Stay Sharp with Cutters and Routers
More than 50 sources of cutters, cutting systems, routers, and trimmers.
Cutting to size or shape is often a critical step in the finishing process. But what kind of machine is best for your particular operation and the types of jobs you typically take on?
Do you need equipment that can cut a wide range of substrates from standard rollfed media to rigid substrates like metal, foamboard, and wood – and perhaps fabrics as well? How important is contour cutting to you? What kind of speeds do you feel you must have in order to stay relevant with deadlines? And, of course, what substrate/media sizes are you typically dealing with?
To aid you in your search process for the best cutting or routing solution for your shop, we provide the following sourcelist of more than 50 companies that produce cutters, cutting systems, routers, and trimmers designed for wide-format graphics. In each company listing, we highlight some of the products they have to offer (to view all of the company’s available products, visit their website). Note that we have not included printer-cutters in this list.
Advanced Greig Laminators
The AGL Auto Trim 4 is an inline automatic web trimmer and sheeter that utilizes a self-sharpening rotary blade. Capabilities include flush-edge, sealed-edge, and bleed-edge trimming; plus 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.
Its Roll@Blade 64 is a 64-in. rotary trimmer featuring a self-sharpening tungsten rotary blade, an extra-rigid steel guide bar, an ergonomic metal blade carriage, a transparent clamping bar, an 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 cutters (in 24- to 60-in. sizes), which feature an EZ-Run Interface, precision motion control, and six programmable job set-ups; the Model 230 Vinyl Cutter, a 30-in. portable friction-feed, vinyl system; and the i-Tech Traffic Cutter line, specifically for materials used for highway and traffic signs including prismatic reflective materials (24- to 60-in.)
Alpha Systems’ series of routers include DXB Routers, 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 to 47 x 95 x 4 in. Router package includes T-slot cutting bed, starter bit pack, machine control software, 2D design software, hand controller, and 2HP spindle with inverter. Its four series of cutting plotters includes the GL Cutting Plotter, particularly aimed at wide-format digital graphics and packaging; in sizes from 79 x 126 to 165 x 204 in.
The AKut Cutting System is a multi-tool cutting system specifically engineered for sign and graphics shops. The AKut system features Esko’s i-cut vision system, i-cut Vision Pro with integrated i-cut Camera, 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. Eight series of CNC routers are also offered.
Its range of CNC router systems are for processing rigid and semi-rigid materials with its rotary cutting tool and can operate simultaneously in three axes of motion to create three-dimensional surfaces for moulds or finished products. Designed to machine materials such as natural woods, engineered wood products, plastics, non-ferrous metals, fiberglass composites, foam products, as well as other engineered products including metal composites, phenolics, and more. Also offers CNC knife cutting systems and CNC laser/plasma systems.
CLN of South Florida
Offers two router series including the CLN 300 Series, a heavy-duty, steel-framed table router featuring automatic tool length measuring, spindle speed control, 17-in. wide-screen monitor, and more. In table sizes of 4 x 8, 5 x 10, and 6 x 12 ft or custom.
Offers 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 up to 6mm thickness. Also, the Meta platform of laser cutters, including the Meta 2C, for metals and non-metals.
The 5- x 10-ft Colex Sharpcut Digital Flatbed Cutter features a fixed knife, oscillating knife and router, a triple, interchangeable tool head for cutting and routing, and more. A semi-automatic board feeder and a digital roll holder are optional. The company is also the exclusive North American distributor of Fotoba cutters (see Fotoba listing).
Colter & Peterson
The 45-in. Saber X15 cutter is a heavy-duty precision paper cutter that offers a max. cutting depth of 45 in., automatic knife adjustment, a new hydraulic system, Microcut 15-in. touchscreen controls, and more. The X15 is available in 37-, 54-, and 62-in. sizes; the Saber XXL is available in sizes up to 126-in. Colter & Peterson also offers the Prism line of cutters.
The Accu-Cut XPS router offers 5-HP Perske spindles, steel frames, automatic tool-height calibration, and a dual motor-driven gantry. The machine can cut aluminum, plastics, wood, and more, and deliver accuracy within +/- .001-in. Cutting speed up to 700 in./min. Other Accu-Cut routers are available.
