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Thinking of upgrading from zingair to black cougar..

hollyinflhollyinfl Member Posts: 13
Will I have a hard time making the transition and it says it comes with SCAL but I can still use MTC right? 

I am disappointed because I ordered a Graphtec CE6000 and while it cuts like a dream I am not used to the software and can't make it do what I want it too. Mainly cut several pieces of vinyl at once on a cutting mat. I can usually knock out 10-15 jobs at once with my zing. Witht the graphtec it's one piece of vinyl at a time and because of the software it slows me down!

Anyway..the silver bullet seems to have very good reviews. I need a little better machine. I have to fight with my zing a lot. It's loud, and it just doesn't do a good a job as I would like with cutting vinyl. Especially now that I have seen what the Graphtec can do. The cuts are smooth unlike my zing. Even with new blades, and getting the setting as close to perfect as I can my zing still leaves little nicks in corners.

If you have a Silver bullet how do you like it? Can I use a mat to cut many different size pieces of vinyl?


  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Member Posts: 3,510
    I've never had a issue with my zing air leaving nicks Maybe my designs are not as intricate?

    SCAL's cutter lists the Graphtec CE6000 you could try the demo version see if you find it more user friendly

    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
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  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,539
    The "nicks in the corner" are either due to the wrong Blade Offset setting OR how MTC handles the blade offset algorithm. You will most likely see the exact same results with a BC or an SB cutter since they, like the KNK cutters, do not have blade offset corrections built into the firmware as some other brands of cutters do.

    I agree with @Crazy_Mr_Zing. Why not download and test SCAL's trial version... look for the regular (not Pro) version of SCAL4 and see how it cuts your files. Note that a watermark cut will be made since you do not own the software, but you'll at least be able to see if the cutting improves and SCAL4, like MTC, will allow you to be more efficient in your cutting due to controlling where shapes will cut.

    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 9,208
    First, I agree with Sandy regarding the "nicks in the corner" issue.  Second, how "loud" is the Zing?  I don't own one, so I don't know how loud they normally are but having owned several different cutters - none are really "quiet".  The sound of a cutter can be louder depending upon what you have it setting on.  What is your Zing setting on? Could it be contributing to your noise?  Is it the "cutting" that is loud, the fan, exactly what is "loud"? Can you video tape and post so someone like Sandy can see if its unusually loud?  If so, it might be worth checking in with KNK support next week when they return to see if there could be an issue with it. Is it an original Zing?  A Zing Air?  The new Zing Orbit?

    Second, I can't encourage you enough to spend quality time with your cutter(s) that you already own.  Take the time to figure out what might be wrong with the Zing. Tell us what blade you are using, what offset you have? Show us photos of the "issue" with the nicks, let someone help you troubleshoot it. Show us a file you are having trouble with - let someone else with a Zing test cut it for you. See if they too have the "nicks". Also, take the time to learn the software for your Graphtec.  Start with the basics and learn a little at a time.  Do it while there is no "pressure" to produce a product you have to have "right now." If you own the cutters - you have already made that investment - I recommend that you stop searching for the "perfect" cutter and work and learn what you have already spent the $ on and see if you can get them to work for you better before jumping into another cutter hoping it will be better. 

    As recommended, download and try the trial of SCAL with both of the cutters you already own since it looks like it will work with them both. Even if you get a SB, you will be a step ahead if you have already played with SCAL.  Any new software to you is going to take some time to learn - especially when we are used to something else and easily get it to work without taking the time in another program.  HOWEVER, I would recommend starting to learn something else - especially if you do this for a business.  I say that with a heavy heart, because I have used MTC since its beginnings and prefer MTC to SCAL (which I have also had since its beginnings.) But, part of my preference for MTC now is that i know it better and can more easily use it because I haven't kept up to speed with SCAL. However, MTC has not been updated in years.  It has not had plugins introduced for new cutters in years so I would not keep relying upon MTC to meet my needs long term.  SCAL is being updated regularly and adding support for new cutters regularly.  It is similar in many ways to MTC, has some advantages over MTC in some ways, some disadvantages to MTC in some ways.  Since I don't use my cutters for a business, I haven't felt the need to make the transition as much as I would if I did. Sandy has written a user manual for it that would also be worth downloading while giving it a trial run.  I hope to do that soon and learn SCAL a little better because I forsee the need to do so for the reasons noted. Note however, that the SCAL trial is time limited so make sure you have some time to spend with it before downloading it.

    Finally, your title indicates you are considering a Black Cat Cougar but then you reference the Silver Bullet in the actual post.  Just to clarify, there are no BC Cougars being produced anymore and haven't been in quite a while.  They were replaced by the Silver Bullet.  Are you looking to buy a used BC Cougar or a new or used Silver Bullet? I have owned both the original BC Cougar and a Silver Bullet for many years now (my sister has my old BC Cougar.)  I have always been happy with my cutters and they have always done great work for me. The support I have had from the USA distributor has always been excellent as well.  I have cut a lot of vinyl with them over the years, both indoor and outdoor vinyl and HTV and have not had any issues beyond user error issues with them.  ;) I have regularly used a mat to cut different sizes and colors of vinyl without issue. While I don't consider them "loud" they do also make noises - however, some people have posted they felt that they were "loud" - so "loud" is often in the ear of the listener or as I already noted, the surface upon which they set contributing to the noise level. the "ease" of use of the cutter however is not going to be any different then what you experience with your Zing.  You still have to calibrate your cutter for print and cuts, you still have to set your offset for the blade in use, adjust your blade depth, pressure, and force, etc. The KNK and the SB cutters are all very similar in their methodology (I also own a KNK Force) so if you don't like your Zing, I am not sure you would like the Silver Bullet any better. Yes, you can use MTC with the SB but there is no specific plugin written for it within MTC.  You simply use the KNK plugin and use the Maxx selection (not the Maxx Air.)  Some people don't like that - but it works. They do not provide support for MTC on their user forum however and highly prefer and recommend that users use SCAL with their cutters.  I am one of the few who actually still use MTC with theirs probably (though I do know of a few others who are not regularly on the forums.)

    So in summary, before jumping into yet another cutter that you may or may not like, that you may want to use the preferred software with over MTC, I highly recommend that you try to get some help in regard to your Zing and look at SCAL to see if you can use it with your Graphtec and your Zing. See if you can get better cuts with it on your Zing.  Let KNK troubleshoot your "loud" noise issue, etc. 

    While I like my SB and would never hesitate to recommend one, I just hate to see someone keep jumping from cutter to cutter because of issues that may or may not be easily addressed. (That is said from someone who has owned and still has many cutters  - not because of any issues with any of them - but simply because I have an addiction  ;) :o  - )
    Go Vols!
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,263
    edited July 2017
    Wow, great post, @MeFlick! @hollyinfl - I would say take it from the horse's mouth, MeFlick has covered it all.

    I would like to comment on the noise. All cutters make a noise when cutting. The smaller ones seem to make more noise, like the Silhouettes. The Cricut made horrible noises. The Zing makes a more hi-pitched noise, and if you are cutting something like a large curve at a high speed, you will find that it can climb octaves in it's pitch! If you get one of those puzzle shaped sponges that you can use on a floor surface for kids to play on, and put your Zing on top of that, you might find some of the noise will get absorbed. Running a small fan also helps, it creates a white noise that can block out other noises, without disturbing other people. Also know that the Silver Bullet was made in the same factory as the Zing and the Maxx cutters, with the same type of motors, so it too can be noisy. 
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