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Old 04-06-2018, 10:05 PM   #1
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Question Punches versus dies...

Has anyone gotten rid of their punches and regretted it? I've seen where people have cut photos with the dies also. Although, if I were punching lots of pics or papers the same shape, the punches would be faster. I keep wanting to downsize, but then I don't want to regret it. I have given away some of the ones I wouldn't use as often, but have kept some circle and square dies. What is your experience with them?
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:08 AM   #2
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I have kept majority of mine. Although I've spent ten fold on dies, when possible - I will always pick a punch over a die. I make many multiples of cards and the punch is just so much quicker! I've passed along some I couldn't imagine using again, but I'd say i have over 90% of my collection still.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:35 AM   #3
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Disclaimer: I LOVE dies.

I have downsized my punches (along with a lot of other items-about 20 boxes all told). I love dies, but do see your point about a punch being quicker. I did keep about 7 punches and to be honest, I have only used 2 within the last year or so. I have a heart punch by Martha Stewart that punches about 6 small hearts at once, and those are great for accents, and I have a tab punch from Stampin up that I use to mark cords in the house. Usually the size paper I would need multiples of are too big to be a punch.

Though to be honest, I wasn't a big user of any punches, even before dies became so popular, they just weren't my thing I guess.

A way to look at it is to ask yourself if there is something else you really want that you would be willing to sell your punches for? Do they take up room in your craft area where you would rather keep something else that you would use a lot more often?

As a final test, I do have a box of craft stuff that I am not sure about, so I leave it in a spare closet. You could do that and see how often you go to grab one.
Hope this gives you some ideas!
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:38 PM   #4
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That is a great idea! I want to make my spare room more organized, but I struggle with getting rid of things. One of the things I ask myself is how hard would it be to replace if I changed my mind. This is harder with punches and stuff, as they aren't cheap. But space is important too. So it is a struggle. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:36 AM   #5
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While space is an issue for a lot of folks, storing punches can obviously pose a challenge. I've been stamping/buying/hoarding punches long before the birth of dies, LOL! I have an enormous collection of punches and while I haven't bought any for a few years, I also don't plan to part with any of them any time soon. My collection of dies has picked up speed over the past few years and while storage for those is much easier, neater and by far easier to contain, I don't plan to part with any of them either. I find that I use both for different things and different reasons. As a couple of people have already pointed out, sometimes a punch is much quicker and I agree. To the OP, I too have thought about how difficult it would be to replace a punch if I changed my mind. My response to that for myself was to first, find out if the specific punch you are considering letting go of, is still being made and available to purchase. I made a punch inventory (similiar to folks making ink swatches) and then did the laborious task of searching online to see if they were still readily available. While some are, there are many that are not. Perhaps this will assist you in deciding. The majority of my punches are shapes and sizes that do not match my stamps, thats where my dies fill in the gaps. (Word dies, some borders and shapes are only available as dies). I do however have some dies and punches that are close to each other but not the same if that makes sense. (Scallops as an example). All of my punches are in my stamp room, some stored in Crop n Style, Punch Pal hanging organizers, I also have a medium sized bookcase in the closet that houses the large and mega shaped ones, while the ones I find I use the least stored in a picnic basket sized sterilite box with handles in the bottom of the closet. Larger border/edge style punches (fiskars, etc.) I store on a board that I mounted inside the closet, I drilled a small hole in each edge punch and hang them on thin nails, it works perfectly. I hope this helps you, if even a little bit. I seem to have rambled on a bit, so will end with saying good luck and I hope you find a solution that works best for you! Cheers!
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:03 AM   #6
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I had close to four large drawers of punches I wasn't using on a regular basis. I went through them and took out all of the ones I hadn't used in at least a year and put them in a box in the corner of my craft room for about two months. After that, I went back to decide if I still needed them or not. Honestly, I do love punches, but found I didn't use them as much as I thought. I kept a couple tag shapes, a heart and a cat one that I love and the rest I sold on Ebay and what didn't see there, donated to my local church thrift shop. Again, I love punches, but I love the extra space I now have more!
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:16 PM   #7
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I have one box of punches. Mostly basic shapes in several sizes for layering.
I agree for bulk cutting-punches beat dies hands down.
On the other hand, I can place a die in places I cant reach with a punch.

So both have uses to me.

