5 Best Die Cutting Machines for Beginners – Make Crafting Easier!

This article will give you the lowdown on die cutting and embossing, the 5 best beginner products for this activity, and how to choose the right one for your needs.
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Last updatedLast updated: December 30, 2021
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Die cutting machines are the essential craft accessory, helping you create beautiful cut-outs and textured patterns with various materials like leather, wood, metal, and paper. For beginners, you need a machine that is the perfect die cutting starter kit so that you can learn to cut, emboss and get creative with ease.

When we looked at the best die cutting machines for beginners, we considered various features such as type, material compatibility, size, ease of use, and more. Below, you’ll see detailed reviews of the 5 best models for beginners, from the simplest manual machines to the more sophisticated electronic models with various functions and design software that are still great for starters. Also, you’ll be able to find both the most portable die cutting machines for small and large crafting projects depending on your needs. Beginners will be happy to know the machines all die cutting easy, and once you get to grips with your new project, the possibilities are endless!

1.

Gemini JuniorEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Type: electronic
  • Material compatibility: cardstock, vinyl, foil, fabric
  • Die width: 6 in
  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.6 x 5.4 in.
  • Warranty: 1-year

More features: high pressure; pause, resume, and reverse functions; multiple crafting uses

The Gemini Junior is a desktop die cutting and embossing machine that is just perfect for beginners. With a simple design and easy-to-use controls, it’s great for anyone who wants to start crafting. It can be used with a variety of materials, including cardstock, vinyl, foil, and fabric, and is for a material width of 6 inches. It also comes with a 1-year warranty, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product.

The Gemini also has another model – Gemini Midi – a more budget-friendly die cutting machine. However, it’s manual, which means you have to use one hand to run the machine while holding paper or other material in place with another. It’s not as fast as the electronic Gemini Junior, but it is a more affordable option. Also, they both are great for beginners.

What stands out?

  • We really love that Gemini Junior has pause, resume and reverse functions, so you can control the machine for multiple crafting uses. In addition, it cuts and embosses in 10 seconds – much faster than other machines on the market. Also, the Gemini Junior has edge-to-edge cutting so that you can get the most out of your materials.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Although we love the Gemini Junior, it does have a few downsides. Firstly, users have complained that the cutting plates can be warped, which affects the quality of the cuts. Secondly, there are not enough helpful trouble-shooting items in the manual, so you may have to do some research online if you experience any problems with the machine.
2.

Cricut Explore Air 2Premium Pick

Features
  • Type: electronic
  • Material compatibility: over 100 including vinyl, cardstock, faux leather
  • Die width: 12 in.
  • Dimensions: 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 in.
  • Warranty: 1-year

More features: Circuit’s design software; pre-programmed projects; Bluetooth and USB connectivity

The Explore Air 2 is a powerful machine that can cut and emboss over 100 materials, including vinyl, cardstock, faux leather up to 12 inches wide, giving you more options for your larger crafting projects. With the new dual carriage, you can use two different materials at the same time! It comes with a built-in library of images and projects that you can load onto your tablet and start crafting with right away.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 die cutting machine is an upgrade to the original Air; it is the latest in Cricut’s line of electronic cutting machines. With lots of new features, this updated version takes some of the best parts of the original Explore and makes them even better. All in all, this machine is great for beginners or experienced users who want to take their crafting to the next level.

Why is it special?

  • One of the most outstanding things about the Explore Air 2 is the huge library of pre-programmed projects. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crafter, you'll love how easy it is to get started right away. With the Explore Air 2's Bluetooth and USB connectivity, you can easily download new images from your computer. Finally, the low-maintenance design means that this machine is easy to use and easy to keep clean.

What are the flaws?

