Force Blade Holders

Today I’m covering the new Force bladeholder. A few features about it:

  • There are three colors of blade holders: red, blue, and yellow. The only difference between them is the color. Thus you can use any Force blade in any color of blade holder. For convenience, I personally use red capped blades in the red blade holder, blue capped blades in the blue holder, and yellow capped blades in the yellow holder.
  • When you install a blade, you’ll observe that the blade is fully extended. There is no way to retract it and that’s how the blade will remain, regardless of which material you cut.
  • The blade holder has a large internal spring that controls the force being applied during the cut. As you rotate the top of the blade holder, you are compressing or decompressing that internal spring. Compressing it increases the blade tension, while decompressing decreases the blade tension.
  • There is a blade tension scale you set based on the material being cut. Tighter settings are used with denser materials while looser settings are used with lighter materials.

    Parts of the Blade Holder:

    Installing the Blade:

    (1) Remove the lower cap from the bottom of the blade holder and set aside.

    (2) Remove the plastic colored cap from a blade and insert the non-sharp end of the blade into the main section of the blade holder:


    (3) Gently guide the cap over the sharp end of the blade and begin tightening the cap:


    (4) Once the cap is fully tightened you will see the sharp end of the blade extending beyond the cap:


    Setting the Blade Tension:

    Recommended Blade Tension (BT) settings will be available in the user manual and on the Force support sites. So make sure you look up that setting for your material so that you won’t need to guess. If your material isn’t listed, then pick a material that is similar in density. You can also contact me via email and I can provide input, as well.

    The scale is from 1 to 6 where 1 is for light materials, such as vinyl, and 6 is for very dense materials, such as mat board.


    To set the Blade Tension (BT), hold the top cap of the blade holder firmly with one hand, making sure you can see the numbers on the tension scale. With the other hand, rotate the main part of the blade holder. As you rotate the main section of the blade holder, the tension will change:


    When setting the BT according to a recommended value, adjust the blade holder so that the number is half-covered, half-showing as in the prior photo where the setting is at 5.

    There are approximately four revolutions between any two numbers. If a “half setting” is recommended, such as 3.5, then the blade holder would be rotated about two revolutions so that the tension is approximately halfway between 3 and 4


    Protecting the Blade

    Because the blade is fully extended, it’s very important to exercise caution when inserting and removing the holder from the Force. Currently, I store my holders (with those blades extended) inside the fold-down table. But if I were needing to close up the Force’s table, then I would remove those blade holders, just in case. Michele Harvey (owner of came up with a great idea for protecting the blade tips. She stores the holders in their original plastic tubes, but has added two foam pop dots in the bottom of the tube so that the blade will be resting against that foam:

    Blade Holder Idea

    If you don’t have these foam pop dots, there are other alternatives, such as cutting a few small squares from craft foam or from an egg carton or even from a thick material such as felt.

    In the next lesson, I’ll cover the settings in C3!