Try using your punches and see if you still enjoy it. Maybe look up some YTs with punch projects. If you do more than cards, you probably will get even more uses.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:25 AM   #8
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I hardly ever use my punches anymore and am going to have a ruthless clearout soon as they're just taking up space. I find that I reach for my dies most now.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:52 AM   #9
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Totally agree, punches are so much quicker to use. And, you can throw one in a tote bag for use away from home; harder with a die because you need the machine too. One thing I found easy to do was purge/donate any punch that did not have the "whale tail" type of punching lever. You know, the kind where you had to stand on it to punch because you had to press so hard it would leave an indent in your palm. Get rid of those. The second thing was, I got rid of those huge "mega" punches. They did not get used enough (sometimes not at all) to justify all the shelf space they took up. Now I only have 2 small (skinny) shelves of punches; they fit perfectly. Anything new, I do buy dies for ease of storage.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:27 AM   #10
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Yes. I used to have some of the punchkins. Now to this day I know I would hardly ever use them but still wish I had them. LOL! Not enough to go hunt any down and buy them again, I just wish I had kept what I already had. Plus, my local Salvation Army seems to accept all craft supplies so it would've been fun to make some of them once in awhile and just donate them. Hmmmm...... I pretty much never use my cricut paper doll dress up for the dolls. (it's the accessories that are really useful) Maybe some time I'll play around with it and do that! I save the clear bags that stamps and dies come in - I can make up little packs to donate.

Anyway, yeah, I still use punches and they are quick and easy. I always tried to get punches I could see using more. Like I wouldn't get a teddy bear, frog, or that sort of thing. I wouldn't get a hand but I do have a foot punch because I can use it on a beach LO like footprints in the sand. Or a sandcastle punch because I can use it on a beach page but also Disney page. The non-basic shape punches I have can either be used in other ways (like the sandcastle) or are 'seasonal'. Winter comes every year so I can use mittens and snowflakes more often. Or on seasonal cards.

Basic shapes - well even if I do have a punch and die that are the same size the punch is faster and easier. I'm not going to go pull out a die for a one inch circle when I have a punch right there.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:23 PM   #11
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You can have my punches when you pry them from my cold, dead hands...I LOVE my punches and use them ALL the time. They are faster and easier than dies, which I also own but prefer my punches.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:35 PM   #12
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I admit it - I’m a punch junkie - I have an embarrassing number of punches. I love dies too, and have a lot of them as well. I like them both. I was thinking it was wasteful for me to have so many punches - but upon reading your post, I looked at my cards for the past two years, and found I used punches (and a great variety of them) in pretty well all of them. Shapes! Flowers! Snowflakes! Oooo - butterflies! Some I haven’t used yet - but I will. No - I can’t throw out my cat, my birds or my fox. I do want to get rid of my huge Marvy uchida 3 1/2” scallop circle - it’s hard to do, but I don’t think I’ll regret that. Nor getting rid of those really hard to punch punches, as mentioned by a previous poster. Do the kon Marie thing - hold it in your hand and reflect on it - if you don’t love it, get rid of it. By the way, I do NOT have a lot of space - my craft room is the bottom half of my closet and under my bed. For me though, it’s worth it to have a box of punches under my bed, and two drawers of them in my Michael’s storage tower. Everyone has their weakness.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:44 AM   #13
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When we moved back to the States I left all my punches overseas - I haven't had any regrets.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:51 PM   #14
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I had a nice collection of SU punches. They are great quality and spendy.
I found my cardmaking style has evolved into single layer stamping and the punches were sitting.
Last summer I taught a summer school paper crafting class. The girls had so much fun with the punches, I gave them away. I’m a very decisive person, but wondered how I would feel about it down the road. Would it be the giving away the financial investment or really nice punches no longer available? (I kept a few basics). Turns out, I’m happy to pass the punches down to a budding group of young crafters.
I’ll be borrowing them for summer school class. I’ve noticed SU does not offer the same variety anymore.......diff styles hearts, butterflies, labels, and so on. Wonder why?
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris01 View Post
Iíve noticed SU does not offer the same variety anymore.......diff styles hearts, butterflies, labels, and so on. Wonder why?

