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Scrapbooking, Die Cutting & Embossing Machines

Die cutting machines are machines that are popularly used by crafters, quilters, scrapbookers, and other people who want a simple method for cutting complicated designs, or cutting out identical copies of the same design. They come in many different varieties and uses, from simple non-electrical machines to machines with touch screens and online custom design software. Many cutting machines are suitable for cutting a range of materials and uses, making them versatile additions to any crafter's arsenal.

How do you choose a die cutting machine?

The die cutting machine that you buy is going to depend on what you want to use it for. Depending on whether you're looking for fabric, paper, or vinyl cutting capabilities, you'll want to buy a cutting machine that's tailored for that use. Many machines also emboss materials in addition to cutting. In order to determine which machine to buy, you first need to figure out what it's used for. Below are some of the more popular choices in terms of material and machine matches.

  • Fabric: The Sizzix Big Shot is one of the highest-rated cutting machines for fabric, but it's versatile and can be used for many other applications such as scrapbooking and embossing. The Sizzix Big Shot Pro is another highly-rated fabric cutting machine, but its higher price tag and larger size make it most suitable for professionals.
  • Scrapbooking: The Cricut Explore Air is one of the more popular die cutting machines for paper and other scrapbooking tasks. The German blades make extremely precise cuts, and Cricut's online software can create patterns from your own drawings.
  • Vinyl: The Brother CM350 2 ScanNCut is a highly rated machine for vinyl. It's easy to use, and includes a touch screen for editing difficult tasks.
  • Embossing: Many cutting machines also emboss. The Cricut Cuttlebug V2 is a popular choice, as it is small, easy to maneuver, and accurate. The Sizzix Big Shot and BS Pro are also excellent choices for multi-purpose crafting machines.
What is a die cutting machine used for?

Die cutting machines can be used for a variety of purposes. As the name suggests, they are intended for cutting usage. They can cut a wide array of materials, from paper to felt to foam, and more. Cutting machines can be used to add precise flair to many different applications, such as scrapbooking and other creative design opportunities.

How do cutting dies work?

Cutting dies are the metal pieces that shape the pattern of the cut. Cutting dies are used in manual die cutters (Digital die cutters work differently).

You can think of manual cutting machines as similar to a cookie cutter. The sharp blade of the cutting die pierces the material in a distinct pattern to create the cut.

Generally, the cutting machine features two rollers that press the cutting die into the material, cutting it, rather the cutting dies being "stamped" onto the fabric like cookie cutters. This allows the machine user to cut multiple shapes at once, and cut them all precisely the same way.

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