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A disc cutter is an amazing tool to have in your jewelry studio. However, many jewelry artists struggle with choosing the right disc cutter – with so many products out there it can get really overwhelming!

That’s why we’ve created this guide. It’s your one stop shop for all the best disc cutters currently on the market. We’ve rounded up all our favorites and reviewed them so you can easily tell which one is the best choice for your workshop.

Read on to find out which disc cutters made our, ahem, cut, and to see what we recommend for your specific needs.

Comparison Chart

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Best Disc Cutters: Our 2020 Reviews

Best on a Budget

1.) Disc Cutter: Best on a Budget

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“one of the best affordable disc cutter options on the market“

If you’re on a tight budget, but you still want a disc cutter that satisfies your basic jewelry making requirements, look no further. This SFC Tools model is currently the best budget offering on the market. It covers all the basics and has surprisingly good build quality for something so inexpensive.

Pros:

The SFC Disc Cutter has all the basic features. It includes 10 punches of different sizes as follows: (mm): 3.2, 6.4, 9.5, 12.7, 15.9, 19, 22.2, 25.4, 28.6, 31.8 or (inches): 0.13, 0.25, 0.38, 0.5, 0.63, 0.75, 0.88, 1, 1.13, 1.25. It also has a round steel disc cutting block. That’s more than enough to cover most needs.

“We love that this disc cutter is very user-friendly.“

We love that this disc cutter is very user-friendly. Simply remove all the punches from the block, and select the size punch you need at the moment. Then, put the jewelry piece in the slot, make adjustments with the lever to fit your item properly, place the punch you’ve chosen in the right slot, and there you go!

Of course, all disc cutters ought to be this easy to use. The point is that most affordable sets aren’t. They’re a royal pain. The SFC is so refreshing because it functions like a much more expensive tool, at a fraction of the cost.

It’s effective. It can cut up to 20 gauge metal in practically any material, and it does so smoothly and easily.

Cons:

If you don’t have much experience using disc cutters, the fact that this one comes without any instructions might bother you.

While the SFC is a real standout in the budget category, it doesn’t quite compare to something like the Pepetools set below. The materials aren’t as good, the clearances aren’t as tight, and there aren’t as many options to choose from.

Best for Most People

2.) Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit: Best for Most People

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“whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to expand your jewelry-making skills, this disc cutter has something for everyone who touches it“

The Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit is at the top of our rankings right now because we believe it’s the best bet for most jewelry makers out there. Whether you’re just starting out and want infinite room to grow, or you’re an experienced craftsperson looking for something that can keep up with you, this disc cutter won’t let you down.

Pros:

To put it mildly, the Pepetools is a very sturdy disc cutter. Built like a tank would be more to the point! Crafted from hardened steel, the Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit is a tool you can count on for many years to come.

This disc cutter is also very precise and can be used without any issues on practically any material. Between the heaviness of the built and the tightness of the clearances, it’s an outstanding performer that beats anything else we’ve reviewed.

“can be used without any issues for different jewelry items, ranging from metals, copper and coins, to leather“

While so many premium tools cost an armload but come bare-bones, the extra accessories the Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit comes with make it feel as premium as the price tag. It arrives with lube to protect your punches (you can also make your money go further and use the lube for a variety of other applications in your jewelry workshop), center positioning dies, and a Durometer mat to protect your workbench while you’re working on your jewelry items.

It has a neatly organized base with laser-engraved labels which allow for easy punch identification.  In terms of punch sizes, you get: Imperial: (1/8″, 3/16, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16, 5/8″, 11/16, 3/4″, 13/16, 7/8″ & 1″) and metric: (3mm, 4.75mm, 6.35mm, 8mm, 9.5mm, 11mm, 12.7mm, 14.3mm, 16mm, 17mm, 19mm, 20.6mm, 22mm & 25mm).

The Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit is very easy to use. Its material-hold-down feature limits the movement of the jewelry item being cut at the moment by steadily holding it, so you focus only on the tool itself. All over the design, there are thoughtful touches we appreciate. Its height-adjusting knob won’t get in the way of your work when you’re using a mallet or a hammer, for example.

Cons:

It’s expensive. This is a professional tool, and you’ll need a professional’s budget to pay for it. However, we think it’s worth the investment for folks who will use it frequently.

It’s not magical. While this can cut through practically anything, you can still run into trouble with things like titanium.

Best Oval Disc Cutter

3.) Oval Cabochon Disc Cutter: Best Oval Disc Cutter

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“currently there’s no better oval disc cutter“

This Pepetools disc cutter is similar to the model above, only it’s shaped for cutting ovals. We think it’s the best bet for anyone who wants to cut cabochon ovals precisely and regularly. It’s rugged, accurate, and extremely user-friendly.

Pros:

This disc cutter makes perfect oval cuts every time. As with most circular kits, it includes a range of options. There are six holes and six punches (the dies have a five-degree cutting angle which provides the best possible cut). The punch sizes are as follows: (millimeters) 30×22, 25×18, 24×14, 20×15, 20×12, 18×13.

