Explore Rosenthal’s full line of industrial slitter machines and learn more about slitting

Rosenthal Slitters

What is a Slitter? 

An Introduction to Slitting

Slitting is the industrial process of cutting rolls of material down into smaller-sized widths so they fit into other roll-fed machines like die cutters, printers, and laminators. This enables manufacturers to save material costs by buying standard-sized rolls and slitting them into the exact sizes they need.

This manner of cutting and reshaping materials into smaller sizes is commonly referred to as converting. This means that slitting is a type of converting, since it is the process of cutting large “master” or “parent” rolls of material into one or more narrower rolls.

In manufacturing, master rolls are often made as large as possible. When these master rolls are not the correct size for your requirements, a slitting machine can reduce their width or even their yardage to fit your process.

Rosenthal Roll Slitter with Unwind

Roll Slitter with Band Blade
Automatic Roll Slitter


Almost any flexible material is a candidate for slitting. Some of the common materials used with slitter machines are:

  • Paper
  • Vinyl
  • Plastics
  • Textile Materials
  • Foam
  • Rubber
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Nonwovens
  • Foil

There are two distinct types of slitting machines: roll slitters and slitter rewinders, though both are typically referred to as slitting machines. Each has its advantages depending on your slitting requirements.

Roll Slitter

Roll Slitters

Roll slitters have a variety of names such as:

  • Log slitters
  • Baloney slicers
  • Baloney cutters
  • Single knife roll slitters

Roll Slitters use a large circular blade or fixed band blade to cut all the way through a roll of material down to the core that the material was wound on. The core of most master rolls is a 3″ inner diameter (ID) paper core. The master roll does not need to be unwound. With a slitter, you can skip the time-consuming process of aligning slitting blades and empty cores.

Some roll slitters are designed to be manually operated, where an operator positions and pulls the blade through the roll of material. 

Automatic roll slitters are also available and are controlled with a programmable logic controller (PLC) complete with auto-positioning and cutting. 

Automatic Roll Slitter

Automatic roll slitters are ideal for cutting various types of materials, including: 

  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Self-adhesive tape
  • Application tape
  • Vinyl
  • Rubber
  • Gasket
  • Foam
  • PVC

Roll slitters have several advantages:

  • Quick, simple set-up
  • Make single cuts very fast
  • Eliminates the need for pre-cut cores
  • Lower machine investment

Roll Slitter with Band Blade

Slitter Rewinders

Slitter Rewinders slit the master roll into rolls of any desired width. They first unwind the master roll before passing the entire roll through a series of slitters. After slitting, each section is then rewound onto a new core.

Slitter rewinders use an unwind to hold and stabilize the master roll. The unwinds are equipped with a multi-blade slitting station that has adjustable slitting heads. Stations also include single or duplex rewind shafts, which are for holding empty cores to rewind the slit material. These features all serve to help smoothly cut wide material into desired widths. 

Slitter rewinders can be outfitted with various slitting styles, such as Razor Slitting, Shear Slitting and Score Slitting (also known as Crush Slitting). A slitter rewinder can be further configured to fit your specific industry needs and budget.

Every slitter rewinder will have the following features:

  • Razor slitting
  • A single rewind shaft
  • Manual tension control
Slitter Rewinder

An upgraded slitter may have other add-ons, including:

  • Score slitting
  • Shear slitting
  • Responsive tension control
  • Duplex differential rewind shafts

Differential shafts are adjustable to allow tension on the same shaft to balance from one slitting roll to the next. This is especially important when material thickness varies across the web.

Slitter rewinders have the following advantages:

  • Best possible slit edge quality
  • Delivers multiple cuts at once
  • Can rewind materials onto variable core sizes
  • Can slit a measured yardage/length of material from a master roll

Rosenthal offers complementary material tests. Please contact us to send a sample roll for testing, or if you have any questions about your material’s suitability.

Slitter Rewinder