Offers a line of CNC routers, including its Tech series and Pro series, both featuring moving-gantry-type machines. The Tech router is available in a table size of 5 x 12 ft and the Pro is available in table sizes from 5 x 12 to 35 ft. Onsrud also produces inverted routers.
Crest Dutch Machinery
The RSC 3200 Ci Roll Sheet Cutter is a 126-in. wide X-Y cutter. Developed for cutting textiles (slitting and cross cutting), the cutter can also handle other media including paper, foil, PVC, and polyester. It can be operated in manual, semi-automatic, or automatic mode. A skew function for alignment adjustment is standard; an optional hot-cutting system is available. The cutter is also available in 60- and 93.5-in. models.
The Accu II High Speed is an automatic cutter featuring a max. web width of 32 in., a max. material thickness of 40 mils, a flush cutting accuracy of +/- .005 in., and a dual air cylinder. A stand is included.
Dahle North America
Dahle offers a series of Large Format Cutters. The Premium Series Large Format Guillotine cutters are table-mounted with a metal base; they feature a metal safety guard with pre-printed guides, an automatic clamp, and a spring system that prevents the blade from falling. In 32- and 43-in. cutting lengths. A stand is included. Dahle also offers a range of rolling trimmers.
Digital Art Solutions
SmartCutter Pro Series 24-in. vinyl cutters features the AAS II Accu-Alignment System for contour cutting, digital servo motors, a fully adjustable media-handling system, 600 grams of cutting force, and a max. media thickness of 0.8mm.
Digital Graphic Systems
The Samurai V-Cut II is the company’s fourth generation of digital flatbed cutters. Features include: a heavy-duty cutting head with independent tool motion servo motors (six motors total), new vacuum table system and design; automatic tool-depth sensor; and more. Max. cutting area is 63 in.; max. cutting thickness is 2.3 in.; max. cutting diameter is ¼-in.; max. motion speed is 1000 mm/sec. A Kase-Vision camera-registration system is optional. Also available: the Samurai GP 3400 and V-Cut, as well as the Tornado II CNC router.
Its series of three trimmers, available in 48-, 60-, and 96-in. widths, are suitable for flexible media such as vinyl, paper, and banners less than 2mm thick. A stand is included with all models. Also the Aristo CNC Cutter line.
The new Kongsberg V cutting table is available in specific configurations for sign/display and for packaging. Both models feature: insert-knife tools for a range of media/substrates; bar-coded inserts to allow for quick and error-free tool exchanges; a rack-and-pinion drive system; table mapping; and more. In two sizes: approximately 66 x 50 and 66 x 120 in.
The Kongsberg C64 works with 126 x 126-in. substrates and can accommodate substrates from paper and textiles to corrugated, fluted board, plastics, aluminum composites, and more. Also: the Kongsberg C60 model, which accommodates 126 x 63-in. sizes. And, the Kongsberg i-XE10 Automated is designed for short-run production on various materials with a 31.5 x 43.3-in. work area. Other Kongsberg cutting tables include the XL/i-XL and the XP/i-XP/XP Auto models (in three work-area sizes: 66 x 56, 66 x 126, and 87 x 126 in.).
The Fletcher FSC Multi-Material Cutter offers a 65-in. vertical cutting capacity, the ability to be wall-mounted or used as a freestanding unit, and interchangeable cutting-head technology. Its Fletcher 3000 is a wall-mounted or freestanding machine that can cut foamboard, acrylic, and glass/mirrors up to 0.75-in. thick and offers 48- and 60-in. cutting capacity; the Fletcher 3100 can cut Gator board, foamboard, and corrugated plastics up to 0.5-in. thick and has a 63-in. cutting capacity. Also available: the FSC Semi-Rigid/Flexible Cutter and the Alta99 Automated Substrate Cutter.
Flexicam offers a range of CNC routers, including the S2, which is available in six models and in sizes from 60 x 62 to 72 x 149 in. The S2 features rigid steel construction, a moving gantry, AC servo motors, and a max. cutting speed of 82 ft/min.
