Die-Cutting Machine Review


Posted on 29th July 2013 by Barbara Daines
Filed under Craft Product Reviews, Reviews Of Paper Cutting Machines

Hi everyone, Barbara here for a short review of a few die-cutting machines.

I must point out these are just my personal opinions, and no way do I want to put anyone off or, alternatively, convince you to buy a particular machine.

I've got to admit that I've never been tempted by an electronic cutter, as I'm a bit of a technophobe....maybe if I'd actually seen one in action, I would have succumbed, but for now it's manual for me.

There are lots of manual cutters on the market, Cuttlebug, Vagabond, Joy Trouvaille to name a few, but the ones I'm familiar with are these :-

Sizzix Big-Shot (Original)
Usually retailing between £50-£70
Accessories included in price are a multi-platform base and 2 cutting plates.
Further plates can be purchased for about £7 per pair.
Can be used with all the Sizzix Bigz dies, and every 'thin' die, such as
Spellbinders, Marianne, Memory Box, etc
Embosses with the addition of a silcone embossing mat.
Has a cutting area of approx A5 size. I've had my Big-Shot for 6 years.....2 years ago the handle became slack and fell off. I contacted Sizzix for advice, and within 3 days I had received a replacement handle, free of charge. Amazing customer service! (I still use my Big-Shot almost every day)

Spellbinders Grand Calibur
Retails for between £70-£100
Accessories included in price are platform base and
two cutting plates
Silicone embossing mat
Large A4 cutting plate.
A separate 'Raspberry' plate is needed to use with embossing folders.
Compatible with all thin dies, (as above) but does not cut the 'Bigz' dies
I bought a GC 2 years ago....it lasted ONE week before the handle broke off (a common problem with this particular machine). I was offered a repair, but declined and had a refund. (I know.... I don't have much luck with handles, do I ??)

Sizzix Big-Shot Pro
This is the beast of all machines, with a huge cutting area of approx. 24" x 14"
Solid and robust, but very large, if you have a small crafting area.
Price varies between £225 - £280.
Accessories include a sliding tray , cutting platform, crease pad, 2 mylar shims, silcone embossing mat and ONE cutting plate.
You are encouraged to purchase an 'Adaptor' set (£25) and another set of cutting plates (£18)
I paid £250 plus another £43 for the extras, making it a very considered purchase.
All dies are compatible with this machine, and cut well. Having a huge cutting plate, means you can cut A4 & more, however I did sometimes feel the need to add another 'shim' for intricate dies, which made the handle quite heavy to use.
I sold this machine, to make a bit more space in my craft room, and to save my arm from dropping off!

Craftwell eBosser Retails from between £150 - £200
This is an electric die-cutter.....whoohoo, no handle to turn!
Accessories include 2 cutting platforms, 1 cutting plate, 1 shim, 1 magnetic sheet, a silicone embossing mat and of course the power pack.
I bought my machine for £175 from a local craft shop. An A4 embossing folder was included in the pack.
Do I like it??? Yes, I do, it doesn't take up too much room but I find it quite slow and noisy. The 'sandwich' is just pushed into the hole, then the rollers take it through the machine. If the sandwich is too thick, the machine just 'spits' it out again. It took me a while to work out various 'sandwiches' for embossing, but it cuts and embosses very well.
So I use this machine for larger dies & embossing folders and my original Big-Shot for smaller dies. Both machines are permanently on my worktop, to use a moments notice.

Well, I hope if you're thinking of buying a die-cutter, this review has been of some help....but remember these are just my personal opinions.
Just to conclude.....all these machines use cutting dies, masks & embossing folders from most companies.....three of them are manual, one is electric.....prices range between £50 - £200
Catch you all soon,


3 thoughts on “Die-Cutting Machine Review”


03rd August 2013 at 2:25 a.m.

I have a Silhouette Cameo and use it to make paper models - static and card automatons. The need for repeated shapes and the complexity of many, makes computer controlled cutting accurate and fast. I am currently developing ideas for paper (card) environments as backgrounds for stop motion animation. So electronic cutting is highly desirable for this and good quality card is essential.


30th July 2013 at 4:03 a.m.

both my sister and I have the Grand Calibur and Big Shot and the best by far is the G.C we both agree its the best as it takes a A4 sheet no problem, and is so easy to use.


29th July 2013 at 9:16 p.m.

I started with the original Sizzix then the Big Shot and also have the Grand Calibur so I can use bigger dies, I love them and the beautiful cards that can be made using them. I bought a Cricut machine which I also use especially the fonts and elegant edges cartridges, would have liked the larger machine but don't have room on my craft desk!!

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