Username Post: best cutting machine        (Topic#1523809)
jennaroo
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jennaroo

Ladies any help would be appreciated. I want to buy a cutting machine.....since it will be a big purchase I want to get the one thats right for me and gives me the most bang for my buck.

I have really done most of my LO ebelishments by hand up to this point so I am not familiar with whats out there and what the machines do.

I originally wanted a cricut expession, but then I thought I saw a machine that cuts as well as embosses....am I confussed or do cutting machines do more than one task?

Whats the best cutting machine, easiest to use, that does the most for the money?

Also one more thing I noticed on the cricut site you cannot see the images that the cartridges cut....where can I veiw those if thats what I choose to buy?

FYI......I don't care for the pazzil

P.S.

Prices would be great as well.

Thanks in advance


Edited by jennaroo on 12-29-09 09:00 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
CASBa
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  • CASBa on 12-29-09 08:54 AM
In response to jennaroo

Most manual machines (i.e. the cuttlebug, sizzix, etc.) do both cutting and embossing. With those you can use dies from various vendors as well in the machine. I have the cuttlebug and I really like it.

I also have the Bosskut Gazelle. It doesn't emboss, but it is a wonderful machine. It doesn't require cartridges, cuts 12x12, can cut any true type font and has a lot of cool features in the software. I really like it.


 
NMlady
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In response to CASBa

I love my cuttlebug, too. I got it for $45 on ebay. It was new. I got most of my folders and dies on ebay as well. I get them for pretty great prices because I am extremely cheap. I did get the newest folders from QVC for a great price.


 
-Jenn-
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In response to NMlady

I have the pazzles inspiration, the cricut expression, and the cuttlebug. I would have to say it's a tie between the pazzles and the cricut for me!

with the cricut you are limited to cartridges. You can only cut the images and fonts that comes on those cartridges (unless you do sure cuts a lot, and i'm not too sure about that program, i've heard good and bad things about it, then you can cut any true font on your computer, and a lot more images) It is possibly the easiest machine I've ever used!!

The pazzles is a great machine. It's kind of complicated at first, but it's easy to pick up. You can cut any true font on your computer, plus any image you can find out there. you can also trace pictures (like a child's hand print etc). You can also draw anything and cut it out. this machine has saved my life a million times. Just the other day, I need to make a card for my dbf's mom, and she loves UT. I wanted to make her a UT jersey, but I didn't have the cut file for a shirt. So I just copy and pasted a shirt from google and traced it! and it came out wonderfully! She loved it! Also my mom needed a car cut out the other day, same thing there, I found a punch online that cuts out cars, copy and pasted it into the program, and traced it. I love this machine!!

both machines you can emboss and do many other things with!! I think the pazzles is more worth the money. with the cricut you may pay less up front, but each cartridge will cost you between 40-80 dollars, so you buy 2 cartridges, and you've already spent the same amount as you would of if you would of bought the pazzles..

The cuttlebug is a cute cheap machine, BUT you can't cut different sizes. You can only cut what the die gives you. If you have a letter that is 1x1 on your die, well, that is the only thing you can cut out of it. I don't use this machine for diecutting, I use it for embossing, and I love it! It's a very nice, cute little thing! I love it!

I know you said you didn't like the pazzles, but I thought I would give my thoughts anyways There are other machines that do the same thing as pazzles, and I don't remember why I chose this one over the others. Make sure you pay attention to the sizes the other machines can cut. I almost made the mistake of buying the silhoutte (I think it was that machine) and right before I clicked buy I got a message from a friend saying it didn't cut up to 12x12 or 12x24, I think it's 10x24 or something. Just do your research before you buy anything. I researched for about 3 months before I bought anything and I am so happy with my purchases!! good luck and have fun!


 
Seaexplore
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In response to -Jenn-

with the manual machines (sizzix, cuttlebug, quickutz, wizard, etc) you are limited to ONLY the size of the dies you can purchase, you can't resize anything.

