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Comparing the Circle Cutters - Which One is Right For You?

Choices, choices, choices. When it comes to choosing a cutter for your button making project, you certainly do have choices. Today, we are going to help you make the right circle cutter choice by analyzing the three top-of-the-line cutters we offer at America Button Machines: the adjustable rotary cutter; the punch cutter; and, the high volume die-cutting press. We'll go one-by-one discussing the features of each cutter, as well as what it is best for. Match this up against the specifics of your project and it will help you to to make the best decision possible.

adjustable-circle-cutterAdjustable Rotary Cutter

The adjustable circle cutter is our most versatile cutter and is best for low volume button making. It is included in our Beginner Button Making Systems. The adjustable cutter is quick and economical, which makes it a great place to start if you are new to button making. The benefits of this circle cutter are numerous. First, it is adjustable so as to be able to cut any size circle you need - from 1.313” all the way up to 4”. Second, the adjustable cutter allows you to visually center your cuts through the centering template located at the bottom of the circle cutter. See the adjustable rotary circle cutter in action: [flv: 350 250] A third benefit is ease of use. To create your circle, all you have to do is punch down on the black handle and rotate your hand a couple of times; the cutting wheel then comes down and cuts the circle. Due to normal wear and tear the cutting wheels need to be occasionally replaced, which leads to yet another benefit: if you have multiple button machines then you can use this single circle cutter for each button size, thus eliminating the need for separate sized circle cutters. The adjustable circle cutter ships with two centering templates good for two button sizes. If you have more than two button machines, you would need to purchase another centering template to fit your additional button maker. There are several pre-set stops for five popular button sizes: 1", 1-1/2", 2-1/4", 3", 3-1/2"; however, the circle cutter is easily adjusted for custom sized incremental cuts. Note: although many of our customers use this circle cutter to cut multiple sheets of paper, it is designed (and we only recommend it) for use with single sheets of paper. In addition to cutting graphics for pinback buttons, many arts and crafts aficionados use circle cutters to cut numerous items other than paper and have found tremendous benefits. Schools, arts and crafts lovers, companies, and families have purchased our adjustable circle cutter to cut circles out of paper, thin plastic, construction paper, poster board, and fabric.

2.25 Graphic Punch CutterPunch Cutter

The Punch Cutter is the best circle cutter for most button makers and is included in our Professional Button Making Systems.  It is slightly more expensive than the adjustable rotary cutter but well worth it if you have the money in your budget. If you are making 50-100 or more buttons, the minimum circle cutter we would recommend is the punch cutter. Using a punch cutter is very easy, as you will see in the video below: If you are printing multiple graphics on one page, you would want to cut the paper into strips and feed it through the punch cutter as seen in the video. If you are using a 2.25”, 3” or 3.5” photo punch, than you can simply insert a strip of paper or 4x6 photo (up to a 5x8 photo for 3” and 3.5” buttons) into the cutter. The benefits of the punch cutter include being fast, accurate, and very easy to operate. In addition, there is a large hole in the top so you can easily see the graphic you are cutting. You simply center your graphic visually where you want it (what you see is what you'll get) and push down on the handle; it cuts everything out at once! Here are a few more important notes about the punch cutter:
  • It is self-sharpening so you never have to replace any cutting blades, and it comes with the same lifetime warranty as our button machines.
  • Our punch cutters are designed to only cut regular printer paper or photo paper, and any other type of material should not be used.
  • Although many of our customers use this circle cutter to cut multiple sheets of paper, it is designed (and we only recommend it) for use with single sheets of paper.

To sum up the punch cutter is designed for heavy duty use. It is fast, accurate, and the is the most popular of all the cutter types for button making.

High Volume Die Cutting Press

Do you feel the need for speed? Then you will want to use our High Volume Die Cutting Press for your high volume cutting needs. The high volume press quickly cuts through up to 50 graphics at one time! This cutter is ruggedly built with structural steel and industrial grade aluminum construction. The press is ergonomically designed and incorporates smooth action for operator comfort that is convenient for left, right, or two-hand operation. Again, as with the adjustable circle cutter and punch cutter above, the high volume die cutting press has a number of unique positives that make it a desirable choice. First of all, the toggle-action of the press provides enhanced leverage (2,000 ft lbs at the bottom of the stroke ) for cutting through a stack of material. Also, the hardened steel dies are razor sharp, providing quick and accurate cuts. Watch the high volume press in action: [flv: 350 250] In addition, the press ram is adjustable for easy changes in height. You simply staple the edges of your 8.5 x 11 or larger sheets of paper together to keep the graphics aligned properly and then cut through several sheets of paper at butter! This very handy bench-top press has been used for cutting all kinds of materials like fabric, leather, badge cutting, flexible magnets, embroidery, coasters, card stock, plastic, canvas, clothing, textiles, rubber, key fobs, cork, felt, and many other materials. Hopefully this post helps to clear up any confusion about the pros and cons of each cutter. If you still have a question, feel free to hop on over to our discussion forum and ask us; we'll be glad to help! Brighid Brown - Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABMSaveSave

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