Nowadays, information related to cutting technology in cutting plotters is everywhere around us. The information related to the cutters usually is via the trade magazines, social media and various types of brochures. Note that the most frequently used technology for plotters is the drag knife or swivel knife technology.
Drag knives are usually dragged through their substrate. It is worthwhile to mention that a drag knife is controlled by external elements. In case of the drag knife, the cutting head movement and the media movement are responsible for its proper functioning.
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Use of a drag knife
The drag knife is usually utilized for intricate cutting designs. They are used on billboards, light boxes, window graphics, etc. A drag knife usually depends on the thickness of the material it is working on to create designs along with visible distortions. On the other hand, the amount of pressure you can use in case of drag knives is limited.
However, there is a logical explanation to this phenomenon. Higher pressures are typically used for harder and thicker medium. Drag knives are used extensively as most of them are equipped with high-speed cutting heads along with optical positioning systems.
Tungsten Carbide Drag Knives For CNC Cutting
1. Dog River Tools Drag Knife Cutter : Product Overall
The drag knife by Dog River Tools is universal and it will fit into all CNC Router Machines or Spindles having a ¼ inch collet. The product is made from a heavy duty CNC-milled aluminum body, along with a black anodized finish. It fits the blades of the standard utility knives.
The ability to cut curves and sharp corners on wood veneer, paper, plastic, cardboard plane, textile designs, stickers, and sign vinyl with the precision and speed of a CNC router.
Being a versatile drag knife, you can use it to create engravings on brass, name tags, aluminum trophies, etc. It sports a precision ground stainless steel body and hence durability is not a concern. Working on harder surfaces is now a breeze for you.
If you work on a versatile number of projects, having this product would be a huge bonus. Interestingly, apart from CNC routers, you can use it with any engraving tool which has a collet measuring ¼-inch since this drag knife features a precision grounded ¼-inch diameter. This also ensures that the engraving on uneven surfaces is uniform. Moreover, as this tool doesn’t rotate, there is no need to run the spindle.
Other Great Picks
2. Donek Tools D4 Drag Knife
Donek Tools is a renowned name in the world of drag knives. You can use it to cut almost all the things that you can cut using a utility knife. It is a tool that suits the needs of both the hobbyists and professionals in the industry.
Whether you want to cut ski base and snowboard materials or wood veneers for artwork, this drag knife can come to your aid in all kinds of work on different types of materials.
The tip of this knife comprises advanced coating technology which makes it fairly resistant to corrosion. It has a set head which can effectively increase your productivity. By using this drag knife, carving intricate designs on wooden surfaces is a breeze.
This drag knife is most suitable for the furniture industry. You get a maximum cutting depth of ¼ Inches which is 6.3mm. This has a ¼ shank compared to its other version called the D2.
3. Donek Tools D2 Drag Knife
This drag knife has the maximum cutting depth of ¼ inch, which is good enough to make it useful for a number of materials. The part of this tool is that it works as well for the amateurs as it does for the professionals. So, you can keep using the same drag knife as you improve your skills of working with the CNC router.
The use of a utility knife is commendable in reducing the cost of getting consumable blades. The D2 version has a ½ inch shank. You can use it to cut cupboards or coroplasts. Also note that you have to apply a minimum amount of pressure while engraving with this drag knife depending on the material.
All donek drag tools come neatly packaged and well protected. If you are searching for a drag knife which lasts you for a lifetime, you can blindly opt for this product.
4. Donek Tools D3 Drag Knife
You can be a professional working with CNC routers for a long time or a hobbyist who is just learning the craft. This drag knife is the ideal tool, regardless of what your level of skills are. The use of a utility blade is a clever touch to save your money from consumable blades.
Besides, you can use it for the widest range of work at your workshop. It is worth investing your money on this drag knife. It has the ability to engrave brass, aluminum surfaces, trophies and name tags. It is manufactured by using precision ground stainless steel body. As the drag knife doesn’t rotate, you don’t have to run the spindle.
This is beneficial for you when you are working on designs that have to be intricately carved. One of the highlighting traits of this tool is that it can engrave on glass surfaces too. In most of the cases, you don’t have to program your CNC router.
5. D1 Drag Knife
The first in the series of Donek tools drag knife is the D1 model which fits in a collet of size 1/2 inches. You can use this drag knife for operations that involve having a maximum cutting depth of 1.6 mm of 1/16 inches. This model can be used to cut material from all ranges and varieties. In Fact because of their sharpness, they can be used to cut things even by a freehand. Always make sure of the safety since they are very sharp and their tip is made from very strong material. The model D1 can be used by woodworkers and hobbyists to cut out their own snowboards, wood veneer and many other artistic projects.
If you are a hobbyists or small shop owner, check out some of the desktop CNC routers that you can buy for your workshop.
They are so strong that you could even cut out carbon fiber laminates for automobile and other industrial projects. Most primarily, they are used to cut out cardboard boxes with the help of your CNC router.
Difference between Donek Drag Knife D1, D2, D3 and D4
- The D1 and D2 fit in a 1/2in collet
- The D3 and D4 fit in a 1/4in collet
- The D1 and D3 have a maximum cut depth (material thickness) of 1/16in and blade offset of 0.065in
- The D2 and D4 have a maximum cut depth (material thickness) of 1/4in and blade offset of 0.16in
While opting for a drag knife, you should opt for one which should be compatible with a lot of CNC machines. So we would recommend you to opt for the RDZ Engraving Diamond Loaded CNC Machine Drag Engraving Tool. It usually takes seconds to switch out your Suhner or Kress for this drag knife.
Moreover, the cutting depth is adjustable as it also features a self-locking knurled screw at the top. Being made of carbide, it would last you for a long period of time. The presence of the additional sealing lip at the tip secures it from getting stuck. This also helps the drag knife to render continuous and clean cuts.
So let’s hope that this comprehensive review would help you to get the drag knife in the market. Choose as per the products mentioned in the above list and showcase your engraving skills.