I'm making badges, so need to cut 44mm circles out of photo paper.

I'm currently using sharp scissors and being careful, but that obviously takes a fair amount of time, and doesn't give perfect circles.

The kit came with a circle cutter, but it has no way of gripping, so just slides around the paper giving ovals!

I've seen various compass type cutters, but I don't want to put a hole in the middle.

Are there any devices or techniques I'm missing?


3 Answers 3


If you can provide links and/or images, my answer can be adjusted, but at first thought, consider the following.

For compass style cutters:

The pivot of the cutter could be attached to a metal disk or to a magnet. The size and shape of the disk or magnet would be dependent on the structure of the pivot.

If the pivot is a magnet, the underlying surface should be metal, but you'd want a cutting mat between the paper and the metal sheet.

If the pivot is a metal disk, the magnet should be embedded in a wood surface or if the magnet is thin enough, cut a matching recess in the cutting mat or equivalent.


I'm not familiar with what are considered "standard" metric size increments, but 44 mm is within typical precision of a 1-3/4" hole, which is a common US size and probably close enough for this purpose. You can get hole punches of this general style:

enter image description here Source

There are also gasket punches like this:

enter image description here Image courtesy McMaster-Carr

That picture is from an expensive tool, but you can get inexpensive sets of similar style hollow punches containing a range of sizes. A common configuration looks like this:

enter image description here Source

This picture happens to be an expensive set that actually includes a 44 mm size, but places like Harbor Freight have inexpensive versions. These often include a centering pin that is removable.

Just the cutting dies are often available in sets sold as leather punches, like:

enter image description here Source

The set in this picture happens to be an inexpensive metric set that includes 45 mm cutter, which might be close enough.

You can make your own similar dies to a precise size by cutting up something like a steel food can, adjusting the diameter, soldering it, and then cleaning up and edging the cutting surface. People sometimes make fancy shapes this way for custom clay or cookie cutters.


With a compass knife, another option is a disc of tough rubber smaller than the circle you want to cut (and presumably small enough to see your design if it's printed). I had some offcuts from work that I used for this, similar to a bike tyre (not an inner tube) in toughness and thickness, but flat.

This will grip the workpiece and, if thick enough, will keep the point from penetrating and damaging it.

You might get away with a piece cut from a rubber-backed mouse mat, but if the pin breaks through the top it will go straight through the rubber, yet it must dent the top enough to sty in place.

  • 1
    I know there are also compas style cutters that do not have a pin but a different method of keeping it in the right spot.
    – Willeke
    Feb 11, 2021 at 20:28

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