Activity Feed Forums Sign Making Discussions General Sign Topics Knives for cutting vinyl and a heat gun, what do you use?

  • Robert Lambie

    March 2, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Karen, for me, it’s an OLFA Knife with snap-off 30 Degree Blades.

    Have to say, I also prefer to keep a genuine Stanley Knife handy too. 😀

  • Kevin Mahoney

    March 3, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Hi Karen.

    I’m usually found with one of these in my mouth.

    Could have been a surgeon only I never had the patients. Usually buy 20 boxes at a time from a school supplies outfit, much cheaper than sign suppliers. Steinel heat guns all the way. Expensive but German so they just work

    • Martyn Heath

      March 3, 2021 at 7:33 am

      Could have been a surgeon only I never had the patients 🤣🤣 i like that

  • John Thomson

    March 3, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Swan Morton retractable fitted with 10a blade is what I normally use.

    Retractable Stanley for some heavier cutting.


  • Richard Wills

    March 3, 2021 at 11:36 am

    A dozen or so S&M #3’s, with 10A blades for the majority. Olfa 9mm with ABB-50 black blades in my back pocket, particularly good for cutting work off the little graphtec, and general opening of stuff. Not so good when pulling wallet out in the pub (remember pubs?). I find the Olfa blades don’t give the same precise control as the scalpel.

    Oh, and blunty boxes placed all around the workshop.

    Just need a decent holder for the scalpels.

  • Robert Lambie

    March 3, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    I did use Swan-Morton knives in the past but found our guys always having accidents with them. I stopped using them and went to a Stanley knife for everything!

    Went to Grafityp in Birmingham once and was given a brand new knife to use during a wrap install, and yes, you guessed it, I stuck at least an inch of the blade into my ar$e!
    They did offer to take me to the hospital right away, but I declined as i would have missed my train home. the blood was actually running down my leg and out onto my training shoes. not one of my proudest moments. anyway, that was the end of Swan-Morton for me!

    • Martyn Heath

      March 4, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      i think we have all been there. 😳

    • Michael Cunney

      March 22, 2021 at 5:12 pm



      Did they take the picture before telling you, or tell you and then ask for a picture??

      The scalpels are lethal but I do prefer them, much easier for trimming letter edges etc than trying to navigate a chunky Stanley around tight corners.


  • Kevin Mahoney

    March 3, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    I’m too tight to bleed now, just a puff of gas comes out

  • Karen White

    March 4, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for the replies so far guys. So I am not out of the loop on my current choice of scalpel, by the looks of it! 🙂


    Thanks Kevin. I looked that gun up and it comes in at about £90.00 is it really worth that?
    What does it do different that makes you want to stick with that one?

    • Kevin Mahoney

      March 4, 2021 at 11:59 am

      I’ve found during a wrap installation, some of the cheaper ones have burned out quite quickly after extended periods of post heating, even some of the heftier 2 kilowatt ones. The steinel ones with the laser attachment have never let me down. Not worth the money if you’re not wrapping on a regular basis though, a £30 bosch one is fine for day to day use

  • Karen White

    March 4, 2021 at 11:33 am


    Sore one! 😳

  • Pane Talev

    March 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    I have two, battered and drove over Bosch heat guns. But they still work!

    As for knives, always OLFA.
    Liner removal knife also a good friend of mine.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Pane Talev.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  Pane Talev.
  • David Rogers

    March 5, 2021 at 12:58 am

    SM retractable…the one with the steel shank (blue version), and 10A blades.

    Heat Gun…trusty old 2kw Black and Decker variable heat. Tough as old boots…dropped a million times and just keeps going.

  • Jeff

    March 7, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    I think a “retractable” ANY knife has to be better than a permanently open knife!
    Safety-first and all that…

    Personally, I cant see by the simplicity of an Olfa. from how it feels in your hand to how easy a blade is to change. Plus it holds multiple blades at a time.

    Heat Gun wise, I think it depends on what you do. if your a sign maker then most guns OK. the cheaper tend to burn out or break the fastest. If you are using a heat gun all day every day i would certainly look and the more solid guns like Steinel.
    For me, a Bosch does the trick just fine. had my gun ages now and still going strong.