Apple Steel Rule Die » Blog Page

Read through the Apple Steel Die Rule blog below to catch up on the latest news about die cutting, rule dies, and our business in Milwaukee. We want to share our updates and other exciting info with you! Be sure to check back here for more updates.

Apple Bites: Joints

March 24th, 2021

Q: What is a miter joint?

A: A miter joint is used when a bend is not possible and one knife intersects another. This type of joint can also be used when sharp corners are required rather than rounded corners.


Apple Bites: Die Cutting, Die Scoring, Kiss Cutting

January 20th, 2021

Q: What is Die Cutting?

A: Die Cutting is the process by which a steel rule die (made out of sharpened steel) is used to cut irregular shapes out of various materials. Examples include gaskets, POP, cartons, electronics, leather, plastics and more.


Apple Bites: Counter Plates

November 16th, 2020

Q: What are Phenolic Counterplates?

A: CNC individual Phenolic Counterplates are an economical solution that ensures that all carton positions fold exactly the same. Phenolic Counterplates can include flexible backings that make them easy to remove and reinstall with or without adhesive. The counter is generated using the same electronic file as the die to ensure that the die and counter are an exact fit.


2020 Largest Women-Owned Business

October 6th, 2020

For the fourth year running, Apple Die has been named one of the largest Wisconsin-based women-owned businesses of the last fiscal year by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Based on revenue, Apple has been ranked #31 out of #66, up from #35 last year.

Barb Wambold, who began working at Apple as an Office Clerk in 2001, worked her way up to become CEO and President in 2013. Over the years, Wambold has purchased three separate companies merging them into Apple Central, and has added a variety of products to the company’s ever-growing line-up including flex dies, rotary dies, magnetic cylinders and more.

Today, Apple offers one of the fastest turnarounds of any die-making company in the U.S. with 98.7% of orders shipping same day or next. With more than two centuries of combined craftsman experience, Apple is an industry-leader in steel-rule dies, medical dies, flexible circuits, gaskets, laser cutting, packaging, rotary dies and more.


Apple Bites: Gasket Dies

August 14th, 2020

Q: Why gasket dies from Apple?

A: Apple is the largest manufacturer of gasket dies in North America, as such, we have decades of experience in crafting gasket dies. We utilize a vast database of materials to ensure that our dies are made to maximize both your output and to live up to the highest quality standard.

There is no need for you to labor over specifications. Let our 35 years of experience be your guide. Just a few of the added features we provide:

  • We can produce gasket dies with welded and/or brazed joints.
  • Rule heights from .937 to 4” with a wide variety of die bases.
  • When steel rule dies will not or cannot achieve your needs, we manufacture machined dies.
  • We have a state of the art inspection process to ensure that all dies meet or exceed our highest standards.
  • With almost all of our dies shipping the same day or next day, you will receive your dies on time, every time.

Get a Quote/Place an Order!

Rule bracing

COVID-19 Update

August 14th, 2020

This is a difficult time for all of us as our world has changed, what seems like overnight.

We want to remind you Apple Die is here if you need us.

Apple is considered an essential business because we are making dies used to cut everything from masks and shields to hospital gowns and respirators, in addition to our normal business operations.

We want to take this time to give our first responders, nurses and doctors on the front line our deepest and sincerest gratitude. They are the real heroes.

Apple takes the health and safety of not only our team members but also our customers extremely seriously. We have increased cleaning and sanitation, and have implemented social distancing in the shop.

Contact us for any new project you have. We are still running full staff and 98.7% of all orders ship the same day or next.

We’ll get through this together!


35 Years in Business!

July 16th, 2020

July 2020 marks our 35th year in business and we want to thank YOU, our loyal customers, many of whom have turned into friends. We would not be where we are today without you.

