For a PDF version, see the link at the bottom of the post.
I’ve devised a flow chart that I’m hoping will help all cutter owners who struggle with knowing how to find optimum cut settings for new materials. This has always been an issue for new owners since the principles involved in cutting are often counter-intuitive. I’ll always remember hearing from one of the KNK dealers who had a customer who thought his new KNK had to be defective because he had the blade fully extended and was using maximum force and was not getting a good cut from cardstock! If only it actually worked that way! There’s a reason why one does NOT cut with the blade all the way out NOR have the software set to maximum pressure. Not only are you attacking the material but you’re also cutting the mat versus the material… just not going to work!
Now most new KNK owners have read Section 2.01 of their user manual and have at least been exposed to the following facts about cutting:
Set the blade length to match the material thickness – more blade isn’t going to result in better cutting
Set the blade height about 1/8″ above the material – too low and the cut won’t be consistent
Adjust the speed, force, and number of passes based on the material and shapes – refer to the user manual for “suggested” settings for your first test cut
Keep the cutting mat clean and sticky – if the material isn’t stabilized, it’s not going to cut.
Adjust blade offset according to the blade or tool you’re using – should be written on the blade packaging
There are some troubleshooting tips in Appendix B of the user manuals. There you will find suggestions about what to check if your cuts are not complete or you’re getting tearing of the material. But based on how many times I see posts about questions during test cutting, I figured it might be time to document how I’ve always gone about my own test cutting. I started with just some notes but quickly realized that it really is a logical flow chart procedure that I’ve always used:
Test Cutting Flow Chart
I’m eager to see how this works for all of you. I’ve privately shared it a few times now and received some positive feedback. But that doesn’t mean it still isn’t missing something. So feel free to let me know your experience when using it. I’ll be adding this to future user manual updates.
Note: I also want to thank Steve Bailey for some great suggestions to improve the overall style.