Rotary vs. Flat Bed Die Cutting – What is the right choice?  

Every day, more and more companies are looking to die-cut their custom shapes for a variety of reasons. It shall be a long process trying to decide which type of die-cutting machine is best for your business. 

In this blog, we’ll go over the characteristics and differences between rotary and flatbed die-cutting machines so that you’ll be able to make a better decision on what type can work best for your company.

Rotary Die Cutting Machine

A rotary die cutting machine makes use of a circular blade that moves around the design to be cut. These machines are made for high-volume jobs and can handle more than one sheet of paper at once, depending on your model. Rotary dies are mounted in an aluminum block, making them sturdy enough for large production runs but light enough for one person to move.

Rotary die-cutting machines are best used when there are continuous jobs that require many copies of the same design in a short amount of time. They can cut up to five sheets at once, depending on thickness, and they work quickly so that your business does not need to wait long between projects. It is also a more cost-effective method of die-cutting compared to flatbed dies.

Flat Bed Die Cutting Machine

This type of die-cutting machine utilizes a blade to cut through paper. It is flat and works on one sheet at a time, so it’s perfect for smaller jobs that come up frequently or short runs of custom shapes. The sheets are lined up on a flatbed, pulled through the machine by rollers and then cut with one quick motion. 

This type of die-cutting is best for companies that have many small jobs to fill but do not require high quantities because it can take time between each job due to its work-intensive nature.

One major benefit of using a flat die cutting machine is that it can cut through thick materials. Some examples are chipboard, leather and even foam board for signs or craft projects. Rotary machines cannot handle these types of items because the blade would snap under pressure when trying to pierce them.

Flatbed dies are great if you need custom shapes in small quantities frequently throughout the year. They are best for one-off jobs because they will take a long time to finish large production runs, but if you need them in small quantities frequently throughout the year, it is better than having no die at all.


The price of both rotary and flat bed die cutting machines depends on the size, brand, material that it is made with and if accessories are included. Rotary dies can be more expensive because they have a circular blade instead of one straight spindle in the middle to hold the material in place.

Both types are sturdy machines that can last for years without breaking down, so you will be able to use them long-term if they fit your business needs. It all comes down to finding the right die-cutting machine for your company’s needs and budget.


A flatbed machine requires less maintenance than other types because its parts are not constantly moving as the rotary dies do. To achieve the best quality, it is recommended that you replace your blade every few months to keep the cuts clean. 

Rotary dies require more maintenance because they constantly move and if any part of them breaks or stops working, then there will be a noticeable difference in cut quality until you can get them fixed.

Efficiency and time

As stated before, rotary dies are the best choice for high-volume jobs. They can handle more sheets of material at once and cut through them quickly. Flatbed dies take longer because they work on one sheet at a time, so it is essential to make sure you have enough time for each job, or else there might be errors due to slow processing.

The choice between rotary and flatbed cutting machines comes down to what your company needs. If you have high-volume jobs that require many copies of the same design, then a rotary machine is best for you because it can handle more than one sheet at once and cut through them quickly.

On the other hand, if you need custom shapes but do not require them in high quantities and often throughout the year, a flatbed machine is best for your business because it will give you more time to work on each job without slowing down or damaging materials like chipboard or leather.

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