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Old 10-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Pros and Cons of Cricut

I'm thinking of buying myself a Cricut as an early Christmas gift to myself. I have a die cut machine now that I love ( Big Shot) but would like more options.

If you have a Cricut, tell me which one you have and what you like/ dislike about it, and if it's worth the money.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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my opinion:
pros:
does not require a computer

cons:
cannot be used with any 3rd party programs
have to buy expensive cartridges
no creative freedom-you can only use the shapes provided on cartridges (not sure how cricut craft room works but one thing I don't like is that when you create something using it, provo craft owns it)
can't weld shapes unless you buy design studio, which is full of glitches
horrible customer service
some don't cut quite right. The expression is notorious for cutting ovals instead of circles

I'm pretty sure other people will think of more.

eta: I had the expression and sold it. I still have the personal and a few carts, which I've given to my daughter.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:59 AM   #3
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Ditto what Gale said. There are many cutters on the market, they just don't get the advertising exposure that the C does. Do some research on the various cutters. I own and about to give away an Expression, I have a Silhouette SD (A newer machine called the Cameo is out now, made by the Silhouette people) this machine is fab for print and cut. I have a Gazelle and have ordered a Zing, made by the Klic N Kut people. These machines come with cutting software, but more inportant..they work with 3rd party software. Please, if you are going to invest money into a machine, make an informed decision.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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I agree with Gale as well. I have two cricuts, the smaller one and the Expression, and I am about to sell them I think and all the cartridges. It really made me mad when I bought this Expression, then Provo goes and makes another one that does even more, so you want to spend more money on another. Im not biting. Provocraft does have pretty bad customer service too. My Cricut chews up more paper than enough, and I get sick of trying to adjust all the time, and half the carts have cuts that just don't work. I'm sorry I ever bought the thing.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:29 AM   #5
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Cricut:

Pros:

-It's a cartridge base machine so your not stuck to your computer.

-Works with the Gypsy, Design Studio, Cricut Craft Room if you want computer option for designing with your cartridges.

-It's the most popular cutter on the market so you will have access to more tutorials, blogs, message board, facebook groups, Yahoo groups & a magazine.

-Two different size machines. Your not limited in buying a big huge machine if all you want to do is make cards. You have 6 x 12 & 12 x 12. Soon there will be 8 1/2 by 11.

Cons-

-No SVG support. That will be a feature in the near future. I don't know specifics.

-Welding you will need Design Studio or Gypsy. Gypsy can be a nightmare to use. Design Studio can be glitchy and it's a memory hog.

-The machine cuts at a more rounded degree while the other cutters on the market cut at a more angular degree. This is a great for a lot of things but can be annoying on some projects if your nit picky. I am not calling you nit picky, lol. I am nit picky so I wanted to throw that out because I know that is important to us picky people.

Circles & Ovals do not cut correctly on the Expressions. They do cut better on the Cricut Original, Create, E2. I had a long time friend tell me circles cut well on her Imagine. She had a lot of circle issues with her Expressions. She owns two other cutters from different companies.

Iffy's-

Cartridges are really not that expensive if you shop around. If you don't do Ebay or online shopping then do think of a different cutter. If you buy retail you will shell out a lot for the cartridges. There are over three hundred now. I have over ninety cartridges. I got half of them for free. I never paid more than $20 for the rest of them.

You can buy Cricut's for a steal now. Last week at Cricut Machine you could get a refurb Cricut Expressions for $59 and it came with four cartridges. Right now Cricut has an influx of old machines since they released the E2. There are great deals to be found.

