If you need help, we have a list of frequently asked questions and answers. We strive to give you the best buying experience possible. Click a question below to view the answer.


If you need to change something on your order, please contact us immediately at 604-875-6700.

Once we have shipped your order, we will be unable to make any changes.

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We are a company that supplies a wide variety of items and equipment to a wide range of customers. What this means is that it is difficult to arrange a return policy that can encompass everything that we sell under one umbrella. For this reason, we would kindly ask you to call us prior to purchasing an item and inquire what the return policy is on that particular item.


Laminating film/UV coating cannot be returned unless approved defective by Manufacturer, not Vertex. Defective film will be replaced once tested samples are sent to the factory and confirmed as defective. (It is the purchaser’s responsibility to perform the proper pre run test for adhesion with all laminating films prior to continuing and finishing a job).

Opened Supplies will be replaced if found to be defective.

Stock Parts can be returned as long as they have not been previously installed and are new.

Special Orders/Custom Orders are not returnable, on all products. Pay close attention to part numbers.

All Electrical Parts are not warrantied or returnable unless installed by a Vertex Technician. This includes but is not limited to bulbs, boards, fuses, motors, etc.

If you have further inquiries about these Policies or you are looking for more information specific to a certain product, Please contact us at 604-875-6700.

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  • Carefully lay out each sheet before you start cutting. Find the best cut pattern to give you the most pieces out of the sheet. If the sheet will be folded, be sure grain of the paper is running in the same direction as the fold or you will get a rough edge on the fold.


  • If an accurate cut is necessary for close register work, you MUST have a sharp blade in the cutter. A dull blade will pull or draw the paper and cause uneven cutting. Increased clamp pressure will not eliminate draw caused by a dull knife.


  • The correct clamping pressure varies from paper to paper. The general rule is that you should have enough pressure to hold the paper securely but not so much that it marks the surface of the paper excessively. Excessive pressure causes pile distortion and inaccurate cuts.


  • Mark the gripper edge and the guide edge of printed paper and make sure the first cuts are with these guide edges against the backgauge.


  • Measure printed paper to check for shrinkage or expansion of the paper from humidity.  You may have to disregard the printed cut lines and make your own.


  • When cutting narrow strips (1” or less), place lifts of equal height on opposite sides of the table to prevent wear of the clamp guides.

  • Keep the knife and die sharp and in good alignment. Dull knife and poor adjustments lead to irregular cuts. Knives should be carefully sharpened with a 35-degree bevel and finely honed (#32 micro cut or better) to remove coarseness and burrs.

  • Exercise care when handling and changing the knives.

  • Firm placement of paper against the left and back guides will ensure good corners.

  • Unusual noises and irregular action indicates a maintenance check is due. Has the machine been checked by a qualified person?

  • NEVER leave machine running unattended!

The key to efficient paper jogging is to separate the sheets with a cushion of air. This serves several purposes:

    • It eliminates static charges that will hold the paper together.

    • It reduces friction between sheets and loosens any sheets that are stuck together from clamping or cutting.

    • It breaks any adhesion caused by wet or tacky ink if you are jogging printed material.

To do this you should always fan your paper before jogging. As it is laying flat, grab the lift of paper from opposite ends. Bend the edges of the lift in towards each other. Tightly hold the edges of the bent stack and then straighten it out. Release the edges of the stack and let the sheets straighten out. Repeat this procedure two or three times to loosen all sheets.

When jogging large lifts of paper, instead of placing the entire lift on the jogger at one time, proper sheet alignment will be obtained faster if you feed small lifts at a time, gradually building up to the full amount.

Onionskin, tissue, and other types of light paper require painstaking jogging for any type of accurate work, especially cutting. These types of paper are very difficult to jog and a few hints might make this job a little easier and faster:

    • When ordering these types of paper, specify the grain to run lengthwise and jog with this dimension towards the bottom of the table.

    • Lay pieces of chipboard above and below the lift when jogging (this also makes it easier to handle and maintain alignment).

    • Smooth out air pockets and waves and add a piece of chipboard (if you haven’t already done so) before cutting.

When jogging checks, data cards, or envelopes, excessive noise can be reduced by gluing pieces of felt inside the bottom edges of each compartment. Note this will reduce jogging action slightly.

  • Important! To prevent the drill from overheating, always avoid drilling too slowly. The table should be brought up as rapidly as possible allowing the drills to easily cut through the paper. Also, adjust the vertical table guide to return the table to the down position as rapidly as possible to avoid spinning the drills in the stock.

  • Slotted Holes - Instead of punching slotted holes for five and seven-hole universal binding work, save time and cost by drilling a 1/2-inch diameter hole in place of the slot. The slot is only intended to allow the post or ring to be used in either location, and the large hole permits this.

