An ultrasonic knife is a modern invention. Its main role is to cut through thick materials without putting any strain or pressure on the user. Basically, such knives rely on ultrasonic sound waves. Their vibrations are microscopic and almost impossible to notice. From this point of view, you no longer need that classic sawing motion when trying to cut a problematic material. These days, ultrasonic knives have made it to both residential and professional applications.
Choosing the best ultrasonic cutter could be a bit daunting though. The technology is quite new in residential applications, but more and more people switch to this modern alternative. There are a few good options out there, as well as some products that stand out in the crowd. Knowing more about these knives will help you make a more informed decision. At the same time, you need to double-check a few reviews and recommendations from previous buyers.
About Ultrasonic Cutters
Many machines are relying on ultrasonic technology out there. Cutters have been introduced to this range to go through materials with too little or too much resistance. To understand how they work, imagine up to 40,000 vibrations per second. This kind of movement allows the knife to cut through composite materials, rubber, and resin without any hassle at all. You will get fine and straight cuts without struggling at all.
Each item out there comes with its own unique frequency. At that point, the respective item is stable, but also easy to oscillate. An external force that can handle that frequency brings in a bit of force, leading to an impressive oscillation. This procedure is referred to as resonance. At this point, the resonance is responsible for the cutting edge and the impressive oscillation. It sounds sophisticated, but the process is relatively simple to understand.
The good news is you do not have to be a professional to use an ultrasonic knife. You do not need to actually understand how all these processes work. Sure, a bit of education will aid in the process, but it is more about picking the best ultrasonic cutter. If it can get the job done and you figure out how to use it properly, chances are you are not even bothered about the operating principles and the processes behind it.
It is also important to know that ultrasonic cutters come with different purposes based on the materials you have to cut. Some of them are tiny and suitable for small 3D prints or objects. Others are larger and come with heavy-duty purposes, so they can cut through large and thick materials with no problems whatsoever. Make sure you analyze your personal needs and expectations before making a final decision.
Now that you have some clues about how ultrasonic knives work, what are the top-rated products in commerce? More importantly, what kind of features make them so popular?
2020’s 5 Best Ultrasonic Cutters
Cutra Wondercutter Ultrasonic Knife
Versatile and powerful – Cutra’s ultrasonic cutter is one of the most appreciated options on the market. It is efficient, compact, and designed to last. What makes it so special is the extra efficiency when compared to other similar products. The cutting performance is about 30% higher than in other ultrasonic knives, meaning you can cut thicker and harder materials without facing any issues at all.
Extremely fast – Speed is one of the most important specifications in ultrasonic knives. The faster a knife is, the easier it will cut through all types of materials. This unit can vibrate up to 40,000 times per second. It is not just super-efficient, but it also minimizes the heating associated with this type of cutting procedure. Simply put, there are no risks associated with over current, voltage, or power.
Easy to use and comfortable – It might be a bit unusual to work with an ultrasonic cutter if you have never dealt with one before, but chances are you will get used to it in no time. The cutter is intuitive and easy to use. It makes no difference if you leave it on a desk or you need to perform cuts with the unit on your waist. Even those without strong grips – such as elders – can use this knife.
Delicate cuts – The knife is more suitable for delicate cuts. It is excellent for intricate details, small cuts, and tiny corrections. You can use pretty much any knife for a large cut, but things go difficult when it comes to delicacy. With this knife, anyone can be a professional in terms of DIY projects, plastic models, accessories, and so on.
- Superfast for its size
- Excellent for delicate cuts
- Safe to use with no risks at all
- Faster and better than most of the competition
- Convenient and compact design
- Not the best option for large cuts and heavy-duty uses
Honda Cutters ZO 41
Freestanding design – This might be the best ultrasonic cutter from Honda if you are after a compact device that you can carry around everywhere. You no longer need to bring your work projects close to the cutter. Instead, bring the cutter over. The cutter measures 6.8×3.5×2.9 inches. It comes with a flat stand, so it will stand by itself and provide good support and protection for the blade.
High vibration range – The vibration range will tell you how powerful and efficient an ultrasonic knife could be. This unit comes with about 40,000 vibrations per second. In other words, you have to place it in the right place, run it, and apply little to no pressure. It will cut through thick materials like a hot knife through butter. On a similar note, the maximum power consumption goes up to 40W.
Ergonomic handle – You will get along with this knife after a few minutes of using it. Even if you have never used an ultrasonic cutter before, you will get the idea straight away. The handle has a textured surface, so it will never slip out of your hand – even if it gets sweaty. Instead, you have excellent precision when dealing with intricate details on your DIY projects – multiple materials too.
Lightweight profile – Weighing just over 11 ounces, the knife will not put any pressure on your palm or arm. You can use it on the go, but you can also cut slowly for highly detailed work. There will be no extra pressure from it and the high vibration count will not affect the cut. The knife brings in straight and efficient cuts, regardless of the material you work with.
- Good oscillating frequency to cut through numerous materials
- Can be used for both soft and hard materials
- Mostly recommended for detailed and intricate cuts
- Lightweight design
- Easy to use and portable
- Takes a few hours to get used to it, as it might feel a little too thick to squeeze
Honda Electronics USW 334
Versatile and suitable for everyone – Honda Electronics has designed an ultrasonic cutter that could make anyone’s life a breeze. The knife is designed for beginners who have never dealt with such things, as well as professionals who need a portable tool for all kinds of applications. It comes with a proper base that holds the knife in without damaging the blade, as well as a wire between the two.
Compact style – The actual design is what makes this ultrasonic cutter so popular. Despite having a base, it is still compact. The unit itself measures 5.2×2.7×5 inches. The cutter is a bit thick if you have small palms, but you can hold it like you hold a pen. There is no need to apply too much pressure, as the high oscillating power ensures the blade will go through all kinds of materials.
