$10 DIY Drag Knife


(Apollo Crowe) #1

This is one of my favorite custom made tools to date. A drag knife for $10!
I really wasnt sure how useful a drag knife would be, so I was hesitant to spend the money on a good one. Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try making one with what I had on hand.
My goal was to get just taste of what to expect from the option of cutting vinyl and thin materials that require a blade. I started with a swivel hobby Blade, exacto makes one but I used the techni-edge made version.

How it works, these swivel cutters have a floating blade insert, allowing the blade tip to to follow the direction of motion.

All you need to do is cut the hand down and turn the diameter down to. 25" on a Lathe.

I used carbide create to test, and it works!

A quick video of the first test using Carbide Create.


Buying decision: XL or XXL
Want to cut vinyl!
(William Adams) #2

Some other options at: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Spindle_Overview#Drag_Knives

c.f., http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAM#Drag_Knife_Support


(Joshua Hume) #3

Are you getting rounded corners on that rectangle? It kinda looks that way, but it’s hard to see exactly. If you are, is it because CC is not setup to do paths for a drag knife? Is there some way to adjust for this in CC? Or is a separate piece of software necessary? I mostly want to use my drag knife (I got the widget works model, but haven’t had time to test it yet) for cutting stencils with text. Can CC do this?

Sorry for so many questions! I’m totally new to drag knives.


(Apollo Crowe) #4

Yes, the corners on the square have a round.
And the circle isn’t complete.

For my immediate needs (large stencil) I am going to stick with cc to see what the result is.


(ray) #5

Apollo, that’s great! Have you used it much? would you be able to tune it to cut just the vinyl and not all the way through the backing?
I don’t have access to a lathe but found a couple spring loaded that is reasonably priced.


(Apollo Crowe) #6

@fiero1
The spring loaded model may give a little during the tool probe cycle. That said, yes I think you could dial it to cut sticker only.