Five Troubleshooting Tips to Improve Cutting Siser® HTV and EasyPSV®
Tip #1: Test Cut
I know I probably sound like a squeaky wheel at this point, but I can never say it enough: test cut, test cut, test cut!!! This simple step is one that even I’ve been tempted to skip and when it doesn’t work out I always regret it. While Siser® products are designed to be easy and we do offer cut setting starting points to test on each product page, settings may vary based on blade condition and age of machine. There are several factors that go into your cut settings, so a test cut is going to be your best gauge to see if there are any adjustments needed. I recommend going up in cut pressure/force first before bringing your blade out to a higher setting.
I have been singing the test cut praises for so long that there’s a blog post on each popular craft cutter all about the topic. If you want to know how to determine a good test cut from a bad one, then choose from one of the posts below:
- Brother ScanNCut CM650W
- Brother ScanNCut SDX125
- Cameo 1, 2, or 3
- Cameo 4
- Cricut Explore, Air, Air 2
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Joy
Or watch how it’s done on the Cameo 4, Cricut Maker, and ScanNCut SDX125:
Tip #2: Slow Down
I mean this literally with your cutting speed as well as figuratively with your production pace. Some products (like EasyWeed® Stretch) and designs (like super intricate ones) can benefit from a slower cutting speed. If you’re experiencing dashed cutting lines or areas that just look plain chewed up, it’s time to take the speed down a notch or two.
In this industry time is money, but faster isn’t always better when it comes to how quickly you race from project to project. In fact, faster can lead to more mistakes which in the end result in lost time and money (the very things you were trying to save!) Slow down to ensure your cutting mat or material is loaded evenly underneath the roller bar and pinch rollers.
As well as keep your eye on the proper seating for your blade and other tools in the blade carriage. If you’ve cut a whole design with nary a cut line in sight, then you may be missing a step in the proper set-up.
Make sure the blade is pushed as far down as possible and locked into the blade carriage.
Don’t forget that mistakes do happen (even to us pros!) but a deep breath and a good attitude can go a long way in bouncing back from them.
Tip #3: Clean or Replace Your Blade
Clean accessories are happy accessories! If your design has random spots with missing cut lines, there may be a bit of paper, vinyl, etc. stuck inside that’s blocking the blade. Checking for errant pieces is different from brand to brand, but most cutters allow you to see the whole blade outside of the blade holder so you can inspect for stowaways.
However, if no blockages are visible then your blade may just be overworked and dull or chipped which means it’s time to let that baby go and replace it with a fresh, sharp blade. Keep in mind that different products will wear differently on your blade. For example: Glitter, reflectives, and cardstock will shorten a blade’s life quicker than thin EasyWeed.
Tip #4: Clean or Replace Your Mat
As it goes for blades, so it goes for your cutting mat as well. Bits of paper, hair, fuzz, etc. can build up and cause micro bumps in the material that’s laid on top which can lead to cutting errors. Whether you decide to clean and re-stick your mat or reach for a fresh one out of the plastic, it will make a difference in the cutting quality. However, if your cutting mat has deep gouge marks then you’ll want to avoid cutting in that area or officially retire the mat as these little crevices can also create issues.
If you have a brand new mat, but you’re still experiencing problems then it may be time to investigate an often overlooked accessory: the cutting strip. Cutting strips aren’t on all craft cutters, but they are on most larger format cutters. Typically a cutting mat protects the strip from damage, but if you do a lot of matless cutting, then you will want to keep an eye on it. Deep gouges in the strip create an uneven surface that will unevenly cut materials. Luckily this accessory is easily replaced!
Use an EasyWeeder® to start peeling up the old cutting strip.
You can use a product like Goo Gone to remove any adhesive that remains after peeling up the strip.
Then place the new cutting strip with the sticky side down. That’s all there is to it!
Tip #5: Check for Updates
If you’re experiencing some especially crazy shenanigans then your software or firmware may be out of date. Silhouette Studio will alert you to a firmware update, but you will need to manually check for software updates.
On the other hand, Cricut Design Space will automatically update your software, but you’ll need to manually check for firmware updates. And Brother ScanNCuts require manually checking for both firmware and software updates. Ensuring you’re running the most up to date versions will eliminate communication issues between your computer and the cutter which in turn should bring an end to the shenanigans.
Bonus Tip #6: Contact Support
While we do our best to offer thorough instructions and helpful tips in our blog, YouTube videos, and across our social media channels, sometimes you just need to talk to a human one on one. This where our awesome product support team comes in! They do their absolute best to troubleshoot all kinds of problems and we appreciate their hard work! To reach them, please call 586.203.8171 or email Support@SiserNA.com. If you benefit from their assistance, a compliment always brightens their day and a positive Facebook review makes us all smile!
While our team is extremely knowledgeable there is a lot to know in this industry, so occasionally we may have to redirect you to another support team with more experience. Here are links to other popular support pages that can offer further assistance:
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