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View Full Version : Which die cutter?



Galls
20-06-2011, 08:15 AM
Am looking for some experience please :)
I'm not huge on paper crafts tbh, i generally just make cards, notelets etc and i use precut embellishments or cut them with a craft knife. I'd like to experiement a bit more with papercrafts. It's my birthday in a couple of months and my husband is wondering what to get me. I know that people like to use things like cuttlebugs for embossing and cutting dies and I was wondering what people who use these types of things think.
Obviously they are not cheap pieces of equipment especially when you consider having to buy additional pieces for them. Which is where you come in! What are people's experiences with these sorts of things? Worth the money? Or are there better or alternative things available?

Thanks in advance!

southportgirl
20-06-2011, 12:25 PM
Hi. I have a cuttlebug and use it mainly for embossing. I got it at a craft fair last year on special offer so was pleased with the price. i love it because you can emboss on lots of different types/colours of paper and if you enboss on white paper you can rub some chalk or an ink pad over it to highlight the embossing. gives lovely texture. just be aware that it only does A5 size (i think that's what you call half an a4 page) although i think there are bigger machines that will take a4 pages.

it's also nice that you don't just have to use "cuttlebug" folders because i have used other well known folders and they all work no problem so if something is on offer you can still use it.

Christa
20-06-2011, 12:33 PM
I have a Big Shot (manual) machine and I use it every single day on all manner of projects. With the right dies you can cut through paper, card, chipboard, thin metal, crafting wood (thin sheets) , felt and fabric and it works with all makes of dies and embossing folders/plates.

I also have a Cricut electronic cutting machine which I must admit I dust more often than I use and if I had the choice to go back I possibly would not have bought this...however I know many paper crafters who swear that an electronic cutter changed their lives forever...

A manual die cutter like a cuttlebug or big shot will cut basic shapes and emboss your projects - an electronic cutter may help with more intricate cutting but cannot emboss. Pretty much all machines require additional items to be purchased whether its dies or cutting plates for manual machines or cartridges, mats/blades for electronic versions...but there are plenty of bargains to be had and sales are a great place to pick up bits along the way...

whatever you decide I am sure you will have fun...have you actually seen/tried any first hand? Maybe trying a hands on approach to get a feel for them will help you decide which one is right for you.

breathtakingdesigns
20-06-2011, 01:05 PM
Hello there

My favourite is the Big Shot. It embosses and cuts out lovely and is very easy to use. The cheapest place I know that sells it is Craft Superstore - I think it's about 54. I use all sorts of embossing folders with it including the cuttlebug and any of the free gifts you get with the magazines and they all work perfectly. I actually wish I could sell it on my site.

Hope this is of some help.

Kind regards
Rebecca

Breathtaking Designs Cards & Crafts

sharenslz
20-06-2011, 02:00 PM
Hi, mine would be a vote for the cricut - more for cutting than embossing - although I know someone who cuts her own embossing folders. I loathed being tied to one manufacturer for die/folders but since having the cricut and "sure cuts a lot" softwear you can cut what you want - what you design, what you can trace - anything. To be free to work without a cartridge - bliss !

butterflydreams
27-06-2011, 07:30 PM
Hi,

I keep seeing articles, videos and programmes advertising the craft robo and the cricut machines and I am considering buying one but not sure which. I have read a million different articles and everyone has a different opinion about which is best so rather than ask everyone their opinions I was wondering what the differences are? I own a big shot which I like but I find the dies really expensive to buy and space consuming. I keep reading about these cartridges that the cricut uses and I think I have deduced that they are basically images that you can cut out which I am not particularly bothered about because they are so expensive and I think I would prefer to find and create my own pictures. Is that possible with either of the machines? Both are pretty hefty in price and I dont have a lot of space either which makes me lean towards the craft robo but have recently had the cricut machines (I have no idea which one I would buy!!) thrust into the mix and now I'm all confused!!! I currently only craft for a hobby, making cards for friends and family and for charity but I feel if I had a really decent and versatile machine that would allow me to make anything at all I think I would have the confidence to try and make some money from it.

Any advice and information would be really gratefully received, I have trawled the internet but not being very technically minded I get pretty confused by them all :-)

Thanks

Nikki

craftynana
28-06-2011, 03:59 PM
Hi

I have a double do machine and find it really good. I can use any die that I like in it. The only things I had to buy was the cuttlebug B plates. Now I can do anything that I want cut and emboss

Galls
01-07-2011, 08:21 AM
I've had a lovely surprise this morning, my husband has ordered a bigshot die cutter and a sissix emossing machine as well for me, completely on his own and without telling me. Very thoughtful of him. I was still in the process of trying to decide what i wanted tho and was weighing up which was the better option.
I don't know what exactly he's ordered for me til i get it and can play around but just out of interest i was wondering if anyone could tell me what products they are compatible with? I do know that bigshot is sissix and so the sissix dies work (i assume) but what about other makes? I was thinking of a cuttlebug initially because i have heard that sissix is compatable, but tbh I'm completely clueless lol so I'd like to dip into your collective sea of experience please!
I'm looking forward to having a mess about and seeing what i can do. My friend is trying to persuade me into stamping as well but that's another story!
All this is a new venture for me, as i have never really experiemented with my own embellishments etc. Looking forward to the challenge! (with a new born its going to be quite interesting!)

