Prime Cut

More than 50 sources of cutters, cutting systems, and routers.

Big Picture

Whether you’re primarily outputting graphics onto rigid or roll materials, or a mix of each, you inevitably have a need to cut to finish the piece. But just what type of cutting equipment do you need? Will a manual cutter or cutting saw do the trick? Or, are you in the market for a cutting plotter? Or perhaps your cutting needs are a bit more detailed and intricate, so it’s a CNC router or even a laser cutter that’s necessary for your shops usual array of products?

We’ve put together the following sourcelist of more than 50 companies that produce cutters, cutting systems, and routers for your perusal. We’ve highlighted a sampling of specific offerings from each company (visit the company’s website for a comprehensive list of products). Note that we’ve not included units that also print (printer-cutters), but we have listed a few cutters specifically geared around laminates.

Advanced Greig Laminators
The AGL Auto Trim 3 is an inline automatic web trimmer and sheeter. Capabilities include flush-edge, sealed-edge, and bleed-edge trimming; it also features a program to trim step-and-repeat sheets. An optional “graphics registration” package allows trimming of individual sheets from continuous rolls of printed media. Available in 27-, 38-, 50-, and 63-in. cutting widths. AGL also offers other slitters and trimmers.

Akiles Products
Its Roll@Blade 64 is a 64-in. rotary trimmer that features a self-sharpening tungsten rotary blade, an extra-rigid steel guide bar, a transparent clamping bar, extra-wide working table, and more. Trimming capacity is 2-mm thick. Metal stand and waste catcher included. Other cutters and trimmers available.

Allen Datagraph Systems
Offers several cutters specifically designed for signage and graphics, including: the i-Tech line (in 24- to 60-in. sizes), which allow for cutting directly from CorelDraw, Illustrator, AutoCAD, and other programs; the Model 230 Vinyl Cutter, a 30-in. friction-feed system; the 15-in. Model 315 Sprocket-Trak; and the i-Tech Traffic Cutter line, specifically for materials used in highway and traffic signs (24- to 60-in.).

Alpha Systems
Alpha Systems’ DXB series of routers are geared for sign and advertising shops, and for cutting and engraving plastic, acrylic, and other materials; available in sizes from 14 x 14 x 2-in. to 47 x 95 x 4 in. Its four series of cutting plotters include the GL Cutting Plotter, particularly aimed at wide-format graphics and packaging; available in sizes from 79 x 126 in. to 165 x 204 in.

Anderson America
Offers eight series of CNC routers, including the ACut Cutting System, an industrial cutting system specifically engineered for sign and graphics shops. The ACut system feature Esko’s i-cut vision system, a water-cooled router spindle, a fixed table gantry with six vacuum zones, three different types of knives, and more. Table size is 8 x 4.2 ft.

AXYZ International
Its range of CNC Knife Systems can process a wide range of materials, from graphic foam boards and corrugated cardboard and plastic to vinyl, rubber, fabrics, and more. Each system can be equipped with several different styles of knife head options, including: tangential knife, oscillating tangential knife, and heavy-duty drag knife. Also offers CNC router systems and CNC laser/plasma systems.

Beam Dynamics
Acquired by Coherent Inc. in early 2010, Beam offers a trio of laser machining centers, including the LightCell, with a 48 x 48-in. cutting area; OmniBeam, the company’s most versatile machine for cutting a wide range of materials (non-metals up to 25mm and metals up to 2mm); and MetaBeam, optimized for metal cutting.

CET Color
The X-Press CNC router is designed to handle media up to 2-in. thick and includes Ucancam Routing software allowing the user to produce 3D signage. The router also supports G-code data format, which allows for the importing of graphics from other software. Available in two table sizes, 4 x 8 ft and 5 x 10 ft, the router features a steel-base frame, aluminum vacuum table, and one-piece X/Z axis beam construction.

