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Top Of The Best Cookie Cutters Reviewed In 2018Last Updated February 1, 2018
№1 – Ann Clark Unicorn Head Cookie Cutter – 4 Inches – Tin Plated Steel
№2 – Gingerbread Man / Men Cookie Cutter Set – 3 Piece – 2.875″, 3.75″, 5″ – Ann Clark Cookie Cutters – US Tin Plated Steel
№3 – Fall / Thanksgiving Cookie Cutters – 5 Piece Boxed Set – Pumpkin, Turkey, Maple Leaf, Acorn, Squirrel – Ann Clark – US Tin Plated Steel
We spent 200 hours researching and tested 20 types of essential cookie-related items to find the best gear to make holiday baking fun and stress-free.
We’ve reviewed all of our picks in this piece, and double checked their availability in preparation for the holiday season. We remain confident this is the best cookie-baking equipment. ; Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of
A good stand mixer will make your baking (and cooking) life a lot easier. If you bake a lot and have been struggling with a low-grade mixer or a hand mixer, you might want to upgrade. A well-made stand mixer can produce loaves of rustic bread or moist cake layers, it can make quick work of whipping egg whites into meringue, and it can churn out dozens upon dozens of holiday cookies.
If you make a lot of cookies every year, investing in a classic KitchenAid stand mixer is worthwhile.
We believe that the KitchenAid Artisan is the best mixer for the home baker who’s looking for an equipment upgrade. After spending more than 1hours on research, consulting experts Anne Gordon of The Good Batch and Sarah Carey of Everyday Food, performing 30 hours of side-by-side testing on six stand mixers and two hand mixers, and conducting long-term testing for a year, we can definitively say that the brand that rolled out the first tabletop mixer in 191is still the best. Sometimes you really can’t beat a classic. The Artisan isn’t cheap, but since refurbished units are often available, we think this can be an affordable machine, and for the money, the KitchenAid Artisan can’t be beat in performance and versatility.
A budget strainer set
These are not as heavy-duty as the All-Clad models, but they cost much less. This is a great set for the occasional baker.
If you’d rather invest in just one high-quality strainer, Cook’s Illustrated likes the CIA Masters Collection Very Fine Mesh Strainer. According to Cook’s Illustrated, it “produced the smoothest sauce and silkiest pudding,” and its handle was strong enough to withstand being banged against the counter a few times.
One thing that multiple experts told us to avoid at all costs: old-fashioned, crank-operated flour sifters. Such tools don’t hold as much as a large strainer does, can’t strain anything besides dry ingredients like flour, and become difficult to clean, with the moving parts easily getting gummed up. As Matt Lewis put it, “They’re messy, they’re silly, and it’s a device you really don’t need in your kitchen.” —MP
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Multi-Purpose Scraper & Chopper
The Ateco cookie cutters had the heaviest-gauge metal of any we tested.
The Ateco cookie cutters had the heaviest-gauge metal of any we tested, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Many metal cookie cutters are made of tin or tin-plated steel, which is often flimsy. The two tin-plated steel cutter sets we tested—the Wilton Holiday 18-Pc. Metal Cookie Cutter Set and the R & M Holiday Classics 12-Piece Cookie Cutter Tub—were easy to bend out of shape. The Ateco cutters, while not completely impossible to bend, were thicker and more resilient; they required significant force to bend even a little. The seam where the loop of the cutter was closed was also welded in more places than on the other metal cutters, making the Ateco designs less likely to break.
Tin-plated cutters are also more vulnerable to rust, and at least one of the R & M cutters showed signs of rust around the folded seam of its top edge after we hand-washed it just once and allowed it to air dry. The Ateco cutters, on the other hand, are still gleaming.
It’s also hard to find sets of copper cutters. One set we found, the relatively affordable Old River Road Holiday Cookie Cutter Set, was difficult to use. Getting the cookie dough out of the tiny details, like the reindeer antlers, was nearly impossible, and the cutters did not lie nearly as flat as any of the others we tested, so they didn’t cut all the way through in certain spots. If, as Dosik put it, there’s a cookie shape you “know you’re going to make religiously,” you may want to invest in a high-quality copper cutter. But for cookies you’ll make only once a year, the Ateco cutters are a better buy, and they can last you just as long.
