With so many uses that go well beyond making unique cards, a quality die cutting machine is a crafters dream. You need more than free designs when looking for the most suitable machine and although some of the more obvious traits such as the strength of its cutting are enticing, there is a lot more to know before you make a purchase.
This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what a quality product should be capable of.
Being able to cut through the thick paper is one thing, but beyond making cute personalized gift cards you will want your die cutting machine to have more cutting power. This is why you should ensure the product you are considering can get through thicker materials. A lot of products boast that they can easily get through leather and balsa wood among others. Although you might not need this much strength, look for a machine that can get through multiple materials with ease.
The larger the cutting matt the greater the potential size of your projects. A common width for a die cutting machine tends to be 6 inches which are fine for a lot of people. Still, if you are looking for something that opens up more opportunities then consider something closer to 12 x 12 inches.
The price of a die cutting machine can change drastically depending on the number of features you are looking for and the power of the machine. Still, you can get good value no matter what your budget.
If you don’t need a product that is ideal for quilting and offers features you aren’t going to use, then there is no need to spend money on them. For certain projects, you will need a higher spec of the die-cutting machine so this is something to consider, especially if you are looking to grow in experience and expertise.
If you like the sound of a scanner to make life a little easier then this is a unique feature that some products offer. You are more likely to find products that emboss instead which can save money. Other additional features include a docking station to charge a device or included designs.
To create new designs you are going to need to plug the die cutting machine into a computer. This is the easiest way of gaining access s to unlimited possibilities and tonnes of designs. The better products make this easy, just look for products that can be plugged straight into a laptop or can that use Bluetooth.
The more money you spend on a die cutting machine, the more significant this might be. The reputable brands tend to include at least a year’s warranty. This helps to protect your purchase as you never know what could go wrong even with the more advanced products.
With a few to choose from, you get to decide how much easier you want to make the process and how much control you get. Here are the most common types of die cutting machine:
Using a handle to allow the user to press the design and cut it, manual die-cutting machines are a throwback but can be highly effective. One of the better options for making impressions and usually pretty portable although you might not get to work with wider materials.
The handle requires a little strength from the user but they can be used anywhere without the use of an electrical outlet.
Arguably the most common type of die cutting machine now, these are designed to make life easier and certainly take a lot of the manual strain out of creating unique projects.
Using cartridges for any different font or shape to use for fast cutting they are usually capable of cutting through thicker materials such as leather, cardstock, vinyl, and beyond.
Sometimes you will find that these products require an internet connection to work but this is where you can open up endless opportunities and download new designs.
This is one of the main debates when it comes to choosing the ideal product. Both offer their benefits and many people favor the software variety. This is because they are easier to use with more designs available online.
You have to make sure that the software is reliable as some models are easier to get on with than others but for the most part, they keep things simple.
A cartridge machine is good if you want to be able to use your machine anywhere. Because they do not require a power outlet but there is significantly less variety making them less desirable for a lot of people.
Used for a multitude of crafting projects, these devices cut a variety of materials such as fabric, vinyl, card, leather, and a lot more to a specific design or shape. This is to bring a gift card to life, or make a t-shirt, quilts, personalizing homeware projects, and a lot more.
This varies depending on the type of product and the features of each model. For the most part, a beginner die cutting machine will set you back a little over $100 for a quality product. Expect as smaller width for your projects but this should still give you enough strength to cut through many materials.
The high-end products can be around $300 but this will get you loads of additional features, a wider cutting matt, and the ability to get through tougher materials.