Which Machine is best for mylar stencils?

Computerized Cutting Systems and Supplies – KLIC-N-KUT Forums General Announcements Which Machine is best for mylar stencils?

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    Ashly Mellor

    Hi All,


    Looking to purchase my first KNK machine and trying to do my homework.

    I will be upgrading from running 2 Cricut machines and a cheap china plotter and want a larger cut area as well as better 1st cut pass options. I cut 4mil to 10mil mylar daily, so this machine will get a lot of use.

    I have looked over all the machines and the Force and Maxx seem to be the top pressure machines trying to find out how the work with what I am running seems to be lacking on the site. I run only Mac, I have the full Adobe suite.

    My question is which machine will be best for mylar, with Mac and can I cut from an Adobe program or do I need to additionally purchase the Sure Cuts a lot?


    Sorry for all the questions, I have tried to find clear cut information on the website and it just isn’t there.
    Thank you!


    Currently the KNK models only include the Force and the Zing Orbit.  The Force is far more difficult to master because you have to “let go” of what you currently understand about blade-based cutting and adapt to a new methodology.  Thus, the Zing Orbit is probably best suited for your needs. I’ve tested all thicknesses of Mylar and this cutter can easily handle the 10 mil thickness, although I recommend using two passes on any intricate cuts. It’s not about needing the pressure… it’s about giving the blade a chance to properly cut the material and make the final weeding easier.  The same thing applies to the KNK Force which has way more available power than needed.

    In both cases you will want to purchase Sure Cuts A Lot to use for designing and cutting. The regular version of SCAL4 will work fine for your needs… no need for the SCAL4 Pro version.  You can purchase it at a discounted price when buying a KNK cutter… you’ll see the discount on the cutter’s product page.

    Let me know if you have any further questions!


    Ashly Mellor

    Thank you for your response Sandy!

    I was also looking at used machines in the KNK family, just trying to figure out what the best machine the KNK has put out would be.

    Orbit was sort of what I was leaning to since it was the newest technology, althought the Forse really has sparked my interest but looks like a beast to learn. For the Orbit, how does it function with Mac, I am not seeing any clear notation of compatibility?

    As for Sure Cuts a Lot, there is no way on earth I will be using this for designing, nothing can compare to Adobe programs. Is this something you have to have for the machine to cut? Like with Cricut you have to upload your designs (or design) in their “Design Space” which is a nightmare at best.

    Also is there any date as to when the 24″ will not be back ordered? They are available brand new on Ebay but if I must have the Sure Cuts a Lot I would obviously have to buy it through here.


    Thank you for any additional help you can give.





    Sorry for the delay!

    Yes, you need Sure Cuts A Lot for cutting with the Zing Orbit and there are both Mac and PC versions.  While you can definitely keep designing in Illustrator, don’t discount its worth based on the fact it only costs $60 ($48 when bought at the same time as a cutter).  It is actually loaded with designing features that are oriented towards what people actually cut.  In other words, when customers want to continue using Illustrator, we definitely understand and support that.  But when new customers come to us and don’t already own designing software, they’re able to create what they need by using SCAL. In the 10 years that I’ve been supporting digital die cutters, I’ve never had a single customer need to upgrade to Illustrator.

    The KNK Force comes with a built-in cutting program that will open SVG files from Illustrator.  But choosing a Force over the Zing Orbit is more about what kinds of materials you want to cut and what kinds of applications you want to do. Feel free to share more information about your plans for a cutter and I can better help you choose which one makes more sense.  🙂  I also have a comparison table between the two on my web site:


    Will you provide the link to the 24″ ZO  listing on EBay? I wasn’t aware of any new ones left to be sold by any KNK dealer. I’d like to verify that the seller is legitimate! Thanks!



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