The Ateco Christmas cutters are the smallest of all we tried, on average 2½ inches from end to end, as opposed to 3½ or inches, but this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker unless you have your heart set on cookies the size of your hand. If that’s the case, go for the snowflakes or for the Ateco 10-Piece Stainless Steel Star Cutter set, which have cutters ranging from 1½ inches to or 7½ inches, respectively.
The Wilton 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set has kid-friendly shapes for every occasion.
CIA Masters Collection Cooling Rack
A cooling rack will help your cookies cool quickly and efficiently, so you can start decorating sooner. It’s also great if you’re drizzling your cookies with glaze or dipping them in chocolate, because the excess can drip off without pooling around the base of the cookie. Cheap, flimsy racks are common, but if you don’t have a rack already, you’ll find that a sturdy, oven-safe one has many uses beyond cooling baked goods, including cooking bacon in the oven or even making whole roasts.
The CIA Masters Collection Cooling Rack fits inside a half-sheet baking pan and has a third set of feet to brace the center of the rack.
After testing several cooking racks, we concluded that the 12-by-17-inch CIA Masters Collection Cooling Rack has just about everything we look for. It’s one of the few we’ve found that’s oven-safe and designed to fit well in a half-sheet baking pan. It’s sturdier than other racks we’ve looked at, and its tight grid pattern (as opposed to parallel wires) won’t let cookies bend or fall through. We also like that it has a third set of feet that run down the middle, bracing the center of the rack. Should you ever want to use the rack for something heavier, like a roast, or even some cakes, the third set of feet will prevent the rack from buckling in the middle.
Cook’s Illustrated names the CIA rack as the most highly recommended model. One thing to be wary of is that it’s made of chrome-plated steel, and some reviewers have complained of rusting. Rust is a common problem with cooling racks, which easily trap water in their corners—Matt Lewis told us he’s never had a rack that didn’t rust—and you can best avoid it by hand-washing and drying the rack every time.
To make your wreath…
Use clear string to tie the cutters together, keeping the shape in a nice ring. Snip the ends of the strings so you have as little overhang as possible. Alternately use a glue gun to stick the cutters together (the glue will peel off easily afterwards).
Laser Cutter Materials
Depending on the type of laser that is utilized, there is a wide range of compatible materials available. With the COlaser cutter, you can use wood, leather, acrylic, glass, plastics, foams, as well as cardboard and other paper materials.
When using fiber or neodymium lasers with higher intensity, the material options expand into metals, more types of plastics, and even some ceramics.
How to Design for Laser Cutting
When creating a design or pattern for laser cutting, you can use either 2D or 3D design software. Laser cutters essentially function like an average 2D inkjet printer but come with drivers that allow the laser cutting machine follow specific designs. While these specific drivers are highly common in 2D design software, there is less support from 3D software.
Graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator and free drawing tools like AutoCAD are ideal 2D programs for laser cutting technology. But 3D software like Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Fusion can also be utilized to create certain types of designs and patterns.
Laser Cutting Techniques
Vector Cutting: With vector cutting, the laser beam is continuously fired, cutting directly through the material. This technique is solely used for vector graphics and extremely small lines.
Raster Engraving: Contrary to vector cutting, the rastering process burns off only the top layer of the material instead of cutting all the way through it. The design is engraved in a different color, integrating the image within the selected material. To do this, the laser is usually preset to a lower power level. Instead of a high-powered pulsing beam, the laser cutter unfurls finely detailed dots to produce the design without cutting through the material. By managing different dots per inch (DPI), you can control the way the raster effect is produced. This technique works well with wood or leather, but may not work as intended with others types of materials.
Vector Engraving: Meeting in the middle of vector cutting and raster engraving is vector engraving. Also known as “Kiss Cuts,” this method follows vector lines but only cuts into the surface of the material.
Laser Cutting vs. 3D Printing vs. CNC Milling
When it comes to selecting the best manufacturing technology for your application or project, there are many factors the make laser cutting more beneficial than 3D printing. While additive manufacturing is useful for prototyping purposes, the current lack of material properties makes it a tough sell for user-end production. Laser cutting is a subtractive manufacturing technology that cuts away from a material, rather than building a design up from scratch.
But with laser cutting technology, existing materials are able to maintain their mechanical advantages after being cut or engraved. While both are considered go-to tools for rapid prototyping, laser cutters provide more versatility with 2D geometries.
Laser Cutting Services
If you don’t want to splurge on a home laser cutter, or just have one project to undertake, you can utilize a laser cutting service bureau. There is a wide range of manufacturing services that offer both 3D printing and laser cutting. Here are some that are best known for the latter.
