Top 10 Best Die Cutting Machine Reviews For The Money 2019

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best die cutter reviews

What comes to your mind when you think of die cutting?

A passion? A way of earning extra cash? A full-time job?

Either way, you want to invest in the best die cutting machine out there. If you’re a professional scrap booker, you need a machine that supports your endeavors. I know the craft is a little expensive, and you might be looking to save money on your investment but still get the finest quality. You want something that will serve you for a long time.

Sadly, getting a die-cutting machine that is perfectly suited to your expectations and needs is not an easy thing to do, particularly if you’re buying one for the first time ever.

Die cutting machines come in numerous different types, with diverse speeds, features, and ease of use.

Fortunately, this guide is designed to solve the issue by breaking it all down for you. Here, I will show you how to select the best die cut machines for business and home use with quality in mind. Apart from that, the review section, which contains only the top-quality die cutting machines, will help you purchase one that suits you with ease.

And, below the review section, you will find lots of tricks, ideas, and tips related to die cutting.

Best Die Cutting Machine Reviews

This review features only the top quality die cutting machines today. Let’s dive right in.

1. Cricut Explore Air 2 DIY cutting machine.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
  • [CREATE MORE] The Cricut Explore Air 2 is your personal DIY cutting machine. It will flawlessly cut over 100+...
  • [ENDLESS PROJECT POSSIBILITIES] The Cricut Explore Air 2 makes it so easy to create a wide arrange of DIY projects....
  • [INCLUDED WITH MACHINE] Each machine includes a Cricut Premium Fine Point Blade and Housing, a Cricut 12 inch x12...

Looking for a die cut machine for fabric? Then Circut Explore Air 2 Is the best option for you because...

Cricut is one of the big names in the die cutting industry and is trusted by scrapbookers everywhere. It enables you to upload your images freely or choose from templates ranging around 3000. I like creating images on my PC or smartphone and uploading them to the machine.

Want to know something cool? The machine supports Bluetooth for those who want to do a wireless cut.

From leather to vellum, the number of materials that you can cut with this machine is over 100. The possibilities are limitless.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes with a double tool holder. That way, cutting and writing, and cutting and storing get done in one easy step. Thus, if you need something that helps you complete your projects speedily, especially fabric-related projects, this is the machine for you.

The cutting and writing speeds are adjustable.

Highlighted Features:

  • 24l by 9.5w by 9.5h inches
  • Super-fast
  • Upload your images for free
  • Cuts through over 100 materials
  • Supports Bluetooth cutting
  • Dual carriage

2. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform

Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Machine, 6 in (15.24 cm) Opening, White/Gray
  • This die-cutting and embossing machine is the perfect tool for a range of creative pursuits for everyone from the...
  • Die-cuts and embosses many different materials up to 6" (15.24 cm) wide. Compatible with the entire Sizzix product...
  • The Big Shot Machine measures approximately 40 x 29 x 24 cm (14 1/4" x 12 3/8" x 6 5/8") and weighs 4.52 Kg (7.50...

This one is for those of you who are looking for something very elegant and pleasing to the eye. The Sizzix 660425 presents Big Shot’s brand-new look with a glossy gray and white color scheme.

With the Sizzix logo imprinted on its handle, this model provides you with a classy appeal coupled up with the flexibility and handiness that comes with Sizzix products.  

Because of the product’s handiness and flexibility, it is arguably the best die cutting machine for beginners.

As though that’s not enough, this machine is capable of cutting through a full range of materials. That empowers you to make your own unique cards, scrapbook pages, invitations, quilting, altered art, and more.

Some of the items that come with this machine are two standard cutting pads and an adjustable extended platform. These are handy in the cutting process and you know what’s more? The components can work with the dies and embossing tools of other brands.

Moreover, there are diagram illustrations on the extended platform to provide you with simple guidelines to making the perfect sandwich.

The Sizzix 660425’s solid core rollers and gears are made of steel while the exteriors are made from ABS plastic. The steel construction makes the machine not just durable but also robust. That’s why it’s able o cut through many different materials. ABS is a kind of plastic that’s safe to both you and the environment.

Highlighted Features:

  • Steel and ABS plastic construction
  • Sleek look
  • Cuts through many materials
  • Compact
  • Components are compatible with other brands

3. Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Home & Hobby Cutting Machine

Brother CM350 Electronic Cutting Machine, Scanncut2, 4.85” LCD Touch...
  • 300 DPI BUILT IN SCANNER: The ScanNCut2 machine allows you to turn your scanned images into unique cut designs and...
  • LARGE COLOR TOUCHSCREEN: The Brother ScanNCut2 CM350 includes a 4.85 inches LCD touchscreen that allows users to...
  • WIRELESS NETWORK READY: The CM350 permits multiple connectivity options, including PC connectivity and standalone...

ScanNCut is an incredibly innovative cutting technology that gives you the liberty to come up with truly unique creations and guess what? You do that with just the push of a button. Isn’t that cool?

The Brother CM350 uses the ScanNCut technology and makes it possible for you to make a wireless connection or connect the machine with your PC through a cable.

That means convenient, super-fast uploading of images. You don’t need any cartridges or dies, and you don’t need to make any monthly subscriptions.

A most unique feature of this machine is that it lets you scan almost anything from handmade drawings and family photos to home decoration designs and so much more. This is made possible by the machine’s 300DPI scanner (built-in).

