Frequently people new to die cutting machines ask " Which machine is better" The vast number of die cutting machines available can be overwhelming for a person who knows nothing about them.
I will try to provide a road map "
The simple answer is die cutting machines are like cameras. It depends on what you want to do with it and how much money you are prepared to spend.
People can only tell another person which machine they use and why they like it . Your needs may be different from theirs
There are sticky threads at the top of this section to explain the different features and quirks of various machines . Nothing in life is perfect for every situation
work like a pasta roller. You put a die or embossing folder between cutting plates to achieve that result . Each machine uses a different configuration of plates called a sandwich. The sandwich arrangements for each machine are listed in the sticky for that brand of machine.
Electrically powered pasta roller style machines work the same as the hand cranked machines except you don't hand crank them you plug them in and the powered is provided by electricity
Cuttlebug, Bigshot/Bigkick ( same machine just have a different design) are examples of pasta roller type machine . Wizard by Spellbinders is also a pasta roller system, but it has a ratchet rather than a crank handle
To my knowledge the only machines that will accept embossing folders or texture plates are pasta roller style.
Electronic die cutting machine
are programmed like a computer. Some use your computer to access the shapes and you buy software for that while others use cartridges and you buy the cartridges that have the shapes you want . There are numerous electric die cutting machines on the market all with different features and sizes of paper they will cut . These also have a sticky at the top of this section to explain the pros and cons of each machine
Anyone trying to decide which machine they will buy needs to ask themselves what will they do with it? This will narrow down your choices.
What do you plan to make? Cards, scrapbooks, banners for school, etc. Scrapbook pages and banners may need a machine that will cut larger paper or dies
How many items will you need to cut? Multiples for school projects or Sunday school? You may want an electrically powered pasta roller machine or an electronic one if you will be cutting alot of die shapes
Do you have a health issue such as arthritis or carpal tunnel. A hand crank machine may cause you pain. You may need at least an electrically powered machine.
What brand of die do you want to use?. Spellbinder ( and others like them) and Cuttlebug dies are thin. Sizzix dies like the ones sold by Stampin Up are thick and the Bigshot ( preferably) or Cuttlebug is needed to cut them. The Bigshot has an opening a tad wider than the Cuttlebug to accommodate the dies.
How much space for storage do you have ? Do you plan to take your machine to crops or classes?
The Cuttlebug is more portable because the platform folds up. The Bigshot is a tad sturdier but doesn't fold up.
Are you comfortable using your computer?
Electronic machines are programmed on the machines such as the Cricut or actually from your computer if you access the shapes via software.
How much do you want to spend on a machine and dies or shapes?
The initial investment in a machine is less with a pasta roller style ( $50-$80+) , but the cutting dies and embossing folders are not cheap
The cost of an electronic machine is more, but if you must buy cartridges or software for the shapes and those can add up.
Replacement mats are needed for all machines . You cut into them and they get scratched and worn. Cutting blades need to be replaced on electronic machines
It takes considerable research to buy the "right machine" for YOU
What ever you choose to buy make it a machine you will really use and enjoy
Check out the sticky threads here for various machines and also Google them for more information.
There are a gazillion YouTube video on how to use each machine.
I hope this helps