Hello! Welcome to my personal grip cutting tutorial that I hope will last for years to come. Hopefully many questions will clear up, if you have tips your self please add me on discord @ Skadi Sama#4298 and let me know if you have suggestions or tips.
Moving along, the biggest question I receive all the time is, what grips to use for grip cutting
There are pros and cons to these grips that I personally have experience with. Below will be an explanation and the names of each grip you can choose from to complete your mod with a grip cut.
The commonly known Signo Knock grip. These are fairly expensive, and is the most commonly known to be used in grip cuts
the cut well, with good practice, but pulling the grip off the pen and stretching it to the right size you need for a mod will take time.
They easily can have nail marks when you remove them, and if you do not take your time cutting and drawing what you are attempting to cut, it is easy to spot mistakes with this grip over all it is a great grip to use for grip cutting for people who have practice. I rate it 4 out of 5 for looks and 3 out of 5 for difficulty to start learning from. They only come in Blue, Black, Red and Green as far as I am aware.
This is Penwish’s substitute for the Signo Knock. They are a bit more soft so hiding mistakes can be easier, but they are very expensive for just 1 grip over all.
Signo broad, the grip that is great for simple cuts such as triangles curves. not so much for difficult cuts such as a snow flake its very hard to find mods that you can use Signo broad for grip cutting, but hiding your mistakes on a Signo Broad Grip cut is very very difficult and they can easily tear when pulling on the grip back onto the mod. Overall I rate it a 2.5 out of 5 for starting out and a 3 at best for experienced modders. They also come in many colors!
the infamous Spoko if you are from the older days of pen spinning for grip cutting! Popularized by Neptune, this grip is great for beginners because it is very soft and can hide your mistakes very easily! The major problem with this grip is that you very very much need to have many sharp x-acto knives to make the cuts look very clean everyone has to start somewhere and these are good to learn from, but with a lot of practice, it helps advance on to the Signo Knock Grip. Overall learning i would rate it a 5 out of 5 for learning and for great modders a 4 out of 5. Reason being, once you get into more complex shapes and patterns or images, it becomes harder to cut fancy images out on because it is so soft. I recommend just nice simple squares, triangles, easy designs to start on Spoko. nothing too fancy, and they also come in Green, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Skyblue and Gray
Similar to the Signo Broad Grip but the major issue with this grip is the bump at the ends of the grip and it can VERY easily tear and rip apart. It also takes a lot of time to stretch out into mods that can use a Bic Matic grip for grip cutting. Overall I rate it a 3 out of 5 because they are cheap to learn as a beginner. But as an experienced Grip Cutter I rate it a 1 out of 5 because of the lack of how well it stretches and how soft it is.
Bic Matics come in multiple colors as well now, they are somewhat rare to come by colored ones.
Bic GL2 Is also another pen with a grip that has a good grip for grip cutting. It looks similar to Spoko, but is a bit more stiff than a Spoko. They cut fairly well but are not very common to find at stores at all. Over all I would rate it a 3 for beginners and a 4 for experienced modders. Its not as easy to hide mistakes on this grip compared to a Spoko Mini. The colors I am aware that they come in are Red, Black and Blue.
The famous Pilot G2 grip is actually useable for grip cutting although, only primarily the smooth part of the G2 It’s a very tricky grip and despite most modders and spinners owning G2 grips, I rate this a 1 out of 5 for beginners. It’s extremely hard to use, cutting it cleanly when first learning is difficult even with minor curved shapes. and at best a 2 for even experienced grip cutters. It’s a challenging grip to keep the grip looking nice and clean. If you have an over flow of these grips, you can attempt to practice on some if you are willing to spare some, Otherwise I personally would not even bother to try; despite it coming in loads of colors.
The famous Impact RT used to make an Impact MX made by Kam the grip is extremely similar to Signo Knock in many ways, the only real difference is that the grip cones down on the tip side ever so slightly, so just be aware that you wouldn’t be cutting on a perfect circumference.
