Fix a cutter that doesn’t cut graphics completely

By signcraft

Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

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It’s really frustrating to start weeding a contour cut print/lam job only to find that some of the cuts are incomplete because the cutter blade had skipped intermittently when it had to change direction. Hand-cutting these areas is tedious and aggravating. It eats up precious production time that few shops have to spare.

It was driving Alex Lovertich, TKO Signs & Graphics, crazy until he found a simple trick that resolved the issue once and for all. Even if you’re not dealing with this problem now, his solution will prevent it from happening to you right when you’re running behind and need to get a print weeded and applied in a hurry.

“For a long time,” says Alex, “I had trouble on contour cuts especially on print/lam jobs. I would get drags or skips in my cuts, which made it a real pain to weed. I usually had to use an X-acto knife to get it done.

“I searched online and found that others also had this issue. My printer/cutter is a Roland VP-540i but it was happening to people with various other brands of printer-cutters as well. No one had found a cure.

“I tried new blades and several speed and pressure variations but nothing helped. I was so frustrated with the cut quality, I actually started turning down contour-cut jobs.

“Then one day, as I was inspecting my blade, I noticed that it was sticking slightly in the holder. I decided to clean the blade shaft then dropped a little silicone lubricant in the holder. Lo and behold, this cured the problem.

“Now I get perfect cuts with no skipping—even on small or odd-shaped decals. I make it a weekly habit to clean the blade shaft and add a drop of silicone. It works like a champ. I hope this will help other sign makers that are having this problem.”

Doug Downey at tells us that you can also use a drop of WD-40 or similar lubricant in the blade holder.

Many thanks to both Alex and Doug for passing along this tip. If you’ve got a tip or trick to share, we’d like to hear it. Drop us a note at today. Thanks!

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