  • There are only two downsides to the Explore Air 2. The first is that you must be connected to Wi-Fi in order to use Cricut's online service for access to their library of images and projects. If not, you'll have to download any image or project you want to work offline beforehand with your computer. Second, you have to pay a 10 dollar monthly fee after the two-week free trial ends to use Circuit.
RELATED: 6 Best Cricut Machines for Beginners – Bring Your Craft Ideas to Life!
3.

Spellbinders Platinum 6Best for Intricate Designs

Features
  • Type: manual
  • Material compatibility: over 40 including wood, paper, metal
  • Die width: 6 in.
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.5 x 12.5 in.
  • Warranty: 1-year

More features: up to six layers in a single pass; VersaCut technology; compatible with Spellbinders die templates

This model is a top-of-the-line die cutting and embossing machine that can handle a wide variety of materials. With over 40 material compatibility, this machine can cut and emboss everything from wood to metal. Also, with a working 6-inch platform, you have plenty of room to play. For its numerous features and high level of performance, it is an excellent value for beginners or professionals alike.

The Spellbinders Platinum 8.5 is an improved model of Spellbinders Platinum 6: it can cut through eight layers of paper. If you do a lot of crafting, then the Spellbinders Platinum 8.5 is for you; It is larger than Platinum 6, making it more suitable for bigger projects. However, if you are at the beginning of your die cutting path, choose Spellbinders Platinum 6 without a doubt.

What makes it special?

  • We love the Spellbinders Platinum 6 because it is easy to use and versatile. With its VersaCut technology, you can easily cut through up to six layers of material in a single pass. This machine is also compatible with all Spellbinders die templates so that you can create intricate designs with ease. Plus, the contour steel rule dies make cutting and embossing a breeze.

What cons did we find?

  • Although the Spellbinders Platinum 6 is a great machine, it does have a few things that could be better. For starters, some users complain that it can be more cumbersome to use when using embossing folder frames. Additionally, the machine does not have a ‘sandwich’ for using 3D embossing folders, which can make this process a bit more complicated.
4.

Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die CuttingEasiest-to-Use

Features
  • Type: manual
  • Material compatibility: multitude including cardstock, vellum, felt, leather
  • Die width: 6 in.
  • Dimensions: 14.25 x 12.36 x 6.61 in.
  • Warranty: not specified

More features: standard cutting pads and multipurpose platform included; full Sizzix library

If you’re just starting out in the world of die cutting, the Sizzix Big Shot might be the perfect machine for you. This versatile tool can handle a variety of materials, including cardstock, vellum, felt, and leather. It’s also relatively lightweight at 7.5 pounds, making it easy to move around. It also offers a maximum material width of 6 inches so that it can accommodate most die cuts.

The Sizzix Big Shot can be compared to another model from our list – Bira Craft Mini. Both of the machines are compact and portable, but the Bira Craft Mini is a more lightweight and affordable option that is perfect for beginner crafters. However, if the size of die cuts is a decisive factor for you – the Big Shot can be more suitable with its 6 inches vs. 3 inches of Bira Craft.

Why did it make our list?

  • This model comes with standard cutting pads and a multipurpose platform making it easy to get started right away. It also has a durable outer casing and steel core roller system, which helps ensure that your machine will last for a long time. In addition, this machine gives you access to the full Sizzix library of dies and accessories, which means that you have many options for creating your designs with this die cutting tool.

What is not ideal about it?

  • Despite all of the benefits the Sizzix Big Shot offers users, it has a few cons. One downside of this machine is that it comes with no instruction booklet. It can be difficult to get started if you're not familiar with how die cutting machines work. Additionally, the handle on this machine may loosen over time. This can make it challenging to use and may cause damage to the machine itself.
5.

Bira Craft MiniMost Lightweight & Portable

Features
  • Type: manual
  • Material compatibility: paper, cardstock, and similar
  • Die width: 3 in.
  • Dimensions: 8 x 3.8 x 5 in.
  • Warranty: not specified

More features: strong suction cup adhesion; multifunctional; starter kit

If you’re looking for a die cutting machine that is small enough to take with you wherever you go, the Bira Craft Mini is a great option. It’s compact and weighs only 3 pounds, making it the perfect die cutter for you if you don’t have a lot of space. The cutting plate measures up to just 3 inches, so it’s really good for small projects.

