Which Graphtecs for new shop and mobile?

JAMEY

Member
Alright. After a long winter of reading here. I have decided to start up with a cutter or two. This will be much cheaper to see how it all works out. I'll outsource what I can't make. Learn as I go and not dive in head first with 15K + in equipment to start.

The reason I say "a cutter or two" is because I'd really like to throw one in the truck with a laptop and table and such...and goto car shows, atv and bike races, marinas and such to do some truck/trailer lettering. Then I could have a bigger one in the shop for doing truck signs and such.

24" FC7000Mk2-60 for $2195
30" FC7000Mk2-75 for $2695
42" FC7000Mk2-100 for $3295
42" FC7000-100-AKZ for $3495
54" FC7000Mk2-130 for $3895

Out of the above cutters...which two cutters or one cutter would you choose to be able to work in the shop and on the road out of an extended cab Chevy Z71 (would get a cap if needed)? If it goes good on the road, I'll get a van.
 

JAMEY

Member
I had that 30" idea as a single too but was not sure how portable it is. Is it doable in my truck as long as I bring a table setup and such? And would it work well in the shop for truck signs also?

That would really put my costs down having just one cutter.
 

JAMEY

Member
Yes. That is originally where I got my prices. SW will match them too. I need a whole package including vinyl and such. One in which SW will provide AND match the prices.

Hyatt's is in NY state but they won't come close in price. Not only that, I got their whole catalog which seems to be geared towards the Gerber crowd. I asked them about Summas also. They pretty much put the Summa Thermal printers and also Summa cutters down and said they hardly sold any. They said that the Edge FX was much better than the Summa DC4 and that the Summa cutters couldn't match the Graphtecs. Talking BS like that...lost my Business. Pretty sad for a Summa dealer IMO to be knocking them like that.
 

TheSellOut

Very Active Member
I have had a 30" in my shop for three years now and it's the only plotter I have. I would not go any smaller for the shop...and really there has only been one time that I wished I had bigger.

I also have played with the idea of having a moblie workshop and thought about getting a 24" for that...now the only problem is that most of my popular vinyl rolls are 30".

Another thing you have to think about is how much space everything will take up. 10, 30" rolls will take up a lot of space in anyone's truck.

I prime mobile workshop would be in an enclosed tow behind trailer with the same size plotter that you have in your shop, so that everything is universal.
 

D2S

Active Member
Check out Beacon Graphics they hookd me up when I started and I do not have a comaint
 

JAMEY

Member
Check out Beacon Graphics they hookd me up when I started and I do not have a comaint

I did. All they have is Rolands. Seems the Graphtecs are much faster than the Rolands. I wish they did have Graphtecs and then could also match ArtOnGlass.com's prices too.
 
hey james where did you get theat price of graphtec fc700mk2 75 for $2695??

I just got one and paid $2875. Maybe get another one...
 

bob

Major Contributor
I did. All they have is Rolands. Seems the Graphtecs are much faster than the Rolands. I wish they did have Graphtecs and then could also match ArtOnGlass.com's prices too.

At the velocities where you should be operating they're both the same speed.
 

stickerhead

Member
...now the only problem is that most of my popular vinyl rolls are 30".

Heath Sign Co. has a very good point... Depending on where you will buy your vinyl, double check what sizes that they keep in stock. You don't want to get a 24" plotter if your distributor only sells 30" Rolls.

Also, mobile sign shops I've seen have been trucks with a 24' trailers, step vans, or RV's. I used to see a guy in southern CO that had a truck and hated that it was too small for a mobile shop. Just something to think about.
 

asignstop

Member
I would get a 30" + for the shop. If your on a budget - get one of the (good) off brands from signwarehouse the ones that are supposedly unbranded graphtecs, I think you can add an optical eye later if you buy a small printer. If your getting a second one to mount in your car than dare I say it ...get one of those cheapo "master" cutters on e-bay.
 

RedWolf

Member
The reason I say "a cutter or two" is because I'd really like to throw one in the truck with a laptop and table and such...and goto car shows, atv and bike races, marinas and such to do some truck/trailer lettering. Then I could have a bigger one in the shop for doing truck signs and such.
I set up at alot of outdoor events throughout the warmer months and only use one cutter (Roland GX24) for mobile and the shop. The extra expense of having two cutters when starting out does not make too much sense. What I mean by that is start with one and if you see that much of a need to require a second one, then buy the second. Use the extra money that you would have spent on the 2nd machine to buy supplies, rolls of vinyl, software, and other needed stuff.

As far as which size of cutter, I rarely get customers asking for anything larger than I can cut. You can always outsource if they need something larger.

Out of the above cutters...which two cutters or one cutter would you choose to be able to work in the shop and on the road out of an extended cab Chevy Z71 (would get a cap if needed)? If it goes good on the road, I'll get a van.

I would not recommend the topper (cap) since the majority do have windows which will make it boil in there on a hot summer day. Much less even using a truck with a trailer unless there is some way to have some air conditioning in the trailer. I use a 31 foot RV with a 12 foot enclosed trailer and the RV is my mobile office. The trailer out in the sun is a heat box, the RV has AC. I should also point out that the RV does have a generator to give me electricity when there is none available. As far as using the RV, the AC is a must on those hot and humid days. Vinyl does not cut the same out in 90+ degrees as it would in the shop where the temp may be around 70-75. Same when its cold, you need heat. Now even with an RV and AC, still allow time for your vinyl to come to the room temp in the rv, seems to help me a bit better. One other note that I don't believe anybody has mentioned, when selling/cutting while mobile, is dust, especially if you sell at a race track. Another thing that has helped me is having somebody there that also knows prices and can help answer customer's questions. It sucks having to stop every couple of minutes to help customers while you are trying to get a "paid" job completed. Having that extra person will boost sales volume when set up at a busy place. And if it is at the end of a show/race, do not be afraid to let the customer know that while you may not have the time to do it on the spot, you can do it at the shop. I hope I have helped a bit.


Matt

P.S.My Roland was only $1,600 and S&H included in that price.
 
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Case

Member
IMHO Graphtec is WAY better....You don't always have to rely on the manufacturer for support... How about your dealer? What kind of support do they have? GRAPHTEC all the way over ROLAND... No question...

Case
 

RedWolf

Member
My vote is for the Roland. Have yet to encounter a single problem and very easy to use.

I had a question about cleaning mine and the dealer was very helpfull. So my suggestion is at the very least try and find a dealer that will help you with the newbie type questions if and when they arise.

Dealer's customer service is what sold me on the Roland. The Roland's reliability has made me a happy enough to buy another Roland when I want to upgrade to a bigger size or a print/cut.
 

Kevin T

Member
I had a Roland way back when and it was a good cutter. But we've been running two Graphtec FC4100-130 for about 10 years without even a hiccup. Other than blades and cut strips, nothing else. The Roland may be cheaper but I'd say the Graphtec is a better machine. I'd choose a Summa before the Roland as well. But to each his own, lots of things work choose whichever makes you happy.
 
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