Here are some images that I used to start cutting. Some are complex, some not so much. Give it a try, we all have to start somewhere and I can openly admit I was terrible and grip cutting for a while too. A quick guide on grips I do not recommend grip cutting despite many many people that have suggested if it works in the past, are grips that are too thick, such as Dr. Grip Grip, or Hyperjell Grips. the reason why is because not only is it too thick, they tend to come out very unpleasing, its very hard to cut cleanly, but if you want to risk it, that is your choice. With that said, lets begin how I start my grip cuts after choosing a grip from ones that I stated above after choosing a grip, I tend to need to visualize the image. This helps a lot especially on original idea cuts because it gives you a sense of what is allowed to be cut and what is not. Example:
If I cut the sword out, the rest of the grip needs to hold the tip of the sword and the handle of the sword. Otherwise it will be a floating grip and I will have to use superglue to keep the image in place and that is not ideal for long term mods. Especially if you know that you will spin the mod later in the future.
this is the finalized image I choose to cut. All Dark spaces meaning I will not cut up and all the white spaces meaning I will have to cut.I will mention I also did measure how long this paper was before I drew the full image, so I can get a sense of realistic scaling before I cut the mod I will show some techniques that I use and explain how to keep the images drawn nicely with a white Gel pen
1. I choose a stock body, barrel that is completely undamaged that I am completely ok with throwing out after the grip cut. The grip in this image is an Impact RT Grip over a Supertip Cap. the Grip fits snuggly and was only slightly stretched. If a stock body were to stretch out a grip too much, you will have to let it expand over a couple of days. Cutting the grip immediately will hurt the grip because it will try to shrink back to its original shape, also meaning the image you are trying to cut will look deformed.
2. Most Grip cuts tend to have one image on the first half of the grip and another image on the second half.
I start by drawing a border for an image. You need to draw a frame like guard for each half side of the image you plan to cut because if you don’t the image will either simply be hanging or fall out. Which is why the top border also exists to hold the image together.
for the sword image, I chose to use the ruler technique where I let the ruler guide a straight line to cleanly draw out the sword.
I repeat this to draw out the rest of the frame and guard to the sword so I can see a clear image of what is to be cut out and what is going to be kept.
With Gel pens, especially white ones, they tend to dry up and leave chunks and bits of ink. You want to clean this off because it can smear when you are drawing the image you are trying to cut out.When you are finally done drawing and you are ready to cut remember to use a new x-acto knife blade to achieve the cleanest cut. Here are some examples on good cutting posture.
Starting a cut is the most simple, just make sure you are cutting with the tip of the blade
As the image ends and you need to stop cutting, make sure you are raising the blade up higher and not lower. Doing this and cutting the end with the tip of the blade will prevent the grip from being cut incompletely. You will know if you cut well if the grip is almost falling out of place and you hardly need to tug on it to remove the cut
A quick example of bad cutting is when you are ready to remove the grip and the edges are trying to hold on to the grip still. It takes a lot of practice and patience when cutting nicely As long as you follow the tip of the blade technique when starting and ending and press hard with the tip of the x-acto knife, you should achieve a clean cut Now that you know the general technique, and have the image you are ready to cut visualized Always start by drawing the whole image to the best of your ability first before cutting. Make sure to let the ink dry out and have no smears or as little as possible before cutting.
Here are some finalized examples, I made lots of mistakes in the past as well. Be confident, do your best, we all have to start somewhere
Some advanced grip cutting techniques where you can see a grip is floating on the pen is actually just simple super glue. I do not actually have an example on hand, but at times when you get too much superglue and it spreads out all over the background insert. A tip is actually to let the super glue dry completely, then use acetone and a q-tip and carefully clean off the excess. I made that mistake on the grip cut above Advanced cutting simply comes with practice and learning how your hand feels most comfortable and in control when cutting with an x-acto knife is important. Sometimes for very precise cuts rolling the barrel can help and changing positions for each cut can help. You can even alternatively use your nail to block very fine and small detail cuts to make sure you don’t slip. Just be sure to not cut yourself
A fun slightly advanced look for the holes in the grip I again used a manual hole punch that you can find here https://www.michaels.com/artminds-mini-punch-set/10045947.htmlMichaelsMini Punch Set by ArtMinds™Punch consistently sized holes in leather every time! Made of solid metal, this durable punch set contains the six most commonly used hole sizes.
you can even alternatively use different shapes of hole punches and create very cool designs. An idea I saw in the past where a mod used 2 colored grip and a hole punch (some have designs such as stars, hearts and spades). Then you can take what was cut out from a grip and place it into another grip to fill in the gap with various colors. I hope this helps, I may add on to the tutorial in the future. If you have any tips you would like to add feel free again to message me @ Skadi Sama#4298 on discord. Good luck on your grip cuts, don’t hurt yourself, trust yourself!