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Old 08-28-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
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Default the future of die cuts

So....I am on the cusp of making a decision. Do I continue to buy dies, or bite the bullet and go with the new Silhouette cameo?

I like the ease of use with dies - and I have a cuttlebug and big shot pro, but the dies are very expensive and the intricate ones that I really like tend to be a bit "fussy" to cut.

On the other hand, I love the features of the cameo and that it can cut heavyweight paper, do lots of 3D items and the "dies" are electronic - no storage issues. But the price!! It's not in my budget at this point.

So - this got me thinking - what is the future of all those die making companies - Spellbinders and CHeery Lyn for example? They are wonderful companies but will they be around once the electronic machines come down in price (they will come down eventually).
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:07 AM   #2
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I think the cost of the machine is made up for in how much you'll save not buying dies/cartridges. Silhouette dies are only .99 and each week you get a freebie and a large selection of .50 dies. If you bought 15 Spellbinders dies for $20 each set you have spent as much as it cost to buy a Cameo.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:17 AM   #3
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Now you've got me thinking....I may have to start my Christmas wish list with a Cameo!
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:53 AM   #4
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I don't have an electronic die cutting machine, and don't plan on getting one, so I won't speak to the price aspect vs. manual die cutting.

I do have the thought that manual die cutting machines, and the dies that go with them will continue to be popular with many crafters like myself.

I am a "hands on" person which is why I took up stamping and cardmaking in the first place. I like the process of making something, almost as well as the finished product. The notion of getting on my computer and pressing a button and watching a machine cut something out is not terribly appealing to me. That's why I haven't bought a Cricut either.

I'm not making a judgment about folks who feel differently, just saying that it's not for me. I feel much the same way about digital stamps - I really enjoy the process of inking up a stamp and stamping the image, and then coloring it, too. I also like to sew and crochet.

I get kind of tickled when I hear people talk about "how much time somthing saves." Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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Bugga, I thought the same way you do until I got my Silhouette I love mixing my die cuts with my stamping (and I am one of those who does love to cut out stamped images) it's so great if I need an image or shape to be able to get it instantly. For instance I made a Halloween card the other day, tons of stamps, toad, broom, witches hat etc. but I didn't have a cauldron and I really "needed" it for what I was trying to do so I was able to quickly and easily die cut one.
I do get what you're saying though, they aren't a necessity for every papercrafter.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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I have to agree with Bugga. I'm another one that likes to do things with my hands. I don't even really understand the whole dies-that-match-the-stamps thing sometimes. There is definitely a place for those - labels need to have precision-cut edges, for example, and the new SU! stamp and die ornament bundle has generated some beautiful projects, but I'm okay with cutting around stamped images with scissors, for the most part.

That being said, I know that there are people who really enjoy their electronic toys and get a lot of use out of them. I think that it should be more a matter of how you like to create than it should be about the expense. Anyone who thinks this hobby is saving them money (or time, like Bugga said) on any level is delusional, so it's just a matter of how/why/where you want to spend your crafting dollars.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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Right now, the electronic machines don't get my attention. Hey, it's just been recently that I even caved in to doing diecuts at all. THEY never interested me until the neat Spellbinders labels.

But, I do like embossing, and I don't know that any electronic machines emboss yet.

I'm not sure that the BigShot and other machines will ever be "out". Just my opinion.

But that comes from someone who doesn't do digital scrapbooking either. I prefer hands-on like Bugga and Sue!
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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I have an eclips with Ecal software instead but I don't use it nearly as much as my dies (of all shapes and varieties...lol). Love the eclips for cutting bags and boxes (and fill in shapes that I don't have in a die) but my go to use everyday choices are the dies.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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I'm so unsure about whether to continue with dies or go with the Eclips that I probably could've written every one of those posts above!

I don't think either one is going to disappear anytime soon.


P.S. Love this, Bugga: "Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol."
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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I have a Bigshot and a Silhouette Cameo. I do use my Cameo alot when I need something in a hurry or I don't have a die for it. Even though it does the cutting I still determine the cut, and often create or alter designs for my own use.