If you have any other questions I can help. I have been a Cricut girl since the beginning. I know that machine backwards, forwards, inside & out. Literally! My DH & I repair them. I also have another cutter. I used to have quite a few cutters. I outgrew them. I know cutters. I have even seen the inside of the Gypsy.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:58 AM   #6
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The only other pro I can think of that wasn't listed here is that you can cut many images at a time. I love my Big Shot much more and sold the Cricut Expression, but there are times that I wish I could cut a bunch of letters all at once rather than using my alphabet and doing them singly on the BS. Or if I need several circles, I miss being able to cut them all. I never had the circle/oval problem, but my biggest con was that I couldn't let mine set out, so I had to get it out, plug it in each time. And if the power goes out, I can still use my BS! Oh, a Cricut cannot emboss, only cuts....
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:09 AM   #7
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I love my cricut with the gypsy. I do have a big shot, I love. I think the big shot is way more expensive at 19.00 for 1 die image verses 19.00 for a whole cartridge. Cricutmachine.com have cartridges on sale all the time.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:56 AM   #8
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I have an Expression, and used it to learn to work with a die cutter. I do use a third-party software almost exclusively because I like the freedom and ease of design better. The Cricut just didn't have what it takes to do all that I wanted to do once I got going. I just bought a Black Cat Cougar, got it in Weds. There is a learning curve, but I am tickled to say - it purrs like a kitten! I was up and cutting in two days (once I figured out the paper placement and origin thing!). I LOVE it! Cuts fast and smooth, no paper pieces left the get off with the knife, etc.
Definitely do your research and think about what you want to do with your machine. Do you like to design on your own, are you good with software, or are you more comfortable with pre-made designs? You can still do a lot with the Cricut, it depends on what YOU want to do with it.
Good Luck!
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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I guess what I'm wanting is a machine that I can do custom phrases on, etc. When my mom passed away a year and a half ago, some SCS'ers sent me some Thank You phrases that were cut from a die-cut machine... I'm guessing it was a Cricut....
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:35 AM   #10
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You can do custom phrases with the cricut only if you buy the alphabet cartridge you want and also buy design studio (or the Gypsy) to weld the letters together. Cricut Craft Room might also work-I have no idea about it at all. If you want them to be truly customizable, you'd want to stick with a cutter like the Silhouette, Gazelle, Eclips, Klick N Kut, etc.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #11
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I'm beginning to think getting a Cricut is not what I need....
That's a lot of stuff to buy just to make custom phrases...
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #12
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I have no cons for the Cricut or Expression, only pros. I have both and love them. I do use the Expression mostly but only due to wanting larger sizes. By purchasing the Design Studio which is cheap, there is almost no limit to what you can create.

Provo Customer Service is great and they stand by their products when they are under warrenty.

Cartridges which provide nearly endless options can be purchased inexpensively when you catch the sales.

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Old 10-30-2011, 02:00 PM   #13
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I love my Expression, especially since I got the Gypsy. I hate having to deal with a computer in my scraproom so the Cricut and its cartridges work for me. I can take my Gypsy anywhere and prepare the cutting files. I'm considering getting a Cameo for ttf's, but I'm afraid I won't use it enough to justify the amount of space it will take up. I also don't want to create my own designs so it helps to get a whole bunch of coordinating stuff on a cartridge. I'm just not creative enough to think of stuff on my own.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:21 PM   #14
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This is a most interesting thread. Whenever I tell anyone I am into paper crafting, the next question is "Do you have a Cricket?" Well, I don't because I have a Big Shot and have invested in Spellbinders dies along with the SU and Sizzix dies and don't want to spend the money for the Cricket and the tools it takes to make it work. Now, after reading this thread, I think I have made the right decision. Maybe in a few years I will rethink this, but right now I am very happy with what I have.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyndie View Post
I'm beginning to think getting a Cricut is not what I need....
That's a lot of stuff to buy just to make custom phrases...
Each person is different, don't let us talk you out of it. Just do some research first. Somethings that I may not like, you may and vice versa! You can create custom phrases, the letters would just be separate if I remember correctly. So you could spell out Thank You, if you have an alphabet cartridge, but if you wanted a fanciful Thank You, you would have to find a cartridge with it written that way or I think purchase other things to help you create them... I only ever used mine to cut out images from cartridges so I know nothing of the gypsy and I'm not sure they even sell that anymore do they? Like I said, just do your research before you buy. It may or may not be what you want.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:34 PM   #16
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I absolutely love my Cricut. I am seriously addicted! I have multiple machines even, Expression, Imagine, Cake, Create. Sad really, I never thought I would own so many. Luckily I got really good deals on all of them and actually use all of them too although admittedly the Cake is the least used but since we got the full size version for $50 I can't complain.