The Colex Flatbed Cutter is available in two sizes: 4 x 8 ft and 5 x 10 ft. The cutter features a welded steel frame, working surface with high-flow air-grid pattern, Panasonic servo motors, a triple tool head for cutting and routing, and more. A heavy-duty router spindle is optional. The company is also the exclusive North American distributor of Fotoba cutters (see Fotoba listing).

Computerized Cutters
Accu-Cut X-series routers from Computerized Cutters offer 5-hp Perske spindles, steel frames, joist structured aluminum tabletops, and a dual motor-driven gantry. The X-series routers can cut steel, aluminum, plastics, wood, and more, and deliver accuracy within +/- .001-in.

CR Onsrud
Offers a line of CNC routers, including its Tech series and Panel Pro series, both comprising moving-gantry-type machines. The Tech router is available only in 145 x 61-in. sizes, while the Panel Pro is available in table sizes from 5 x 12-ft to 10 x 39-ft. Onsrud also produces fixed-table routers and inverted routers.

The Accu II High Speed is an automatic guillotine cutter featuring a maximum web width of 32 in., a maximum material thickness of 40 mils, and a flush cutting accuracy of +/- .005 in. A stand is included.

Dahle North America
Dahle’s Large Format Guillotine cutters are table-mounted and made of a laminated wood base; they feature a metal safety guard, manual clamp, and a lockable T-square that can be mounted on either end of the cutting surface. Available in 30-, 36- and 42-in. cutting lengths. Its Premium Guillotine cutters are available in cut lengths from 14.5 to 27.5 in. Also offers a range of rolling trimmers.

Eastsign International
Its CZ series of trimmers, available in widths from 36 to 76 in., are suitable for vinyl, paper, and banners (media less than 2mm thick). A stand is included with all models.

The Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated is a digital system oriented toward short-run digitally printed materials. The i-XE10 Automated comprises: the i-XE10 Digital Finishing System with a digital finishing table that can accept material as large as 35 x 47 in. and features include rack-and-pinion X/Y drive and a comprehensive toolset; the i-hs High-Speed AutoFeeder System, which auto-loads flexible materials such as paper, folding carton, pressure-sensitive vinyl, polycarbonates, etc., up to 24 x 28.5 in. and 0.25-in. thick; and the i-hs High-Speed Part Stacker System, which picks up cut-outs or entire sheets from the cutter conveyor and stacks on the lift table; 16 suction-cut positions allows for any sheet size up to 26 x 31 in. (up to eight stacks); waste is automatically discarded. Other Kongsberg cutting tables include the XL/i-XL and the XP/i-XP/XP Auto models (available in three work-area sizes: 66 x 56, 66 x 126, and 87 x 126 in.).

Fletcher-Terry Company
The FSC Substrate Cutter offers a 65-in. cutting capacity, the ability to be wall-mounted or used as a freestanding unit, and a cutting-head design featuring quick-interchange blade and wheel cutting tools. Its Fletcher 3000 is a wall-mounted machine that can cut light board and acrylic (and score glass) up to ¼-in. thick and offers 48- and 60-in. cutting capacity; the Fletcher 3100 can cut hard board (MDF) up to 3/32-in. and has a 63-in. cutting capacity. Also available is the Alta99 Automated Substrate Cutter.

Flexicam offers a range of CNC routers, including the S2, which is available in seven models and sizes from 50 x 100 to 80 x 161 in. The S2 features rigid steel construction, AC servo motors, and planetary gear boxes. An OCS system for high-speed signmaking is optional.

Foster Manufacturing
The Evolution is a wide-format manual cutter built specifically for the sign and digital graphics market. Intended to fit any bench, the cutting system features an extruded alloy cutting base, integrated lift-and-hold mechanism, and adjustable levelers; it can cut materials up to ½-in. thick, including flag, banner, card, PVC foamboard, foamcore, and more. Available in cut sizes from 64 to 144 in. with an optional textile cutting tool. The company also offers various multi-substrate cutters, sheet material cutters, rotary and mat cutters, and more; Foster is the exclusive distributor for Keencut in North and South America.

