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Most (Not All) die makers struggle to stay profitable. Die making is an art and a die maker can save you thousands of dollars in excessive labor, but to do so requires a lot of their time to understand what it is you're trying to do.
It's a lot easier to be profitable if you ask for a drawing and give the customer a die without spending hours on the phone explaining all the options that are available and looking at numerous considerations. In the end, the customer usually goes with the cheapest quote so the guy that spends all the time trying to educate and help the customer generally gets screwed. They invest all the time to teach you but when you are finished picking their brain, most take the information and give the business to someone else because of price.
This is why many Die Makers have quit trying to educate the customer. Time on the phone and time at the front desk isn't free. So if you discover that great customer service isn't resulting in any loyalty, over time something has to give. As consumers we want good service and informative help, but once we get what we want, we go online and give our business to someone that hasn't invested any time with us at all.
Die makers have learned this the hard way and consequently have been forced to simply give the customer what they ask for and forego the education even though they know they can save you thousands.
So - If you're lucky enough to find a die maker that will spend some time with you. reciprocate the service and give him some business, or in the least, be willing to pay them for consulting. I'll say it again - What a die maker knows can save you thousands. Remember it.
Ask your die maker about bevel considerations, ejection options, cavity issues, backing options and make sure you understand the pros and cons of each before buying a die.
Dies made throughout Asia tend to be less than half the cost of USA made dies, but there are many factors that need to be considered. First of all, Chinese steel rule is made of a low quality steel that is not near as good as Japanese Steel rule. If you're running a short job then it doesn't matter, but if you're going to be cutting the same job time and time again, you may want to consider the steel rule that will last longer.
Another consideration is that dies can easily be broken by dropping them or forgetting a tool on top of the die, or messing up the press settings and pushing the die all the way into the cutting board. Let's just say there are many ways to mess up a die and when this happens, it will, more often than not, be in the middle of a big job and a tight deadline.
If you're buying your dies from Asia, you're pretty much screwed unless you have a spare sitting around, This is one reason you should consider working with a local die maker. Most of the time your die can be fixed in less than an hour, but if it comes from overseas, you're looking at weeks before you're cutting again.
View Die Makers by state. See the list below.
|Missouri||Montana||Nebraska||Nevada||New Hampshire||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York|
|North Carolina||North Dakota||Ohio||Oklahoma||Oregon||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
|South Dakota||Tennessee||Texas||Utah||Vermont||Virginia||Washington||West Virginia|