The Roland name has been around for a while now and has become a go-to name when searching for a quality vinyl cutter. The GX-24 was a standard-setter for the last generation of crafting and vinyl cutters for professionals and amateurs alike.
Thanks to a few upgrades, Roland has debuted the GS-24, meant to be a drastic improvement over the previous version. After a number of redesigns and cosmetic shifts, it’s hard to recognize this vinyl cutter as a member of the Roland family. Don’t mistake that as a criticism, as this Roland vinyl cutter is a significant upgrade.
Roland Vinyl Cutter Upgrades in GS-24 vs. GX-24
Although Roland manufactures both the GS-24 and GX-24, their current offering is a massive upgrade, even if it isn’t obvious above the hood. The first thing you’ll notice is the maximum cutting force. The GS-24 cuts up to 350 grams of force, a 100-gram upgrade from the GX-24.
Although the number isn’t enormous, it provides a significant increase to the kinds of material you can use with the newer Roland vinyl cutter. You’ll be able to work with much thicker crafting types, including rhinestones. Even if you don’t normally need such a deep cutter, the option to expand your material set is a perfect reason to invest in the GS-24.
Using the overcut, you’ll notice a huge improvement in both the software and hardware. In the past, the GX-24 had problems involving the machine utilizing full cutting capability. At times, you would not be able to fully cut into a loaded design. With overcutting, you won’t have any problems using the exact same pattern on a material or substrate. The cutting will continue despite being already complete.
Overcutting is a great feature to have on any vinyl cutter that requires sharp accuracy and specific detailing in individual patterns. Previous owners of the GX-24 didn’t have access to this option, but with the GS-24, you’ll wonder how you ever existed without it. The attention to detail with overcutting is incredible.
You’ll notice some detailed improvements in the CutStudio software that is included with the GS-24. Many more functions are packaged in with the software, including the ability to cut according to color. This makes a great addition to fine-cutting that complements the overcutting.
The GS-24 also includes a longer warranty than the previous GX-24, extending the guaranteed life of the vinyl cutter up to three years.
Working with the Roland Vinyl Cutter
Thanks to engineering advancements at Roland, the GS-24 has been totally reworked. You’ll notice a brand-new cutting carriage, along with a blade holder that looks different from the previous model. If you enjoy keeping the vinyl cutter on your desktop, this is an ideal setting for you.
You’ll primarily use this to cut vinyl, but with this new blade, you can cut many different types of material inside the machine. The cut can range from 2 inches all the way to 27.5. This means you can use it with twill, paint masks, heat transfers, and so much more. If you run a business and need a new logo, this machine is an excellent choice for your next publicity campaign.
Ease of Use
You don’t have to worry about throwing switches or sliding knobs with the GS-24. The machine now contains an LCD panel that should be easy to use for anyone carrying a smartphone in their pocket. All you need to do is push a few different settings and you’ll have a new project up and running.
If you need to tinker with advanced settings, don’t worry. You can adjust whatever you need with the LCD panel, and the grooves of the blade ensure that you won’t have any trouble if you have to take matters into your own hands.
You’ll find a roller base included with the GS-24, which lets you directly feed material into the vinyl cutter. There’s also a stand that keeps whatever material you are using in place and free from escaping or slipping. Despite the huge jumps in technology for this new model, you won’t find it too complicated to create something new and exciting.
The Art of the Cut
With 350 grams of force behind the cutting blade, working with new materials will be a breeze when you load them into the GS-24. If you use magnetic sheets, you’ll love the power behind this machine.
You’ll also find up to 10X overlap cutting, which will make your life easier when you have multiple copies of the same project in front of you. The other perk of the GS-24’s blade is how many options you have when it comes to cutting. You’ll be able to choose overlaps, half cuts, and perforated cuts, along with cutting by each line color.
With the included crop mark recognition technology, you won’t have any problems aligning your media to get the exact cuts you need. The GS-24 uses an optical registration system to plot the cutting points you need in your projects. Even if you think you’ve found the sweet spot in precise cutting with your own hands, you’ll love the technology contained inside the GS-24.
If you need to, you can manually adjust each blade setting to iron out even the smallest details in your project. The machine is pinpoint accurate, but nothing will match setting measurements on your own for the sharpest possible cut.
The GS-24 comes equipped with an unrivaled digital servomotor. The innovation contained in this equipment is unlike anything else you have worked with in cutting machines. With the servomotor, you have the potential to cut vinyl and any other material you use with this machine up to a rate of 20 inches every second.