  • Plastic Bindings - Drilling holes for plastic bindings, instead of punching them, is practical and saves a great deal of time, particularly on long run jobs.

  • Keep Drills Sharp - A dull drill is the major cause of drill breakage and production tie-ups. Usually after three hours of drilling, depending on the type of paper being processed, the drill should be sharpened. A dull drill results in poor quality work.

  • Keep Drills Clean - A dirty and rusty drill will not permit the free upward passage of the drill chips. Pressure built up by a clogged drill will split or break the drill. To keep it free from dirt or rust, clean the drill of all chips after each use and apply a light oil to the inside and outside. Drills should be cleaned out immediately after each use. This is particularly true if a coated or varnished stock has been drilled. On these jobs the coating on the chips frequently fuse the chips into one solid mass when the drill cools, causing breakage the next time the drill is used.

  • Lubricate Drills - Lubrication assists in the passage of the chips and helps avoid overheating of the drills. Use readily available stick lubricants for this purpose. Hold the end of the stick against the side of the rotating drill. Be sure to touch the cutting edge with the lubricant also. Wipe off excess oil before drilling. CARE MUST ALWAYS BE TAKEN WHEN HANDLING DRILLS.

  • Keep Spindle Clean - Clean out the drill spindle frequently. This will prevent any buildup in the spindle of the drill.

  • Set the Drills Correctly - Do not cut too deeply into the cutting block. The drill should just touch the block and cleanly cut through the bottom sheet. During drilling, do not set the drill deeper into the block but change the position of the block frequently. Drilling deeper into the block dulls the drills quickly. Use a piece of chipboard underneath your stock. This will make handling the stock easier and will ensure that the last sheet is cut cleanly through.

  • Check for Drill Wobble - If spindles are badly worn or bent through misadjustment, have them replaced immediately. A wobbly or loosely held drill will break.

  • Check Your Drill Sharpener - The cutting edge of the sharpening bit should be inspected frequently to make certain that it is sharp and free of nicks. Never let a drill drop onto the sharpening bit. It will chip the sharpening edge. Use gentle pressure when sharpening - let the sharpening bit do the work. Check the sharpness of the drill after sharpening. The cutting edge should be razor sharp.

  • Just a little time and effort taken with each use of your paper drilling machine should result in trouble free operation over many years.

KNIFE SAFETY ! Knives are DANGEROUS!!! They are heavy and very sharp, even after use. Keep the edge away from your body and keep the area clear of others when handling knives. Never touch the cutting edge! To prevent personal injury and damage to the knife, always keep knives in their holders with screws tightened. You are aware of the dangers, but others may not be. Never attempt to hone, polish, or service the knife in any way. Failure to follow safety procedures may result in severe lacerations or dismemberment.


Knife Blade Life


Knife blade life, or the time between sharpening, can be affected by many factors. One important factor is the type of paper being cut. Abrasive paper, such as recycled paper, soft paper such as newsprint paper, and bound books can all significantly shorten knife blade life. Also, if the knife depth is set too deep, the knife will cut too deep into the cutting stick and can dull the knife blade.

A knife can last anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 cuts before it needs to be sharpened. Cutting soft paper (such as newsprint paper) or paper with high post-consumer recycled content can cause the knife to need sharpening after only 2,000 to 3,000 cuts. Cutting pure paper, such as bond paper with no recycled content, or hard paper can allow the knife to be used for as many as 5,000 cuts before it needs to be sharpened. In all cases, the operator should continually check the quality of the cut to determine when the knife blade needs to be sharpened. Some characteristics that indicate a blade needs sharpening are:


  • The knife hesitates or stalls while making a cut.
  • The sheets are not all cut to the same length (usually the top few sheets are longer than the rest of the sheets - this is sometimes called “draw”).
  • Cut marks appear on the cut face of the paper.
  • The profile of the cut (side view) is not perpendicular to the table.
  • The cut does not appear straight when viewed from the top.
  • The knife makes a “rougher” sound as it passes through paper.
  • Nicks are visible on the cutting edge of the knife.


Cutting Stick


A worn cutting stick can affect the cut quality of the bottom sheets. When this happens, the cut stick can be rotated. Usually, the stick should be rotated one or two times between knife sharpenings.


There are 8 possible cut stick positions. The stick can be rotated 4 times, and then turned end to end, and rotated 4 times again.