I can't see manual die cutters going away though. They are fast and they emboss. They are also much more portable.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:29 AM   #11
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I was lucky and had the opportunity to buy the original silhouette for $20 from a scrapbooking store that went out of business. They didn't really use it because they had a Cameo and a Cricut. I then also purchased the "subscription" because it was the best deal - I pay $16 a month and get $150 worth of "credit" to buy the images each month. I did the math once - I think it ended up being like 14 cents per image that way. I love it, but I still love my spellbinder dies, etc. I don't see either of them going away, as I think you get 2 different results.

I think it would be nice to have a Cameo, but I'm very satisfied with the original machine. If you ever get the opportunity to purchase a used one for a great price, I highly recommend it.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggainok View Post
I get kind of tickled when I hear people talk about "how much time somthing saves." Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol.
LOL
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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"But, I do like embossing, and I don't know that any electronic machines emboss yet. "

Fionna- You actually can buy an embossing tip (it's 3rd party) that works with most electronic cutting machines.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherHolbrook View Post
"But, I do like embossing, and I don't know that any electronic machines emboss yet. "

Fionna- You actually can buy an embossing tip (it's 3rd party) that works with most electronic cutting machines.
I wonder why I didn't get my silohouette sooner! I will never get anymore cartridges to buy. There is a way to emboss with the silohouette also.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:49 PM   #15
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My thoughts are in line with Bugga and especially Sue. I have a Cuttlebug and Big Kick and love them both.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #16
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I also have gone back and forth with myself on the idea of a Silhouette Cameo . I am looking forward to people's thoughts on this. I don't have any electronic die cutter.
I am also a hands on person so I am fine with a manual die cutter
.
My reason for considering one is to save money and space buying and storing dies.

However, I know I will never give up Spellbinder dies because I love the embossed look that they produce.

I wonder if I would save enough money by not purchasing other dies and use it enough to justify the cost of the machine?

The Spellbinder dies need the most storage space ( in CD cases) , so I would not save much storage space for just the other companies dies . All of my other company dies fit in a small Really Useful Box.

For those who are like me and still want Spellbinder dies do you use your electronic die cutter for other shapes often enough to justify the cost?

I don't think manual dies will ever become obsolete, but I think that some of the companies that recently got into the die market will stop selling them. There are so many companies with their own dies and many of them are offering nearly identical dies .
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #17
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I have the Silhouette. And the Big Shot.

Manual Die advantages -- the result is a more finished edge -- often rounded down. Looks nicer (but I often get a dirty mark if I don't use wax paper). And some, like Spellbinders, produces the beautiful embossed edge. Faster if you only want one image.

disadvantages -- money, storage, limited to size of die, time consuming if you want multiples of one image.

Sihouette -- LOVE this machine. I can make multiples of tags, change the size and shape of any image, make my own images, cut out any size letters in any font I have, make words, make any shaped card, etc. I just LOVE this machine. The best money I've spend on papercrafting in a very long time.

However, it isn't perfect -- no machine is. It can be wonky, sometimes the cuts are not clean and there is the cost of blades and mats. Nothing is free.

It's personal preference. I don't see myself buying a lot of dies in the future.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:06 PM   #18
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I have a Gazelle and still use the original red Sizzix but I have my eye on a Big Shot for Christmas. I love my Gazelle for cutting around stamps, for doing labels and fonts/scrapbook titles etc. It does emboss but it just isn't as crisp or deep an image as the manual machines create. It also does several heavier weight items like chipboard that the Sillhouette struggles with.

So why a manual machine? Like I said I like the depth of embossing pressure much better. I also use it for a few intricate dies where I want to keep the tiny pieces intact, like the Simon Says Stamp Dahlia die by MB. I want to be able to use the insides and I would lose the shape in unsticking it from my Gazelle mat. There a few proprietary dies I can't yet duplicate, and I am considering getting a particular set of spellbinders for that embossed edge.

