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Old 12-17-2013, 04:23 AM   #1  
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Default Which Cutting Machine do you love/hate and why??

I'm ready to take the plunge and purchase a cutting machine, so I'm researching which one I want. Several of my friends love their cricuits and others love their cameos.

Soooo, I'd love some reviews from my SCS friends.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #2  
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Hi there, I have one of the original Silhouettes- its at least 10 years old, and still going strong, so that speaks well for reliability. I know that the blade replacement is more expensive for the new models, as you have to replace the whole housing now, but when you weigh that cost against the saving in dies- its minor. That was my main reason for going with a Silhouette- I had( still do,actually) an old Red Sizzix, and looking at the cost of Alphabet dies it was scary. For the cost of a couple, I could have a machine that would cut any font on my PC in any size I wanted. No contest! that is its real beauty- any TT font on your PC, including the 'dingbat' type can be cut. You can 'weld' letters together to make names/phrases, size them to perfectly fit your project. Shapes can be purchased from the Sizzix online store, and there are thousands of free cutting files available on the net- try doing a Pinterest search, you will find loads. You can also design & cut your own shapes with the software- another plus point over the cricut. A couple of useful sites for free files are:
Birdscards and UKScrappers . The UKScrappers one is called CraftRobo- that is what the original machines were called, but its all about the Silhouette. You need to be a member of the forum for one month to access the free files, its free to join, so you just sign up. They are also very helpful to newbies there.
You can also cut a multitude of different materials with it, including fabric, vinyl, magnetic photo paper- its quite a versatile machine. I often cut transparency sheets with mine- I make my own stencils/masks with it.
As to whether you get a Cameo, or a Portrait- what size do you generally work in?, and how much space for a machine do you have? As well as the actual cutting area size, the Cameo is quite tall, so overall it has a large footprint. Also remember you need as much space behind the machine as in front, for it to feed the cutting mat. I'm a cardmaker, not a scrapbooker, so for me the 12x12 format of a Cameo would be unnecessary, so when my Silhouette finally dies, I will be going with the A4 sized Portrait.I've never had a cricut, but you would have the cost of cartridges, and I don't know if you have the ability to re-size the shapes- are you restricted to the single size they are on the cart? There is a learning curve with the Silhouettes, but you will see there is a sticky for Silhouette at the top of the Tools & Product talk section, and the ladies on there are very knowledgeable & helpful. Hope some of this helps.
Personally, I think the Silhouette was one of the best purchases I ever made, and would not be without it.

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Old 12-17-2013, 06:13 AM   #3  
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Just did a quick Pinterest search
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:59 AM   #4  
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Do you want to create your own cuts? Do you want to be connected to a computer in order to cut your cuts? Ask those questions. I love/hate my Cricut but it allows me to be free of a computer. Although it has to have cartridges, that is what I like.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #5  
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Does it help to say while I prefer my Cameo, I am also glad I have my Cricut?

I also have one of the original Silhouettes that is still running. I've had 2 previous Cricuts. All of them still work fine, they are several years old.

I prefer to use the Cameo because I can position my cut easily and save paper, I can alter and design cuts that suit my needs when I need them.

Since I have a large number of cartridges for my Cricut, I do still use them.

Also since the computer connected to my Silhouette just died, the fact that the Cricut doesn't need a computer makes it my go to machine at the moment.

If I had to do it over again, I might have considered an Eclips
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #6  
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Red face Several machines, so hard to pick favorite

I've had my big shot since CHA 2006 and since the Bigz dies came in its my go to machine for those.
Prior to that I purchased a Accucut Grande Mark and still use it for my card and bags dies...........
On to Cricut, I was a late bloomer in wanting one and am not sorry I bought it. I love my Expression, but for quick card making still resort to a handy cricut create that sits right next to my desk, easy peasy fast for card embellishments.
I do not have any plans to invest in a computer linked diecut machine. I am fine with what I have.
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #7  
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thanks everyone, I am still thinking about what I want. I didn't really want one until I did a project that required a lot of die cutting, still better than scissors. A friend showed me what she did on her cricuit and it was so cut and then another friend said she has the Cameo, so I'm still thinking....
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #8  
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Decisions,decisions,decisions!!!! What is a crafter to do??!!