This service provides over 100 materials to choose from, allowing you to make anywhere from to 100,000 laser cut products, parts, or prototypes. Ponoko also offers same day production and shipping, as well as design templates to ensure your idea is properly executed.
Offers CO2, Neodymium, Fiber, and other custom laser types. As a business unit of the medical component company Amtek, Laserage seems best equipped to take on projects in the medical sector. They also take on aerospace, electronics, and other industrial endeavors. This manufacturing service provides laser welding and drilling services as well.
Even 3D printing service bureaus like Sculpteo now offer laser cutting services as well. With over 60 possible material combinations, the French company claims to work around your workflow and template. If you have an idea that necessitates both 3D printing and laser cutting, Sculpteo is the service for you.
Zmorph 2.0 SX Basic
Targeted for the beginner market, the XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 1-in-is perfect for those looking to dip their toe into 3D printing and laser cutting technology. Manufactured by the Taiwanese company XYZprinting, this printer is the most affordable option for those hoping to purchase an all-in-one option. The da Vinci 1.0 1-in-is equipped with a laser engraver that allows you to laser cut cardboard, leather, wood, and more. While the printer itself costs €490, the laser engraving module will bring the total cost to around €670.
Canyon’s Grand Canyon cross-country hardtail
Cross-country bikes tend to use larger diameter 29in wheels — so are often referred to as 29ers — combined with lightly treaded, low-volume and fast-rolling tyres for maximum speed, though some brands offer them with 650b wheels — also called 27.5in.
They tend to use steeper head angles combined with longer stems and narrower bars for quick reacting handling and to place the rider into an efficient pedalling position.
The downside of this type of geometry is that it can make them harder to control on steeper descents, especially when combined with shorter-travel suspension and skinnier tyres.
Cheaper cross-country bikes will use alloy frames, but carbon is the default choice for top-end race bikes — although exotic materials such as titanium are sometimes seen. They tend to have a very wide range of gears to allow steep climbing as well as a high top speed.
Buy one if: you like pushing your heart rate as high as it’ll go and riding for hours on end.
Entry: £750 (hardtail), £1,000 (full suspension)
Good: £1,500 (hardtail), £2,500 (full suspension)
Brilliant: £2,500 (hardtail), £3,500 (full suspension)
This is the most popular style of bike because it can be used for pretty much anything.
Trail bikes have more relaxed angles to give greater confidence when descending and kit that’s designed to deal with more punishment. They use shorter stems and wider handlebars to help improve control at speed, while tyres will have more aggressive tread.
Enduro is a racing format in which the descents are timed, but you still have to pedal yourself around the course. That means that these bikes are designed to perform exceptionally well down steep and difficult trails but are still light and efficient enough to pedal back to the top.
The Mondraker Dune Carbon XR is an excellent — and expensive — modern enduro machine
Enduro bikes tend to have more travel than ‘normal’ trail bikes, and are almost exclusively full suspension. Most use around 160-170mm of travel at either end, paired to tough wheels and reinforced tyres. The suspension units they use are still air-sprung but tend to be heavier duty with a wide range of damping adjustments to tune their downhill performance.
Some have remotes that allow you to change the bike’s geometry and travel between a downhill and uphill mode. Many have just one chainring and a device to prevent the chain falling off paired to a wide range of gears at the back. Enduro bikes are also called ‘all mountain’ bikes as they’re ideal for riding in mountainous and technical terrain.
Commencal’s Supreme DH Race is a World Cup-ready downhill racer
As the name suggests, these bikes are about doing one thing; going down steep and technical tracks very, very quickly.
They have around 200mm of travel at either end, often using coil sprung suspension that’s optimised for pure traction and support, rather than pedalling ability.
To put up with the huge forces the bikes are put under, the forks have legs that extend above the head tube and are then braced together, known as a ‘double-crown’ or ‘triple-clamp’ fork. Again, aluminium is the choice for cheaper bikes, while pro-level machinery will be carbon.
Electric mountain bike
The Scott E-Genius 7Plus is an example of a modern electric mountain bike
Motorised mountain bikes are becoming very popular indeed, and it’s now possible to find electric mountain bikes in pretty much all of the disciplines listed above.
These bikes incorporate a motor and battery into their design and work by assisting the pedalling that a rider delivers. The power on offer is usually adjusted via a control unit at the bike’s handlebar.
