Thank you, Heather, for the great links! Studied them and almost ready to make my decision. This has been such a tough decision for me!
Does anyone have any ideas why these diecutters advertise that they can emboss when they don't really do a good job of doing so?
Thanks, Denise, for your great advice!
Thanks, Shawna, for your helpful info.! What are stickles? Do you prefer your Cricut or Wishblade?
Thank you, Chelle, for your help! I'm going to carefully re-read all of the responses, go through the diecutter reviews (at the sites Heather linked to) and make my decision as you did. I can't wait to get one, and I can't wait until I finally make my decision and stop driving myself crazy! I could never afford to buy one of these myself, I am lucky enough to have someone who wants to help me and gave me a money gift for whichever diecutter I decide on!
Be very careful about relying solely on the review site. For example, the link that Heather linked to has incorrect information on the Sizzix eClips and (in my experience) the Cricut.
I had a Cricut Expression, and it wouldn't cut felt. I haven't tried that with my eClips yet. However, I can fit objects to a page with the eClips, I can use my computer with it (through eCal), it will weld (as is, out of the box). I'm not sure why, but I find a lot of compare sites do not rate the eClips very high, and a lot of them have incorrect information (not just on the eClips) and I think that's sad.
I love that my eClips (with eCal - which is SCAL for the eClips): will print to cut using a laser to line up; cut true circles (my Expression wouldn't); use cartridges if I want something quick (no eCal necessary); draw using the marker adapter using almost any pen/marker/etc. (The Cricut required specific pens); cut any SVG file (many many free ones, and lots of tutorials on how to make your own); uses low cost mats (I've heard the Silhouette mats are expensive, and I've read about a lot of people cutting too hard and breaking them).
My experience with PC and a machine problem was horrible. And, if you google about the Gypsy, you will see a lot of disappointed PC users. My experience with Sizzix has been wonderful. They sent me a new machine when mine had a problem. They sent a new cord that they developed to work better with the computer free of charge and without me asking! The sent it to everyone who had registered their machines.
Based on my experiences, and what I've read from other crafters over the years, I would recommend an eClips, or a Cameo (Silhouette, whichever size you want). I have only seen good things about the Pazzles as well, but that and the Black Cat seem to have a steeper learning curve.
I have a Cricut. I have a program that allows me to cut things other than just what the cartriges offer, however the program no longer supports Cricut after a lawsuit. I would recommend that if you want to use a die cut machine with all the freedom of anything you could create on a computer, that first you find the software you want. May I suggest MakeTheCut and then see which cutters the software you choose will support. Then from there, buy a used machine from Ebay, your local classifieds or even Craigslist. I avoid the stores for most supplies because I usually find something online that works better. Just a thought. Good luck!
I agree, my experience with PC has been rather less than what most reviews indicate. The SVGs and such are great alternative to buying all sorts of cartridges... and still feeling limited. I'd highly recommend any other machine than something from PC. The others are expensive and harder to find used because most people who own them don't see a need to sell them (unlike the Cricuts). Anyhow, Good luck
Thanks very much, Courtney and Bri, for your very helpful advice and info. Does anyone know offhand which diecutters use "Make the Cut"?
http://www.make-the-cut.com/ There is a list of them and that web site will tell you which ones.
Thanks so much! Extremely helpful!
I will say as I was looking at the Silhouette, it comes with it's own software. That would be one less expense.
Silhouette comes with it's own software, but can it open svg's? I was under the impression you had to upgrade to the Silhouette Designer Software to open and cut .svg files. I don't have a Silhouette, but I thought that's what I learned when I was comparing and pricing out machines.
When I priced out the Silhouette, I found I was able to get the eClips plus the eCal software (Sure cuts a lot) for less than the Silhouette. You can see what machines are supported here:
Courtney, I was under the understanding that it could. I don't know if that is something they changed recently or not, or if I just need to learn more. I have been wanting to upgrade my Cricut Expression to the Expression2, because I wanted to not because of a need, my Expression is still amazing and I still love it. Then I got to thinking that maybe it would be a better choice to get something that cuts SVG so I looked into the Silhouette a very teeny tiny little bit because I watched someone use it on a YouTube video and she used an SVG. As I get more and more into digital scrapping and doing things on my computer I more and more want to be able to cut SVGs so that's what is getting me to think of getting something else.
One thing is ADORE my Cricut for is it has so many things readily available to cut on the cartridges. I like that I don't have to go seek out things to cut. It has been a breeze when I want to just make up a bunch of random cards. I also love that it doesn't have to be hooked up to my computer to cut. I can leave it sitting by it's self, I don't need to find a place to put my computer and it together. I love my Gypsy because I can have all my cartridges on there, then design things on there and then cut it on the Cricut. I like that I can bring my Gypsy with me to design then just hook it up to my Cricut to make a lot of cuts. For my lifestyle it's so so so easy and convenient. The biggest thing that stops me from using my Cricut is my messy craft room.
The basic Silhouette Studio don´t open SVG, but opens GSD, DXF and tiff. What most people do is use a free program called inkscape to convert the SVG files in one of these suported formats. You can also download Studio from silhouette america and test before buying the machine.
Heather, based on what you said, you may want to consider the eClips. I like that there are cartridges available, (and usually cheaper than Cricuts) but I love being able to cut from my computer. I do have the cartridge that came with it, and I have used it for the flowers and the sayings, and it works like the Cricut except instead of programming the cut info on my machine, I program it on the controller. I didn't have a Gypsy, but I've heard the controller works similar, but doesn't store the cartridges.
Honestly, moving from the Cricut Expression Original with SCAL to the Sizzix eClips with eCal was super easy. The machines are very similar in the way they work, but I find the eClips has added features like the laser, Print to Cut, and if you are a Tim Holtz fan, there are Stamps to Cut as well.
Lorien, thanks for clarifying on the Studio program info.
Thanks Courtney. I'll have to look into that one.