Fotoba International
Offers a variety of digital print cutters, including the XXL 500 X/Y superwide automatic cutter, which has a cut width of 210 in.; it can accommodate materials up to 0.8mm thick, including polycarbonates, laminated media, photo paper, vinyl, banner, PVC, and more.
Fotoba also offers: the XLD 170 automatic cutter, designed to work with rolls and sheets (67-in. maximum; up to 0.8mm thick); the XL 250/320 automatic cutter (102- and 130-in. max, up to 0.8mm thick); the Digitrim 44/64 (44- and 64-in. max, up to 0.5mm thick) with TrimManager software; and the Rollcut WR61/75 (62- and 75-in. max, up to 0.5mm thick). Colex is Fotoba’s exclusive distributor in North America.

Freedom Machine Tool
Its Patriot three-axis CNC router is available in three sizes: 4 x 2, 4 x 4, and 4 x 8 ft. All three sizes feature: moving gantry design; welded steel tube, angle and plate framework; z-axis tool plate; industrial CNC control; 25mm rails; and industrial brushless AC servo motors. Various spindle and table options available.

The ProCut 40 and ProCut 63 are manual cutters that can cut materials up to 0.5-in. thick and 40- and 63-in. long, respectively; both feature an open-ended design, power-grip cutting head, and embedded grip strips to prevent material from moving while cutting. GBC also offers a series of Triumph-branded automatic and semi-automatic programmable cutters (up to 18-7/8-in. trim width), programmable automatic cutters (up to 25.5 in.), and programmable hydraulic cutters (up to 28-in. trim width).

GCC America
Offers various cutting plotters, including the Expert Pro, which features 23- and 51-in. cutting widths (up to 0.8mm thick), a 400-gram cutting force, and a cutting speed of 24 in./sec. Other cutting plotters include: the Expert 24LX, with a 23.6-in. cutting width (up to 0.8mm thick), 250-gram cutting force, and USB connectivity; the Expert 24, with a 23.6-in. cutting width (up to 0.8mm thick), and 250-gram cutting force; and the Jaguar, Puma, Bengal, and Sable models.

Gerber Scientific Products
Gerber’s Sabre router is designed for dimensional sign making, woodworking, and parts-fabrication applications. Available in two table sizes – 54 x 71.5 and 54 x 121 in. (approximately 54 x 54- and 54 x 101-in. cutting areas, respectively), the Sabre features aluminum construction, z-axis depth control, a T-vac slotted vacuum table, a material-hold and chip-removal system, and more. The company’s M Series flatbed cutter features a T3 modular cutting head with automatic tool recognition, M vision optical-registration system, and high tool force; available in 95 x 77-and 103 x 148-in. table sizes (66 x 46- and 75 x 120-in. cutting areas, respectively).

Graphics One
The GO CutsIt Rotary Trimmer can be used with various media and is available in sizes from 18 to 78 in. Features self-sharpening blade, two clamp rollers, and double steel tube cutting suspension guide. Stand and waste catcher included (on units 38-in. and larger).

Graphtec America
Its FC8000 series cutting plotter features a maximum cutting speed of 58.5 in./sec, 4.0g maximum acceleration, and 20 to 600g selectable cutting forces; can process self-adhesive vinyl as well as high-intensity reflective film, sandblast resist rubber, automotive window and paint-protection films, Amberlith and Rubylith, and other media types. Available in five sizes, from 30- to 72-in. (media widths). Also available: the CE5000 series (15-, 24-, and 48-in. versions).

Image Edge Cutting Systems
The Image Edge substrate-cutting system can cut up to 10 ft in length. It includes four edges, two cutting heads, stabilizer dowels, and blades. The cutting mechanism is pressure-activated and automatically retracts when not in use. The system can handle various substrates including vinyl, banner material, magnetic media, PVC, foam boards, Coroplast, and more.

Sooper Sign Saws are vertical cutting saws available in 50- to 74-in.-cut versions. All saws come with hold down bar, quick stop gauge, backer board, blade knife kit, and more.

