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It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of the KNK computerized cutters.
Our Zing Orbit has been ordered and will hopefully be on the way to our craft room shortly. We’ll spend a few weeks testing it out for you guys before we bring you an in-depth and impartial review of the cutter, to help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.
In the meantime, we thought we’d compile a guide to the brand new cutter from Klic-N-Kut USA to get you up to speed on the details.
Let’s take it away…
- 1 KNK Zing Orbit: Features
- 2 Zing Orbit Software
- 3 Accessories for the KNK Zing Orbit
- 4 KNK Force vs Zing Orbit
- 5 KNK Maxx Air vs Zing Orbit
KNK Zing Orbit: Features
The most exciting thing about getting to know a new cutter upgrade is all the new features included.
The Zing Orbit from KNK certainly does not disappoint.
Here’s what it’s packing.
1,000g of Cutting Force
One thing that’s always stood out among the Klic-N-Kut cutters is just how much more powerful they are than your average hobbyist desktop craft cutter.
With an upgraded 1,000 grams of cutting force, the Zing Orbit is seriously powerful.
KNK advise that it can tackle a slew of materials, including:
- Heat transfer vinyl
- Craft plastic
… And many more.
By way of comparison, the Zing Air enjoyed 750 grams of cutting force and hobbyist machines like the Silhouette Cameo have just 210 grams.
The Zing Orbit is still dwarfed by the power of the KNK Force, however, which clocks in with a massive 4,000 grams of force.
USB and WiFi Connectivity
Joining the ranks of most other hobbyist vinyl cutting machines, the latest KNK Zing can be connected to your computer via either USB cable or WiFi — goodbye, pesky cables!
One of the pretty cool things about the Zing Orbit is that you can choose to communicate directly with the machine in standalone mode or via your computer software with the WiFi connection.
Improved 2-Way Communication
Speaking of communication, another huge improvement the Zing Air is boasting is the fact that it now uses RTS/CTS flow control signals.
For those of us not fluent in computer lingo, this essentially means that jams, delays and overruns will become a thing of the past.
Where with standard communication protocols, the cutting software will simply send packets of data to the machine with no let-up, occasionally leading to the machine becoming overloaded and messing up. The Zing Air, on the other hand, will communicate with the software to tell it when it’s ready to receive data packets — ensuring faster and more consistent communication, even on the most complex jobs.
We’re looking forward to seeing how this plays out in practise.
Better Print & Cut
Thanks to its Automatic Registration Tracking (ART) system, the Zing Air promises to be much better and faster at producing print & cut projects.
Ensuring a high degree of accuracy, the ART system is powered by the machine’s optic eye and scans a total of four registration marks.
The optic eye is a fantastic feature that we love in other machines — it’s especially great for those of us who indulge in the odd bit of contour cutting every now and again.
Take a look at this awesome video from Cutter Punk showing how quick this bad boy works:
Fully Adjustable Pinch Wheels
When we initially reviewed the KNK Zing Air, we commented on how this was an artisan’s machine, best suited to someone committed to producing the best possible cuts for their individual circumstances and capabilities.
This is in contrast to many cutting machines these days that are designed to simply allow you to produce the same old designs in the same old way, in the fastest way possible.
The Zing Orbit is just as committed to giving you, the crafter, as much autonomy over your designs and projects as the Air was.
Not only does that mean that you need to choose the best pressure, speed and depth settings for your blade, but it also means that you have full control over the pinch feed assembly.
You can arrange the pinch wheels (3 for the 15″ model and 4 for the 24″ one) individually, as you see fit, to enable to most accurate and precise pinch feeding we’ve seen in a cutter at this price point.
There’s also a single pinch feed lever on the machine which allows you to raise and lower the wheels all together if you please.
Multi-Colored LED Lighting
We’re not sure how much of a draw this will be for individual crafters, but we have to admit that we like the look of the colored LED lights that come with the new Zing Orbit.
The extra lighting will certainly prove useful in shining a light on the pinch feed assembly.
Available in 2 Sizes
The Zing Air, on the other hand, was only available in a 14 inch configuration so this is yet another upgrade.
Which one you choose will likely depend on your budget and the size of projects you typically work on.
