Same as Sean Anwalt said here. I use three different knives. An 18mm blade utility knife for longer straight cuts, a 9mm utility knife for cuts involving anything with curves in the piece, and an Exacto knife with a fine point for up close and personal detail work. I also have my handy Kershaw sharpener right next to them. Rarely do I ever start a cut without first passing the blade a few times over the sharpener. Thought about a hot knife, but with practice and mess ups, I've learned how to follow through, hold an angle on bevel cuts, and pressure needed to cut all the way thru or just enough to give me a bend, etc.
Today's the day I'm finally getting started, I decided to go with the recommended DFT method. I see what people say about the accuracy but I'm also trying to combine so pouches and pieces from other templates. Wish me luck!
I've used both hot knives, and now regular. From my experience here are some pros and cons
-cuts really easily
-little to no sharpening required
-can use other atatchments to burn in details
-Could accidentally burn the tops of cuts if your not careful
-It has a chord, so you don't have as much freedom of movement (this is the main reason I switched to normal knives)
-could accidentally burn yourself if your not carefull
-not much variety in blade types.
-depending on quality of knife attachment, the blade could pop out of tip
-EVA foam smoke isnt the best to be breathing, so you would need to work in a well ventelated area
-wide variety of blades
-high freedom of movement
-can cut really clean if sharp
-less risk of accidental harm
-Need to sharpen frequently
-dulls easily through foam
-potential need to replace blades (depends on if you break a tip, or won't stay sharp, etc)
-could cause rough cuts if blade isn't sharp
-may require more passes of the same cut to get clean cuts
CONCLUSION: If you are carefull, a hot knife can go a long way, there is high potential to make really clean work with a hot knife consistently. However, there is a high potential to ruin a piece if you are not carefull. If you drop it on foam, you have to fill the hole, or have a big scar. If you are a little more rough, or in a rush, a craft knife can do just as well, you don't have to be as carefull, however, you definitely have to keep the blades maintained to keep your cuts clean. I personally prefer the craft knives, because I sometimes don't have the most steady hand, especially when I'm rushing, and I also don't like the constriction of another cord I have to work around. However, others prefer the hot knife. It all comes down to personal preference. Both can work equally well, they just require different percautions or actions to do so.