A Granthams Guide To Keencut Cutters

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A Granthams Guide To Keencut Cutters

June 18, 2019 4 min read

Like the application tables we covered recently  ( 9 Reasons why a flatbed applicator needs to be on your print room shopping list.) (but a little bit easier on the wallet), if you haven’t already got one, a Keencut trimmer should really be high up on your print wishlist.

So, what’s a Keencut?

There are two variations of Keencut. One that lies horizontal on a bench or table and one that stands vertical.

The horizontal Keencut such as the current Evolution or Javelin models are designed to be fixed at the edge of a bench or table. 
There are also dedicated stands and work benches available - for all the accessories, ask us for a brochure.

In the simplest of terms, a Keencut has a medium duty blade in a holder that travels along the length of a rail. 
The media to be trimmed slides under this rail and once in position, the blade holder is pushed down to engage the blade and cut the media.

The lift and hold mechanism - like a nip or pinch bar that runs the length of the rail - clamps the media securely in place. 
Even if it takes a couple of to and fros along the rail, the media will not move when clamped in place and as long as the medium duty blade is sharp, the cut is clean, neat and free of any bits and burrs.

With 100 free blades in the box, there’s no need to run it till one is blunt. And at a maximum length of over 3m, there’s a horizontal Keencut to cover most sign and display application.



Vertical Keencuts like the Steeltrak or Excalibur are so designed to take up as little space as possible whilst still enabling you to cut through big sheets.

Instead of laying the material flat - imagine the space needed for 8x4 sheets - the media is stood up in the cutter.

Rigid clamps keep the substrate in position and a ‘set and forget’ guide and hold system makes the repeat cutting of accurate panels a simple task.

However many panels you need to produce, whether one or one hundred, a vertical Keencut will manage it with ease.

Plus there’s a built in counterbalance to keep loading simple, a backboard to keep the media in place when trimming, and the ability to hold four separate cutting tools for four different display substrates.

Having the ability to cut virtually any signage product in house makes supplier conversion charges, wait times and incorrect sizes being delivered a thing of the past. 
I know for a volume job requiring multiple panels your supplier’s conversion facility may be the better option but same day print orders just got a whole lot more manageable.



Whilst a horizontal Keencut can be used to trim exhibition panels, fabrics, posters and vinyls, a vertical Keencut is primarily for rigid substrates such as aluminium composites, foamex, foam-core and display boards.

Why use a Keencut?

Rulers, scalpels and jigsaws do work when trimming media but one slip and all accuracy is lost (or worse…)

A Keencut keeps the blade hidden away until the holder is pushed down to start cutting. No accidental nudges and wasted material - a Keencut only starts cutting when you’re ready.



Keencuts ensure accurate trimming every time. 
No manual cutting process can be as straight as a Keencut. Once the material is locked in place, it stays in place and with a factory guarantee to be straight and true to within 0.2mm along the full length, that’s straight!

Up to 3.1m long or  2.5m high, no ruler can cover this length so you’ll have to move and reseat as you work your way along the material. Not ideal if you need an accurate cut.

As mentioned above, with a guarantee of straightness along that length of 0.2mm, when you need  accurate trimming across the material, nothing will come close.

Keencut cuts substrates up to 13mm thicknesses. 
Cutting through material as thick as 13mm with a ruler and knife, repeated strokes are going to be needed to get through. 
You’re not going to cut in one clean movement and with each stroke, there’s a real chance the ruler will move. 
One small slip and your panel is not quite as accurate as needed.

A Keencut clamps the material in place so even though it may still take a couple of slides to cut through, the material is going nowhere and will not move.

Important with thicker substrates, it’s also as important with flexible media and fabrics.

We’ve covered the main headline points of the Keencut series of cutters but there are many more innovations throughout the ranges.

Depending on your cutting requirements, what type of sign and display products you create plus cost and the space available to keep one, there will be a Keencut that fits your needs.

We’ve shown you what a Keencut is and the reasons  why you need one, get in touch on 01772 250207 or email sales@granthams.co.uk  and we’ll help run through the options to now find out  which one.

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