This servomotor also uses a curve-smoothing ability to grant you the same kind of precision at maximum speed that you would get doing manual cuts. Your rate of work will skyrocket thanks to this feature, and you’ll notice an increase in the number of projects you can take on during a busy week.
One of the best features about the GS-24 isn’t even part of the machine itself. CutStudio Software is one of the best programs you can find to assist you in your cutting projects. Created specifically to work with a Roland vinyl cutter, it gives amateurs the power to feel like experts, while those who have long experience can quickly dig into advanced features.
Doing simple edits and efficiently organizing all of your graphic arts. You’ll find access to tools for mirroring, rotating, resizing, and moving any of your images, no matter how high the resolution is. If you need to, the machine can cut oversized images with an improved tiling option.
You can use true type fonts with the GS-24, and you won’t even need to outline them before making your cuts. The default file types that you can save are .jpg, .bmp, .stx, .eps, and .ai. If you have already made something inside Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, you can directly import any of the files you have created in other programs. With these tools, you can bring a wide variety of order and potential new projects into your portfolio.
Roland products aren’t known for breaking easily, but the included warranty for the GS-24 will put your mind at ease anyway. All of the included tools and accessories are covered under a comprehensive 3-year warranty.
Perks of Owning a Roland Vinyl Cutter
Purchasing the GS-24, or anything by Roland, gives you access to some professional options you might not have seen before. The GS-24 gives you a mechanical resolution of 0.0005 inches, allowing you to take precise cuts even further when you need the most minute details possible to stand out.
A total of 8 blade settings are compatible with this vinyl cutter, perfect for when you need to make modifications on the fly. Clients will appreciate your flexibility, and if you’re just working on a hobby, it gives you more time to play around with the settings of the machine.
You can choose to hook up the machine through a serial or USB connection. No matter which interface you have, there’s a port you can easily access with the options given by Roland.
Thanks to the power of the blade, you won’t have to worry about using different materials. It might be known as a vinyl cutter, but with 350 grams of pressure, you can create something out of a huge variety of crafting media.
Disadvantages of Owning a Roland Vinyl Cutter
It would be doing you a disservice if the problems associated with Roland weren’t discussed. Roland is a household name in vinyl cutters, known for its quality and expert engineering, but it also comes with a few hang-ups before you purchase.
First, there’s the purchase itself. Roland vinyl cutters don’t come cheap, and at almost $2000, the GS-24 isn’t going to change that perception. Even on websites other than Roland’s official shop, you won’t find anything much less than the retail price. If you’re lucky, you might spot a used model, but you won’t get access to the included warranty and you’re stuck wondering how well it has been cared for.
Once you determine what your budget is, you can make the decision on whether you should further consider the GS-24 as your newest crafting device. If it’s too much, you can look at the previous model. Even though the GX is outdated, it’s still a quality device that will make you feel like a pro.
While Roland is a very popular name, it’s mainly a big fish in a small pond when it comes to brand recognition. The people who discuss Roland over and over are mainly the same people who have gotten used to the quality it provides – mainly professionals and major businesses who swear by the name.
Because of this, you aren’t going to find a lot of direct user feedback on how each machine works. There isn’t much of a community to bounce ideas off, and this can make the experience of owning a Roland vinyl cutter a bit lonely.
Finally, the obvious: CutStudio is not compatible with Apple devices. This is especially annoying when you consider how well Macs typically function when used for animation and video editing. On top of that, installing the correct drivers on a PC for CutStudio is not the easiest process. Although the machine is great for people just starting out in crafting, navigating the software is another story.
Where to Buy a Roland Vinyl Cutter
The easiest place to pick out a GS-24 or any other Roland machine is on Amazon. You can usually find them in stock on the actual Amazon store or through a third-party vendor. Be sure to look for a merchant who offers free shipping, as the size of these machines can significantly add to the cost when you factor in shipping.
You can also check Roland’s official website but be prepared to pay their list price if you go through the manufacturer.
Final Word on a Roland Vinyl Cutter
Despite a few hiccups along the way (no Mac support, price entry barrier), you can’t deny that Roland creates the best vinyl cutter currently on the market. Once you get past the difficulty of the software, you’ll realize that you made the right choice investing in the GS-24.
There is no match for accurate, precise cuts in any other vinyl cutter you can find. If you’re looking to upload directly from an illustrator, the GS-24 is the perfect machine and CutStudio will do everything you need.
Don’t let the price intimidate you from one of the most powerful cutting machines on the market today. You won’t find better design and penetration than what you can get with this Roland vinyl cutter. Your client base will thank you for your choice.