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Old 09-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Fed Up With Shoddy Dies!

When thinking about the money spent to overcome the manufacturing flaws in inks, stamps, dies, and other equipment and supplies we use, it occurs to me we ought to help each other out by mentioning the flaws so others don't waste their money on the same problems.

Soooooooo, if you're attracted to the Penny Black die, Prestige ( a deer with a twiggy head-dress), be sure you have plenty of time to pick out tiny pieces that won't come out with the wax paper trick or the dryer sheet trick or the painter's tape trick or the Precision Base Plate trick or the Magnet Platform trick.......you just have to sit and pick, pick, pick until you think seriously about trashing that VERY expensive little die!

Besides that, the die-cut stretches because the rim is VERY narrow, and you can't back it with your circle nestabilities because the size is exactly BETWEEN the appropriate dies in both the Large and the Small circle nestabilities sets.

Last edited by Bahb; 09-01-2015 at 03:36 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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Have you tried the spellbinders tool n one? I lay the intricate piece on a foam mat and run the tool over it and the pieces pop out. Unless they haven't cut well to begin with.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bahb View Post
When thinking about the money spent to overcome the manufacturing flaws in inks, stamps, dies, and other equipment and supplies we use, it occurs to me we ought to help each other out by mentioning the flaws so others don't waste their money on the same problems.
My die-cutting experience is limited so I have nothing to offer in the way of problem dies. But ...

I wanted to commend you for starting this thread. If people are truly honest about the flawed products they come across, it will save others a ton of time, money and frustration.

One of the things I LOVE about SCS is learning about new tricks, tips, techniques and tools.

One of the things I HATE about SCS is the cult-like mentality from people who are unable or unwilling to admit that their favorite designers, manufacturers, products are not perfect. It is a little funny and whole lot sad to see how the estrogen levels increase to near cat fight mode when a cheerleader jumps in to defend her favorite designer, manufacturer or product.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:14 PM   #4
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Have you tried the spellbinders tool n one? I lay the intricate piece on a foam mat and run the tool over it and the pieces pop out. Unless they haven't cut well to begin with.
The entire problem is that they don't cut well to begin with. But I will look into the tool anyway, Muscrat, because I ALWAYS think your tools are the ones I need and i do have some dies that cut well but the pieces won't pop out and frankly the tricks to get pieces out are so annoying, your tool may be less annoying. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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I learned that after having not one but about three aggravating experiences with Spellbinders products! I understand that many people are super fans and have tons of their products and have good experiences, but I haven't.

We all have a right to our opinions and experiences, and I really do hope that crafting companies read these forums and take user feedback and wishes into account.

PS I just bought some photopolymer stamps from Studio Calico and I think it's my first experience with high quality clear stamps :/ I didn't know what I was missing!
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:30 PM   #6
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Melissa - I don't think love is less authentic than hate .

I love that you can see a little bit of everyone's opinion.

It would be an extremely boring place if everyone was on the same side of every issue.
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:34 PM   #7
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I have to say Bahb - that is a pretty die. I just googled it and I want it - LOL.

I don't consider a die "shoddy" if I have to poke all the little chads out though. I would consider it shoddy if it didn't cut completely.

But the brush thing from Spellbinders was developed exactly for this purpose - so I think it's part of dies with lots of teeny details.

(fuzzy cuts aside)

I'll buy it from you if it cuts well - it really is pretty.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:27 PM   #8
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There was a trick I thought of but have not tried yet b/c I havent needed to....

take several strips of washi tape/micro pore (low stick) between fingers and try to stick it to the stubborn cut to peel out of the die without stretching it.

If someone has already tried this and it doesnt work-let me know.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:46 PM   #9
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Lydia, if that die cut well, I wouldn't have ranted here. You can see, just looking at it, it's not deep enough to cut well, and the bad part of that is how gally-wampum the die-cut gets from pulling and poking and digging at it to get all the parts out. Grim determination does not work. Neither does prayer. LOL I have 8 buggered up die-cuts on my table now, from trying different cardstocks and different shims and different tapes and all the suggestions mentioned on this and other threads. Not one of the 8 is really nice. Can't say I've ever seen another die I thought as beautiful as that one, unless it's the Normandy Snowflake, another waste of money. That is difficult to work with too, but grim determination does work. Now if only I could think how to make use of the die-cut. A lone snowflake on a Christmas card in Sunny drought-burdened California? What the heck was I thinking anyway?

