Paper 101 - Die Cutting

When it comes to die cutting, all it takes are the right settings to create beautifully intricate designs. Almost every paper Cardstock Warehouse™ sells is die cut machine compatible and, when using the right settings, will produce crisp, clean cuts like the ones below. (Non-compatible papers are labeled on their individual product page.) 

The quality of your blades and mats is also very important. We do NOT recommend using generic blades, as they do not offer the same cut quality as Cricut and Silhouette brand blades. 

 

die cut cardstock

CONDITIONING YOUR MAT

Before you begin a die cutting project, make sure your blade is sharp and your mats are properly prepared. When using a new mat, whether it be Cricut or Silhouette, you will want to condition your mat first. 

When new, the mats are too sticky to use without damaging your paper. You can condition your mat by pressing your hands on to the surface repeatedly until it feels slightly less sticky. Make sure you touch the surface evenly and that you get the corners. The natural oils on your hands decrease the stickiness just enough to protect your paper but not damage your mat. Use a small scrap of paper to test your mat before you start your project. 

For specific cut settings, find the machine you are cutting with below. 

Cricut

The cheat sheet below gives the Cricut cut settings using a regular blade for each of the Cardstock Warehouse papers. 

*Papers in the box with the X2 star will cut using the double cut feature, which allows for a clean cut of thicker papers.* We do NOT recommend trying to cut papers 100# or higher in only one pass. The double-cut feature will ensure the paper cuts all the way through every time! If you are having trouble with your paper cutting all the way through using these settings, we recommend replacing your blade with a fresh one. (Cricut brand blades ONLY.) 

 

Cricut Settings for Cardstock Warehouse Papers

  

silhouette

To cut using a Silhouette Cameo, use the diagram below to configure your cut settings. The Textured Cardstock setting comes standard on your machine, but you will have to create a custom setting for papers 85# and higher. See the diagram for the correct settings. 

Silhouette Cut Settings for Cardstock Warehouse Papers

troubleshooting Regardless of what machine you have, sometimes issue arise. Here are some tips for making sure you get the best cuts possible!

  • DO NOT use generic blades, especially those from Amazon. We have done extensive testing and found them to not deliver quality cuts, even when they are brand new. The best blades for your machine are the ones from the manufacturer of your machine. 
  • Make sure your mat is sticky enough to hold the paper in place. If your paper is wiggling on the mat, it will not cut cleanly. We recommend the standard grip mat for all of our papers.
  • Make sure you are using the double-cut setting (where it cuts each line twice) for ALL papers 100lb or higher. We do not recommend cutting 100lb papers in just one pass.
  • If the paper is not cutting all the way through, increase the pressure, or install a new blade. You will be amazed at the difference a new blade makes. The two die cuts below were done on the same setting, but the one on the right was cut with a new blade. 
    • two die cuts showing a dull vs sharp blade
  • If your paper is tearing when you cut, your pressure may be too high, or your speed could be too fast. Adjust one variable at a time and try again. The photo below shows a cut with the incorrect pressure on the left, and the correct pressure on the right. 
    • 2 examples of die cuts showing incorrect and correct pressure settings
  • If you are still having trouble, contact the maker of your machine. All Cardstock Warehouse™ papers have been extensively tested to ensure they cut cleanly in properly functioning machines, unless otherwise noted in the product listing.