Bevel Angle


Challenge recommends that bevel angles for knives be in the range of 21° to 23°. In general, a 21° bevel angle will provide better cut quality when cutting soft paper (such as newsprint), recycled paper, or bound books. However, 21° angle knives can become dull sooner than 23° knives, which results in shorter knife blade life. A knife with a 23° bevel angle, on the other hand, will not dull as easily, and can provide satisfactory results when cutting most types of paper.


Helpful Suggestions


It may be beneficial to purchase more than one set of knives: one set beveled at 21° and the other at 23°. Note: A set consists of 3 knives: one in the machine, one as a back up, and one at the grinder.


If the machine seems to strain but the cut quality is still good, reduce the pile height. You may also carefully apply glycerin to the bevel when cutting hard, coated paper. Tie a cloth to the end of a stick; dip the stick in glycerin, and apply. Never apply by hand! In lieu of glycerin you may lightly rub white bar soap along the bevel. Lubrication will prolong the life of your machine and reduce maintenance.


Knife Care


  • To prevent corrosion, knives are coated with light oil. It should be REMOVED WITH CARE.
  • While removing or installing a knife, be careful not to allow the edge to bump against the machine. Nicks will result.
  • If a knife bolt is damaged, replace it. Always keep knife bolts securely tightened. Always use the heavy-duty knife bolt washers provided by Challenge. Failure to do so could result in scratching or marring of the clamp face. Store knives in a dry environment to prevent corrosion. Never attempt to service a knife in any way.

The table of a paper cutter requires periodic maintenance to remove surface oxidation. Polishing is also required to provide a smooth surface for paper to move freely. The frequency of this maintenance will be determined by a number of factors. Among these are the humidity, environmental dust, handprints, liquid spills, and type of paper stock. We recommend the use of the Challenge Cutter Care Kit P/N 16077 for of your table care needs.


To prepare a new machine’s table, follow the procedure below:


  1. Remove the rust-protective coating from the table with a solvent.
  2. Remove all solvent residue from the table with a dry cloth. Continue until the cloth your are using shows no sign of residue.
  3. Apply a light coating of an SAE 10-weight non-detergent motor oil or equivalent to the table and allow it to penetrate for at least one hour. 
  4. Remove all excess oil from the table with paper toweling (not cloth) until the paper towel you are using shows no sign of oil.
  5. Apply a paste wax (Challenge P/N 16078) to the table to seal the pores of the metal. 


Note: Do not use a wax that contains a cleaning compound on the table. The cleaner contains microscopic abrasive particles that will cause wear between the table and the bottom of the backgauge. A silicone spray (Challenge P/N 16079) will show the same type of wear as the cleaner if the excess silicone is not removed. If the excess is not removed, the silicone spray has a substance that holds the silicone to the surface it is sprayed on that causes a black, gummy build-up under the backgauge. If a silicone spray is used, paper toweling must be used to remove the excess to prevent this wear and build-up.


To clean surface oxidation from a table, follow the procedure below:


  1. Spray “Rust-B-Gone” (Challenge P/N 16080) on the table and allow it to dissolve the rust. Then remove it with paper toweling. Or, pour a small quantity of an SAE 10-weight motor oil onto the table. Using a Scotch-Brite Pad or a 400 grit sand paper, polish the table following the “grain” of the metal until all oxidation is removed to your satisfaction. 
  2. Remove all of the oil from the table until the cloth you are using shows no sign of residue.
  3. Apply a light coating of an SAE 10-weight non-detergent motor oil or equivalent to the table and allow it to penetrate for at least one hour. 
  4. Remove all excess oil from the table with paper toweling (not cloth) until the paper towel you are using shows no sign of oil.
  5. Apply a paste wax (Challenge P/N 16078) to the table to seal the pores of the metal. 


Note: Do not use a wax that contains a cleaning compound on the table. The cleaner contains microscopic abrasive particles that will cause wear between the table and the bottom of the backgauge. A silicone spray (Challenge P/N 16079) will show the same type of wear as the cleaner if the excess silicone is not removed. If the excess is not removed, the silicone spray has a substance that holds the silicone to the surface it is sprayed on that causes a black, gummy build-up under the backgauge. If a silicone spray is used, paper toweling must be used to remove the excess to prevent this wear and build-up.

***Information from the Vivid webpage contains products not available in Canada…Please call for substitute @ Vertex 604-875-6700

  • Matrix - General

My lamination is cloudy – what has caused this?

This is usually the result of insufficient heat so if your machine has heat control, try and increase the temperature. Also, check the specifications of your machine and that you are not using a film that is too thick.

My lamination is bubbly/rippling – what has caused this?

Bubbling is usually caused by the heat setting on the machine being set too high so if your machine has heat control (which most do) then lower the temperature.

*It is a good idea to always run a test print through the laminator first if you are unsure.

