Roll Slitters or Log Slitters
Single Knife Roll slitters or log slitters are used by many companies large and small to tackle the task of converting large rolls into narrower rolls. For example, a 36 inch log roll of duct tape is not very useful but a roll slitter (baloney slicer) can convert this into 18 - 2" rolls in just a few minutes. Now you have a marketable useful product. Roll converting is in fact a very profitable business.
There are several brands of roll slitters available on the market today. In this article I want to focus on the smaller models that would be used in small to medium size shop environments. The most popular small slitter is called a single knife slitter. These are generally manually operated. These slitters normally have a single round rotating blade that cuts the roll and a single shaft that rotates the roll. The machine is very much like a lathe with the simple addition of a round very sharp blade that cuts through the rotating roll.
Three popular brands of single knife slitters are Smart Slitters, Slitters International and Utica Slitters. All three of these companies manufacture machines that are less than 1000 lbs which for a slitter is considered small.
When slitting any material it is important that the material be tightly wound on the core but not so tight as to prevent it from moving aside as the blade passes through. Also, a sharp blade is crucial. To keep the blade cool and lubricated most shops use a blade lubricant mixed with water that is misted onto the blade as it cuts. I use a spray bottle and spray with one hand as I operate the blade with the other hand. To keep from getting what is called angel hair edges or frayed roll edges it is important to cut through the roll slowly to prevent the roll from slipping from too much friction and double cutting the edge. A tight roll and a slow hand prevent this.
Roll slitters will be a vital part of industry for years to come. As long as there are rolls, there will be roll slitters.