So that is my two cents. Just like wood mounted hasn't disappeared with the popularity of cling or clear, I think there are plenty of people who use both styles and he industry can bear both.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:13 PM   #19
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I have a BS, Slice, Grand Caliber and CB. I am going to get a Silhouette Cameo...just have to sit down and order a few. I will still use the CB and Nesties. I can't resist all the new nesties...the latest batch just arrived today and thank goodness they dont rust when you drool on them...lol
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:52 AM   #20
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I have several cutters including the Cameo. I have manual cutters too. Both manual and electronic cutters come with their own sets of plusses and hassles.

The intricate dies for manual cutters are fussy to cut. Then so are the electronic cutters. Wait till you have to scrape your mat of those teeny tiny pieces and they are all over your carpet even though you have an elephant trash can your using. Ask me how I know this! I cut out a lot of intricate designs on my electronic cutters. I am the one who is cutting intricate on electronic over manual.

3d items is where the Cameo does really shine especially the intricate items like lace baby carriages and such. The big question is how many 3D items will you be making that will make up the cost of the machine? I ask myself those things before I make a big purchase.

Before I bought the Cameo I asked myself how much would the machine pay for itself with the things I wanted it to do. Print & Cut- Yes, it's paid off. Intricate design cutting- Yes, it's paid off. Intricate vinyl work- Yes, it's paid off.

Definitely the manual die cut companies will be around forever unless the owners retire or sell. Manual die cutting will always have a place. The market has modelers, quilters, jewelry designers, polymer clay artists, and all the other artists of different mediums using those manual cutters and the beautiful dies.

Embossing with the electronic cutters- You can emboss but the Cameo is not going to do a deep emboss. It's a 335 gsm machine so it will be a soft emboss like embossed vellum for example. The Big Shot is a 7000 lb pressure machine. Big difference in number. It's going to do a much deeper emboss. Yes, you can emboss with the electronic cutters and it's a beautiful technique but you won't get that deep emboss. Deeper emboss for electronic machines you will need to look into heavier cutters such as the Zing at 700+ gsm or Gazelle at 500 gsm.

You can make embossing folders with the Cameo to use with the Big Shot, Cuttlebug and other manual machines.

You do have to take in the cost of consumables for the machines. Cameo blades are expensive at $15. You can't replace the blade you have to replace the whole housing. Mats can be reconditioned. If you choose not too mats are around the $12-$15 range. If you do recondition your mats you will need a big can of quilt basting spray around $6. It lasts forever.

Cameo blades do last a long time. Even experts make mistakes. The tips of the blades break off easily. You won't even be able to tell and your cuts will be ragged or ruined. It's best to have two or three blades on hand when learning your machine.

I hope that helps.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I get kind of tickled when I hear people talk about "how much time somthing saves." Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol.
Bugga- You made my night. I get tickled when people say that too. I am like "Why are you in this hobby?" ROFL! I always laugh when a new crafting company comes out with a new time saver. I am thinking how much time is it going to take to learn it. I am the slowest turtle crafter on the planet. I love it. I won't change it. I like the process of each step I do. I have all my die cutters. I love my die cutters, sometimes, lol. I love to hand cut, get paint all over me, draw, sketch, design. I love the whole process. If anybody expects a quickie card from me will seriously be disappointed. I couldn't do it if I tried.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:53 AM   #22
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I'm going to weigh in on this to (hopefully) help those who are on the fence about buying a Cameo, especially for cost reasons.

If you already have and enjoy using a manual die-cutting machine and you're thinking about buying a Cameo because you think it will save money and storage of manual dies in the long run, think again. I bought a Cameo last year and while it did slow me down with purchasing manual dies, there are still many I couldn't resist and ultimately I really like the look of the die-cuts from a manual machine and the process. It can really be a pain to open the software, find your cut file, alter the file for size, etc, load the mat, scrape the little pieces off the mat, assemble the die-cut, and on and on and on.

