The Basics of Cutting Machines


A cutting machine is a tool that can be used for cutting different kinds of materials. This include paper, vinyl, wood, glass, fabric, metal as well as cardboards for your creative projects. It makes your projects easier, neater, and more attractive.

This device is especially useful for people who are involved in die-cutting and craft making. Cutting materials for your craft can be a long and arduous task especially when you want to get accurate outcomes but have to do it all by hand. Getting a personal cutting machine will make doing this a lot easier and the outcome much better.

Different materials require different types of cutting machines. While some may be able to cut two or more materials, some are suited for just one. You can see more on this in this article.

Common Materials that can be Cut Using a Cutting Machine

Vinyl: Along with paper, this is perhaps one of the most popular materials that people cut. Vinyl materials can be used for stickers and decals. It can be used for iron-on for t-shirts as well as mugs. It is also used for banners and signage.

Paper: There are many forms or types of paper from cardstock to scrapbook, chipboard, etc. It is easy to cut and can be used for a variety of things including greeting cards, scrapbooks, as well as paper crafts for kids.

Fabric: For quilters and those who enjoy sewing, they will love using these tools as it makes cutting their fabric easier, consistent, and accurate. It will also reduce the amount of time you spend on measuring and cutting your materials.

Metal:  Cutting machines help to not just cut but it can also be used to engrave your metal. It can also help in making jewelry products and personalized items and gifts. Not all kinds of these machines can be used to cut metals. They require specific types to do so.

Glass: The right type can be used to etch designs and patterns on glass. Just like metals, not all them can be used to cut glass. You require a specific kind to use for glass.

Wood: Cutting machines such as CNC routers and laser cutters can be used to cut and make different kinds of wood projects.

You can get more insights on many other kinds of materials that can be cut with a die cutter in this article


Types of Cutting Machines

Cutting machines come in two main types; manual and digital, each offering different advantages. Your choice will depend on what you intend to do while understanding how each one works can help you choose which is the best for you.


These are the earliest variations of these tools. You might also hear them called “cookie cutters”. They are operated using turn levers attached to them. When this lever is turned, it applies pressure on the materials by the aid of die cuts that come in predefined shapes, and with this, you can get your shapes.

One advantage of these kinds is that you do not need to depend on a computer nor does it require electricity. Its disadvantages include the fact that it takes more time to cut your pattern as you need to apply manual effort. You are also limited to the kind of dies available and so do not have a wide variety of designs. For each shape you need to cut, you will need multiples dies each time. Buying many dies can become costly so you will also need to be meticulous about keeping them so you do not lose them.


The other type of machine is the digital option. These come with blades or laser which make cutting into any material fast and quite easy. Instead of using metal dies like in the manual types, it works with the aid of computer software via a USB port and a cartridge. You can look at it as the same as using a regular printer in the office. You type your document and send it to your printer which then does the printing and sends it out.

With digital machines, you load your material into it, send your design and this design is cut on your material. Digital machines allow you to make different custom and flexible shapes. They are fast and require little effort. One of the biggest advantages of these kinds is that they offer you an unlimited variety of designs and shapes. As long as you can load your design, the device can cut it.
The disadvantage of using this type is that it takes a while to learn and understand the use of both the device and software. This can be a trial and error process until you perfect it. They also require electricity and sometimes they need an internet connection. The good thing though is that when you have mastered it, it becomes quite easy to work with.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Cutting Machine

Choosing a cutting machine should be dependent on your needs. If you do more of personal projects, a manual one could be better for you but if you are a business and need to create custom designs or turn out work frequently, a digital one could be a better way to go. Below are other things to consider when buying a cutting machine.

• Types of materials you are working with
• Cost
• Size
• Ease of Use
• Portability (How easy it is to carry, handle and store away)
• Versatility
• Availability of components like dies and other parts you need to work with

You should also read reviews about different machines as this will aid you in your decision in making a choice. A good cutting machine review will provide you with firsthand information from people who have bought different product. This will allow you make a decision based on their experiences.


Cutting machines help you to make great, consistent and clean designs with your crafts. They also make your job easier and faster. Some many great brands and products can help you cut your materials into any design you want. You should however get one based on your preference and needs.

Remember that it is necessary to carry out proper research and read reviews before committing to any product.

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