So glad you're back, Lydia. Your Blog kept me entertained this afternoon. Great writing!
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:52 PM   #10
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There was a trick I thought of but have not tried yet b/c I havent needed to....

take several strips of washi tape/micro pore (low stick) between fingers and try to stick it to the stubborn cut to peel out of the die without stretching it.

If someone has already tried this and it doesnt work-let me know.
I tried several different tapes, WaveJumper, but the parts of this die are too fragile so there was too much stretching and the cardstock peeled into two layers in one part. Other people have had good luck using painters' masking tape, as well as Washi, but not with this die.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:10 AM   #11
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Grim determination does not work. Neither does prayer.

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Old 09-06-2015, 06:11 AM   #12
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Giggles out loud - that kitty has me giggling away - made my day Lydia
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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I googled it. It is very pretty, and really intricate. I can see why there are problems with it.

When ever I have a problem with a die, ink, copic, etc I go to YouTube first. Watch some vids on it. Half the time that answers my questions.

If I didn't get any enlightenment, I search the gallery here and find someone who has used it on a card successfully. I ask them in a private email how they got that thing to work. Most of the time they know what I'm talking about and share the tricks.

If I don't get an answer out of those two sources, or the priviate email tells me they had the same problem and did 12 cuts to get one good one... then I launch to DEFCON 4 and try to return the product.

You are right. These things are expensive and it's frustrating when you get a bad one and need to return it.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:06 AM   #14
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I feel your pain. Beware if you buy Anna Griffin dies too. I bought a set a few months ago - a set which was pretty expensive on HSN, by the way. I couldn't get any of them to cut with my Big Kick. I tried every sandwich. I tried using the mat that came with them. I tried emailing her for help. I even checked her Facebook page and blog to see if I could find the "secret." The only people who seemed to have success were using a Cuttlebug, yet she repeatedly assured everyone that they would work in "any of the manual die-cutting machines on the market." I wound up sending them back for a refund. For the price I paid, I wasn't going to spend hours trying to figure out a work-around.
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:03 AM   #15
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Have you tried the spellbinders tool n one? I lay the intricate piece on a foam mat and run the tool over it and the pieces pop out. Unless they haven't cut well to begin with.
I love my tool n one as it works better "for me" than fabric softener sheets.
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I often wonder what kind of testing is done by companies? Do they realize that just because a design is great doesn't mean that it is suitable for a thin die. I stopped buying super intricate dies because like Bhab said, they stretch/warp and there are limitations to what paper you can use, etc. Also, I find that even my favorite best cutting die companies can produce a stinker.
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:11 PM   #16
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I have the Penny Black 'Prestige' die but had cut with it only once - didn't recall any problem. I just did it again twice and did not use shim or wax/release paper. First time was on the Precision plate (for Sizzix brand cutters) and Vagabond. Only one small piece remained in the die after cutting. I did have to poke out some of the tiny pieces from the cardstock. Second time was on basic plates without any shims or release paper, and it did not cut through completely on the first or second run. I used to add the shim for detailed dies like this, but since the Vagabond is electric I opt now for the Precision plate instead - don't want the machine to die on me. I don't feel it is shoddy die manufacturing though. The highly detailed Sue Wilson and Cheery Lynn dies are like that too: demanding extra special treatment. In the end, I get the result I want. (Sometimes I add a reminder on the die storage envelope to take the extra steps for a good cut.)