How can I avoid laminator film wrap up?

Always ensure that you have clearance behind the laminating machine before you start laminating, as with many things preparation is the key so it is best to make sure you have enough working space available and avoid backing your laminator up against a wall. Try and let 2/3” of film to appear out of the back of the laminator as you start to laminate.

Can I laminate small documents (A5, A4 size) on my wide format laminator and if yes, how?

It is possible to laminate smaller documents on wide format systems, although a smaller roll fed or pouch machine would be more suitable.  If you want to apply a single side laminate, take a look at our Matrix Duo range.   If you are encapsulating, then you can run your documents through the laminator and simply trim them to size when finished. However, if laminating on one side only, you will need to use a silicon release paper to ensure the adhesive film on the 'free' side does not stick to the roller.

What is the best way to send a laminated print?

It is best to roll the print into a sturdy card tube, rolled with the image facing the outside to keep the laminate from getting air bubbles and cracks on the image side.

Do I need to leave my prints to dry before I laminate?

For best quality results and to ensure the laminate sticks to the print, it is recommended to allow adequate drying time prior to the application of any form of lamination. The drying (also known as ‘curing’ time) can range from 4 to 24 hours but this depends on several factors including type of print media being laminated, substrate, inks, type of laminator, and final destination for the finished print.  Allowing adequate drying time can make the difference between your job going right or wrong, so it is best to plan your job in advance and allow prints to dry. This also prevents ‘outgassing’ which is when the air bubbles are trapped between the print and the laminate, something you need to avoid!

Of course there are many different factors to also think about which can affect drying time, these include type of print media being laminated, substrate, inks, type of laminator, and where the final poster or banner will be displayed.

How do I successfully laminate an inkjet print that has a high ink coverage?

Laminating a high ink coverage print can be tricky as standard heat activated polyester films with a co-polymer adhesive tend to stick to the ink and not the paper. The laminate can then lift off darker colour areas of the print and the problem becomes more obvious when the darker areas extend to the edge of the print with no white border for the adhesive to bond to.

Another problem that may occur with laminating high ink coverage is that the ink can separate from the paper at a high heat 100-120°C and air bubbles can appear.

A solution to this can be to change the inkjet paper and apply a heat-activated polyester laminate (please ask for details). The paper should be more accepting to the ink and provide a better bonding surface for co-polymer adhesives.

Also remember that prints must be completely dry before laminating and highly saturated prints will take longer to dry.

What is the difference between heated and cold rollers and what does the term silvering mean?

Some Pressure sensitive films if applied cold can leave a slight silvering effect on the print. If approx 40°C heat is applied on the rollers when this film is applied the silvering disappears.

This is due to the fact the glue on the film is softened and warmed when applied and speeds up the polymerisation process. Over time the silvering when applied cold does slightly reduce but does not totally disappear.

Not all films need heat and vinyls and vehicle wrap films work better when laminated cold. Most signmakers therefore feel that a cold machine will be fine because the silvering effect is minimal. Photographers and Exhibition graphic suppliers are more critical and therefore require a heated top roller for a perfect finish.

Our Easymount range of cold systems have rubber rollers and the heated roller machines have a silicon rubber roller.

The laminating rollers are turning but are not driving the documents/film through.

Ensure the roller pressure handle is turned fully clockwise to the "Lock" position.

Why is the film not sticking on the bottom when I try to double side laminate/encapsulate?

Ensure that the "Both Heat" switch is set when NOT single side laminating. 

What do you suggest for cleaning my rollers?

ME20 for chrome plated steel roller. Amberclens anti-static cleaner for rubber rollers. Both are available to purchase from the Vivid Service Department. Please contact us for more information.

The documents are not splitting successfully at the rear of my machine.

Please ensure there is sufficient pressure on your perforating wheel, the angled rollers are positioned correctly and press position matches your anti-curl setting. 

For further details, please see the "troubleshooting" section of our Matrix video here.

The machine turns on, but the rollers will not run or heat. Why is this?

Please ensure both the feed tray and guard are correctly fitted.  If the pins on the tray and the guard are not completely locked into place, the machine will not run. This is a safety feature of the machine.

What temperature do I need to set my machine at?

Most encapsulation film operates between 100°C and 120°C. Therefore, we suggest setting your system at 110°C and a speed of 1m/m.

Why is my media/film creasing towards the centre of the rollers?

You are applying too much roller pressure.  For further details, please watch our Easymount video by clicking here

The red light is illuminated on the power switch, but there is no power to the blue LCD display - why?

Firstly, please check that the emergency stop button has not been pressed.  If the emergency stop button hasn't been pushed, please check the fuse at the back of the machine.