Controlling the Cutter Function on a Zebra ZT or ZM Series Printer

Article ID: 60895840




This procedure discusses controlling the cutter function on a printer with the cutter option installed

Applies to

A ZM or ZT Series Printer with the cutter option


The cutter option on the printer allows a user to print and cut labels in batches or as individually controlled cuts based on the application needs. A Cutter Module is mounted on the front of the printer and contains a cutter drive motor. When signaled to cut, the drive motor causes a V blade to enter and exit the media path resulting in the cutting action.  The Cutter Option can be field or factory installed. It must be installed by a Zebra Authorized Technician.


Procedure Procedure Steps
Setting Cutter Mode from the LCD Display
  1. Use the LCD Display to configure the PRINT MODE to CUTTER.
  2. Exit and Save Permanent
Setting Cutter Mode via ZPL

Send the following commands to the printer

^XA^MMC^XZ (sets cutter mode) 
^XA^JUS^XZ   (saves the settings)

Controlling the cut

The printer cuts labels based on the ^PQ (print quantity) command delimiters or can be prevented by using the ^XB (suppress backfeed/cutting).

Read More>>  for detail on topics such as:

  • Delayed cut
  • Inhibiting cutting
  • Controlling Batch cuts  
Controlling the cut location **Tear Off setting will control the location of the cut in relation to the top of form when using a gap, notch, or black mark. Adjust the Tear Off Position and print a few labels to observe the position of the cut.

 **Ideally you should adjust the Tear Off so the cut point is in the middle of the label gap and not cutting the label to avoid adhesive build-up on the cutter blade. 

Helpful Information

By default a cut will occur after each label printed but can be modified by the user. If you are using a labeling application there should be settings available for controlling the cutter function. The cutter will cycle when the printer is powered on or when Pause is removed after an error condition. 

Note: ZPL Commands will override the printer configuration so assure your driver and/or application is configured for cutter mode to prevent accidental changing of the PRINT MODE. 

How it Works

The printer prints a label and moves it to the cut position. The cut position will be the detected gap for Non-Continuous media (if Continuous media, the specified label length). The cut is performed and the label then retracts to position the leading edge of the next label under the printhead for the next print cycle. The cut cycle and backfeed take about 1 second to complete.  

+ Product Codes

  • Z Series Industrial Printers
  • ZM400
  • ZM600
  • ZT200 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT210 Industrial Printer
  • ZT220 Industrial Printer
  • ZT230 Industrial Printer
  • ZT400 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT400 Series RFID Printers
  • ZT410 Industrial Printer
  • ZT410 RFID Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 RFID Industrial Printer