“makes the most perfect oval cuts”

The Oval Cabochon Disc Cutter is versatile. It cuts all kinds of materials smoothly – silver, gold, brass, copper, etc. There’s no practical difference between this and the standard Pepe above (it has the same cutting angle, same materials, and same basic function). It’s everything you expect from a high-end disc cutter, only shaped differently.

As with the circular model we looked at above, the Oval Cabochon is also very feature-packed. It includes a laser-etched HDPE base; high carbon steel plates; a laser-etched disc cutter; and a stainless steel laser engraved knob. Everything is neatly laid out and executed perfectly.

Cons:

This disc cutter is a bit more expensive than our other two picks. That’s mainly because it’s more of a niche tool.

As with the model above, it’ll cut through nearly everything but there are exceptions. However, for the vast majority of craftspeople, it’ll never show any weaknesses in practice.

Conclusion

So, which disc cutter is perfect for your jewelry workshop?

Well, if you’re just starting out and can’t afford to spend a lot – take a look at our budget pick, the SFC. Besides being the most affordable option on our list, it’s easy to use and it has more than enough for a fledgling jewelry artist to work with. However it won’t last as long or work quite as well as a premium tool.

If you’re looking for something that has all the bells and whistles to work on absolutely any project under the sun, opt for the Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit. It’s one of the most feature-packed disc cutters on the market, and, as mentioned, comes with attractive accessories such as lube, centering dies, and a Durometer. It’s premium in every sense of the word. Just be sure you’ll get your money’s worth from it.

And finally, if  you need the best oval disc cutter don’t skip on the Oval Cabochon Disc Cutter. It’s hands-down our go-to recommendation when it comes to making oval cuts.

How To Choose The Best Disc Cutter

How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

When it comes to budget, we assure you that you can find a high-quality disc cutter without having to break the bank – there’s something for every jeweler’s budget.

“you can find a high-quality disc cutter without having to break the bank”

For example, if you’re on the lookout for an affordable disc cutter option and you’re ok with a few limitations, you can buy the SFC Disc Cutter for around $100.

If you want to have a disc cutter that can take you as far as your skills will go, consider buying the Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit. It’s approximately $275 (keep in mind that for this price you also get a Durometer mat, lube, centering dies and more). You pay a premium, but it pays for itself in accuracy and durability.

Finally, while the Oval Cabochon Disc Cutter may be the most expensive option as it costs around $315, it’s just as good as the circular Pepe. It’s a worthy investment for any of your ovular needs, just make sure you’ll get your money’s worth from it.

Which Punch Sizes Do You Need?

Before starting your disc cutting, it’s always important to make sure to have the punch size you need for that specific project. And when you buy a disc cutter, you should make sure it has all the options you’ll need in your daily work. Most newcomers can make do with a smaller set of 10, but the ambitious professional will want more to choose from.

“it’s always important to make sure to have the punch size you need”

Let’s go through the different punch sizes our top three picks offer again (in millimeters):

The Disc Cutter: 3.2, 6.4, 9.5, 12.7, 15.9, 19, 22.2, 25.4, 28.6, 31.8.

The Pepetools 196.10A Premium 14 Piece Disc Cutting Kit: 3, 4.75, 6.35, 8, 9.5, 11, 12.7, 14.3, 16, 17, 19, 20.6, 22 & 25.

The Oval Cabochon Disc Cutter: 30×22, 25×18, 24×14, 20×15, 20×12, 18×13.

FAQ

FAQ

Q: How do I use a disc cutter?

A: You use a disc cutter in the following way:

  1. Prepare the metal sheet by annealing it.
  2. Use a circle template or the punches to draw the shape onto your metal.
  3. Place a piece of scrap metal, also known as a shim (metal sheet in the same gauge as the sheet you’re cutting) in between the cutter plates, directly opposite the metal sheet to be cut.
  4. Lubricate the punch to be used to cut the disc.
  5. Get ready to strike.
  6. Strike! A strong forceful blow onto the punch (1).

Q: Can I use metal cutting discs on wood?

A: You can use metal cutting discs on wood. However, it’s only practical for thin sheets. Otherwise, there are other far better wood cutting tools such as oscillating tools, circulating saws, or jigsaws.

Q: What is metal punching?

A: Metal punching is a process where a tool called a punch creates a hole in the item you’re working on. Characteristics of the punching process include:

  • Its ability to produce economical holes in both strip and sheet metal during medium or high production processes.
  • The ability to produce holes of varying shapes quickly.

The punching process forces a steel punch, made of hardened steel, into and through a workpiece. The punch diameter determines the size of the hole created in the workpiece (2).

What’s Next?

We genuinely hope you enjoyed our detailed guide on disc cutters along with our top three picks. We now expect that you can choose the disc cutter that suits you best (feel free to tell us which one you’re buying in the comments below!).

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the other jewelry-making tools we recommend on our website. We’re always glad to have you here!

And till next time – have fun cutting!