Author Archives: toprankd


Within a typical box die there will be cutting rule and crease. The obvious purpose of cutting rule is to cut out the box, and the crease is there to make an indented line used for folding the box into its desired shape. The importance of making sure the crease of a box is perfect is that, once creased, it is impossible to fix. Creases are the bones of the box. In this article we will discuss some of the aspects of crease and how we make sure your crease is correct.

Unlike rule, crease is measured based on the thickness of the material. The crease must always be somewhat lower than the height of the cutting rule so that the material is not crushed completely or fails to cut. Because of this, Fine Formes will always make sure you are using the right crease for the job. The formula for deciding height of crease is that it must be the thickness of the material plus 0.15mm shorter than the height of the rule. The extra 0.15 mm accounts for the tape used to secure matrix or counters.

Matrix and counters have the same purpose; to help guide the crease and make it effective in creasing. Matrix is a strip of specifically shaped material that will make crease effective however it has some limitations. Because matrix is applied by the die cutter, Fine Formes does not supply or apply it. Instead we make counters which, at least from the die cutters perspective, are the easier method. The advantage of counters is that crease can bend. Matrix cannot accommodate crease that is not straight however the complexity of counters allows for any shape or distance between creases. This means the more complicated boxes need counters. Fine Formes can make counters and we would be pleased to answer any questions about this exciting new product.

Because crease is so important to the box, we at Fine Formes will always make sure the crease is on the line, every time. This guarantee means that the crease will always be square so that die itself has an accuracy of 0.1 of a millimetre according to the dieline supplied.

One final note on crease is that rubber is not required. This is because the crease does not need to be ejected and that the rubber would get in the way of the counter or matrix. Because of this, Fine Formes will always make sure there is no rubber close enough to the crease to be a problem when die cutting.

With this information on the ways crease is chosen and the supporting tools available you should be able to make better diecutting decisions. If you have any questions about what was discussed, or any other die or die making related questions, feel free to contact us.


In die making, punches are round rods used to cut holes in the material. They are more suitable than bent rule because they are very consistent and can cut circles that would usually be far too small. There are a massive variety of hole punches available to printers and die makers, where you can choose any height and diameter. This is where Fine Formes can help you make these decisions. Below is a breakdown of the common types of punches and each of them can be made in any form of height and diameter.

Dome end
These punches, also known as a cup punch, are the cheapest option. They eject back into the material so the waste is left in the card which may not be suitable for all die cutting. Dome end also do not need ejection rubber; instead the first run will often leave some card in the dome end and serve as ejection. These punches are not suitable for hard or thick material.

Spring eject
Very similar to dome end, spring eject punches have a spring with a brass cap inside the punch to serve as powerful ejection. This also leaves the problem of the waste being left in the material, which may or may not be suitable depending on your purpose.

Side eject
To stop the waste being left in the material, side eject can be used. This punch pushes the waste down and out into a well in the die that is created by Fine Formes to suit. The well can then be emptied by the die cutter when needed. This method guarantees ejection and a clear hole.

Back clearing
The idea of back clearing punches is that the waste is pushed out the back of the die and out of the way. This is ensured because the hole at the base of the punch is slightly larger than the hole at the top. These punches are often used on hard materials such as leather and plastic, and so are often seen on clicker press dies.

Inside bevel back clearing
With an inside bevel, these punches serve the same purpose as the traditional back clearing punches with the added bonus of being able to cut through multiple layers. The layers of waste are compressed and ensures that there is not splitting on the material.

Crew punches, also called slot punches, are used in the handbag industry on leather products to create slots. These punches are elongated and therefore not perfectly circular.

Fine Formes would be happy to assist in making decisions around punches depending on your individual requirements. Feel free to contact us below with any enquiries or quotes.

Cutting Rule

In die making, cutting rule is the name of the metal knife used in the die to cut material. Because of its obvious importance in the die cutting procedure, choosing the right rule is imperative for success. In this article we will discuss the aspects of cutting rule and how their differences can help you get the perfect die for your situation.

To describe rule, we have six aspects that you can choose from, all of which can be combined in any manner;


Rule height must be correct for a die to cut properly. This aspect is always made sure to be correct by all die makers and is confirmed with each die ordered. Generally the two most common heights of rule are 23.3 mm and 23.8 mm, colloquially named ‘low rule’ and ‘high rule’ respectively. Fine Formes will help make sure the correct height is being used for your machine.


The bevel of rule refers to the shape of the cutting edge. This varies depending on the requirement of the material being cut. The standard is centre bevel for cutting single layer paper materials. If the material has multiple layers or needs to have particularly clean cuts, side bevel may be used as it will cut straight on one side and push into the waste on the other side. Additionally, both side and centre bevel can be ‘double long’ or long centre bevel/long side bevel. Double long bevel is suitable for thick material to make sure the material ejects correctly after cutting.


Fine Formes employs two types of angles in cutting rule. The first is 52 degree and is the standard due to its longevity. 52 degree cutting rule will outlast thinner angles but is still able to cut effectively. For situations where dust is a problem with the material being cut, 42 degree rule may be recommended as it is known to be dust reducing. This is because it reduces the amount of pressure required to cut the material, therefore lessening the effect of explosive penetration that all cutting rules use.


