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What’s In Your Toolbox?
The wrapping industry is becoming more and more innovative, launching new, exciting products on a regular basis. The evolution in wrapping films alone demonstrates the growth that has been experienced, with high end finishes such as Hexis Superchrome becoming more and more popular. But while the aesthetic nature of the industry continues to grow, catering to the end user, what about innovations looking after the boots on the ground fitting the materials? We are constantly on the lookout for sign-making tools that can help make the life of the installer that bit easier.
Over the past 30 years we have built a strong understanding of what the pain points are within the print, sign and automotive wrapping industries are. And when a tool comes out to scratch that itch, we are all over it.
In this blog, we’re going to break down our top 5 picks on the tools every installer should have in their toolbox.
3M Gold PA-1 Squeegee
Squeegees in general make life a lot easier but finding the perfect squeegee for you is a bond that is hard to break. The 3M Gold squeegee is without doubt our best-selling squeegee. This trust-worthy plastic companion seems to have found the perfect level of hardness to ensure maximum control. Featuring a nylon edge, this industry favourite outlasts most other hand application squeegees.
Don’t just take our word for it- speak to other industry professionals and you’ll understand the popularity that this small piece of plastic commands. If you are familiar with the WrapIQ podcast, you’ll hear unbiased reviews directly from installers on how much they love the 3M Gold PA-1.
Hexis EasySeal Lifting Tool
This combination of “micro-squeegees” makes laying vinyl under rubber seals a breeze. Including a soft and harder tool, these handy instruments allow the installer to lift the seal with the harder option while laying the film with the softer.
If I am being honest, I initially took little notice of the EasySeal, but wasn’t I wrong! I think it’s safe to say that these tools are among the most popular tools across our range. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can squeegee down some vinyl onto a flat panel, but the level of finishing is really where installers earn their reputation. The delicate work of working around rubber seals can be time consuming and often infuriating. Place your trust in the EasySeal and you’ll wonder why you hadn’t invested earlier.
Steinel HG2120E Heat Gun – Car Wrapping Edition
Yes, this heat gun does exactly what you would expect. It blasts out hot air, helping mould and post-heat vinyl. We know there are installers out there looking for the cheapest option when it comes to heat guns, these are also the people who are buying twice. This is the reason we deal with Steinel.
Steinel heat guns are renowned for their build quality and heat distribution. This Car Wrapping Edition of the HG2120E features a 7.5mtr cable to increase user mobility when working around vehicles.
We hear it all too often of customers dropping (or kicking) their heat guns to the point of breaking them. Yes, vinyl application can be infuriating at times and Steinel know this. To save on your heat gun purchases stacking up, Steinel have introduced a more durable casing, to withstand the wear and tear expected in a workshop. Now, think twice before buying the cheap Chinese option twice!
Yellotools EdgeWrap Cutter
We love Yellotools! It’s safe to say they really have their finger on the pulse of the pain points experienced by sign-makers and vehicle wrappers and do their part of easing that pain. The EdgeWrap Cutter is no different. Like many other people, we learnt about this tool through the power of social media. Having experienced the nuisance of wrapping the corner of a table, we knew this tool would be a hit (also helped by customers forwarding the social media posts to us!).
This cutting template tool was designed by an installer experiencing their own difficulties with this application. Now, with the use of the EdgeWrap Cutter, installers can create precise cuts to leave a flawless result that is sure to impress both yourself and your customer.
Originally, this tool had been designed for use with self-adhesive, paper-based products but has adapted to cater for installers also fitting vinyl films. When using paper-based products (such as Neschen easySTYLE furniture film), the installer can choose to create a butt-join, leaving a seamless finish. Being paper based, these products are often not subject to shrinkage and so do not require an overlap.
Alternatively, when installing self-adhesive vinyl films, the EdgeWrap Cutter features a cutting channel designed for creating overlaps. Overlaps are an effective means of countering the shrinkage that is experienced with PVC films. Now, installers can create overlaps and butt-joins with ease, saving themselves time and money while guaranteeing a high standard finish.
WrapGlove Ghost PPF/Wrapping Glove
Gloves aren’t just for keeping your hands warm in the winter. When it comes to installing self-adhesive films, gloves can make a MASSIVE difference to how you handle material.
Over the years, we have sold a selection of gloves used for sign-makers and wrappers. But there’s a reason we only recommend gloves produced by WrapGlove. These gloves glide like no other. Designed with PPF applicators in mind, the WrapGlove Ghost is the standout performer in the industry. The tight knit material ensures no drag against the film is experienced, making this the perfect option for installing PPF films. But what is the only objection we get about this glove? It’s colour. Being white, many people instantly think of the dirt that will collect on the glove. But this shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. If dirt collects on a glove and continues to glide across the face film, it is common for the film to become scored. This glove holds you to the highest standards. Dirt will no longer go unseen and if it does, the WrapGlove Ghost can be easily washed and reused till your hearts content.