Knife Vs. Hot Knife

vRinzler

New Member
Wondering about the pros and cons of using a regular knife (X-Acto or Razor Blade, Etc.) vs a hot knife. If there's a thread already out there sorry for a repost but just wondering what works best!
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
I don't have any experience with hot knives, myself, but have seen laser cutters work wonders for smooth cuts.

I myself use scalpel blades or craft blades and have a knife sharpener handy. My cuts aren't amazing, but they get the job done. If you keep the blade sharp, you'll be pretty happy with the results.
 

Elcorio

Member
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.
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer

I've always thought this would be interesting, and I kinda wanna make one myself. Anyone else out there know have any intel on this?
 

vRinzler

New Member
I don't have any experience with hot knives, myself, but have seen laser cutters work wonders for smooth cuts.

I myself use scalpel blades or craft blades and have a knife sharpener handy. My cuts aren't amazing, but they get the job done. If you keep the blade sharp, you'll be pretty happy with the results.
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!
 

pipninja

Active Member
I've used both hot knives, and now regular. From my experience here are some pros and cons

HOT KNIFE
Pros
-cuts really easily
-little to no sharpening required
-can use other atatchments to burn in details
-clean cuts

Cons
-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

CRAFT KNIVES
Pros
-wide variety of blades
-high freedom of movement
-can cut really clean if sharp
-less risk of accidental harm

Cons
-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.

Hope this helps, and good luck on the building!
 
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