Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

ROLL-X or CWT questions

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Gary Wiant, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Gary Wiant

    Gary Wiant Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Shippenville, Pa
    I hope this is the right place to post these questions.

    We are in the market for either a Roll-X or a CWT, I really keep going back to the CWT, I'm more confident with the supplier, I trust the technician to perform the training & the price I've received is great, my questions are

    Our current homemade table has a cutting mar on the top & it gets chewed up because we tend to cut on it a lot. I know the tables have mats as well but they seem very expensive to replace. How do they hold up?

    Do you do laminating longer than the table length or do you still use your regular laminator?

    Which features / add ons are a must have?

    If you were to do the purchase over again would you still buy the same table or would you switch to the other brand because of issues?

    We are going to check out a Roll-X today & a CWT probably next week.
  2. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    All Over
    The machine is not very complicated in my opinion. Doing long runs will be best in a normal roll laminator in my opinion. I thought one of these table MFG had a heavy duty glass top for cutting, but that will be a good question to ask the supplier for sure.
  3. Gary Wiant

    Gary Wiant Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Shippenville, Pa
    CWT has a glass table with a mat over it. But I will ask for sure.

  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    We have a rolls roller, been pretty happy with it. The clear cutting mats should not be called cutting mats, they don't heal up like a rhino mat and will leave marks in your prints when laminating, and they are stupidly expensive, ours was useless after 2 years due to heavy handed employees cutting on it. We just use a sheet of 1/8" pvc now and do not cut on it at all, I'm toying around with using a standard rhino mat, does anyone have any experience with that?

    Big fish is right, there isn't much to these machines that can break. Laminating length is limited to the table length, but mounting and masking can be unlimited length, but if you regularly do long runs a regular laminator might be better.

    These machines really excel at mounting prints to 4x8 boards quickly, and laminating short prints when your laminator is webbed up with the wrong laminate for the job.
  5. Signed Out

    Signed Out Very Active Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    We purchased a rollover a couple months ago. We didn't intend to do any laminating with it and haven't other than to try it out. It silvers more than a roll laminator, and really a roll laminator is a much better option for laminating. These tables excel in mounting prints and applying transfer tape. Huge time savers, easy to use and easy to train employees to use. Mounting and masking longer than the length of the table is easy enough.

    For the cutting mat, we just try to do our trimming on the work, not the table. If we are masking, we will trim off excess mask by lightly cutting just the mask, on top of the backer so we don't actually cut on the mat. For trimming excess of substrate we just pull the sheet edges off the side of the table and trim there. And as long as you aren't using the table to laminate, some cuts in the mat don't really matter as there will be a substrate or sheet of vinyl/backer paper smoothing things out.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. LarryB

    LarryB Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Webster, Texas
    I also bought a Rollover last month and have also had issues with silvering. It can do everything except mounting clear laminate as bubbles are everywhere. They do mostly go away after 24 hours but they are still noticable. Their youtube videos show mounting clear laminate but of course it doesn't show the bubbles. This is very misleading on their part.

    When we first used it the mat would suction down the sign so much that you would need to use a paint scraper to pop off. I went ahead and bought a 5' x 10' cutting mat and placed it on top. Works great now.
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    shopped the hell outta these application tables before taking the plunge after 2-3 sign expo's.... CWT is, in my opinion, the absolute best. RollsRoller comes in a close-2nd, rightfully-so as they actually shared the same engineer that designed their products, and you'll definitely be happy with whichever you can squeeze the better-deal out of :)
    Uncertain of their options for installation, because I never opt'd for it. My CWT table showed up in a crate, and easily unpacked & bolted-together. Save a buck, and just DIY, but make sure you have extra sets of hands available.

    the only "must have", is size. don't get buyer's remorse buying a smaller table and realizing a year later you really really wished you got a longer/wider table. max-out your workspace and never look back. ...although the slitter-tool on a stick comes in handy for my shorter employees, but I'm 6'4 so reaching across our 5'wide table is a non-issue for me.

    that being said, I wouldn't rely on the table to be your laminator. Table length limitation aside, you'll still beat up the cutting mat over time and your lamination quality will degrade BUT its still possible. Dust & debris in your workspace will always haunt your laminations as well, its much easier to keep a clean environment around a traditional laminator than a 5'x12' tabletop that constantly collects dust. I utilize my table for application-only, transfer mask included even though its technically "lamination", and keep my laminator in a separate office with my printer.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. AGCharlotte

    AGCharlotte Member

    Feb 28, 2018
    Charlotte, NC
    we have a CWT... it's a real workhorse. Depending on how much cutting you're doing on the table, you'll probably get 12-24 months on the mat. They're supposed to be flippable but ours wouldn't stick when we tried to flip it (maybe we had too much usage on the one side). At 24 months, ours is pretty chewed up. You can laminate longer than the table, but it's tricky as you need to stop, choke up and restart, which can cause issues very easily if you're not careful. We acquired some roll fed laminators earlier in the year which cut down on the amount of lamination we do on the table but we still do a fair amount (mainly smaller pieces or types of laminate that aren't strung in the roll laminators).
    • Like Like x 1
  9. signmania

    signmania Owner

    May 1, 2010
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    I, too, am looking at application tables. I've seen the CWT, Rolls Roller and Rollover (there should be a law about that naming). I have not seen a Roll-x yet. I've talked with people at trade shows and every one of them has told me what a great investment it's been, especially concerning labor savings. I'm leaning towards a CWT because I don't want to spend $1500 to have someone come out and assemble it and I can pick it up myself. I'm also going to have a problem getting it into the shop, and the CWT looks like it would be easier to get it in.

    Question: I've heard various opinions concerning lighting below the table. Several said it was fantastic, but I've weeded on a wooden table for 30 years without so it seems like a great way to save $3k. What do you think?

    Also, how do you control static? One rep told me they had a client get a pretty serious zap to the family jewels before they got some grounding straps. Is that all it takes? We have a humidifier in our HVAC system, but I still can get zapped turning a light on/off on a cold winter day.

    Do you use a compressor in the same room, or run a hose in from the compressor in another room?

    I'm a one person shop now (got sick and tired of employee hassles), and I need to tape 48" wide vinyl that can be 20-30 yards long. I also apply a lot of 4x8 prints to ACM materials. It's tough for 1 person. I've been using a laminator for film lamination and applying cut vinyl and prints to small substrates, but I think one of these tables would definitely speed up the application process.
  10. AGCharlotte

    AGCharlotte Member

    Feb 28, 2018
    Charlotte, NC
    We only use the light when we're trimming out/weeding white vinyl which makes it far easier to see.

    I've noticed static predominantly on plastic materials (PVC, polystyrene, plastic faced ultraboard) but foamcore and coroplast don't cause much if any. You'll learn where to touch to ground yourself pretty quickly but I can't say that it's THAT much static.

    Compressor is in the same room (sitting under the table)... it's not that big. It doesn't run very long when it does kick on and isn't loud compared to other equipment around the shop.

    Everything can be done with one person, but bigger things go much quicker with two. Taping 20-30 yard rolls makes me a little leery. You might want to try and demo doing that somewhere to see how well it works. I'm not sure how to maintain consistency when trying to move things around on the table by yourself. I always have done it with at least 2 people, one holding the tape in place while the other moves the material.

Share This Page