I would assume it is because dies are easier to store, and often more economical, than punches, especially with the nested sets. So they probably weren't selling as well anymore.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:00 AM   #16
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I have a large collection of both dies and punches and use both when I actually have time to stamp. I do treat type items for party favors and for the craft fair I do at Christmas. I use lots of punches for those items. I can easily put the different punches and paper scraps paper needed for a project in a tote and punch while traveling or while watching TV with my hubby. I have several totes with divided trays to sort the various pieces for assembly later.
I have been searching for a SU! retired slit punch for several years. I used mine all the time, but it finally broke about 2 years after it was no longer available. I am still looking for it, so if any of you have one that you no longer use, please let me know. It is a small whale tale style and it makes a slit that looks like a smile. It is perfect for making those little half circle slots for gift cards, but that isn't what I used it for.
I can't imagine not having both punches and dies in my craft room, although I admit that punch storage requires a lot of space. I have my most used whale tale ones on rails from Ikea and my newer SU! ones in drawers (Sterelite stacks). They are heavy and I am not, so I'm always looking for new ways to store them that doesn't require lifting out an entire drawer. I like the peg board idea and will consider that if I find a place to put it!
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:49 AM   #17
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I never had many punches to start with, but when dies were available, got rid of those I could replace with a die. I really use mostly basic shapes that are not easily cut---circles, ovals and decorative edges. I mostly have punches that are utility in nature (holes, corners, slots), embellishment size (butterflies, snowflakes, hearts) and decorative (edges, borders). Many of mine are really old and hard to use, but I can't find replacement dies, so I use the Strong Arm. If and when I find dies that will take the place of the punches I use, I will gladly give those punches away. I love to fussy cut so I don't need dies/punches to cut around a stamped image, and I'm a stamper, so don't make cards made of all punched or die cut images. I'm even giving away many of my dies as I just don't use them, other than the circles, ovals etc. I have discovered that it's just not my thing. A good paper cutter and scissors are my favorite tools. I have one 10"x 12" drawer of punches and a 7"x10" basket for my dies. This thread has reminded me that I need to weed these tools out and give them to someone who will use them.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:52 AM   #18
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I agree with most of you - punches take up a lot of room, but most of what I have, I wouldn't want to get rid of. And I do have even more dies! I love the detail of the wafer-thin dies, but I have quite a few of the steel-rule also. I love that I can cut through a huge variety of materials.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:28 AM   #19
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I do mostly classes. Rarely a one-of-a-kind card. So, if I have a punch that works, I'll reach for that first. But I have many, MANY dies and I use them too. However, I'll never live to be old enough to use all the stuff I have.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:33 AM   #20
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Punches are faster for cutting multiples but I love dies. My punch rack is behind my room's entrance door so I don't feel they take up space that I need to use for other storage. So I enjoy both punches and dies with no remorse.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:48 AM   #21
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I find I rarely use my punches anymore, even all of the beautiful border ones I just HAD to have! My card making style has evolved to clean-and-simple and most of my simple layering or embellishing is done using dies. I like the fact that dies can be placed anywhere on a piece of paper or cardstock, but punches are so limited in their placement options.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:21 AM   #22
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I love my punches. I am starting to collect more and more dies now too. I have an old silhouette machine which I hardly ever use. I like the convenience of the punches and the variety of dies. My Martha edge punches are a favorite still. For making paper flowers punches rule. I like making fabric flowers from old upholstery samples but don't find success cutting with punches or thin dies only with Sizzix old bulky blade type dies (wish there were more styles). Here is how I store my punches now. Box trays from Costco and wire grid shelving:
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:03 AM   #23
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I have many punches and dies. I will never part with any of my punches. I have a wonderful collection of Martha Stewart punches. I collected them through the years
one 40% coupon at a time. I know many of the ones I have go really high on Ebay.
I will never sell them. I hang on to them because I could never afford to replace them. I recently broke a leaf border punch. I went on Ebay to replace it and haven't found a reasonable one yet.
I have a friend that sells her things as soon as the price is right on Ebay. Then she wants to borrow things she used to have. Since I broke my punch Ive decided to never to lend them.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:00 PM   #24
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No one to this point has mentioned that the squeeze type punches are so much easier on arthritic hands than endlessly cranking a manual die cutting machine. I do so wish that Fiskars and other manufacturers would make more of them, varying the designs of course!
As for the button punches, stomping on them relieves a little tension at times but they are useless in your hands.
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:09 PM   #25
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Iíve had so many punches and a little while ago I went through them and donated them to some stamper friends who are also ministry stampers. I have many, many dies. I have a Vagabond 2 that sits on top of my cutting table/cabinet always plugged in and the platform is tucked away in a drawer underneath. Always ready to die cut! I did keep a few and am realizing after reading many of the responses that I havenít touched any of them since I downsized! Hmmmm!
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:11 PM   #26
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I prefer punches most of the time. I would never part with them!
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:32 PM   #27
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What??? Get rid of something? Not in my realm. The only punches I have gotten rid of were the ones that broke. I have worn out a few. Downside of punches: storage space, doesn't work on any thickness of paper, and they break. Upside: I find them handier to use especially for quick cards. Advantages of the dies: once you spend the money, I have yet to break one or one not cut through thicker cs. Downside: those smaller ones are easy to lose.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:32 PM   #28
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I have been card making for about 12 years and when I started I purchased tons of punches in every size and shape imaginable. THEN I was made aware of DIES about 8 years ago and got rid of most of my punches. Kept a few like obvious shape ones (circles, round, fancy edged ones) and a few Martha Stewart but I'm ready to get rid of those too only because I forget I have them and don't use them. Goodbye punches. You served me well.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:16 PM   #29
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I did get rid of a few of them, but considering holding onto the ones I have left. They would just be too hard to replace, and I don't want to spend any more money than I have to. I usually try to hold onto everything, but I need to get that room in order. I store several types of things in there, and it is busting at the seams. I have all my fabric and household tools, scrapbooks, etc. etc.... Maybe at some point in the future, I'll know if I'm done with them. For instance, holding onto the square punch, because I want to do some scrapbook layouts with lots of small pics. Would be faster with a punch. I guess I'll see when I get to that point. I've really enjoy reading everyone's thoughts and ideas on it though! Helps me consider it from all angles.
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