Also, I've found the Cameo to be a bit temperamental and I'm disappointed that you really only get good results with medium weight non-textured cs or patterned paper. Forget using your SU cs unless you like buying new blades and doing double cuts each time.

The Cameo has some great features and the 3D files are awesome, but as an everyday use machine there's just no way I have the patience to constantly deal with it when I have easier options. I use it in addition to my manual die collection, but not in place of it.

Just some advice for those who are on a budget so you maybe don't make a costly mistake that you end up regretting.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:47 AM   #23
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I have weighed thoughts on this issue also. Mainly, the electronic don't do the embossing; and being electronic with computer changes, how many years will the electronic machine be compatible with matching the computer updates. I guess you could always buy a second hand computer for just the machine, but, that's requires another hook up and space. I just decided to not go the route of electronic, mainly because of computer updates, and extra space needed for another larger machine
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:23 AM   #24
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As a recent Silhouette owner, I have to say "What took me so long??" I have been enjoying the wide range of design options. I will be using the Silhouette for scrapbooking more than I will for card making although at this point I have to say, I am just begining to learn how to manipulate all of the designs to fit my card making needs.

I will still use my dies and I will probably purchase more, just not as many. I have never been satisfied with the intricate dies (Spellbinder, only ones I have) and the cuts I get with them, too much picking out the little pieces, but that could very well be the operator and not the die.
There are little bits left on a cutting mat with the silouette and cricut but with the little platic scrapper from my kitchen it makes quick work of cleaning the whole mat.

Cost wise, nothing is cheep, but at least I know I will use ALL of the files I puchase for the Cameo as apposed to cartridges. Who am I kidding, it's the love of purchasing as much as the love of using that keeps me creating with all these products.

So I will still puchase and use a variety of dies and machines!
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:16 AM   #25
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I really appreciate everyone's feedback here - especially those who have both and are using both. While I do see an electronic cutter in my future - it will most likely be next year.

So - I have heard both opinions on cardstock weight for the cameo - does it really cut SU weight (or even heavier?). I like the look of the intricate styles and I don't think they would be any better or worse in terms of cutting with a manual machine vs electronic. The savings would be in purchasing dies vs an electronic file - I figure I would be able to buy more files.

Also - about the cutting blade.....I can understand that you may need to replace it...but has anyone tried sharpening it? Either by cutting aluminium foil (like you would do to sharpen a punch) or with a small dremel tool?

Thanks again!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #26
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I have a Cricut Expressions, Pazzles Creative Cutter, and Cuttlebug that I use for embossing and also for cutting Nestabilities. I use them all alot. The one thing that I like about electronic cutters is being able to adjust the size and do outlines, where as with a die, you're stuck with whatever size the dies come in.

I often do swaps and classes and find that it's much quicker to use an electronic cutter if you need multiples of an item. I think if you do alot of crafting, scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafting, you will get your money's worth out of an electronic cutter, no matter which one you choose.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #27
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I just recently jumped on the Cricut bandwagon. I got a Baby Bug clearance priced at Joanns for about $30. It came with a couple of cartridges, and then I bought a couple (I now have 50+) - but the one cartridge that hooked me was the Elegant Edges cartridge. It had virtually every single Nestie shape that I ever wanted. And I could make it in any size I wanted. I will never buy a die cut again. Ever. Don't need to. And I've gotten to the point where I can whip out a cut almost as quickly as I could run one through my Cuttlebug.

I just wish I had researched the electronic cutters before getting involved with the Cricut. But - it is what it is. For now I love my Cricuts.

But still use my Cuttlebug. I will keep the Nesties that I have, but definitely won't be adding any more.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
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...The notion of getting on my computer and pressing a button and watching a machine cut something out is not terribly appealing to me. That's why I haven't bought a Cricut either.

