Cutting Apart Craft Dies - Tips & Technique Video

Recently Vera C sent us this question: “How do I separate the die pieces from inside each other?” Thanks for asking this question, Vera!

Many of our steel dies are connected by thin-metal wires or may even be nested inside each other. We make them this way so we can pack more pieces into each set of dies which gives you more dies for your money. We also do this so the little dies aren’t floating around separately in the packaging which would make it really easy to lose them. Whether you are just getting started using thin-metal dies or you are a pro at die cutting, here are some tips for cutting apart the thin-metal wires that connect brand-new dies.


Step 1. Get out a micro-tip nipper.

The best way to separate dies is to use a nipper tool that is designed to cut metal or wire. The nipper tools that work best have very small, tapered cutting blades and one side of the blades are flat so that you can cut right up against the die cut piece. We sell a micro-tip nipper but you may already have one in your tool kit out in the garage so check there first!

Step 2. Protect your eyes and your work surface.

Anytime you cut metal, it's probably best to wear a set of goggles and cover your worksurface. Sometimes the little metal wires or tabs that connect the craft dies go flying. One way to avoid getting them in your carpet or places where they shouldn't be is to hold the dies and the nipper inside a cardboard box or garbage while you are nipping the dies apart.

Step 3. Cut the first end of the thin-metal connector.

Slide your nipper tool between the die pieces with the nipper blades around the thin-metal wire the connects the die pieces. Press the flat side of the nipper blades up against the die piece and then snip the thin-metal connector.

Step 4. Then cut the other end of the thin-metal connector.

Reposition the nipper to the other end of the thin-metal wire and nip again to completely remove the thin-metal connector from both die pieces.

Step 5. Nip off any rough edges.

Sometimes if the nipper isn't positioned right, it will leave a rough edge or even sharp point on your die pieces. Gently run your finger around all the sides of each die piece to find any areas that need some additional attention. Then use the nippers to take off any rough edges and sharp points.