Bira Craft Mini is the most lightweight and space-saving option out of all the products on our list. Even though it’s not designed for die cutting leather, vinyl, or metal, as some other models like Gemini Junior, Circuit Explore Air 2, and Spellbinders Platinum 6 are, it’s very user-friendly. Even a child will have no difficulty using this model!

What do we love it for?

  • What we love most about the Bira Craft Mini is its size. This die cutting machine can be taken anywhere. The small cutting plate provides all the basic essentials for most projects, so you can have your first experience with die cutting without spending too much money. Plus, the strong suction cup adhesion means your die-cuts will come out looking great every time.

What were we disappointed with?

  • However, if you want to get a die cutting machine that can cut through thick cardstock without any issues, this might not be the right choice for you. Because the cutting plate is relatively small, it can only handle thinner materials. Secondly, some users have complained that the plates need to be frequently replaced if you're using the machine on a regular basis.

Things to Consider

If you’re just starting out in the world of die cutting, this guide will help you choose the best machine for your needs as a beginner. We’ll discuss the different types of die cutting machines and what to look for when choosing one.

Why Use Die Cutting Machines?

Die cutting machines are designed to cut specific shapes from different materials. They can be used for a variety of purposes Trusted Source Commercial processes. Papers and boards. GCSE Design and Technology Revision | BBC Bitesize Die cutting is a commercial process that accurately cuts and creases paper or card at speed. www.bbc.co.uk , from scrapbooking and decorating cards and invitations to creating stencils for painting, handcrafting, and making decals, labels, tags, and rubber stamps. This is not a comprehensive list by any means – the possibilities are endless!

5 Best Die Cutting Machines for Beginners – Make Crafting Easier!

With the Gemini Junior die cutting machine, you can cut paper and cardstock or other decorative elements in any desired shape.

How to Choose the Die Cutting Machine for Beginners

Die cutting machines are a great way to personalize your crafting projects. Not only can they cut through materials such as paper, fabric, and vinyl, but they also come with a variety of dies that you can use to create unique shapes and designs. There are a number of different die cutting machines on the market Trusted Source Die Cutting Machines Market Revenue Analysis and Generate Revenue Of USD 1246.6 Million With A CAGR Of 1.40% Worldwide By 2030| AP News Market.us, one of the worlds leading by prominent market research firms has released a new recent work on Die Cutting Machines based on business intelligence, consumer preferences and statistical surveys. apnews.com , including the ones for commercial use, so it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.

The most important factors to think about are the type of materials you want to cut, the size of the dies you need, and your budget. Let’s take a closer look at things you should consider when purchasing your first die cutting machine:

Type

Die cutting machines come in two main types: manual and electronic. Manual die cutting machines require you to use your hands to crank the handle, move the sharp blade through the material, and cut out your desired shape. Electronic die cutting machines are powered by electricity and have a motor that does all the cutting for you.

Whichever type of machine you choose, all die cutting machines work in basically the same way: the desired design or shape is printed out or cut out from a paper template (or computer software) and then glued or taped onto the chosen material. The machine is then set to the desired thickness of the material being cut, and the cutting blade is inserted. The die cutting machine is then turned on, and the blade moves through the material, cutting out the desired shape.

Material Compatibility

One of the most important things to consider is what kinds of materials you will want to use with your machine and whether or not they can be safely cut. The most common die cutting material is paper. Still, it would be best if you also thought about things like card stock, vinyl, fabric, shrink plastic, craft foam, chipboard, planks (templates), and adhesive-backed materials such as iron-on decals and transfer tape, which can all be cut using different kinds of dies and machines.