Working with the Brother CM350 is very easy as it has a huge LCD touch-screen display. If you choose not to upload any images to the machine, you can choose some from its built-in designs, which range over 600.

Note: you need to buy the ScanNCut online activation card separately but you know what’s good? There are no monthly subscription charges to pay.

Highlighted Features:

  • LCD touch-screen display
  • Connect to your PC via cable or Bluetooth
  • Built-in 300DPI scanner
  • It can Reads SVG format data
  • Precise cutting
  • No monthly subscriptions

4. Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine

Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
  • Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  • Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step
  • Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf) Cut over 60 materials from vellum to leather

Time to say goodbye to those needless cables and have more space to create your masterpieces.

With Cricut’s software system, you have the ability to send your designs wirelessly to your machine for cutting.

The built-in image gallery contains more than 50,000 template projects, images, and fonts. That’s more than what you need, right? And if you choose not to use those, you’re free to upload some from your PC or mobile device.

Maybe you want to make party invitation cards, home decors or even gift boxes. This machine is applicable to such and many more projects. You can even use it to add embellishments to your photos.

With the Cricut Explore Air, you’re able to cut a wide range of materials, such as vinyl, cardstock, iron-on, fabric, poster boards, and more for your DIY projects.

This machine has a smart set dial that you can use to accommodate your materials. That way, you’re able to get the best cut without worrying about the complicated material settings that come with other die printing machines. And if you like, you can preset custom settings for various materials.

With the machine’s Cut Smart innovation, you can cut whatever shapes you have in mind with high-grade precision. The supported sizes range from ¼” to 11/1/2” (width) or 23/1/2” (height).

Highlighted Features:

  • Clean cuts with the cut smart technology
  • Smart set dial
  • Cuts through numerous different materials
  • No cords(you can print items using wireless system)

5. Silhouette Cameo 3 Bluetooth Starter Bundle with 24 Oracal 651 Sheets, Transfer Paper, Guide, Class, 24 Sketch Pens (24 sheets)

Silhouette Cameo 3 White Bluetooth Starter Bundle with 26 Oracal Vinyl...
  • This Premier Bundle is Fully Endorsed by Silhouette! Brand New Silhouette Cameo 3 with Bluetooth, Touchscreen and...
  • 26 Sheets of Permanent Premium Oracal Vinyl - 12 Inch x 12 Inch Each (Many other sellers don't put the size and...
  • Autoblade - Auto Adjust Blade to Match Cut Job Material, 12 Inch x 12 Inch Cutting Mat, Vinyl Trimmer, Ratchet...

The most unique thing about the Silhouette Cameo 3 is that it features exceptional support. In the event that something goes wrong with the product, you can contact the manufacturer’s customer support team, and they are always ready to help.

With the Cameo 3 bundle, you don’t need an internet connection to operate and you need not buy designs or fonts. This machine, is therefore, for those who are looking to incur minimal expenses to produce their designs.

To make your design work easier, the machine comes with 24 sketch pens. Amazingly, these pens contain double the ink that was contained in earlier Silhouette pens.

This machine has an auto-adjust blade that matches the cut you’re making, with excellent precision; the cutting mat measures 12 by 12 inches. Apart from the cutting mat, other handy items that accompany this machine include a vinyl trimmer, a scrapper and hook tool, and a ratchet adjustment tool.

All these tools are very helpful and they help make your work even finer.

Apart from those items, the Cameo 3 comes with an instructional guide made specifically by the Silhouette School. And, with Cameo’s online lessons, learning the ropes is effortless.

Highlighted Features:

  • Handy instructional guides
  • 24 sketch pens with double the ink
  • 12x12 inches cutting mat
  • Awesome support

6. Brother ScanNCut CM100DM Home and Hobby Cutting Machine with a Built-in Scanner

Cricut Maker, Champagne
  • [CREATE MORE] Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make everything from paper crafts, iron ons, and vinyl decals...
  • [ENDLESS PROJECT POSSIBILITIES] Expandable suite of tools. With its powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool, Cricut...
  • [NEW ROTARY BLADE FOR FABRICS] With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric...

Here’s another Home and Hobby brand’s masterpiece that uses the ScanNCut technology. Remember, this technology not only makes it possible to scan all your works and cut them out but also helps you do it very fast, with the push of a button.

If you love drawing sketches by hand, this is the cutting machine for you. And not just that. If you saw something on a magazine somewhere, all you need to do is scan it with the machine’s built-in scanner and cut it out.

You don’t need to scan it with a separate machine then upload it to the cutting machine. This machine makes all that an unnecessary process.

Then again, the machine cuts a wide range of materials, including paper, plastics, and fabric. And, the cutting process takes place at the press of a button.

As you soon as you have scanned your image or hand-drawn sketch, the machine’s ScanNCut technology cuts out the shapes you want with superior precision.

Highlighted Features:

  • Built-in scanner
  • No cartridges
  • ScanNCut technology
  • Cuts a wide assortment of materials

7. Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle

Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T Wireless Cutting Machine -...
  • Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and...
  • Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects. Features Bluetooth technology for...
  • Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials. Is compatible...

Are you a total beginner? Or, are you looking for a machine for personal use only? The Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle is ideal for you.

