Cutting Machine Tips And Ideas
Cutting machines can be useful tools in making scrapbooks. They can assist you in making titles, embellishments and journaling. While they are an investment, they are well worth the cost in time savings a well as taking your pages to a whole new level.
Basically there are two kinds of cutting machines…..manual and electronic. We’ll cover them both. Let’s start with manual machines.
Manual Cutting Machines
Think of machines that use dies and these would be considered manual cutting machines. Many of these machines also use embossing folders as well. So in a sense, you are getting two machines for the price of one. I still have my cuttlebug and use it often. I would not give it up. While I also love my cricut, it does not emboss and for that reason alone, I still hold my cuttlebug as an important part of my craft room
What are the advantages of manual cutting machines?
- First there is no electricity involved. So you would be saving money on electricity
- Second they are more portable than the electronic cutters. You could take them to a class or crop
- Also, they are more economical than an electronic cutter which often costs close to $200
- You can buy only the dies that you want or would use more than once.
They use plates and apply pressure that allow you to cut die shapes and emboss as well. The paper and the die are put between plates. AS you crank the machine, pressure is applied to either cut a shape or emboss on the paper.
Tips To Clean Your Manual Cutting Machine
Keep your manual cutting machine clean. The more you use it, the dustier and dirtier it will get If you want to clean your machine, rub it with some alcohol and a cloth to wipe it dry. Or you could use a baby wipe as well. Just make sure to get it dry. It should be completely dry before you put it away. Don’t use bleach or abrasive cleaners as these may damage the machine.
Keep your dies clean. Always clean your dies before you put them away. Make sure to get any bits of paper or debris out of your dies. Any of those bits may cause your machine to jam . Take care of your machine and it will take care of you for a long time.
Clean your cutting plates regularly. Use a little mild soap, water and an old toothbrush to get into the cuts and grooves on your plastic cutting plates. Getting all the dirt and debris off of them will increase their lives. After they are dry, you can use a little extra hand sanitizer to get them extra clean. Make sure that they are completely dry before you put them away. (This works well for electronic plastic plates as well) Follow manufactures directions for embossing and other mats.
Never force anything through a machine. If something gets stuck, simply shimmy it through the roller, or gently pull it back out. Forcing something through your machine will only cut the life of the machine and potentially damage it for good.
Electronic Cutting Machines
These are the machines that have sent the craft world on fire. The two most popular are the Cricut line and the Scan N Cut. These machines cut on a special mat, that is reusable.
The Advantages Of An Electronic Machine Include:
- More latitude and options ! This is why most of us have gotten very serious about our electronic cutters. We can resize our images, create our own titles and words. You can even use fonts off the internet
- You don’t have to buy individual dies or store them. You use your computer, you scan in images, use svg files are have a subscription to thousands of images.
- You can cut more materials than with a Manual cutter. Now most of the electronic cutters can cut paper, cardboard, foam, material, vinyl and even poster board
So what’s right for you?
That depends on where you are in your craft journey. If you are a beginner with limited space, you might want to start with a manual cutting machine. If you are ready to go full speed ahead, then I suggest that you consider going electronic
Caring For Your Electronic Cutting Machine
Never clean your electronic cutting machine with anything wet. Only use a soft cloth to wipe it. Any type of moisture may cause permanent damage to the machine, so keep it dry.
Don’t remove the plates while the machine is working. Trying to pry the plates out will cause damage to your machine over time.
Once the machine has finished cutting, remove the plates. You could cause a jam in the machine
Cool down your machine for 10-15 minutes after extended use. This stops the machine from getting too hot. Overusing the motor can cause the machine to overheat. You need to give it a little time to rest.
Shut the power button when not in use
Read More About It
I have written several articles on manual and electronic cutters that you may want to read
More Cricut Articles
Scan N Cut Articles I have Written