28, 2005
  4. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    Welcome James.

    For the ability of small letters you are looking at about $2k. There are many under that but there is a difference in qualtiy when comparing them to the cheaper machines (as you already know).

    Even the big names now have their own entry-level machines for less than that, but they are just that - ENTRY-LEVEL.
  5. KeeWay

    KeeWay New Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Fred thanks but outsourcing for what i need it for would not be quck enough and the cost might be something because when i am setting up the graphics for example the heli canopies, i usually go though 4-5 itterations before i get it just right because it is not a flat surface and it has to be tweaked around the canopies or i just don't like it. also if i mess up i have to cut again...

    I was just trying to get get an feel of what i can for my current budget (i know it is not much) and i do not know anything about the cutters i have posted but that seems to cover the range of my budget. maybe i do not need the capability to cut text that small and if needed i guess i can print it..

  6. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Qld, Australia
    You will later regret buying too cheaply, in many more ways than one.
    Resale value if you ever decide to get back out of the industry is the biggest reason for buying into well-known & appreciated models.
  7. chopper

    chopper Very Active Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    Big Lake MN
    I have a spare 30" cutter I may be interested in selling that will fit the bill for you.. give me a call 612-839-8077
  8. KeeWay

    KeeWay New Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Ok guys, I think i am leaning toward the Graphtec CE5000-60 but I have got a couple of questions.

    I happened to be watching the craftrobo vid (http://www.graphtecusa.com/products.php?cat_id=15&visit=img) of the unit cutting out the cardstock and the wifey seen this and said that she wants to do this. now I now have a good reason to get a better cutter :Big Laugh without getting much flack from the wife about the cost.

    Will this cutter do what the craft robo do out of the box? I see that it comes with the ARMS for the contour cutting.

    also will it cut the card stock like in the vid?

  9. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    two different animals
  10. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
    try www.signmax.us
    There is a CT630 package there.
    Good value for the $. I can do as small as 3/8 text with it. ( 60 degree blade required) I can also cut 12 foot (or more ) long.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2006
  11. markz

    markz Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Greetings K-way, the SSK above is a good tip, the 24" graphtec ( they call it DesignTech model )is what we use-2 years now.,and i think last years 24" is on sale for under a grand. It's true, quality is best for the return on the investment.....but your production, maintenace, budget all dictates that. the Graphtec has one "issue" ...it only has 2 rollers, so on long cuts, say 40 inch, occasionally it mis-tracks.......then years of "warming a pew" go out the window & well, a sailor would be proud of the language we use ! i'm not proud of it ! good luck MZ
  12. KeeWay

    KeeWay New Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    markz thanks for the heads up...

    After talking to graphtec i decided to take the plunge. i just purchased the CE5000-60 from http://www.signoutletstore.com/. one of the main reasons for getting the graphtec is that their office is only 30 min away from me so if i have problems i can just drop it by.. thanks everyone for your suggestions...

  13. SignPainter

    SignPainter Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I have had my Ioline 24" for 10 years and not a single problem.That Smart Trac Ioline has a floating head that has been tested to 300,000,000 cycles, wich means cutting everyday should last 20 years! The price sounds good for a 3 y.o. Ioline and if it looks clean and works good jump on it!That is around 1/2 price if I remember right retail was $2499. I could be wrong though check price at Iolines site.Signs of the times magazine wrote Ioline tips the scale for the heavy duty reliable plotters, 1999 issue I think.That's my 2 cents worth.Hope this helps.

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