I've heard lots of good things about the Silhouette Cameo. If you want to see a review on it and how to use it with SVG files, you can view this blog by Jin (she is great!): Under A Cherry Tree
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #17
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If you're looking to do more custom phrases, etc. I'd recommend a cutter that you use with a computer. I have a Silhouette and it's super easy to weld letters to make phrases. It cuts all true type fonts. There are other cutters that will do this but this is the one I have so I can recommend it. I also have an E2 Cricut and it's nice but I find it very limiting.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:30 PM   #18
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Yes, do your research! I have an Expression and an Imagine (plus the Design Studio and Gypsy) and if I had to do it over, I would have never jumped on the Cricut bandwagon.

Like others have said, the cartridges, mats, inks, etc will all add up. You want to cut a picture of a magnifying glass you will only use once and it is not on a cartridge you have? Then you have to invest in the cartridge ($20-$80) for that one image, assuming you can't use another image on the cart. When I think about all the money I spent on cartridges, it makes me sick!! I typically only use 2-3 of my favorites off each cartridge, too...which obviously would have been cheaper had I paid for the 3 SVG's I needed. **sigh**

Admittedly I am a little bitter because I bought the Imagine during the HSN release and it did not work as advertised. There are also known problems with the new Expression. I just personally feel like Provo Craft is releasing things before they are ready...and then just keeps saying things "we're working on it"...frustrating.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyndie View Post
I guess what I'm wanting is a machine that I can do custom phrases on, etc. When my mom passed away a year and a half ago, some SCS'ers sent me some Thank You phrases that were cut from a die-cut machine... I'm guessing it was a Cricut....
Look into the Silhouette machines. If you are a card maker then the Silhouette is a good machine. You can make your own custom phrases. To be honest with you the Cricut is mainly for shapes and specific items. When working with words then a different cutter will be better. Cricut does have a few font cartridges but that's where you start getting limited in your choices. Then you need Design Studio or Gypsy to weld those letters. Cricut really does not have a lot of phrase cartridges or sentiments. So, that can be very frustrating. It's a good shape system but I think the Silhouette is better for wording. I use a standalone cutter for my words and phrases.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #20
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I would look into the Gazelle by BossKut. It can:

"The Gazelle will cut 12" media. It's software is easy to use and designed especially for the scrapbooker (I make cards and I love it) with the features that all the crafters want. 500 g of pressure. Cuts cardstock, glitter paper, chipboard, balsa wood, foam, Grafix plastic sheets, metallic papers, vinyl and other media (it even embosses on vellum).

Make decorative borders with the scissor tool or create a design with the embroidery tool (it even does rhinestone patterns).

It has easy to use welding right in the software, Auto-trace and many more features. The Gazelle comes with Funtime Software (no comes with basic software and you have to buy a better one in order to do anything) with hundreds of great features. 700 built in shapes, and 200 fonts plus can cut true type fonts. You can import .ai files, .wpc files, .plt files, .jpeg files, .pdf files, .svg files and .bmp files....(you can even make your own cutting files!)"

The customer support is the best I have come across...the user forum is wonderful and the people are incredible.

Yeah, I love, love my Gazelle...can you tell?

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Old 10-31-2011, 03:38 PM   #21
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A friend of mine bought the gazelle, the silhouette and the black cat lynx. She was sorely disappointed with the gazelle. I don't remember her mentioning the lynx much. She uses the silhouette the most. She just got the cameo too. You can see her reviews at Under A Cherry Tree
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:22 PM   #22
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I have a Cricut Expression and a Big Kick, and I love both of them. I have no problem cutting any shapes with my Cricut, and they cut perfectly. The only issue I have sometimes is that my Cricut doesn't want to cut light-weight paper. I remember back in "the day," when you had to pay about $130 just for one Sizzix alphabet; so I don't think the cartridges are really that expensive. Especially since I never pay full price buying them on-line. I agree that you should make an informed decision and research other forums and sites with reviews and demos. Good luck in making your decision.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:51 AM   #23
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Gale...not to get into a "match" over the Gazelle...but, I read your friend's report and frankly I don't think she was giving it a fair shake.