The SmarTrac I/S is a wide-format sign cutter designed to handle a variety of rollfed materials and jobs ranging from vinyl signs to pouncing and sandblast mask. It features the company’s SmarTrac technology and a powerful servo motor, a high-speed processor with one-megabyte buffer, adjustable downforce pressure, pinchwheels, and more. Available in four cut widths: 25, 31, 41, and 49 in. Ioline also offers the rollfed 100 System for graphics and sports lettering; 25-in. maximum cutting width.

The SteelTrak is a vertical cutter geared for the sign maker and is capable of cutting rigid (including acrylic up to 6mm) and semi-rigid (including foam-centered board up to 13mm) materials; can also cut glass and aluminum with optional accessories. Available in 65- and 84-in. cut lengths. Also offers a range of cutter bars and its Arc Rotary Cutter in 42- and 52.5-in. models. Foster Manufacturing is the exclusive distributor in North and South America.

Ledco’s Automatic Cutter is designed for use with the company’s Thoroughbred Laminator, but it will adapt to fit other similar equipment, Ledco reports. Cuts up to 30-in. wide with a maximum cutting thickness of up to 50 mils.

Mimaki USA
Mimaki’s CF3 series of flatbed cutting plotters are available with a choice of user-changeable cutting heads, including M head (router), R1 head (reciprocal cutter), and TF2 head (tangential cutter). Available in 122 x 63- and 39.3 x 63-in. cut-area sizes; maximum cutting depth for the router is 1.97 in., for the reciprocating cutter is 0.78 in., and for the tangential cutter is 0.39 in. FineCut 7 software for CorelDraw and Illustrator included, as is Mimaki Plotter Manager. Also available: its CF2 series of flatbed cutting plotters, and four different series of roll/sheet cutting plotters including the CG-SRII series, the CG-60SR, the FXII series (three sizes), and the CG-60SL.

Offers a full line of CNC cutting systems, including routers, knife systems, plasma and laser cutters, and more. Its Digital Express high-speed digital registration, routing, and knife cutting system is available in a range of table sizes, from 60 x 60 to 80 x 120 in. It comes standard with a high-flow vacuum table and the company’s MultiVision digital registration system, a digital camera/software-based system that can visually recognize media-registration marks and automatically compensate for skew, distortion, and image drift. The system’s high-speed capture software is designed to reduce the time required to read registration marks and improve finished product throughput. Up to three knife cutting heads can be configured with quick-change cartridge options, which include high-frequency oscillating, drag knife, kiss cutting, rotary knife, and creasing wheel. It’s recently added an automatic tool changer for spindles.

Mutoh’s Kona Cutters are available in three sizes: 30, 54, and 65 in. All three cutter sizes feature: laser-based optical sensors for automatic job recognition and accurate alignment; a dual-roll support system; full-color LCD touch screen; and an automatic sheet-off mechanism incorporating a rotatable blade with four cutting sides. The cutting force is adjustable from 20 to 450 grams; cutting speed is adjustable up to 1000 mm/s; maximum media thickness is 1 mm. The 30-in. cutter is equipped with two pressure rollers; the 54- and 65-in. cutters are equipped with three pressure rollers. Stand and wheels are standard on the 54- and 65-in. cutters, optional on the 30-in. version. An optional roll-off system is available for contactless loading of pre-printed rolls. Also available is the Mutoh SC-Pro 1650, a 64-in. cutter plotter.

Neolt USA
The Electro Foam Trim Plus is an electric foam trimmer available in vertical and horizontal configurations, designed for heavyweight rigid media. It features a fixed blade cutting head with variable speed that operates at 6 in./second on the cut; 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-mm cutting heads are supplied for scoring, single-pass, or bi-directional cuts. Will cut various substrates including rigid foam board up to 1.18 in.- or Sintra up to 0.5 in.-thick. Neolt also makes the Trim (for lightweight flexible materials), Power Trim Plus (medium-weight flexible), Strong Trim Pro (heavyweight flexible), Super Trim (extra heavyweight flexible), and Manual Foam Trim (lightweight rigid) trimmers.