This machine is very easy to use. To get started, you only have to connect it to your PC with a USB cable, just as you would connect a home printer.

It uses a little blade to cut a broad range of materials, including paper, fabric, vinyl, cardstock, and more up to a width of 12 inches and length of 10 feet.

The bundle includes the Silhouette CAMEO2 cutting machine, two 12x12-inch cutting mats, blades, a hook tool, and a sketch pen pack.

When you purchase this die cutting bundle, all you’ve got to do is make a 1-month basic subscription to the brand’s design store and you’ll have access to a full range of templates and images. These will help you kickstart your scrapbooking career.

Silhouette is a reputable brand and so you can trust this machine’s performance. After this review, there’s a section on the trusted die printing machine brands, where you’ll be able to learn more reasons for choosing Silhouette machines.

Highlighted Features:

  • A pair of 12x12-inch cutting mats
  • Beginner-friendly
  • A sketch pen pack available. 

8. Silhouette Portrait 2

Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool
  • AutoBlade compatibility—Let the Portrait adjust the blade for you.
  • Deep-cut blade compatibility and higher 2 mm clearance—Cut thicker materials.
  • Built-in optical scanner—Make custom cutouts with the Print & Cut feature.

Some of us may love Silhouette Cameo very much but then find it a little bigger and heavier that what we’re looking for. If you’re in such a situation, I’d recommend you to go for its smaller, lighter version, the Silhouette Portrait.

Just like the Cameo version, Silhouette Portrait can connect to your PC, giving you liberty to cut whatever shapes or fonts you have in mind, just as long as they are on your computer. You may even download some from the internet and cut them out.

And, this is not one of those disappointing UBS cable connections that transfer data sluggishly. The speeds here range around 2.0.

The Silhouette design store offers you thousands of these. In the package, you will find a 10-dollar gift card that you can use to purchase designs from the brand’s online store.

With the Silhouette Portrait, you can cut through fabric, cardstock, vinyl or paper with the dimensions of 10 feet in length and 8 inches in width.

In fact, with this machine, you can cut printed materials. The fact that the machine’s blades are robust and adjustable makes this possible.

Another amazing benefit of using the Silhouette Portrait is that it’s compatible with heat transfer and rhinestone template materials.

Other things that come with the package include a software disk that’s compatible with Windows and MAC, and an instruction guide to help you use the machine efficiently.

Highlighted Features:

  • High speed data transfer (2.0)
  • Software is compatible with both Windows and MAC
  • Cuts through many different materials
  • Lightweight

9. Cricut 2003782 Cuttlebug Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine

Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
  • Bonus includes one A2 embossing folder and two metal dies
  • One 6x8 a plate and two 6x8 b plates included
  • One 6x8 rubber embossing mat included. Features a collapsible handle and compact fold n store profile

The Cricut 2003782 Cuttlebug is yet another best craft cutting machine that’s meant for those who are looking for something portable and capable of cutting through and embossing many different materials.

Maybe you want something that gives you excellent, professional results. This machine delivers crisp, clean cuts and uniform embosses of your preferred depth.

In case you have some Cuttlebug dies and embossing folders, you don’t have to buy others or to have any worries, as the machine works with all cutting dies and embossing folders provided they are of the Circuit Cuttlebug brand.

Amazingly, it even works with dies and folders from most of the well-known brands.

Also, this machine cuts and embosses a wide assortment of materials, such as foils, leather, paper, acetate ribbon, and more. 

Highlighted Features:

  • Can emboss materials
  • Produces sleek, professional results
  • Compatible with most dies and folders
  • Portable Design

10. Sizzix 660340 Big Shot Plus Cutting/Embossing Machine

Sizzix Big Shot Plus 660340 Manual Die Cutting and Embossing Machine,...
  • This die-cutting and embossing machine is the perfect tool for a range of creative pursuits for everyone from the...
  • Die-cuts and embosses many different materials up to 9" (21 cm) wide. Compatible with the entire Sizzix product...
  • The Big Shot Plus Machine measures approximately 46.7 x 37.5 x 23.7 cm (15 3/4" x 11 3/4" x 7 1/2") and weighs...

Big Shot is yet another big name in the industry. Scrapbookers particularly enjoy the versatility and beauty that comes with using Big Shot machines.

For instance, the Sizzix 660340 has a cutting mat with the dimensions of 8/1/2 by 11 inches. Like the Sizzix 660425 Big Shot, the machine features a beautiful gray and white color scheme along with the Sizzix logo on the handle, which gives a sense of class.

The Sizzix 660340’s blade is capable of cutting and embossing numerous different materials, thus enabling you to make your unique home décor, scrapbook albums and pages, altered art, and virtually anything else you might have in mind.

Accessories that come with this machine include:

  • 2 standard cutting pads
  • The big shot plus platform
  • 2 adapters (a and b)

Some of this machine’s accessories might be sold separately.

Tip:

Be sure to check the machine’s accessory requirements to ensure compatibility before buying any accessories.

Like other Sizzix models, the Sizzix 660340 provides you with a handy instructional manual in form of diagrams to help you make the best Sizzix sandwiches (from dies and materials).

