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Article Summary: Die-Cutting Tips to Sharpen Your Production

After the printing is completed, many products are die-cut to their final shape. Often a steel rule die is used, consisting of an intricately shaped knife mounted in some base. The steel rule edge can be ordered from the manufacturer with helpful coatings or processing: 

  • resharpenable
  • electrostatic Teflon coating (remains clean)
  • titanium nitride hardened (last up to 3 times longer)
  • mollidium coated (smoother, lasts longer)
  • cryogenically hardened (lasts longer)

Cutting edges can be shaped to produce a clean cut on the part with any error on the scrap. Cutting boards can be used to maintain straight rules which produce tight tolerances. The best cut, a kiss cut, precisely touches a hard surface.

Store dies in temperature and humidity controlled conditions to avoid warping. Do not allow dies to rest in storage on the cutting edge. The best solution is a hanging rack in which each die can be seen and individually accessed.

Author: Allen Gurka
Source: SGIA Journal Q1 2000, p. 9-16.


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