Sizzix Eclips Does it Right!

I get asked all the time by crafters “Which electronic die cutter should I buy?”  And currently my advice has been to go with a Silhouette or an Eclips. When my school Parent teacher Group asked me to research and choose a die cutter for the school (and train the teachers with said machine) I chose the Sizzix Eclips . I already own a Sizzix Big Shot manual die cutter and a slew of their dies and embossing folders and I have yet to be dissapointed by any of their products.  I am so glad the school went with an Eclips!  Here’s why. The Eclips will work with Sure Cuts a Lot software. In fact I had it out of the box and cutting with ECAL in minutes, I expected some trial and error but the design I cut with colored typing paper scraps was so pretty that I turned it into a project! The owl is from the Owl Party Doodlebat set from Lettering Delights, the plaque shape is in included in ECAL software. The letters, book and pencil were on the cartridge that came with the machine, how cute and useful!

So the fact that Eclips worked with ECAL was the most important factor, I can help teachers over the phone if I know what software they are using and I already know it is easy because I’ve been using SCAL2 with my Cricut for years.  I actually told the PTG that whatever you do DO NOT buy a Cricut because it no longer works with SCAL.

The other bonus to the Eclipse is that the hand-held controller and cartridges are very easy to use too.  Also I like that the Regular retail for MOST of their cartridges are $40 and they are on sale all the time online for about $25. I know some people are going to just want to use the cartridge and not mess with the computer so I wanted that option and the school can buy a full cartridge full of images for less than the cost on one commercial die for their manual machine. Thanks for not jacking up your cartridge prices Sizzix!!!  🙂

The other selling point for the machine was the price of mats and blades. I have been using the Eclips mats in my Cricut machine for a while, they are fabulous and cheaper than the Cricut brand.   We bought a 2-pack of eclips blades for $5 vs one silhouette blade that is $15. I wanted the machine to be affordable for the teachers in the long run. Cheaper blades and mats, cheaper cartridges if you want them or you can just cut free font and SVG files using ECAL software, choosing the Eclips was a no-brainer…did I mention it cuts really well too!

Don’t get me wrong! I think the Silhouette would be a good machine too, I think that because the blade is so pricey it probably would cut really fine, intricate patterns (it better for $15!) but a school teacher is more likely to need 100 identical shapes for a classroom project (The Auto Fill feature on the Eclips is da bomb!) or bulletin board rather than one really pretty doily. Even as a crafter who likes to cut little pretty things I’d go with the eclipse because I’ve been playing with it and it surpassed my expectations. Also crafters, if you like Tim Holtz they have cartridges of his designs so you can stamp it then cut it. Wow. I will warn you the TH carts are more expensive.

The machine has an alignment lazar so you can print and cut in SCAL, I have not tried that yet (I don’t know if I should, I am falling in love with this machine a little too much as it is!) but I plan to before I have to take it to the elementary school..sniff…sniff 😦

I think that Sizzix did it right! They thought of everything. Easy to cut. Buy inexpensive cartridges OR cut your fonts and SVG designs, easy to use right out of the box OR you can get fancy with advanced techniques (there is a great long instruction DVD showcasing all the bells and whistles!) and the machine is less expensive that a lot of the machines on the market! We found the best price ($300) on the Eclips at Oh My Crafts online, they often have their blades and mats on sale too! Right now the blades are $5 for a 2 pack and the mats are $8 for a 2 pack of 12″x12″ or 1 12″x24″. Note: I am not affiliated with Oh My Crafts, but I have shopped with them from time to time and they usually have the best price and good customer service.

Sizzix, you done good!

12 Responses

  1. I have been looking at this machine and wondering….I already have SCAL…..would I have to buy Ecal if I got this machine?

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    • Yes you would need ECAL. For one the blade is at the opposite end of the machine than Cricut. Also there are specail features of using the lazar to print and cut as well as adjusting speed and pressure. The sofware is much like SCAL2, it was easy for me to use, I actualy tried to cut with my cricut from ecal but it did not work (drat!) because ecal is a bit slicker than SCAL2 but they are very similar:) I also like that Sizzix apporved the sale and design of ECAL so they won’t go sueing them in 6 months like cricut did LOL!

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      • I don’t know whether to say thank you or LOOK at what you made me do….LOL! I just ordered the machine from OH MY CRAFTS…darn you, Lindsay………LOL!!! It’s another machine to add to my collection.
        Just wanted to say, too that I LOVE your videos and all your frugal ideas! Being a SENIOR citizen makes it necessary to save money in whatever place you can…..(so you can get MORE CRAFT items).
        Keep up the great work!

