Top 8 Best Manual Die Cutting Machines (Buying Guide 2021)
You are a sewing and crafting hobbyist. But the effort and time required to cut materials for your craft suck the life out of you. Sounds familiar? I know, because I am a fellow sufferer too.
I have been a crafting enthusiast myself. And from my past 5 years of experience, I can guarantee one thing, my friend. That is, no matter how much you love crafting, you will eventually get tired of the tedious cutting process.
Not only does it consume a lot of time, but it also requires a lot of energy. On top of that, the pieces of cuttings that result from using scissors are rarely precise. My experience tells me that just like me, you are not happy with imprecise cuttings either.
So, what do you think should be done to lift this burden off your shoulder? Yes, you guessed it right! Die pattern cutters are one of the most convenient ways out of this trouble.
Here’s the deal. Not only do they increase productivity, but they will also save your energy for other essential tasks. So, what are you waiting for? Have faith in me and keep reading while I give you a tour of the best manual die cutting machine.
Top 8 Best Manual Die Cutting Machines Review
01. Sizzix Big Shot Plus 660340
The Sizzix Big Shot Plus 660340 is one of the most beloved machines in its field. It is loved by most users of manual die cutters. If you are looking for an ideal pattern cutter, then this may be the one for you.
A large size platform
This cutting machine has a large, A4 size platform that allows you to cut large pieces of material for your craft. Therefore, you can use it to get a variety of sizes. This, in turn, means that you will be able to use this machine for a lot of different crafts.
Be it quilting, paper crafting, or scrapbooking, you can apply this cutting machine for a range of different tasks to showcase your craftsmanship.
Starting from paper to balsa wood,
this machine is capable of cutting and embossing any type of material you may need for your project. More so, this die cutter allows you to cut your fabric or material up to 9 inches wide.
Plus, it is compatible with all of the dies in the Sizzix library only excluding the Pro dies. You will have a wide variety of die sizes at your disposal if you purchase this one.
The lightweight structure of this die cutter also allows you to store, carry, and use it anywhere you want. This means that your location will never cause any hindrance to your job.
02. Bira Craft Die Cutting And Embossing Machine Combo
The Bira Craft Die Cutting and Embossing Machine Combo is one of the easiest to use die cutters out there. You will always be able to rely on this one for a smooth performance.
To start with, it has a 3 1/8” inch feeding slot. This is more than the two and a half inches feeding slots in most die-cutting machines nowadays. Now that is a big difference, isn't it? You will be able to fit a lot of different sizes of die in this machine.
The red lever is easy to turn.
You will not have to put in much effort to use this die pattern cutter. Once you turn it, the suction cup will adhere to the cutting pad very smoothly and hold it in place. This will eliminate any risk of the die moving from its intended position.
In this kit, you will be provided with a rubber pad, a standard cutting plate, a base plate, and an embossing folder. Creating different textures using the rubber pad will be a piece of cake for you. Moreover, you can also use the embossing folder to create unique designs.
Compatible with all the dies
It is compatible with all the dies and embossing folders from other leading companies. So, there will be a lot of design options at your disposal.
This die cutter is also designed in a very compact way. It takes up minimum space and can be easily transported from one place to another.
03. Spellbinders PE-100 Platinum 6.0 Die Cutting And Embossing Machine
The Spellbinders PE-100 6.0 die-cutting and embossing machine is one that is tough to beat. This die cutter is equipped with the versa cut technology that is used in Platinum. So you can imagine the pressure taking capability and strength of this machine.
If your work requires you to cut multiple layers of fabric in one go, then this is the one for you. Why? Because it is capable of effortlessly penetrating through up to 8 layers of fabric. Why else do you think it gets a place in the list of the best manual die cutting machine?
But wait! It does not end here.
The versatility that it shows is extraordinary. You will be able to use this pattern cutter for any type of craft. Starting from wool, leather, craft steel, or even Balsa wood.
The thickness of the material does not limit the capability of this die fabric cutter. It can cut more than forty different types of materials. I know, that’s crazy!
Standard dies and embossing folders!
This manual cutter provides a 6-inch platform for you to work efficiently. Do you know what that means? It means that you will be able to make use of most standard dies and embossing folders! Moreover, this machine was designed to suit the modern environment you live in.
The sleek and elegant design makes it a perfect addition to your room. Not only that, but you also will not even have to allocate a huge amount of space to store it.
Collapsible handles and fold-up sides
This is because of the collapsible handles and fold-up sides included in its design. Fitting it in a small corner or a congested room will no big deal at all!
04. Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit 661770
If you are into crafting, then the Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit 661770 is a must-have in your library. Why?
