How to Choose the Slitting Blade That Is Suitable for the Slitting Machine?

PUBLISH DATE:2023-03-14

How to Choose the Slitting Blade That Is Suitable for the Slitting Machine?

A badly functioning slitting machine and blade can create a lot of problems and ultimately lead to a waste of time and money. Even a small error can significantly decrease the efficiency of the entire production process.
Choosing the right slitting blade is important for the proper functioning of a slitting machine. In order to make the right decision, it is important to understand the different factors that need to be considered when choosing a slitting blade.
Keep reading to learn more about choosing the right slitting blade and how to make sure it is suitable for your specific machine.

What Is a Slitting Blade, and What Does It Do? 

A slitting blade is a long, thin metal blade that can be used to cut through materials like leather, fabric, paper, plastic, and metal. It is used in the slitting process, which is the process of cutting material into narrow strips or bands. Slitting blades are typically made from high-carbon steel for greater durability and strength. Or sometimes, pure steel and high-alloy die steel-speed steel is used for blades that will be exposed to extreme temperatures.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Slitting Blade

Since the selection process for a slitting blade can be complicated, it is important to consider all the factors involved. Here are some key things to consider when selecting a slitting blade.

1. Types of Slitting Blades
The best thing about slitting blades is that there are very few types of blades, and you can choose one depending on your need. Some of the most common types of slitting blades are:


  • Shear Slitting Blades

Shear slitting blades are the go-to choice for precise cuts in a variety of industries. While the setup process may be a headache, the results are worth it for cutting through paper, composites, foils, heavy films, and layered materials.
The shear slitting technique employs two blades - one on the top, known as the "male slitter," and one on the bottom dubbed the "female blade" or "anvil." Like a pair of hand scissors, the blades come together at the cutting point. This slitting method generates little heat, making it perfect for high-demand operations and long runtimes.
To keep your blades functioning properly, you must make sure the cutting point is always exact. Otherwise, the blades will wear out much faster than they should. You can also sharpen the blades to help them last longer. 
The most common type of material used for these knives is D2 steel, but in special situations where increased blade wear might be an issue, other materials like M2 or carbon steel can be implemented as a more durable solution.


  • Razor Slitting Blades

Razor slitting is an uncomplicated and cost-effective process mostly used in applications to convert tapes, plastics, films, ribbons, or vinyl. With razor slitting, the material can be cut into slit widths that are only a few millimeters wide while minimizing the amount of dust produced.
Although razor-slitting blades are not expensive and need replacement often, following the proper care and sharpening methods can increase their lifespan. Also, when changing only one blade, replacing all the mounted blades on the bar is suggested. The material of the best razor-slitting blade depends on both the material being slit and operation requirements.
Shorter production runs only require stainless steel or carbon slitting blades, but if you want to reduce maintenance-related downtime, go for a higher-quality blade material like tungsten carbide.
Note: Always use a mechanical guard when using razor blades, as they are incredibly sharp and can cause serious injury if not handled properly.

  • Crush Cut Blades

Crush-cut blades are usually used to cut thicker materials like rigid, non-woven materials, paperboard, laminates, and corrugated boards. This type of blade is designed to crush the material instead of cutting it cleanly. This technique produces a cleaner cut with minimal dust and often requires less pressure than other slitting methods.
When selecting a crush-cut blade, you should consider the material being cut and its thickness. The most common materials for these blades are carbide steel, high-speed steel, and tungsten carbide. 
The anvil is much more expensive to replace than the blade, so you should consider its hardness carefully. Also, keep in mind that during the slitting process, the blade will press against the anvil continuously.

2. Material
Always consider the hardness of your anvil when picking a blade material. The anvil is frequently more expensive to swap out than the blade, and the force from the constantly pressing down blade takes its toll during slitting. Some run-of-the-mill Blade materials are 52-100 steel and M2 steel."

3. The Blade's Longevity
The longevity of the blade is an essential factor to consider, as it can affect the overall cost of the slitting process. A blade with a longer lifespan will require fewer replacements and result in lower operating costs.

4. Fitting to Machine
It is important to make sure that the blade fits properly in the machine. This includes checking for blade clearance, proper spring tensioning and ensuring that the air pressure is set correctly. If these steps are not taken, it can lead to an inefficient slitting process and increased wear on the blades.

5. The Speed of the Slitting Process
The speed at which the material is being fed through the slitting machine will determine the blade type and its cutting edge. Faster speeds may require a blade with a sharper edge, while slower speeds may require a blade with a blunt edge but more durable.

Final Thoughts

Most slitting blades are relatively inexpensive, but they can be an essential factor in the overall cost of a slitting operation. By selecting the suitable blade material, ensuring that the blade fits properly in the machine, and selecting a blade with a longer lifespan, you can minimize costs associated with slitting and ensure a better quality cut.

To find the perfect blade for your application, visit Toa Dr, one of the leading slitting blades and supplies suppliers.