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Plotter Blade Angle

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by spur, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. spur

    spur Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    North Carolina
    I'm sure this will be considered an elementary question by some but since I haven't figured it out here goes:

    I understand the need for a 60 degree blade to cut reflective and other tough substrates and have also read it cuts much smaller and tighter angles. So what is the reason for even using a 45 blade? Why not just keep the 60 in the machine for everything?

    TIA for explanations.
  2. MikeSTK

    MikeSTK Dawns Vinyl Designs

    Feb 23, 2011
    Weatherly, Pa
    Asked the same question. Here goes:

    It boils down to how much of the blade edge is in contact with the media. The cutting is either performed by a tiny section of the blade or dispersed along a larger section.

    So a couple thoughts:

    Thicker / tougher materials means more force is required to cut it. A 60' blade has less actual blade contact with the media reducing the force and stress needed. Point 1

    Detailed items again the 60' blade is thinner therefore more of a pointed end, so more detailed. Point 2

    Downside and the reason for the 45' blade. Because the 60' blade edge is more perpendicular to the media the contact spot on the edge must do all the work as opposed to a 45' where the blade edge is running more parallel to the media the cutting wear is spread over a larger section of the blade and it stands a better chance of smoother cuts.

    My explanations always sound good in my head but if that didn't work imagine a 60' blade like a bandsaw for wood. The blade cuts intricately and you push the wood into the blade which is running up and down (well running down but you know what I mean). But if you wanted to cut long / smooth lines you would use a tablesaw where you push the wood through a blade which is contacting the wood at an angle. Maybe a bad analogy but maybe it helped.
  3. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    i keep a 60º blade in my printer all the time. Mike's explanation seems to make sense though.
  4. kffernandez

    kffernandez Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    thanks for explaining it, mike. i've always wanted to know the explanation behind the blade guides.

  5. spur

    spur Member

    Jun 4, 2010
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the explanation Mike...one of life's great mysteries solved!
  6. ionsigns

    ionsigns Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    IMHO the 45° blades last longer. Eventually the tip of a 60° will dull [sooner] or snap or whatever. But thats my personal experience and I guess that is what you are asking for - opinions.
  7. Steeves Sign Shop

    Steeves Sign Shop New Member

    May 5, 2011
    Hi everyone,I'am a newbie to the sign business and the info I'am finding here is to say the least...very informative and much appreciated,this is my first post but have read a great deal of posts and for me a wealth of informative info,I work mainly with vinyl,and have a plotter/cutter and find this to be a very interesting field of work,and have done some signage for small businesses such as Bed & Breakfasts,a resturant or two,so far people love what I do,but as I've learned early...there's much more to learn...But I do love it...so thanks to all in advance...Wayne
  8. StickonU

    StickonU New Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    I use a 60 all the time too, I have found that it does seem to dull faster. Just my 2 cents
  9. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

    Feb 11, 2007
    there is more "meat" on the tip of a 45° than a 60°

    I use a CB09 45° and a CB15 60°... the beefier diameter helps with blade life on the 60° blade. Ross sold me a spare CB15 (red) holder along with some blades a few years ago...no messing with blade depth settings when swapping between the 45° & the 60°... I just swap the entire holder! I highly recommend getting a dedicated holder for a second blade!

    Attached Files:

  10. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    True. but the difference in length of contact edge between a 45 and a 60 degree blade on 2mil media is ~.0003. That's 3 ten thousandths of an inch. That's about 12% more blade edge [on any thickness of media] with the 60 degree blade versus a 45 degree blade. More edge, but is it enough to make any real difference at the minute thicknesses usually in play?

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