Good luck with your decision and enjoy your new toy when you get it!!

I have a Big shot, vagabond, and a cricut expression 2. Love em all!!
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:13 PM   #9  
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I have a Bigshot, Vagabond, and KNK 24" Maxx Air (wireless) and they're all terrific.

I made these specific choices because I wanted to be able to cut thicker materials and all of these machines do a great job.

I must admit that since I got the Vagabond, I have my Bigshot basically as a 'back up' machine now but I used it for years before the Vagabond came out and it served me well. Also, if you're having problem cutting with intricate dies, the metal shims should not be used in the Vagabond but I have used the metal shims in my Bigshot and my Bigshot handles the metal shim just fine so if I'm having trouble with an intricate die, I'll use my Bigshot.

Have fun in your search - it's VERY exciting to get a cutting machine
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #10  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by connie leoneView Post
Decisions,decisions,decisions!!!! What is a crafter to do??!!

Good luck with your decision and enjoy your new toy when you get it!!

I have a Big shot, vagabond, and a cricut expression 2. Love em all!!
Oh so true......... Our toys are so personal!

I'm similar to Connie, except I have the Cuttlebug, the Vagabond, and the Expression 2 (with lots of cartridges I've gotten on sale or eBay). And, like Connie, I love them all!!! And, like any mother, I wouldn't want to have to choose between my crafting machines either! Never thought I would need or want a Cricut machine, BUT, what a great machine. I liked it because I didn't have to use a computer with it - especially because I'm a Mac girl. However, I also use the Cricut Craft Room, and enjoy how I can easily change any image I have on a cartridge! They also offer numerous free cuts. I have more than I'll ever use.......

Good luck with your decision, and have fun, no matter what you choose.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:16 PM   #11  
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I remember when choosing a die cutting machine was so much easier. There are so many on the market now I have given up trying to keep up. Everyone has their favorites. Of course there are the popular machines. My advice don't purchase one because it's popular. Shoppers of die cut machines don't have to do that any more. Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's the best for your needs, the way you create or learn.

I tore apart my Cameo & Cricut. I rebuilt them to my specifications. I do not recommend that option to most people. Now, I love both my die cutter's.

Here's a list of cutters off the top of my head. Research the list and see which one fits your needs and budget. Look for what materials they will cut out. Study the software programs to make sure you are comfortable with them & it's a good fit for you.

Cricut- E2 or mini older models of Cricut are Expressions, Create, Original Baby Bug
Silhouette- Cameo or Portrait
KNK Zing
BossKut Gazelle
Sizzix Eclips
Silver Bullet
Pazzles
Klik n Kut- Maxx & Zing
Craftwell eCraft
Brother Scan & Cut

If I left any out hopefully somebody can add to my list.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:09 AM   #12  
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Costco has the Cricut Epressions2 on sale, $70 off right now. I thought it was a couple of generations older than the Silhouette machines, so I passed it up but maybe it's what I need because my computer is a MacPro?

What I want from an electronic cutter is an end to all the fiddling I do with sandwiches and shims. My fuse is getting shorter and shorter when it takes me a half hour to get the perfect sandwich assembled so I can cut out Merry Christmas and transfer it to a card so it doesn't look like it was glued together by a drunk.

I'm also concerned about the maintenance costs of an electronic cutter. New plates, new blades, new mats........buying the machine may be the least expensive part of this adventure?

