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651 Oracal V.S 631 Oracal – Which One to Use and When

What is the difference between Oracal 631 and Oracal 651?

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that beginner crafters tend to mix up 651 Oracal and 631 Oracal vinyl. This blog post is here to stop that common mistake!

Vinyl is simple to work with but can be very intimidating if you are new to working with it. This blog post will help to walk you through understanding what your vinyl is to help you choose the right product for the right project. Both the vinyl mentioned in this blog post has an adhesive paper backing meaning its a sticker vinyl meant to be used on hard goods, not clothing.

Let’s start with the two main differences between 651 and 631 Oracal vinyl. The two main differences between 651 and 631 would be the adhesive and the finish.

651 has a glossy finish for the colour line up with the exception of Black and White which is available in both a glossy and matte finish.  Meanwhile, 631 is a matte finish.  I think it is worth to mention there only so many colours in the Oracal Vinyl lineup.  631 Oracal is available in 89 colours plus translucent.  651 Oracal is available in 64 colours including the clear translucent,  matte and glossy Black and White. 

Now let’s move on to the adhesive!  The adhesive is really what makes these types of vinyl completely different.  For example, Oracal 631 vinyl has a clear water-based REMOVABLE adhesive.  This would typically be used indoors.  Oracal 651 vinyl has a clear, solvent-based PERMANENT adhesive, that makes it perfect for the outdoors.  RQC Supply Blog, Learning Centre, Tips & Tricks  651 vs 631, Oracal 631, Oracal 651

Just remember that Oracal 651 vinyl can also be removed, but it will take a lot of work though after the 24 hours has passed when it’s cured.  The adhesive on the back is designed to cure like cement.  It is suggested when you scrape it off glass you should apply a little heat to remove it and make your job a little easier Goo-Gone can work wonders removing this vinyl if you have a mistake to correct.

Some common vinyl terms you may see when you are doing your research online defined for you to understand.

  • Burnish: To rub over with a bone folder, scraper, credit card etc. This is done to help vinyl stick to surfaces and work out any air bubbles.
  • Glossy Permanent Vinyl (GP): Also known as 651, used for outdoor projects or heavily handled projects like cups.
  • Kiss Cut: To cut through one layer and not another cutting through the vinyl but not the backing sheet.
  • Matte Removable Vinyl (MR): Also known as 631, a lower adhesive vinyl used for indoor projects, home decor items or not heavily handled projects
  • Transfer Paper:  Used to move vinyl designs from vinyl backing sheet to project surface.
  • Weed: To remove any unwanted portion of the design, a hook tool is often used.

Here is a helpful chart that clearly states the differences between the both 631 and 651 vinyl!

651 Oracal 631 Oracal
Outdoors Indoors
Glossy, ex-Black and White Matte/Gloss Matte
Available in 64 colours Available in 89 colours
Permanent Removable

We have two more tips before the end of this blog!  The first tip is for Oracal 631; extra precaution should be used when applying wall graphics to “Low VOC” or “Zero VOC” paints as these paints may exhibit lower adhesion levels.

 Tip two is for Oracal 651, if you are thinking of applying 651 vinyl to the car or anything covered with paint here is something to think about.  651 vinyl has an SPF factor, which can be great, but the paint below the sticker will actually be protected.  Once this decal is removed the paint will be darker and may not match the rest of the paint in the surrounding area.  If this isn’t going to be a permanent item on your car or other painted areas, I would think of using another vinyl or avoid applying to the paint and use the glass!

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