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Guide to Buying a Die Cutting Machine

From embossing and engraving to cutting out personalised designs, die cutters are an essential in any crafter’s tool kit. No matter whether you’re scrapbooking or card making, dies and die cutting machines offer a quick and easy way to add dimension and texture without fiddly or painstaking scissor work. Here’s our quick guide to buying the die cutter that’s perfect for you and your next creative crafting ideas.


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What is a Die Cutting Machine?

Die cutting machines are used for engraving, embossing, and even for cutting paper, card, fabric, and thin metal. If you wanted to make an intricate paper flower without a die cutter, you would need to carefully cut this out using a scalpel or a pair of scissors. Potentially clumsy and definitely time consuming, this can quickly get tiring if you have a lot of them to do. Die cutting machines take away all this hassle, precisely cutting the design you want in no time at all. The ‘die’ is the pattern that you’ll be cutting out, which you load into the machine. 

Types of Die Cutters


Manual die cutters are lightweight, affordable, and often the most popular choice. The crafter must align the die with their chosen material and use a manual crank on the side to operate it. A wide range of dies can be used with manual die cutters, and many crafters like the hands on approach as well as the ability to see exactly where you are cutting.

guide to die cutting machines


With electronic die cutters, you load a die cartridge with your chosen design, and the machine does the aligning and cutting for you. They are not as portable as manual die cutters, but there is much less room for error and there is less work involved, freeing up your time to do other tasks. What's more, when utilising electronic die cutters, you usually have to install software onto your computer. This can reduce your choice of dies, but with practice, can allow you to make your own customised dies.


You will need to purchase dies separately to the die cutting machine. There is a wide variety of sizes, and you’ll need to check the maximum size your machine can handle. Metal dies will cost more than electronic ones, but the choice you have with metal dies can be much greater. You can find dies for cutting out flat lay boxes that you can later build, as well as intricate floral, animal and lace designs for decorating cards, scrapbooks and journals.

Are you looking for a specific theme? If so, here at The Range our extensive collection of creative dies are sure to impress. Why not liven up your next handmade masterpice with help from our sensational selection of patterned dies, floral dies, vintage-style dies, and even our array of desirable novelty-themed dies.

If you think you want to give die cutting a go, why not check out our exciting Die Cutting collection.

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