These bikes are significantly heavier than their non-motorised equivalents but can make light work of climbing up the steepest of gradients. Don’t go thinking riding an e-bike is a piece of cake though, these can deliver a workout that many pros use to train with.
Dirt jump bikes
Dirt jump mountain bikes use tiny frames and often 24in or 26in wheels
As the name suggests, these are meant for hitting jumps or pump tracks.
They use tough frames that are easy to move about in the air, short-travel forks and often only have one gear for simplicity.
Singlespeed mountain bikes
Singlespeed bikes are few and far between, but those who like them tend to really like them
Popular with masochists, these bikes only have one gear.
The lack of moving parts means they’re simple to maintain and many people like to run them through the winter months to prevent damaging another bike.
They can be very cheap but many are also expensive, exotic bikes built by niche custom framebuilders. They’re usually hardtails or fully rigid.
Cordless models are battery-powered, so your movement isn’t restricted. They’re still fairly light, but make sure you pick one that carries enough charge to allow you to complete your work. Otherwise you’ll have to stop to recharge.
A petrol trimmer gives you more power and endurance to deal with large areas and thicker grass. This is why most brush cutters are petrol powered. But they are heavier and noisier than other models and will also require more servicing.
Brush cutters are the heavy-duty cousin of grass trimmers. They use a spinning blade made from either metal or plastic to tackle thick growth and vegetation.
They’re not made for careful tasks, so they’re not ideal for tidying your lawn. Brush cutters are best for areas such as under bushes, grass verges, steep banks, around ponds or streams, or for cutting back wild grass so it doesn’t encroach on your lawn.
They are, however, perfect for tackling lawns that have become seriously overgrown. You can use a brush cutter to cut back the grass to make it more manageable for a lawnmower.
One drawback of brush cutters is that because the blade is solid and more exposed, it can be easily chipped or broken if it strikes something hard. But replacement blades are available and easy to attach.
Single or dual line
Grass trimmers come with either one or two lines. Two lines provide faster cutting, but smaller, single line trimmers are fine for trimming grass on small, tidy lawns.
The more powerful the motor, the more trimming power. Electric motor power is measured in watts, cordless battery power in volts and petrol motors in CCs.
Generally speaking, for small lawns or for light use, not much power is needed. Electric models from 250Ws – 400Ws or cordless models with 1volts and above will be suitable. But for larger lawns, with difficult areas, more force will be required.
Running time & charging
If choosing a cordless model, ensure the battery will last long enough to do all the work, and check how long it takes to recharge after.
You could be carrying your trimmer for a long time if you have lots to do. Check your choice is light enough to carry comfortably for the duration. Some heavy models and usually brush cutters, will come with a carry strap.
Many trimmers come with a guard that allows you to trim against trees, fences and other objects safely without the line coming into contact.
An adjustable head will rotate or tilt to help you to get the right cutting angle.
A model with reduced vibration will help take some of the strain and effort out of mowing.
Some trimmers can convert into an edger to give you a perfect cut across your lawn’s edges.
Manual Die Cut Machines vs. Digital Die Cut Machines
A lot of factors go into considering whether a manual die cutter or digital die cutter (or a combination of both) is best for a scrapbooker. To get the best of both worlds, some crafters choose to invest in both types of die cut machine.
Manual machines are more affordable as an initial investment, but the cost of individual dies for them can make them more expensive to use in the long run. Stampers may love a manual die cut machine for the ease of working with the large variety of dies available that match their favorite stamps. Manual die cut machines also have an ability that digital machines don’t – they can also emboss paper and thin metal using plastic embossing folders. Using steel rule dies, manual machines can also easily cut a huge array of materials.
You place your die of choice with your paper of choice on the board, how you want it cut, then you cover it with a protective, clear board. Next, turn the lever and the board will come back out the other side. You can take the clear board off and pop the clean cut paper right out of your die. Voila!
Digital machines have the advantage of the flexibility of digital – design files can be resized and even modified to fit the design style of the crafter. Digital machines also have the advantage of 24/access to online stores to purchase just the design that you need for the project that you are working on. But digital machines are not as portable as manual machines, especially because they require power to operate.
We’re big proponents of creativity by hand and we encourage crafters to get out from behind their computers and to the table to physically create, by hand, as often as possible. There are many health and emotional benefits of handmade self-expression. For this reason, if you’re truly on the fence, and not sure which type of machine will be best for you, you may want to go with a manual machine. It will keep you off of your digital device and at the creative table longer.
