Do you need the Precision Base Plate?


This week Stampin’ Up has the Precision Base Plate on sale and I’ve received a bunch of questions about it. Early on, I was not convinced it was necessary.  I’ve experimented with it a lot and I see some value in it, so I’ll share what I’ve learned so far.

What it is:  Sizzix says “Constructed of high-quality annealed steel, the Base Plate allows for precise die-cutting of intricate Sizzix Thinlits dies in the BIGkick, Big Shot and Vagabond machines. The Precision Base Plate allows most intricate Thinlits dies to be cut in a single pass through the machine.”  It measures 10″ x 6 1/8″ x 1/8″ and will not bend! It is super stiff and strong, which is how it helps intricate dies cut evenly. 

What to use it for:  Ever have an intricate, fancy thinlit that doesn’t cut thru in some places?  Sizzix developed the Precision Plate just for those so they cut evenly.  Sizzix says “With the Base Plate, you can cut through many different materials, including burlap, craft plastic, craft metal, fabric, aluminum, canvas, lightweight suede and thin cork. ”   Basically, you will use this to replace your bottom, clear cutting plate for ONLY the intricate framelits.

What it does not do:  It doesn’t just make your paper fall out of your die.  You still have to roll or brush or poke the paper out from the die.  (that was a big misconception at first for me, too!)

What NOT to use it for:   It’s important to not use the Precision Base Plate on any “open” dies.  That means circles, shapes, squares, labels, windows…anything that frames an image, which is often called a Framelit.  The plate is only designed for intricate dies, words, etc. often called Thinlits.  (A little confusing so watch Carrie’s video down below)

I did cut my window frames a few times with it (just to see what it would do) and it did warp it a little. It still cuts fine but I won’t keep on testing it.  I think the framed dies are too thin and can’t take the pressure.

I cut about 200 ornaments and it did not dull my thinlits. It did cut great!

Pro’s:  I found it does give a cleaner cut the first time.  Sometimes I’d have to run my die thru a few times but the metal on metal cuts nicely.   And it’s on sale this week!

Con’s: I really like my magnetic platform to hold my dies in place.  This precision plate is not magnetic, so you have to go back to taping down your framelits so they don’t move if you care about positioning. It’s not fully recommended to use the metal plate on your magnetic plate (I did, hard to get off because the magnetic hold was STRONG) but the thinlits didn’t hold well even on the magnet base.   Another Con is remembering to not use it with framelits, so switching back and forth is a pain.

Watch Shannon West talk about the Precision Base Plate in this Introductory Video:

For more advanced and in depth information, watch Carrie’s video from the SU home office.  She explains the different types of dies like framelits vs thinlits, and which dies are ok to use with the precision plate.

So should you buy one? 

Since it’s on sale for $6.25 off this week, It’s a good time to get it IF you have trouble getting even cuts out of your intricate dies.  If you are doing fine with the regular plates, and if shimming helps get a nice cut, then you are probably ok to not get it.    At the end of the day, it’s a tool to have on hand, which will be a nice addition to make things easier when you need it.  I don’t think you HAVE to have it, but it’s nice:)

Here are all the Weekly Deals good from December 8-December 14, 2015

If you’d like one of the plates or anything else, Shop online here: HERE

or email me at


Free Gift with $25 purchase!

4×6 samplers of the Patterned stacks!  20 sheets, 4×6 size in 10 colors.

Get 2 packs (you can choose 2 different color groups)  with a $40+ order, thru end of December!

Go Stamp Something!



This entry was posted in Front Page. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Do you need the Precision Base Plate?

  1. Teresa Lockner says:

    Linda, thank you so much for describing the precision plate so clearly. It helps to much when we know exactly what the machine can and cannot do before we order it. Sometimes I just get something because it “sounds” good and then I never use it! Thanks for straightening me out on this item!

  2. I don’t intend to purchase it even if it is on sale. I’ve heard from users that the black coating cracks and peels and makes a mess. Also, there’s too many cons. I don’t have many intricate dies and the ones I do have work fine without the addition of the precision plate.

  3. Linda Heller says:

    I’ve used it a lot and never had that problem but I imagine it would have to have some shavings, just like the plastic plates leaves little ‘hairs’ on my paper.

  4. Linda Heller says:

    It’s a tool that I’ll use once in a while….not a necessity at this point but useful!

  5. sonny peterson says:

    I have read a lot about this plate before it came on board with SU . I am sticking with the wax paper /dryer sheet technique …it works great and after I found out about the No Framelits or Magnetic Platform I decided I would pass on it . Thank you for your honest review . I would rather spend that money on stamps or DSP !!

  6. Linda Heller says:

    The only time you REALLY need it is if you can’t get your paper to cut all the way thru the regular way. Some machines are loose, some are more tight. I have one machine that I really need it and one that I don’t .

  7. Neen B says:

    Thank you for such an informative piece. Now I know why my frames are bending.

Leave a public comment here or email me at to reach me directly!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s