Well, because it can explore a range of different crafts using this pattern cutter.
Firstly, it can cut different types of materials to suit your needs. It does not matter whether you want to decorate your home, make a card, or plan an event. This die cutter is here to help you with every type of work.
The vacuum seal is the most convenient feature
One of the most convenient features of this machine is the vacuum seal. The seal holds your cutting plate in place for you. This, in turn, results in a perfectly cut piece of material because the die is held in place.
Do you know what that means? Yes, along with minimal effort, you also don’t need to be an expert to use this. Anyone ranging from an amateur crafter to a professional is capable of using this die cutter. How convenient is that?
You can cut it precisely with a single turn of the handle. Yes, it is that easy.
Wait! There is more.
It is compatible with the Sizzix Thinlits, Framelits dies and embossing folders that are up to 6.35 centimeters wide. This means that you will be able to create a huge number of die-cutting designs.
Another feature that makes this die cutting machine desirable is its petite structure and lightweight. It can be stored and carried anywhere, making work easy for you.
05. Bira Craft Die Cutting And Embossing 9” Machine
The Bira Craft die-cutting and embossing 9" machine is one that you will not want to miss out on. This heavy-duty die cutter offers a wide range of possibilities for your crafting skills. As its name suggests, cutting and embossing will be a cup of tea for this manual pattern cutter.
It has the thickness of your material ever obstructed a smooth cutting?
Don’t worry, I guarantee you will never face that problem again. One of the most unique features of this manual cutter is the height adjustment gear.
This gear has settings ranging from loose to tight, for thick and thin materials respectively. What this does, is tighten the grip on the material according to its thickness. This means that the pressure applied to the die will vary with thickness. And you will get a clean cut every time.
For example, if you want an intricate cut, you have to set the gear to tight. Doing so will allow the die to cut all the details with precision.
Stick to the surface
The rubber feet attached to the bottom of the machine helps it stick to the surface. This enables the machine to stay in place and prevents any damage to your craft in any way.
Not only that, but it is also very easy to assemble and disassemble. The crank handle is easy to use and requires minimal strength. Moreover, you will be able to store accessories inside the fold-up design and transport it without any hassle.
06. Patgoal Small Carbon Steel Die Cuts
The Patgoal small carbon steel die cutting machine is here to make crafting very easy for you. Whether it is your hobby or work, you will know that cutting decorative fabric is time-consuming. You will be able to save a lot of precious time with the use of this pattern cutter.
All you have to do to cut is turn the handle.
The roller style handle makes it smoother for you to control your speed, alignment, and pressure. Moreover, the handle is comfortable to grip, reducing strain on your wrists.
That means there are no chances of a goof-up when you use this manual cutter.
Be prepared to end up with clean, smooth, and precise cuts.
The platform is multipurpose and can accommodate a wide variety of different materials. You can cut anything starting from invitations, postcards, to even photo albums all by yourself.
This best manual die cut machine does not require any expertise for operation. Therefore, it does not matter if you are only a beginner starting to learn to craft.
Capabilities of the die cutter aren't limited
The capabilities of this die cutter are not limited to die-cutting only. You can also use this for embossing and making gorgeous postcards.
Not only that, but the shape of the size of this machine also makes it portable. So, you can use it wherever you want. Now, isn't that convenient for you?
07. Sizzix Limited Edition 663844 Sidekick Starter Kit
If you are looking for a small manual cutter with innumerable abilities, then this is the one for you. The Sizzix Limited Edition Sidekick will encourage you to craft with its majestic die-cutting ability. It will save you time and energy.
The vacuum seal smoothly holds on to the cutting pad.
This removes any chances of the die shifting from its intended position. Therefore, the die cuts through your material precisely, and without damaging it in any way.
This manual pattern cutter is capable of cutting through wafer-thin materials ranging from lightweight cardstock to paper. Now you know why it is ideal for making cards and scrapbooks. You can even decorate your home and plan events with the help of this machine.
The user-friendly handle will enable you to put in the least effort. And the strain on your wrists will be eliminated because of the easy to use roller system. It will also speed up the process of cutting your material.
You are provided with the opportunity to create different designs. This is possible because this die cutter is compatible with Sizzix Thinlits and Framelits dies.
The width of up to 6.35 centimeters
You can use dies and embossing folders of the width of up to 6.35 centimeters. Hence, you will have several unique designs at your disposal.
Moreover, apart from being efficient, this die pattern cutter is also stylish. The white and grey color combination will add to the style quotient of your surroundings.
08. VEVOR Leather Cutting Machine Double Guiding Shaft Leather Embossing Machine
The VEVOR leather cutting and embossing machine is a high performance, solid and durable piece of machinery. If you are looking for a manual cutter that can withstand high amounts of pressure, then you have found the perfect one.