When cutting paper or similar materials, shaved edge rule is best. It is most common among cutting rules in terms of sharpness due to its very consistent height. The consistency has been achieved by the way it is made; where the rule is ‘shaved’ all along the top. With materials that need the cleanest possible cut at the expense of longevity of the die, ground edge is key. Ground edge has been ground between two stones so that all of the steel fibres are pointed up, making the edge extremely sharp. So sharp, in fact, that the rule is considered the most dangerous tool in die making and extreme caution is recommended when dealing with it. This rule is not used on normal die cutting because it is slightly less consistent in height and is more susceptible to becoming blunt quickly.


The final aspect of cutting rule that you as the customer can help choose is the thickness. Thickness in printing is measured in points, where a point is equal to 0.35278 mm or rounded to 0.35 mm. Generally 2 point rule is used in standard dies however in corrugated packaging 3 point is used. There are also available higher points in thickness however this is specialist rule and will only be recommended by us in very rare occasions, usually for press knives rather than dies.


Hardness of rule has been chosen by us at Fine Formes with extensive research into suppliers.

Hung Shuh is a world class supplier of forme making cutting and creasing rule.

The hardness is one of these qualities that enable us to create even the most complicated dies. Hung Shuh manufactures a cutting rule with a soft body and hardened edge, making the cutting rule last a lot longer but also allowing us to bend the rule into shape without causing cracks or splitting the steel.

Japan has been home to the world’s best steel for centuries and Hung Shuh has continued this tradition with its cutting rule. For more information on our cutting rule supplier visit their website or contact us. With this information on the way cutting rule is defined hopefully you will be able to make better packaging and die cutting decisions. For any clarification, enquiries or quotes, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.


In this article you will learn about the purpose of rubber, the different types available for use along with their specific advantages, and the methods in applying rubber to a die in the most effective format possible.

Rubber is the material that makes automated die cutting possible. The energy held in the rubber from compression acts as an opposing force to the diecutting press, causing ejection when the diecutting is complete. Rubber has three purposes of equal importance:

To hold the material being cut parallel to the cutting plate and rule edge.
To minimise distortion of the material when being cut.
To eject the material back to its original position after being cut.

There are multiple types of rubber that Fine Formes uses depending on the circumstances of the die. Typically a die is titled ‘low rule’ or ‘high rule’ where the cutting rule is 23.3 mm high or 23.8 mm high respectably. Confusingly, the 23.3 mm rule is traditionally called the ‘type high’ rule due to its history in the printing industry. We use a different accompanying height of rubber for a low or high rule die. This is calculated so that the rubber is always 1.2 mm higher than the rule when uncompressed.

Having the correct height of rubber is important for all three purposes. If the rubber is too low then ejection is impaired and if it is too high then the material has more room to move and distort whilst being cut.

The teeth on our rubber is cut for a very important reason. If rubber is glued so that it is pressed up against the rule, when it is compressed, it will have nowhere to go but out, potentially blowing the knife out and ruining the die.

To make sure the material being cut is firmly held in place, we use a hard C-Channel rubber that pinches the material when compressed. When arranged correctly, the C-Channel rubber pulls the material tight so that it cannot move during diecutting.

In very tight areas with a lot of cutting rule, slot rubber may be required. This is made from the same rubber as C-Channel and is very hard, causing the material to eject very well. Sharp corners of boxes will usually need slot rubber otherwise the rule may ‘grab’ the material and stop ejection.

The rubber Fine Formes uses has been selected for its quality and has been in use for years without problems. With this information on the rubber we offer hopefully you will be able to make better packaging decisions related to ejection and ejection materials.

Perforation Rule

Perf holds an important place in the die making world. It has multiple uses and specific types of perf are best for different applications. In this article you will learn the types of perf we use as die makers and for what job they are most appropriate.

To perforate is to make a hole or holes in something. Perf as a rule was originally used to give an alternative to crease when folding. Since then its usefulness has become more apparent, and now perf is used for:

Reverse Folding
Fold and Tear

Fine Formes has specific types of perf that caters to each of these uses depending on the material being cut.

Folding is a very important part of die cutting. Perf essentially makes a cut and then a space along a line, causing weak points in the material. With these weak points lined up, an accurate fold line results. Generally, the perf used in folding is balanced – where the cut segments and gap segments are equal.

Reverse folding uses the same types of perf but serves the unique purpose of being able to fold backwards. Normal crease can only fold one way but perf is bi-directional. Both folding and reverse folding perf has larger cut and gap width when the material is thick. We can help with deciding on what perf is best for you depending on your individual circumstances.

There are many reasons why the product you are die cutting may need to tear, and perf is one of the only rules that make this possible. Similar to folding perf, but instead the cut is longer than the gap, making it unbalanced. This allows the material to be held until it is torn off as well as coming off cleanly. Depending on the material and thickness different ratios and widths of perf is best and Fine Formes can help with this decision.

To accomplish both folding and tearing, perf needs to have the perfect ratio and width of cut to gaps. Based on the material and thickness we can ensure that the product can fold to the degree you want without falling off but also tear cleanly when needed.

In the special circumstance of the material being very thin, we have an alternate type of perf that ensures tearing is clean without harsh marks. Thin material can be very difficult to tear without completely cutting it off in the first place, but microperf will make sure it is held in place until it needs to be torn off.

Hopefully this information on perf and its uses will help you make die cutting and printer related decisions. In consultation with customers or with us at Fine Formes, knowledge about perf can be incredibly useful.

Each month Fine Formes will be sending you another article dedicated to helping you find solutions in your business. Feel free to contact us for more information on perf, what topics you would like explained or other diemaking options.