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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: 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.

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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.

Apple Die Named to Top 50 Woman-Owned Businesses in Wisconsin

October 11th, 2017


Top 50 Woman-Owned Wisconsin Businesses

Apple Die is proud to be named to the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Largest Wisconsin-based women-owned businesses. The list features Wisconsin-based companies that are 51 percent or greater women owned with $1 million or more in revenue reported for the latest fiscal year.

Apple Die is one of the largest Dieshops in the country and we are growing in all of our facilities.
Our quality is the best in the industry and our prices are always competitive.

Just How Do They Do That? – Unlocking the Mystery of the Steel Rule Die

August 28th, 2017

Did you ever wonder how manufacturers make products in uniform sizes and shapes? Often the mystery behind this feat can be directly attributed to a steel rule die (also known as a cookie cutter die). Cardboard boxes and other packaging products are often manufactured through this process to ensure that they are created in exact sizes and shapes. It can also be used to create creases for folds as well as perforated lines and slits.

Steel rule die fish design

The die creation process

The steel rule die process is used to cut sheet materials into various shapes and sizes. It is often used for paper, cardboard or even rubber materials. The die itself is designed using a flat base of some sort of wood or metal product. The most common base material is a plywood constructed out of maple, however steel or aluminum bases are also common for specialized uses.

When creating the actual metal die, the die maker utilizes the help of a specialized band saw or laser cutting apparatus to create very accurately positioning slits in the base material. The steel rule is similar to a razor blade made out of specially hardened steel. The steel is bent into specific positions and sizes and inserted the slits that have been cut into the substrate. After the steel “blade” is inserted, the die maker creates an ejection rubber pad which is adhered to the die base. This material helps to eject the materials from the die after the cut is made.

How the die is used

Once the die is created, it is ready for use. The material to be cut is carefully positioned below the die press. Once the press is activated, the cutting edges of the die come into contact with the material to be cut and penetrate through. When the press is reversed, the cut material is exposed.  If the cut material needs perforations, a secondary die will be used to finish the process.

Apple Steel Rule Die Co. ha been making quality dies for over three decades. Contact us for your die making needs. We can help you design a precision die for your specific requirements.

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

Contact for: Steel Rule Dies

Apple Die East

88 Industry Ave. Ste. C
Springfield, MA 01104

Apple Die South

Contact for: Flex Dies, Magnetic Cylinders, Rotary Dies