Sizzix Die Cutting Machines
Sizzix offers different sizes for different crafters’ needs. They offer an 8.5” wide machine (the Big Shot Plus) and a 6” wide machine (the Sizzix Big Shot) as part of its line. In addition, the Big Shot line includes the Big Shot Pro, a 13” wide machine. For those who would like assistance with their cutting, Sizzix offers two machines with electric motors instead of cranks, the Big Shot Express and the Vagabond When it comes to accessories, a wide range is available for the Big Shot machines, from magnetic platforms for thin metal dies to a clip on tool caddy. You can view and compare all Sizzix machines to read reviews and more.
Spellbinders’ Die Cut Machines
Spellbinders has the Spellbinders Platinum, which can take dies up to 8.5” wide, and its smaller sibling the Spellbinders Platinum 6, which can take dies up to 6” wide. One of users’ favorite features of the Platinum machines, besides their sturdy steel core construction, is that the machines fold so that they take up less space for easier storage. The Platinum works with steel rule dies or thin metal dies (when used with the accessory Platinum magnetic platform). View and compare all Spellbinders machines and read reviews.
With their feature called PixScan, the Silhouette Cameo and its little sister the Silhouette Curio machine can cut out anything (including stamped designs) that you can take a picture of with your smart phone’s PixScan app. The Curio, despite being a small machine (with a cutting area 8.5” wide), has some powerful features not available in any other digital die cutters – the ability to etch metal and emboss. Both machines are run from Silhouette’s Studio software, with access to its massive online store of cutting files.
Cricut Explore Air
The Cricut Explore Air machine connects via Bluetooth wireless to your computer or iOS device to cut from the company’s Cricut Design Space software. The Cricut Design Space online store gives Cricut Explore Air owners access to purchase designs from a library of more than 50,000 files that include licensed designs from brands like Anna Griffin, Disney, Sesame Street, and more.
The Sizzix Eclips 2
The Sizzix Eclips offers users true scoring for perfect folds and a laser cut preview that offers a sneak peek of the cut for perfect cutting every time. And, it uses the Sizzix eshape store, which is home to designers such as Brenda Walton, Tim Holtz, Sharyn Sowell, and Jen Long. Procedures for using digital cutters can vary immensely because of the complexities of software design, but the general concept is the same for most currently popular models. For most digital die cutters, basic cutting begins by designing and arranging your cut in the machine’s software on a computer or mobile device. Then the material to be cut is placed on a cutting mat, and loaded into the machine’s cutting path. After the material is in place, the machine is activated. Once completed, the cutting mat and material can be ejected from the machine and removed from the mat to prepare the mat for another use.
Size of Output
With digital die cutters, extremely large designs can be sectioned into smaller parts and then pieced together to create huge designs – perfect for creating large signs and wall art. This cannot be accomplished in the same way with a manual cutter. There are some manual cutters like the Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Plus that do create quite large shapes and are worth a second look if you prefer manual cutters.
Cutting Large Volumes
For quilters, or for crafters who do large quantities of duplicate cuts for things like swaps or large events, a manual die cut machine with a steel rule die is the fastest and most cost effective way to cut large quantities quickly. For papercrafters who want to create several copies of a single shape for cards, invitations, or other projects, however, either type of machine will suffice.
Different manufacturers have licenses with different designers to produce content for their machines. Although metal and steel rule dies from most brands can be used with any of the manual machines, this is not the case with digital cutters that use proprietary files. So if you are a Tim Holtz super fan, you may want to consider the Sizzix eclips over the Cricut Explorer Air. Have a kid that is all Disney all the time? Then the Cricut Explore Air is probably your machine. Each machine has its own licenses and its own aesthetic.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Cookie Cutters wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Cookie Cutters
- №1 — Ann Clark Unicorn Head Cookie Cutter – 4 Inches – Tin Plated Steel
- №2 — Gingerbread Man / Men Cookie Cutter Set – 3 Piece – 2.875″, 3.75″, 5″ – Ann Clark Cookie Cutters – US Tin Plated Steel
- №3 — Fall / Thanksgiving Cookie Cutters – 5 Piece Boxed Set – Pumpkin, Turkey, Maple Leaf, Acorn, Squirrel – Ann Clark – US Tin Plated Steel