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Old 07-28-2013, 04:17 PM   #1
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Question Dies or die cut machine?

What are your thoughts about this; buy dies or a die cut machine? I've heard about a lot of problems with cutting blades and mats. But, something else to consider is the expense of buying dies. I'm wary about buying a die cut machine due to the expense and the problems people have with them. But I know if someone buys a lot of dies (I haven't yet), it would be more cost effective to buy a die cut machine. What do you recommend? TIA
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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Die cut machine. Since I bought my Cricuts I use die cuts way more than I use stamps. The cartridges can be had on ebay for about $25 on ebay (more or less) and they are loaded with images. On the other hand, with the Silhouette (Portrait or Cameo) you can get tons of free images or just buy the individual ones that you really want. Alot of those even come in set. And use fonts that are on your computer (or so I'm told)

Either way, with a die cut machine you can size it to whatever dimensions you need - you're not stuck with trying to make do with a package of pre-set dies.

Maybe wait till Black Friday rolls around and see how you feel about it then. In the meantime do some research and studying. Then if you do decide to buy a machine you'll be ready to roll.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dunkccc View Post
What are your thoughts about this; buy dies or a die cut machine? I've heard about a lot of problems with cutting blades and mats. But, something else to consider is the expense of buying dies. I'm wary about buying a die cut machine due to the expense and the problems people have with them. But I know if someone buys a lot of dies (I haven't yet), it would be more cost effective to buy a die cut machine. What do you recommend? TIA
For me, the decision was based on the style and type of cards that I like to make. Also, the fact that due to space limitations, I didn't have a place to set up a Cricut and leave it out, plugged in and ready to go.

As far as the cutting machines that work with the files on your computer, the whole idea of learning the technology to use them just left me cold.

I'm computer savvy enough to handle my email, to find stuff on the internet, post on Facebook and other sites, like SCS, and type things in Word. But I would rather be at my table stamping images and coloring them, and picking out ribbons and cardstock, than on my computer figuring out settings to cut things out.

I have lots of fun with my dies and my Cuttlebug. My style of cardmaking usually consists of a stamped, colored image, centered on a simple shape, like a circle, oval or square. If I'm feeling really fancy, I use a scalloped die, lol. Over a period of a couple of years, I've accumulated all the basic dies I really need for my purposes.

I know that people who have the electronic machines just love them, but I know they are not for me.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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You can also use a die cut machine to emboss. Not possible to emboss with electronic machines.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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I have a Cameo Silhouette, and I love it. I have bought some dies, the fancy doily type that can't be cut well on the Cameo, but other than that, the Cameo is a good investment. It really just depends on what type of card maker or scrap booker you are. The Cameo is a good investment for a scrapper, there are lots of patterns to buy for the cameo at 99 cents each, sometimes they are 50 cents when they have a sale. Look at this website and see if there are any patterns that you like Silhouette Online Store - Home
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jessicak View Post
I have a Cameo Silhouette, and I love it. I have bought some dies, the fancy doily type that can't be cut well on the Cameo, but other than that, the Cameo is a good investment. It really just depends on what type of card maker or scrap booker you are. The Cameo is a good investment for a scrapper, there are lots of patterns to buy for the cameo at 99 cents each, sometimes they are 50 cents when they have a sale. Look at this website and see if there are any patterns that you like Silhouette Online Store - Home
Let me ask a question - I looked at the online store, and when the patterns are shown in different colors on the same image, you need to cut out the different elements from different colored cardstock and assemble them in layers, correct?
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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i think its horses for courses. I have both, a Big Shot Pro and an Original Silhouette. Both do what they do best, if you know what I mean. The BS Pro cuts any size or type of die, uses any embossing folder, so its my ultimate manual machine. I figure anything bigger than its 12 1/2" opening, I'm never going to need. The Silhouette, on the other hand, cuts any font, or shape on your pc from 1/4" high, to 8" high. The newest version, the Cameo, cuts up to 12" wide cardstock, and thicker materials than my Original. It means you never have to buy an alphabet die/cartridge again, no sentiments/words or phrases. It even cuts dingbat fonts. Plus all the shapes you can buy from Silhouette, or all the free ones available around the net.And there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of those. You can size your lettering/matts/shapes to the exact size you want, not just whatever the closest die size is. I have cut loads of my own masks/stencils from OHP film. I am no computer geek, but the software is not difficult to learn, and the Silhouette Plus forum, or UKScrappers forum all have loads of people happy to help a new owner. Plus, with UKScrappers you can join the forum(free), and after a months membership, you get access to all the free cutting files people have posted. Thousands of them. A Pinterest search for Silhouette/SVG files will find you hundreds more. Personal opinion, if you have a lot of dies go manual. If you don't, put all the money you would spend on dies together and get a digital cutter. You wont regret it. I know there were some issues with the blades when the new Cameo came out, but they seem to have that sorted. My Original is almost 10 years old, and still going strong, so build quality is good, and Customer Service is excellent.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:13 PM   #8
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This may not be what you want to hear, but I think both manual dies and an electronic die cutter have their place.