Highlighted Features:

  • 8/1/2 by 11 inch cutting mat
  • Great flexibility
  • Sleek appearance
  • Instructional diagrams

11. Sizzix 660855 Vagabond 2 Machine Inspired by Tim Holtz

Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Electric Die Cutting Machine 660855, 6"...
  • The Vagabond 2 electric die-cutting and embossing machine make creating even easier - at the push of a button!...
  • Die-cuts and embosses many different materials up to 6" (15.24 cm) wide. Compatible with the entire Sizzix product...
  • The Vagabond 2 measures 12 1/2" x 4 5/8" x 9" (Closed) and 15 1/4" x 12 1/2" x 10 1/4" (with Handle Up and Doors...

If maximum portability is what you need, the Sizzix 660855 Vagabond 2 is just the machine for you. Its case looks like a stylish luggage bag and when you open it up, a portable yet robust machine is revealed.

When you examine the Vagabond 2 more closely, you’re likely to notice its unique ability to cut and emboss a range of materials with different thickness levels.

Apart from that, the machine has an overload protection element to safeguard it against motor jams.

This machine is capable of working with your tiniest dies as well as your biggest ones, including your plastic-backed materials and embossing tools.

Similar to other Sizzix machines, the Vagabond 2 comes with 2 standard cutting pads and an extended platform. That way, you have a huge working space and you’re able to perform your tasks with high efficiency.

By adding an extended paper-thin die adapter, you give your Sizzix 660855 Vagabond 2 the ability to work with not only framelits but also the embossing tools and dies of other brands.

If you’re a rookie, you might be worried that you will have trouble operating your new machine; you needn’t be. There are diagrams on the adapter and the platform with easy operation guidelines, including illustrations on how to make the best Sizzix sandwich.

Highlighted Features:

  • Cuts a range of materials and thicknesses
  • Compatible with most Sizzix components
  • Looks like a suitcase exteriorly
  • Robust
  • Highly portable

12. Sizzix BIGkick Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform, Periwinkle

Sizzix 657850 BIGkick Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform,...
  • Get creative in three easy steps using this machine
  • Machine is compatible with Bigz Movers & Shapes XL Bigz Originals Framelits Textured Impressions Thinlits...
  • This package contains one Bigkick Machine one pair of standard cutting pads and one extended multipurpose platform

Looking to progress your creativity with scrapbooking? You need something that supports those dreams; something like the Sizzix BIGkick.

With this machine, you can advance your creativity in 3 simple ways – you may choose to emboss or texturize materials or you may decide to make home décor.

One of the best aspects of using this machine is that it works perfectly with cardstock, metals, fabric, and other materials you might want to include in your design career.

This machine’s parts are compatible with Thinlits, Sizzlits, Embosslits, Framelits, Bigz Movers & Shapes, and other brands, so you never have to worry about spare parts. And if you have these brands’ accessories, there’s no need to buy others as they will work just fine with the machine.

Being a Sizzix machine, the BIGkick comes with two standard cutting pads alongside an extended multipurpose platform.

Highlighted Features:

  • Compatible with other brands, like framelits
  • Extended multipurpose platform
  • Works with many different materials
  • Supports creativity by being flexible

13. Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine by We R Memory Keepers

We R Memory Keepers EVOLAD Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and...
  • DIE-CUTTING AND EMBOSSING MADE EASY: The innovative height adjustment gear system eliminates confusing mat...
  • UNIVERSAL CRAFTING TOOL: This dynamic embossing tool works with most leading brand die-cuts and embossing folders.
  • VERSATILE: Perfect for DIY craft projects including card making, organization, home-dĂ©cor, scrapbooking, parties...

Ever had trouble operating another die cutting machine because the mat combinations were a little confusing? Time to say goodbye and switch to the Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine.

It has a state-of-the-art gear system for height adjustment to eliminate the confusion. That way, you can easily adjust the height to suit whatever project you’re undertaking.

Another awesome advantage of using the Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine is that it is lightweight and very portable. That’s why if you need a machine to help you do crafting work on the go, I would encourage you to go for this one.

With this die-cutting machine, you don’t need any special materials as it works with most of the common die-cut and embossing folder brands.

Need to exercise your arms from time to time? The machine has a detachable handle that allows manual operation but in case you need an automated system that needs minimal manning, you can buy an attachable motor separately.

The Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine is designed to allow maximum versatility. In that regard, you can use it to do a wide range of DIY tasks, include making home décors and cards, scrapbooking, and making gift boxes.

Highlighted Features:

  • A creative height adjustment gear system
  • Highly versatile
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Manual or automated operation
  • Works with most embossing folders and die cuts

14. Spellbinders GC-200 Grand Calibur, Teal Die Cutting & Embossing Machine

Spellbinders PE-100 Platinum 6.0 Die Cutting and Embossing Machine
  • Powered by the same versa cut technology used in Platinum, the new Platinum 6 offers the same strength, pressure...
  • Effortlessly cuts up to eight layers of most materials in a single pass
  • It can blaze through even the heaviest of materials from leather, to wool, to craft metal, to Balsa Wood

The Spellbinders GC-200 is one of the most user-friendly crafting tools I have come across.

When you purchase this one, you get an instructional manual on use and that’s not all. The machine comes with numerous handy equipment and accessories, including a crank handle, cutting plate, base plate, embossing plate and mat, and more. All these are very helpful in the cutting and designing process.