The new 98-in. Steel Trak vertical cutter handles 4 x 8-ft boards and features a vertical cutting length of 98 in.; it can cut up to 4mm thick. The Evolution-E2 is a wide-format precision cutter; it can cut materials up to 0.5-in. thick, including banners, fabric and textiles, inkjet media, PVC foamboard, foamcore, and more. In cut sizes from 64 to 144 in. The company also offers various multi-substrate cutters, rotary and mat cutters, and more.
Offers various digital print cutters, including the XXL 500 X/Y superwide automatic roll cutter with a cut width of 210 in. It can accommodate materials up to 1mm thick. Fotoba also offers: the XLD 170 automatic cutter, designed to work with rolls and sheets (67-in. max.; 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 WR64/64s (64-in. max., up to 0.5mm thick). Colex is Fotoba’s exclusive distributor in North America.
Freedom Machine Tool
Its Patriot 3-axis CNC router is available in three sizes: 4 x 4, 4 x 8, and 5 x 10 ft. All three sizes feature: steel construction; Fagor 8035 Industrial CNC Control; z-axis tool plate; 25mm rails; and industrial brushless AC servo motors. Various spindle and table options available.
The ProCut 40 and ProCut 63 are substrate and board cutters that can cut materials up to 0.5-in. thick and 40- and 63-in. long, respectively; both feature an open-ended design for oversize cutting, 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).
Offers various cutting plotters, including the Expert Pro, which features 24- and 52-in. cutting widths (up to 0.8mm thick), a 400-g cutting force, and a cutting speed of 24 in./sec. Other cutting plotters include: the Expert 24LX and the Expert 24, both with 24-in. cutting width (up to 0.8mm thick), and 250-g cutting force; and the Jaguar, Puma, Bengal, Sable, and RX series models. Laser cutting systems also available.
Gerber Scientific Products
Gerber’s Sabre Routers are 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). Designed for dimensional sign making, woodworking, and parts-fabrication applications, the Sabre Routers feature aluminum construction, multi-size platforms, 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, an M vision optical-registration system, and a light beam security system; available in 95 x 77- and 103 x 148-in. table sizes (66 x 46- and 75 x 120-in. cutting areas, respectively).
The GO CutsIt Rotary Trimmer can be used with various media and is available in sizes from 38 to 78 in. Features self-sharpening blade, two clamp rollers, and double steel tube cutting suspension guide. Stand and waste catcher included.
Its FC8000 series cutting plotter features a max. cutting speed of 58.5 in./sec, 4.0g max. acceleration, and 20 to 600g selectable cutting forces; it can process self-adhesive vinyl as well as high-intensity reflective film, sandblast resist rubber, automotive window and paint-protection films, and other media types. In five sizes, from 30 to 72 in. (media widths). Also available: the CE6000 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, blades, and screwdriver. The cutting mechanism is pressure-activated and automatically retracts when not in use. The system can cut vinyl, banner material, magnetic media, PVC, foam boards, Coroplast, and more.
The SmarTrac I/S is a wide-format sign cutter designed to handle a variety of rollfed materials including vinyl, heat-transfer film, and more. It features the company’s SmarTrac technology, a high-speed processor with one-megabyte buffer, adjustable downforce pressure (up to 500g), tangential blade control, and more. Available in three media widths: 28, 34, and 44 in. Ioline also offers the rollfed 100 System that creates heat-transfer designs, vinyl decals, signs, banners, and vehicle graphics; 25-in. max. cutting width; 28-in. max media width.
The SteelTrak is a vertical cutter geared for sign makers and is capable of cutting rigid and semi-rigid materials (as well as glass and aluminum with optional accessories). Available in 65- and 84-in. cut lengths. And, the new SteelTraK 250 with a cutting capacity of 8 ft. Also offers a range of cutter bars and its Arc Rotary Cutter in 42- to 120-in. models. Foster Manufacturing is the exclusive distributor in North and South America.
The HSE (High Speed Engraving) Laser System is geared toward sign makers and can process acrylic, metal, wood, stone, foam, and more. Features a moving gantry with high-speed servo motors, a solid-steel frame, lasers from 30 to 400 watts, and KCAM laser software. Models available in 52 x 25-, 52 x 50-, 52 x 100-, 60 x 120-, and 80 x 120-in. widths.
