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 http://cuttinupdesigns.com/) 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:
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!
The two new products have been added to my store in the past week!
DOT (aka Dongle Organizing Toolbox) is an adorable little container for protecting a security key (dongle) or a flash drive as well as storing blade holders and blades for a range of cutters!
Read more about DOT here: DOT
Also, I’m very pleased to announce that I’m now selling Make-The-Cut! A plug-in was released last week and MTC now cuts directly to a Klic-N-Kut (all models) and offers the following advantages over KNK Studio only:
Direct cutting of SVG files to your KNK
Precise, user-friendly print and cuts!
Automatic circle outlines/fills for rhinestone designing
Instant lattice fills of images
Preview of auto-tracing results before application
Further, you can now choose between Make the Cut and Klic-N-Kut Studio when ordering a new Groove-E! The Maxx models will continue to automatically be sold with KNK Studio, but for the low cost of MTC ($58.36), you may wish to add it on!
Note that owners of certain older KNK models may need to purchase serial plus serial/USB converter cables for communication from MTC to their cutters. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you determine if that will be necessary prior to purchase.
About 4 months after I wrote the KNK User Manual, it was discovered that the newest silver bladeholders for the KNK were shorter than the original ones released in Spring 2007. This causes the tip of the blade to be too far above the material to have enough force to properly cut anything from cardstock on up. Thus, if you are a relatively new owner of a KNK, then YOUR bladeholder will probably need adjusting so that the tip of the blade can be just above the cutting surface. (Refer to the photo.) This is VERY easy to do! 🙂
Simply unscrew the top of the bladeholder and move the flange upwards by also unscrewing, and then tighten the top down onto the flange.
Note that it is then NOT necessary to push the bladeholder all the way down in the grip. See next photo below. The bladeholder should be positioned so that the tip of the blade is around 1/16” above the material you are cutting before the cut begins. Don’t forget to tighten the grip firmly so that that bladeholder doesn’t slide upwards during the cut. AND… of course, ONLY have as much blade exposed as the thickness of the material you are cutting.