I'm not making a judgment about folks who feel differently, just saying that it's not for me. I feel much the same way about digital stamps - I really enjoy the process of inking up a stamp and stamping the image, and then coloring it, too. I also like to sew and crochet...
I understand a lot of people have this opinion and its great that we all seem to have this community despite the differing views. I know for myself, I love working with computers, so my little CraftRobo is used quite a bit. I know there are probably people out there who just "use" the machine the premade designs. I love that if I have a particular shape in mind, I can go to my design software and create it myself. I can also recreate some of the more popular die shapes by building basic shapes and putting them together. I've worked out how to make my faux nesties in any size I want. I can make my own designs for embossing folders for any size card I want (within the limitations of my cutting bed). I've truly saved hundreds of dollars on dies, punches, and embossing folders using my CraftRobo to create them myself. And I love digi stamps too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stampencamper View Post
I have weighed thoughts on this issue also. Mainly, the electronic don't do the embossing; and being electronic with computer changes, how many years will the electronic machine be compatible with matching the computer updates. I guess you could always buy a second hand computer for just the machine, but, that's requires another hook up and space. I just decided to not go the route of electronic, mainly because of computer updates, and extra space needed for another larger machine
There is a way around having another computer. There is software you can use (I think you can get some versions free) to run what is called a virtual machine on your computer. So if you have a PC, you could run a virtual Mac computer, or a machine with an older version of windows that is compatible with your cutter.

I am saving my pennies for a Zing. I've researched and read reviews till my eyes were about ready to fall out and I think this is the machine to go with. I'm putting the bug in hubby's ear - my birthday and Christmas are close together so I'm telling him he would only need to buy me the one big gift instead of two smaller gifts.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:04 PM   #29
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CatWoman- I agree with you about the life of our machines. That is the one huge plus with the Silhouette machine that it will last forever. I have friends with the older Silhouette's, Craft Robo's & Wishblades. Those machines are going on ten years old. That's the one thing about Graphtec (Cameo) that company makes excellent machines that last forever and the software changes for the machines are constantly updated. I got a survey last week about making software for our tablets to use with the Cameo.

KNK (Zing) has been around for something like twenty-thirty years. I have friends who do models and they have their Roland plotters that are over twenty years old.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:12 PM   #30
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I really appreciate everyone's feedback here - especially those who have both and are using both. While I do see an electronic cutter in my future - it will most likely be next year.

So - I have heard both opinions on cardstock weight for the cameo - does it really cut SU weight (or even heavier?). I like the look of the intricate styles and I don't think they would be any better or worse in terms of cutting with a manual machine vs electronic. The savings would be in purchasing dies vs an electronic file - I figure I would be able to buy more files.

Also - about the cutting blade.....I can understand that you may need to replace it...but has anyone tried sharpening it? Either by cutting aluminium foil (like you would do to sharpen a punch) or with a small dremel tool?

Thanks again!!
SU CS is fibrous. All die cutters can cut fibrous CS but they all have trouble. Those little fibers like to get caught up in your blade holders, snagged around your blades, etc. I have heard people say they can cut SU CS just fine. I have heavy duty cutters and all my cutters have trouble with fibrous CS. That's why when working with fabrics you need to interface it first before you cut on a machine. This is where the manual machines have the biggest plus they can cut fibrous CS with neat edges. Plus, fibrous wears down your blade faster. The Cameo was made as an intricate cutter. It will work with lighter materials better.

I am the queen of sharpening my blades, lol. I can make a blade last forever. I use the tin foil method. I use tin foil after every project I am finished with. My DH also manually sharpens my blades for me. This can only be done a couple of times since the blade will get shorter per use. You need to make sure that blade is at the right angle when sharpening. I wouldn't recommend the dremel sharpener. My DH sharpens blades as a side job. He is professionally trained so he has the right sharpeners in his kit. Somebody asked me years ago about the dremel too and my DH said no it can mess up the angle.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:41 AM   #31
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Quote:
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I am the queen of sharpening my blades, lol. I can make a blade last forever. I use the tin foil method. I use tin foil after every project I am finished with. My DH also manually sharpens my blades for me. This can only be done a couple of times since the blade will get shorter per use. You need to make sure that blade is at the right angle when sharpening. I wouldn't recommend the dremel sharpener. My DH sharpens blades as a side job. He is professionally trained so he has the right sharpeners in his kit. Somebody asked me years ago about the dremel too and my DH said no it can mess up the angle.
Thank you so much for the sharpening info!! My DH is handy and I know if I asked him to sharpen something he just might get out the dremel tool - its good to know ahead of time that this is not the way to go.

