Photo Galleries of some copper cutters we have made:
Greek Letter Cutters
Sets of cutters
60's Party cutters
Photo Galleries of other products we have made:
Cast metal stamps
Stainless steel cutters
Candle items & trays
Pins made of copper
Types of Cutters and Their Care
Advantages: Very durable, won't discolor, strong, rust free.
Disadvantages: Expensive because stainless steel cost more, it's harder to bend, and takes special skills to solder or weld it.
Care: Very little care required. Do not leave stainless in contact with bleach, as it will cause pitting. Just wash in soap & water.
Advantages: Very pretty, has nice luster, and ages (oxidizes) to a slightly darker patina. Heavier, and substantial feeling. Also fairly inert chemically. Some people believe exposure to copper is good to ward off arthritis (I don't know). Can't be easily spotwelded, so copper cutters are either soldered (by hand) or machine rivited (usually by a factory).
Disadvantages: Cost somewhat more than plastic or tinplate, since the cost of copper is higher. Cannot make very sharp bends as easily as tinplate, since copper cutters are usually made of thicker metal (typically .021" thick).
Care: Just wash with soap & water. If you like the darker patina (many people do), leave it exposed to air and wait a year or more. If you prefer the bright shiny look, you can briefly immerse copper in very dilute acid, such as lemon juice, white vinegar, ketchup (really!), or any other common acidic solution. The copper will very quickly become bright and shiny. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Another way to get a shiny finish is to polish copper with very fine (#00 or #000) steel wool, or with a Scotchbrite scouring pad.
Tinplate (actually steel with a thin plating of tin on each side)
Advantages: Very classic cookie cutters. Less expensive than stainless or copper. Originally made by "tinkers" who would make cutters out of scraps of left-over tinplate. Handmade tinplate cutters are popular with collectors, mass produced "grocery store" cutters are very inexpensive if you need a "standard" shape for your cookies. The "classic" tinplate cutters were hand soldered together (pretty labor intensive), newer ones are spotwelded together.
Disadvantages: Some possibility of corrosion from strong acids or bleaches. With much use, the tinplate can wear off, leaving the steel susceptible to rusting, after exposure to moisture.
Care: Wash with soap & water, dry promptly. If desired, place in a slightly warm (turned off) oven to speed drying. For especially valuable or historic cutters, I've heard a suggestion to apply very light coating of cooking oil to protect cutters from moisture. If a solder joint fails, the cutter can be carefully soldered back together, but it must be done properly to not lose the "old" look of the solder.
Advantages: Usually less expensive due to mass production. Most are shiny silver-ish color, but some are anodized to have a bronze color (do not confuse this with real copper). Nearly all aluminum cutters are stamped by a large stamping press into their shape, so they can make impressions in the dough, adding more detail to the cookie. Aluminum does not rust.
Disadvantages: Aluminum is a very soft metal so the cutters can be bent if handled roughly. Harsh chemicals can cause corrosion and pitting in aluminum.
Care: Wash with soap & water, avoid contact with strong acids.
Advantages: Usually less expensive due to mass production. Available in many colors. Most plastic cutters are of the type having a back, so they can make impressions in the dough, adding more detail to the cookie. Most all of the Hallmark cutters (very popular with collectors) are plastic.
Disadvantages: Custom cutters not practical in plastic due to the large cost of making the molds. Plastic will melt or soften if left on a hot stove surface. Can crack or break if mistreated. Bright colors can fade with extended exposure to sunlight.
Care: Wash with soap & water, avoid high heat sources. Don't clean with steel scouring pads as it would scratch the plastic.
FrankenCutters wishes you Happy Collecting!