Although the machine is designed to work with Spellbinders Die Templates, it supports most other dies. Also, it’s capable of embossing with brass stencils, replicating charms, performing picture transfers, smashing bottlecaps, setting eyelets, and a whole range of other functions.

The machine accommodates paper with the dimensions of 8 1/2 by 11 inches.

The dies and folders are sold separately, but the good news is, the machine works well with most die and folder brands out there.

Highlighted Features:

  • User-friendly
  • Instructional guide
  • Smashes bottlecaps
  • Embosses brass stencils
  • 8½ by 11 inches cutting mat

15. Sizzix 660550 Big Shot Pro Cutting/Embossing Machine with Standard Accessories

Sizzix Die Machine with Standard, Crease Pad 660550 Manual Cutting and...
  • This die-cutting and embossing machine is the perfect tool for the crafter who wants it all! The pro-strength Big...
  • Die-cuts and embosses many different materials up to 12" wide. Compatible with the entire Sizzix product library...
  • The Big Shot Pro Machine measures 61 x 54.9 x 20.3 cm (24 1/4" x 15" x 7 1/2") and weighs 19.9 Kg.

Here comes another cool crafting tool from the Sizzix brand. With this machine, you’re able to enjoy all the benefits that Sizzix has to offer, including the ability to use the accessories and parts of most other brands out there.

Most notably, it works well with SureCut dies from the Ellison brand.

In addition to that, the 660550 Big Shot Pro offers you exceptional precision. You can cut materials with the dimensions of up to 12 by 14 inches.

The machine’s blades are very sharp and firm, and thus the outlines are just as you need them, or better in fact.

This Big Shot Pro machine has a standard sliding tray that accommodates the motion of most embossing and shape-cutting products, just as long as they lie with the limits of 12 by 14 inches.

Highlighted Features:

  • Compatible with SureCut dies
  • Cuts a wide range of materials
  • 12x14 inches cutting mat
  • Sharp blades with high precision

What to Look Before Buying a Die Cutting Machine

Below are the considerations to make to ensure that you buy only the very best based on your needs:

Portability

Portability is directly related to the machine’s size. If you intend to take the machine with you from place to place, maybe from your home to your workshop or to retreats, then you need a lightweight, portable machine.

What amount of space do you have?

This consideration is critical because you need ample space to store your machine. If you have a limited space, go for a compact model but if you have lots of that, you can go for a bigger model.

Cutting Size

What’s the size of the cuts you’re looking to make? With a cheap machine, you might only be able to cut up to 6 inches in width, and that’s fine for embellishments and labels. However, if you can get your hands on a better machine, which is more versatile, you can cut up to 12 inches. Such a machine is ideal if you work with fabric or are into scrapbooking.

Will You Be Cutting Die Cuts from Images or From Dies?

Need a machine capable of working with all those pretty dies and images? This one will come at an extra cost, but you can count on it to make your life much easier. In that regard, it’s capable of cutting stickers and die cuts from any shape. If you like, you can download an image from the internet or even design a shape and use the machine to cut it out.

Warranty and Client Support

How long is the machine’s warranty and what are the terms? Most sellers offer a warranty of one to three years. This is a vital consideration because if the machine develops problems before the warranty expires, you can get a new one without having to incur more expenses.

You might have trouble operating the machine particularly if you’re a beginner. In that case, you want to ensure that the manufacturer or seller is readily available to give you a hand.

Cost

One thing’s for sure – you get what you pay for. If you’re just a beginner and are only learning the ropes, manual die cutting machine would be okay, and it will cost you around 80 dollars. However, if you’re after more power, you will need an electronic, automatic die-cutting machine. This one will cost you about 300 to 400 dollars.

The Advantages of Using Die Cutting Machines

Die cutting, which means cutting papers into various shapes, allows you to create complex, unique designs for a range of purposes, like making decorations and business cards.

The good thing about using die-cutting machines to cut out your designs is that you’re able to create adorable products that are likely to draw customers or intrigue your friends. Here’s a look into the benefits of using die cutting machines:

Uniqueness

Die cutting machines offer you versatility and the ability to create unique designs. Think of it this way – folks are used to rectangular business cards, right? With a die cutting machine, you can create heart-shaped ones or cut them into whatever shape you have in mind.

People regularly hold parties and exchange gifts. With a die cutting machine, you can create wine boxes customized for them.

Such uniqueness is a gateway to catching the attention of clients at open houses, shows, and fairs.

During the holidays, you can create intricate greeting cards and gift boxes for people.

With a die cutting machine, crafting customized designs is not hard, and it’s the key to making people remember your business and keep coming to you.

Fun With Own Creativity

Maybe you want a smart way of marketing your business with your products. in that case, you can add an interactive element to the product that offers your clients fun while reminding them of your venture. For example, you can add a pull-out element to their business cards, which exposes your contacts while displaying a hidden illustration.

Also, you can decide to make a fun card that displays a certain picture with unique effects. The picture and its effects will not only entertain your clients but also make the card stand out.

And if you’re looking to offer extra value with your own business cards, you can design them such that they fold into a handy item, maybe a phone stand. That way, your clients will keep your business cards because of their functionality. The more they see your cards, the more they will consider to work with you.

Attention-Grabbing

Let’s say you create a die cut cover for a book, making it in such a way that it reveals an interior illustration. The cover will grab the attention of most of the people who see it.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover but most people do the opposite, right? When passersby love your books’ die cut covers, they’re more likely to buy the books. 

