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Old 06-08-2018, 09:48 AM   #1
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Default Die Cut Machine

Hello, I have been playing with ink and paper for a few years now so I kind of have an idea of all the beautiful things you achive with the two....
My question too you all is... I'm thinking of purchasing a die cut machine, I'd like to stay around the $50 range.. There are so many types out there that I am a little overwhelmed..
Any suggestions..??
Thanks for your time..
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:28 AM   #2
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Welcome to the slippery slope of die cutting! Be warned that the machine is only one expense, the dies and folders you’ll find yourself “needing” are likely to add up to a whole lot more! I tend to put them on a wish list come birthday and Christmas as a good way to boost my collection. The key thing is probably to realise you don’t need everything all at once and pace yourself.

People on your side of the Pond will probably have better advice on the best places to source which machines at the best prices. For what it’s worth, I have a Big Shot and love it - it does everything I want it to do and it’s not overly complicated (no motor to burn out and you get good “feedback” when cranking the handle so you soon realise if you’re trying to send through a sandwich that’s too thick).

Happy hunting!
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #3
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I so agree with Joanne. The machine is step one. Then come the dies. And a couple of plates or pieces the machines may not come with - like a rubber mat for embossing and a magnetic shim - though they’re not super expensive, it’s another consideration.

Staying around $50 will be tough for a full sized manual machine, though sometimes there are sales. Cuttlebug sometimes comes close, and has been is a tried and true machine that’s been around for ages and never let me down except for a couple of dies that wouldn’t cut on two Big Shots either. And I like that it folds up. (I’ve since mostly moved to an electric machine.) But either a Big Shot or C-bug will do the trick if you can up the price a bit.

You can get one of the miniature machines for about $50, and I’ve heard good reports about quite a few. I’ve only seen the Tim Holtz one in action and was surprised how well it cut small dies - and also stuck well to the table. You’d need to stick with small dies if you go miniature, but there are so many beautiful small dies, maybe that would do the trick?

Members here have some of the small ones so I’m sure they’ll weigh in. Good luck and ask all the questions you want.

BTW, I’d offer you a Cuttlebug (I have two) at no charge except for shipping. But you’d need to buy plates, and shipping could be expensive because of the weight. You’d might be better off with a new one. But if you’re interested, send me a PM and I’ll check shipping cost.


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Old 06-09-2018, 10:00 PM   #4
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As electronic die cutters are becoming more popular you may be able to find a manual die cut machine at a thrift store. No guarantee it will be top quality, but would let you try one out. Cuttlebug is what I started with and have used most. It's not quite as wide as the Big Shot, but it's cheaper and I have very few dies that don't fit. I got it for a good price at Michael's. The die cut machines often don't qualify for their coupon, so you have to watch the sales. You might also try Tuesday Morning, if you have one near you. They sometimes get a few Big Shots or other die cut machines for great prices. Only problem is that they'll have 5 per store or something like that, so again, you have to watch the sales. Good luck expanding your craft!
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:22 AM   #5
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I think Chris makes excellent points about sales and used. I’d be happy to give you one of my Cuttlebugs for free if you’d pay for shipping - but it may be a bit expensive since they’re heavy. You’d still have to buy plates, though I might have one. You’d need an A, B and C - and new ones no longer come with C’s. Plus possibly a magnetic shim and if you’d like to emboss, a rubber mat.

Even full background dies have fit through my Cuttlebugs. I know there’s the rare oddball die out there, however.
As for used, I just saw one that with shipping costs $37. No plates though.

But for $70, including shipping, you can get a new one with everything except a C plate: Cuttlebug Machine 10014789 V3 Ie Cutting Embossing Crafts Scrap Booking Paper | eBay

If you’d like mine or a link for the used one I found, PM me.

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Old 06-10-2018, 06:51 AM   #6
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I got my Cuttlebug years ago at Michaels with a 50% off coupon.........I think it was around the 4th of July. I read the fine print on the coupon from the paper and it did not say it was excluded. When I went to the store the clerks had quite a discussion about it and one of them said it happens a couple times a year? I was a happy camper when they scanned the box and it came up at $40.00.........it's a little work horse and one of my best tool investments of all time.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:31 AM   #7
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I still like to brag about getting my CB for $7.19! It was also when Michael’s used to honour them with coupons.I had asked for small gift cards from two people at Christmas, and with a 50% off coupon that was all I paid. At that time I be.ieve they were $65 and were made by Provocraft. .....shows how old it is. BUT it is still my workhorse andvrry compact for travelling south in the winter.