- She did not like the color of the machine or the USB cord.
- She did not use the recommended software for it.
- She refers to user blade issues that were resolved (quality control with Bosskut who are fanatical about it and got it resolved with the new blades holders) and she neglects to mention that Bosskut was happy to have the older blade holders returned for adjusting.
- She talks about problems she had with cutting and refers to others on MTC forum who had issues but, does not reflect the fact that these issues were user based and not the fault of the machine (I am a follower of the forums and I know of the issues she speaks of).

Frankly, I don't think she was impressed from the start because of the machine's color and was pre-determined to fault the machine. I know of no one who uses the machine correctly, who uses the appropriate software and the respective blade settings complain...in fact, we all rave about the machine. However, I have heard of complaints on the MTC forum and I still stand by it is a user/software issues and not the machine.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #24
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Well since I have never even looked at or researched the gazelle there's no problem not getting into a match with you. I was just giving a link with other info on it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #25
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I appreciate that...I just get a bit "miffed" when some one will rate a product without comparing apples to apples (i.e. not using it correctly). It gives a great product a bad rap and not really fair. This is an awesome machine.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:51 AM   #26
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I bought my first Cricut when I worked at a scrapbook chain and they were pushing it. When the Expression first came out, I bought that one and gave my small cricut to a friend. I like the auto fill and quantity features - made cutting things for classes so much easier. I never liked the die machines - I like that I can resize things on my Cricut and storage is simpler.
The biggest thing for me was cartridge selection. I don't do "cute" or "whimiscal" - but Provo Craft has slowly caught on and offers a larger variety now. I use home decor and indie often.
I actually sold that machine and about 20 cartridges to a friend. A few months later over the holidays, I bought the newer (cheaper) version and have about 14 cartridges (different ones mostly).
Cartridges are cheaper now since the Imagine came out. I think they are planning on phasing out the "just cuts" line in favor of the print/cut line. So finding cartridges is easier and much cheaper.
I do like that the cake carts work just fine with the paper machine. I cut a lot of vinyl also. The make your stamp thing never worked right. I did have luck cutting some extra thin fun foam and thin chipboard. The machine will do up to 11 3/4 by 23 3/4 with the larger mats, so parent sheets (large sheets of Canson) are great for large boxes - I wish they would come out with another Tags, Bags, Boxes and More type cartridge.
As for images cutting properly, for my job we had "training" from ProvoCraft. Images on cartridges often have a "minimum size" that they will cut. They are designed with a specific size in mind and then this is scaled up or down by the machine. You will not be able to cut a "thank you" with scroll detail, etc at 1 inch. You should be able to cut a simple circle or square at a 1/2 inch just fine. As for the circles turning into ovals - always check to be sure the "real dial size" function is OFF. Real dial size "stretches" the item to fit that dimension, hence the ovals. EX: Paper Lace, the large square intricate lace pieces were designed as scrapbook page layouts. They cut well at 6 inches or larger, but the shadows will cut fine at 3 inches, the "charms" will cut fine at 2, the charm shadows can go as small as 1in if paper, not thick cardstock.
As for selection, I know others forget and I do as well about the special features buttons on the every cartridge. Example: the cake carts called Elegant Cakes works for paper. It features basically 8 different fonts with numbers and punctuation, roughly 300 different shapes (swirls and borders), and 10 phrases. Say I can only alter each image within 1-11 inches in 1/4 increments - that is the equivalent of nearly 25, 000 different "single dies". Not to mention I can cut a border with the machine, and trim individual repeats for different effects/shapes...one cart offers a mind boggling variety. I bought it on sale for $30 (Michael's clearance table). I'm paying a fraction of a penny for each design.
But it is all in choice and a little thinking outside the images on the back of the box.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:58 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catrick View Post
I appreciate that...I just get a bit "miffed" when some one will rate a product without comparing apples to apples (i.e. not using it correctly). It gives a great product a bad rap and not really fair. This is an awesome machine.

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I can appreciate that but there are at least a couple of comments on her review indicating that others had the same issues. As for the color, I think she was joking about that. Yes, she doesn't like the color much but she is more concerned about the usability-she specifically bought these machines so that she could do a fair review of them and IMO she went above and beyond. The machines were not provided to her by the companies for review-she bought and paid for them herself only so that she could give her honest opinion about them. No matter what, there will be people who don't like a particular machine. I wouldn't worry too much since I'm sure there are lots who love the Gazelle, just as there are people who love the cricut. Even though the numbers of the people who don't like it (the cricut) are growing, I don't think they'll ever have a problem keeping a strong customer base. Same with most of the machines.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:26 AM   #28
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I agree...especially when Provocraft has alienated it's customer base by blocking SCAL forcing people to purchase their cartridges.