sharenslz
01-07-2011, 01:48 PM
Hi,

I keep seeing articles, videos and programmes advertising the craft robo and the cricut machines and I am considering buying one but not sure which. I have read a million different articles and everyone has a different opinion about which is best so rather than ask everyone their opinions I was wondering what the differences are? I own a big shot which I like but I find the dies really expensive to buy and space consuming. I keep reading about these cartridges that the cricut uses and I think I have deduced that they are basically images that you can cut out which I am not particularly bothered about because they are so expensive and I think I would prefer to find and create my own pictures. Is that possible with either of the machines? Both are pretty hefty in price and I dont have a lot of space either which makes me lean towards the craft robo but have recently had the cricut machines (I have no idea which one I would buy!!) thrust into the mix and now I'm all confused!!! I currently only craft for a hobby, making cards for friends and family and for charity but I feel if I had a really decent and versatile machine that would allow me to make anything at all I think I would have the confidence to try and make some money from it.

Any advice and information would be really gratefully received, I have trawled the internet but not being very technically minded I get pretty confused by them all :-)

Thanks

Nikki

HI,
bit of info about my set up. I have the cricut create. I also have the sure cuts a lot softwear. To use with the create you need 1 cricut cartridge in the slot, my machine came with the font cartridge so dont need to buy any more. The cricut is attached to your PC with a standard USB printer cable.
So, the cricut is turned on, with cart in the slot and on my PC I open the SCAL softwear. There are various tools in the softwear but to be honest I usually download SVG files from a couple of forums I'm a member of , and change, alter, re-size whatever I want. The SCAL softwear has a text tool and it will use whatever fonts your PC uses, or you can download free fonts or dingbats which are great as they have so many images. If I want to do a happy birthday - I usually include the name - so, type happy birthday Ann - choose my font - move the letters together and weld them into 1 image if I want - then you just press cut.
As long as the cricut is on and a mat loaded the SCAL will control the cutting and off you go.
Thats quite a simple explanation but If I can set it up - having just a little techno knowledge - you will be fine.
There are loads of free files , free fonts, dingbats, you will be cutting with abandon in no time !
sharen

genierose
01-07-2011, 02:41 PM
Just a word of warning about the Cricut machines though Nikki .... you can no longer buy SCAL or Make The Cut to use with any cricut machine! If you don't already have the software, you are no longer able to buy either programme to be compatible to cut from cricut machines. There are however other electronic cutting machines which you can use with either software - pazzles, cougar, I think the e-craft and a couple of others I can't recall off hand. I have a cricut expression and love it but I can use my MTC software with it luckily as I bought it before Provocraft decided to force SCAL & MTC to change their programmes. I also have a big shot manual die cutter but don't use it nearly as much now that I have the cricut (I've also got a Craft Robo electronic cutter but again I haven't used it since I got the cricut). Hmmmm, now I just sound like a greedy die cutting maniac lol

sharenslz
01-07-2011, 05:02 PM
Hi again, goodness where have I been ? - missed the announcment about scal2 and provo - if I didnt love the cricut so much it would be in the bin right now as a protest. Typical big companies wanting to put the little guy out of business because he's developed better softwear for their machine ! I am so thankful I have scal2 on disc . Should the cricut fail I shall be upgrading to SCAL3 and buying one of the supported machines. !

butterflydreams
01-07-2011, 10:58 PM
Just a word of warning about the Cricut machines though Nikki .... you can no longer buy SCAL or Make The Cut to use with any cricut machine! If you don't already have the software, you are no longer able to buy either programme to be compatible to cut from cricut machines. There are however other electronic cutting machines which you can use with either software - pazzles, cougar, I think the e-craft and a couple of others I can't recall off hand. I have a cricut expression and love it but I can use my MTC software with it luckily as I bought it before Provocraft decided to force SCAL & MTC to change their programmes. I also have a big shot manual die cutter but don't use it nearly as much now that I have the cricut (I've also got a Craft Robo electronic cutter but again I haven't used it since I got the cricut). Hmmmm, now I just sound like a greedy die cutting maniac lol

Sounds like my idea of heaven hehe!!! I have the big shot but i feel it limits my creativity as I am limited to using the small number of dies I have (all of which are totally random as I buy them when they are reduced in shops!!) but would love a digital machine that allows me to make my own dies up. What made you buy a cricut if you already had a craft robo? Just trying to work out which one is the best investment and would be keen to know what the differences were that made you choose to buy a cricut also?