If you had it to do over, would you buy the same equipment you have now?
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #13  
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Shaz, are you restricted to A2 size cards with your Cameo Portrait? I need to make mostly 5 inch square and A6 cards. Could I do that on the Portrait?
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:00 AM   #14  
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Hi Bahb, my original size Silhouette is the same as the new Portrait, and takes a sheet of A4 card. The Cameo will take up to 12x12 cardstock. So you'd be fine on a Portrait with either of those sizes. Generally, I use an A4 sheet folded for most of my cards- I think that equates to an A5 card?, which is bigger than an A6. And A4 is 11 3/4 x 8 1/4( just been and measured it, lol) so you'd get 5" square from that ok too.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:24 AM   #15  
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I have a Cricut Expression, a working version of SCAL, and the Design Studio software. Most days I would love to toss my Cricut out the nearest window. It is so frustrating if I simply want to make a cut without using one of the computer programs. It is possible with the two computer programs to cut what I want, but I haven't taken the time to learn enough about SCAL and Design Studio is a very frustrating program to use. I want to be able to cut things without restrictions. If I want to be able to tweak or maneuver a design I think I should be able to easily do that.

One of my daughters is a whiz on SCAL and I think I would be able to do so many more things if I took the time to really learn the program. We are always so worried that we will mess up and lose the ability to use SCAL. I am no longer a fan of Provocraft since they have filed the lawsuit on SCAL and MTC. I understand their business decision, but I simply want to be allowed a little of my own creativity without having to spend hours trying to get a program to adjust things the way I want them to be. If I had to do it all over, I would be looking at the Cameo because I want to be able to control what I cut.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #16  
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I don't know A2 sizes but if they are very small I have not found an electronic cutter that will cut words (small words) well.....except maybe a Slice. Mats are not very costly and can be reglued. Hooking up to a computer would be a creation killer for me. I am the type that is very spontaneous when I create.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #17  
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I love my Cameo. I've spent a little time learning to use it and find it indispensable. I've learned to cut out all my sentiments in all sizes for my cards. You just have to play with it and find the right paper and the right cutting settings. Once you figure it out it's a breeze.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #18  
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This is proving to be a little more overwhelming than I thought it would be. Of course my head is spinning with Christmas anyway...always behind the curve on that one, but I do love it all so!

I am leaning strongly toward the Cameo, but I do want to check out the machines that lylacfey listed.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:20 PM   #19  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BahbView Post
Costco has the Cricut Epressions2 on sale, $70 off right now. I thought it was a couple of generations older than the Silhouette machines, so I passed it up but maybe it's what I need because my computer is a MacPro?

What I want from an electronic cutter is an end to all the fiddling I do with sandwiches and shims. My fuse is getting shorter and shorter when it takes me a half hour to get the perfect sandwich assembled so I can cut out Merry Christmas and transfer it to a card so it doesn't look like it was glued together by a drunk.

I'm also concerned about the maintenance costs of an electronic cutter. New plates, new blades, new mats........buying the machine may be the least expensive part of this adventure?

If you had it to do over, would you buy the same equipment you have now?
Bahb- Your drunk comment made me laugh.

I have been die cutting for years. I had e-cutters before manual cutters. Both manual & e-cutting are a headache at time. An e-cutter you have to find the design, tweak the design, load your mat with cardstock, cut out the design, take it off the mat. Some times I am like Enough! I cut it out by hand. How I love electronic cutters for intricate work. I love designing. I guess my thing is when I am done designing I just want to craft. I think that is my thing which drives me crazy about my cutters.

New mats are not very expensive. You can always recondition your mats. A lot of e-cutter users have their mats for the life of their cutters which can be years.

Blades can be expensive. Especially when your learning because you will always make mistakes and damage your blades. I think a lot of reason people want to throw their cutters out the window is because they don't realize they have damage blades.

I buy blades once a year for both my cutters. I pay like $10 for five. I have them for the whole year. I am a power user on my cutters. To be fair I have also built and modified out my blade housings to be better cost effective on blades.

Would I buy the same machines again? Yes & No! Great answer huh?

I feel like die cutters are starting to get outdated. They are not tablet friendly. With so many people starting to use their tablets more than their computers this is starting to become an issue for die cutters. I also feel like that about embroidery machines too.

Cricut is rumored to be releasing tablet friendly software this year at CHA. This is only a rumor. I don't know any specifics. I do know that Cameo was thinking about making tablet software for their cutters.