Diversified materials – The cut is rated to go through a series of materials. According to the manufacturer, you should have no issues cutting through standard resin ABS, PP, PET, or acrylic – some of the most common materials in DIY Projects. As for thickness, the unit can go down three millimeters – about 0.1 inches.
Comfortable and easy to use – Even if you have never touched an ultrasonic cutter before, chances are you will smash it within minutes only. You can hold the cutter like you hold a pen. Close to the blade, you will find two textured areas. They are comfy and ensure the pen will never slip out of your hand – you do need a bit of precision and stability when it comes to intricate cuts.
- Features a device protection thermostat
- Compact appearance and pen shape
- Can cut through common materials
- Decent depth – 0.1 inches or three millimeters
- Textured grip for stability and precision
- Slightly melts plastic when cutting it, but the cut is still straight
Mxmoonant Ultrasonic Cutter
Multiple applications – Mxmoonant does not fool around when it comes to its best ultrasonic cutter. This machine is excellent for newbies who want to become professional, as well as experienced users who need a heavy-duty machine. It can cut through ABS, PVC, PC, neoprene, non-woven materials, corrugated, plywood, linen, PP, PE, acrylic, neoprene, fiberglass resin, cardboard, and so on. Believe it or not, it can even cut through Kevlar without too much hassle.
Superior operation – Operating principles are classic, but this knife takes operation further. The ultrasonic energy is entered into the cutting part of the material for the cutter to go through. As a direct consequence, the material warms up, softens, and even melts, so its strength is significantly lowered. Materials will never stick to the blade and more importantly, the rest of the item will not collapse.
Automatic features – There is lots of automation in this knife, such as the resonance point. Moreover, you have automatic frequency sweep tracking too – floating between 12 and 26KHz. The amplitude compensation is also automatic. Moreover, there are three operating modes – continuous, pulse, and timed. The on and off pulse is independent.
Slight customization – The ultrasonic cutter is designed for professional purposes. It is great for newbies as well, but experienced users will take greater advantage of it. Besides, they know precisely what they want. It is advised to contact the manufacturer before ordering it. Knowing what type of materials you deal with, shapes, and thickness standards will help you get a better recommendation.
- Plenty of automation in its design
- Three independent pulse operating modes
- Suitable for plenty of materials
- Great for experienced users
- Easy to operate
- Slightly heavier than other similar knives in this segment
Yuchengtech Ultrasonic Cutter Knife
Powerful ultrasonic cutter – This ultrasonic cutter takes everything to another level. Its net output power goes up to 600W and comes with a solid frequency of 24KHz. Temperature settings can go between 0 and 300 degrees Celsius, with one-degree increments. It is a bit larger than other units in this segment, but it is more suitable for heavy-duty operations and professional uses.
Automatic operation – The knife comes with a plethora of automatic features. Its automation makes the operation smoother, but it also provides a more comfortable experience, as there is less to worry about. You have an automatic resonance point, as well as automatic sweep tracking. Furthermore, it comes with automatic amplitude compensation – based on the sample fluidity.
Settings and design – The cutter comes with a professional design. You have 10 different types of storage settings, as well as a direct connection on the host. There is no need to sharpen or put too much pressure on the knife. Simply push it through with no hassle at all. It is easy to operate and it takes a few minutes to get used to it. Based on its design, it is pretty safe too.
Materials and usage – It is worth noting that this knife is most commonly used for plastic materials. Practically, it will work wonders on PVC, corrugated paper, ABS PE, acrylic, non-woven materials, plywood, thick cardboard, glass fiber resin, nylon, urethane, linen, and so on. There are more types of knives available, so it pays off letting the manufacturer know more about your applications for a better recommendation – what you need it for, components that need cutting, material thickness, and so on.
- Can be slightly customized based on your needs
- Lots of automated features
- Can go through multiple materials
- Professional applications
- Multiple temperature settings
- Too many settings and features for a complete newbie
Frequently Asked Questions
How does an ultrasonic knife work?
Ultrasonic cutting is an activity that involves relying on ultrasonic energy to cut – or better-said slice – various objects. Unlike other cutting alternatives, the edge is quite blunt. It creates an effect of fusion once the cutting procedure is done. Electric pulses are sent to the cutter, leading to microscopic vibrations that you will not even see. The material will be warmed up, softened, and even melted, so the actual cutting does not involve too much pressure.
What is the most common frequency in the industry?
There are more standards in terms of frequency when it comes to ultrasonic cutters. Most commonly, you will find the 20KHz frequency. The horn will basically vibrate 20,000 times per second. More professional units may come with a higher frequency – up to 40,000 vibrations per second. The higher the frequency, the more efficient the unit is. But then, the classic 20KHz frequency is more than enough for most materials that might need cutting.
What other tools can I use to cut plastic?
It depends on the type of plastic you want to cut, as well as the thickness and required details. You may want a random piece of plastic or perhaps you need a perfectly straight cut. A fine-toothed saw is great for precision cutting, while a jigsaw is more appropriate for thick things, such as pipes. Table saws are more efficient when it comes to bigger pieces of plastic.
The ultrasonic knife is excellent for all kinds of materials and it makes the job easier, as there is no more sawing motion involved. Besides, given the small size of these knives, you can use them for intricate and delicate details in your project.
Choosing the best ultrasonic cutter is not as difficult as it might seem, especially as you get enough details about this industry and the operating principles. What is more important is buying a product based on your needs – materials you normally cut, their thickness, and so on. The 5 choices we provided are good ones to start with for your research.