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Old 04-13-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice on die cutting machine

I have a Cuttlebug and find it works great for most things. It is the older first version and I cross my fingers that it will continue to work for many more years.

I have purchased some of the more intricate Spellbinders dies and I find that it takes many, many, many, times through the machine, turning and readjusting and turning again to try to get them to cut. I have avoided buying large dies that won't fit in the Cuttlebug. Those two issues, along with the age of my Cuttlebug got me thinking about purchasing a new die cutting machine.

I thought it would be great to buy a Vagabond, but read many bad reviews of the machine getting jammed and not being able to have the machine fixed or covered under warranty. I don't know if some of the new machines due out this summer are worth the wait or not. I have used other machines and didn't personally like the Spellbinders machine.

I would appreciate any advice that you may have. Do you have a machine that you like, and are you able to cut intricate dies? Do you cut thick material such as Grungeboard and felt, and how does that work in your machine? Do you have a Vagabond and are the bad reviews accurate or unfair? If you were able to attend CHA and see some of the new machines how did they look? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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As for the intricate dies in a Cuttlebug, I do the following. I layer clear tape on the back of the die where it's not cutting completely. It's like a little shim. I also have the metal adaptor plate that I use with dies that are a little more difficult. One of those tricks usually works.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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I have the Vagabond and Bigshot. I bought the Bigshot a long time ago because I needed a machine that can handle thick material, and it does this beautifully. The only issue was the cranking because I do not have a lot of strength in my hands, so when the Vagabond came out, that was a no brainer for me. I've had my Vagabond since the machine was introduced and I have never had one problem - period. I cut very intricate thin dies and I cut heavy material (chipboard and matboard) using the steel rule dies and I emboss.

To protect the Vagabond, the trick is to not make the sandwich too thick for the machine which may be the root cause of the jamming issues. Also, t!m holtz says that only Sizzix accessories should be used with the Vagabond because (makes sense) Sizzix products are calibrated to work in Sizzix machines, so if anyone is using other manufacturer's accessories with the Vagabond, there is risk. If I want to use a 'risky' sandwich, I run it through my Bigshot - so far, so good, but if I broke my Bigshot I would not fault the machine - that would be on me.

My personal experience with Sizzix customer service is excellent. I can understand their hesitation to replace Vagabonds that are jamming. The Vagabond is powerful, so I think (unless your machine is defective) that if it jams, it's most likely 'user error'. There is a set of keys (now standard with the Vagabond) and if your sandwich fits the appropriate key, then your Vagabond is safe from harm. I check my sandwiches religiously because I don't want to break my Vagabond.

If cranking is not an issue, then the less costly Bigshot will cut those thicker materials.

Whatever you choose, and there are many good choices out there, HAVE FUN!!!!!
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Last edited by QueenOfInkland; 04-13-2014 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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I have a Vagabond and a Big Shot. Love both of them.

Most of the people with broken Vagabonds overstuffed the sandwiches and tried to force them through the machine. It appears that none of this group used the gauge key supplied free by Sizzix Customer Service. It should always be used as a safeguard, even with wafer-thin dies.

Given the Vagabond's high cutting pressure, its tolerances are very tight. However, it runs like a champ if it's not overloaded, and only Sizzix brand accessories are used.

If you want a manual die cutter, you can't go wrong with the Sizzix Big Shot, Big Kick or Vintaj. They're the same machine in different colors. Much sturdier than the Cuttlebug, with none of the Bug's accessory fitting issues.

The lowest online prices with free shipping are usually found at Amazon, Joann and Overstock.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:12 PM   #5
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I have a Big Shot. Nothing else for me, thank you. It's tremendous!
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:50 PM   #6
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I love my big shot.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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can some one tell me the difference between the Big Shot and the Big Kick please thanks. I have a cuttlebug and the Big Kick love them both
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the great information!!!! I am not sure which way I will go, but for now I will try the helpful hints for my Cuttlebug and then try to make a decision about another machine. I am happy to hear your good comments on the Vagabond. That makes me feel a lot better about that machine. I don't know what the price comparisons are so I guess I'd better do a little research. I would appreciate any additional advice. Thanks again!
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #9
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I have a Big Shot and a Cuttlebug. I kept my lovable bug for portability. Love them both!
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:02 AM   #10
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I have an eBosser and really love it. Its electric like the vagabond. I have had no trouble getting intricate Spellbinder dies to cut in the eBosser. Plus everything you need (all plates, magnetic mats and embossing pad) are included in the eBosser when you purchase it. It is easy to use and takes Sizzix Bigz-type dies as well as the spellbinder-type dies!
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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Annie,

You might like to see this video on a new machine called Crossover. It seems to be related to the company that makes the Cheery Lynn Dies. I like the fact that it is wider than the Bigshot and can cut the bigger dies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENEUUXjttaI

Edited: Just saw that it costs $249,95 ... [I LUV MY BIGSHOT SO MUCH!]

