12 Jan Vinyl Car Wrap Tools Used by the Pros
Wrapping a car is both art and science. It requires creativity, skill and an understanding of the science behind the film. Pros have certain needed tools for the task. Those tools below do not comprise a comprehensive list but they are used extensively to make the wrapping job easier.
Heat Guns and Torches
Skilled installers use advanced heat guns to control the amount of hot air produced. These have built-in infrared thermometers that display surface temperatures for vinyl vehicle wraps. You won’t find a pro using a torch or hair dryer – ever.
With a calibrated heat gun, wrinkles are removed, the vehicle wrap stretches without warping and the vinyl wraps over channels like bumpers, doors and hoods without having to cut the wrap or having to use different pieces.
Snap off Blades
While there are many types of cutting blades for auto wraps, many pros use snap-off blades at two different angles. These blades cut partially through the film without reaching the paint and help make straight or curved cuts easier and more precise. Often, the blade is replaced three to five times during a project but a blade point can be easily snapped off for a fresh new blade.
Felt Edge Squeegees
The squeegee is an essential tool for professional car wrappers. Many types of squeegees are available, but people who do this for a living use squeegees with a felt edge to avoid scratching on the film.
The pros also pack magnets in their arsenal. These are must-have implements for holding the panels on a vehicle. That way the film can be trimmed into sections while the backing paper is removed. Magnets, generally with soft edges, are also used for the application of graphics and can be used instead of masking tape to position the material on a vehicle. Plus, they eliminate vehicle and graphics damage risk.
Precision Guides and Templates for Vinyl Wrap
With measuring tools and measuring guides, pros get the exact measurement and perfect trim the first time around. They use circle templates with calibrated edges to measure.
Trim guides allow the person holding the tool to be positioned properly and deliver easy film tucking. Plus, they use windshield mirror mount templates to create a precise mount-cut with no light gaps. With straight edge rules, the pros can take precise measurements and draw or cut straight lines on demand.
Prep and Cleaning Tools
Other tools of the trade include materials for cleaning and prepping a vehicle for a car wrap. It’s important that the wax and any oil are removed, and the vehicle’s surface and grooves are clean. Solvents accomplish this along with low-abrasive scouring pads with a polishing compound to remove older brittle or chalky car paint.
Pros also make sure the vehicle is dry before the vinyl vehicle wrapping to avoid tenting. Single razor blade scrapers are used to remove any existing stickers. Once all of this is done, the wrap is installed. These prep steps ensure that the wrap lasts as long as possible.
From graphic design to vehicle preparation, the pros know the tricks and tools that make up the anatomy of a great car wrap. They turn wraps into works of art to be admired up-close.