PRE-CUT or HAND CUT PPF Installations

  • July 7, 2021


When you are looking to install paint protection film (PPF) on your vehicle, you will have the option to choose either a pre-cut or hand-cut PPF installation. So which one is right for your vehicle? The answer depends on several factors including the shape of the vehicle, the experience level of the installer, and other factors. Here, we will take a look at both types of PPF installation techniques and discuss which approach may be right for your vehicle. 

What is pre-cut PPF?

As the name implies, pre-cut paint protection film comes pre-cut from the manufacturer. These PPF pre-cut kits tend to be ideal for more popular vehicles or vehicles that have a simple body shape. That is not to say that pre-cut PPF kits cannot be customized. In fact, some pre-cut PPF can be modified directly by the manufacturer to be used for less common vehicles. The modifications are completed using PPF software by the manufacturer. 

One of the main advantages of pre-cut PPF is that the material has been machine cut to a precise measurement that should be an ideal fit for the vehicle it was cut for. This theoretically should lead to a better fit and better overall protection. Also, pre-cut PPF can make the installation process quicker than the hand-cut PPF approach. 

The downside to pre-cut PPF is that this option may not be ideal for less common vehicles or vehicles with unusual curves or shapes on the exterior. Also, sometimes the pre-cut PPF doesn’t fit exactly right and some inexperienced installers will try to stretch the film to make it fit the vehicle. This could lead to poor installation and poor results, both in terms of looks and protection. Therefore, it is important that the installer is sure that the pre-cut PPF will provide the exact coverage that is needed on the specific vehicle.

The bottom line on pre-cut PPF: If you have a popular vehicle with a “standard” body style, then pre-cut PPF may be the best option for you. It will speed up the installation process and the fit and appearance of the PPF should be excellent. 

What is a hand-cut PPF?

In the early days of paint protection film, the hand-cut installation was much more common since pre-cut kits were not available. In fact, PPF installation was basically a carry-over from the window tinting industry where the installer would work around the shape of a window. Today hand-cut PPF is used on vehicles where pre-cut applications are not available or impractical. 

With a hand-cut PPF installation, the paint protection film is cut “on-site” to fit the exact measurements, curves, and shape of your vehicle. Hand-cut PPF work should be performed by someone who not only has ample experience with PPF but also understands the unique shape of your vehicle. 

The great advantage of hand-cut PPF is that you can get protection for your vehicle even if it has an unusual shape or has aftermarket body panels or spoilers. An expert PPF installer will be able to give your vehicle excellent coverage.

Today, hand-cut PPF is not all “hand-cut.” Many top PPF installers will have digital cutters that will allow them to provide superior fit and coverage on a vehicle. If you have a vehicle with unusual shapes, then you should check to see if your installer has digital cutting equipment if you are opting for the hand-cut PPF approach. 

The downside to a hand-cut PPF is that you need to make sure that you have an experienced specialist working on the cutting and the installation. Any mistakes in cutting could lead to less than ideal coverage and possible stretching of the film. 

The bottom line on hand-cut PPF: If you have a less common vehicle or a vehicle with lots of aftermarket bodywork, then a hand-cut PPF is going to be the ideal choice for you. 

Using both PPF approaches for one vehicle

There may be situations where you may need to use both pre-cut PPF and hand-cut PPF on one vehicle. For instance, let’s say that you are looking to wrap a Toyota Supra with an aftermarket spoiler. The Supra is sold in high enough volume that a pre-cut PPF kit should be available for the vehicle. However, a hand-cut approach will be needed to provide coverage for the aftermarket spoiler. 

Factors to consider when choosing the right PPF approach

If you are considering a pre-cut PPF installation, then you will want to consider the following factors:

  • Are there pre-cut kits available for my make and model vehicle?
  • Does my vehicle have any aftermarket body panels or a spoiler that will necessitate a hand-cut approach?
  • Is there going to be any possible stretching due to the pre-cut PPF not being an exact fit? 

If you are considering a hand-cut PPF installation, then you will want to consider the following factors:

  • Do I have a vehicle with unusual shapes that will make a hand-cut PPF more practical?
  • Does the PPF installer have experience with my specific model?
  • Does the PPF installer have cutting equipment that will allow for superior coverage? 

What to consider no matter which PPF approach that you use

Whether you are opting for pre-cut PPF or hand-cut PPF, experts recommend that there are several factors to consider when choosing the right PPF installer.

  • Does the PPF installer have good reviews from previous customers? 
  • Does the PPF installer have experience with my type of vehicle?
  • Does the PPF installer have the right equipment and workspace to handle a PPF installation? 

Top PPF installation service in Toronto 

No matter which PPF installation approach that you are considering, INKAS Design can provide superior coverage for your vehicle. We have experience with exotic, luxury and sports cars. Our team has the experience, the technology, and the passion to provide your vehicle a top paint protection film installation in Toronto, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Scarborough, Brampton, Mississauga, and the Greater Toronto Area. You can trust our team to give your vehicle the PPF protection that it deserves. Contact us today to learn more about our paint protection film installation services in the GTA.