Slotted Vs Urethane: Which Trim Tool Is Best For Your Application?

by Michaela Cultrara

When choosing a trim tool for your foam trimming application it is important to consider many factors. These include cost, dust, and maintenance. The most common trimming technology for foam packaging is punch and dies. This technology was borrowed from the metal industry and has several disadvantages including angel hair, high cost, high maintenance, and significant setup time. Serrated trim tools on the other hand, address several of the punch and die disadvantages.

Punch & Die

Punch and Die trim system

Steel Rule Serrated Trim Tool

Commodore Steel Rule Serrated Trim Tool

Slotted Trim Tool

Slotted Trim Tool

Urethane Trim Tool

Urethane Trim Tool

Both slotted and Urethane tools offer a cleaner cut then punch and die. Serrated trim tools produce little to no angel hair, are less expensive, have lower maintenance costs, allow for better mold efficiencies, and have faster setup times. Serrated trim tools come in two variations, Slotted and Urethane.

  1. Slotted tools are best used with thin sheet products such as:
    1. Bowls
    2. Plates
    3. Light meat trays
  2. Urethane tools are most suited for heavier weight trays and eliminates all dust.
    1. 3 mm and thicker

Serrated trim tools eliminate the need for high tolerance machining because the accuracy required for the tooling is 0.020 inches verses 0.0003 for a punch and die. This equates to less loading of the trim press and longer bearing life resulting from less load on the pins. Also, the serrated tooling is safer to handle because of their light weight construction. All of these result in less down time and maintenance.