On every new vinyl cutter, you will find a Cutter Protection Strip. The cutter protection strip runs the length of the machine directly under the blade’s path of travel. If no material were loaded, the blade would actually hit or cut the strip. The purpose of the strip is to provide additional support for the material as it is cut and to prevent damage to your cutter or blade. New cutter strips have no grooves or cuts. With use, the strip will develop a groove from the blade pressing into the material as it cuts. This is normal.

By their very nature, cutter protection strips will wear out over time. The protection strip’s lifespan will also be shortened when the blade depth is set incorrectly and cutting through the material’s backing. A good indication that the protection strip needs to be replaced is when the machine cuts properly on one side of the machine (left or right) but cuts too deep or too shallow on the other end, no matter how you set the blade depth.

Purchase a new strip by contacting our sales team at 800-699-5490, or search for the protective strip that matches your model on the SignWarehouse online store.

Removing a Worn Strip

To remove the cutter protections strip, use an angled pick or weeding tool to begin peeling the strip’s end from the far left or right. Once you pry or peel enough to grab with your fingers, pull the strip across the width of the machine.

With the strip gone, it is important to remove any dried glue that may have been left on the machine. This can be as simple as scraping and rolling the glue with your fingers on some cutter models. Others will require the use of alcohol and a scraping device. Some models, like the Qe60 and Qe60+, may even require applying an advanced adhesive remover. However, it is important not to spill or spread the remover on the cutter’s plastic casing as this may remove paint or even melt the plastic.

Installing a New Strip

Once the old cutter protection strip is removed and the cutter is free of remnant glue, carefully peel the paper backing off an end of the new strip. This should leave the strip’s adhesive backing exposed for application. Tack the strip to the far left or right of the cutter’s cut path. Continue to peel the strip’s backing as you apply the adhesive side of the protection strip across the width of the cutter. Make sure that there is no slack or bowing as you apply the strip so not to allow air pockets between the protection strip and cutter. After tacking the entire cutter protection strip, apply slight pressure to the strip as you run your hand across the width of the cutter one more time.