Hi friends! Tonight I have a very broad general video about they types of dies and die cutting machines (computerized/electronic vs. manual) and what each kind is good for. Keep in mind the machines I use are about 8 years old and they are still doing everything I need them to do so I have not upgraded. I may have been a bit harsh and unfair of a certain brand of cutter (due to my past experience with the company but newer customers are saying they are great now) so I do intend to provide a more thorough discussion of die cutters. I actually am looking to do a google hangout with some advanced die cut machine users so we can have a discussion of different machines and you can ask questions live. If you know of a crafter I should ask to be a guest let me know. Now here is a very general discussion on die cutters.
OK, so maybe I was a bit harsh on Cricut but having to be connected to the internet is a deal breaker for me. I did just find out that the new Scan and Cut can be hooked to your computer for fonts and SVGs now (oh the temptation!) but I have not used the Scan ‘n Cut, I am merely drooling over others recommendation. I mentioned the blog Clever Someday as a great resource of several popular die cutting machines, Kay also has great tutorials, I have learned a lot from her, if you want more info on computerized die cutters check her out. If you want to watch the Google Hangout live make sure to follow me on Google+ because I can send an invite to everyone that follows me I think… I will likely post it here and Facebook as well. Also you can post a question here in the comments if you can’t make it but live questions will be answered first. I am hoping to do this in a day or two so stay tuned.
But today I wanted to go over the basic advantages each type of machine has:
Electronic/Computerized Cutter (pros & cons)
- (con) larger initial investment $250-$500 for consumer models
- (pro) ability to cut designs in the size you want
- (pro) most let you cut computer fonts you have (or can download free or cheaply)
- (pro) most let you easily convert clip art into cutting files
- (pro) it gets cheaper the longer you use it because once you buy the machine you can do a lot without spending another dime
- (pro) you can make cutting files to cut stamped images *with some machines, difficulty will vary.
- (con) steeper learning curve than manual machine
- (con) blades and mats will need replacing
- (con) if something goes wrong it will probably be expensive to fix
- Best for cutting thinner/less dense materials but deep cut blades are available
- (pro) smaller initial investment $60-$300 depending on fanciness
- (pro) cuts with dies and embosses with embossing folders and texture plates (and stencils!)
- (pro) little learning curve other and figuring what plates you need for pressure.
- (con) you get what you get, no adjusting the sizes, if you want a bigger shape you need a bigger die.
- (con) you have to keep buying dies if you want more shapes
- (pro) easily cuts through thicker items with thick dies
- (pro) there is not much to go wrong with them especially if you invest in a quality machine, I’ve been using my Big Shot daily for 8 years with no trouble
- (pro) no blades to replace but you will need to replace the cutting pads occasionally
- (pro) can be used with letterpress plates
- Best for the crafter who does not want to mess with a computer when crafting and likes to cut thicker materials
I hope that helped a bit. Stay tuned for a more in-depth discussion. I will have the recording available if you can’t make it to the hangout, it will be my first live youtube thing so wish me luck! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!