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Cutting Dies 101

As you can imagine, a cutting tool has very tight tolerances so that it only cuts through the material and adhesive but not through the liner or (backing Paper, see image below). The tolerances of a cutting die are fractions of inches. It must cut the substrate and clean-cut the adhesive but not through the thin liner. Some liners are as thin as .92.

A.) For cutting tools to cut correctly, they must be set up to cut to the liner. So, the tolerances are different if a liner material changes from a Kraft liner to a poly-coated liner or a PET-clear plastic liner. So you cannot interchange these tools. For example, it would be like trying to cut a piece of 2×4 lumber and a sheet of metal with the same saw blade; you would destroy the blade and most likely not get a clean cut, if it cut at all.

The other thing that can affect the tool is the substrate. A tool set for a BOPP will only cut at Paper liner for a short time if worn out quickly.

B.) Another issue you could have is the cutting tool and its size. There are two types of cutting tools: magnetic and Hard tools. Magnetic tools are like metal sheets with small cutting blades that wrap around a large magnetic cylinder. Hard tools are solid cylinders of machined metal. Images of both are shown here.

C.) The tool size can also cause issues. A 13” wide tool will not fit on a 10” wide press.

D. Please be aware that the price may fluctuate when comparing a multiple cavity tool to a single larger tool.