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  2. Aren’t you a temptress, Lindsay! lol This is the first time I’ve ever read about an electronic die cutting nachine and really thought I might want one. DO you think the Eclips would cut intricate deisgns well? That’s something I envision myself cutting often. I don’t know a thing about electric die cutting machine, so am afraid to sink that kind of money into one and find out it won’t do what I had thought it would. I figured that if the die was sold for that machine, the machine would cut it well.

    I like your wall hanging. It’s sure to bring a smile from the kids. 🙂

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    • well, I think it would, how intricate? It cut the 1mm thick legs on the own out of typing paper with no snags. I thin if you used a sharp blade you would be fine, it is more precisce than my cricut for sure! Also it cuts faster and there are more options and choices in ECAL. I have not tried the silhouette so maybe that is better for stuff like doilies, im not sure but I was cutting designs smaller than recommended on the Eclips and they cut perfect!

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  3. Lindsay!

    I LOVED THE POST! I know my die cutters, lol. I can recite back and fourth which cutter is the best for specific crafter’s personality.

    I agree the Eclips is the best for a school. Plus, Sizzix is so academic friendly too. I wouldn’t recommend the Cameo because it’s so fragile. Can you imagine a lil’ one accidentally breaking it. I know they get in the teacher’s area occasionally. That is how I learned die cutting actually was in school. I was trusted enough to run the gargantuan AccuCut for the teachers. I just dated myself, lol.

    Cricut went big splat on the floor for an educational cutter. I still recommend it for certain crafters who don’t want to be locked to their computer but I am starting to turn them to the Eclips too.

    I am in the process of downsizing my cutters. I know I have been yabbering about this for months on SCS, ROFL! It was hard for me to make a decision since I was a power user. I just want one cutter and less drama.

    I am actually getting rid of my Cameo. Personally for me I don’t like that blade holder. When I got the Cameo in the mail I almost packed it back up and sent it back. I didn’t realize I couldn’t change the blade and have to replace the holder. I am long time Graphtec machine user. I always replaced the blade. Fifteen dollars for one blade is an ouchie in my crafting budget plus the environmental impact from replacing a blade holder and not just the blade. I think the machine is flimsy too.

    The big nail on the Cameo coffin was this week when girl asked me if she could sell files she custom designed using Silhouette Studio or Funtime software. She was deciding on cutters, I think. I found out big no to Silhouette. You can’t design and sell files in their format. Yes, you can with Funtime and Gazelle.

    Cameo gone. Cricut gone. I can’t take the Cricut drama anymore. It’s become too personal. Winner for me my workhorse Gazelle.

    I love the price of the Eclips you got. Wow! It’s almost a steal. Lowest I have ever seen. It was a great post Lindsay. You just booted up the Eclips in my list as #2 cutter to buy. I will send everyone over here to read this Eclips review when they ask about that machine

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  4. Great review Lindsay, I love to hear your honest evaluation. I was fortunate enough to sell my ecraft which was a huge mistake to buy. Now I just need to save to buy a new cutter. Thanks for the info.

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  5. While I have already decided to buy the Eclips, your detailed post validates my decision. However, better prices are to be found at SVGCUTS.com…….has it for $299.99 which includes the machine, eCAL, free shipping and a bonus $20 SVGCuts gift card. Lowest price aside, I’d buy there because Leo is always there to answer any and all my questions. Besides, they offer a free svg file every Friday. :0)

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  6. Hi Lindsay,

    Thanks for the post this morning, it just confirms my choice. I haven’t bought the Eclips only because I got a great deal on ebay on many 6×12 mats and blades. I should just go ahead and split with the money………….I’m sure my granddaughter would just love getting my Cricut. I’m sure it wouldn’t be long before she could teach me all about SCAL and then I wouldn’t bother Leo with all my questions.

    I posted a comment on your blog……..there’s also great deal at SVGcuts. com. As for customer service, Leo is great about answering all my questions I have with SCAL. I’m always amazed that Leo is quick to respond.

    I recently unsubscribed from almost all blogs because I was spending far too much time on the computer. I whittled down to five or so. You made the list. LOL I love your blog, it amazes me that you find the time to do videos for us less knowledge and of course, I love it when you find ways to do something cheaper. Have I told you lately, Thank you!

    Beverly

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  7. Another great post Miss Frugal! I had no idea the Eclips could cut your own designs so I had put that in my “not gonna happen” pile. Now I’m thinking this might be the best option for me. We shall see, Christmas is still way off yet…. 🙂

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    • Just like any tool, it’s a good deal if you use it, I think the teachers will get a lot more use from this than a few steel dies for the same price!

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