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Cutting Edge Jargon: 8 Terms In Die Cutting You Should Know

The die-cutting industry is a booming market, with many new developments every day. It’s essential to know some key terminology, to understand the dynamics of this field. This blog post by the experts at Cav Tool in Atlanta, GA, will discuss some commonly used terms in the die-cutting industry.

What is Die-Cutting?

Die-cutting is a manufacturing process that uses a sharp blade to cut shapes out of material. The blade is typically mounted in a die cutter, allowing quick and accurate cuts. Die-cutting can create various forms, including letters, numbers, and intricate designs.

What are the Different Types of Die-Cutting Tools?

There are several different kinds of die-cutting tools. The most common are rotary cutters, which use a round blade to cut paper and other soft materials. A die-cut press consists of two plates that sandwich material between them after stamped by the tool’s dies or cutting surfaces.

What is Die Stacking?

Die stacking involves using multiple steel punches to create various parts on one sheet. First are the internal cuts, and then the piece is removed from the stack after stamping the outer shape.

Now that we’ve covered die-cutting basics, let’s dive in and learn what technical terms signify.

Ball-lock Retainers

Fancy, isn’t it? Ball-lock retainers are tiny balls that hold the dies in place on the press. They are spring-loaded and fit into corresponding indentations on the die.


This is a term used to describe the action of the upper die pushing down onto the material while it’s being cut. This helps to eject any waste material and create a clean edge.

Die Edge Bevels

The angle on the edge of a die is where the sharp edge begins. If you hold an unopened die up to the light, this angle should catch some light and give it away as being there.

Die Line

This refers to the location of any cuts on your material that is not stamped images or raised shapes – but instead, just lines cut into the material.


Die-cutting matrix is another name for the upper and lower dies.

Oblique Angle

This is the angle at which your die cuts into the material. It’s important to know this to orient your artwork correctly on your substrate.


There are many die makers punches that range in shape, size, and design. Punches create stamped images or raised profiles on your material.


This term describes a very light cut made into the material being die-cut. This score helps prevent the material from splitting when removed from the die.

We hope this blog post has helped introduce you to some of the principal terms used in the die-cutting industry. Stay tuned for more jargon-busting posts shortly!Cav Tool, serving Atlanta, GA, is where you will find all die-cutting solutions under a roof. From small to large runs, we can handle it! Get a free custom quote now.