Steel rule dies are the most common type of cutting tool used in the die cutting process. They are often referred to as a ‘cookie cutter die’ or ‘clicker die’. A steel rule die contains sharp blades in a particular pattern for the design and cuts through the required workable material.
Steel rule dies are usually constructed from steel and are used to cut various materials including carboard, rubber, paper, plastic, foams, aluminum, fabric, leather, and Kevlar. Because of their intricate and accurate cutting process, they are proven to be beneficial for packaging industries, automotive, electronic, printing, medical, and many more. Steel rule dies have many applications. A company may use it for prototyping or in the production of cardboard boxes or packages. In addition to cutting shapes, they are able to cut slits, creases, and perforations.
There are a few elements that are essential for a steel rule die. Of course, the steel blades that cut the applications design, and also the die board and ejection rubber. The die board is often times made from a high-density plywood and have rubber pads attached to eject the material after it is cut. Without this, the material may get stuck between the steel blades during the process. These steel blades (or rules), are thin strips of steel with a sharpened edge.