Die cutting machine - which one?

edited 13 June 2020 at 12:49PM in Crafting
4 replies 222 views
Jane2112Jane2112 Forumite
239 Posts
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
edited 13 June 2020 at 12:49PM in Crafting

I have been a long time lurker on here and hopefully you can offer me some advice.  I have also recently returned to card making during lockdown, and prior to lockdown found a TODO machine in a 2nd hand shop.  This is a die cutting machine, where you roll the rollers over using a handle.  It is quite cumbersome and is not making clean cuts - I often have to put the die through 3 or 4 time, even on very thin card.  This could be due to the fact I am using cheap dies from China, until I get the hang of it.  Also the top plate (plate B ) is bowed - so I alternate the way I put in through to try and flatten it back.  Please could you advise on an a decent entry level die cutting machine and which dies do you prefer?  I have no preference for hand cranked or electric one. Thanks in advance.  Jane
Jane 2112


  • ScrapaholicScrapaholic Forumite
    576 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have a Big Shot die cutting machine. It was about £55 from Hobbycraft . I find it quite good . I have dies from China only one or two don't work too well. Others are from the Range or the Works and usually they're fine. My friend had had her machine for a while and says that the more the machine is used the more times you have to roll the machine over the dies . She sometimes puts an extra bit of card over the die before rolling. My clear plates have warped too and haven't had it a year yet . Still works ok tho. I know there are some expensive machines but I didn't want to spend too much  
  • macmamacma Forumite
    911 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    I have a second hand big shot. Bought new plates. I use all sorts of dies, many bought second hand from Facebook sites. All but a couple work well.
  • Pixiehouse55Pixiehouse55 Forumite
    266 Posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    I have been a crafter since 2006 I treated myself to the Bigshot.  So glad I did and have since always got a Bigshot. I now have the A4 bigshot and I wouldn't buy anything else. I have a Electric Die Cutting Machine The  Gemini . Worst machine I've ever brought. Doesn't cut properly. The metal shim is dangerous, I cut my finger on it. I think I'm right in saying that Sara Davies the owner of crafters companion has been asked to recall the metal shim or change the way it's made.   Don't quote me as I'm not 100% sure. I will check it out thou.
    I've tried Tim Holtz die cutting machine and Spellbinders machines 
    Both not very robust. The Bigshot you can virtually put any dies through it with no problem and any material,  card, plastic and felt. Cork and some metals 
    I do hope that helps you decide.
    Mortgage free September 2021. Narrowboat brought October 2021 
    Emergency fund £7500 
    Christmas fund £1430
  • katcotkatcot Forumite
    7 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Hi  I'm a craft addict.  You name it and I have either tried it or do it.
    On the question of cutting dies I have several.
    I started with the big shot which was an eye opener for me and was bought by my son when I developed arthritis from too much cutting and quilting.  This machine helped me hugely and I quickly also acquired the sizzix plus and the pro.  They all worked great.  However the cutting plates all bow but you can get a lot of use out of them.  I also bought unbranded plates from Ebay and stocked up in the sales.
    All the dies to this stage were the thick ones (BIGZ, XL, PLUS AND PRO).  Mainly used for fabric by me until I had to give up quilting and started cutting card stock.  I also started buying thin dies from China which mostly cut very well with the addition of an extra piece of cereal packet card for extra pressure.
    I also recommend investing in a magnetic platform to stop thin dies moving or using low tack tape to hold them in place.
    Out of the three I use the plus machine the most as I can put the die through at an angle a d I still use the smaller plates.
    I also have the spellbinders small and a4 machines with folding sides which I also love.  Again I prefer the A4 one.
    On top of these I have the accuquilt machine which is really mainly used for cutting quilting shapes.
    The latest acquisitions are the Gemini large cutting machine which I'm not sure about and the Gemini foiling machine which I have yet to try
    The bigz (thick) dies are the most reliable.
    As far as the thin dies ae concerned some of them u just have to give up on which doesnt hurt as much when bought cheaply from China but really hurt if they are an expensive die like Tattered Lace.
    Sorry about the ramble but I wanted to give as much info as possible
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