Sizzix Die Cutter

Sizzix Die Cutter Review

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The Big Shot Plus is a hand-powered die cutting machine made to cut exact shapes out of a wide range of materials, from leather and fabric to card stock and magnetic sheets. It is part of the Sizzix line of die cutters but represents a significant increase in size from previous models. 

This machine includes a set of cutting pads sized for it’s larger apertures, as well as an adapter to allow for smaller sizes or embossing work. 

Although it comes with Sizzix equipment, the Big Shot Plus can use several different dies, including homemade or from other vendors. 

Some assembly is required when unboxing the machine; the crank comes detached, with a small screw and washer that will need to be affixed by the buyer and a safety cap to hold them in place. 

Who’s It For

With its considerable versatility, the Big Shot Plus is good for habitual crafters who may already have a fully stocked craft room. 

As it can function for both cutting and embossing, and works on many different materials, several kinds of hobbyist may find the Big Shot Plus a welcome friend. 

At less than one hundred fifty dollars, it should at least be on the radar of those looking to spend frugally, and can also save the trouble of restocking your die folder when changing machine. 

Measuring nearly a foot across and fifteen inches long, the Sizzix will need a fair amount of space to store and use, so a hobbyist working in cramped quarters might look for a smaller model. 

Since it is crank-powered, a buyer should consider if they will be able to push the cutters through their chosen material before purchasing. 

What We Like About The Big Shot Plus

With its size and length, the machine handles multiple dies with ease, speeding up craftwork to no end. 

The included adapters make for easy use with a wide range of dies and materials, for both cutting or embossing work. 

It is only seven kilos, making it easy to carry and reposition at need, and the manual crank eliminates the need to work near a plug. 

A longer and wider work bed allows for larger pieces of material to be cycled through at once, saving the trouble of folding or cutting beforehand and allowing for larger patterns to be cut in one go. 

An included warranty covers most eventualities for a limited time, and replacement plates and dies are readily available. 

What We Don’t Like About The Big Shot Plus

The Big Shot Plus cannot be collapsed or disassembled, so a buyer will need space to store the full machine at all times. 

The handle comes detached and can be tricky to properly assemble. There is no storage groove for the included Allen wrench either, so a buyer will need to keep track of the tool in case they need to replace the handle. 

There are only rudimentary instructions, so a newer buyer might have trouble for the first few tries. Unlike many similar machines, there is also no idea book, so a buyer will need to have one ready. 

Narrower plates can wind up twisting in the wide cutting aperture, skewing the patterns as they are fed through. 

It can be very difficult to operate the handle, especially with tougher materials. 

There are several reports of uneven cutting across the dies, so a pair of scissors should be kept handy to finish the job. 

Pros

  • Plenty of space for large dies 
  • Works with other brands of dies
  • Cuts six to eight layers of fabric
  • Can emboss or cut as needed
  • No need for a plug
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Can be hard to operate
  • Plates may not stay put when feeding through
  • Does not come fully assembled
  • Bulky and awkward to store. 

What’s Included

A new Big Shot Plus should include the machine body and handle separately, as well as the tools and parts to put them together. Also included will be a cutting base, plates, and adapter pads for different sizes and materials. 

Overview Of Features

Big Shot Plus weighs in at sixteen pounds or a little over seven kilos. It measures roughly thirty-eight centimeters by thirty and stands seventeen centimeters tall.

The handle comes separate from the body of the machine and is connected by a small screw and washer and fixed in place with an Allen wrench, all included. A small plastic safety cap to protect the handle joint is included as well. 

Two adapter plates are packaged with the Big Shot Plus that allow different sizes of dies to work with the machine. The Big Shot Plus works with other brands of dies, including homemade.

Once assembled, the handle can be somewhat difficult to turn but can process up to eight layers of material at once, over several different dies. With the larger cutting aperture, smaller dies can be fed through in series, reducing downtime between cuts. 

This machine is capable of both embossing and etching, depending on what dies are used and on what material. Care should be taken when changing dies between one and the other to ensure the desired result. 

A sturdy handle sits atop the cutting area and allows a user to hold the machine in place to counter the rotary motions of the handle. 

Final Verdict

The Big Shot Plus makes for a fine addition to an established workroom, but will need many ancillary supplies to use. A lack of idea or instruction booklets means that it will likely be most useful for an experienced hobbyist. 

Larger sizes of die and greatly extended cutting tray means that the Big Shot Plus is ideal for creating bigger patterns or cutting larger pieces of fabric at a time. Manual power means that it can bring craftwork to anywhere that it will fit.

It is overall a useful machine for the established hobbyist but may be over-the-top for a beginner or casual user. 

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