Well - it looks like an electronic cutter is in my future - but probably not until late 2013 - hopefully the price will come down a bit!
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:43 PM   #32
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I only have the Big Shot, but am considering buying a Silhouette Cameo. I participated in a crafting garage sale and made quite a bit, so have the money to buy it. What I love about the electronic machines is that fact that it is much easier on the hands. I have arthritis and using the manual big shot can be tough sometimes, especially if I need to cut multiple images. I don't plan on getting rid of the Big Shot or any of my dies at this point. I am looking forward to being able to combing different crafting methods to create some wonderful things.

Just my opinion, but I think a choice in machines depends on a lot of factors; physical ability, crafting versatility, personal preference, financial ability, etc. The way I look at things, if you do your research and go into the decision with knowledge and open eyes, then you are making a decision that is right for you. Isn't that what crafting is all about ? Doing things using your own personal design preference and vision? So whatever you decide, just keep crafting as long as you are having fun.

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:27 AM   #33
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Quote:
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I don't have an electronic die cutting machine, and don't plan on getting one, so I won't speak to the price aspect vs. manual die cutting.

I do have the thought that manual die cutting machines, and the dies that go with them will continue to be popular with many crafters like myself.

I am a "hands on" person which is why I took up stamping and cardmaking in the first place. I like the process of making something, almost as well as the finished product. The notion of getting on my computer and pressing a button and watching a machine cut something out is not terribly appealing to me. That's why I haven't bought a Cricut either.

I'm not making a judgment about folks who feel differently, just saying that it's not for me. I feel much the same way about digital stamps - I really enjoy the process of inking up a stamp and stamping the image, and then coloring it, too. I also like to sew and crochet.

I get kind of tickled when I hear people talk about "how much time somthing saves." Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol.
Thank you! Very well said!
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:20 AM   #34
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I agree that it is personal preference and what you tend to do most often. If you do a lot of 12x12 scrapbooking, an electronic die cut machine like the Cameo may be a great investment. If you make lots of cards or like using embossing folders, a manual cutter may be more your style. I have both a Silhouette (original, it was a handmedown from my mom) and a BigShot. I use my Big Shot almost every time I craft and only pull out the Silhouette for periodic projects. For me, I don't like the noise and having to find an outlet to use the electronic cutters. Plus, having 2 kids under 3 in my house, I like that I don't have to worry too much if my toddler wants to play with my Big Shot. He won't get hurt and he can't really hurt the machine either. But I find there are uses for both types.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #35
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I have little to add to this, since so many others have expressed the various considerations so well. I would simply say that having recently got a Cameo, and already being a lover of manual dies, I am thrilled to have both. Some reasons:
- I often make multiples (e.g., thank you cards for the whole cast/crew of a play - can be dozens) and would never have considered using a "fussy cut" type image or a word die-cut, etc.. Using the Cameo's trace feature and print-and-cut feature, I made 5 perfectly trimmed fussy images in 60 seconds last night.
- I know for sure it will curtail my die shopping, as I've already passed over numerous border dies that I can do myself. I had also been eyeing umpteen different dies of words (e.g., "thanks" "hello" "baby" "welcome" etc.) and now I can cut any word I want in one piece in my choice of font -- including people's names -- and at any size I choose. I may be selling some of my alphabet dies, in fact.
- For individual cards, which I also love to make, I adore manual dies and cutting. The embossing with a folder or the edge of a Nestabilities is something I will NEVER give up.

