Controlling the Cutter Action via ZPL

Most Drivers and Label Software are configured to allow the printer to perform a cut after printing each label unless they specifically state a configuration that will control the cutter dynamically. For example, the Zebra Designer Driver allows you to enter a cut count value but this is not a change you can make on the fly.

By default the printer will cut after each label is printed. There are ZPL commands that tell the printer how many labels to print before cutting or inhibit cutting when included in the label format.

Cut Location

The cut location when using gap, notch, or black mark media is controlled by the Tear-Off setting. Make adjustments to the Tear-Off setting and observe the cut location. Ideally you want the cut in the center of the gap or web to avoid consistently cutting through the label adhesive. This will minimize the need for constant cleaning as adhesive can affect the cutter function.

Inhibit Cutting

To inhibit cutting the ^XB Backfeed Command can be added to the ZPL format.

^XA^FO20,20^A0N,50,50^FDNo Cut Test1^FS^XB^XZ
^XA^FO20,20^A0N,50,50^FDNo Cut Test2^FS^XB^XZ
^XA^FO20,20^A0N,50,50^FDWill Cut ^FS^XZ

After printing the third label the printer will perform a cut.

See the ^XB details provided in the ZPL Manual Read More>>

Controlling Cutting in Batches

Batch cutting is controlled by the ZPL Print Quantity (^PQ) command delimiter "p" ^PQq,p,r,o (Pause Cut value)

^XA^FO20,20^A0N,50,50^FDCuts after 5 labels^FS^PQ10,5,0,Y^XZ

In the above example the printer will print a total of 10 labels cutting after the 5th and 10th label.

See the ^PQ details provided in the ZPL Manual Read More>> 

Delayed Cut using the ~JK

When the printer is in the Delayed Cut PRINT MODE (^MMD), it will cut the label when it receives the ~JK (Delayed Cut) command. To activate the ~JK command, the printer's PRINT MODE must be set to Delayed Cut and there must be a label waiting to be cut. When the printer is not in the Delayed Cut PRINT MODE, the printer will not cut the label when it receives the ~JK command.

^XA^JUS^XZ Saves the value

Print one label

^XA^FO20,20^A0N,20,20^FDCuts after receiving the JK command^FS^PQ1^XZ

Then send the ~JK

See the details in the Knowledgebase Read More>>