I COMPLETELY agree with Adarasmommy!
I was ecstatic when I bought this thing 3 years ago! I was a lettering junkie (still am!) and to be able to cut any font (within reason) at any size (pretty much) was like a DREAM!
First issue: at the time, lack of instruction. The 'manual" that came with this was so vague and only went over a few things. I figured out how to do lettering, but forget anything else. I see now there are videos out there on "how to". I don't believe the software is user-friendly, as a whole.
Second issue: cutting mats. I was told by Xyron these should last 6 months-ish. Huh. Mine didn't. If you use them frequently, it is only natural for the stick to become "less sticky". I ended up buying a spray adhesive to spray to the mats to compensate...and that was messy (because, let's be honest...hard to find the replacements anywhere locally!)
Which brings me to the third issue: Can't buy parts LOCALLY! SERIOUSLY! I had to drive almost 2 hours to find this machine to begin with....and maybe that should've been my first clue. What I found out at the Mega Meet (Expo) is that Xyron is NOT a great company to work with and many businesses just don't even bother. Well, who wants to have to rely on ordering online all the time and pay shipping? When something is need of replacing, I need it NOW..not in 7-14 days.
Fourth issue: Let's talk about the SUPPORT!! I went from an XP machine to a Vista 64 machine. Well, Xyron decided to "give" drivers for Vista 32, but OHHH NOOOO.....they weren't going to do anymore for OS above that. Nice. You fork out $400 for a machine and can't run it because technology moves SO fast and Xyron won't move with it??? BUT.....they "kind of" do. I've moved to a Windows 7 machine and if I want to run the dusty machine, I have to fork out an ADDITIONAL $100 for the software. REALLY (in a Seth and Amy tone of voice)! It's UNREAL! I mean, it's like buying a Geo car and Lexus! If I bought some cheapy thing, I would've expected to have to pay a little to upgrade...but come ON! $100 upgrade for a machine that was already paid out the nose for? Sorry. Not gonna happen.
You go jump on Sillhouette's website. There is the software/drivers (that are CURRENT) right on their website available for ANYONE to download at no additional cost.
I don't mind even paying a small fee for the work invested in updating software, but $100 is OUTRAGEOUS for a machine that cost me over $400 at the time.
Don't do it. You won't be happy down the road.
xyron has no customer services, they will not help with problem, they do not offer up dates on there program and if you would like updates you have to buy them when other compaies gives them to you for free. Look at a nother brand if you are looking for a pc baset cutter..
and the only reason this has any stars is that i could not post a review with out one.
I have had my Wishblade for two years now and absolutely LOVE IT!!! I have an old laptop that I keep around that's just for running the Wishblade that has a wireless card just so I can download free fonts and clip art for it. I use it for every layout I do and although I've had to fight it to do some things, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I take it to crops all the time (...I bought a super-big laptop bag with wheels and it all fits in there I even have a tiny printer I bring along too!) I had this before the CriCut craze happened. A lot of people had trouble working this machine even after I showed them over and over how to run the software and set up the paper in the cutter. I ended up having to tend to it during most of the crops..and it was all user error. I really made me mad that they were so careless with it, but lesson learned. This machine is not for everyone!
The last crop I went to there were 5 CriCuts, so I got to keep my Wishblade to myself. I played with the other machine a bit and I thought it was really neat, but limiting for me. I bought the Wishblade because I wanted lots and lots of fonts and didn't want to pay out the nose for each one. I also wanted to be able to draw my own stuff. I've been able to figure out how to use Adobe Illustrator and cut directly from there--it's AMAZING what it can do. All of the CriCut users were in awe over the cool tree silhouettes I was cutting out just using a dingbats font...
But, could I have done this without my extensive knowledge of computers and graphics software programs??? PROBABLY NOT. If you're a plug and play kind of person (like most of the people that attend the crops I go to) the Wishblade is probably not for you. But if you want to make the initial investment to buy this machine and take some time and common sense to learn to use it...it's really the most versitile thing out there and will pay for itself over time.
Bottom line is, do your research. What's good for one person is not good for another. This was WONDERFUL for ME. My best friend, however, prefers the CriCut because it's easier for her to use...and she only spent $200 on an additional 3 whole fonts (sarcasm here)... The Wishblade is definitely worth it, but don't expect it to work all on its own.
Don't be afraid of this thing though...it's not that complicated if you're just doing titles and simple clip art. The user manual (at least for mine) stunk and was not worth the paper it was printed on (there are even typos in it!). The best thing I could say to do is go to crops, use them all, and then buy what you think is good for you--I'm a Wishblade believer all the way!!!
Unfortunately I have not used the Wishblade as much as I would like -- there is still so much to learn. I realize it may be difficult for some to master if they aren't familiar with graphic computer programs -- my problem is just taking the time. But it has been amazing for the little bit I have done in the two years I've had it. And being able to have several hundred fonts on hand to cut out! How much would that cost with another machine? As other reviews stated -- it's best to check out different diecutters if possible (it wasn't for me). I'm not a scrapbooker -- I just do lots of graphic projects. I have contacted Xyron three times for support and they have been fabulous!
I have had my Wishblade for a little over a month and I use it every day. There are so many possiblities without having to buy anything else. All you need is a computer and internet and you can find all the files you need to create unique pages. LOVE IT!!!!!
I am only giving 4 starts JUST because it only can cut uo to 8 inches in width....and because it took a bit to learn how to use it.