Car Decals

Just wondering if there was a safe material that would cut well for making car decals?

just buy a cheap cameo silhouette or a vinyl cutter under 300$ no need to use the laser for that. vinyls edges might curl up . justs get a cheap vinyl cutter


I’d recommend the same. I have made a lot of decals with a Silhouette and they come out great with that device, which is cheap and easy to use. Save that expensive laser tube for cooler stuff.

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I wouldn’t use a laser for vinyl because it may have chorine in it and the laser will vaporize it and does serious harm to your lungs and corrodes machine parts.

I cut my decals with a vinyl cutter. If you want small scale 12x24, buy a craft one like silhouette (I have a Bosskut) but if you want heavy duty, go for Gerber or Roland that has a wider cutting area

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Thanks guys! Looks like I’ll be investing in a cutter, :slight_smile:

Go for magnetic decals. Not something you want to leave on the car while you run around in the mall for a movie and 5 hours of shopping and food and whatnot. But you can choose what to have visible on the car day to day.

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Oh sweet!!! I’ll look into those!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

@JeremyNielsen, I have a fantastic Black Cat Cougar Pro 24" cutter ( for sale, if you’re interested. Originally $1800, comes with a bunch of blades, mats, engraving pads, and a binder of information I’ve compiled about settings for a variety of materials. Make me an offer? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Thanks man, I need to recover from my GF purchase first. :stuck_out_tongue:

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trust me i own 5 cutters. get a silhouette. i own graphtchs and rolands but this little tiny silhouette will pay for its self 1st week and its so easy to use. , when u make your money go and buy a roland and graphtect which are around 1250 to 2000 range. Ive been doing decals over 8 years now. i have shop and if you dont need to make anything bigger than 12 inches wide no reason to spend crazy money, or go get a 24inch starter package from uscutters for 499$ comes with everything you need with vinyls and etc and a 24 inch machine which takes abuse,. i tried everything out there i had over 20 machines bought and sold . you can make tshirts, signs, decals, etched glass whatever you can thing of with a vinyl cutter.

if you buy a vinyl cutter you will make the money to pay for the gf.


Great. Just great. Now I will have to go get one of those silhouettes to tide me over until the GF arrives!
Thanks!! (I think.)

My KNK cutter was the gateway drug that led me here.

Have fun!


I use a Roland BN-20 for printing/cutting decals as well as posters, banners, and heat transfers. It has its drawbacks but it meets my needs well. I bought it used for about half the retail price and it paid for itself in about 6 months. The decals look great and hold up well.

The Black Cat Cougar cutter is a pretty boss machine (disclaimer–I’m selling mine to finance Glowforge). It cuts, embosses, and engraves, and can work with materials as fine as silk and as thick as 1/8" fiberboard, plus chocolate, etc. You can also get a foil embossing system with it. I love mine, which has a 24" cutting bed.

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i have the bn20 as well but its over 7000 so for a starter 250 is free lol compared

I agree $7000+ is steep for a starter machine. In my case, I was minutes away from ordering a Cricut and a heat press when I saw a listing for a used BN-20, heat press, and other equipment and supplies. It was a bit of a stretch to afford it all at that time but, for me, the potential of all the things I could do with a BN-20 that you can’t do with a Cricut and a heat press made it worth it. I told myself if it didn’t prove it’s value within one year, I’d sell it to recoup most of my costs. Fortunately, I found new markets I hadn’t even expected. A significant percentage of my printing is subcontracting decal printing for a local screen printer.

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Okay, seems the concensus is to buy a cutter instead of wasting tube life and the hassle of avoiding vinyl. So I have to ask, what is the best value out there for less than $300?
My biggest thing would be software support. Need to be able to grab a file from a lot of different sources not just some proprietary file format that that unit uses.

I second this. I had a cricut for a short time…super limited. Requires cartridges (the newest version FINALLY has a import your own design option but they lost me long ago). I got rid of it within a month. I got a silhouette and it worked for me for 6 years! It still does work. I use ‘make the cut’ program instead of the included silhouette software (worthless). It’s a fantastic program. I just this year got a US Cutter SC 24" cutter with stand to allow me to cut larger but even with the 12" limit on the silhouette, i did just fine for years and could have gone on without the upgrade…they just had a great sale. I still use my silhouette for smaller things and for print and cut, using the special mat with registration marks, you put the media on, take a picture, and the program then lets your trace the shapes you want to cut or lay out a design on a small scrap of vinyl or various colors on the mat, etc, that you’d have never gotten lined up otherwise…a lot like what the glowforge will do except not with a real time camera feed. this does require the silhouette software though. make the cut can’t do it just yet

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I use makethecut with my silhouette. it can trace and layer a cuttable file out of everything and can trace one color at a time if you want…tons of options. With my new US cutter SC, I have to use sure cuts a lot to send the cut comman, which is fine but for the most part I still work my files in make the cut then export as svg and load them to sure cuts a lot just to cut. MTC can trace from image files or even just from the clipboard if you copy an image or screenshot. Apparently the newest silhouette has options to cut thicker materials too. I may have to get another one just because of that!

The Silhouette Cameo is probably the best option for 12" wide material (and it can cut longer, just not wider), and it’s been on sale for $200 lately (less if you find the right coupons).

Remember it can cut quite a few things, and if you get a CB-09 replacement blade holder it can cut even finer details (and the blades are way cheaper than SIlhouettes). Of course, you can also use a pen adapater or Silhouette’s sketch pens to turn it into a pen plotter (more useful than it sounds, especially with a calligraphy pen). And there are quite a few facebook and pinterest groups providing tips and ideas for silhouette cutting and crafting.