I have metal dies, a Cuttlebug a Big Shot and a Silhouette Cameo
After the initial purchase of the Cameo the cut files are cheap ( 50 to 99) or free. Metal dies of course cost much more.

With metal dies the size is predetermined but you can resize cut file images.

However, the electronic die cuts can not be embossed . Plus, I prefer to stamp a greeting and then center a metal die over it for a precise cut and that also can't be done with an electronic cutter.

If you only want "one use" images the cut files are much more cost effective

I love Spellbinder dies, not only because they can be embossed, but I can place a die on my card and see how that size will fit into my layout plan. I would need to guess the size I want and cut it out with my Cameo to see if it will look the way I want it to look.

If I need multiples of an image the Cameo is the most efficient way to cut them.

I must say since I got my Cameo I only buy Spellbinder dies and I have stopped buying other brands of dies that do not emboss .

I think the choice between an electronic cutter or metal dies is like which is better a microwave or a conventional oven? It depends on what you plan to do ! You would not turn on a conventional oven to heat a cup of coffee nor try to bake bread in a microwave.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:57 AM   #9
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I agree that it depends a lot on what kind of crafter you are and how you enjoy crafting. I have an electronic machine and I just don't use it - I've discovered I like to leave my computer out of my crafting. I also like the fact I can use embossing folders with my Big Shot and I love the slightly rounded edge you get to a die cut that has been "crush cut" with a metal die rather than cut with a blade (geeky but true!).

If you're worried about the cost of dies, there are ways to keep that down. Look out for sales, concentrate on versatile shapes that will get lots of use, shop places like eBay for used dies and so on. If I really want a die cut shape for a specific project but don't think it's worth buying the die, I generally look on eBay and find I can buy a pack of the cut shapes (if I don't have an online friend with that die and can do a swap with her).

Don't forget that an electronic machine does have ongoing costs too - blades and mats are consumable items and you'll need to replace them over time. It's less than the cost of buying lots of dies but it is something a lot of people don't factor in when they're thinking about comparative costs.

Do you have a friend or a LSS with an electronic machine that you could get to play with a little to see how you like it? You might be one of those people who love it but I think it's really hard to tell until you've had a play! Good luck deciding!
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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I keep reading that electronic die cutters cannot emboss. Both the Cameo and the Cricut have embossing tips that will emboss a design. It is not the same as spellbinders or an embossing folder. You can emboss a design in cardstock with the Cameo the Cricut and the Slice.

I agree with Barbara Jay, I think both electronic and manual machines have their place. And because of that I have both a Cameo and a Big Shot.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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Let me ask a question - I looked at the online store, and when the patterns are shown in different colors on the same image, you need to cut out the different elements from different colored cardstock and assemble them in layers, correct?
Yes.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:40 PM   #12
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You can also use a die cut machine to emboss. Not possible to emboss with electronic machines.
I've embossed with my Cricut Expression. The embossing blade and mat are not included with the machine, I purchased them separately. IMHO it is much easier to emboss with using the Cuttlebug or Big Shot.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:47 PM   #13
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You could always download the (free) Studio software and have a play with it, you can print with it without having the cutting machine - any cut file can be printed! You can also import digital stamps into Studio and manipulate them - can you tell I love Studio? I spend hours just designing with it.

I too prefer the 'rounded' edge you get with the Big Shot for certain things.

I would use my Cameo more for cutting files if I had somewhere to leave it out and ready to go.

As others have said, they both have their place.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:48 AM   #14
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I agree with many of the previous posts in that, I have a Cricut Expression, an Accucut Mark IV (for larger formats) and most recently, a Big Shot (for Sizzlits and embossing) ... and I way prefer manual die cutting to electronic cutting. The cut is just cleaner no matter how heavy the paper. Somehow, I enjoy manually cutting ... probably sounds wierd. Embossing is huge. I dont often make a card without embossing. I am slowly selling off my Cricut stuff on Ebay and I find I am not missing it. I also have hundreds of stamps, which I will not get rid of. I find that stamping and diecutting fit my needs. You can always check Ebay/Craigslist for well priced dies or lots. I have gotten some great deals this way, too. It's been a lessons-learned for me as I started with a Cricut (liked it at first) and ended up not liking it too much (after I got my Accucut). But I am in a great spot now, I have lots of fun dies and I love my system. Over time you will get there, too. I think that manual diecutting is more expensive in the end, but it's electronic and you never know when it will fail. Each option has its benefits. Electronic or manual, its totally a personal decision.
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