Cold drawn steel construction
The 45# cold drawn steel construction along with black oxidation treatment makes it one of the toughest machines out there. It has a pressing range of 10.2 to 4.7 inches. Advanced needle bearing allows outstanding surge suppression and load-bearing capacity.
A feeding space of 30cm and a maximum cutting capacity of 10mm gives you the chance to cut almost anything.
Withstanding a pressure of 1 ton is no joke.
But this cutting machine can do it effortlessly. How you ask? It is because of the dual guiding shafts, needle roller bearing, and pressure-relief pp pad. They are all fundamentally forged to elevate the performance of this cutter.
The guiding shafts are incorporated with silicon manganese steel spring wire. Moreover, the bottom base plate is asymmetric and strong. Both of these factors increase the stability of the machine.
Despite the power that it radiates,
you don’t need to put in much energy to operate it. The pressure stroke is adjustable with a maximum of 0.47 inches. Therefore, anyone can operate this manual cutter with ease. If you are still not impressed then let me tell you a bit more.
The application range of this pattern cutter is huge. Be it plastic/rubber sheet, fabric leather, foamed PVC, or soft sheet material, this cutter can take it all.
How to Choose The Right Die Cutting Machine?
It is not easy to decide which machine fulfills all your requirements. I have been using manual die cutters for quite some time. As an expert, I can tell you that you have to consider a lot of things before you purchase one. So, how should you get this done?
We have to dig deeper into some factors and analyze them. It sounds a little difficult, doesn't it? But don't worry. The measurements below will help you entirely.
1. Monetary Requirements
Now, we all are going to agree that money plays a vital role. The first question that should pop in your head should be: Will I be able to afford it? And to avoid wasting time on that, you will have to decide on a budget beforehand.
You will have to analyze and evaluate all your expenses. How much can you afford to spend? Will it affect your lifestyle? Can you cover your other, more important costs?
These are all questions that you need to answer. After you successfully settle on a price range, you can start looking at the options.
2. What Do You Want To Cut?
When you are looking for a manual cutter, you have to fix certain requirements first. One of the most important ones among them is the types of material you want to cut. Not all pattern cutters can deliver a good service.
Manual die cutters have specific materials that they work best on. A machine that cuts paper flawlessly will not necessarily cut cardboard too.
How to apply the pressure?
The pressure applied by the die cutter must be enough to cut the material. If it does not match, then your fabric may get damaged very soon.
Besides, the blade needs to be sharp enough. This is important so that it can pierce through your material and cut a perfect piece. Here, the efficiency of the blade depends on the thickness of the material.
This is why you have to look for machines that are best for your craft.
3. Embossing Capabilities
Now, most people don’t purchase a die cutter only for cutting. If you want your machine to emboss too, then you have to evaluate more.
Not all cutters can emboss. And even when they do, it is not guaranteed to be perfect. So why would you pay for something that does not work perfectly? It makes sense, doesn't it?
Don’t just settle for a device.
Don’t just settle for a device because the description says it can emboss. Well, maybe it can. But how do you know that it is good at embossing? You wouldn’t want an imperfect embossment, would you?
Therefore, my advice to save you from this injustice. Read the product description word by word. Take a sneak peek at the customer reviews.
This will give you useful insights into the capabilities of the product. And you will be able to know the practical capabilities of the machine.
4. Is it durable?
So, what do you think about spending your money on something that won’t last long? Not wise, right? I am going to agree with you too. And this is exactly why you need to make sure the manual cutter you will buy is durable.
But how will you know that?
The key to that is research. Search and gather information about the materials used to construct the machine. You have to get convincing evidence that the materials stated are of high quality.
Only then, you will be able to purchase without having to worry about durability.
5. What Kind Of Accessories Does It Come With?
Accessories that come with your kit boost your productivity. Therefore, they will also be a factor if you buy the machine or not.
Most manual cutters nowadays come with dies and cutting pads. If you already own many dies, it may not impress you. But then again, you have to make sure that the cutter is compatible with the dies you already own.
If not, then the old dies will not be of any use. And the ones that come with the kit will be your only useful ones. Hence, you must pay attention to the accessories you are going to get.
6. How Much Space Does The Machine Require?
Most manual die-cutting machines are small in size. However, there are some exceptions. Machines come in all shapes and sizes.
You will have to choose one among them according to your needs. If you don’t have enough space to store something, it's wise to not buy it.
Not having enough space close to your working station will make you store it elsewhere. As a result, you will not use it very often. Now that is not very productive, is it?
So, allocate a space for your machine according to your convenience. Then look for the ones that fit your specific dimensions.