Because of the tablet issue I would hold off buying a cutter if I was in the market for one. I lean on my tablet now more than my computer.

I would not buy a Cricut if I had to start all over again. Not because I have anything against it. I would not want to purchase all those cartridges again. I got the Cricut when it first came out. I would buy a Cricut if they had SVG support. Of course buying individual images from their store.

Cameo I would not buy one for lack of tablet support. I do not like the blade housing. I think it's environmentally unfriendly. The blade housings are expensive. If you are not a pro with this cutter you can sink some money into it. That's why it's always good to join Cameo specific user groups.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:25 PM   #20  
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I decided on the Cameo!
I showed my 17 year old son and he was impressed and immediately thought of some uses for it. Too bad we didn't have it for all those science fairs etc.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:28 AM   #21  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by purplewinkleView Post
I decided on the Cameo!
I showed my 17 year old son and he was impressed and immediately thought of some uses for it. Too bad we didn't have it for all those science fairs etc.
I think you made a good choice. I have the original WB and loved it's cutting precision. The same company makes the Cameo. I got a KNK Zing, but have also toyed with the idea of adding a Cameo. I don't care for the limitations of my Cricut.

Now to software. Have you tried Make the Cut. MTC is amazing ans some of the easiest software I've used. What I used to do in Inkscape and my WB program in an hour, I can do in 5 minutes with MTC.

Enjoy your new toy!
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:16 AM   #22  
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just incase you are ready to buy Amazon.com: Silhouette Cameo Starter Kit Bundle Cutter: Arts, Crafts & Sewing

Quote:

Originally Posted by purplewinkleView Post
I decided on the Cameo!
I showed my 17 year old son and he was impressed and immediately thought of some uses for it. Too bad we didn't have it for all those science fairs etc.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #23  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Harley QueenView Post
Now to software. Have you tried Make the Cut. MTC is amazing ans some of the easiest software I've used. What I used to do in Inkscape and my WB program in an hour, I can do in 5 minutes with MTC.

Enjoy your new toy!
Thanks Monika, so is MTC something I use with the Cameo? It sounds awesome!
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:21 AM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by sami02uscView Post
THANK YOU!!!! i JUST ORDERED IT.
This morning we got a Christmas present from my dad that made this possible!

By the way, if anyone is interested in this great deal there is precious little time left.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #25  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by purplewinkleView Post
THANK YOU!!!! i JUST ORDERED IT.
This morning we got a Christmas present from my dad that made this possible!

By the way, if anyone is interested in this great deal there is precious little time left.

Have fun & enjoy your new toy!

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:20 AM   #26  
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Glad to hear you got what you wanted! I'm sure you'll enjoy your choice!
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #27  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by purplewinkleView Post
I decided on the Cameo!
I showed my 17 year old son and he was impressed and immediately thought of some uses for it. Too bad we didn't have it for all those science fairs etc.
LOL, science fairs were the excuse, I mean reason, I bought the silhouette years ago! It still works fine, just not as wide as the cameo.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #28  
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Hi!
I'm a Cricut user. I have had good luck with machines that work well, and I have accumulated a nice collection of cartridges. I am not a big computer user, so this machine works well for me.

I am impressed with those who design their own cuts, one day I may do that, but for now, I like to have the images premade, just push cut and it's done.

So many choices, just be sure to research and find the machine that fits the way you craft.

Enjoy
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:32 AM   #29  
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I just want to pop in and say I am so loving my Cameo.

I know I still have a lot to learn, but yesterday I had a card it needed something. My son suggested a guitar. I was thinking, but I don't have a guitar stamp.

But 1/2 hour and .99 later that card had a guitar. LOVE it!

(Actually it was far less than the .99 because I subscribed, and for $8 a month I get $25 worth of shapes. They had a special in January.)

So, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:37 AM   #30  
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Thanks for the update, Purplewinkle. I am think of purchasing a machine and am starting my research. Good to know you are happy with your decision.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #31  
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Love my bug; my Cricut is useless (for me).

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