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What is a craft cutting tools?

It is a set of craft cutting tools with various uses in the modeling world. They help to manipulate and assemble various parts in a precise way, facilitating the extraction and separation of parts from the matrix, the creation of details in miniatures or diagrams, the removal of burrs and other debris, or the creation of parts needed for the figure. 

Knowing how to use modeling cutting tools correctly is essential to get a good finish on any project you embark on. At Green Stuff World we have all the craft cutting tools you need to create miniatures and dioramas, from self-healing craft mats to balsa stripper.

It is important to remember that most of these tools for models and other hobbies contain blades or sharp points, so it is necessary to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles when using them. When handling and transporting this type of tool, hold them in safe areas. 

What are miniature cutting tools for?

The main function of them, as their name suggests, is to make incisions in the different materials used to make figures, as well as to improve their finish.

Specifically, the most common uses are to carve or shape the base or any other part of the miniature, to adjust the measurements of a piece of a model, and to cut materials such as plastic, cardboard, PVC, resins, etc... that are part of a scenery. Although the most common use is to separate the different pieces of a model from its support.

In this case, we work with pliers and, to remove the imperfections of the piece after the separation process, with a craft cutter. 

Craft cutting tools

What is the most common craft cutting tool?

Many craft cutting tools are used at different times of the project, but the most common are, as mentioned in the previous section, pliers and a modeling cutter. 

At Green Stuff World we have 7 pliers that perform different functions, determined by the shape of the pliers: 

  • Bent long nose plier. The tip of this tool is curved upwards to facilitate the grip of small pieces to be able to work with them comfortably. In costume jewelry, they are very common for threading and stringing beads on jewelry. 
  • Flat nose plier. Like the curved ones, they help to hold the smallest pieces without the need to exert too much force. When working with wires or other materials that can be shaped, they can be bent and handled without much effort.
  • Long Nose Plier. Its tongs are more elongated and are used in various sectors in addition to model making, such as DIY, automotive, or jewelry. This structure allows gripping small objects such as wires, screws, and pieces; bending weak metals to shape them; and soldering electronic components, among others. 
  • Flush Cut Pliers. It differs from the rest because it has stronger and more resistant tongs thanks to its manufacture in materials with the same characteristics. They are used to cut wires and cables made of semi-hard and hard materials. 
  • Modeling pliers. A basic hobby tool to cut both plastic and metal pieces. 
  • Precision pliers. They are ideal for separating the parts of a figure from its support. The fine and flat shape of its tweezers allows one to choose with precision the place of the incision, which will be made without damaging the piece.

In the case of the hobby knife, it is formed by a handle similar to that of pens or pencils, finished in a diagonal blade that allows to cut the burrs of the pieces as well as the templates. It is made of metal to avoid breakage and its blades are replaceable so that only this part, and not the whole product, needs to be discarded. 

On the other hand, the Green Stuff World catalog also includes a classic cutter for making incisions that require a stronger blade.

What is the best tool to cut wood for crafts?

One of the most commonly used woods in crafts is balsa wood or other types of thin planks, and there are several modeling cutting tools that can be used to cut them to size for any project that an artist has in hand. Among the most useful are:

  • Balsa Stripper.  It has been specially designed to cut the thin strips of wood used in the manufacture of models and prototypes. However, it can also cut strips of other soft materials such as plastic, cork, or foamed PVC, among others.
  • Mitre Cutter Tool. Also known as table guillotine, it slashes small profiles and strips of soft materials at angles from 0 to 60º.
  • Hobby Razor Saw. It has a single super-thin cutting edge that allows precise cross cut of many materials: plastic, soft metals, fiberglass, resins, or balsa wood. It has been created as a support material for creating scenery and conversions and for slashing thick parts of miniatures that cannot be divided with the craft knife. 

How to clean cutting tool?

There are several methods, tools, and products to keep them clean. The most suitable for each situation depends on the tool that needs to be cleaned, the degree of soiling and the type of stain to be removed. In general, you can follow these steps:

  1. Disassemble the tool. If possible, disassemble the tool to facilitate cleaning and reach all its nooks and crannies. 
  2. Remove the residues. Remove as much residue as possible using a soft bristle brush.
  3. Cleaning with alcohol. Soak a cloth or cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol to clean the blades or any other dirty metal parts. Alcohol is effective in dissolving stains from glue and other materials. 
  4. Soap and water. If you have not been able to remove stubborn residues, soak the tool in warm water along with a little detergent for a few minutes and gently scrub with a brush.
  5. Drying. Dry the tool completely to prevent rusting. To do this, use a clean, dry cloth.
  6. Lubrication. To keep them in good condition, apply a small amount of oil to the moving parts.
  7. Proper storage. It is preferable to store them in a toolbox or similar to protect them from humidity and dust. 

