Die cutters are essential tools for any crafter. They can be used to cut out personalized designs and emboss or engrave them. Dies or die-cutting machines are quick and simple ways to add dimension and texture, no matter if you're card-making or scrapbooking. This is our quick guide to finding the suitable die cutter for you and your next creative craft idea.
What is a die-cutting machine?
Die-cutting machines can be used to emboss, engrave, cut paper, cards, and thin metal. You would need to use a scalpel to cut intricate paper flowers without a die cutter. This can be time-consuming and potentially clumsy, but it can also become tiring if there are many of them. The die-cutting machine takes away the hassle and cuts precisely the design you desire in no time. The 'die' refers to the pattern you will be cutting, and it is what you load into your machine.
Different types of die cutters
The most lightweight and affordable of all die-cutting tools, manual die cutters, are often the most sought after. To operate the manual crank, the crafter must align their die with the material they are using. Manual die cutters are versatile and can be used to cut a variety of materials. Many crafters enjoy the hands-on approach, as well as being able to see exactly what you are cutting.
You simply load your die cartridge and let the machine do the cutting and aligning. Although they aren't as portable as manual cutters, there is more room for error and less work involved. This will allow you to spend your time on other tasks.
You will need to install software on your computer if you use electronic die cutters. While this can limit your choices of dies, it can also allow you to create your own custom dies with practice.
You will need separate dies for your die-cutting machine. There are many sizes available, so you will need to verify the machine's maximum capacity. While metal dies are more expensive than electronic ones due to their greater versatility, they can also be cheaper. Flat lay boxes can be cut with dies that can also be used to build flat-lay boxes. You can also find intricate floral, animal, and lace designs that can be used for embellishing cards, scrapbooks, and journals.
What Material Does a Die-Cutting Machine Use?
Consider what type of fabric, textiles, and metal you will be using to do your projects with the machine. A machine that is manually operated might work if you only plan to use lighter materials. You don't need to buy anything heavier, so you don't have the additional expense of a product with tons of automatic settings.
After you've mastered the art of cutting paper and other thin materials, you can look into heavy-duty die-cutting machines with deeper penetration. If you feed too thick material, you could damage a less expensive machine or have to replace it quickly.
Keep in mind how many tasks you plan to do with your machine. A manual machine won't work if you need it to do drawing and embossing.
The manual machines with cranks can do only the basics. These machines are great for beginners or those who don’t intend to make a lot of projects. A manual die-cutting machine is not the best choice if you are running an Etsy shop or managing a physical storefront. The more money you spend on a machine, it will pay off in the long term.