If you have been dealing with crafting and vinyl cutters for some time now then it is very likely that you have come across terms like ‘offset’, ‘blade offset’ or more specifically, ‘vinyl cutter blade offset’. We cannot stress enough how much confusion and wrong information is available out there when it comes to something like offset. People would blame pretty much anything and everything about a poor cut to offsets. However, offset refers to a very specific kind of problem which has its own ways of dealing with. This article here will hopefully clarify everything on that regard for you.
What is the Vinyl Cutter Blade Offset Exactly?
Before we can proceed any further, it is essential that we have a very clear understanding of what blade offset is. To put things into simple terms, blade offset is basically the distance between the tip of a blade from where the cutting is usually done till the center-line of the blade shaft. Blade offset can be labelled as the effective cutting width of a vinyl cutter’s blade. The cuts delivered by blades are usually a certain distance away from the center of the shank. Since there is considerable distance between the center of a blade’s shaft and its tip, the blade has to maneuver a greater distance when it comes to the corners of our designs so that the tip of the blade can cut through them and give us the designs the way we want them.
How to Deal with Blade Offset?
Good news is that blade offset is adjustable which allows us to mitigate the issues that arise from the fact that tip and center of blades are distant. We simply have to set the right blade offset amount to get the perfect cuts. By adjusting blade offsets, we instruct the blade to cover an extra distance to make proper cuts. However the bad news is that we have to get the blade offset value right if we want to get the perfect cuts. Put them in too low and the corners of your designs will turn out rounded. Leave the blade offset too high and the corners will turn out bubbled. For the perfect square cuts, it is very important to get the right blade offset.
Blade offset is a number that can be adjusted depending on the conditions and circumstances while cutting. The best vinyl cutters in the market today let the users adjust the cutting speed and force. Blade offset is no different. Each blade will require a different offset value to cut around the corners with perfection. What is the right offset value will depend largely on which company’s blade you are using and also the cutting machine too. For instance, the offset value of a 45 degree blade will be very different from a 60 degree blade and so on.
However, we can give you a few pointers as general rule of thumb. The 45 degree blades usually work best when the offset value is about 0.30 mm which roughly translates to about 0.0118 inches. Naturally, the offset value goes higher when it comes to 60 degree blades. This is why what we strongly recommend our readers is to do test cuts extensively to find out the right offset value more so if they are new with their cutters and necessary equipment. Test out the cuts with the extra material that you have in store. Increase the offset marginally little by little and keep making cuts until you find out just the right amount. Blade offset can be easily adjusted from the software that is being used with the vinyl cutter.
Luckily, we live in 2018 and if you are using a popular vinyl cutter, chances are there is already other people using it too. You can visit the websites and forums comprising of other crafters and hobbyists to find out how they got it right. There are tons of guides and articles available on the Internet. Sometimes, the user guide that the vinly cutter comes with also include guidance regarding blade offset.
To round up this article, we would like to remind our readers at FullyReviewed.net with two of the common problems that arise due to the wrong offset and the solution to fixing them. If the cut lines start out crooked or the corners are too rounded than the offset value that you have set is too low and needs to be increased. However, if they corners turn out bubbled than you need to lower the offset value as it is too high.
Hope, this article has equipped you better to tackle the issue of blade offset. Wishing you the best of luck in the coming days.