The only ones I've truly felt were shoddy have been a lot of the Spellbinders detailed dies, and especially the first series of Spellbinder D-Lite dies. They are a pain! Nowadays I tend to avoid the Spellbinders detailed dies and stick with Nestabilities and such. (There is a length thread on this somewhere in the SCS archives.)
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Old 09-09-2015, 01:53 PM   #17
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Every manufacturer can make a lemon – that's why think it's a good idea just to return it if it's frustrating. Life is too short to be mad at the crafting table! Hope you're having a better crafting week this week, bahb!
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:47 AM   #18
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I have an idea. Before we post on what not to waste our hard earned money on, try to contact and return to the manufacturer (or distributor) and depending on how convenient the experience is, report back. Sometimes a good company will go the extra mile to make you a happy customer. I just posted about a good experience with Ellison (Big Shot company).
If I can find the phone/email info I usually have good results. One time an adhesive company replaced my defective product and sent extra ones and various additional adhesives to try. SU has almost always been accomodating.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chris Ice View Post
I have an idea. Before we post on what not to waste our hard earned money on, try to contact and return to the manufacturer (or distributor) and depending on how convenient the experience is, report back. Sometimes a good company will go the extra mile to make you a happy customer. I just posted about a good experience with Ellison (Big Shot company).
If I can find the phone/email info I usually have good results. One time an adhesive company replaced my defective product and sent extra ones and various additional adhesives to try. SU has almost always been accomodating.
Really great advice, Chris!
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ice View Post
I have an idea. Before we post on what not to waste our hard earned money on, try to contact and return to the manufacturer (or distributor) and depending on how convenient the experience is, report back. Sometimes a good company will go the extra mile to make you a happy customer. I just posted about a good experience with Ellison (Big Shot company).
If I can find the phone/email info I usually have good results. One time an adhesive company replaced my defective product and sent extra ones and various additional adhesives to try. SU has almost always been accomodating.

I was just reading that post - I love Sizzix/Ellison.

Applause for the rest.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:43 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=Chris Ice;21068620]I have an idea. Before we post on what not to waste our hard earned money on, try to contact and return to the manufacturer (or distributor) and depending on how convenient the experience is, report back.

I think that's the way we've been doing things for years, but I'm fed up with it. I've returned and had replaced gobs of items, and the MOST accommodating company I've EVER dealt with has been Stampin' Up, but the fact is, enough is enough. I'm tired of being the Quality Control agent. I've sucked up just as much stuff as I have returned.....life is short and I'm done returning stuff.

When the ink went bad at Paper Trey, it was over a YEAR before they did anything about it. AND no one ever replaced my bad stuff. Nor did anyone ever replace my bad Prisma pencils, though i wrote plenty of letters on both. Seems to me "idiot" is the term for doing things over and over the same way when doing that never fixes the root problem.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:48 AM   #22
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1) thanks for telling me about the pick pick pick issue... I love embossing machines because my arm used to want to fall off when I used the lightbox, brass template, and metal embosser....
2) the TOOL by sizzix does rock... and I use mine all the time... but before I did- I used a medium-hard bristle (dollar store) TOOTHBRUSH WITH A TOOTHPICK taped to the other end... looked very... homemade... but it worked.
3) when you get the TOOL... you don't have to buy the fuzzy mat- again, I went to the local hardware store and bought one of those very inexpensive fuzzy foam painting tools- they have a styrofoam base and handle- I cut off the handle with a kitchen knife so it would lay flay. The mat is so you can lay the die with the paper still in it face up or down and then roll the TOOL or the toothbrush over it vigorously.
4) there is SO MUCH TRUTH in the benies (sp??) of contacting vendors... I definitely have purchased a die that cut so badly I cursed, sobbed, worried, and finally called... to find I happened to have had a bad die or needed to change my sandwich on the machine.

Happy crafting to all all.
And remember, if you are ready to toss your very special (and likely expensive) tools or projects at the wall... go outside, take in a deep breath and appreciate what is going right!!
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:22 AM   #23
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I don't have the Prestige die (very pretty!) but I was cutting out some evergreen branches the other day on the Cuttlebug. I noticed it cut in some areas but not others. The fix was to use a shim only under the areas that didn't cut. It did not work if I shimmed the entire piece of cardstock. I also run the dies under the CB several times, back and forth.

I make multiples so when I cut dies, I have to take a patience pill. Sometimes I have to manually cut small areas that didn't cut on the CB. I use a stiletto to push the small pieces through the back. Yes, it's tedious and time consuming. Good music helps!
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:41 PM   #24
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I don't have the Prestige die (very pretty!) but I was cutting out some evergreen branches the other day on the Cuttlebug. I noticed it cut in some areas but not others. The fix was to use a shim only under the areas that didn't cut. It did not work if I shimmed the entire piece of cardstock. I also run the dies under the CB several times, back and forth.

I make multiples so when I cut dies, I have to take a patience pill. Sometimes I have to manually cut small areas that didn't cut on the CB. I use a stiletto to push the small pieces through the back. Yes, it's tedious and time consuming. Good music helps!
I think I might have the same evergreen die...

It's amazing, too, what a difference a new cutting plate will make for detailed dies (though I use mine until they crack...)...
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:37 PM   #25
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I think I might have the same evergreen die...

