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Oval or eliptical disk cutter

Just thinking…I have several disk cutters and of course, they’re
all in various circle sizes. But I was wondering if anyone has ever
made cutters in oval or eliptical shapes. Like circles, these are
pretty universal shapes and I start a lot of my designs with them.
Having a cutter of graduated sizes would be handy.

I’ve searched on line but haven’t seen any. Thanks.

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a disc cutter for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

They would be very expensive and they are unnecessary. Just make some
rounds in slightly heavier gage and run them through the rolling

Leonid Surpin

There is an easier way to make oval or elliptical discs: punch out
round blanks with your standard disc or circle punch a little
thicker than needed and roll them through the rolling mill. By taking
notes and paying attention very consistent results can be achieved.
Alternatively you could have Sheltech make asset of graduated rt
dies :

Or check here with Kevin Potter:

No affiliation with these folks but I hear they do good work.

Michael Edwards
Flying M Designs

It is really easy, Just cut your circles from slightly thicker sheet
then roll them through the rolling mills till they conform to your
required shape.


If you need ovals or other shapes, pancake dies like Dar Shelton
makes are the inexpensive answer. And if you don’t have a hydraulic
press to cut them, Dar will do it for you. Good disc cutters are
expensive. Pancake dies are much less expensive and can be any shape
or size you want.

You can find him at

A happy customer, many times over.
Judy Hoch

paying attention very consistent results can be achieved. 

This is a good spot to say it, I guess… You could have a set of
disk cutters made, if you need some certain disk. You can buy and
make oval bezel punches too. And you can buy mill products - sheet,
wire, tubing - of course. But that sort of misses the whole point,
you see. Those punches and cutters are only going to make one ellipse

  • 30deg., 45deg or whatever the ratio is. But ellipses have an
    infinite variety - visually get a circle and squash it and it’s
    obvious. Knowing how to make ~any~ ellipse is valuable - any shapes,
    for that matter. Round and square mandrels are good to have, but
    there’s also an infinite variety of rectangles. And the same goes for
    mill products - I make 21 7/8 gauge all the time on my rolling mill -
    just exactly what I need at the moment. And wire and what
    have you, too. Freedom…

IF you take a round disc and roll it to a specific, repeatable
setting you can have oval discs from a round disc cutter.


Rio Grande makes a system that allows you to make your own cutting
dies in any shape or size and a little screw press to put them in.

John Wade
Wade Designs Jewelry

Folks, please allow me to do some friendly nit-picking…

A ‘disc’ is ROUND. There is no such thing as an ‘oval disk’ I have
consulted several dictionaries, on-line and solid paper, and they
all agree that a disc is ROUND!

Thank you, and please accept my humble apologies if I have offended

I make pancake dies to cut oval shapes I have them in lots of sizes
and shapes of ovals, they can be hit with a hammer but it is hard on
the dies and you might damage them, it is best to use a press the
dies work on metal 20 gauge and thicker I have cut 12 gauge with them
here is a link to the site I made them because I
know how hard it is to cut nice ovals and to make them match. A tool
like a disc cutter would be nice for cutting ovals but it would cost
alot of money to make as all the holes would have to be done with a
wire edm and they arent cheap to own or use. the pancake die is a
good compromise and it is inexpensive.

A 'disc' is ROUND. There is no such thing as an 'oval disk' I have
consulted several dictionaries, on-line and solid paper, and they
all agree that a disc is ROUND!

Flat metal shapes of any outline are referred to as stampings in
jewelry findings catalogs. However, Google oval disc and there seems
to be a common use with pictures and descriptions for oval disk
pendants, ect.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

So people know the difference, and understand their options as far as
pancake dies, I’ll chime in for a minute. Kevin’s dies are generally
for thicker metal because they are cut by a laser, which only cuts
well perpedicular to the metal surface. This not the "correct " way
to cut pancake dies because it leaves a loose tole= rance between the
male & female cutting edges of the die. However, it does create dies
that work on 20ga. and thicker metal, as stated. His dies are made
from cold rolled steel, which is not a high-carbon, hardenable tool
steel. He’s told me that some surface hardening occurs as via the
heat of the laser cutting, but this is superficial, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, CR steel is still hard enough to cut most non-ferrous
metals well, and these are good dies for many applications.The one
advantage of Kevin’s dies over mine is price.