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:49 PM   #29
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Just saw this thread at 2peas about the difference in cuts between the expression and the cameo:
Message Boards - "Okay, the Peas have created another Cameo convert -- but look at the results (Cameo vs. Expression)" - General Scrappin' - Two Peas In A Bucket
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:02 AM   #30
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I have a Gazelle. I did recommend the Silhouette to our OP since I thought it sounded like something that would fit her needs more. Poor lady probably already stopped reading this thread due to information overload.

I like my Gazelle but it does have problems. I have written extensive posts on the Gazelle too and it's pro's. It can be a very noisy machine. It is louder than the Silhouette and Cricut. I have to put a towel under mine to muffle the noise. To be fair I do have an antique desk that could be the problem too. Bosskut has said the machine is noisy.

I had a lot of user error problems too. I know my way around die cut machines. The Gazelle is a hard machine to run. You can't just pull it out of the box and start cutting. You really have to set down and learn this machine. You have to set down and learn all the machines but the learning curve on machines like the Gazelle, Black Cat Cutters and Klik-n-Kut cutters are higher. I know the companies that makes these machines would agree with me wholeheartedly.

For anybody reading this still I read yesterday that Michael's is going to start carrying the Silhouette cutters. Coupons will be excluded on these cutters. For anybody who is wanting to see the cutters up close to make a decision you now have another one to peek at. I know ordering something expensive like a cutter online and not being able to look at it first is not something most consumers want to do. This will give you all more options.

I don't have an Archiver's in my area but I did hear they carry several cutters in their store. If you have an LSS that sells cutters you can try them at the store.

I also wanted to mention that a few library systems also have Cricut's that the patron's can use. All you need to do is bring in your own cardtock and you can try the machine. A few libraries will allow you to checkout cartridges.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:09 AM   #31
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I am sure that the Gazelle and Silhouette work just fine, there IS a lot of user-error. With each machine there is a learning curve, each cutter, it's settings, and the software you use. I am beginning a new business in which I needed a heavier-duty machine. My E was not keeping up with the skills I have learned using SCAL (my program of choice), and PC turned me off using any of their products on principle when they forced people into buying their cartridges with the lawsuits against MTC and SCAL. (sorry - don't like being told what I HAVE to do - it's a rebel thing!)

I did my research based on what I want to do, and for what I expect to do in the future. The Black Cat Cougar seemed to fit those expectations perfectly, although it is pretty pricey. Is there a difference - YES. I am used to the E and I have to "work" at the Cougar. But - I haven't had it a week yet and I am still learning. What I HAVE done is cut some designs that my E just could not do on the paper I wanted to use. So far I am tickled pink with my new kitty.

There is no perfect answer for which machine is the right one, or the best, or easiest - FOR YOU. Do the research. If you are serious enough to want to spend the money for a cutter and get the most out of what you buy, it HAS to be a personal decision. We all have our favorites. There is NO substitute for looking around for yourself.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:14 PM   #32
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If I were you I'd go with a different cutter. I have a Cricut Expression. I actually chose the Cricut because at that time I could use both cartridges or SVG files through the 3rd party software and then the lawsuit stopped that. I have about 6 cartridges.. 4 of them came with my E and I bought 2 others deeply discounted. Honestly the only time I have used those cartridges was when I first took it out of the box and wanted to try it out. The quality and variety of the SVG files that are available is so much better than anything available on the cartridges it isn't even comparable in my mind not to mention that I can buy exactly what I want in an SVG file versus having to buy a whole cartridge at a higher price.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:58 PM   #33
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As someone who spent a couple of hours today trying to make "circle" cuts made with an Expression actually "ROUND", stay away from ProvoCraft. I am thinking of getting a Silhouette Cameo or a Zing. There is quite a price difference and I realize the Silhouette won't cut chipboard, but it does work with MTC which I like; I am having a hard time justifying $400 for a Zing for me to "play" with. But I do know this...I want something that will cut ROUND CIRCLES and it isn't this blasted Cricut! I feel sooooo much better now!!!!! LOL!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:06 PM   #34
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The Expression Circle thing is a big problem with a lot of Cricut users. PC has addressed it a billion times and then brought out the E2 to fix the problem. Don't feel bad it's not you. The Circle wonkiness has been going on since the day the Expressions was released. I have perfect circles on my Create. Expressions circles have been more miss than hit.

