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Cut@Home Blog - Scrapbooking & Card Making Ideas

Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Reviews & Comparison

In this post we have taken the time to show you ALL die cutting and embossing machines or tools out there on the market in a basic review. If you want to read about any of these in more depth you may CLICK HERE and click on which machine you would like to know more about! If you have any questions about compatibility,price,features,etc. please leave a comment below.

Briefly before we begin the review we do not necessarily favor one machine over another. All are very unique and made by different manufacturers. So here are some questions you need to answer before you decide which one is right for you.

1. What will you be using the die cutting machine for? (i.e. school projects,work,scrapbooking hobby,parties, your own vinyl lettering business)
2. Do you have arthritis in the hands or other disability?
3. Will you only be cutting or do you want to emboss as well?
4. Up to what size of scrapbook paper do you want to cut and/or emboss? (i.e. 12×12,8×8,6×6,4.5×6)
5. Will you be cutting other materials?
6. Do you want to scrapbook or make cards from a computer,electronic machine, or manual?
7. Does it need to be portable to go to scrapbook home parties or friends house?
8. Does it need to cut all materials like paper,vinyl,fabric,plastic,cork,vellum, etc?.

These are obviously not all the questions you could ask yourself, but should give you an idea if you are ready to start scrapbooking,doing invitations, or making cards of what you should be looking for. :)

Before you go in and take a peek at the reviews I wanted to let you in on a SECRET! If you join the newsletter below you will instantly receive a 40% Spellbinders Paper Arts coupon and/or Sizzix 30% along with all the new products!


ALSO here below is for our visual learners a video of this post if you would rather watch and listen as we go through the different tools.

sizzix big shotSizzix Big Shot Review
The Big Shot Machine measures approximately 14 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ x 6 1/2″. It has a stylish black and pink colors giving it a feminine touch! It will cut and emboss and is very versatile in cutting fabric,cardstock,paper, and mostly anything in between. It has been around a while now and is always a best seller at a price point of $69.00. It will take all Sizzix dies and other leading brand dies with the proper plates and mats. The only dies it won’t take obviously are those that are 12×12,which would be for the next machine big shot PRO!See VIDEO .


sizzix big shotThis machine has been replaced by Sizzix. To see the NEW machine in action and it’s features Click Here. Presenting a brand new look for the Big Shot! With a swirl of powder blue-and-teal colors and the Sizzix logo bursting out brightly, this version of the Big Shot Machine offers plenty of stylish appeal with the same versatility of working with the entire Sizzix product library (with the exception of Bigz Pro dies) and that includes our smallest dies to our big 6″ wide plastic-backed treasures and embossing tools. If that wasn’t big enough, this portable roller machine cuts and embosses many different materials. Create your own one-of-a-kind cards, invitations, scrapbook pages, home decor, fashion, altered art, quilting and much more!

sizzix big shot PROSizzix Big Shot PRO Review
This die cutting and embossing tool is just like the big shot, however it has an opening for using 12 inch paper w/out having to trim. It will take ALL sizzix dies and anything within its huge width opening. Constructed from industrial-strength materials, the Big Shot Pro Machine features a 13 inch opening to cut hundreds of materials. This machine also embosses using the Solo Platform Shim & Wafer Thin Die Adaptor. It price has gone up from what you might have seen it as due to Sizzix Ellison guidelines, however we still have priced at $349.99, which is a steal of a deal. This tool is designed to last forever and could be great for those that want to do school projects or for a teacher. See VIDEO

sizzix eclipsSizzix Eclips Shape Cutting Machine Review
The only die cutting machine out that there has a handheld remote and some pretty robust technology. But don’t let that scare you. Their customer support and video tuturials that we have HERE will help you transition smoothly. It can cut all shapes and letters up to 12 inches and even has the ability to let you design your own. It is electronic and is 22 1/2 inches x 5 inches x 7 1/2 inches. It is very fast and accurate and for those who do take the plunge of paying for this machine absolutely LOVE it! We are yet to meet someone that regretted their purchase. The price is steep at $499, but we do have it at $399. Tim Holtz has also done some cartridges for Eclips that actually match with his line of stamps called stamp2cut. Just click on the links if you want to see those. It weights 16.5 lbs, but can be taken anywhere as it is similar like the cricut taking cartridges and is not attached to any computer! You can also do up to 24 inch boarders in length. Here is more to learn about it as there is a lot that this tool has. Click Here. See VIDEO

UPDATE: There is a new version of the Sizzix Eclips 2 which now comes without the remote and is a lot easier to handle

sizzix vagabondSizzix Vagabond inspired by Tim Holtz Review
This tool is an electronic die cutting & embossing machine with a vintage look to it because it is Tim Holtz who designed it along with Sizzix! It resembles a suitcase and opens up from both sides plugs in and you push the button and send your paper with the die through. The Construction of the Vagabond has solid core steel rollers, unibody cast roller housing, solid steel gears, high torque motor and ABS plastic exterior making it a heavy machine, but will last a long time and makes cutting and embossing pretty much effortless. It does have stickers so you can even decorate it as well. Our Price is around $209. See VIDEO

sizzix textured boutique embossing machineSizzix Textured Boutique Embossing Machine Review
I like this little machine. It is absolutely priced perfectly for the one that ONLY wants to do embossing cards or A2 size paper. This sells on our site for $26.00. It is a GREAT way to get your feet wet into scrapbooking by starting out with simply embossing cards for a low investment. It takes the textured impressions embossing folders and those by Tim Holtz as well. I’ve heard that you can use the A2 Quickutz and Cuttlebug embossing folders as well, but don’t quote me on that. See VIDEO

sizzix big kick vintajSizzix Vintaj Big Kick Review
This is a Sizzix machine but partnered with Vintaj to create a special edition cut amd emboss tool. This Bigkick sizzix tool will cut,emboss, and etch different designs. Using the vintaj dies you can now make jewelry as well with this. The Vintaj line of DecoEtch dies and DecoEmboss dies HERE go with this machine! Priced at $79.99 on our site from the retail of $99.99. See VIDEO

Spellbinders Grand Calibur Review
The Grand Calibur is Spellbinders Paper Arts latest tool that replaced the Wizard. However, this new design makes rolling dies through a breeze! It will accept 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper if you remove the cutting tray. With a turn of the handle and only weighing 10 lbs it becomes now portable. It will cut,emboss, AND stencil if using Spellbinders Dies! It takes all the Grand Nestabilities. The base keeps it sturdy and has color coded plates for stacking. It will also take all other leading brand dies with the right compatibility. Go HERE to see compatibility. It retails for $139.99, but Cut@Home’s price here is only $119.99. This along with the Big Shot is a BEST seller on our site and seems that Spellbinders can’t keep them in stock! See VIDEO

spellbinders presto punchSpellbinders Presto Punch Review  [UPDATE: This machine is NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION]
The Presto Punch was a machine the can cut and emboss with the push of a button for those that have arthritis, however it hasn’t really taken off and the Grand Calibur seems to still be the preferred with its ease of the handle. However, I have included it in the review so you can see its features. It sells for around $55.00. It works like a scrapbook punches system, but with the feature of being automatic. It will eliminate the need for all those paper punches and can store up to 30 designs. It is very simple to use, but kind of lound. It is battery operated taking AA batteries. Size? Well it is 5 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 7 inches. There is nothing really like it out there and the only one of its kind. With 7 free die cut templates that come with the machine makes for a good deal. Perhaps it will catch on! See VIDEO

quickutz epic sixQuickutz/Lifestyle Crafts Epic Six Review [UPDATE: This machine is NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION]
The Epic Six cutting and embossing tool is very much like the Cuttlebug I think in size and scope. It will accept all Quickutz dies and other leading brand dies. It is very lightweight making it portable. It does have a 6 inch wide opening and built to last with high quality metal insides. Quickutz also provides a lifetime warranty service commitment to all their customers. It is priced at $79.99 on our site and a very versatile tool. It could be a nice option if you have limited crafting space. See VIDEO


EvolutionThe Evolution is the new 6-inch wide Die cutting, Embossing & Letterpress tool from Quickutz and Lifestyle Crafts which has REPLACED the Epic Six. The Evolution universal craft tool allows you to die cut, emboss, and letterpress! It’s lightweight, portable, and compatible with all leading brand dies and embossing folders. This tool is built not only for scrapbooking and card making, but targeted to do home decor, and all craft types of craft projects as well! Some improvements are the following: sturdy metal handl, a 6×13 inch cutting/embossing platform,Mat A for cutting thin dies,Mat B for cutting thick dies and embossing.

cricut expressionProvo Craft Cricut Expression Review
The Cricut Expression was is the MOST popular of the Cricut line of machines even surpassing the cricut 2. It has the 24 inch long ability to cut even a longer shape. The settings on the lcd screen will give you a nice customization for different units of measurements. This will accept existing cartridges you may already have and compares similar to a Cameo except it does NOT connect to a computer and works soley with cartridges. Pricing is around $249.99 online and we sell it for $199.

cricut expression 2Provo Craft Cricut Expression 2 Review
There is not much to say about the Expression 2 except that it is very similar to the one mentioned above. It does have a more sleek design with new colors and cuts with al lthe cricut and cricut imagine cartridges,wireless compatibility,color lcd screen with a stylus, no keypad overlay required, and a cutting area light priced at $259.99 and can be seen at $299.99 elsewhere.

provo craft mini cricutProvo Craft Cricut Mini Personal Electronic Cutter Review
This is definitely the electronic cutting space saving design Provo Craft was looking to provide to scrapbookers. It works with Windows or Mac and connects right to the computer similar to the cameo except this is designed to cut shapes from 1/4 inch up to 11 1/4 inch on a 8 1/2 x 12 inch cutting mat. It is for the smaller projects with paper,vinyl, & fabric. Very nice option if you still like the Provo Craft brand, but don’t want the cartridges and need something nice and easy scrapbook tool right from the computer. Sells for $129.99 and we offer it at $115.99.

provo craft cuttlebug v2Provo Craft Cuttlebug Machine v2 Review
Lastly, from ProvoCraft is their manual die cutting and embossing machine. This v2 of cuttlebug replaced the old one bringing it a newer lightweight design, however the great components inside that everyone loves have stayed the same making this such a durable tool. Very much like the Epic Six, but has fold up base,more durable and stronger outer casing with a metal handle that can be pushed into the side. It does have the handle at the top making it portable and a breeze to carry. Retails for around $89.99 and we sell it for $69.95, which is the best price we can do!

silhouette CameoSilhouette Cameo Review
Made by Silhouette America, which branched off of Quickutz awhile ago and went more towards the computer electronic tool for home use. This machine plugs into your PC or MAC with a USB cable and instead of a printer it will actually cut paper with a blade or draw with pen. It is loved by those that do vinyl lettering for their home decor or even small home business! One of the distinguishing features from the cricut is that it doesn’t take cartridges. Everything is in the software including the designs! It will cut up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. It boasts a quiet motor. See Cameo and Cricut comparison! See VIDEO

making memories slice eliteSlice ELITE Cordless Digital Design Cutter Review
Like the big shot, the Slice Elite by Making Memories has the right color: PINK! Sells for $139.00 and is a cordless paper cutter. It will cut between 1 inch and 4 inch designs. The Elite compared to the original slice cutter is that the “elite” now cuts 40% faster and twice as deep. it will cut vellum,vinyl,acetate,foam sheets,thin metal sheets, and of course paper! With the LCD 2 monitor makes selecting your designs from the digital design cards easy to see and now has a plate that will hold the tool in place if you do not want to hold it. The Slice Elite works with batteries or a cord. This and the Fabrique would have to be the MOST PORTABLE and smallest die cutting machine out there. With 100’s of design cards that are the size of an SD camera card you can store them very easily. See VIDEO

making memories slice fabriqueSlice Fabrique Cordless Fabric Cutter Review
Now this digital cutter takes us out of the scrapbooking realm a bit and into the sewing by Making Memories as well. This revolutionary tool makes fabric cutting FUN that only helps with quilting. It takes digital cards with tons of designs on each. It is cordless like the Slice Elite, the only differences really are that it has some specific design cards that can only be used with cutting Fabric. It prices as $129.99. See VIDEO

I hope this along with the videos and pictures gives you a better idea on how and where to buy a die cutting machine. However WARNING once you start die cutting & embossing your pages or cards, it then becomes an addiction! But a great one at that.


SpellbindersSizzixTim HoltzHeartfelt CreationsGraphic 45Silhouette AmericaElizabeth Craft DesignsMagnolia StampsSpectrum NoirJustRite Stampers