7. What are the benefits of using it?
If you buy something, it is very obvious that there are certain advantages you will get. Otherwise, why would you spend your hard-earned money on it? The reason for my advocacy for manual pattern cutters is my years of experience with them.
Since I have been bugging you to buy one, I should inform you of their benefits too. Let’s dive straight into the real talk.
8. They Are Cheap
There are two types of cutting machines. One is a manual pattern cutter, and the other is electronic. As I had mentioned before, money is a very important factor in such matters.
Manual die cutters are cheaper than their electronic counterparts. However, the result of using both of these types of machinery is almost the same. So if you have a limited budget, they are the ideal choice for you.
9. They Are Versatile
If you want a multitasking machine, then electronic cutters are not for you. They are incapable of embossing materials. Since they are driven on software, they can't emboss.
In this case, manual die cutters are the better and only option for you. Personally, I prefer them too. Why? Because versatility has always attracted me.
What is the harm in completing two tasks with the same machine? I know you will agree with me on this because everyone loves extra features.
Here, again, manual pattern cutters are lighter and more compact than the electronic ones. You can store them anywhere, in the smallest of spaces.
Moreover, their lightweight gives you the advantage of carrying them to any location. You will not have to worry about stopping your work.
How easy to transport?
You can easily transport them from one place to another without facing any problem. Be it crafting groups, guilds, or your workplace.
These die cutters can manage to slip in at any place! Therefore, your location will never obstruct your desire to craft.
11. Does Not Require Electricity
The advantages don't end here. Unlike the electronic ones, die-cutting machines don't require electric power to function. Since they are manual, the only thing they require is manual labor.
If you are not comfortable with technology and software, you won’t be able to use electronic cutters. On the other hand, manual pattern cutters are easy to use with roller systems.
Roller system of the handle
The roller system of the handle does not require much energy. So, you won’t have to put in much effort. They also come with an instruction manual to help you get started.
Apart from that, since they don’t use electricity, you will end up saving the electric cost too. And who doesn’t want to save money?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How do I clean my die cutting machine?
Answer: You will see that your die cutter has become dirty after using it for a long time. In times like these, you have to clean it so that it works efficiently.
Firstly, you have to pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean and soft towel. Then, gently rub the towel on the pattern cutter and wipe. Keep doing so until you see that the dirt has disappeared and the alcohol has evaporated.
When should you repeat the process?
If it is still dirty after the alcohol has evaporated, repeat the process until you no longer see any dirt. After that, use another clean and dry cotton cloth or soft towel to wipe the machine. Make sure that your die cutter is not damp. It has to be completely dry.
Avoid bleach or abrasive cleaners
Never use bleach or any other abrasive cleaners, because you may end up damaging your beloved machine.
Q. How do I use intricate die-cuts without damaging my material?
Answer: Dies normally stick to the material after being rolled out of the machine. Usually, there is no harm in this.
But when you are using intricate die cuts, you will notice that the small details make the dye stick to the material. And if you pull it forcefully, you may end up damaging your material. This will also mess up the design.
So what should you do to avoid this?
Well, there is a technique that you should use. If you can use this technique, you won't have to worry about anything.
When you are using intricate die cuts, make sure that you place a piece of paper between your die and material. Then roll it through the die-cutting system.
Separation is a cup of tea for you
After that, you will see that separating the die from the material will be a cup of tea for you. Then, gently pull the material away from the paper and watch the magic happen.
Q. How do I use a die cutting machine?
Answer: Using a die cutting machine is very easy. It does not require much strength but speeds up your work process. It is also very efficient.
All you have to do is align your material with the cutting blade. After that, place your desired die with the sharp end towards the material. Make a sandwich by placing a cutting blade on top of it.
Components of the sandwich
Make sure that all the components of the sandwich are completely aligned with each other. Then gently place them at the opening of the feeding slot and turn the roller. You won’t need to apply much pressure.
You will see that the sandwich comes out of the other end of the roller. Open it and separate the components. Gently remove the die from the material to uncover your perfectly cut piece of fabric.
I could go on about this, but unfortunately, ends are inevitable. While I wrap this topic up, I hope that this article has managed to clear many of your doubts. All the items in this list have been added after careful consideration and analysis.
To finish off this brief discussion on the best manual die cutting machine, I would like to say that each person has different needs. So choose the one which goes best with your demand. Don't settle for the cheapest one you come across. Always prioritize durability and quality.
So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for bearing with me through this wordy article. If this article has helped you even a little bit, I will feel accomplished. My sole intention was to relieve you of some of your doubts.
I hope you have found your ideal die cutter machine by the end of this article.