Most of our materials for custom stencils are polyfilm (Mylar). (See why Mylar below) We have laser cut many different materials to find the perfect product and we find that mylar works the best! It is flexible, and won’t break like thicker materials. The most commonly used types of mylar are:
7 mil (white): A medium weight material as thick as card stock. This material is thin enough to achieve outstanding detail when stenciling, yet strong enough to clean and use many, many times. All of our pre-made alphabet stencils and, unless otherwise requested, all of our decorative lettering stencils are made from this material.
10 (mil white): This material is a standard material used for our industrial stencils. It is tear-resistant yet flexible. It can be cleaned easily to provide a very long life. Customers who buy this material use their stencils for shipping crates, tool/equipment marking, floors/parking areas, and many other industrial applications.
14 (mil white):This is the thickest of our polyester material and it is truly a “work horse” for a durable stencil. Typically, our customers are more than happy with either of the lighter materials. The 14 mil mylar is best used for long-term us stencils with minimum fine details.
We do stock thicker and more rigid plastics, however our mylar materials, listed above, are usually the best choice for stencils.
We do not cut on any type of metal.
The three things you want to consider when choosing a stencil material are:
How strong is it? – Mylar is quite strong. It has the ability to be rolled very tightly and it will always bounce back to its flat shape. If you take a square sheet of mylar, even the thinnest 7 mil, you will not be able to tear it using your hands.
How easily can it be cleaned? – The secret to a long stencil life is the ability to clean paint or ink off your stencil. Mylar is one of the very few plastic materials that is solvent proof. You can clean your stencil with paint remover, acetone (fingernail polish remover), turpentine/mineral spirits, or anything recommended to clean paint.
Will it achieve crisp stenciling results? – All material in the mylar family is flexible. This is very important when you are stenciling because it can conform to curved surfaces as well as the subtle variations on flat services. This will provide a more crisp and professional look than you can achieve using a rigid stencil material.