With the electronic machines (cricut, slice) you can get different sizes but you have to buy cartridges with the stuff preloaded.

With the computer based cutters (gazelle, pazzles, wishblade, etc) you can cut ANYTHING on your computer that's a True Type Font (TTF) and some other stuff. I'm not what what all the computer based cutters can do as I'm researching them at the moment for myself.

As for embossing- most people get a sizzix/cuttlebug for that. You can get the texture boutique from sizzix for around $30 and can use sizzix embossing folders in it. I don't know if it takes the cuttlebug folders too. I would recommend the big shot/big kick by sizzix ($100 w/o coupon) over the texture boutique simply because it will take ANYTHING out there that will fit into the slot- I use fiskars plates in it as well (don't know if the cuttlebug will take them since I don't have one). I have heard of people embossing with the cricut but I don't know how to do it.

For me, I'm skipping over the cricut and going straight for the computer cutter since my sizzix works for me right now but I've spent THOUSANDS of dollars on dies and I could have saved most of that if I had went straight to the computer based cutter. The one I'm leaning toward is the wishblade but that's only because I'm using a Mac platform and not PC.

Good luck in your searches!


 
fknapoleon
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In response to -Jenn-

I'd say you really need to decide what you want to use your cutting machine for. I have the Making Memories Slice machine, which I got here during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It retails for $175 but I'm sure there are places where you can get it for cheaper. Also, I wanted the pink version, but the original one is blue and cheaper than that.
There are so many bonuses and drawbacks to each one and like Jenn said, I also did about two months of research before deciding which machine I wanted. My two big decisions were between a Cricut and a Slice. I went to the Cricut site and looked through each and every cartridge. I did the same for the Slice, but since there aren't as many, it wasn't the same daunting task.
There are three options I believe for sizes of the Cricut, and also the design studio and the Gypsy. I know the little bug can be picked up pretty cheap, around $100 I think. As Jenn said, the price comes into play with the cartridges. I know several people that use auction sites to buy the cartridges but if you don't like using the sites, that could be an issue for you.
With the Slice, there is a basic, small screen where you can see the image that you will be cutting. The cricut comes with a flexible keyboard type thing that goes over the existing keyboard and a coordinating book that gives you pictures of the item you will be cutting.
For myself, I chose the Slice for two main reasons. 1. I have an extremely small scrapping space and 2. I will mostly use my slice for card making. I have read several users on here that use their expression because they are school teachers and use the extra large items for school projects.
It is a very involved decision and something that can become very complicated. Don't forget to look at the cartridges however. That was also a big factor for me. The cricut cartridges had cute items, but for my needs, they only had three or four items per cartridge. Whereas, the Slice design cards had a majority of designs that I would use.

Also, I do not know how the Cricut embosses, since I haven't seen that portion in action. But for the slice, the blade is switched out with embossing type blades and then the cutter will emboss.

Good luck!!


Edited by Kendraj78 on 12-29-09 10:49 AM. Reason for edit: Embossing info


 
-Jenn-
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In response to fknapoleon

With the slice (another cute little machine) you have to remember that it only cuts 6x6 (I think, correct me if i'm wrong). If you know for a FACT that you will only use this on cards, then yes! get it! but I really love being able to cut out 12x12 shapes... Such as the shaped papers (see list below) I love using my machines to make the scalloped paper to be my backgrounds!! Another thing that is really in right now is making circle pages... here are some examples of some i've done...