I think the new Cameo might cut chipboard. It's supposed to have a different bladeholder. I honestly don't know how well it's going to work since I haven't seen it in action. The Zing can cut through a car. In all my years of die cutting I have seen people upgrade more times to a heavy duty cutter after owning a Silhouette. Most do keep their Silhouette, Wishblade or Craft Robo (All the same machine). They do buy a heavier cutter. The Silhouette is a beautiful machine and I highly recommend it but it's not going to do heavy duty cutting.

I started with a Wishblade. Went to a Cricut (when it first came out) then went to a BossKut Gazelle. If your wanting to buy a heavier duty machine wait a few more weeks until you have the dollars to shell out. It's really only a couple of hundred dollars more for what you need. I know that is a lot in today's economy. I think it's better than shelling out another four hundred for another machine down the line.

I had several because I needed them at the time. I have scaled way back and just have two now because that fits my needs where I am at in my crafting life.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:20 AM   #35
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And the funny thing is, when I got my E I called PC and told them about the circles and they said oh no, we've never heard of that problem. Through 4 more machines, they still hadn't ever heard of the problem.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:03 AM   #36
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Quote:
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And the funny thing is, when I got my E I called PC and told them about the circles and they said oh no, we've never heard of that problem. Through 4 more machines, they still hadn't ever heard of the problem.
That's PC's lovely customer service for you. (Rolling eyes sarcastically at PC) On the old Cricut MB we used to talk about the Circle wonkiness all the time. There was a time when Cricut was replacing the E's over it. They stopped that a couple years back. Guess, they shelled out too many replacements. I honestly think that's where all these refurb machines are coming from. I have given up on the Expressions, personally for me. I know some people have the luck of the draw on perfect circles. I get nit picky about my circles and I want perfect circles. The Graphtec machines have the best circles I have ever seen. Even the tiny circles are perfect. I heard the ECraft & Black Cat cutters are amazing. The Gazelle does a good job too.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I have a Gazelle. I did recommend the Silhouette to our OP since I thought it sounded like something that would fit her needs more. Poor lady probably already stopped reading this thread due to information overload.

I like my Gazelle but it does have problems. I have written extensive posts on the Gazelle too and it's pro's. It can be a very noisy machine. It is louder than the Silhouette and Cricut. I have to put a towel under mine to muffle the noise. To be fair I do have an antique desk that could be the problem too. Bosskut has said the machine is noisy.

I had a lot of user error problems too. I know my way around die cut machines. The Gazelle is a hard machine to run. You can't just pull it out of the box and start cutting. You really have to set down and learn this machine. You have to set down and learn all the machines but the learning curve on machines like the Gazelle, Black Cat Cutters and Klik-n-Kut cutters are higher. I know the companies that makes these machines would agree with me wholeheartedly.

For anybody reading this still I read yesterday that Michael's is going to start carrying the Silhouette cutters. Coupons will be excluded on these cutters. For anybody who is wanting to see the cutters up close to make a decision you now have another one to peek at. I know ordering something expensive like a cutter online and not being able to look at it first is not something most consumers want to do. This will give you all more options.

I don't have an Archiver's in my area but I did hear they carry several cutters in their store. If you have an LSS that sells cutters you can try them at the store.

I also wanted to mention that a few library systems also have Cricut's that the patron's can use. All you need to do is bring in your own cardtock and you can try the machine. A few libraries will allow you to checkout cartridges.
Would you be willing to direct me to your reviews? Earlier this year DH & I decided to invest in a Gazelle. It was not the smartest decision we ever made. We did tons of research back in March/April and had narrowed down our choices to two machines - neither seemed to have any bad (or even slightly negative) reviews and both 'camps' seemed to believe that their machine was the best and their c/s was awesome.