It's amazing, too, what a difference a new cutting plate will make for detailed dies (though I use mine until they crack...)...
Good point. I tried to flatten mine by cooking them in the oven. It worked, but it also ruined the plates. They still work, but I've seriously lowered the life span. I am now much better at rotating them, and rotating where I lay the die on the bottom plate (not always in the center).

The dies today are so thin that flat plates really are 70% of the battle IMHO.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:57 PM   #26
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Good point. I tried to flatten mine by cooking them in the oven. It worked, but it also ruined the plates. They still work, but I've seriously lowered the life span. I am now much better at rotating them, and rotating where I lay the die on the bottom plate (not always in the center).

The dies today are so thin that flat plates really are 70% of the battle IMHO.
I was a faithful rotator until recently — now they are so bowed they sometimes won't fit under the rollers depending on what die, paper and platform I'm using Time for me to stop being a cheapskate and get some new ones.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:23 PM   #27
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I was a faithful rotator until recently now they are so bowed they sometimes won't fit under the rollers depending on what die, paper and platform I'm using Time for me to stop being a cheapskate and get some new ones.
Then its time to shake and bake! Mine were warped so bad I could no longer flip them over. It was like running two wheels up against each other with the die and paper in between the treads.

There are some good YouTube vids on how to do it. But if I were to do it again, I would bake at 225 degrees (I did mine at 350), and I would check them at 20 minutes. I would also double the cookie sheet at the bottom (use 2). The key is to put a large baking pan on top filled with water so you weigh them down enough to flatten them onto the cookie sheet. And I would do one at a time (I did mine stacked).

When flat, pull them out of the oven and let cool on top with all the weight on them.

Good luck
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #28
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Every manufacturer can make a lemon that's why think it's a good idea just to return it if it's frustrating. Life is too short to be mad at the crafting table! Hope you're having a better crafting week this week, bahb!
I just got a shipment of cardstock that is badly damaged. Not from the packing but from something so heavy sitting on it that it marked the whole stack of 25 from top to bottom. I phoned Create For Less and they will ship out a new pack, but the fact is, the marks are big and right in the center and no one had to unwrap anything to see there was a problem, BEFORE it was shipped. The only other item in the box was almost flat Sizixx dies, not anything like the marks on the cardstock. My project will now be a week to ten days late. Better crafting this week? PFFFFFT!
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:25 PM   #29
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There are some good YouTube vids on how to do it. But if I were to do it again, I would bake at 225 degrees (I did mine at 350), and I would check them at 20 minutes. I would also double the cookie sheet at the bottom (use 2). The key is to put a large baking pan on top filled with water so you weigh them down enough to flatten them onto the cookie sheet. And I would do one at a time (I did mine stacked).

When flat, pull them out of the oven and let cool on top with all the weight on them.
If I go through that much trouble, there better be freshly baked cookies on those sheets at the end of it!
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:32 PM   #30
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One of the things I HATE about SCS is the cult-like mentality from people who are unable or unwilling to admit that their favorite designers, manufacturers, products are not perfect. It is a little funny and whole lot sad to see how the estrogen levels increase to near cat fight mode when a cheerleader jumps in to defend her favorite designer, manufacturer or product.
Amen. Amen. Amen!
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:29 PM   #31
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If I go through that much trouble, there better be freshly baked cookies on those sheets at the end of it!
I agree. PIA! But they came out so flat - like new. Come to think of it, I didn't have any die cutting problems with the fancy Spellbinders then either. Usually those things make me want to add additional embossing with the heel of my boot.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:36 PM   #32
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I learned that after having not one but about three aggravating experiences with Spellbinders products! I understand that many people are super fans and have tons of their products and have good experiences, but I haven't.
I second you. I've had the worst time with all but one Spellbinders die. Only the Oval one worked without me wanting to pull my hair out. The rest were a perfect nightmare. I sold them and the ones who got them are perfectly happy. They love the designs so much that they don't seem to care about the trouble it takes. to each their own, I guess.

I have no idea why spellbinders can't make them better...there are intricate dies out there that are much easier to take out. Not to mention I never get why once a company makes it a completely closed die, do they never give you the option of holes to help poke it out.

