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3 Types of knives for a CNC cutting machine

3 Types of knives for a CNC cutting machine


3 Types of knives for a CNC cutting machine


The word "CNC" is short for Computer Numerical Controlled, which refers to the programmable feature of the machine. CNC machines can perform many functions with minimal human control. CNC machining refers to a range of subtractive manufacturing processes. There are many kinds of CNC machines performing different functions. For example, CNC Lathes and Turning Machines, CNC Milling Machines, CNC Laser Machines, CNC Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM), CNC Plasma Cutting Machines, other CNC cutting machines ect. Today we’d like to focus on CNC cutting machines for insulation materials in HVAC industry, and 5 types of knives for a CNC cutting machine.

 In HVAC ducting industry, contractors and duct factories often have tons of insulation materials or ductworks to do. They often work with materials like Fiber glass, Aluminum foil, and Foam insulation materials. Traditional hand cutting takes too much time, an CNC insulation cutting machine will definitely ease their daily jobs.


Some HVAC contractors all have pre-insulated duct projects using PIR PU Phenolic materials. They are still using manual cutting to process these pre-insulated duct projects. A pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine will definitely help them speed up their duct fabrication process! A pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine is a CNC duct cutting machine used to cut PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels specifically. Some CNC machine manufacturers may claim their cutting machine is able to cut PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels as well. But truth is, their machines are used to cut soft materials like fiber glass, leathers, pater, carton boxes specifically. They slightly adjust the program and knives to cut PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels. One of the key feature to consider when choosing a pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine is whether the kinves are suitable to cut PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels. We’ll introduce 5 types of knives for a CNC cutting machines as following.


1. Drag knife

Drag knife is commonly used in a CNC knife cutting machine. A drag knife often comes with a drag knife tool. A drag tool is a blade simply pushed by the machine. Drag knives are often easy to use and easy to replace. They are often used to cut thin and fine materials like sticker and vinyl ect. In HVAC industry, drag knife can be used to cut insulation materials like foam insulation, Phenolic duct panels, fiber glass insulation ect.


But drag knife is not suitable for very tough and abrasive material. The cut material will be in contact with the sides of the knife, which will product friction if you use it to cut very thick materials. The friction generated can push stress on the knife, which will push the material our of place.

drag knife



2. Oscillating tangential knife

Oscillating tangential knife is able to cut a variety of different materials quickly with high-precision. It’s used to cut through materials. It’s suitable for materials like fabric, leather, cardboard, corrugated paper, PVC, acrylic, sealing materials, corrugated cardboard , solid boards, cork, fabrics and foils, hard foamboards, carpet, depron.

The cutting tool of a oscillating tangential knife is clamped into the tool holder of the CNC gantry milling system. It can be controlled by the CNC control software. The powerful oscillation motor is able to move the knife up and down. Meanwhile, the actuator rotates the knife in the respective cutting direction. As a result, the knife can cut accurately.

oscillating tangential kinfe


3. Indentation knife

An indentation knife is also called a rotary knife, or a creasing wheel. Its used for cutting abrasive or hard materials, or making indentations in any materials. It crases the material through the indentation wheel. A rotary tool turns freely as it is pushed, and has one continuous edge. If the materials are very abrasive, they will dull the pushed edge of a drag or oscillating knife. But if you use an Indentation knife, it will not dray through the material. For thin and abrasive composites, an indentation knife will be perfect. But the indentation knife is that the curve of the knife can push into the material in more than just one point. But a drag knife might cut at just one point as it cuts a curve. An indentation knife might scraped the surface on the convex side of the cutting.

      For a pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine, we have special decided knives to cut the PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels. A pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine is different from the cutting machines you find in the market. Pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine is used to cut PIR PU Phenolic pre-insulated duct panels specifically. The knives are the key parts for a pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine. If you purchase a pre-insulated duct fabrication cnc machine that is not equipped with the suitable knives, you might end up wasting money and time! Please consult our sales person for a solution!

indentation knife

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