I hosted a SU Party 3 years ago and got a BS as my reward, in the event my CB would conk out. My bug was purchased over 14 years ago, as best I can re all as I had it when we first started to go south.
No matter which machine you purchase it will be a wise investment which you will never regret......although I can’t speak for your wallet.��
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:10 PM   #8
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I still like to brag about getting my CB for $7.19! It was also when Michaelís used to honour them with coupons.I had asked for small gift cards from two people at Christmas, and with a 50% off coupon that was all I paid. At that time I be.ieve they were $65 and were made by Provocraft. .....shows how old it is. BUT it is still my workhorse andvrry compact for travelling south in the winter.

I hosted a SU Party 3 years ago and got a BS as my reward, in the event my CB would conk out. My bug was purchased over 14 years ago, as best I can re all as I had it when we first started to go south.
No matter which machine you purchase it will be a wise investment which you will never regret......although I canít speak for your wallet.��

Great score! Provocraft still makes the Cuttlebug and the Cricut.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:29 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for your imput on these machines, I have alot of good information to better inform myself on which one to aquire...
If I decide to take you up on your offers to send one my way ( shipping on me, of course) I will let you know..
Thanks again for you time..
SusanCamille
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:37 PM   #10
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Probably the most important point to think about is how big are the dies/folders you will want to use? Wanting to use larger dies/folders will have an impact on which machine you buy. The 'Bug won't take larger ones, so it's something to think about.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Probably the most important point to think about is how big are the dies/folders you will want to use? Wanting to use larger dies/folders will have an impact on which machine you buy. The 'Bug won't take larger ones, so it's something to think about.
Iíve ordered large dies without ever considering size, and it works fine for full background dies. You can cut extra long narrow dies on a slant. I think itís the rare die that doesnít work. So like 99.5% okay? (I made that figure up.)

In fact when I was deciding which to buy at an LSS and trying both a Cuttlebug and Big Shot out, it never even came up in conversation. Of course it was the standard Big Shot. Not the Godzilla Big Shot.

Almost 6Ē - 5.85?

Last edited by bjeans; 06-11-2018 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:10 PM   #12
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I have had the Sizzix Big Kick for years and use it on almost every card. Keep in mind the Big Kick and Big Shot are the same. Right Now Michael's has 50% off coupon via email (Maybe on their website). I think they ship free for a certain amount of purchase.
You will eventually want a magnetic platform and the Precision Base Plate for detailed dies. You can use thin rubber little mats from a hardware store for your embossing mats.
Have Fun!
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:03 PM   #13
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What kind of dies do you want to use?

Tuesday Morning sometimes has BigShot machines for $50 and under. Hobby Lobby let me use a coupon for my Sizzix Vintaj and I got it for under $50. Vintaj is the same as the BigShot & BigKick. It was geared to jewelry artists so they just made the name fancy but it is still the same machine.

If you are a rebel and not concerned about warranties I saw a couple of great videos this weekend on using our self healing cutting mats to cut instead of the acrylic plates. I tried it out this weekend and it worked beautifully. Even better the intricate dies released like butter so no more of the fancy plates. One of the ladies I watched contacted ProvoCraft and got permission from them to use the cutting mats. I guess this is a technique that has been around on Facebook for awhile. I don't do Facebook and just found out about it.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:32 AM   #14
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Hi BJeans, over the last year or two, embossing folders have been getting larger & larger over here. A4 is now quite common, as are 7"x7" and above.I'm guessing they are not common over there?
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:57 AM   #15
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Ah, right - over the pond standard cards are A2 - 5.5 x 4.25. 5x7 works fine too. If A4 is 5.85 (?) dies still shouldn’t be a problem except for the rare odd ball. But larger embossing folders than that wouldn’t work.

Since Big Shot plates are 6-1/8” how do you work with 8x8 embossing folders - do you have to step up to the bigger Big Shot?
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:57 AM   #16
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Ah, right - over the pond standard cards are A2 - 5.5 x 4.25. 5x7 works fine too. If A4 is 5.85 (?) dies still shouldn’t be a problem except for the rare odd ball. But larger embossing folders than that wouldn’t work.

Since Big Shot plates are 6-1/8” how do you work with 8x8 embossing folders - do you have to step up to the bigger Big Shot?
ISO standard A4 is roughly equivalent to your letter size (so a full sheet of SU cardstock that you’d use to cut two card bases or four card fronts). The proportions are slightly different in that it’s slightly taller and slimmer but it’s quite close.

