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Old 23-01-12, 06:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Card/Craft Cutting Machines

As a newcomer to card making and purchasing starter items ~ I obviously need a cutting machine ~ any views/comments on the Spellbinder verses the Cricut Black Expression cutters

Any advice would be appreciated

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Old 23-01-12, 10:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Julie

My immediate reaction is - neither.

We all have favourites so others will give you different views I'm sure, and exactly what you hope to do with your cutting machine in addition to how much you can afford will dicate which cutting machine you go for, but I'm a CraftROBO girl.

I did look at both the option of manual/die cutting machines which use Spellbinder and other dies, as well as looking at the Cricut family of digital/electronic cutters, before I opted for the CraftROBO 330 (equivelent to the CraftROBO Silhouette).

My reasons were
- die cutting machines will only ever cut in the specific size and shape of dies you've got. If you need a new shape or size you have to buy a new die. Then there's the storage of the dies long term if you do build up a collection. The positive thing about these machines is that you can use them to emboss with embossing folders or stencils, which electronic/digital machines don't do on the whole (although some electronic machines that are suppose to have embossing as well as cutting blades). So if you want to emboss as well as cut then something in the range of the Cuttlebug, Grand Calibre, etc., may be for you.
- the Cricut family of digital cutting machines depend on buying cartridges and you can only cut out shapes that are on the cartridges you've bought (and cartridges are not cheap) and Cricut have actively stopped other, software, methods of using other designs, so even though they've got a software option themselves now, you can still only use shapes that are on cartridges you've bought, and groups of those shapes welded together. As far as I can gather you are still not free to create your own shapes from scratch.

I went for my CraftROBO because I can create designs myself to cut out (I'm only at the stage of simple designs and greetings peeloffs at the moment) and can buy in instant download single designs (such as those from the main craftsUprint site) for some of the stunning, more complicated, designs that I want to work with. No having to buy a cartridge full of cutting files where I may never use most of them. Then there's the Print & Cut functionality as well where a design can be printed out from the software on my printer, then put into the CraftROBO and cut out.

I like the CraftROBO so much that I'm busy saving for their latest new cutting machine, the Silhouette Cameo - larger cutting area and bigger pressure meaning that card that's a bit heavier can be cut out.

I'm sure you'll get suggestions from other Craftforum members in due course.

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Old 26-01-12, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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cutting machines


Many thanks for your most informative imformation ~ lots to think about
I will keep mindful of your comments

Best wishes Julie
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Old 26-01-12, 11:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've quite a fancy for the Sizzix E-clips which doesn't use a cutting mat so you are not limited on the length of material you can cut. Expensive though....
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Old 28-01-12, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I will second all the examples that Gwenyth gave. I own three machines, a Wishblade, Gazelle and most recently the Cameo. They each have their own special attributes. If you plan on doing a lot of print & cuts,(which I do) then go with a Cameo, Craft Robo or machine that uses registration marks. For regular cutting each of the ones I listed are great.
Happy Cutting!


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Old 31-01-12, 08:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gwyneth is quite right with her advice about the Craft Roboes. I have the Craft robo Silhouette SD. This means that I can keep my cutting files on an SD memory card and without using the computer I can place the SD memory card in the Silhouette and cut out whatever filers I have on that memory card.
Another thing to remember is that any cutting files I have downloaded cheaply from cUp, I can alter the size easily in Silhouette studio. I can make them be used for A5 cards or whatever size I like,8X8, or A4. Whatever!
My craft area is not necessarilly cluttered with CDs, DVDs or anything like that the files are stored in my computer and backed up onto memory cards and/or Flash Drives.
Therefore if something goes wrong with my computer, I still have the files on my other very small drives/cards.
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Old 23-03-12, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Silhouette Cameo

Thanks to John for the information about the Silhouette SD card. I have limited space in my craft room and being able to work from my Silhouette with out having to have my laptop plugged in will be really useful. Mary x
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Old 23-03-12, 10:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I originally bought a Cuttlebug and found buying the cutting dies too expensive to buy to get the flexibility and use out of it, so I also have to agree with Gwyneth on this. I'm a new user to electronic cutting machines the initial outlay is a lot larger but as I can design my own cutting files I will get more use out of it. Although I have kept my Cuttlebug so I can do embossing as I've never got to grips with using embossing boards. Whatever you decide needs to fit your budget & also your use but shop around as prices can vary and some places do sometimes offer different payment options.

And John you've reminded me I need to back up my hard drive - job for tomorrow morning I think.
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Old 24-03-12, 07:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Get to it Karen. Whatever you do you must not forget your back-ups. I have mine backed up on flash drives and memory cards. If any become corrupt you I have them on the externals. I also have a 500GB external hard drive and this is programmed to automatically back-up every week! I have learned the hard way to take no chances. Take care Karen and all the very best to you and yours.
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Old 04-05-12, 06:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Julie, thanks for posting this question. It's something I've been pondering for the longest time, and the responses by the others have me leaning very much towards getting a silhouette, since I like the idea of making my own stuff!
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