Scrapbook aficionados must be well conversant with various methods of paper cutting and paper cutting tools without which scrapbooks would never be what it is. Naturally, they know very well about scissors and paper cutting as also about the use of dies for cutting out various shapes from a paper, card or any other material. Dies are more versatile because it can many more different types of materials with much more precision than you can do with scissors.
Moreover, for crafting intricate designs, dies are the only cutting -tool that you need. Indeed, you need a die cutting machine to use the dies, but you must be able to select the right die that is required for your job. Which die would be suitable for your job is what you should know by gathering information about the different types of dies and knowing its working modalities.
Not only there are different types of dies, but there are different manufacturers of dies too, Spellbinders being one of them and you must know which kind of fits into which brand of die cutting machine die. Knowing how to sort through the variety will make the task easy.
Thin metal dies (Wafer thin dies)
This die consists of a narrow metallic ribbon that is twisted and turned to form the contour of the design that resembles the shape you intend to cut out. For a better understanding of how the die looks like, compare it with a cookie cutter, and you get a clear picture. The thin structure of the die makes it very lightweight that is easy to store, and you can comfortably carry it around by keeping it in plastic pockets, binder rings or even on magnetic strips. Thin metal dies are inexpensive as compared tosteel rule dies because of its sleek construction and is perfect for using it sparingly for designs that you would create occasionally. The dies are good for cutting a single sheet of paper or similar materials that are mostly lightweight or medium weight. You cannot use it for cutting fabrics, chipboards or other craft products.
Steel rule dies
This type of die is more robust in construction and usually mounted on large wooden or plastic blocks. The steel rule die is a twisted piece of metal that forms the shape of the design that you want to cut out and embedded within a layer of foam on the block. Steel is solid metal, and the dies are suitable for cutting any heavy materials that the thin metal dies made from aluminium cannot handle. For cutting multiple paper sheets stacked together, you need steel rule dies and even for cutting chipboard, felt, fabric, leather, magnet, craft foam, mat board and wood veneer. Also if you want to cut large 3D items or card bases, the steel die is ideal. Steel dies are highly durable and suited for use in mass production.
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However, steel dies are costly, but you can recover it well by using it for many years.