Combustible cubes made by regularly cutting a damp mass are called Cut stars. Cutting probably is the easiest method to make stars and there is more than one way to do this. The following are quite common methods:
- A dampened star composition spread out to an even layer on a flat surface. The stars are then cut into cubes, and primed if necessary.
- A dampened star composition is pounded in a loaf box which has been covered with kraft paper for easy ejection of the composition. The loaf is ejected and cut into several slices, just as cutting from a loaf of bread. Each slice is then cut into cubes, and primed if necessary.
Cut stars are rarely if ever found in consumer fireworks, but are quite common in commercial ones. Although nowadays round stars have become ubiquitous even in the western hemisphere, cut stars are still widely used as a garniture by shellmakers, both by professionals and amateurs, e.g. for making traditional canister shells.
Cutting offers the possibility to make a large number of stars in a short period of time, e.g. much more than in case of pumped stars, and there is no need for any specialized tooling (star rollers etc.) that could be beyond the means of an amateur pyro.
The stars are easily ignited (some people say that this is due to their sharp edges, but this is doubtful) and fiercly burning, faster than e.g. a pumped star of the same size and made from the same composition. This is due to the fact that cut stars are compacted less and thus are less dense. Cut stars are a good choice if neither the shape of pumped nor the properties (color change etc.) of round stars offer an advantage.