At Maxcess, you’ll hear us talk a lot about different types of dies, die accessories, and rotary die cutting processes; but what is die cutting exactly? Rotary die cutting is the process of using a die and other specialty tools to convert material and fabricate identical shapes of the material over and over again. Companies that manufacture credit cards, for example, would have a die (or several) specifically engineered to cut plastic into wallet-sized rectangles. Die cutting is used to cut plastics, films, paper, fiberboard, metal, rubber, leather, and a variety of other substrates.

What is a Die?

A die is a machining tool used to cut or form a specific shape into a specific material. Think of a die like a cookie-cutter that is pressed into a substrate (cookie dough in this case) to create a series of identical shapes. Dies come in two basic types: steel-rule dies (or cookie cutter dies) and rotary dies like those manufactured and distributed by Maxcess.

How is Die Cutting Done?

In a nutshell, die cutting involves taking a die (rotary or flatbed) and pressing it into the substrate with enough pressure to achieve the desired result. More often than not, the desired result is a clean and crisp cut. Although dies can also be engineered to do embossing, pressing, perforating, or indenting if that’s what the product calls for. A die engineered to produce a cardboard box, for example, would need to cut the shape of the unfolded box as well as apply perforated or indented lines where appropriate.

What Industries Use Die Cutting?

Die cutting is used in several manufacturing industries for a wide array of everyday and specialty products. Everything from the clothes you wear to the phone in your pocket to the car you drive to work is likely manufactured in a facility that uses die cutting. At Maxcess, our dies are specially engineered for the following:

What is a Die Cutting Machine?

Die cutting machines come in all shapes and sizes depending on the application for which they’re being used. Small die cutting machines are popular among crafters and scrapbookers and are perfect for cutting out intricate shapes in paper and cardstock. Of course, major manufacturing operations rely on machinery substantially larger and more complex. Industrial die cutters are designed for fast and precise die cutting of various substrates and can be fitted with either flatbed dies, which are operated by hydraulic press, or rotary dies which rotate and press the design onto a constantly moving web. Rotary die cutting is best for long runs of material as it maximizes efficiency and production while keeping downtime to a minimum.


Naturally, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what die cutting entails and the types of applications for which it is used. But to summarize, die cutting is a process that makes manufacturing like items much simpler and more efficient. For more information on web guiding systems and other die accessories distributed by Maxcess, browse our online catalog.