Be sure to check the material compatibility of your machine before purchasing, as not all machines can cut through all types of materials – most manufacturers provide general guidelines on their websites about the types of materials that can be used.

Die Sizes

Another essential thing to consider when purchasing a die cutting machine is the size of the dies. Not all devices come with the same size dies – some have small dies that are perfect for scrapbooking and cardmaking, while others have larger ones that are better suited for home décor and clothing projects.

If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to choose a machine with smaller dies to get used to using the machine and get a feel for the types of shapes and designs you can create. As you become more experienced, you can always upgrade to a machine with larger dies.

Dimensions

Die cutting machines come in various sizes, with the smallest ones being about the size of a hand-held tool and the larger machines taking up more space on your crafting table. If you choose an electronic machine, it will probably be quite bulky and heavy because it needs to contain a motor and other kinds of other technological components. However, if you’re buying a manual machine, it will probably be a lot lighter and neater since there is no motor to add bulk.

If you’re looking for a machine that you can take with you on the go, be sure to check the size and weight of the machine before purchasing.

Price Range

Finally, consider your budget when making a purchase. The price range for die cutting machines is wide across the board – from around $30 to well over $250. You’ll want to choose one that best matches your budget and your needs as a crafter, but you will get more bang for your buck with a higher-priced machine.

More Features

5 Best Die Cutting Machines for Beginners – Make Crafting Easier!

The Cricut Explore Air 2 has custom modes and can cut everything from paper and cardstock to poster board and bonded fabric.

When purchasing a die cutting machine, a few extra features to look for can make your crafting experience easier and more enjoyable.

One feature to look for is a machine that has an adjustable blade depth. This setting will allow you to adjust the depth of the blade depending on the thickness of the material you’re cutting. This setting will ensure that the blade goes through the entire material and doesn’t get stuck halfway, which is something to avoid since the blade can become damaged.

Another feature to look for is an adjustable cutting pressure. This allows you to control how hard you push down on the die when it’s moving through your material to avoid damaging the material or the die.

Finally, consider a machine that comes with a variety of dies – this will give you a more comprehensive range of shapes and designs to work with right from the start.

FAQ

Unfortunately, not all machines come with manuals. However, most manufacturers have video tutorials and other support materials on their websites that can help you get started. If you’re still struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service department for help.

When choosing a die cutting machine, the best thing to check for is its functionality. Is it compatible with different types of materials? How big are the dies? What are its dimensions and weight? How much does it cost, and how many different dies come with it? Answering these questions will help you choose one that’s perfect for your needs.

Technically, you can die cut without a machine. However, it requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. Using a machine is the easiest way to cut paper and other materials.

Our Verdict

Out of all reviewed models, we were especially impressed by three of them:

First, the Gemini Junior. With its combination of easy-to-use controls and high-quality performance, you can quickly and easily start crafting without worrying about the results. Second, the Cricut Explore Air 2, which has the ability to cut up to 10 times faster than other cutting machines. Thanks in part to its dual-carriage design, it allows you to put two designs or materials into the machine simultaneously. Finally, the Spellbinders Platinum 6. With its VersaCut technology, you can cut through up to six layers of material in a single pass, making it one of the best die cutting machines available.

Die cutting machines are a great way to add a touch of sophistication to your crafting projects. By choosing the right device for your needs, as a beginner, you can ensure that your crafting experience is easy and enjoyable!

References

1.
Commercial processes. Papers and boards. GCSE Design and Technology Revision | BBC Bitesize
Die cutting is a commercial process that accurately cuts and creases paper or card at speed.
2.
Die Cutting Machines Market Revenue Analysis and Generate Revenue Of USD 1246.6 Million With A CAGR Of 1.40% Worldwide By 2030| AP News
Market.us, one of the worlds leading by prominent market research firms has released a new recent work on Die Cutting Machines based on business intelligence, consumer preferences and statistical surveys.
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