Pre-Cut or Hand-Cut PPF Installations?

May 31, 2022

Pre-Cut or Hand-Cut PPF Installations?


If you’re considering getting PPF (paint protection film) installed on your vehicle, you’ve probably come across the concept of pre-cut and hand-cut options. But which is better? Indeed, is either one better?


The following looks at the pros and cons of each and why you might opt for one over the other. It also dispels the myth that hand-cut is still always cut by hand (clue—we live in the digital age now, so computers are going to be responsible for some of it…)

All About PPF Installations


  • What is a pre-cut PPF installation?
  • What is a hand-cut PPF installation?
  • The right PPF installation might be a combination of the two 

What is a pre-cut PPF installation?


Much as the name suggests, pre-cut PPF comes in a ready-cut format to fit each section of the car. This is great for more commonly produced vehicles with a fairly simple body shape. This type comes directly from the manufacturer in the pre-cut shapes, so should—technically—fit the panels it’s designed for.


Advantages of this are:


  • The process should be quicker than a hand-cut approach
  • Each section should perfectly fit the panel it’s designed for


The disadvantages are:


  • Sometimes the pre-cut shapes aren’t quite right. This might lead to an attempt to stretch the shape to fit, leading to poor installation that doesn’t look right or provide the paint protection it should
  • It might not be available for less common vehicles or those with more intricate body shapes


What is a hand-cut PPF installation?


Hand-cut PPF is cut on-site for the vehicle that it’s being installed on. The best providers won’t be cutting this by hand anymore. Instead, they’ll have a digital cutter that will map out the exact shape and nuances of your vehicle and cut the pieces to the perfect size.


The advantages:


  • Can be cut to fit any car, shape, or size
  • Can be used on any type of body kit, spoilers, or aftermarket body panels


The disadvantages


  • Should only be applied by a highly experienced PPF installer
  • If the installer doesn’t have a digital cutter, they will be using a blade next to the paintwork. Inexperienced hands could accidentally cut through the top layer of clear lacquer on the paintwork
  • Takes longer to install


The right PPF installation might be a combination of the two


There are many reasons why a combination installation will be best. For example, if you have a reasonably common car that has some extra body kit. You can use the pre-cut PPF for the elements that haven’t been modified and the hand-cut for the rest.


The key to a great application is the expertise of the person applying the PPF. This certainly isn’t something you can quickly bang out over the weekend with your vehicle in the carport. It’s not just the installation itself, the quality of the preparation will directly impact the finished result.


This means cleaning and clay barring the paintwork in a location that’s clean and virtually sterile. It must also be done at an ambient temperature out of direct sunlight and give the appropriate time to rest before moving the vehicle.  

Don’t Settle for Anything Less than the Best. PPF Installations & Ceramic Coating from Auto Supershield


Quite simply, PPF is best applied by an experienced hand. Sure, DIY kits abound but do you have a) the expertise, b) the time, and c) the correct, semi-sterile location in which to install it? Unless the answer is a resounding “yes” to all three points, then the money you might think you’ll save by doing it at home is likely to be dwarfed by the professional help you’re going to need to put it right.


At Auto Supershield, paint protection and window tinting are all we do—and we’re pretty proud of our awesome reputation. Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat, or why not check out the latest paint protection tech to hit the market, top-end ceramic coating —  We can’t wait to hear from you.



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