YUM! By -Jenn-
I make pink look good By -Jenn-
I am so sexy By -Jenn- (I think all these shapes were done using the cricut)


Also, keep in mind that you may change your mind on what you are going to use your machines for!! When I first got my machines, I wanted it for the letters so I can stop waisting money on thickers and stuff like that. a year later, I like using it for the shapes. I cut them out on white cardstock and ink them, or chalk them, and make cartoon looking cut outs! Also masks are really popular right now (pretty much a backward stencil) you can make those so easy with a diecutting machine (you can do those with the slice, but if you want a mask that is bigger then a 6x6, then you can't) I am sure the slice is a wonderful toy (since a lot of people have it) I just don't see myself getting a lot of use out of it. I would love to get the pink one though (just because it's pink hehe)


Edited by -Jenn- on 12-29-09 11:26 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
ScrapbookMomKY
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In response to -Jenn-

I have the Quickutz Revolution, you have to cut everything one at a time and you can't size it to your LO. I just bought the Cricut Expression ($320) it came with 2 cartridges and I LOVE it!! It will cut full names at one time, you can size anything from 1/2 inch to 24 inches. The cartridges go on sale all the time at Hobby Lobby and WalMart has a good selection as well. Hope this helps, have fun shopping!!!


 
stick
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  • stick on 12-29-09 01:24 PM
In response to ScrapbookMomKY

I did a lot of research and ended up asking for (and receiving ) a Boss Kut Gazelle for christmas. I chose this because:

I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on cartridges or manual dies
I wanted to be able to use any font I can find
I wanted to be able to resize fonts & shapes to any size I need for my LO
I didn't want to be limited to only the shapes available on cartridges, I want to create my own shapes
In addition to cutting any font, the software allows you to manipulate the image/letters in a lot of ways, so you can create some completely unique things

It comes complete with the machine and software so you don't need to buy anything else except consumables, which seemed to me to be by far the cheapest option in the long run.

There is a learning curve with the software, of course, but I was able to start cutting shapes and letters almost instantly. I need to practice with the software because I have ideas for some more complex things I want to do with it.


 
950nancy
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In response to ScrapbookMomKY

I have the Expressions. baby bug, Cuttlebug, 4 different Sizzix machines, Revolution, and the Slice. They all have their own benefits, but if you want to cut something bigger than 4 inches the Slice isn't for you. I has great font cards, but very limiting. If you want to vary your sizes, anything with dies isn't for you. I don't know anything about the Pazzles except what other people have previously mentioned. I know people really like the Sihlouette and the Expressions. If you don't mind using the computer for everything, then Sihlouette might be for you. If you don't mind purchasing (or renting form LSS carts) the Expressions is for you. We have the Wishblade at work and it can be frustrating with the computer. If you are good on the computer, that might be for you.

One of my good friends who has a business of making page kits used several of these systems and finally settled on the the Expressions. She said it was the easiest and loved the freedom away from the computer. If you want to get artsy with your machine the Expressions offers the Design Studio (DS) and the Gypsy (have it, love love love it).

I would try to see the machines in action if at all possible. People are very loyal to "their" machines and getting the best one for you is a bit like picking out the right breed of dog. Except there are no messes.


 
-Jenn-
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In response to 950nancy

haha! I liked the picking out the dog w/o the messes! haha

I have the design studio, and I love it. I love that you can put your image wherever you want on your mat, so I can use up scraps easier. If you are wanting to make your own images (like I said earlier, cutting out a car or a t-shirt) then you can't do that with design studio. You are limited to whatever comes on the cartridges. Obviously you could weld circles together to make a snowman and basic stuff like that. there is a learning curve to the pazzles, but like I said, it is cheaper in the long run. The pazzles comes with everything you need to get started, all you have to buy is more mats (eventually), blades (eventually) and any tool you want such as embossing tool or the pen holder etc.

Yes, everyone is loyal to there machines! I for sure am! The one thing you have to decide first is if you want to do cartridges, or you want to be computer based, or you want to be dies based. then you need to decide on the size of a diecutter you want (baby bug is 6x12 expression is 12x24 etc), then after that, the decision is a lot easier Let us know what you decide!


 
CASBa
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  • CASBa on 12-29-09 02:10 PM
In response to -Jenn-

Just so you know I think the pazzles and the gazelle are almost the same thing. I am pretty sure they both use the same software as well. Funtime right Jenn? All the things Jenn listed the gazelle does as well, but it is a little cheaper. The pazzles is better looking IMO though. The gazzelle, according to my dh, looks like a barbie tanning bed.


 
jennaroo
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In response to CASBa

Wow thanks I already have alot to consider.....

