A Closer Look at the Sizzix Big Shot Plus (Review)

In most ways the Sizzix Big Shot Plus is really the same machine like the Sizzix Big Shot; the only …

Read moreA Closer Look at the Sizzix Big Shot Plus (Review)

In most ways the Sizzix Big Shot Plus is really the same machine like the Sizzix Big Shot; the only difference is that it has a larger cutting surface (can cut up to 8.5 x 11″). And as a paper crafter enthusiast, I’m sure that you know how loved the Sizzix brand is in the crafting community.

Their combo die-cutting & embossing machines can add the perfect final touches to custom made embellishments, shapes and die cuts. It has the ability to cut and emboss all sorts of materials from paper, vellum, fabric, chipboard, and cork.

Whilst the machine is heavier than the Big Shot, it is still lightweight and portable. Only negative? It features a crank handle – bring on the muscles! It is, however, the best vinyl cutter under $300 if you wish to have a manual machine.

Click here to check current prices for the Big Shot Plus Machine

Now that we know that the Big Shot Plus Die Cutting & Embossing machine is indeed a fabulous machine, what we really need to do is to figure out if this is the right machine for YOU.  And to help you out, we have come up with a Sizzix Big Shot Plus review.

 

Sizzix Big Shot Plus Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this popular die cutting and embossing machine by Sizzix.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4

Summary

This Big Shot Plus is perfect for scrapbookers, cardmakers, and quilters who are getting started with die cutting machines. It has a larger cutting surface than the cheaper Big Shot, which is brilliant for those wishing to create larger die cuts or embellishments. It is easy to use. It is one of the best crank operated die cutting and embossing machines on the market currently.

Pros:

It is is one of the best embossing machines. Very powerful crank feature that can cut through multiple layers of material. Super modern and sleek look. Affordable. Offers a slightly larger cutting space in comparison to the Big Shot.

Cons:

Manual crank operation. Stuck with using pre-made dies and folders. Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

Review of the Sizzix Big Shot Plus Machine

The Big Shot Plus Cutting Machine is not only our personal favorite but also an affordable and easy-to-use machine. 

We recommend that you compare the Big Shot Plus against electric die cutting and embossing machines.

 

So What Comes in the Box?

The Sizzix Big Shot Plus Die Cutting Machine comes with all the platforms and plates. The machine measures approximately 15 3/4″ x 11 3/4″ x 7 1/2″.

You will, however, need to purchase some dies and embossing folders before you will be able to use the machine. You can browse through some of our favorite dies and folders here.

Here is what is included with the Big Shot:

  • The Machine
  • 1 x Platform
  • Adapter sheets: A & B
  • 1 Pair of Cutting Plates

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

The cutter has a larger cutting surface in comparison to its ‘little brother’ the Sizzix Big Shot. The Big Shot plus has a cutting of 8.5 x 11″.

 

What Material Can it Cut?

The Big Shot Plus Die Cutter does a fabulous job working with a wide range of materials. These include:

  • cardstock
  • felt
  • fabric
  • foam
  • magnet
  • leather
  • craft aluminum
  • chipboard
  • metallic foil
  • vellum
  • and much more!

Some dies can handle cutting some material better than others, so it is best to check out the Sizzix Die Cheat Sheet.

 

What Brand Dies and Folders Can you Use?

The machine works brilliantly with any Sizzix® die or embossing folder, including their smallest dies to their big 9″ wide steel-rule dies and embossing tools. Important to note that the machine is not compatible with the Bigz™ Pro dies.

We love machines that can work with dies and folders from a wide range of brands. The Sizzix Big Shot Plus can work with the dies and folders from the following brands:

  • Cricut Cuttlebug
  • Spellbinders (absolutely love these)
  • QuicKut
  • Accuquilt (great for quilters)
  • & more!

 

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Whilst it is larger than the Big Shot, it is still portable enough to take with you to crafty gatherings.
  • I can cut and emboss
  • The motor is strong enough to cut through multiple layers of material.
  • Has a gorgeous modern sleek new look
  • It is affordable

Cons:

  • Has a crank instead of an electronic feature
  • Limitations: cutting with dies and embossing with folders
  • Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

 

Verdict

This machine is perfect for those who are after a great die cut and embossing vinyl machine!  The Big Shot Plus offers a wider cutting width than its little brother the Big Shot.

It is a brilliant machine for those who love to enjoy their craft with groups and friends, due to its lightweight and portable features.

You might even wish to purchase the whole Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit!

I guess your main problems will be which dies and embossing folders to purchase with these scrapbook cutting machines!