Here’s a table comparing the two sizes so you can see which is best for your needs:
|Zing Orbit 15||Zing Orbit 24|
|Max Cutting Width||15"||24"|
|Max Cutter Opening||19.5"||28.5"|
|No. of Pinch Feed Wheels||3||4|
|Metal Flatbed Tables||Optional, buy separately||2 included|
|Weight||21.16 lbs||27.6 lbs|
|Dimensions||5.75" x 6.8" x 26.5"||5.75" x 6.8" x 35.5"|
Zing Orbit Software
One of the more controversial aspects of the new KNK Zing Orbit is the fact that it doesn’t come with any software already included.
KNK have justified this by saying that the reasons they’re able to keep prices at the level they’re at is because purchasing software alongside the machine is optional.
While that means that you’ll need to fork out an additional $59.99 for Sure Cuts A Lot 4 (or $199 for the PRO version!), this is unlikely to be an issue for the many KNK customers that already have access to SCAL.
Early reports confirm that it’s very easy to link the Zing Orbit with existing copies of SCAL4 and we hope to confirm this once we’ve got our hands on the software!
We’re not sure about the Orbit’s compatibility with Make The Cut software, although again will report back once we know more.
Accessories for the KNK Zing Orbit
Klic-N-Kut have been teasing us since they announced the release of the Zing Orbit that this cutting machine would have — and we quote — ‘out of this world accessories’.
While we understand that the Orbit will be compatible with the normal KNK engraving and embossing tool, the main add-on that crafters have been getting excited about is the so-called Orbitizer.
This tool is the reason why the machine is actually called Orbit — because it will allow us to mark directly onto spherical objects like spheres and cylinders.
We can’t wait to find out what this means for our homemade Christmas and Easter decorations…
Unfortunately the Orbitizer attachment won’t be available for purchase until later this year — at least late Summer, the rumors are saying.
It’s a pity about the delay but something to look forward to nonetheless!
Here are a few of the accessories already available for the Zing Orbit:
- Embossing Tool
- Force & Orbit Engraving Tool
- Punch Piercing Tool
- Metal Flatbed Tables for Zing Orbit 15
- Blue Bladeholder
- Yellow Bladeholder
- Red Bladeholder
- Zing Orbit 24 Stand
- Zing Orbit 15 Stand
KNK Force vs Zing Orbit
Much of this KNK Zing Orbit guide has focused on how the machine compares to its predecessor, the Zing Air — but how does it compare to the other KNK computerized cutters?
Let’s take the KNK Force to start off with.
In our view, this is one of the most innovative cutting machines on the market right now, thanks to its dual cutting heads with a true Z axis, incredibly precise camera alignment for Print & Cut and amazing 4,000 grams of cutting force.
This table is a quick guide to how the two compare.
|KNK Force||KNK Zing Orbit|
|Max Cutting Width||15"||15" or 24"|
|Cutter Type||Dual Heads with True Z axis||Solenoid|
|Max Cutting Force||4,000 grams||1,000 grams|
|Type of Registration Tracking||Camera||Optic Eye|
|Connection||WiFi & Ethernet||WiFi & USB|
|No. of Pinch Wheels||3||3 (15") or 4 (24")|
|Price||$629||$449 (15") or $960 (24")|
It’s impossible to compare how they fare against each other in reality without having tested the Zing Orbit yet although on paper, the Force still seems to have the edge over this new cutter — albeit at a more expensive price and with size restrictions.
KNK Maxx Air vs Zing Orbit
The other Klic-N-Kut product we want to compare against the Zing Orbit is the 24″ KNK Maxx Air.
Just like the Force, the Maxx Air is part of the KNK’s professional range of cutters so is more expensive although arguably offers a lot for its higher price tag.
Most notably, that includes a powerful Bluetooth connection (works up to 30 feet away) and a high top speed of 800 mm per second.
Let’s see how the two compare in this table.
|KNK Maxx Air||KNK Zing Orbit|
|Max Cutting Width||24"||15" or 24"|
|Type of Cutter||Solenoid||Solenoid|
|Max Cutting Force||1,500 grams||1,000 grams|
|Connection||Bluetooth, USB and Serial||WiFi and USB|
|Top Speed||800 mm/second||762 mm/second|
|Flatbed Tables?||Included||Included with 24" model|
|Adjustable Pinch Wheels?||Yes||Yes|
|Price||$1,199||$449 (15") or $960 (24")|
The benefits of one or the other over the Maxx Air and Zing Orbit are a little more subtle, although doubtless it will depend on whether you need the 15″ maximum cut width or the 24″ model.
Now, that’s all you need to know about the brand new KNK Zing Orbit. We’ll be updating this as soon as we’ve thoroughly tested the product for a fair review.
Will you be buying the Zing Orbit?