So, what have I found out about the eCraft cutting blade? Well, several things.
First, let's take a look at one that has been used for at least a dozen cuts.
The entire blade is relatively short compared to some of the blades of other digital die cutters. The actual cutting surface is ground at about a 45 degree angle and ends in a sharp point. Interestingly, the blades, themselves, are magnetized. And, they are simply slipped into the brass colored holder from the bottom.
The tip of the blade is meant to go through the material, except when kiss cutting, and appears to actually touch the cutting plate which may or may not have implications on the life of the blade. The blade in the above image has more than a dozen relatively intricate cuts using 110lb card stock (about the weight of an index card) and the tip shows little sign of wear. I still don't know when a blade fails using standard card stock.
Not only is the tip a factor in blade performance. But, so is the edge. And, that is harder to see in this image.
What I can say is that I have seen fibers of some more fibrous card materials, like the Paper Company Jewel Tone Fashion Color build up on the edge of the blade causing a failure to cut. This particular paper is softer than the 110lb card stock; but, it does not give a weight. Here is an image of the residue left on the very blade above from this particular paper.
I don't know if this is a factor of that particular paper or was caused by a dulling of the front edge of the blade. The front edge of the blade looks OK. And, I did not have ANY problems at all with the 110lb cardstock. What I BELIEVE happened here, is that I was testing the most complex and intricate shapes in the smallest sizes with too low a setting of the connectors in very soft, fibrous paper. So, this means that my eCraft and I are going to have to get to know each other.
Had I seen the above image AND the blade showed signs of wear after only a dozen of so cuts, I would be concerned. But, that is NOT what I see. The blade looks fine.
So, here are some of the cut objects. The first sample was cut at 3 inches with the lowest connector settings. The connectors are very difficult to see and the cut is perfectly clean in every respect. 110lb Cardstock.
This next shape was cut from glitter card stock and was actually cut at 2 inches. So, normally it would look smaller than the shape above. Notice how nicely formed this image is.
The last two images were cut from two different materials at just 1 inches. The connector settings were Density 1, Width 1 and you can see some of the connector remnants.
The picture on your monitor is larger than the actual piece that was cut. So, the connectors are going to be more prominent on your monitor than they are in actual fact. But, if your browser lets you expand the image notice that the darker material (the softer cardstock) shows more evidence of fibers than the light blue card stock, which is harder. It was the cut AFTER the one above that failed (pulled up) and my next quest is to find the right size and settings on that dark blue paper that prevents failure even on more fibrous materials.
In any case, I can tell you that I am really enjoying this cutting machine. I do NOT think it is everything I had hoped or expected. But, it lives up to enough of those hopes and expectations to make me VERY pleased with my purchase. Besides, as my granddaughters say as they are picking on me and I ask why, "It's fun and Special!"
NOTE: It has also dawned on me that I have been cutting WITHOUT the blade cover in place and that may be an issue with thin materials. I had taken the cover off because you get a little over 1mm clearance for thinker materials with the blade cover off and just 1mm of clearance with it on. The blade cover might help keep the edges of the cut held down. So, I will check it out and see if performance changes with the cutter cover off or on. It's a learning curve.