Jenn thanks you already answered one of my next questions....I was curious if any of the machines could cut scrap peices. Thats great news because I have ALOT of those.

I want to reasearch more into what embossing is and how you do it....I notice there are free online tutorials on this site....has anyone used them? I wonder if I should use that for learning how to emboss.

Also I should mention.....Haha I used to think I was tech savvy but now the tech world seems to be slowing passing me by. I HATE LOTS AND LOTS OF LONG DIRECTIONS.....ESP. THAT DEAL WITH THE COMPUTER.


 
jennaroo
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In response to jennaroo

Oh yeah I do 12 x 12 albums more than cards or mini albums those are both things i begining to dabble with....so I do know that I want something that cuts big sizes.

I really think the cricut expression is for me, but I still am weighing my options.

What is the main difference between the cricut expression and the firct cricut? Is it the size only or that the expression cuts thicker items such as vinyl and fabric?


 
stick
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  • stick on 12-29-09 02:29 PM
In response to CASBa

  • cschissell Said:
The gazzelle, according to my dh, looks like a barbie tanning bed.





Maybe this is why I like it so much!


 
-Jenn-
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In response to stick

Yep! funtime software. I honestly can't tell you why I chose the pazzles!! I wish I could remember, but I crossed the gazzell off my list really early. I think it looks like a barbie tanning bed too!! lol!! that is funny!

You can cut scraps with almost any machine if you do it right, obviously the manual die machines are easy to use the scraps (because you place the die right on the paper where you want it to cut). The cricut expression has a feature on it (I don't remember what it's called, I don't use the buttons on my machine, I just use the DS) that you can cut as many images as it will fit on your mat. I think all you do is just chose your image, set the size, then push the button and it will fill the page with your image, and it wastes no space. You can use the arrows on your machine to move the blade around so you can cut wherever. Also you can just put your scraps in the upper right hand corner (which is where the blade will automatically start with the cricut) and it will cut your scrap. With the design studio (and any computer based machine), you put your image where you want on the mat, so you just put your scraps where your image is. the thing with design studio (and any computer based machine) that i love is being able to cut multiple items of different colors at once. Like for example. I wanted to cut out a paper doll. So I wanted the actual doll to be skin tone, the shirt to be green, the pants to be blue, and the shoes to be black. Well I just added all my images to the mat in different sections and used my scraps all over the mat, and I got all of the different cuts and different colors in one shot! Plus if you have the juke boxes, then you can cut things from different cartridges in one shot too!!

I really love my expression, and people ask me all the time which one I like better between the two. Honestly, they are 2 different machines!! I love my cricut for being very easy and quick to find what I need. The pazzles is a great back up for when my cricut is lacking. I find that the software does have a very big learning curve. I try to sit down and play with it a lot and learn everything there is to do with it, but the possibilities are endless, sometimes I feel like i'm spending more time finding an image I want and tracing it, then I am scrapbooking. The pazzles sure has saved my butt quite a few times though I love both of my babies!! hehe

I actually have both the baby bug (personal cutter) and the expression... here is the differences

The baby bug only cuts up to 6x12. It doesn't have a lot of the features the expression does (such as the auto fill thing I told you about earlier in this post) They can both cut the same materials, but you do need the deep cut blade to do stuff like chipboard and other thicker items. I haven't tried to cut anything in my cricuts except for paper, so I dont' know about fabrics and vinyl, but i'm pretty sure you can do vinyl without the different blade. On the design studio and I believe the expression by it self you have a multi cut feature, which I use when my blade is going dull, or when I have thicker paper. It just cuts the same image a few times in the same place. You might be able to do that with your cricuts. I honestly can't remember if the baby bug does it w/o the CDS. The expression can cut up to 12x24 (which is really nice for cutting a lot more items at once, or doing vinyl letters etc. There is also the create machine too. I've never researched it, so I don't know much about it. I know that it cuts 6x12, but I think it has the same features as the expression does...