Mine cost more because I use tool steel, which is somewhat
expensive, and mine are hardened and tempered throughout after the
dies are cut, creating tools which are very much more durable,
especially with intricate designs. I also cut each die myself,
manually, at a specific angle to the surface, according to steel
thickness and sawblade size. This allows me to control the tolerance
very precisely, and make dies that are tight enough to cut thin
metals down to 30 ga. and even thinner. Pancake dies cut as thick as
you want them to, using the right thickness of steel, the thickest
I’ve used being 1/4", which can cut 3/16" material, even cold rolled
steel itself.

Another main difference is that I specialize in custom dies, with
the jeweler or artist providing their designs for me to make the
dies for, and I offer parts punching service for folks who don’t
want to invest or bother with a press. It is highly not recommended
to use hammers on my dies. I also have developed an array of
elaborations on the pancake die concept, including ‘donut’ dies, and
several forming techniques. Here are some examples:

So, between the two of us, one or the other can provide the jeweler
or artist with stock-shapes dies, priced economically for certain
metals in short to medium runs, or (from me) more expensive, but
still very affordable,custom designs, for almost any metal or
thickness you desire. Potter has presses, pricing, and forming

Sheltech has selection, specialization, and punchout service, (and
chihuahuas (not for sale ! ), (belated) Happy Holidays, everyone !

Dar Shelton
PS : I like the idea of sticking discs in the rolling mill to make ovals

Dar Shelton is exactly right. I just wanted to add a little bit to
Dar’s comment about pancake dies. I make a line of standard shapes
that are good for a couple hundred pieces. I do them out of mild
steel so that they are affordable. My dies sell for $18 and $22 (for
large sizes). They are good for metal that is 22 gauge and thicker,
fully hardened. But if you want a custom die or one to use with
thinner metal, Dar is the man. I get quite a few requests for custom
dies and I refer them to Dar. I’m just not set up to do one of a
kinds. Likewise, it would be silly to ask Dar to cut a circle.

I try to make designs that will appeal to lots of people because I
have to make lots of each design in order to keep them affordable.
The good thing is, if you do wear one of mine out, I keep them in
stock, you can buy another. I’ve sold over 1,000 of them and no one
has worn one out yet and some of them are in production jewelry

Dar, I’d like to put a link from my website to yours for people who
want custom dies. I get alot of requests for them but I am just not
able to accommodate them and your method is perfect for custom work
and I can attest to the quality of Dar’s dies, they are excellent.


Silly to ask me to make a circle pancake die?.. perhaps, but
actually not an unusual request, and since I am sometimes a silly
person (I like working. silly, I know), I make a lot of circle
pancake dies. Some people just like me, I guess, and some people
have specific sizes and situations. Just today I’m sending out a die
that cuts 5 8mm circles in one pop, and a jig I made for drilling a
stack of parts with a hole in the center. I took pics, and with
permission I’ll post them. The jig is basically a base with a
cylindrical column that holds about a 3/16" tall stack (4-8 parts).
Then I modified a pair of vise grips, adding a bushing plate/disc to
the end of the top jaw, and clearance holes through both jaws. The
grips clamp down on the stack and the bushing plate locates the drill
for the user. The bushing plate is a circle the same size as the
parts, with the same size hole, so it fits down into the top of the
holding column. And to sort of bring us back to 'DO" (a deer), this
would also work for ovals (^;.


Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a disc cutter for your jewelry projects? We recommend: