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Please talk to me about Die Cutters

(17 Posts)
HaveToWearHeels Wed 27-Feb-13 09:52:21

Thinking of investing in one. I love crafting as does DD who is 3.5 and thought this would be a nice item to have. I understand you buy the cutter and then the dies separately ? Does it work out expensive ? Any tips ?

MrsPennyapple Wed 27-Feb-13 10:09:18

The dies are quite expensive, but if you buy versatile ones that you'll get a lot of use out of, it's worthwhile. You can then also sell the cut out shapes on ebay (although you don't make much money on them and you have to spend time cutting them out).

However, if you want a specific shape for a single card you may not get much use out of the die, so you might be better buying pre-cut shapes.

The companies that make the dies are wise to the ways of crafters though, and regularly discontinue dies, which then bumps up the price when people want to buy / sell on ebay.

Something that annoyed me recently is that I bought a die for making my wedding invitations, thinking it was A6 size. It's not, it's fractionally bigger, so I can only get two out of an A4 sheet, not four as I thought. Therefore I cannot fit the die cut shape on a card cut from half a sheet of A4. This means I am only getting one invitation from each sheet of A4, and a lot of waste. But, that's my personal bugbear, just something to bear in mind.

curmit Wed 27-Feb-13 10:15:36

ooh! I want one too! - Hijacking here, soz - Do they work like a punch? also I have been looking at dies - how can you tell by looking online, how big they punch out? Sorry if am being dense and there is an obvious answer to this.

yuleheart Wed 27-Feb-13 10:21:21

I have a Big Shot and love it! I use it every week.

It cuts fabric, felt, card, tweed.

If you shop around you can get it as a bundle with several dies and embossers included.

I have bought dies from ebay, sizzix, cutting edge crafts ( check out the sale sections first).

MrsPennyapple Wed 27-Feb-13 10:28:39

Normally the website would list the dimensions, but if you're buying on ebay they may not always do so. You can ask the seller questions relating to the item, or you could search for the die elsewhere on the internet and see if you can find them.

I have the Big Shot, which is very sturdy and stable as it has a long, solid base, rather than folding out like the Cuttlebug does (I believe). You make a "sandwich" with your cutting plates, die, and card, and the die cutter basically squeezes it so the die cuts through the card. It feed through the machine so the pressure is exerted by a roller. There are loads of youtube videos showing how it's done.

I've only ever used the Big Shot though so can't really offer a comparison with that and any other die cutters.

curmit Wed 27-Feb-13 10:30:51

Thank you! I was looking at buying a big shot, or thinking of a cricut (?) but I haven't priced those.....

HaveToWearHeels Wed 27-Feb-13 11:16:53

thanks, really useful information. I was looking at the cuttlebug, but may now look at the bigshot.

MrsPennyapple Wed 27-Feb-13 11:25:16

Curmit I think a Cricut is an electric machine that you can program to do different things (sizes maybe?) but I may well be wrong. I think you are looking at £100+ though.

HaveTo It depends if storage space is an issue as well - the Big Shot takes up a fair amount of surface space because it can't go any smaller. The Cuttlebug still needs the worktop space when it's in use, but it's smaller to put away.

curmit Wed 27-Feb-13 12:26:05

yep - I thought maybe the electric job might be more cost effective in the long run, especially if you can design your own templates - not sure if this is possible though?.. painstakingly cutting everything by hand at the moment! so really want to get a machine. Bit frightened of all the technology of the electric thing though.

FromGirders Wed 27-Feb-13 12:53:59

I've been looking at a cricut - I think it's going to work out more economical than a die-cutter, as each design can be cut at a range of sizes, and as a shape, or as a cutout inside a circle etc.

MrsPennyapple Wed 27-Feb-13 16:13:15

Damn, you're making me want a cricut now!

curmit Wed 27-Feb-13 18:45:38

ooohh..... innneresting! I watched a tutorial with one on youtube but it fried my brain a bit. I'm quite good at feeling my way round new software etc, just not good at following instructions. :S Will price some up though!

Herecomesbod Tue 05-Mar-13 15:47:19

Hi HaveTo, I bought a cricut 2 years ago and yes expensive but v. easy to use (I don't do technology), and excellent for quick shapes. I make my own cards and hope to start selling them soon.

I have a few cartridges now and can usually find new ones on ebay which are pretty reasonable. DD loves it as she can request something e.g. a sheep, princess, rainbow etc. and minutes later it's hers. She's only 3 so not very patient!

Apparently there's now a way of linking a pc to the cricut so you can download shapes as well. Not investigated that yet but sounds interesting...

Potterer Fri 08-Mar-13 11:10:53

No no no to cricut you want the Silhouette Cameo basically connects to a computer, allows you to import and trace shapes, prints and cuts it out or just cuts it out.

DH very kindly bought me one for an early birthday present so I am just getting to grips with it as I have only had it 2 days but unlike the cricut I am not limited to what they want my to buy on a cartridge.

There is the Silhouette Portrait which has just come out which is slightly smaller but you can see a little demo of it here It allows you to print on a printer and then cut out the shape, either the outside edge or each bit so you can layer.

If you aren't good with a design package you can buy designs for 65p each and you get to choose which ones you want. It includes 3D shapes too have a look

Just a thought....

MrsMeeple Fri 08-Mar-13 11:23:45

Have I got this right:

Big shot and cuttlebug: you buy dies that are like stamps with sharp edges, you put the dies around your material and squeeze it through the machine. Only possible to cut exactly what's on the die.

Cricut: you buy cartridges that are like pre-programmed computer disks. The machine then cuts the shape you've chosen from the cartridge. Only possible to cut what's on the cartridge, in the size it specifies.

Silhouette: you design your own image on the computer (or buy a package of images) and the machine then cuts it out. You can change the size of the image.

curmit Mon 25-Mar-13 18:17:53

errrrrrrmagherrrrd. I NEED that silhouette portrait.

curmit Tue 26-Mar-13 19:56:04

I bought it! shock thank you for advice potterer! sorry for hijacking this thread a bit OP flowers

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