I wish I would of never wasted the money to buy the baby bug. Like I said, when I first was going to buy a machine, I thought I just wanted to do letters, then I saw all of the wonderful circle layouts, and the scalloped paper, and pretty strips of paper, I regretted buying my baby bug. all of my cards go a lot faster. I had to make 52 tags for a christmas party, and with the help of the cricut design stuido, and the expression, I was able to put half of the images on a sheet of paper and walk off for a few minutes, come back and load it up again, and walk off and there ya go! I tell people that if you do any 12x12 LO's, and you have the money, buy the expression...

if you are not computer savy, and you just want something that is going to work right out of the box without playing with just the program for the first night, then the expression is for you! If you don't mind spending money and running around looking for carts, then this is for sure the machine for you!!

If you want to be able to design your own cuts, and be able to use any fonts, and have unlimited cuts, then a computer based machine is for you!

You need to watch some of the videos they have on youtube. Look at how the mat goes into the machine, and listen to how loud it is too. read the reviews here!! If/when you do decide on a machine, PM me, I have different sites for cheaper toys for the cricut, and I have sites for free downloads for the pazzles. Don't EVER pay full price for anything like this!! I got my pazzles for 450.00 from here during one of there sales. I didn't pay full price for my baby bug, but I did pay full price for my expression, just because I had to have the pink one


 
Coastie Wife
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In response to -Jenn-

I have the Pazzles and I adore it!!!! I just made a list of what I wanted my machine to do, the features that were most important to me, and the ones I didn't care about and the Pazzles fit my needs the best. I couldn't be happier with my decision. You just have to figure out what fits your needs. Good Luck!!


 
jennaroo
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In response to Coastie Wife

Thanks for all your help, in my early research so far I think I am still leaning towards the expressions......for a few reasons

it seems most user friendly......no brainer kinda thing, I not to tech savvy, and I hate tons of directions

Also my computer is upstairs and I scarp downstairs in my scraproom.....the whole family shares the computer so if I put it downstairs I have to share my scraproom...not happening. However there is still another one in the running that I am looking at still, I have to check the name again, BUT it has to be used with a computer but you could just use the memory chip and not the USB cord from my understanding.

My drawback with the cricut after finally veiwing the art that the cartridges have on it, is that I will have to buy many cartridges to get all that I want. Thats a major drawback because of cost.

I do like the slice as well, but the size it cuts is to small as I do mostly scrap albums rather than card making.

And yes the gazzelle looks just like a barbie tanning bed!!!


 
DarcysDesigns
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In response to jennaroo

We have some awesome articles that really lays out all the options for this on our site. Here is a list of some of them:

1 File Formats for Digital Die Cutting Machines
2 Digital Die Cut Machine Software & File Formats
3 What can I do with a Digital Die Cutter?
4 Better Cuts from your Digital Die Cutting Machine
5 Best Tips & Tools
6 Should I buy a Die Cut Machine
7 Comparing Digital Die Cut Machines

Click the the Learning Center tab, then Die Cutting Machines.

http://DesigningWithDiecu ts.com

Hope you find it useful!

Darcy


Edited by DarcysDesigns on 12-30-09 12:38 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
-Jenn-
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In response to DarcysDesigns

I think the machine you are talking about is the silhoutte, I was originally going to get that, but it is not a 12 inch diecutter.


 
anthonysgirl
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In response to -Jenn-

I have the silhouette and LOVE it. I would so recommend it. It does come 12x12 now, that would be the Silhouette SD. It's easy to setup and use. Plus, downloading images is cheap and easy. If you have any questions about it, pm me. I'll do my best to answer them!


 
pipitastro
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In response to jennaroo

I have a silhouette, I like it because I don't need to buy cartridges for different fonts. So for me, to justify for a lack of computer downstairs, buying 5-10 carts (fonts) for cricut would buy me a new desktop/laptop...


 
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