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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I was just curious about cutters in general. I see alot of people use them for vinyl signs and others use some for heat transfer on T-Shirts.

Strictly speaking for T-Shirts, If you have a cutter, is there a time when you should and should not use the cutter? The reason I ask it because I've been watching a lot of how-to videos on youtube, and it seams they are using scissors alot to trim their artwork. I also notice they trim it to about 1/8-1/4 away from the artwork. I know this can be cost effective if you can't afford a cutter, but I was wondering if it is preferred.

Does the transfer paper, light or dark (opaque), thickness, strectable(JPSS), etc matter when it comes to using a cutter? Or can you use a cutter for everything if you want?

I was wondering if there was a guide in general that says "contour cutting for opaques, use a cutter or scissors", "cutting for stretchable transfers, use scissors only", etc....

Any comments would be appreciated...Thanks!
 

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to contour cut with a cutter, you will need one with an optic eye or other system of registration AND a paper that has a backing or one that you put a backing to so you only cut around the image and the backing acts as a carrier sheet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So only transfer papers, such as the opaque type where you weed the image off if it will work; but not the type that you print in reverse(mirror), press and peel the paper from...will not?

Is this a correct assumption?

Can you still cut all the way through the kind that you don't peel away, similar as to using scissors, if you want to cut directly to the edge of the artwork?
 

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I use my cutter for1 color designs of 12 or less. In most cases plastisol is cheaper after 12. I use for word shirts ans names and numbers for team apparel. I also use my my cutter for making proofs for a customer to see. I don't know what I ever did before I owned a cutter. .... JB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi JB...I'm not sure if I get it. I thought plastisol was used for screen printing? Can you use a printer with plastisol inks, or do yu have to order them from somewhere else pre-printed?

Do you mean for small jobs(under 12), 1 color, you use your cutter, but if larger quantities, you use plastisol for price savings?

Also, why do you only use the cutter for 1 color artwork? Do you mean like 1 color vinyl numbers and letters for jerseys, not ink printed?
 

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you do not print with a cutter....you only cut vinyl...unless you have a cutter with optic eye or other regisration marks to contout cut around a printed image from your printer and the cutter will just cut around the outline...saves using scissors. Reason you use only one or two colors is you don't want to 'stack' too many layers...you can do more than two if you are careful..and as for plastisol transfers...these are transfers you buy from one of our vendors...which is screen printing on a special paper...you then press it on the garment/material of choice. if yhou gang the prints you can be cheaper than other methods
 

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Plastisol can be printed on paper to make plastisol transfers that can be heat pressed.

Vinyl is great for customization or small orders. For example I'm doing some shirts for a drumline. They need about 36 shirts, but they want to put their individual nicknames on each shirt. So, I'll order plastisol transfers for the shirts and then cut their nicknames from vinyl to put on the sleeves.

There are some videos around here that show some other intersting things you can do with a cutter. Like cutting twill and vinyl to place around the edges for a textured look. on a jersey.
 

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I use my cutter mostly for small one color jobs. I go with plastisol transfers at about quantity 25.

Although, I just did a job today of 20 shirts, 2 color design. The customer needed the shirts right away for a commercial they're shooting tomorrow, so I used vinyl. It actually worked out better to use vinyl in this case, because it turns out the red, white, and blue design was going on some red, some blue, and one white tee, so that would have required ordering different color plastisols for each color shirt.

There are exceptions to every rule though. If I'm doing an "over heart" of text only, I might do as many as 50 with vinyl.

I guess it all depends on the order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi guys..Thanks for the replies.

I understand you don't print with a cutter, I was just curious about why so many people only did 1 or 2 color items with the cutter.....Then I understood what you mean is that you use a single colored vinyl sheet and cut the numbers or letters out and then heat transfer them to the garment.

I thought everyone was printing a single color item on their printer and then cutting it out on the cutter. I was was thinking, "why not print more than one color", until I noticed people were talking about cutting colored material.

So, if you do have an optic sensor and can do contour cutting, do you only do it with opaque transfer paper(peel away), or can you do it with non peel away papers? Why do people who cut with scissors leave the 1/8" gap around the artwork?..Is there shrinking issues or they just don't want to get too close to the artwork?
 

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You can contour cut both opaque and transfers for lites with an optic registration sensing cutter. Probably more important with the opaque transfers for darks as the paper is white and clearly obvious on the shirt. The paper for lites is transp. and not so noticable.
 

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Hi JB...I'm not sure if I get it. I thought plastisol was used for screen printing? Can you use a printer with plastisol inks, or do yu have to order them from somewhere else pre-printed?

Do you mean for small jobs(under 12), 1 color, you use your cutter, but if larger quantities, you use plastisol for price savings?

Also, why do you only use the cutter for 1 color artwork? Do you mean like 1 color vinyl numbers and letters for jerseys, not ink printed?
I meant I use transfers made with plastiol ink and applied with a heat press.I'm sorry I was not clear on my last post. .... JB
 
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