 What is the best cutting tool?

One of the most versatile cutting tools used by modelers is the miter or multi-angle modeling guillotine. Its main function is to slash soft materials at angles from 0º to 60º, making it very useful for a wide range of projects. It achieves very precise cuts thanks to components such as the transparent cutting disc whose notches serve as a guide, its durable reinforced blade made of Titanium Nitride, and the measurement diagrams to help cut pieces of the same length.

On the other hand, its system allows you to adjust and lock the desired angle to make it easy to use for both beginners and artists with a great background in modeling. In addition, the base of its 200 mm diameter gives the necessary stability during the cut to make it safe.

It is capable of cutting all types of soft materials with thicknesses ranging from 0.4 mm to 4 mm, such as ABS, uPVC, styrene, wood, and others. It is therefore ideal for crafts, model making, and small DIY projects where precision to slash strips and small profiles is essential. 

It must be taken into account that it is an instrument with a sharp blade, so the necessary precautionary measures must be taken when using it, such as making sure to immobilize it well before making an incision or wearing protective goggles to avoid damaging the eyes in the event of material debris flying off.

Craft Cutting Tools

Are a vital part of any modeler's toolkit. They provide the precision and control needed to manipulate and assemble various parts in a miniature world. These tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks such as:

  • Extracting and separating parts from the matrix: This involves carefully removing miniature pieces from the mold they were cast in, often without damaging the delicate details.
  • Creating details in miniatures or dioramas: Sharp tools allow for precise sculpting and shaping of miniature figures and scenery elements.
  • Removing burrs and other debris: After parts are separated from the mold, they may have small imperfections that need to be cleaned up with a fine tool.
  • Creating parts needed for the figure: Some tools can be used to cut and shape custom pieces from scratch, expanding the possibilities for customization.

Using them Safely

It's important to remember that many of themcontain sharp blades or points.  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear protective gear: Always wear gloves and safety goggles when using these tools to protect your hands and eyes from accidental cuts or debris.
  • Handle and store them safely: When not in use, store your tools in a designated toolbox or container to keep them out of reach of children and prevent damage.

Common Craft Cutting Tools

There are many different availables, but some of the most common include:

  • Pliers: These come in various shapes and sizes, each suited for specific tasks. Bent long-nose pliers are helpful for gripping small pieces, while flat-nose pliers offer a secure hold for delicate work. Flush cut pliers are designed for clean cuts on wires and cables.
  • Modeling Cutter (Hobby Knife): This versatile tool features a replaceable blade for cutting, trimming, and removing burrs from miniature pieces.
  • Balsa Stripper: This specialized product allows for precise cutting of thin strips of wood, plastic, cork, or foam, perfect for building model elements.
  • Mitre Cutter Tool (Table Guillotine): It offers angled cuts on soft materials like plastic, wood, and balsa wood, ideal for creating specific shapes for dioramas or miniatures.
  • Hobby Razor Saw: This fine-toothed saw allows for clean cross-cuts of various materials, including plastic, soft metals, and balsa wood.

Cleaning and Maintaining

Proper care of your tools ensures their longevity and optimal performance. Here's a general cleaning process:

  • Disassemble it (if possible): This allows for better access to nooks and crannies for thorough cleaning.
  • Remove residues: Use a soft bristle brush to remove any loose debris or dirt.
  • Cleaning with alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol is effective in dissolving glue stains and other residues. Soak a cloth or cotton swab in alcohol and wipe down the blades and other metal parts.
  • Soap and water (for stubborn stains): If necessary, soak the tool in warm soapy water for a few minutes, followed by gentle scrubbing with a brush.
  • Drying: Completely dry the tool with a clean cloth to prevent rusting.
  • Lubrication: Apply a small amount of oil to moving parts for smooth operation.
  • Proper storage: Store your tools in a toolbox or container to protect them from dust and moisture.

Choosing the Right Craft Cutting Tool

The "best" craft cutting tool depends on the specific task at hand. Here are some factors to consider:

  • The material you're working with: Different materials require different cutting techniques.
  • The desired outcome: Are you making a clean cut, removing burrs, or sculpting details?
  • The level of precision needed: Some tools offer more control for intricate work.

By understanding the different types of craft cutting tools and their uses, you can select the right ones for your modeling projects and ensure clean, precise results.

Not what you are looking for? Check out our hand drills.