The best thing about this is that with a die cutting machine, you have a relatively cheap means of making your products compelling.

Most dies out there are cheap and you can use them for a wide range of projects.

What is a Die Cutting Machine?

It’s basically a machine designed for cutting materials such as fabric, metal, and paper to particular shapes. You may then use the shapes for various projects, like scrapbooking, or decorating t-shirts or cards.

There are two main types of die cutting machines, that is, manual and digital.

Manual ones work more like cookie cutters. You purchase dies and use the machine to cut them into your desired shapes manually.

Digital ones, on the contrary, work more like printers. You can send your designs to the machine in 2 ways. You may choose to send them from a cartridge, which you preload with your designs and then plug into the machine. Or, you can send them from your PC.

Apart from just cutting, some digital varieties can pierce, draw, or emboss.

The History of the Die Cutting Machine

The die cutting machine was introduced, for the first time, in the industrial revolution.

In the 1850s, the die cutting machine was widely used in making shoes. Cobblers found the machine quite handy, as it saved them both time and money.

As time passed and manufacturers gained more insight, a swing-arm clicker press along with a belt system got incorporated into the original model. These additions proved to be very helpful for the guys in the shoemaking industry.

Over the proceeding century, there were lots of modifications on the machine and it was able to produce products in bulk, including plastics, metals and tubing, and even food items.

Today, there are computerized die cutting machines, and they have brought high-grade precision into the production process.

With advancement in technology, this machine has, in fact, risen to take a very important part in contemporary industries. And that is not all. Today, there are die-cutting machines that are specially-designed for safe use in schools and homes.

Types of Die Cutting Machines:

Which one is for you? 

As a designer, I take it you have your unique taste. Maybe you enjoy the ease that comes with technology or maybe you prefer to work by hand. But, if you’re a rookie, maybe you’re yet to figure out what works for you.

The purpose of this section is to inform you about your options when it comes to die cutting machines. I have included the upsides and downsides to each type so you can make informed choices.

Manual Machines

With a manual die cutting machine, you should expect to do more physical work. On the upside, you won’t have to spend much to get one. Also, manual models are easier to transport.

Manual machines utilize a crank system. After inserting the die along with your material into the machine’s mouth, you just turn the handle recurrently to feed the die through the rollers. This presses the die into the material.

Electronic machines

Need a machine that doesn’t require you to do much physical work? Go for the best digital die cutters. But, keep in mind that even though there’s less work to do, such a machine is a little more expensive than a manual one.

An electronic die cutting machine works in a manner similar to a manual one, but rather than using the crank system, it uses a motor.

All you have to do is put your die along with your material, and the machine will do the rest of the work. It automatically pulls them and applies pressure to cut out the designs.

Computerized Machines

These are digital cutting units that utilize either built-in software or graphics programs (when connected to a PC) in place of physical dies.

The design probabilities that these models have is virtually infinite. Moreover, they can cut a very wide assortment of materials and their speed is unparalleled. Nonetheless, these machines are bigger and heavier and of course, they are much more expensive than the manual or the electronic models.

But if you’re looking to do almost no physical work, enjoy the highest speeds with exceptional precision and versatility, I’d encourage you to go for a computerized die cutting machine.

How to Use a Die Cutting Machine Properly

A die cutting machine designed for home use is ideal for every day, moderate cutting. Even though the process differs based on the specific model, all machines depend on the same fundamental principles to function.

In most cases, you have to get the machine and buy the dies separately. The cut-out patterns are what people refer to as dies. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are normally sold separately from the machine.

Why? So that you can select the dies you desire; the ones that will help you achieve your crafting targets.

After purchasing the dies, you must load them correctly into your machine. This, will of course, depend on whether your machine is computerized or manual. You also need to have your own paper and insert it properly into the machine beside the die.

As soon as the two elements (the die and the paper) are in place, you can then do the cut. In the end, your cutout should look professional and ready to be incorporated into your crafts.

If you’re using a manual machine, you need to place the paper on the machine’s platform. You, then, lay the die on the paper, in the shape you’re looking to cut.

As soon as you have laid the die in the position you’d like to have the cut made, you now place a mat (which is typically clear) on the die to keep the die and paper intact. The three elements create what you hear them calling the “sandwich”.

When everything looks good, there’s a lever on the machine, that you should reel by hand to feed the platform through the die cutting machine.

As the platform, with the sandwich, feeds through the machine, even pressure is applied on the mat, pushing the die into the paper. The die’s sharp edges cut your paper, forming the shape you desire.

The platform, still with the sandwich, comes out through the machine’s opposite side, and you can remove the mat to gain access to your die, the paper, and of course, your new cut shape.

How to Take Care of and Maintain Your Die Cutting Machine to Make it Long Lasting

Your die cutting machine opens a whole new world of design options for you. But, if you want to keep enjoying what your machine brings to the table (and I know you do), you will need to take care of it as much as possible. The same care you afford for you clients’ projects, you ought to extend to your die cutting machine as well.

Here are tips and tricks that will help you maintain your machine better. I have arranged this section based on the type of machine (i.e. manual or electronic).

Manual DIY Cutter Machines Maintain Tips

Manual models are great for beginners, as they are easy to use, portable, and they support an assortment of dies.

Cleaning a manual model is simple; by keeping it in great shape, you will be able to use it for many years.

The following tips will help you take care of your manual machine and keep it working correctly.

Clean it

With every use, your machine gains dirt and dust. Therefore, after each use, soak a clean piece of cloth or a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and use it to rub the machine gently.

Once the moisture evaporates, use a paper towel or a dry piece of cloth to wipe down the machine till it’s totally dry.

Note: DO NOT use bleaching agents or abrasives to clean your machine, as they will only damage it.

Ensure Your Dies Are Clean

Take a look at your dies. Do you see any bits or debris or paper stuck on or in it? Get rid of those. If you put dirty dies in your machine, they will jam it or cause it to work incorrectly, thereby ruining your cuts.

Keep The Die Cutting Plates Clean

First wet them down. Then, use some dish soap and a toothbrush to clean the plates.

This strategy, which works for the electronic models as well, will extend the plates’ life and remove any debris that could have collected there.

Feel free to use a little hand sanitizer to make the plates even cleaner.

Don’t forget to ensure that the plates are absolutely dry before you store them away.

Do Not Force Stuff Through Your Machine

In case the plates or your dies and materials get stuck, just move it slowly in a swaying motion through the rollers. Alternatively, you can pull it out gently. Don’t use much force, as that will only wear down the parts and reduce the machine’s lifespan.

Electronic Die Cutting Machines Take Care Tips

Electronic models are a great choice for beginners and experienced crafters alike, who might be looking for something that doesn’t need lots of calories to man.

Similar to the manual models, they become dirty and require consistent maintenance to keep working properly. The following tips might be very helpful for you.

Clean The Machine

Use a soft, dry piece of cloth to clean it. Make sure that you don’t use any water, abrasives or fancy cleaning solutions. Moisture damages electronic die cutting machines, so I advise you to keep it as dry as you can whether it’s in use or in the store. 

Supervise The Kids

Teaching your kids the craft might be fun. However, it can also be hazardous to both the kids and the machine. Whenever your children are using the machine, keep a close eye on them to ensure they are operating it correctly and safely.

Don’t Take Out The Platforms Or The Plates While It’s Running

If you remove them while your machine is running, there’s a good chance that the moving parts will get damaged. Also, before you switch it off, ensure there are no objects in there to prevent jamming.

Let It Take A Break In The Midst Of Long Sessions

If you’re using it for an extended period of time, switch it off once in a while and let it cool down for about 10 minutes before it resumes working.

And, whenever you are not using the machine, be sure to switch it off.

Those are some of the best ways of taking care of your machine so it stays in great working order. Keep it clean, be gentle on it, store it correctly, and it will definitely serve you for a long time.

How a Die Cutting Machine can Save You Money

I believe a die cutting machine is for those smart designers who not only look to produce unique designs but also aim to avoid wasteful spending and save money.

But you might be wondering just how a die machine helps you save money. Think of it this way – apart from using a die printing machines to cut out designs from materials like paper, fabric, and rubber, you may decide to use scissors, right?

But, how efficient is that? If you’re running a business, you might have to employ several people to help you do those cuts. And, there will be many times when you will have to throw cut outs to the trash because they didn’t come out as intended.

With a die cutting machine, you’re able to do those cuts more quickly, and thus tasks that may have previously required 4 people to accomplish now require just one person and the machine. So, you save the money you would have spent paying workers.

Also, there’s no material wastage, so you save the money you’d have used to buy more materials.

Maybe you need to create business or greeting cards, or even gift boxes. Instead of going to a designer somewhere and having them make those items for you at a charge, with a die cutting machine, you can easily make them at home.

How Difficult is it to Use a Die Cutting Machine?

Today, die cut products rely on the materials, skilled workers, and the rolling platform too. At the center of it all, the die cutting machine gives shape to the incoming materials, refining them into a product that can be used as it is or taken through a folding process.

The entire line of making a die cut product comes to a standstill if the die cutting part fails. The following are some of the causes of this failure.

Broken Machine

If your machine gets damaged, you can either choose to replace or repair it but the best option would be to replace it. Why? Some DIY enthusiasts attempt repair only to realize that it’s only a temporary solution.

If, however, the problem is just a die fracture, welding and re-tempering can fix that.

Inefficiency

Some machines will work efficiently only for a limited period of time but fail repeatedly once you attempt to increase the volume of operation. A few people adjust the die clearing setting as a way of fixing such machines but unfortunately, this helps for just a short period of time.

The best way of solving the issue is to reset the piston pressure settings.

Pressure

The pressure that the machine applies, when mixed with the weight of the blanks, weighs heavily on the machine’s components.

If this pressure is too much, the machine’s components get knocked out of shape.

The solution? Return the machine to the manufacturer so they can rectify it. The rectification process involves re-tempering and treatment with heat.

Inconsistent Results

If your machine is faulty, it might produce kiss-cut results that are hard to predict, most of them being of low quality.

Even if you happen to be a skilled operator and are using expensive dies, the machine’s internal mechanism might ruin things for you. If the problem is with the results, hydraulic hoses and electrical circuitry might be the culprits. Have them checked by an expert.

Another noteworthy cause of inconsistent results is mistreated blanks and torn paper. Watch out for those.