Although they’re increasingly common, I find A4 folders ferociously expensive so even if my machine (a big shot) would take them, I’d be reluctant to get sucked down that route. The biggest folder a Big Shot can cope with is 5x7” and that’s fine for anything I’d want to emboss. I’ve seen the odd 8x8” folder with a pattern I’d be tempted by but nothing that’s convinced me enough to buy a new machine!
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:03 AM   #17
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Interesting. I wonder why some manufacturers are going in the super-sized, more expensive direction. Seems like there may not be the market. I’ve never seen any in LSS’s, though I haven’t looked for them, so I guess could have missed them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:01 AM   #18
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Crafters Companion have been releasing a lot of them over here, as well as some other brands. I've not bought A4 ones, but do have some larger square ones. I actually upgraded to a BSPro about 4 or 5 years ago- I got fed up with stuff getting bigger than my Bug would handle, so as I was lucky enough to find a bundle deal at a really good price just as we got our annual Long Service award at work, I grabbed it. It is a big machine, they say the opening is 13", but my measurement makes it 12 1/2", so I figured I'd never want anything bigger than it could handle. But it's definitely a machine you need to have a permanent place for, way too heavy to move around.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:29 AM   #19
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So you work big! : ) When you want to super size, that makes 100% sense! When initially waffling between Cuttlebug and Big Shot - and the LSS had both - an instructor nudged me toward the Cuttlebug because it folds up. That smaller footprint swayed me - it could also sit on the corner of my computer desk. Same with the Gemini Junior. I like keeping die cutting separate due to the amazing messes I make.

And A4 dies are fine in Cuttlebugs too. I just grabbed my handful of over-sized embossing folders that are larger than the standard 4.25, and coincidentally the first one was by Cuttlebug - 4.5. A Crafters Companion one that came with the Gemini Junior is just under 5".

So standard sizes will work fine - it's just never come up in conversation around here (several LSS's) but I can see if working big that a large machine - BSPro or full sized Gemini - would be great and eliminate aggravation.

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Old 06-12-2018, 09:09 AM   #20
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Every machine has pros and cons. And I use different machines for different uses. Recently I've been using the Gemini Junior as my go to machine. I really like the sidekick for small dies (word dies especially). I also have a Big Shot and a Big Shot plus. I like the Big Shot for embossing and the Plus for bigger dies. I received a Spellbinders Artisian Xplorer (retired) recently and it does the best job on detailed dies.
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Old 06-13-2018, 03:03 AM   #21
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I have a Big Shot (now about 12 years old) and was lucky enough to pick up a Fiskars Fuse last year pretty cheaply (because it's discontinued and our LSS got some clearance stock). It's 12" wide and very strong, so can cut and emboss anything, including doing a great job with intricate dies. The gap between the base and the rollers is the same as that of the Big Shot or Cuttlebug, so the platforms and cutting mats from those machines work fine in it. It's probably not a $50 starter machine, but I thought I'd share my experience in case it's of use to anyone here.
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:01 AM   #22
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Default Any thoughts on the Vagabond?

just starting my research and wondering if the motor would make the machine better for those with arthritis?
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:16 AM   #23
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just starting my research and wondering if the motor would make the machine better for those with arthritis?
Of course - at least for me. There’s no hand cranking. I purchased the Gemini Junior because of a minor repetitive stress injury at the lower thumb joint. There’s arthritis at that point and in some fingers. Sometimes grasping small items hurts.

With the Gemini Junior you don’t even press a button to feed the sandwich through. There are buttons to turn it on or to stop and reverse it, but once on, you just “offer the sandwich” into the slot.

(Some other electric die cutting machines have a button that is pressed the entire time the plates are going through, and others require just one button press when you place the plates into the slot. One press would have been fine too.)
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:41 PM   #24
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just starting my research and wondering if the motor would make the machine better for those with arthritis?
Yes, definitely. I had my beloved Big Shot for many years but I bought a Vagabond 2 on sale awhile back to help with intricate dies. Love that thing, seriously!
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:08 PM   #25
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I don't have an electronic manual cutter. I think if you have a mobility issue like arthritis, MS, fibro, etc then an electronic manual cutter is the only way to go. I have been tempted too because a lot of times my hands have been in so much pain from cutting. I actually sprained my wrist one time just on a simple cut. I give another positive vote for electronic cutter.
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