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How To Choose A Die Cutting MachineHow To Choose A Die Cutting Machine

Scrap booking and card-making is a great hobby appreciated by children and grownups alike.Tailor-made cards provide a distinctive touch that can't be seen among those commercially-prepared cards. If you find you're spending a significant fortune buying cuts and designs for your scrapbooking hobby, you might think about investing in a die cutting machine.

Choosing a die cutting machine that's best suited for you doesn't need to be a difficult task. Below are some things to consider:

1. Your budget.
A good number of die-cutting machines are above $300 price point. You should set aside just how much you're prepared to invest so you'll have a benchmark price range. Quite a few die-cutting machines are expensive, however they have some features that can not be found in inexpensive products. Bear that in mind so you can adjust your budget properly. If prices are not a problem, then ignore this section and proceed to other factors.

2. Your current technical skills.
Die-cutting machines are of 2 kinds: manual and electronic. Manual machines are the least difficult to use, but they're restricted in terms of design and functionality. Moreover, they're not appropriate for young children because it poses a safety hazard. Electronic models, on the other hand, are simplier and easier and generally have more functionality as well as design choices. These are generally further divided into Two types: cartridge-based and software-based. Cartridge-based machines are quicker to work with - one can easily insert the cartridge after which you can start cutting. Software-based machines require you to first design using a computer software before you begin cutting. This is certainly great for more advanced individuals and those that need elaborate designs. Needless to say, you can find certain machines like the Cricut Expression, which makes use of both. 

3. Your workspace.
If you plan on using a separate crafts area, then you can get larger sized die-cutting machines that can be great for mass production. Nonetheless, in case you only want it for your own personal use, then you might opt for a smaller sized, more portable machine just like the Cricut Imagine.

4. Your crafting demands.
You have to ask yourself the reasons you wish to have a die-cutting machine. Is it simply because you just want to cut your own designs? Do you plan to utilize it for mass-production such as wedding invitation and greeting cards? Perhaps you want to open your own crafts retail store offering die-cuts for scrapbooking and cardmaking. If this is the case, you'll need a dedicated piece of equipment that could handle such volume, without breaking down or running into some bumps.

5. The type of material you plan to cut.
A number of die-cutting machines have restricted functionality in terms of the material it can cut. Some can only cut paper while others can cut numerous types of materials including vinyl, felt, chip board and fabric. Knowing what materials you'll be cutting will help you decide which die-cutting machine to get.

In choosing the right die-cutting machine for you, you have to take into account your budget, your technical skills, your workspace, your crafting needs and also the materials you plan to be working with. 
by Lynn Michaels
References and Bibliography
Lynn Michaels loves art and crafts. You can read her Cricut Expression review here first before you buy Cricut Expression to know if it's the right die-cutting equipment for you.
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