The Difference between Die-Cutting, Laser-Cutting & Kiss-Cutting

July 22, 2020, by Lisa Saville

We often get asked about the the difference between Die-Cutting, Laser-Cutting & Kiss-Cutting, so we thought we’d provide a simple overview to help you understand what they are and which one to request for your next print project.

Whenever printed material needs to be cut to an irregular shape that cannot be trimmed with four straight sides, then it must be cut using one of the above processes.

DIE-CUTTING requires a “die” to be made out of sharp steel blades in the desired shape of your object. These blades are attached to a wooden block and get mounted into a press which stamps the shape out from the printed material using pressure. The initial cost for making each die and preparing the press are quite high, but once the press is set-up, the process is very fast and the cost per cut is low, making it ideal for high volume print runs.

LASER-CUTTING uses a powerful laser beam which follows a die-line to burn through various substrates to create your shape. The set up is a digital process and is relatively quick, but the running costs of such a specialised device are much higher. It may not be as fast as die-cutting but the flexibility it offers plus the level of intricate detail it is capable of is immensely greater, meaning it is perfectly suited to smaller, complex projects as it allows for testing and adjusting on the fly without incurring more set-up costs each time. View samples of our laser-cutting.

KISS-CUTTING is only used for stickers with irregular shapes. The shape is cut by a movable blade that travels across the printed sheets following a die-line. The blade is set to just the right pressure so that it only “kisses” the top layer and does not cut through the backing sheet enabling you to peel the stickers off easily. View samples of our kiss-cutting.

We hope this clarifies the different process for you, but please feel free to contact us with any questions you may still have.

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