Help! My Hole Cutting Dies Don't Cut

March 13, 2021

Larger hole cutters will require more pressure than the smaller ones -- sometimes a lot more, depending on the size. This is why we don't offer very large cutters.

To increase the pressure applied when cutting holes -
  • with a table press: Place the press on a surface low enough that you can fully straighten your elbow when pressing down.  This will maximize leverage and allow you to lean your body into the press to increase.
  • with a handheld press: Rather than holding the pliers in your hand, rest the bottom on a table instead. Then, press down on the top handle of the pliers. You can use your other hand to help. This will provide better leverage so you'll be able to apply more pressure.  Like this.
The hole cutting dies also work best with material that have some compression (ie. cushioning). It may be difficult to cut a large hole through something very flat and thin like a single layer of cotton.

Instead, place a scrap of plushy leather, vinyl, cutting mat or even several extra scrap layers of the thin fabric on the bottom die, under the layers you actually want to cut.  This will add some necessary compression so that the top layers are sufficiently cut.  (The bottom scrap layers may not cut fully.)

  • Some makes of the hole cutting dies have a spring in the middle.  Theoretically, this helps to prevent the cut circles from jamming in the top die.  But it isn't necessary for the die to function.

  • The hole cutting dies will wear out with use, and will need to be replaced periodically.  The top die may become duller, while the bottom surface will wear down. As to be expected, the harder the top die digs into the bottom die, the faster the dies will wear down.  This is another reason why placing a piece of  of plushy leather / vinyl / cutting mat on the bottom die is helpful.
You can contact us if you find yourself unable to use the die successfully.

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