Thank you for your help :-)

butterflydreams
01-07-2011, 11:02 PM
Thank you for this Sharen, really helpful to understand how it works. Everyone seems to say cricut is the best but the idea of having to buy expensive cartridges puts me off as this is the reason I dont tend to use my Bigshot anymore. It all sounds simple enough but the fact that I cant use that softwear anymore is a downside although maybe I can find someone with an old copy I could buy off them. Both machines are way out of my 'disposable income' range so I have got some time to decide while I'm saving *sigh - I want it right now!!!!*
Thank you for your help :-)

genierose
02-07-2011, 09:27 AM
Sounds like my idea of heaven hehe!!! I have the big shot but i feel it limits my creativity as I am limited to using the small number of dies I have (all of which are totally random as I buy them when they are reduced in shops!!) but would love a digital machine that allows me to make my own dies up. What made you buy a cricut if you already had a craft robo? Just trying to work out which one is the best investment and would be keen to know what the differences were that made you choose to buy a cricut also?

Thank you for your help :-)

The main reason I got the expression was that it cuts through much thicker material. Also I just couldn't seem to get along with either Robomaster or Inkscape software so after downloading the trial of MTC & SCAL & finding MTC so easy to use (with the brilliant support available from the developer of the software), I decided to take the plunge & get a cricut. Must say I haven't regretted it for a second!

butterflydreams
02-07-2011, 10:59 AM
The main reason I got the expression was that it cuts through much thicker material. Also I just couldn't seem to get along with either Robomaster or Inkscape software so after downloading the trial of MTC & SCAL & finding MTC so easy to use (with the brilliant support available from the developer of the software), I decided to take the plunge & get a cricut. Must say I haven't regretted it for a second!

I have been looking at reviews and I think I might be leaning towards the craft robo silhouette SD as it allows me to make up my own pictures which although the cricut allows for this I would have to be careful with the SCAL softwear not working and as I dont know enough about how it all works I would probably end up with a machine I couldnt use.

Now I just have to find a silhouette machine at the right price! They seem to be much cheaper in the US but then by the time I add on shipping and tax etc they only work out about 10 cheaper and then returning it under warranty becomes a hassle. If anyone knows anywhere selling it cheap then please let me know!

Nikki

TreasureBin
02-07-2011, 09:03 PM
Before you make your mind up, check out the brand new eCraft machine - comes with cartridge, and you can download individual designs, and you can connect to your computer to do whatever design you like. It's the only machine that doesn't require a cutting mat so you can feed in any length. Loads of videos on YouTube showing it in action!

butterflydreams
04-07-2011, 05:31 PM
Oh that has thrown a spanner in the works hehe!!!! I have seen adverts for this machine but it is rarely mentioned by anyone so didnt think it was all that popular amongst crafters. I will check this one out too, thank you :-)

genierose
05-07-2011, 12:21 AM
Oh that has thrown a spanner in the works hehe!!!! I have seen adverts for this machine but it is rarely mentioned by anyone so didnt think it was all that popular amongst crafters. I will check this one out too, thank you :-)

If you know the work of Sheena Douglass, she has just got herself an e-craft .... enough said lol

Fuschia
25-07-2011, 07:35 PM
I'm a newbie here so I hope no-one mines me buttin in. I have a craft robo and would not be without it now. It can cut any true type font that is on your computer, it will write/draw anything you design so long as you change the blade for a pen, lol. Using the Studio software which now comes with the Robo/silhouette you can design almost anything you can think of. It is expensive but in my opinion so worth the money and there are no cartridges to buy for it, just blades from time to time and carrier mats for sticking your card/paper onto when sending it to cut.

I also have a cuttlebug which I feel compliments any papercraft, I only use it for embossing, but find it so useful.

Christa
26-07-2011, 12:53 PM
I've had a lovely surprise this morning, my husband has ordered a bigshot die cutter and a sissix emossing machine as well for me, completely on his own and without telling me. Very thoughtful of him. I was still in the process of trying to decide what i wanted tho and was weighing up which was the better option.
I don't know what exactly he's ordered for me til i get it and can play around but just out of interest i was wondering if anyone could tell me what products they are compatible with? I do know that bigshot is sissix and so the sissix dies work (i assume) but what about other makes? I was thinking of a cuttlebug initially because i have heard that sissix is compatable, but tbh I'm completely clueless lol so I'd like to dip into your collective sea of experience please!
I'm looking forward to having a mess about and seeing what i can do. My friend is trying to persuade me into stamping as well but that's another story!
All this is a new venture for me, as i have never really experiemented with my own embellishments etc. Looking forward to the challenge! (with a new born its going to be quite interesting!)

Very sweet of your husband...erm not sure how to put this but a big shot does everything the embossing machine can do and more...you really don't need both. I think Sizzix brought out the embossing machine in order to capture some of the electronic die cutter market. Machines like cricut et al do not emboss and so the embossing only model was a handy add on.

All makes of dies and embossing folders/plates work in the big shot...the only dies you cannot use are those made for the Big Shot Pro and the largest sizes of those for the Grand Calibur...these simply do not fit through the aperture. They are usually easy to spot because they are more expensive anyway. Anything that can be used in the cuttlebug can be used in the big shot.

Some of the dies require the use of a premium crease pad...these tend to be the box/bag dies which include score lines which you don't want to be cut through. Some require extended cutting plates (usually longer borders or larger designs) to support the longer dies.

Once you get used to the basics you will be amazed at what you can do.... you can cut through paper and card, fabric, thin metal and wood...and you can make your own stamps and embossing plates using the big shot too... Have fun!