Tips & Tricks

Trimming PERMACOLOR Laminated Images – Good, Better and Best Techniques

 Trimming your laminated images can be a little tricky if you’re not using the right techniques. Read more about trimming tricks when working with Mactac’s PERMACOLOR laminates.

When traditional trimming techniques are used on images laminated with PERMACOLOR, a separation between the laminate and the image may occur along the trimmed edge.

This separation is a direct result of cutting straight down through the laminated image on a solid surface. The degree of severity is directly influenced by additional factors such as a thick or dull blade, soft or hard cutting surface and time span between lamination and cutting.


Three trimming techniques have been developed and listed below as good, better or best that eliminates this tendency towards edge separation; rotary blade cutting, slot cutting, or 45° Angled cuts with matte cutters.

Good: The third option that also provides excellent results, utilizes a 45 angle cut with a mat cutter, as illustrated in figures 4 and 5. The direction of the angle chosen depends upon the aesthetic appearance desired. CAUTION: This cut results in a very sharp edge on the graphics and sturdy gloves are recommended to prevent injuries. When using multiple imaged panels to form one large image, the 45 angle trimming technique can be used to form extremely clean, undetectable lap joints. As illustrated below, the edge of one image is cut at a 45 angle in one direction and the adjoining image is cut at a 45 angle in the opposite direction. This then provides a precise overlap joint.

Better: The second technique requires a slot built into your tabletop. Clamp your laminated image to the table using the slot as your straight edge. Using a utility knife, insert the tip of the blade into the slot ahead of the image and cut back through the laminated image using the slot as a guide. This ‘slicing’ action on the image, verses cutting down into the image, results in a clean straight cut with no edge lifting.

Best: The most effective of the three is the rotary blade. As indicated by the name, a round cutting blade rolls along pinching the laminated image between either a second rotary blade or a flat sharp edge. In either case this “shear” scissors like cut results in a nice straight edge with no sign of edge separation.


In order to optimize all three procedures, it is highly recommended that sharp blades be used and, whenever possible, the laminate bond be allowed to build (24 hr.) prior to cutting.

Equipment is readily available for trimming with a rotary knife, slot cuts and 45 angle cuts. Building a slot into a tabletop is relatively easy and inexpensive.

Ask your Mactac sales representative about which technique would work the best for you.