How accurate/detailed can vinyl cutters get?

So my one job has our hands on a bunch of circuit cards that were deprecated before being fully finished. They work, they’re just missing the front labels.

One guy knows a vinyl printer. The guy doesn’t think he can cut the tiny holes for ventilation that the labels have.

The large port holes and screw holes are fine as is the cutting out of the actual label part, just maybe not the tiny holes.

If actually just vinyl I’m good. If a pvc variant(or unknown I’ll assume it is), could a cricut or cameo get in there and do the job?

Also how hard would alignment be on already done(otherwise) labels? Would getting them in full uncut sheets(or maybe perforated but still as a sheet help)?

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I’m not sure I understand the question. You want to replicate the thing in the picture and you’re not sure if a vinyl cutter can make holes that small?

I have a Silhouette Cameo – a cheap home craft cutter – and I think it could easily do that. I don’t know if it can cut through that particular tape. Also, do you need to print the words on it somehow?

Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

Extremely accurate, depending on how you set up the file. There are different forces at work with knife dragging cutters as opposed to burning through the material. (No resistance with a laser, you need to account for turns much more carefully with a vinyl cutter, place path breaks in any corners on small cutouts, be prepared to either account for knife offset, or just use the tip of an exacto knife to separate the vinyl once in a while.)

The little cutouts shown in the sticker below are about 0.5 mm wide. TicTac for scale.

The few guys that we had on the vinyl cutter forums were mainly using it to cut stencils for circuit boards…you should be fine with using it.


On this flight control board it handled these tiny letters (barely and after painstakingly weeding) but cutters handle shapes much better. A 1/8" rectangle should cut out easily, but if it doesn’t hand cut and tuck. The downside to aligning those rectangles is vinyl can stretch depending on how you align and apply. Also unless you have created the exact dimensions to the panel you can have small variances which show the panel underneath.

You may still end up hand trimming parts of the vent anyway. Regardless the cutters can be extremely accurate.


Holy cow! That would take forever to weed!

It may or may not have haha. There were some revisions along the line too after trail and error.

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@chris1 No, you’ve pretty much got it.

We have someone who can do 95% of the replication, they just don’t think they can do the tiny vent holes.

Normal purview is signage and other large things.

Yep. Things to consider with such tiny cut lengths. That was pretty much why I figured I’d drop the question to ask.

The cards are basically worthless without the label, but 1 sold will pay for the cost of a small hobby cutter and the machine would be faster and hopefully much more accurate than attempting to exacto the friggin things.

It looks great as a finished product.

One of the older Silhouette models if you can find one can easily do that, and I bought one new for $120 once. All of them cut vinyl without any problems…you might even want to pick up a used one somewhere - there are bound to be a boatload on EBay. (New mat and fresh blades and you’d be in business.)

Silhouette has some of the easiest to use software though, so it’s why it’s generally my go-to for quick vinyl cuts. Excellent three point registration too.

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Just like laser cutters, vinyl cutter quality is dependent on the machine you buy and the user.

I used cricut, BossKut and now use a KNK Zing. For work I played with a $50K Gerber. Cricut I didn’t like. Gerber can make tiny detail the best as expected. KNK and BossKut is really good.
Cricut didn’t work for me

You just need to find sometime who is confident with their skills and equipment. It took me a long time to get the settings right for tiny holes but it can be done. And I consider myself a bottom feeder the vinyl cutter world


Well, it’s not my person, and I welcome the excuse to get another toy that work can pay for. :grin:

Especially since there’s a tentative plan to become an owner in it after a bit.

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If you do buy, research the cutting software as well. I like designing in SVG and I can import SVG in my preferred vinyl cutting software. So when I switch my designs between the Glowforge and KNK it’s easy to go back and forth.

In my experience, a vinyl cutter can resolve details that are small enough that you will wish you didn’t cut them… because the smaller parts get, the harder weeding gets. There’s a minimum size below which the part wants to lift with the neighboring piece, and you have to take extra steps to make sure it lays flat while you pull up around it. (The exact vinyl you use has a lot to do with this and the ease of weeding in general.)

Anyway that said, the piece shown would be a snap on my KNK and probably any other cutter.

I don’t know what the market is like today, but my KNK Maxx Air 24" has been great as a “prosumer” device for a few years now. If I was buying again I would definitely take a closer look at the “pro” stuff like Roland, too.

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As others have already mentioned, weeding more than one of those labels cut out of vinyl would be a huge pain in the ***. Have you considered silk screening instead?

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Heck if it’s a flat circuit board, there may be a stamping option too. You can make custom rubber stamps with your GF, you can rig up a custom jig with the GF to align the stamps… it’d just be a matter of finding the right ink type.

It’s funny. I find weeding vinyl therapeutic but weeding masking off a laser project the pain. I think it’s because I can use tweezers on vinyl. Masking is …cut gorilla tape, place on project, scratch scratch scratch the bits tape missed - that is such a chore

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Plastic razor method works really well when unmasking an engrave, much easier.

I find masking removal pretty simple for most woods. Acrylic is a little tougher because it bonds so well to it.

If you missed it:


Definitely this on so many levels. Even the different tiers within the same brand. Orcal 651/751/951.


I also like @evansd2 idea of the stamping. If I’m understanding correctly you’re just out to cover the front panel with a different color. If you need to have words on the front then you just have those reverse cut into the stamp. That would also solve the vent issue nicely.

You could have a textured hammered paint appearance that way too.

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I swear, even different colors within the same tier can feel different!

That’s true also. :joy: