Types of Cutting Dies
Wafer-thin Dies: This type of cutting die is available in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can have fun choosing from different designs such as alphabets, nesting, and stackable shapes. Most cutting dies in the market these days are this type of dies.
Steel-rule dies: A steel-rule die is also known as multimedia die, Sizzix Bigz die, or Crafter's companion multimedia die. This tool is thicker compared to wafer dies and has the advantage of cutting thicker materials. They are guaranteed to last a long time as powerful machines for crafting and even some tricky materials like wood or fabric are easy-peasy for a steel-rule die to cut.
Digital Dies: Digital dies do not require the assistance of physical metal dies to cut and emboss intricate designs. Digital cutter machines make use of digital cutting designs which are either built into the machine or uploaded through a USB storing the design files, or a computer storing compatible cutting design files.
How to care for cutting dies
Cutting plates or pads are needed to ensure that die cutting is done successfully. Make sure that the pad you are using covers the whole cutting surface. Cutting pads get worn out over time. You may need to replace them after excessive use. You care for your cutting dies by extending the shelf-life of the cutting pads.
Cleaning your cutting die after every use makes a difference. Remove the tiny chunks of paper and another material build-up in the conjunction of the rules. Refrain from overloading your die cutter with materials.
How to store your dies
Store your cutting die in storage compartments such as Avery Elle storage pockets. You can also use CD or DVD pockets that are accompanied by a magnetic sheet and scrap card to make the storage space more stable. Ring binders with magnetic sheets like the Crafter's Companion Dies & Stamps Storage System can also be an effective way of storing your cutting die.
Die-Cutting tips & tricks
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in making your sandwich. One hack is to use a Washi tape to keep your die in place. You can also try using copy paper to protect paper from old plates. Run the sandwich you’ve made through the die-cutting machine.
To make sure that the die cuts through the cardstock entirely, take out and rotate the die. Use a fine glue pen, glue or spray adhesive to stick intricate die-cuts to your projects.
If you notice that the die still hasn’t cut all the way through, run it through the machine again. Add a shim or two if you must. You may also utilize metal adapter plates as a shim for contracting the right amount of pressure.
You may need to use materials like shim and pokey tools to remove the spaces of the material that the die-cutter has not completely penetrated. In addition to the tools mentioned above, you can layer the die with quick dies release paper, wax paper, greaseproof paper or baking paper to detach the shape from the die.
Knowing these cutting tips and tricks can save you from the hassle and ensure perfect results!
How to Clean Dies
There are tools that are effective in cleaning excess paper pieces out of metal dies. You can also use a paper piercer to remove leftover pieces of paper, a little scoop tool or a thick bristle roller like the Crafter's Companion Die Brush Tool or the Sizzix Die Brush & Foam Pad can also work to get rid of stubborn excess pieces of paper.
Die-cutting can level up your crafting experience. Although it can be pretty tricky to use at the start, you will surely get the hang of it soon enough.