So you’ve followed all my tips and are now a pro and cutting without the mat. There are still 2 more things to keep in mind after your successful cut. (To start with tip #1, go here.)
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Tip #14: What to do after the cut
Don’t forget to reset the roller
Once you’ve finished cutting without the mat, remember to reset your right white roller. (We talked about that in Tip #6.) If you leave it in that location, it can cause an issue where the blade gets bumped up as it goes over it. That means the blade doesn’t make full contact on the material and won’t cut in that area.
The right roller will also get gunked up if it’s rolling along the sticky area of the mat when you’re using a smaller piece of material.
And in general, the machine just isn’t moving the material correctly when the rollers aren’t on the edge of it.
Replace the cutting strip more often
When you cut often without the mat, you will get more indentions (and accidental gouges) on your cutting strip. The backing papers of the materials you cut without the mat are not as thick as a mat, so the blade will indent the strip more. Indentions are normal, but gouges or deep grooves are not. When the cutting strip gets to that point, it doesn’t provide consistent resistance for the blade and protection for the machine. You’ll find that the cut doesn’t go all the way through the material in the areas where the deep grooves or gouges are.
It’s simple to replace it. I’ve got an entire post on it here. Just always keep an extra on hand if you cut without the mat frequently, because inevitably you’ll be on a deadline and all the stores will be closed when you figure out you need a new one.
That’s the last tip! Before I close out the series, let me list all the tips with links.
- #1: Know what materials you can cut without the mat
- #2: Select None on cutting mat
- #3: Check Show Cut Border
- #4: Your material must be the right width
- #5: Check the loading orientation arrow
- #6: Move the right white roller in
- #7: Check the leading edge
- #8: Use the correct guideline
- #9: Use the correct loading method
- #10: Check to see if the material loaded straight
- #11: Use the roller keys to move the material through
- #12: How to work with curled material
- #13: What to do if things start going wrong
- #14: What to do after the cut (this post)
I hope I’ve given you some confidence to cut without the mat. Let me hear how it’s helped you!
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