What to Know About Buying VFFS & HFFS Knives

VFFS and HFFS knives perform a combination of cutting and sealing functions

Clean-cutting vertical form, fill, seal (VFFS) and horizontal form, fill, seal (HFFS) knives give your packaging the crisp, sharp edges it needs to stand out. Taking the time to source high-quality specialty blades will pay off in improved quality and reduced downtime, maintenance, and replacement costs.

Here we take a look at what VFFS and HFFS knives do and review some important blade features offered by leading blade manufacturers.

Raising the Bar for VFFS and HFFS Knives

As an OEM or packaging equipment end user, you already know that ensuring clean, consistent cutting and sealing day after day is harder than it looks. A big part of the challenge is finding a reliable source of sharp, durable blades with the design and features to fit the specific needs of your application.

Precision blade-making remains a highly specialized craft requiring a deep knowledge of knife materials and performance. Only a few companies can deliver a full range of specialty industrial knives that meet the most demanding needs of modern packaging processes.

TGW International is a valued technical partner to more than 6,000 customers, offering the world’s largest selection of VFFS and HFFS knives. Our company is the first stop for many OEMs and packagers seeking specialty knives or customized blades for their equipment.

Let’s review some of the designs, features, and add-on services that set TGW knives apart.

VFFS Knives

Vertical form, fill, seal knives work to separate lengths of blown plastic film into individual packages. Knives need to cut material accurately and consistently at high line speeds without the use of an anvil.

Tooth Profiles

Depending on the application and the type of material, VFFS knives are commonly offered with several tooth profiles including:

  • Straight beveled
  • Scalloped
  • Serrated
  • Zigzag

Straight blades are used to shear thinner films, while heavier-duty plastics and composites require scalloped or serrated profiles for a combination of perforating and shearing action.

Zig-zag blades cut an “easy access” tearable edge that can be opened at any point along its length. Zig-zag edges are common in snack foods, condiment sachets, and many other vertical form, fill, seal products.

Tear Notches

Tear notches are used on “EZ open” packaging designed to be torn open from a specific point along an edge, and are generally used in combination with a thicker plastic or laminate. Tear notches are formed by a blade with a machined tooth that cuts a v-shaped notch at the designated tear point.

Guide Rivets

Guide rivets are essential to keeping vertical fill seal blades aligned with plastic film during bagging, sealing, and cutting. Manufacturers like TGW stock several standard rivet types designed to fit the most common OEM equipment.

Material Upgrades

VFFS knives typically work in high speed, high heat applications, cutting a wide range of material thicknesses. Where necessary, TGW can manufacture blades from materials designed to provide extra flatness and hardness. We also supply specialty finishes and coatings to improve high-heat performance, and corrosion resistance, as well as to reduce sticking and clogging.

Customization Options

TGW stocks the world’s largest selection of standard VFFS knives. If we don’t have what you need, we can manufacture blades to OEM specifications or match a sample. We’ll also work with you to design the ideal combination of material characteristics and edge design for your unique VFFS application.

HFFS Knives

Horizontal form, fill, seal bagger knives perform a combination of cutting and sealing functions in a wide range of wrapping and shrink-wrapping applications. They are used in both low and high-speed processes in combination with an anvil or in a scissor-cut configuration.

Flow Wrapping

TGW’s precision blade manufacturing allows it to make flow-wrapping knives that meet OEM’s stringent tolerances for this equipment. Upper and lower blades are available in both straight and zig-zag configurations, each with either conventional straight or diamond-cut bevels along with matching anvils. We also offer ultrasonic knives that simultaneously cut and seal.

Shrink Wrapping & Banding

Shrink-wrapping requires precise tooth profile selection to effectively cut and seal a wide variety of film thicknesses. TGW supplies:

  • Straight, toothed cutoff heat seal knives
  • Straight, smooth-edged heat seal knives
  • Scissor-cut knives
  • Cross cutoff knives
  • Slitters

Pouch Knives

Pouches are increasingly popular for packaging a wide range of products, but their tougher plastic and laminate materials can be challenging to handle. To serve this market, TGW provides purpose-manufactured:

  • Hot seal bars
  • Scissor cutoff knives
  • Standard and specialty hole punches and slitters

Customized Solutions

As with all our packaging blades, TGW can modify or remanufacture HFFS knives to match your specifications or application. We can also provide our HFFS knives with specialty finishes and coatings to improve wear and prevent clogging, stringing, or burring on even the heaviest packaging applications.

Get the Edge You Need with TGW

Choosing a TGW packaging knife for a VFFS or HFFS process is an investment in quality. Our products are crafted with the utmost care to OEM specifications. And, with decades of experience in matching industrial knives to specific applications, we bring unrivaled knowledge and skills to finding the right blades for your operation.

In addition to producing the sharpest, longest-wearing blades available, TGW offers our customers:

  • The largest selection of in-stock knife inventory
  • Next-day shipping on in-stock knives
  • Low turn-around time on custom blades, and
  • Industry-leading service and after-sales support.

Click below to learn more about how TGW’s packaging knives can help you maximize quality, consistency, and performance in your operation.


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