So to me, it's a bit like "do I want a barbecue grill or an oven?" Yes, and yes!
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #36
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I started off with a Cricut and then got the Cuttlebug and dies after. I prefer the dies for what I do and find that I really never use my Cricut. It has paid for itself in vinyl lettering for my car and for DH's business, but for crafting...haven't used it since last Christmas when I needed to make 35 scalloped squares for gifts for the ladies I work with. Over the last year, I have bought the nesting scalloped squares and this year I am using those. Something theraputic about cranking them through the cuttlebug instead of sitting back and watching the machine cut. For me, with my Cricut, I spent more time preparing and cleaning up than I did crafting. If the die companies cut down on production, it will save me money, that's for sure!! But I don't think I will go back to my machine (for crafting at least)
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:15 PM   #37
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I have an Epic Six, a Gazelle and an Accucut GrandeMark. I first had the Epic Six but I was frustrated by the cost of fonts and not being able to alter the size and it was hard to crank out multiples.

So, I bought the Gazelle. Great little machine, but stinkin' LOUD. I cringe when I have to hear it cutting. However, I LOVE cutting all the fonts for my titles and being able to resize images. I also designed a few of my own die cuts, which is rewarding but only when I have the time. I have been frustrated by it ruining some cuts from time to time and dealing with the sticky mat of any machine is unpleasant. Overall, I do not regret the purchase.

I have never updated its software, even though it can now convert PDFs and make rhinestone paths and embossing and print'n'cut. It's original functions are good enough for me and I won't updated unless it stops working!

But I love manual die cuts. Those are what got me in to scrapbooking and cardmaking in the first place. I love the crank action and the finished edge can't be beat! I wanted to cut chipboard and I didn't want to get a dedicated blade for my Gazelle for it (which is what is recommended.) They say the blade would dull quickly too. Plus, I can cut heavier chipboard manually than with any electronic cutter. So, I bought the GrandeMark. Super easy to crank. Embossing is way better with manual. Picking the intricate bits out of the dies, however, can take just as much time as cleaning the sticky mat though.

I will use both forever for different purposes. My electronic is great for multiple cuts, fonts, and self designed shapes. My manual is great for chipboard, embossing and shapes. If I only want one of a shape, it's faster for me to roll it though the machine than to boot up my computer, position the cut file, load the mat and listen to my machine's groaning.

Die Cuts Forever!
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:20 PM   #38
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Annette,

You are TOO funny, LOL!!

Scrapninny,

I also have an Epic 6, and generally I like it. I am wondering however, if you know how, when using Spellbinders dies, to die cut AND emboss. I understand the die cutting part, and I can usually see a very faint impression of the embossing, but I must be missing something. I would like to get a much more pronounced look with the embossing that is supposed to be possible with the die (s). Any ideas or suggestions you have would be great.

As for the great debate, I think I will always use a manual machine. I also really like the "hands on" process, and do not want to have to make room for yet another (probably large and heavy) machine. I also love all of the embossing folders available. And I agree with those of you that say you don't save money by using one machine versus the other.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:30 AM   #39
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I have and use both. Sometimes it's more fun to work with my hands and manually use alpha dies for scrapping. Other times I cut with the Silhouette if I want a certain font I don't have. I guess it's nice having a choice but I would never do everything ONLY with the Silhouette machine.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #40
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Also look at Tools & Product Talk ...then look for post called -
Cricut , Cameo and what else?
I also had many questions about if I should get an electronic cutter. I have a CB and LOVE IT!! I too like many others on this forum really love the dies and embossing. So I am a little afraid if I got a digital cutter, it would just become a nice easel or something lol. But love all options that come with the digital cutters!!
And I do agree I really doubt dies will ever stop being made because they still make a lot of money. Plus I think in terms of if the power is out (once time we were without power for a whole week due to a terrible storm), and the manual die cutter will still work ! Life goes one!!
But the other forum above mentioned has some wonderful tips on the digital cutters from several wonderful helpful people(some commented here as well). Maybe together with all these heads I can figure this out!
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