Do I need a circle cutter if I am buying a button maker? July 10 2012
People ask me all the time if the circle cutter is necessary when buying a button maker. Do I need a graphic punch to make buttons? What is the graphic punch for?
No you do not need a graphic punch or circle cutter to make buttons. You can cut circles with scissors. A button made with a circle cutter or graphic punch looks identical to a button cut with scissors when finished. The difference is the time it takes to make the button or more relevant the number of buttons you wish to make at a time. If you’re making a few buttons at a time, up to say 20, you can do that with scissors. Once you start thinking you need 100 buttons in an hour that will be difficult with scissors - and not much fun. If you need 1000 buttons in a day: impossible but certainly doable with a graphic punch.
If you are doing “make your own button” events, tables or workshops with kids then you also do not have to get a circle cutter. Better to buy pre-cut circles to match your button maker. I know People Power Press sell the pre-cut circles here: http://peoplepowerpress.org/products/copy-of-mylar-bulk-mylar-for-button-making
There are different kinds of circle cutters. I recommend the graphic punch from Tecre for speed and excellent centering. (See picture above) Good centering is key, when buttonmaking! http://peoplepowerpress.org/search?q=graphic+punch If you are doing low volume circle cutting or if you buy pre-cut circles and just want a circle cutter for occasional and not volume use then this is a reasonable cutter for $20 - (You do get what you pay for) http://peoplepowerpress.org/products/hobby-cutter-adjustable-for-circle-cutting
Inexpensive hobby cutter
If you are considering getting more than 1 button machine and looking to save money. Say you have your eye on a 1” button maker now but further down the road maybe a 2-1/4” then an adjustable cutter makes sense. Not if speed is your driving force, graphic punches are faster, but a well priced machine that cuts multiple size circles is the adjustable rotary punch: http://peoplepowerpress.org/products/adjustable-cutter-for-circle-cutting-for-multiple-button-makers A big plus for the rotary punch is that it cuts fabric!!! A lot of people make fabric buttons - without mylar so you get the fabric texture and graphic punches do not cut fabric.
Adjustable Rotary Circle cutter
Any feedback on your experience with circle cutting and/or this article welcome!