Die cutting is a process by which a straight cutting blade cuts stocks of an item. The blade can be bent or formed to create the necessary shape for cutting. Die cutting may be used for business cards, coupons, or other printed materials. Die cutting produces large numbers of the same shape from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, metal, paper, or fabric. Die cutting is a very similar process to cookie cutting, in which the material is placed on a flat service, held in place, and the die is pressed onto the material to cut it.
Paper products, keys, and plastic pieces are common examples of die cut items. Die cutting is a limited process, however, because it can really only be used to product flat objects. It can be very efficient because die cutting can be used on stacks of material such as paper and produce a large quantity of shapes in very little time.
Paper die cutting is very efficient, however, can quickly dull a blade and result in unused and wasted material. Firms often use recycling processes to reduce waste from excess paper surrounding the shapes. Die cutting can also incorporate fold lines by compressing the paper but not actually cutting through it. This is often used for standard card or display stands/promotional materials. Some firms specialize in die cutting while other printers have the option to use die cutting methods. Consider the pricing and time necessary when using die cutting options.