Edward Mathias
& Company

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Tangential Cutters


Do not confuse these with drag or “tangential emulating” drag cutters.


Much as you would do when cutting with a scalpel.

When cutting a line you would point the blade in the direction of the cut.

When cutting a tight corner you would lift the blade out - turn it to point in the direction of the next cut - then lower it back into the media.

When cutting a curve you would progressively rotate the blade to keep it at a tangent to the curve.

The derivation of the description “tangential” cutter.

ADVANTAGES OF TANGENTIAL CUTTERS [when they are used and set correctly]

Their natural action cuts cleaner sharper corners.

They are better at cutting thick and tough materials.

There is less chance of distortion when cutting fine detail and small characters.


Unlike drag cutters which depend on the cutting resistance of media to align the blade tangential cutters have mechanisms to “steer” the blade to point in the correct direction whether it is in the media [cutting] or out of the media [positioning] so they have no need to twist the blade in the media in tight corners [particularly undesirable in thick and tough materials] and because the blade is “driven” there is no need for the blade to be offset and therefore no need to compensate for the disadvantages of offset.


The superior precision of tangential cutters makes them more expensive to manufacture and that makes them more costly to buy -  THEIR ONLY DISADVANTAGE.

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