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Big Shot from Amazon

or

Click here to purchase the Big Shot from Sizzix.com

Our Crafter’s Companion Gemini Die Cutting Machine Review

The Gemini Cutting Machine is one of the select few electric die cutting and embossing machines on the market.  …

Read moreOur Crafter’s Companion Gemini Die Cutting Machine Review

The Gemini Cutting Machine is one of the select few electric die cutting and embossing machines on the market. 

Gemini Crafters Cutter

Most electronic die cutting machines don’t have the functionality to emboss, so it is exciting when you find a machine that can do both. The machine still has its limitations though, as it still relies on dies and folders (unlike more expensive electronic die cutting machines that can cut any shape).

It has a large platform size of 9″x12.5″, which is pretty impressive for a machine that uses dies and folders.

Click here to check current prices for the Gemini Craft Machine

Wondering whether the Gemini Machine Crafters Companion is for you? Hopefully, our Gemini Die Cutting Machine Review will help answer that question for you.

 

Gemini Die Cutting Machine Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this great electronic Crafters Companion die cutting machine.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4

Summary

The Gemini by Crafters Companion is a great electronic die cutting machine for paper crafters.

This electronic die cutting and embossing machine is a great purchase for those who wish to upgrade from the manual cutters. The machine still work with dies and folders, but has the ease of operating with the push of a button.  The machine is quiet and works fast. It does have a slightly expensive price-tag, but there aren’t many machines that can work electronically with dies and folders.

Pros:

Quiet and works fast. Comes with a large set of dies and some folders as well. Can work with other brand dies and folders. I can handle intricate dies with ease. Has a useful pause and rewind function. It is electronic. It has a large platform size of 9” by 12.5”.

Cons:

Gemini dies warp easily. Slightly more expensive than we think it should be. Slightly on the heavy side.

Review of the Gemini Die Cutter & Embosser

The Gemini Machine fabulous machine if you are after an electronic die cutter, but you can’t quite reach the price-tag of the more professional electronic machines. It is one of the best electronic embossing machines though!

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our detailed guide to the best craft cutting machine.

 

Feature Summary

Find below a quick look at the main features of the Gemini machine.

  • Plate size: 9″ x 12.5″ (which is nice and large)
  • Weight: 15.23 lbs (heavier than most manual die cutting machines)
  • Comes with 16 dies and 3 embossing folders (not many machines include dies in the starter pack)
  • Pass through time: 16 sec
  • Useful pause and rewind feature (for when the die didn’t cut the material properly)

 

So What Comes in the Box?

Gemini by Crafters Companion

The Die Cutting Machine comes with all the platforms and plates that you need to get started. What we love about the Gemini is that it also comes with a nice selection of starter dies and folders (so no need to fork out extra money on dies just yet).

Here is what is included in the box:

  • The Machine
  • Clear Cutting Platform
  • Base cutting plate
  • Metal cutting plate
  • Magnetic shim
  • Plastic shim
  • Rubber embossing mat
  • 3 x Embossing folders, and
  • 16 x Cutting dies (16)

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

The cutter has a lovely and large platform size of 9” by 12.5”, which is much larger in comparison to the platform size of Cuttlebugs and the Big Shots. This size allows edge-to-edge cutting of A4 and US letter size materials. The size will also allow you to cut more than one die at a time, which ends up saving you time – always a good thing!

 

What Brand Dies and Folders Can you Use?

The fabulous thing about the Gemini is that you can use dies and embossing folders from a whole range of brands. Here are some of our favorite brands when it comes to dies and folders:

  • Sizzix Thin Metal Dies
  • Spellbinders Dies
  • Cricut Cuttlebug Dies
  • Lawn Fawn Dies
  • Darice Dies
  • Tattered Lace Dies
  • Fun Stampers Journey Dies
  • My Favorite Things Dies

It can also use all of their embossing folders as well, including the popular Craftwell 8.5 × 11 Embossing folder.

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Really quiet digital die cutting machine
  • Everything you will need to get started is in the box, including some dies
  • It supports third-party dies and embossing folders
  • Due to its power and force, it can cut intricate dies with ease
  • Can cut cardstock, vinyl, foil and multiple layers of fabric
  • Has a useful pause and rewind function
  • It is electronic
  • It has a large platform size of 9” by 12.5”

Cons:

  • Gemini dies warp easily (due to the strong force applied from the machine)
  • Slightly more expensive than we think it should be.

 

Verdict

Crafters Companion Gemini Die Cutting Machine Review

The Gemini by Crafters Companion is a great electronic die cutting machine for paper crafters.

The machine is actually very popular and we have only heard good things from those that have purchased it.

