Monday, April 16, 2018

Die Cutter Comparison / Cuttlebug, Big Shot, Silhouette and more!

Die Cutter Comparison

What qualities are on the top of your list?

As I stated in a previous blog, the Gemini Junior interested me. I have to consider space in my shrinking craft room and decide if its features were better than my 10-year-old Big Shot. My Sizzix Big Shot has been there through thick and thin, literally!

I found out that there are quite a few die cutting machines. Each has just that one thing that makes it unique. Although I am most interested to see how the Gemini Junior stands up next to my Big Shot, I looked at the details about other popular machines. 

This is a summary of what I found out

The Cricut Cuttlebug and the Sizzix Big Shot

The Cuttlebug and the Big Shot are very similar. The Big Shot is a tad bit bigger and heavier with a longer base plate allowing it to cut thicker, denser items. The Cuttlebug is more portable. Both can use embossing folders. Both are manual machines. The prices are comparable. 

Cricut Cuttlebug
Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine

The Tim Holtz Vagabond

The Vagabond 2 does the same exact thing, cut and emboss, as the Cuttlebug and Big Shot but it is 7 pounds heavier. It is electronic, a push of a button sends your dies through. Even so, the Vagabond does not have a way to stop if base plates and dies are too thick. Both the Big Shot and the Vagabond 2 are able to use steel rule dies for die cutting. The Vagabonds price can run about double that of the Cuttlebug or Big Shot.

Vagabond 2

The Spellbinders Grand Calibur

The Grand Calibur by Spellbinders is NOT an electronic machine as stated in the chart above. It is a manual, hand crank die cutting and embossing machine. Its base size is slightly wider giving it the ability to cut an 8.5"x 11" piece of cardstock. This allows the Grand Calibur to cut multiple dies at one pass. It has the ability to cut the same materials as the Big Shot and Cuttlebug ie; double thickness of cardstock, sticker-backed papers, fabric, vellum, acetate and more. It is comparable in price to the Big Shot and Cuttlebug.

The Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Cricut Explore Air 2

The Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Cricut Explore Air 2 are twice as long as the Big Shot though they have a low profile. They are very similar in base size cutting 12"x 12" cardstock. They are both electronic and are wireless to the computer which allows them to be programmed to cut intricate or simple designs, download images from websites to cut and the ability to draw and color digital designs. They are able to heat emboss by drawing your design with a Versamark pen. You add the powder and your heat gun. They also can make a  raised design by using a special stylus instead of a blade. They DO NOT use embossing folders. Both are able to cut similar items from double cardstock to vinyl to fabric and leather. They also had the same price when I checked Amazon, 3 times more than the Big Shot and Cuttlebug.

Silhouette Cameo 3 electronicDie Cut Machine

Cricut Explore Air 2Die Cutting Machine

The Gemini Junior

The Gemini Junior is also electronic. It is smaller in size than the Big Shot, 10.5"x 5.6" and 7" tall. It weighs as much as a gallon of milk. Although a smaller size means the base plate is smaller as well, it has the strength and ability to cut the same items as the Silhouette and Cricut Explore Air as well as jeans, 5 layers of cotton fabric and balsa wood. Even so, it's specialty is very intricate die cutting. The price is about double that of the Big Shot and Cuttlebug.

Gemini Junior

Take note of the qualities you are looking for in a die cutting and embossing machine. Do some research on the one you are interested in. Amazon carries almost all of the machines in the chart. They are the ones I summarized! Amazon gives quite a bit of information on each machine all in one place. This purchase is definitely an investment in your craft. 

By NO MEANS are these the only die cutting machines out there and many DO NOT emboss; Brother Scan and Cut 2, We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advanced, Cheery Lynn Designs Big Sister, Spellbinders Prizm, Sizzix Sidekick, Cricut Explore Air, Big Shot Plus and the list goes on...

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Sites quoted:
1. Silhouette America

5. Sizzix Vagabond 2

6. Crafter's Companion  Crafter's Companion

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1 comment:

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