Die Cutting is one of my most favorite things to do! I love it! I thought I would give up dies completely (almost) when I bought my Brother ScanNCut2 but my collection has continued to grow as I design more dies and as other companies produce them. For the record, I no longer have to buy stamp companion dies (dies that match stamps) since My ScanNCut will cut them out for me, but I still love stand alone dies! There is something so satisfying about putting in a piece of paper with a metal die and running it through your die cutting machine and out comes a beautiful shape or pieces that will come together and make something spectacular. I just can’t get enough of it!
So these are my favorite Die Cutting Products this year.
Although this post is mostly about manual die cutting, I would be remiss if I didn’t include my Brother ScanNCut2. I also included this on my favorite crafting tools page, but since it is a die cutting machine, I’ll include it here also.
Brother ScanNCut2 – This nifty die cutting machine will scan in your stamped images in black or color and will cut them out for you! You can also cut “cut files” wirelessly. It is awesome! It is an investment (about $250-$299) but if you hate fussy cutting and want to save money on buying stamp companion die sets, it’s the way to go! (You really do save money if you buy a lot of dies to match your stamps).
I have two die cutting machines that I use and love. To be honest the one I use the most is my Sizzix Big Shot. But I also have and love my Gemini electronic die cutting machine. Let’s start with my trusty Sizzix Big Shot.
Sizzix Big Shot – You can’t go wrong with the Sizzix Big Shot. This machine is a workhorse and will cut any die (under 6″ wide). Plus Sizzix has the best reputation for standing behind their products. You can email them years after purchase and tell them if you have a broken piece and they will replace it no questions asked. I love that. I just bought this one a little over a 1 1/2 years ago (sold my old one so I could get this pretty grey and white design) and it works just as well today as it did when it was brand new. Just love it!
If you use larger dies (cutting area is 9″ x 12.5″) or want to die cut a lot of dies at once, or even if you just hate cranking your manual die cut machine, the Gemini is definitely the way to go. This baby is fabulous, it goes forward, pauses if you need to pause it and even goes in reverse. It handles intricate dies like no other machine I’ve ever used. It is compatible with all thin dies and many embossing folders. A very good quality machine.
To hold my dies in place when die cutting, I’ve tried washi tape, micropore tape and post it tape and while I like both post it and micropore tapes, I’ve found something that works even better and is more economical because you can use it over and over and over again. That is, 1/2″ Aqua Color-Code Writeable Labeling Tape | Removable Adhesive, 0.5 x 500 in. Roll. This tape is removable and like I said, I can use one piece for die cutting forever. It is more sturdy than any of the above mentioned tapes and comes in 21 colors! It’s $5.99 a roll (right now) with free Prime Shipping and you get 500″! I can’t recommend this tape enough.
Another tool I use almost every time I die cut is this handy little die release tool by Kaisercraft. One end is pointy and the other is a spatula shape. It’s great for poking out the little pieces of your die cuts as well as pulling them out of the die with the other end. Best of all it’s only $2.99 and gets used practically every day.
This item is not new on my list but I use it everytime I use my Sizzix Big Shot so it deserves to be here on this list. That is the Sizzix Magnetic Platform. It helps hold your dies in place as you run them through the Sizzix Big Shot. It is not 100% though, and little dies tend to “jump” around on the Magnetic Platform when you are using more than one, but it is very helpful when using single or larger dies and it does HELP hold things where you put them for the most part. I use this in place of the tabbed base plate that comes with the machine.
This nifty little magnetic tray is new this year on my favorite’s list! I got it on Amazon and it holds my dies while I’m die cutting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve misplaced dies while die cutting or working on a project. Now I put it in the tray until I’m ready to clean up and I never lose them.
Finally, for cutting apart new dies, I use the Eurotool XTL-0048 XS Flush Side Cutter Pliers. I like them because they are tiny and they fit in between the narrowest dies to disconnect one from the other. They are also inexpensive and I’ve had mine for years.
All of the products I mention are listed and linked on the bottom of each post for your convenience. If you have a question about a specific product or something not listed in these posts, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me and I’ll get back to you asap.