If you love working with dies and embossing folders and you can reach the price tag, then you will surely be happy with this sleek and modern little cutter!  It is quiet, but powerful and creates beautiful die cuts.

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Gemini from Amazon

Our Detailed Sizzix Big Shot Machine Review

The Sizzix Big Shot Die Cut Machine is the best machine for those of us who enjoy either scrapbooking, …

Read moreOur Detailed Sizzix Big Shot Machine Review

The Sizzix Big Shot Die Cut Machine is the best machine for those of us who enjoy either scrapbooking, card making or quilting.  

And as a paper crafter enthusiast, I’m sure that you know how loved the Sizzix brand is in the crafting community. We absolutely love the modern, clean and sleek new look of the Big Shot.  

If you can’t reach the high price tags for the electronic die cutters, the crank-operated Big Shot is the next best things. Not only is it affordable, but it is very portable to take to crafting events as well.

The machine does an excellent job at both die cutting and embossing and we love the versatility when it comes to the wide range of materials that it can cut.  

Click here to check current prices for the Big Shot Machine

Now that we know that the Big Shot embossing machine is indeed a fabulous machine, what we really need to do is to figure out if this is the right machine for YOU.  And to help you out, we have come up with a Big Shot review.

 

Big Shot Die Cutting Machine Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this popular die cutting and embossing machine by Sizzix.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4

Summary

This Big Shot is perfect for scrapbookers, cardmakers, and quilters who are getting started with die cutting machines. It is a great machine that comes with an affordable price tag. It is easy to use and very portable due to its compact size. It is one of the best manual cutters on the market currently.

Pros:

Small and portable. It is a die cut and embossing machine. Very powerful crank feature that can cut through multiple layers of material. Super modern and sleek look. Affordable.

Cons:

Manual crank operation which slows you down. Limited capabilities with pre-made dies and folders. Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

Review of the Sizzix Big Shot Machine

The Big Shot Cutting Machine is not only our personal favorite but also a pocket-friendly and easy-to-use machine. 

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our detailed guide to the best die cutting machines.

 

So What Comes in the Box?

The Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine comes with all the platforms and plates that you need to get started. The unit itself measures approximately 14 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ x 6 5/8″.

You will, however, need to purchase some dies and embossing folders before you will be able to use the machine. You can browse through some of our favorite dies and folders here.

Here is what is included with the Big Shot:

  • The Machine
  • 1 x Extended Multipurpose Platform (14 1/8″ long)
  • 1 Pair of Cutting Plates (8 3/4″ long)

We also highly recommend that you invest in the Extended Plates, so that you can use longer dies (seeing as the plates that come with the machine can only cut dies up to 8 3/4″ in length). You can grab a pair of Extended Plates here.

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

The cutter can handle dies and folders that are up to 6″ in width. If you purchase the extended plates mentioned above, you will be able to extend the cutting length up to 14″, which is great for creating borders and fabric strips.

 

What Material Can it Cut?

The Big Shot Die Cutter is really versatile when it comes to cutting a wide range of materials. These include:

  • cardstock
  • felt
  • fabric
  • foam
  • magnet
  • leather
  • craft aluminum
  • chipboard
  • metallic foil
  • vellum
  • and much more!

Some dies cope better with some material than others.  Want to see what your die can cut? Here is a Sizzix Die Cheat Sheet.

The designing potential is truly limitless with this machine. And with the Extender Plate, you can get even more creative as well.

 

What Brand Dies and Folders Can you Use?

The Big Shot machine works with the entire Sizzix® product library, including their smallest dies to their big 6″ wide steel-rule dies and embossing tools. Important to note that the Big Shot is not compatible with the Bigz™ Plus and Bigz Pro dies.

The fabulous thing about Sizzix is that you can use dies and embossing folders from a whole range of brands.

Here are some of our favorite brands when it comes to dies and folders:

  • Cricut Cuttlebug
  • Spellbinders (absolutely love these)
  • QuicKut
  • Accuquilt (great for quilters)

 

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Small, lightweight and portable to take along with you to craft events
  • Easy to use
  • Very powerful crank feature that can cut through multiple layers of material 
  • Super modern and sleek look
  • Affordable price tag

Cons:

  • The manual crank operation takes time and effort
  • Limited capabilities, stuck to cutting shapes from dies and embossing with folders
  • Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

 

Verdict

The Sizzix Big Shot Machine is the best manual die cutting machine on the market in 2020!

The machine is affordable, small, compact and easy to take along to crafty events and gatherings. We love that it is a combination die cut and embossing machine.

It can cut through so many different types of materials, including fabric and vinyl.