With that aside, a die cutting machine is not difficult to operate. It’s actually quite easy. All you need to do is practice; learn step by step and soon, you’ll be a guru.

Cartridge vs Software Based Die Cutting Machines

At first, only the cartridge based were available. That’s back when the die cutting machines first became commercially available for home use.

The cartridge based models allowed designers to cut just the letters and shapes in the included cartridges.

Back in the day, the internet was limited and computers were only basic and not everyone had them. Therefore, folks deemed cartridge based models convenient.

Even so, these models curtailed creativity as they were inflexible, with limited choices. And, we haven’t even factored in the cost of buying cartridges for every element you want to incorporate into your design.

Software based die cutting machines might involve more learning as they are a little complex but the possibilities are countless. In that regard, the user can import different types of files, including .png, .jpg, .svg and more. With such a broad array of choices, you’re empowered to make your unique shapes. Some machines come with custom software packages that you can use to download files from external storages.

There are third-party programs as well, like Make the Cut. Most popular software based die cutting machines support such programs.

Keep in mind that manufacturers are increasingly designing die cutting machines that are incompatible with printers. That is great news, as you can now print and cut your designs. Could things be any more versatile?

The print and cut technique is a cool means of making elements such as labels, cards, scrapbook albums, and other items that you might want to create.

Just recently, manufacturers have availed hybrid systems that merge cartridges with software. Cricut Explore is one such machine. It offers you the joys of both worlds. That way, you can either choose to use the cartridges of import your designs from a PC or the internet.

Even though these hybrid systems require you to dig deeper into your pockets, they are super cool because they offer you a whole lot of benefits, including versatility, efficiency, portability, and more.

What are the Different Uses of Die Cutting Machines?

Maybe you want to display some creativity with your new die cutting machine but don’t know where to start. You want to show your friends or even customers that you’re capable of much more than just creating greeting cards. Below are the different ways in which you can use your die cutting machine.  

Creating Album Covers

Outdoor Vinyl Projects

Engraving Items

Personalizing Things

As you can see, there are no limits to what you can do with your die cutting machine. If your machine can cut through it, then it can create beautiful designs out of it whether “it” is a heat transfer vinyl or a chocolate bar.

Simple Project Ideas You Can Do with This Machine

Your die cutting machine looks great, you got the dies right there plus splendid paper and all that remains is to get down to work.

But wait – what do I make?

Yep, it can seem like a sticky situation but this section has got you covered. As an inspiration, let’s delve into some of the projects you can accomplish with this machine.

Vellum cards

Die Cut Window Card

Lacy Cards

Spinner Cards

Dies and stamps

Partial Die Cuts

Stand-Up Cards

Shaker Cards

Gate Fold Cards

Die Cut Foil

Jar Fold-a-Long Cards

Flip-Its

Gift Giving

Die Cut Leaves

As you can see, the possibilities are limitless. All you need is a high-quality, versatile die cutting machine and of course the dies. Check out the review section above (if you haven’t) and go for the machine that suits you. I would go for one that has the ScanNCut technology, as this technology offers great flexibility and supports virtually all projects a designer might have in mind.

Best Die Cutting Machine Brands on the Market

Some die cutting machine brands are more unique and better than others as they offer you more user-friendliness, higher-quality results, and durability. In case you don’t have any die cutting experience, knowing the reputable brands narrows down your options and guarantees a worthy choice. 

1. Cricut

2. Brother

3. Silhouette

4. Sizzix

What to Do and Not Do with a Die Cutting Machine

A die cutting machine is meant to help you undertake various projects at home or work that involve cutting shapes for different purposes. Once you have cut out your shapes, you can either to use them as they are or combine them with other shapes to make objects like gift boxes.

But, what you can do with your machine depends on its type and model. If your machine is designed for cutting paper only, don’t try using it to cut metals or fabric or anything other than paper.

Also, don’t use your die cutter to cut pizza or other food items. There’s an exception to this rule for some machines, however; some, like the Silver Bullet Cutter, can cut chocolate bars.

Be sure to read your machine’s specs and guides to learn precisely what you can and cannot do with it.

FAQ

1. What is a die-cutting machine?

2. What is die cutting?

3. What is the digital die cutting machine all about?

4. What is a manual die cutting machine?

5. What is a die?

6. What can I use a die cutting machine for?

7. What do I need to get started with die cutting?

8. Which is the Top rated cut machine?

9. Where can I get high quality die cutter?

10. How does die cutting work?

Final Word

By now, I’d like to believe you understand the amazing things you can accomplish with your die cutting machine. I also imagine that you have learned the benefits of owning this machine.

A die cutting machine helps you perform various design tasks such as creating personalized greeting and business cards, gift boxes, and even cute pet tags. The cool thing is, this machine proves handy whether you are a scrapbooker, a quilter, a design teacher or just someone interested in unique things that tell your story.

All you have to do is compare the products listed on the review section and decide on one. I have listed only the best die-cutting machines for home use and light commercial tasks and I’m sure you won’t lack something there that works for you.

The buying guide part helps you know the features you ought to be looking for to find nothing short of the best.

I am sure there’s someone in your circle who loves crafting jobs or someone that’s into professional design and they might find this post very helpful. Why not share it with them and help them find the right die cutter for their unique needs?

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