Scan 'N Cut Tutorial: Cutting Vinyl

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Please note that we have a YouTube channel in which we have posted several Scan 'N Cut tutorials and will continue to do so as time allows.

The purpose of this blog is to address particular questions/concerns/problems addressed on Facebook regarding the Scan 'N Cut.

Cutting Vinyl: Craft Vinyl

Cutting vinyl can be a bit tricky. 

Facebook is filled with images such as this one with butchered vinyl and failed attempts. Here are a few tips:

1) Use good quality vinyl. Quality matters and makes life easier. The better the quality, the easier it is to cut and to weed. Brother has a great line of vinyls that are perfect and cut like butter. Yes, they are a bit more expensive, but they last and I don't cuss when I use them!

2) With craft vinyl, make sure that the back has a glossy coating on it. If it feels like paper, it is going to stick like paper and it will be a disaster. The back has to have a waxy, glossy coating so it lifts off the mat. The higher quality the vinyl, the higher quality the back--seriously. The back goes against the mat.

3) The vinyl blade is a game changer. This is another great reason to upgrade to a newer model machine. The different blades that are now available make cutting so much easier and cleaner.

4) Your mat needs to be sticky without being too sticky. I take my vinyl and using a corner of it, stick it to my mat. If I can pull it off with some resistance but not so much that it is tearing or leaving the backing on the mat, then I am good to go. If I can pull it off too easily, I need a stickier mat. Doing this simple test will save time and money. Take the few seconds it takes to do this.

5) Make sure your vinyl is sticking well to the mat. You can use tape on the edges and corners if they are peeking up, but the interior of the vinyl should have a good hold to the mat.

6) Make sure you are on half-cut. I also add a weeding box to make my weeding easier. These are both found in the wrench tool once you are in the cutting stage.

7) Even though you may have an auto-blade model, you may want to do a test cut with vinyl. It can save a lot of heartache and waste if you do. If everything looks good with the test, you are good to go!

Cutting Vinyl: Heat Transfer Vinyl

Follow the same steps as above with one additional step. For HTVs, you must put the right side down on the mat and reverse your image. 

Brother has HTV vinyl is a variety of styles--glitter, solid, flocked, etc. These are amazing! They cut and weed exceptionally well.

I hope that these tips will help you in the future to be more successful with cutting your vinyl projects.

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