What is THE BEST KNIFE to use for Vehicle Wraps?
If you work with vinyl then you know how important your knife and blades are. Quality and reliability are massive components of a top notch wrap knife. It should also be comfortable and durable. Your blades should be super sharp and have optimum edge retention.
There are several companies that produce knifes and blades that are best suited for professionals in the sign and wrap industry. My personal favorite and go to brand is NT Cutter. NT cutter uses simple yet efficient designs along with superior materials to create exceptional knifes and blades that you can count on install after install.
Over the past 3 years I have trusted in their Red Dot knife, however just recently I upgraded to NT Cutter’s Premium Evo G knife which is a bit heavier and larger with better aesthetics in my opinion. The powder coated red frame looks really good. NT Cutter has recently released a newer Evo version that comes in an all black stealth colorway.
With either model I recommend wrapping or sanding the area of the knife where the blades extends, this will ensure your actual knife will not create any scratches on the substrate while making your cuts.
Companies like Paint Is Dead, Vivvid vinyl, Alvin as well as NT Cutter all make plastic knifes that also ensure you don’t cause any scratches or marks with your knife. If your preference is plastic then check out this knife from NT Cutter that hold multiple blades at once, this is great feature and is quicker than replacing a blade on your typical NT Cutter knife.
As a left handed installer I need a knife that caters to left handed people. NT Cutter solved that issue for me by brilliantly incorporating the ability to use both their Red Dot and Premium EVO G knife as a lefty or a righty.
Changing to a new blade is a snap with either model and takes only seconds. Both knifes come with a blade breaker but you will have to buy or make your own blade disposal case. Go with something simple and cheap, there’s no need to spend extra money on something that houses your old blades that you will never use again.
Another decision you will have to make is whether to purchase and use 58 degree blades or 30 degree blades. If you are mostly into vehicle wraps you will be best off using 30 degree blades. Either way maybe try both and see which is best for you. I personally use NT Cutter 30 degree carbon steel blades and order them in packs of 100.
Some other cutting devices you may want to invest in as a wrapper would be a snitty or zippy, this is a razor blade inside a plastic piece that allows you to cut the backing paper off the vinyl with no paper burs or fuzzies finding their way into your vinyl. These are perfect for solo installers or when you need to create hinges or you’re installing a section of your vinyl at a time. The last one to add to your arsenal would be a body gaurd knife or a top sheet knife. This type of knife allows installers to cut the backing paper off the vinyl film without removing the backing paper, unlike the snippy which requires the installer to first remove the backing paper from the vinyl prior to making your cut.
Ultimately, when it comes to slicing vinyl whatever feels the best to you is what is going to matter the most. I prefer to stick with companies that have been around for years and years while continuing to provide quality products that are tried and true. Regardless of the brand make sure you have all your cutting needs covered. 1-2 knives with break a way blades, lots of extra blades either 30 or 58 degree, a blade disposal case, a snitty and lastly a body guard knife and you’ll be set to handle all and any vinyl cutting demands.