Ledco’s Automatic Cutter is designed for use with the company’s HS30 Thoroughbred Laminator, but will adapt to fit other manufacturer’s equipment, Ledco reports. Cuts up to 30-in. wide with a max. cutting thickness of up to 50 mils; cuts up to 150 ft/min.
The MasterCut MultiTech cutting system, manufactured by UK-based Blackman & White, is designed specifically for digitally printed or dye-sublimated textile graphics and soft signage. Features include: an industrial-class CO2 liquid-cooled laser; rack-and-pinion drive system; auxiliary head with dual tangential tool positions; camera vision registration system; and more. In three cutting widths (82-, 126-, and 197-in.) and three cutting lengths (126-, 197-, and 394-in.).
Its Versa-Tech Laser combines the elements for laser cutting with those for routing or tangential knife cutting and creasing, and so can accommodate an array of materials from fabrics to flexible media and rigid substrates. Features include: a 100-watt CO2 traverse-mounted laser; MCT’s new Tiger Vision system; dual-function conveyor system with built-in fume extraction; a 2.5 kW/60,000-RPM milling spindle; triple-position toolhead; and more. Max. speed is 53 in./sec at 10 m/sec2 acceleration. In 5-, 6.5-, and 10-ft widths; in lengths from 10 to 20 ft.
Offers the CF3 series of flatbed cutting plotters – CF3-1631 and CF3-1610 – which are available with three types of user-changeable cutting heads: 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; max. cutting depth for the router is 1.96 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 three different series of roll/sheet cutting plotters: CG-SRII series, CG-SRIII, and CG-FXII.
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. and cuts 7000 in./min. It comes standard with the company’s MultiVision digital registration system. Features include 3-, 4-, or 5.5-HP high-speed routing spindles, up to three tangential knife receivers, and automatic tool and knife changing systems. Also: the Graph-X-Cutter.
Offers its line of ValueCut cutting plotters. The ValueCut roster comprises three models: ValueCut 600 (30.3-in. media width, 24-in. cut width); ValueCut 1300 (62.7-in. media width, 52-in. cut width); and ValueCut 1800 (74.8-in. media width, 72-in. cut width). Standard features include: newly designed sheet-off feature; roll support system; multi-segment registration; spare blade; oil-ball point pen; SAi Flexi starter software; and more. A floor stand and media-catch basket are standard on the VC 1300 and 1800 models (optional on the 600). Max. media thickness is 1mm. Dual-roll support system is optional.
The Electro Foam Trim Plus is an electric foam trimmer available in vertical and horizontal configurations (three each), designed for heavyweight rigid media with a cutting width of 63 to 122 in. It features a fixed blade cutting head with a variable speed that operates at 6 in./sec 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. Other trimmers available.
Orca Photonic Systems
Offers X-Y laser systems and laser pattern cutter systems. Its X-Y systems are available in shuttle-feed, conveyor-feed, and flatbed configurations in 50 or 60 x 50 in. sizes (custom systems available). Systems can be equipped with laser powers ranging from 25 to 400 watts. Its pattern cutter systems are designed for flatbed or roll-to-roll media handling. Systems for material widths up to 8 ft are available.
The Camm-1 Pro GX-640 cutter is designed for vehicle graphics, signage, banners, floor graphics, and more. It can accommodate media up to 72-in. wide (65-in. cut width) and features the company’s Quadralign technology for cutting pre-printed graphics. It offers three cut modes, front and rear loading, automatic sheet-cut function, an overlap function for thicker media, CutStudio output software, and Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software. Also available is the Camm-1 Servo GX-24 desktop vinyl cutter and the GX Pro (300/400/500) series of cutters.
Offers a trio of graphics trimmers, including the Smartrim, the Smartrim TriVision Trimmer, and the Smartrim TriVision Slitter. The Smartrim can trim up to 500 graphics (54 x 70 in.) /hr and rolls up to 60-in. wide. Features an automated finishing system compatible with Scotchprint 2000 media. Also manufactures a range of sheeters.
Its range of trimmers includes the Technical T Series for large-format trimming. Available in seven modules, with cutting lengths of 26 to 100 in. Cutting capacities: 4mm thick. The British company has several US distributors.