Had this issue with one doily die - I think it was Cottage Cutz. It was just ridiculous trying to lift it out without any holes or support. It was just perfectly stuck in the die. I always wondered what made them make it so difficult.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:45 PM   #33
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Also got one Die-Namics - STAX Dies - Cross-Stitch Square.
A square die is one of the most basic dies and you don't even think you can go wrong with such a basic shape. Think again. It doesn't cut even after 4 passes. I am so annoyed.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:06 PM   #34
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Also got one Die-Namics - STAX Dies - Cross-Stitch Square.
A square die is one of the most basic dies and you don't even think you can go wrong with such a basic shape. Think again. It doesn't cut even after 4 passes. I am so annoyed.
I have this die and it cut perfectly on the first try. If you can't get it to cut get in touch with My Favorite Things and see if it can be replaced.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:31 PM   #35
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I have this die and it cut perfectly on the first try. If you can't get it to cut get in touch with My Favorite Things and see if it can be replaced.
I had a feeling I got a lemon. Sigh.
I have emailed them...not sure if I will get it replaced as I am not in the US. So let's see.
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:59 AM   #36
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Hi I have just come across this thread....

Most of the time with intricate dies, Spellbinders or otherwise, I find the best place to cut the die is at the edge of the die cutting machine , here the pressure is better...especially on the A4 cutters like the Grand Calibur, The New Big Shot or the Cheery Lynne Cross Over. also I always run it through a couple of times and rotate the die between passes. Saves a lot of frustration.
I always treat intricate dies this way...I don't think its because they are shoddy dies, I think it's because, the more intricate they are, the more difficult they are to cut with.

I hope this helps...
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:20 AM   #37
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Hi I have just come across this thread....

Most of the time with intricate dies, Spellbinders or otherwise, I find the best place to cut the die is at the edge of the die cutting machine , here the pressure is better...especially on the A4 cutters like the Grand Calibur, The New Big Shot or the Cheery Lynne Cross Over. also I always run it through a couple of times and rotate the die between passes. Saves a lot of frustration.
I always treat intricate dies this way...I don't think its because they are shoddy dies, I think it's because, the more intricate they are, the more difficult they are to cut with.

I hope this helps...
I had dies that were way more intricate than spellbinders and none of them ever gave that much trouble. If they can cut in one pass then I don't know why I need to pass spellbinders through 2-3 times and rotate in between. To me personally it is not worth the time and hassle. They have beautiful designs, just wish they could make them better.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:20 AM   #38
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I had dies that were way more intricate than spellbinders and none of them ever gave that much trouble. If they can cut in one pass then I don't know why I need to pass spellbinders through 2-3 times and rotate in between. To me personally it is not worth the time and hassle. They have beautiful designs, just wish they could make them better.
Yes you shouldn't have to spend money on something that deliberately causes frustration or extra trouble! Surely they have engineers and/or metal designers on their staff who create these items--maybe they should get all of us to test them before issuing them to the marketplace. I can be brutally honest on the survey if need be
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:49 AM   #39
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Hi Erum,

I know what you mean . I just thought I would pass on what helped me . I have had a few different makes of dies that have proved more difficult than others.
I use wax paper as well .... But I always cut at the edge of the machine where the pressure is best. And more often than not they cut in one or two passes.
Personally I don't like the spellbinder dies ...way more expensive than other makes . But even with other makes of dies I still have the same problem to some degree or other.

So far the best dies I have personally come across are Britania dies.

Any way happy cutting ��
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:12 AM   #40
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I bought the Spellbinder's tool because it was a really good price (add on from amazon)...and it's pretty good. I just use a piece of regular foam to lay the die/paper combo on after it comes out of the machine. The foam is just for that purpose, so if it gets ruined, oh well, I will get another one.

The condition of the plates really makes a difference as well. What really amazed me was just buying a brand new machine--went from a Sizzix to a Evolution Advanced. I was able to see so many details of these butterfly dies from Cherry Lynn I had never seen using my Sizzix.



Speaking of Cherry Lynn, I had a die set that wouldn't cut after a couple times of using it. The package read "Lifetime Guarantee" so I emailed the company. Explained the problem and was told to return it. I live in the area where the company is located, so I drove over there--the woman who helped me ran the dies through her machine (that Cherry Lynn has available) and she had NO luck either. She looked for a replacement and found ONE left--and that one worked the same way MINE did. So I was able to choose a couple different dies that equaled what I would have paid for the defective one. The picture is what I chose--which they are beautiful...and cut on my new machine.
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