We’ve added a cool new product for vehicle wraps. It’s one of those clever innovations that makes sign making easier. It ‘s an easy way to add flames, pin stripes and similar large vector vinyl graphics to a car. It’s recommended by Justin Pate, the world’s best known vehicle wrapping guru. It’s the first method in the industry designed to cut vinyl without a blade or laser. What is it? It’s Knifeless Tape and here’s how it works.
What it is & How it works
Knifeless Tape sounds like an odd name at first because normal tape doesn’t have knives hidden in it. It’s really a vinyl cutting system that uses tape instead of a knife blade. The vinyl is cut by a high strength filament in the middle of a thin strand of clear, flexible, low-tack tape. The tape is used to lay the filament on the surface of the vehicle and describe the path you want to cut; your flames or pinstripes. Then you apply your vehicle wrap or paint replacement film over the tape, and pull the filament upward. The filament cuts the vinyl and the tape removes cleanly with no adhesive residue.
It’s a really clever product that removes one of the most stressful aspects of vehicle wrap installation: cutting vinyl on the vehicle. It’s a great boon to novice installers or those who just want a safer, easier way of doing finishing wraps. Since it’s such a confidence builder, it’s recommended by Justin in the Avery/MUTOH Wrap Academy and used in 3M’s Advanced Installer Training Class. Speaking of the wrap Academy, and time-saving tools, click here to find more wrap gadgets you might find useful. Justin likes the Knifeless Tape product better than other products on the market because, in his words, “it’s super flexible, and easy to release the string. Other brands need a knife to start them. And it has a good price point” Justin also likes the fact that the Knifeless Tape product line has lots of options. More on that in a moment.
Although we speak of Knifeless Tape as if it were one product, there are actually four varieties designed for different aspects of vehicle wraps and graphics.
DesignLine Tape: DesignLine is the most popular variety of Knifeless Tape. It was developed for single layers of thin, cast vinyl like Avery’s EZRS or 3M 1080. It can be used to make intricate designs like flames with lots of curves and sharp turns. Design Line can be broken by hand, which is nice. But it can also be broken by accident if you’re too rough with it, or if you’re pulling it through thicker vinyl or multiple layers. It’s not recommended for full wraps, but it stretchable enough to place curved lines over contours of fenders and such. The cut is guaranteed to be plotter-blade quality. It comes in 1/8″ x 164′ rolls for only $24.98.
Knifeless Finish Line Tape. Finish Line Tape is the flagship product, designed for vehicle wraps. It can cut through thicker vinyl or multiple layers of vinyl, and is often used for butt joints or hidden seams. When used correctly it has a great cut line but not quite as fine as DesignLine. Finish Line is the more flexible option and conforms around bumpers, door handles, mirrors, and other compound curves. It makes clean sharp cuts every time and also comes in 1/8″ x 164′ rolls for only $ 24.98.
Knifeless PerfLine Tape: As its name implies, PerfLine Tape is specially made for use on perforated window film. It leaves a 1/8″ gap that allows installers to apply seal tape to prevent edge lifting. It comes in 1/4″ x 164′ rolls for only $29.98.
Obviously if you’re doing a complete vehicle wrap, you’ll need a combination of tapes for your door gaps, window perf and main cut lines. Fortunately, these rolls are as affordable as they are practical. Knifeless tape can do more than prevent damage. You can use it to add flair and creativity to your vehicle graphics and wrap designs. But it’s not only for full printed wraps. You can use Knifeless Tape for quick installation of partial wraps, or to add some flair and value to your paint replacement or ‘color change’ wraps. If you’re looking for a cool product that takes some of the stress out of your wrap installations or adds some pizzazz to your car graphics, try a few rolls. Let us know what you think in the comments below.