The Many Uses of a Tangential Oscillating Knife

by | Mar 25, 2022 | Diversified Machine Systems, DMS Custom

tangential oscillating knife

If you frequently work with rubber, foam, or other soft materials you may have heard of a Tangential Oscillating Knife. But what exactly is this technology and how can it be utilized in your particular industry?

We at Diversified Machine Systems (DMS) have several machines that integrate a tangential oscillating knife, and we’ve seen the benefits of its many uses. Our customers across a variety of industries have also found it to be irreplaceable in their manufacturing process. Here’s how it works.

What Is A Tangential Oscillating Knife?

A tangential oscillating knife is a cutting tool that works by oscillating a sharp blade up and down at a high rate of speed as the CNC machine moves along its programmed route tangentially. For soft materials, a traditional router bit may cause the material to rip or pull, which makes it difficult to achieve a precise cut. Mistakes like these can be costly, and the wasted material adds up. A tangential oscillating knife is engineered for soft materials like rubber or foam, delivering a clean-cut and decreasing waste.

What Industries Use It?

A wide variety of industries have benefited from the use of tangential oscillating knives. They are common in the advertising industry where signage may include soft materials. The orthotics industry uses this technology to cut custom foam footbeds for shoes without melting or ripping delicate foam materials. Packaging industries may also use this technology to cut through corrugated cardboard. A tangential oscillating knife can cut all the way through delicate paper products, perforate material with a partial cut, or create fold lines. Finally, the clothing and fashion industries use tangential oscillating knives to cut cotton fabric, leather, and polyester. These soft and often thin materials would be impossible to cut using traditional router bits, but an oscillating knife makes it easy to make precise patterns and designs.

How Is It Programmed?

With DMS machines the length of stroke and oscillation rate are adjustable, which makes the variety of materials you can cut nearly endless. Precisely positioning the blade is easy using our Fagor controllers’ tangential cutting option. This function allows the knife to make its way through material by automatically positioning itself in line with the direction in which the axes are moving. This leads to more precise cuts and a longer blade life.

Do I Need a Tangential Oscillating Knife?

If you are cutting any of the materials mentioned above there is a good chance you will want to add this feature to your machine. Our qualified DMS sales staff would love to talk with you about your unique manufacturing challenges and help you determine if a tangential oscillating knife is the right choice for you. If you aren’t sure which machine or features are a good fit, just give us a call or reach out online. A member of our knowledgeable staff will help you find the most efficient way to meet your manufacturing goals.

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