How to Choose the Right Machine Knives for Your Snack Packaging Equipment
By admin
Reading time 6 minutes
8 August 2023
Machine knives play a crucial role in the snack packaging industry, ensuring precise and efficient cutting processes. Choosing the right machine knives is essential for optimising performance and achieving high-quality packaging results. The quality of the packaging is only as good as the knives used to cut it.

In this article, we will guide you through the factors to consider when selecting machine knives for your snack packaging equipment, whether you are an industry expert or someone seeking guidance in this field.

Types of machine knives used for snack food packaging

There are three main types of machine knives commonly used in snack food packaging: flow wrapper knives, vertical bagger knives, and case sealer knives.

Flow Wrapper Knives

Flow wrapper knives are used to wrap baked goods, confections, nutrition bars, and other copacking products. These knives are used in horizontal flow wrapping machines to create airtight seals that keep the contents fresh for longer. One of the most important factors to consider when choosing flow wrapper knives is the type of material being cut. Knives with serrated edges work best with soft and sticky materials, while straight-edged knives are better suited for harder materials.

Vertical Bagger Knives

Vertical bagger knives are used for bagged snacks like crisps, cereals, and sweets. These knives cut bags to the desired length and then seal them shut. There are two main types of vertical bagger knives: serrated and straight-edged. Serrated knives work best with films that are difficult to cut, while straight-edged knives are better suited for thinner films.

Case sealer Knives

Case sealer knives and crimpers are used to seal packaging in both horizontal and vertical form, seal, and fill equipment. These knives are used in a variety of packaging machines, including vertical form fill seal machines, horizontal flow wrapping machines, and blister packaging machines. When selecting case sealer knives, it is important to consider the type of sealing surface that will be used. Knives with serrated edges work best with softer sealing surfaces, while straight-edged knives are better suited for harder surfaces.

Factors to consider when choosing Machine Knives for Snack Packaging

1.   Types of Snack Packaging Equipment

Different types of snack packaging equipment, such as form-fill-seal machines, vertical form-fill-seal machines, and more, require specific types of machine knives. Understanding the equipment you use is crucial in selecting the right machine knives that fit seamlessly into your packaging setup.

2.   Snack Packaging Materials

Snack products are packaged using a variety of materials, including plastic films, laminates, and paper. The choice of packaging material has a direct impact on the selection of machine knives. Some materials may require specialised blades to ensure clean cuts, while others may necessitate blades with unique properties such as resistance to abrasion or corrosion.

3.   Cutting Requirements

Consider the specific cutting requirements for your snack packaging. Different snacks may require straight cuts, perforations, or serrated edges. Understanding these cutting needs enables you to choose machine knives with the appropriate blade geometry and edge design to achieve the desired results efficiently.

4.   Knife Material and Durability

The choice of knife material is crucial for longevity and performance. Stainless steel and carbide are commonly used due to their durability, resistance to wear, and corrosion-resistant properties. Assessing the anticipated workload and the durability requirements of your packaging process will help determine the ideal knife material for your specific needs.

5.   Maintenance and Sharpening

Regular maintenance and sharpening of machine knives are essential for optimal performance and extended lifespan. When choosing machine knives, consider the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding maintenance, sharpening techniques, and availability of support for servicing or reconditioning the blades. Proper maintenance will ensure consistent cutting performance and minimise downtime.

6.   Customisation Options

In some cases, custom machine knives may be required to meet specific packaging needs. Make sure to choose a supplier that offers custom blade manufacturing services.

Selecting the right machine knife manufacturer

As a leading machine knife manufacturer, MRMK has an excellent reputation and a history of experience in the snack food packaging industry. We have a rigorous quality control process, fast turnaround times and a happy support team. We specialise in unique customer requirements and always produce a high standard of knife. As a reliable machine knife manufacturer, we will provide expert advice, assist with blade selection and offer the most cost-effective solutions.

Get in touch with us today and experience the MRMK difference.

Explore MRMK’s custom blade solutions now

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What are co-packing products?

Co-packing products, also known as contract packaging, is when one company (the co-packer) is hired by another company (the brand owner) to handle the packaging and sometimes manufacturing of their products. For instance, a snack company may use a co-packer to package their crisps, nuts, or sweets into individual portions or multi-packs for retail sale. Similarly, a beverage company may utilise a co-packer to bottle and package their drinks, such as juices, soft drinks, or energy drinks.

What type of industrial machine knife do I need for bagged snacks?

For bagged snacks, you will need vertical bagger knives. These knives are specifically designed for cutting and sealing bags of various types of snacks, such as crisps, cereal, and sweets. Vertical bagger knives efficiently cut bags to the desired length and then seal them shut, ensuring airtight packaging to keep the snacks fresh for longer periods.

What are the best machine knives for cutting snack packaging materials like plastic films and laminates?

The best machine knives for cutting snack packaging materials like plastic films and laminates depend on the specific packaging requirements and materials. Serrated knives are ideal for cutting difficult-to-handle films, while straight-edged knives work well with thinner films. Consider the snack type and packaging equipment to choose the right knife for optimal cutting performance.

How do I maintain and sharpen machine knives for snack packaging equipment to prolong their lifespan?

Proper maintenance and sharpening are crucial for the longevity of machine knives used in snack packaging. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance, cleaning, and sharpening techniques. Regularly inspect the blades for wear and damage, and invest in professional sharpening or reconditioning services to ensure consistent cutting performance and minimise downtime. MRMK regrinding services are the perfect solution to refurbish your machine knives and save costs on replacing them.

Can machine knife manufacturers provide custom blade solutions for unique snack packaging needs?

Yes, many machine knife manufacturers offer custom blade solutions to meet specific snack packaging requirements. If you have unique cutting needs or use specialised materials, consider reaching out to a reputable manufacturer like MRMK, known for producing high-quality custom blades. They can provide expert advice and tailor-made machine knives to optimise your snack packaging process.

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