Océ North America
Océ’s ProCut Digital Cutting Tables are suitable for roll media, sheets, or rigid substrates up to 1.97-in. thick, and can be utilized on output from any manufacturer’s printer. The tables are paired with ProCut Software to create automated finishing systems that can be used to optimize basic trimming tasks for rigid and flexible media; they can also be used to finish more complex jobs such as contour-cut P-O-P displays, production-quantity decals, and structural projects. Table sizes range from 51 x 63-in. to 128 x 124-in. All tables feature an aluminum-composite table top, a self-adjustable vacuum system, and advanced industrial dust protection. Available for use on the ProCut tables is a V-cut tool, which enables the creation of three-dimensional structural designs; it will cut at a variety of angles on material up to 5/8-in. thick.

Orca Photonic Systems
X-Y laser systems and laser pattern cutter systems. Its X-Y systems are available in shuttle-feed, conveyor-feed, and flatbed configurations. Systems can be equipped with laser powers ranging from 25 to 400 watts.

Roland DGA
The CAMM-1 Pro GX-640 cutter is designed for vehicle graphics, window tints, signage, stencils, pinstriping, and more. It can accommodate media up to 72-in. wide (65-in. cut width) and features the company’s Quadralign technology to precisely read crop marks on preprinted data. It offers three cut modes, front and rear loading, automatic sheet-cut function, an overlap function for thicker media, CutStudio software, and more. It’s integrated with Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software. Also available is the GX-24 and the GX Pro (300/400/500) series of cutters. Roland also has a line of VersaCut print trimmers engineered specifically for production graphics shops: the VersaCut manual trimmer available in 44-, 68-, and 100-in. widths and is designed for flexible and rigid substrates; and the VersaCut CR crank-assisted trimmers, offered in 48- and 72-in. sizes, which can cut Sintra, Gatorfoam, Coroplast, and other rigid substrates up to 1/2-in. thick, and are designed to bridge the gap between handheld trimmers and fully mechanized trimmers or wall cutters.

Rosenthal Manufacturing
Offers a trio of graphics trimmers, including the Smartrim, the Smartrim TriVision Trimmer, and the TriVision Slitter. The Smartrim Trivision Trimmer enables the user to convert master rolls of graphics or press sheets into any width and length strips required for signage and graphics; optional features include sheetfed operation, auto roll-up, and overlaminate application. Each unit is custom configured. Also manufactures a range of sheeters.

Vertical sheet cutters, trimmers, autosheeters, and more. Designed for signmakers, large-format digital print shops, and exhibition/graphic designers, the Excalibur 5000 vertical sheet cutter is available in 48- and 63-in. cut lengths and can cut rigid materials up to 10mm-thick. The British company has several US distributors.

Safety Speed Manufacturing
Manufactures vertical panel saws, table saws, and panel routers. Its 3400 Vertical Panel Router provides production routing capacity on a 10-ft vertical steel frame. Maximum cross cut is 62 in.; maximum cut thickness is 1.75 in. Optional Mid-Way fence. Safety Speed also offers nine different panel saws, including the C4 (for 4 x 8-ft sheets) and C5 (for sheets up to 64-in. wide) designed for shops with limited floor space. Its Sign Saw Package includes accessories designed for and proven by sign-industry experts, the company reports.

Saw Trax Manufacturing
Saw Trax offers an array of panel saws, including the Sign Makers Panel Saw and Mat Cutter Combo Machine. The Sign Makers saw can cut a variety of materials – rigid as well as softer materials – up to 1.75-in. thick in all directions with saw or knife. Available in 52-, 64-, 76-, 88-, and 100-in. cross cuts. A mid-fence for waist-high cuts on small materials is optional. Also: handheld cutters for signage.