Honestly, I don't believe that a Gazelle is a 'beginner' machine and it doesn't seem to have very much info available to help someone new. And Funtime is - well, it's also not what I would consider user friendly. I appreciate that there are plenty of people out there who *love* their machine, but in my personal experience I would NOT recommend a Gazelle (or Funtime) to someone who doesn't have a lot of experience with these types of machines and this type of software.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:07 PM   #38
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I agree...especially when Provocraft has alienated it's customer base by blocking SCAL forcing people to purchase their cartridges.

Cathy

Alienated SOME of their customer base. I thought about getting SCAL but suspected future copyright issues even before the suit came out & used my $$ to buy a Gypsy instead. I also didn't really want to be tied to my computer to scrapbook or spend my limited scrapping time learning a new cutter system. I am happy with the Cricut & Gypsy, which DOES weld. I have plenty of variety for my tastes. But I am all about simplicity. The Cricut is extremely user friendly & very reasonably priced compared to the Big Shot which I also have & love. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #39
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I do not much care for my Cricut, but not entirely for the reasons listed here. I have only been using it for maybe 6 months, a little less, but I still don't really have the hang of it. Hooking it up to a computer to use 3rd party software has never been a concern since I purchased it based soley on the infomercial and did not know about any software. I liked that it could cut pre-packaged images, plain and simple. Only thing, it's not plain and simple to me. It takes a few steps to get to where you want to go and that is irritating to me. Put the cartridge in, put the paper on the mat (keep it sticky but not too sticky) and load the mat. Find the image you want and figure out what size it is and which direction it cuts and where it is on the keypad. Unload the mat, peel of the paper, scoop off the image. Put the cover back over the mat (got to keep it clean! ) put the mat back...take out the cartridge and put it back in the box. Now you can use the image that you just cut. If you want another one, same process. I admit that I have gotten better at having my carts out so I can switch them faster; and piecing my paper on the mat to avoid loading and unloading but, for me, punches are quick and to the point. I prefer using dies in the Cuttlebug because at least with that, I always know what I am getting and there is not really a learning curve as far as pressure, speed, paper type...one size seems to fit all with the punches and single die cutter--always crisp, always clean. Not as much variety but I have maybe 6 cartridges (4 that came with the machine) and I have no use for 80% of the images on them. They all seem to look the same after awhile and the ones that really appeal to me don't seem to cut all that terrific. Also, if it breaks, lots of luck. My brother in law repairs them but unless you have another one to get parts from, you are not going to have much luck...they don't sell parts and the don't do repairs. (That part I knew going into it but got one anyway because I have my sisters husband close by) So...that is the opinion of a new user. Probably the more seasoned crafters would not agree with me but that's ok too
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:36 PM   #40
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Quote:
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Would you be willing to direct me to your reviews? Earlier this year DH & I decided to invest in a Gazelle. It was not the smartest decision we ever made. We did tons of research back in March/April and had narrowed down our choices to two machines - neither seemed to have any bad (or even slightly negative) reviews and both 'camps' seemed to believe that their machine was the best and their c/s was awesome.

Honestly, I don't believe that a Gazelle is a 'beginner' machine and it doesn't seem to have very much info available to help someone new. And Funtime is - well, it's also not what I would consider user friendly. I appreciate that there are plenty of people out there who *love* their machine, but in my personal experience I would NOT recommend a Gazelle (or Funtime) to someone who doesn't have a lot of experience with these types of machines and this type of software.
If you do a search for my screen name you can find my Gazelle reviews over here. Yes, I do have a lot of Pro's. I recently published a con list too with the Gazelle but I pulled it due to threats and harassment by several die cutting fanatics. I posted that review at a different board.

I did say in this thread that the Gazelle is hard to run. You did quote my thread. I also said you can't just pull it out of the box and start cutting. That you need to set down and learn the machines. That the companies would agree with me and have agreed with me.

I am sorry if I seem like I am flaming. I might have misinterpreted your post wrong. It seemed like you were implying that I said the machine was a "beginner" machine. If I was wrong then I truly apologize. I am a bit sensitive to all of this die cutting dramas of late since I received threats over it trying to help people.
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