If you don’t mind the labor of the crank, then this is the one for you!  A hot favorite by a brand that we all trust and love!

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Big Shot from Amazon

or

Click here to purchase the Big Shot from Sizzix.com

Cricut Cuttlebug Machine V2 Review | Is this the Die Cutter for You?

For any home-based crafter, the invention of the Cuttlebug Machine was quite an exciting time. The machine meant that …

Read moreCricut Cuttlebug Machine V2 Review | Is this the Die Cutter for You?

For any home-based crafter, the invention of the Cuttlebug Machine was quite an exciting time.

The machine meant that crafters had more freedom and flexibility to create embellishments, die cuts and stickers that suited their pages or cards that they were working on.

The Cricut Cuttlebug Machine is an embossing and die cut machine by one of the most popular brands: Cricut. It is a fabulous machine and is the best embossing machine for card makers due to its small 6″ working surface.

There are actually two versions out there, but ultimately they work exactly the same. They use the same plates, folder and dies. The only difference is the outer design of the cutter. So it doesn’t matter which version you purchase – I say, grab the one that is cheapest.

However, for the sake of this review, we will be focusing on the Cuttlebug machine V2

Click here to check current prices for the Cricut Cuttlebug Machine

The main question isn’t which version to purchase, but rather whether this is the right machine for you. And to help you out with your search, we have come up with a Cuttlebug review of one of the best crafting tools the market has to offer.

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING SOON! See the Cricut Cutter Black Friday 2019 sales page for all the best deals!

 

Cricut Cuttlebug Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this popular die cutting and embossing machine by Cricut.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4.1

Summary

This cutter is perfect for scrapbookers and cardmakers who are getting started with die cutting machines. It is cheap, easy to use very portable due to its compact size. It is one of the most popular hand-operated cutters on the market currently.

Pros:

Cuts are clean and embossing well defined. Affordable price tag. Easy to use. Small, compact and portable. Can cut through a variety of materials as well.

Cons:

Hand-operated with a crank features. Ongoing costs as you will need to purchase dies and folders and new plates. Features are basic and simple in comparison to electric cutting machines.

 

Detailed Review

The Cricut Cuttlebug is not only our personal favorite but also a pocket-friendly and easy-to-use machine. And we are confident that it can grow to be your go-to crafting tool as well.

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our Cricut Machine comparison chart or our detailed die cutting machine comparisons post.

 

So What Comes in the Box?

The cutter has a rather small dimensional footprint of 13″ x 11″ x 6.5″ and is almost about 10 pounds in weight.

Along with a collapsible handle, that can be easily tucked away, the machine has a convenient ‘fold-n-store profile’ as well, which makes it very easy to store.

Along with the Cricut machine, you will also get:

  • One A plate (spacer)
  • Two B plates (cutting pads)
  • A Cricut Cuttlebug die cutter and embosser
  • An Instruction booklet
  • A 1 x 5″ x 7″ simple flower embossing folder

We also highly recommend that you purchase the following Cuttlebug accessories which are not included in your box:

 

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

Whereas most standard embossing folders have their cutting limits at the 5.8-inches mark, and some even at 5, the Cuttlebug quite easily beats them all with its 6-inches of cutting ability.

On some fabric, the cutting length can go up to 7-inches as well, and with the Cuttlebug Adapter C Mat, taking up folders and dies to 13-inches.

 

What Can You Use it For?

Though you may not be able to use the Cricut Cuttlebug to make intricate vinyl patterns and t-shirts. You can still use it for other versatile options like die cutting and embossing, especially for making scrapbooks and greeting cards.

And there are a variety of things, you can cut with it, such as:

  • Paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Felt
  • Foam
  • Chipboard
  • Foils
  • Acetate
  • Cardstock

The designing potential is truly limitless with this machine. And with the Adapter Plate C, you can use die folders from other brands as well.

 

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • One of the most user-friendly Cricut in the market.
  • No electricity and no sharp edges make it quite safe for kids.
  • Small and compact body design with ‘fold-n-store profile’ feature improves storage capabilities.
  • Pop-up handle feature makes the Cricut highly portable and mobile.

Cons:

  • The suction at the base didn’t stick much and was somewhat disappointing.
  • Its small and compact size restricts it to just cuts and embossing and nothing more.  

 

Verdict

Made with the beginner and the amateur crafter in mind, the Cricut Cuttlebug comes highly recommended for kids and avid scrapbookers alike.

It’s one of the most convenient and durable Cricut in today’s market, and along with a sleek portable design, it’s versatile enough to fit into a variety of spaces.

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Cuttlebug from Amazon

or

Click here to purchase the Cuttlebug from Cricut.com

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