Jim Ippolite, current COO, started Apple Die 35 years ago with a jigsaw and a hand bender. Since then, Jim has grown the company from a startup to one of the largest specialty steel rule die manufacturers in the U.S., with multiple locations and the industry’s most diversified steel rule dies (12 mm up to 6 pt high rule dies). In 2013, Barb Wambold, who started as an office clerk in 2001 and worked her way up, bought Apple Die and expanded the company even further. She opened a new location in South Africa, bought three different companies merging them into Apple Central, and added flex dies, rotary dies, magnetic cylinders and more to the company’s ever-growing product line-up. Under Barb, Apple Die has also been named a top 50 largest woman-owned business based on revenue in WI by the Milwaukee Business Journal for the last three consecutive years.

Today, Apple Die maintains one of the fastest turnaround of any die company in the U.S. with 98.7% of orders shipped the same day or next and holds some of the most competitive pricing in the industry. With more than two centuries of combined craftsman experience in the manufacturing of close tolerance dies, Apple excels at medical dies, flexible circuits, displays, folders, gaskets, heat sealing, labels, decals, nameplates, overlays, membrane switches, packaging, vacuum forming and more. Cheers to another 35 years!

Apple Bites: Flex Dies

July 14th, 2020

Q: What are flexible dies?

A: Flex dies are thin metal cutting dies with a raised, sharpened cutting blade. This is achieved by etching away the metal from the plate but not the image. Apple Die can then sharpen the image to the desired height and angle depending on the substrate being converted.

Q: What are the advantages?

A: The biggest advantage is a flex die does not have any joints and has a tight tolerance +/- .002″. The maximum blade height is .059″ so ideally the material being cut should be less than .035″. Flex dies can be used in a flatbed or rotary press. If running a flatbed flex die, Apple can produce different bases like magnetic, steel, or wood to mount the flex die in order to bring the cutting height up to standard .937″. If running on a rotary press we distort the images depending on the repeat of the magnetic cylinder.

Q: So what type of flexible die should you be using on your next project?

A: Ideally flex dies are suited for very tight tolerance jobs, intricate jobs with tight bends, thinner material, kiss cutting, and multiple up cavities. If your project cannot be made with a standard steel rule die, ask us about a flex die. We can also offer different heights on the same plate, add nicks, security cuts and perforation, in addition to laser hardening and special non-stick coating.

Get a Quote/Place an Order!

Standard flexible dies Treated flexible die magnetic

Flexible die coated magnetic grape design Flexible die

ServiForm EcoGiant – The New Standard

October 24th, 2019

Here at Apple Steel Rule Die, we invest in the highest quality technology available.

Thanks to the ServiForm EcoGiant, Apple Steel Rule Die is faster and more accurate than the competition!

This perfect bending system gives you the flexibility, reliability, and high-quality manufacturing you won’t find anywhere else!


Contact: to start your order today!

Apple Scan Capabilities!

April 29th, 2019

Apple Die is pleased to announce that all THREE of our locations now have Apple Scan capabilities!
This means that all of our facilities can now do both color-coded as well as dimensional tolerance reports and reverse engineer any non-dimensional part.
See our website for more details: or call us at 414-353-2444.

Questions about your quote/order: Jim Ippolite – Phone: 414-353-2444 {ext. 135}
Contact for design: Jeff Berger – Phone: 414-353-2444 {ext. 131}
Contact for order entry/shipping: Chong Lor – Phone: 414-353-2444 {ext. 137}


All Dies will have a tolerance of at least ±.005. Under no circumstance can Apple or will Apple guarantee a finished part tolerance.

Steel Rule Die

Over three centuries of excellent die-making craftsmanship.

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Steel Rule Die

Laser Cutting

Apple Die specializes in wood, metal, and plastic laser cutting.

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Laser Cutting

Flexible Die

Less expensive option to Rotary dies with extremely tight tolerances.

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Flexible Die

Rotary Die

The proper tooling for long run cutting precision.

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Rotary Die

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Woman Owned Business

Contact Information

Apple Die Corporate Headquarters



7817 W. Clinton Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53223

Apple Die East



88 Industry Ave. Ste. C
Springfield, MA 01104