Oracal 651 and Oracal 631 are two of the most popular types of adhesive vinyl used with vinyl cutters. They have a lot of things in common. However, with Oracal 651 vs 631, there are some key differences.
The short answer? It basically boils down to this:
What is the difference between Oracal 651 and 631?
The main difference between Oracal 651 and 631 is that Oracal 651 has a glossy finish and is ideal for outdoor use, whereas Oracal 631 has a matte finish and is best used indoors.
Oracal 651 is used for projects that will be exposed to the elements or water like car decals, outdoor signs, or tumblers. Oracal 631 vinyl is a popular choice for indoor projects such as wall decals and wood signs.
Similarities of Oracal 651 vs 631
When comparing Oracal 651 vs 631, there are many similarities.
Both of these materials are a high quality vinyl that can be used with vinyl cutting machines like Cricut Maker, Silhouette Cameo, or Brother ScanNCut. The cutting machines cut the vinyl into die-cut decals that can be used to decorate and customize various products and surfaces.
Both Oracal 651 and 631 have an adhesive backing, which means they will stick to just about anything with a smooth, hard surface including metal, plastic, glass, walls, and wood.
Note: Unlike heat transfer vinyl, adhesive vinyl will automatically adhere to surfaces and wouldn’t be used with a heat press or iron. Don’t ever use a heat source with adhesive vinyl. It would just melt and create a huge mess.
Both Oracal 631 and 651 are used with transfer tape to apply the decal once it is cut. And they both are available in a wide range of colors, as well as specialty colors like shimmery gold, silver, and copper.
Lastly, these two types of Oracal vinyl are long-lasting and will last for years with proper care. They can be used to make a variety of projects that you can enjoy for years to come!
Oracal 651 Qualities and Uses
Oracal 651 is the more popular vinyl compared to Oracal 631 and is more widely used between the two. 651 is considered an outdoor vinyl and is fully waterproof once applied. Also, as mentioned before, it has a shiny, glossy finish.
651 is made with a high-quality, long-lasting adhesive that sticks effectively to smooth or lightly textured surfaces. It is excellent for outdoor use or for projects that are exposed to the elements or that require more durable properties.
This vinyl is perfect for decals for cars, tumblers, glass cutting boards, window decals, boat lettering, or any other project that will be exposed to water by being in the elements or being washed frequently.
Oracal 631 Qualities and Uses
Oracal 631 is an indoor removable vinyl. It has a matte finish and does really well for applying wall graphics. It is referred to as removable because the type of adhesive allows for easily removing the decal without damaging the underlying paint or leaving behind a sticky residue.
With its matte finish, 631 vinyl blends very well with interior walls. Because it is not glossy and has no glare, it gives a nice painted look when applied. 631 vinyl is commonly seen in vinyl designs like quotes used for decorating walls, photo frames, wood signs, and other home decor products.
It is mentioned throughout this article that 631 is widely used for interior walls. However, a good thing to know is that this vinyl may not adhere well to wall paint that is low VOC, zero VOC, or has non-stick qualities such as teflon, silicon, or stain guard. These paints exhibit lower adhesion levels and therefore might be difficult to work with 631.
Differences between Oracal 651 vs Oracal 631
As you see from above, these two types of crafting vinyl have lots of similarities. But some of their properties are different and are good to know when choosing which vinyl type to use with your project.
Here is a breakdown of all the properties by features:
1. Outdoor and indoor
One of the major differences is indoor vs outdoor. The vinyl’s intended applications are an important thing to consider. While both vinyls are water resistant, only Oracal 651 is fully waterproof. The bottom line is this: Oracal 651 is meant to be used outdoors and Oracal 631 is for indoor use.
The other major difference is purely cosmetic. Oracal 631 has a no-glare, matte finish. 651 has a shiny, glossy finish.
Both products come in a wide range of color options, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding the color you want. Oracal 631 offers 84 colors while Oracal 651 is available in 60 colors.
One thing I have found is Oracal does a good job at keeping their eye out for trending colors and offering those. This is especially true for 631 since this vinyl is used to decorate indoors and can be matched easily with interior color schemes.
Also, while 651 has a gloss finish, it is offered in 2 matte finishes: matte black and matte white. 651 also offers a transparent color option.
4. Adhesive type
The type of adhesive is another difference that needs to be considered when choosing which type would work best with your project.
631 has a water based adhesive while 651 has a solvent based adhesive. These adhesives are what make 631 a removable adhesive vinyl and 651 a permanent adhesive vinyl.
The durability is something to consider, but honestly, if applied correctly, both vinyls will last even longer than what the specifications say. You want to make sure the surface you are placing it on has been cleaned thoroughly. Grease, dust, and moisture can absolutely decrease the life expectancy of your vinyl designs.
Oracle 631 has a durability rating of at least three years when used indoors. 651 has a durability rating of a minimum of 6 years when used outdoors.
This is a minimal difference, but I still want to mention it. 631 is a tad thicker with a thickness of 3 mils. The thickness of 651 vinyl is 2.5 mils.
In the grand scheme of things, this difference between the two vinyls has little impact. Some would say that the thicker vinyl is harder to manipulate when applying to curved surfaces, however, I’ve found that to be a non-issue since the difference in thickness is so minimal.
Which Vinyl Should I Use for My Project?
To determine which vinyl you should use with your project, just think about where the vinyl will be placed and what it would be used for.
It is ideal to have your vinyl creations be long lasting so use the information from this article to make the best choice for your project.
With all of that said, there are a couple of things to note:
-While Oracal 651 vinyl is marketed as an outdoor permanent vinyl, it absolutely can be used for indoor projects. Just remember that it has a stronger adhesive so you will want to consider that if you plan on removing the decal in the future for any reason. Also, when placed on textured surfaces like, for example, unfinished wood, the striations of the surface show up more because of the high gloss finish.
-On the flip side, Oracal 631 is marketed as an indoor vinyl and it technically could be used for some outdoor projects. But as mentioned, the adhesive is not as strong and it is not intended for withstanding the elements or submerging in water.
What can ORACAL 651 vinyl be used for?
- car decals
- yard signs
- mailboxes and birdhouses
- garden ornaments or décor
- boat decals
- water bottles
- outdoor signs or banners
- coffee mugs
- kitchen appliances
- beach spikes
What is Oracal 631 vinyl used for?
- quote wall decals
- wedding decor and favors
- nursery decor
- wood signs
- children’s crafts
- phone cases
Now that you know a little more about Oracal 651 vs Oracal 631, you can decide which type best suits your project’s needs. Oracal vinyl can provide the perfect look no matter what your project is.
One of the many great things about Oracal vinyl is that you don’t have to be an experienced crafter to use it. Not only that, but it is also a very affordable material and with just a little practice, anyone can create beautiful projects with this adhesive vinyl!
Is Oracal Good Vinyl?
Yes! Oracal vinyl is very high quality. I have used Oracal 651 and Oracal 631 since I first started making vinyl crafts many years ago and have loved it so much, I’ve not had any reason to switch to other brands.
Before it was ever popular with crafters, Oracal vinyl was (and still is) used by professional signmakers and businesses for signage, shop window designs, vehicle graphics, and more. The high quality and inexpensive cost make this a perfect choice for many vinyl crafts.
This is a fantastic product for many vinyl projects due to its high quality and low cost.
Is Oracal 631 permanent?
No, Oracal 631 vinyl is not permanent. It can be removed without damaging the surface underneath. However, if kept indoors and not exposed to moisture or frequent wear, it is a wonderful choice for long term use.