Last edited by Candida; 04-14-2014 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: Additional info added.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #12
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I used to be a big shot person. However, once I bought my silhouette portrait, I find I only use my big shot for embossing. I'm head over heels in love with the portrait and all it can do.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:54 PM   #13
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Annie, one thing I would say is consider how much room you have for a machine, and will you need to move it for use? I too have a 'bug, and got fed up with dies & folders getting bigger than it could handle, so looked at the options. I really didn't want to find myself a few years along, needing to upgrade again, so went as big as I could. I'm fortunate enough to have my own room for crafting, so it could have a station and stay there. Because of that, I went with the Big Shot Pro. The opening is almost 13", so it will take the biggest paper/folders/ dies out there, and I figured anything bigger than that I will never want! Because of the multiple number of platforms for it, it will take any die, from wafer thin to Bigz. You can also cut/emboss multiple items at the same time, as long as they are all the same type.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Annie, one thing I would say is consider how much room you have for a machine, and will you need to move it for use? I too have a 'bug, and got fed up with dies & folders getting bigger than it could handle, so looked at the options. I really didn't want to find myself a few years along, needing to upgrade again, so went as big as I could. I'm fortunate enough to have my own room for crafting, so it could have a station and stay there. Because of that, I went with the Big Shot Pro. The opening is almost 13", so it will take the biggest paper/folders/ dies out there, and I figured anything bigger than that I will never want! Because of the multiple number of platforms for it, it will take any die, from wafer thin to Bigz. You can also cut/emboss multiple items at the same time, as long as they are all the same type.
Agreed. My manual die cutters have to be stored and brought to use each time. Thus I own a cuttlebug and Grand Caliber. The bug is so easy and I use the bug plates through the Grand Caliber with embossing folders at fun angles on large cards. If mine were able to sit out I may have made other choices.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherMeg View Post
The difference is solely cosmetic. The BK body is lower/squatter-looking, and the colors are different.

Internally/Mechanically, they are the exact same machine and function the exact same way.
thank you so much for the reply
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:45 AM   #16
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Default Accucut Mark IV with a side of Big Shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherMeg View Post
If you're ready to invest in a manual diecutter that you'll never outgrow, I suggest either the Sizzix Big Shot Pro or the AccuCut GrandeMark. I have both machines, but could get by with just the GrandeMark since it handles all the dies the BSP can take, as well as dies that are even larger than 12x12.

AccuCut occasionally has the GrandeMark on sale for $375.
I agree with TheOtherMeg ... I have an Accucut Mark IV that I got on CL for $150 but its a bit cumbersome to use embossing folders with ... so I also got the newer aqua colored Big Shot for the embossing folders, and I think its a perfect combo. I also liked the Big Shot Pro, but I found the Mark IV cheaper locally... there are some awesome Accucut dies (boxes bags, etc - love em!) that the Big Shot can't handle... so that's why I went with this combo.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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Default The New Crossover Machine

I've had my new Crossover die cut machine for a while now and I love it!

1st The working parts are all steel. No plastic parts to break, so hopefully I won't have to replace it. (Over the course of 2-1/2 years, I went through 4 Spellbinders Grand Caliburs and that came to more money than the Crossover, which has a 2 yr warranty. I never abused them, but did use them a lot. The internal plastic parts always broke.

2nd The pressure is easily adjustable, so it takes any dies currently on the market, without changing the sandwich - only 2 plates needed - just adjust the pressure with the dial. And ... if you need to cut a really intricate die, just increase the pressure and/or use the metal plate they provided. I do have to turn the die for one particularly intricate doily die. For any unusual size, or intricate dies, I write the pressure # right on the die, so I can quickly dial in the pressure each time I use it. Otherwise I leave it on 4.

3rd I can use my Jr. plates (or anyone's plates) from the Grand Calibur, because, again, you can dial in your desired pressure.

4th Because of the way they made the gears you donít have to turn the handle as many times as you do with the Grand Calibur to run the plates through.
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:23 AM   #18
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I know you asked for advice on a new cutting machine, but if you're stuck with what you have for a while, don't miss the great tutorial on "cutting intricate dies" by Lori Craig. I found it really helpful and it has some good basic pointers in addition to the great help for intricate cuts.

Go here to see the tutorial:
Cutting with Detailed Dies Tutorial - Splitcoaststampers
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:38 AM   #19
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I have a Big Kick, which is essentially the same as a Big Shot. I love it and use it frequently.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:53 AM   #20
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It's personal choice again. Everyone loves their one machine because it works well for them! I absolutely adored my Cuttlebug because I saved money just to buy it and I was able to use a coupon for it. It worked so well for a long time. I wore the poor thing out! When it was time to get a new machine, I investigated what was out there. I found out the Big Kick and the Big Shot are the same tool. The Big Shot is sold through Stampin Up, and the Big Kick is sold in retail stores. Same machine. At the time, the Big Kick was on sale so I got that one. It's been terrific! Love these gems of crafty tools. So much fun to use!
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:05 AM   #21
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stampinmecrazy Glad to see another Accucut owner here. I too got mine off craigslist, and have bought out several die lots from closing scrapbook store. I love all the card dies, bags and boxes and even my scrapbook dies. Accucut rocks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:40 AM   #22
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I love my "Big Shot Pro". It is costly but you can find good deals out there. The downside is it's size and weight. It has to have its own piece of real estate. If you want to use thicker material stay away from the Vagabond. I had to send my Vagabond in for repair, luckily it was still under warranty. I do love my Vagabond, but only use it for thin dies. If it breaks again I will not replace it. The Big Shot Pro is my goto machine. I'd stick with the smaller Big Shot if the Pro is too large. Some like their Cuttlebugs for its portability, but it wouldn't be my choice.
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