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Old 01-05-2014, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Expressions2 the Best Choice?

I was gifted with the Expressions but want to leave it returnable until I am sure it will be of some value to me. I only make A6 cards...no banners or home decor or wedding stuff.....and have been using a Big Shot for die cuts. I can't figure out what the Expressions2 offers that the Big Shot can't do for me. Given the price of the Expressions cartridges, it must be they do something more than die-cut. Am I missing the point?
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TheOtherMeg View Post
If you decide you want an e-cutter, I would not recommend a Cricut product. It is a closed system, meaning you can only design and cut with the Cricut design software/products and Cricut cartridges. As you noted, the cartridges are pricey.

The machine cuts cardstock (and some other mediums) and, with additional attachments, can draw some of the cartridge images on cardstock. One of the main advantages of an e-cutter is the ability to cut at various sizes, but since you make a specific size of card, I don't imagine that a wide variety of diecut sizes is a big selling point.

Since you make only cards, and only a single size of card, I think you're wise to question the need for an e-cutter at this time. In any case, you could do much better than a Cricut. (And, yes, I do own an Expression, as well as other e-cutters.)

I'm usually a huge enabler of anything to do with dies, punches, and die cutting, but I think you could be very happy without the Cricut and using the money/store credit on a different range of products. Or, at the very least, get a different e-cutter like a Sizzix eClips or the Brother ScanNCut. Or a KNK, or a Cameo, or a...
ditto.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input. I'm returning the Expressions2 and rethinking if I can justify the expense of an e-cutter. I only wish for one every December because I procrastinated making cards I should have finished a month earlier.

These Forums are as good as having a resident Shrink around helping me make decisions.

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:38 AM   #4
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Bahb- I agree with Meg. We all know how much I loved e-cutters. I own a Cricut. It actually fits my needs better now than ever before since I have to drag my computer to the art studio to use my computer driven cutters. Dragging my computer to my art studio is about as fun as cleaning gutters.

Even though the Cricut is a better fit for me now. I don't use it. I keep grabbing my steel rule dies & Nesties. I fussy cut my images. I do love to fussy cut. I told my DH last week I am selling my Cricut cartridges and going to buy some more Nesties & inks. Like you I don't make banner's, wedding items. I do make home decor but it usually isn't a die cutting theme. I make cards and journals.

If I had to do it all over again. I wouldn't buy a Cricut. I wouldn't want the expense of the cartridges. When I started using Cricut was when it first came out. I got a lot of my cartridges free. Back then designs were hard to find. Nowadays you can find designs easily to fit your needs.

I hope you were able to get some new gorgeous dies.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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AMEN Meg!
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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....I will say tho...I just bought the Brother Scan N Cut ( because I am a 12 step E-Cutter junkie) and I have actually USED it!...and LOVE it LOL
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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I'm gonna pop in here to just say that I think one of the best features of a Cricut machine is that you don't have to use a computer unless you want to. Most cartridges can be had for under $30 and they are loaded with images. If you want to manipulate those images you can use the free (Internet based) program Cricut Craft Room.

So I'm not really advocating a Cricut over a manual hand cranked die cutting machine, but many of the steel die packages can cost as much or more than a fully loaded Cricut cartridge. And you have no way of manipulating the sizes of steel dies.

Just my opinion- but if it were me I'd keep the E2.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
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If someone wanted a machine that doesn't require a computer I would go with the new Brother Scan and Cut. You can make files on the computer and then transfer them (probably via usb stick) to the machine to cut.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Bahb, when I compare a die to a cartridge, I think a die is way too expensive; and I think that is where E2 differs from big-shot. When you buy a cartridge for E2, you get loads of shapes for $30. As opposed to buying a die set for $30 which would only have 5-6 shapes. So I agree with sewnmachine there that a cartridge is way more economical than a die.

I do agree that E2 is a closed system, in that they do not allow you to use your computer to cut any shape that you want; but then I think that is what makes it simple too. I think it's a good first machine especially for anyone who doesn't want to bother with a computer.

I started with Expression, used it for 2-3 years, and recently moved to a KNK Zing.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:45 AM   #10
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I had an Expression and a lot of dies and I never like it and finally gave the whole thing to my DD. I took a class, had a DVD and still had a lot of problems getting clean cuts. I love the idea of an e-cutter but I'm not going that route again.

I never was able to get really clean cuts on small items

I didn't want to have to figure out if I wanted the piece to be 2", 2 1/2, etc.

I had to test for every paper weight to determine speed, depth, etc. so I wasted a lot of paper

Unless I needed a bunch of one item it wasn't worth it - you do all the set-up work, cut one piece, and that's it.

Bhab, I say you really need to see one in person. Maybe you can get down to one of the Scrapbook Expo's in the bay area or the one here in Sacrament (Nov) or call Stamper's Corner (Elk Grove) or Stamp Art Shoppe (Roseville) to see if they have any machines they can demo. It's a big investment with any of the e-cutters and you want to make sure it's easy to use and then are you really going to use it or does it should sound like a fun idea.

Dies do have their limitations but for me they are so easy to use I'll live with limited size and cost because I get good results.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:51 AM   #11
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For someone who makes only cards, and only a specific size of card, the ability to cut an image at more than 2-4 sizes really isn't necessary (IMO).

And this doesn't even take into account the fact that the Cricut simply isn't the most versatile choice out there anymore. If someone wants to invest in cartridges, the Sizzix eClips would be a better choice because with the eClips, you *have* a choice (to cut either with cartridges or without). The cutter and software are better. Cricut has more cartridges, but with the eCAL software and an eClips, one can find (on the web) or make ANY font or image imaginable.

Honestly, and I say this as an Expression owner who got started when the machine was compatible with awesome third-party design software, and who still buys the occasional cartridge, I would never start down the Cricut road now. There are way too many other options that do everything the Cricut does and more, and they do it better. The cartridge system is like a drug -- you start with just a couple carts and end up "needing" more and more. At some point, you figure you've got so much invested in carts that you're "in for a penny, in for a pound" and have to stick with a Cricut machine in order to continue getting your money's worth, so you buy the next "new and improved" Cricut machine. And so on.

Provo Craft ruined a good thing. They hobbled the Cricuts so they can't use powerful design programs anymore, started the whole cartridge linking thing, went to an online-only design program (that doesn't hold a candle to the awesome, open design programs used with other cutters), etc. The one thing they've done right, the Gypsy, has been abandoned in an attempt to force people to use the aforementioned crummy design program.

I love my ecutters. I have four of them (and a ScanNCut on the way). The Cricut is the very last ecutting system I'd ever suggest to anyone. It's a ride down a very expensive toll road that terminates at a dead end.


Meg - you're so right about that! I started out with a few carts .....and 3 years later....... how did I end up with soooooo many????

Interestingly, ProvoCraft just sent out a teaser email about a new device that will be debuted soon. There is alot of speculation over on the Cricut message board that it might be some sort of new Gypsy gizmo. This information it seems was gleaned from reading patent applications. So at this point it's anybodies guess if it's a new machine or a new design program or a new hand held tablet style device. We're all waiting to see....... because we are all "in for a penny, in for a pound"
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