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Leather Cutting Dies

Aug 10, 2008
A clicker press is a machine that cuts shapes out of rolls of soft material, like rubber, cardboard, or leather, using a sharp metal piece called a die. A metal tool and die shop will take a pattern, and bend, weld and form pre-sharpened steel into a die. A cutting die is usually a steel cutting tool to be used with a clicker press.

Cutting Dies are appropriate for cutting paper, leather, rubber, plastic and numerous others including envelope cutting dies, label cutting dies, clicker dies, window dies, punch dies, gasket cutting dies, washer dies, trimming dies, high dies, threaded punch dies, rotary panel cutters, corner blades, strap dies and more.

Beverly Clicker Dies, Single Edge Dies, Double Edge Dies, Gang Dies, Precision Milled Dies, and Serrated Edge Dies are the six basic types of cutting dies. These dies are crafted from steel and will usually last for tens of thousands of cuts.

The Beverly Clicker Die is used mainly in the Shoe and Leather Garment Industries. It is merely a clicker die constructed around a center plate, which acts as a brace like strengthener, creating a very strong and long lasting die.

Double edge dies are used in applications with an identical right and left piece. The double edge die perhaps could be used to greatly reduce die cost. Such applications would be the shoe and glove trades. A model would be a moccasin die with a distinct left and right size. By constructing a two sided die the cost is less than making two distinct dies for right and left size.

Gang dies are standard clicker dies in multiple configurations for high volume or multiple part situations. A good example of a gang die would be a key fob in which you have orders for 10,000 pieces. Rather than just die cut one by one it would be efficient to cut a 2 up or 3 up gang die to do the cutting job quickly

Precision Milled Dies are an highly accurate die milled from high grade tool steel. The solid steel milled die is better used in very close tolerance high production situations. Precision dies are often used where super tight corners and fine tolerances are required. This type of die may be unaffordable as it requires a fair amount of time and skilled labor and expensive machinery.

New technology in cutting dies features a serrated edge that allows for the die to permeate multiple layers of materials much easier than conventional edge cutting dies. These particular edge dies also help eliminate fusing with many materials. A fine use of this type of dye would be cutting of multiple layers of vinyl.

If you are cutting leather, and have a product that has a run of at least 500 pieces, then a cutting press (clicker) and steel cutting dies are a strong consideration. You might debate buying a cutting press for your manufacturing, or there are companies that will subcontract cutting for your demands.
About the Author
Leather craftsman and author Ethan O. Tanner explains the different types of leather cutting dies and gives tips on usingleather cutting dies for your project.
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