Safety Speed Manufacturing
Manufactures vertical panel saws, routers, saw-and-router combos, and more. Its 3400 Vertical Panel Router provides production routing capacity on a 10-ft vertical welded steel frame. Max. cross cut is 62 in.; max. cut thickness is 1.75 in. Optional Mid-Way fence. The nine panel saws offered include: the C4 (for 4 x 8-ft sheets) and C5 (for sheets up to 64-in. wide), both designed for shops with limited floor space.
Saw Trax Manufacturing
Saw Trax’s array of panel saws includes the Sign Makers Package Series of Panel Saws with panel saw and mat cutter in one machine. Features include the Accu-Square Alignment System, powder-coated steel frame, and Makita 5007N saw. Available in 52- to 100-in. frames and cuts 1.75-in. thick. Cuts a variety of materials including MDO board, plastics, thin sheets of aluminum, Dibond, Foam-cor, Sintra PVC, acrylics, Gator foam, Lexan, and more.
Offers its PRSalpha gantry-based CNC routers, intended for wood, plastics, aluminum, and other materials, in sizes from 48 x 48-in. to 144 x 60-in. (nominal cutting area). Features cutting speeds up to 600 in./min and a step resolution of 0.0004-in. A line of entry-level PRSstandard CNC routers (48 x 48-in. and 96 x 60-in. cutting area) is also available and can be upgraded to PRSalpha.
The EnduraCut LX is a 24-in. desktop vinyl sign cutter designed for short-run graphics; different bundle packages available. The Vinyl Express Q Series of vinyl sign cutters in 24- to 60-in. models with a 50-in./sec top speed is also available.
SpeedPress Sign Supply
Its Rotary Multi Cutter can be used to cut banner vinyl, digital prints, films, cardboard, paper, and fabrics. Offers a 36-in. cut; built-in blade cover.
Its OPOS-CAM is designed for cutting printed graphics, signs, labels, vehicle wraps, and decals. It features advanced camera optics with Summa’s CameraControl recognition software, Summa TrueTangential cutting head, and a pressure-sensitive control panel. Top cut speed of 56 in./sec; available in 30-, 54- and 64-in. versions; cutting thickness up to 62.2 in. Summa also produces: its Summa S Class 2 series of cutters, available as a high-speed Drag knife model (D Series) or as a True Tangential blade model (T Series), in 30- to 64-in. widths, 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 Teckcut 1525, with an active cutting area of 98 x 61 in., and as the Teckcut 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. Max. traverse feed rate is 400 mm/sec. Various options and accessories available.
Its SignRouter series of CNC routers is 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 trim flat and three-dimensional printed graphics using wood, composites, chip core, rigid foam, plastics, non-ferrous metals, and other materials. The SignRouter 45, with table sizes from 5 x 10 ft to 7 x 12 ft, is also available.
Universal Laser Systems
The ILS12.75, the largest and most versatile platform that Universal Laser offers, is dual-laser compatible with a processing power range of 10 to 75 watts, designed and engineered for manufacturing environments. It offers a work surface area of 48 x 24 in. The company offers a variety of other laser models.
Vision Engraving & Routing Systems
Offers three wide-format models of CNC routers/engravers in its lineup: the 2525 (25 x 25-in. table), the 2550 (25 x 50-in. table), and the VR48 (4 x 8-ft table); all three can cut 3D signs made of sign foam, wood, and more, and feature Vision Series 4 Controller and Vision Pro software.
Vytek Laser System
Its laser cutters are available in various models. The GX series of laser cutting systems are based on an XY gantry style positioning table and feature sealed C02 laser tubes. Available in three sizes (working area): 52 x 52, 52 x 100, and 80 x 125 in. Can cut wood, steel, paper, acrylic, polyester, and more. Max. cutting speed is 1200 in./min.
The Zünd G3 Digital Cutter is available in 11 sizes, from 52 x 63 to 126 x 128 in., and can cut materials up to 2-in. thick. Users can combine up to three 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 an automatic board for loading and unloading, roll-off units, and a collection tray. Its Zünd Cut Center software features a comprehensive materials database, CutQueue for estimating processing time, auto cut-order optimization, batch processing, saved statistics on each job, and much more. Also available is the S3 digital cutting system, as well as the L3 Leather Cutter.