ShopBot Tools
ShopBot’s PRSalpha gantry-based CNC routers are intended for wood, plastics, aluminum, and other materials, and are available in sizes from 48 x 48-in. to 144 x 60-in. (nominal cutting area); cutting speeds up to 600 in./min; step resolution of 0.0004-in. A line of entry-level PRSstandard CNC routers (48 x 48-in. and 96 x 48-in. cutting area) is also available and can be upgraded to PRSalpha.

The EnduraCut is a 24-in. desktop vinyl sign cutter designed for short-run graphics; available in four different bundled versions. Also offers the Vinyl Express Q Series of vinyl sign cutters in 24- to 60-in. models; 50-in./sec top speed.

SpeedPress Sign Supply
Its Rotary Mini Cutter can be used to cut and trim vinyl, digital prints, cardboard, paper, and fabrics. Offers a 36-in. cut; built-in blade cover.

Summa USA
Its OPOS-CAM contour cutter was specifically developed to increase workflow efficiency when contour cutting printed graphics, signs, labels, vehicle wraps, and decals. It features advanced camera optics, Summa’s CameraControl recognition software, the Summa TrueTangential cutting head, and a pressure-sensitive control panel. Top cut speed of 54 in./sec; available in 54- and 64-in. versions. Summa also produces: its Summa S Class T and S Class D series of cutters (30- to 64-in.), and its SummaCut series of vinyl and contour cutters (30-, 48-, 54-, and 64-in. models), featuring a high-speed cutting head, OPOS-X contour cutting alignment, integrated media rollers, and more.

The Teckcut CNC router is available in two sizes: as the Teckut 1525, with an active cutting area of 98 x 61 in., and as the Teckut 2030, with a cutting area of 122 x 81 in. Both routers feature an 8-Kw HSD spindle motor, auto tool change, high-performance vacuum bed, digital servo/ballscrew drive systems, and more. Maximum traverse/cutting speed is 79 ft/min. Various options and accessories available.

Its SignRouter series of CNC routers is specifically designed for signage and P-O-P graphics. The SignRouter 43 features a 61 x 121-in. fixed table, a 10-hp spindle, and an 11-position automatic tool changer; it can machine flat and three-dimensional signage using wood, composites, chip core, rigid foam, plastics, non-ferrous metals, and other materials. An i-cut Vision camera and software are optional. The SignRouter 45, with table sizes from 5 x 10-ft to 7 x 12 ft, is also available.

Universal Laser Systems
The PLS6.75 is a free-standing platform designed and engineered for light manufacturing operations and batch production. It offers a work surface area of 32 x 18-in. and is particularly suited for manufacturing and production environments. The PLS6.150HD is the same size as the 6.75 but offers dual-laser configuration for increased power. Universal offers a variety of other laser models.

Vision Engraving & Routing Systems
Offers three models of CNC routers/engravers in its lineup: the 2525, the 2550, and the 4 x 8 Large Router. The 2525 features a 25 x 25-in. table while the 2550 features a 25 x 50-in. table; both have aluminum T-slot tables, a heavy-duty gantry, and the ability to 2 x 4-ft sheets of material, including wood, metals, plastic, acrylic, Sintra, sign foam, and more. The 4 x 8 Large Router features a 4 x 8-ft routing area and Vision Pro software; a digitally aligned cutting system (DACS) camera is optional.

Vytek Laser System
Its laser cutters are available in various models. The G/X Laser Cutting and Engraving series utilizes sealed CO2 laser technology (100, 200, or 400W power) and comes in three sizes (working area): 50 x 50, 50 x 100, and 64 x 125 in. All sizes can accommodate materials up to 3-in. thick. Maximum cutting speed is 1200 in./min.

Zünd America
The Zünd G3 Digital Cutter is available in various sizes, from 52 x 63 to 126 x 125 in., and it can cut materials up to 2-in. thick. Users can combine various modules and tools to take on various graphics projects; the Universal Module accommodates tools ranging from a universal cutter, pneumatic oscillating cutter, and kiss-cut tool to a creasing tool for corrugated cardboard and a driven rotary tile for fibrous materials. Material-handling systems include a conveyor belt, universal and shaft-based roll off units, and a sheet feeder.



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