Sizzix and Cricut are two of the leading brands for embossing or die-cutting craftwork. Both have several successful products and a number of adherents in the field.
In this review, we will be looking at two of the more noted products from these two vendors.
The Cricut Cuttlebug has a widespread following and users love its convenient weight and size; Sizzix’s Eclips2 represents a newer model that looks to move Sizzix into the electronic cutter field.
Plenty of people already like both machines, but is one of them actually better than the other?
Breaking it down
For this match-up, we’ve selected specific attributes that represent the performance of each machine during a project. Both machines come with certain extras, such as cutting plates and warranties, but we’re trying to look at the machines alone.
Each attribute will be considered in the context of a larger craft project to give a more detailed and relatable review and a better decision for the reader’s individual needs.
Sizzix has a long tradition of crank-powered cutters but has lagged behind the market in producing an electronic die-cutting machine.
The Eclips2 represents Sizzix’s serious move into the computerized field, replacing the original Eclips with a drastically overhauled model for around a three hundred dollar price tag.
It’s always nice to know how much space you’ll need for this machine on your craft table. In the case of the Eclips2, that should be twenty-six inches from end to end, six and a half inches front to back, and standing at seven inches tall.
Planning a project means knowing how long it’ll take, and Eclips2 is no exception. Sizzix shines here, outstripping similar machines by nearly fifty percent in a medium-complexity pattern.
As part of upgrading the old Eclips, Sizzix has replaced hobby-style materials with industrial grades of plastic and metal both. A stronger motor has been added as well, operating with up to six hundred grams of cutting power.
You can use the Eclips2 to feed and cut paper, vinyl, cardstock, fabric, or iron-on lettering.
When getting a digital die-cutting machine, it’s important to make sure it can process the patterns you have in mind. Eclips2 works on an included eCal Lite, a free but very basic program for creating designs and lettering available for Windows and Apple.
A far more detailed version is readily available but will require between fifty to a hundred dollars to upgrade.
The Eclips2 gives the impression of being less a die-cutter than a printer or laminator. It is meant to be permanently stationed on a craft table rather than brought from one place to the next and seems better suited for stickers or lettering than cutting pieces for a quilt.
Unlike the Cuttlebug, it is not limited to the dies you have and can be programmed with patterns and fonts from a number of third-party sources.
- Extremely powerful and durable cutting elements
- Faster than many similar machines
- Precisely cuts even more detailed patterns
- Works with multiple operating systems
- Comes with replacement parts and cutting plates
- The included software is extremely basic, to the point that all but a beginner will likely need to upgrade
- No wireless connection
- On the pricey side
On the other side of this review is another well-loved product in the field. The Cricut Cuttlebug is the antithesis of the Eclips2 in many ways: a small, hand-powered cutter for around one hundred fifty dollars that has captured the hearts of many a hobbyist.
The Cuttlebug has earned multiple accolades for its compact frame, at thirteen inches by eleven and just six and a half inches tall. Collapsible parts make it not much bigger than a purse, complete with a handle on top.
Convenient as it is, this can be a drawback when working on larger projects
Unlike the motorized Eclips, the Cuttlebug’s speed is determined only by the manual crank on the side.
True to the minimalist nature of the machine, the Cuttlebug is built mostly of lightweight plastic, with the exception of the cutting elements. It weighs in at a little over eleven pounds.
Cricut comes through here more than any other field; the Cuttlebug can emboss or cut leather, acetate, tissue, foil, and more.
As a manual device, the Cuttlebug isn’t programmable at all but can handle dies and patterns from almost all leading brands.
The Cuttlebug cannot produce the detailed patterns of which the Eclips2 is capable, as it is limited to whatever dies the user may have at that moment.
The Cuttlebug is best when putting or printing simple shapes. Combined with its size and weight, it makes for an excellent quilting aid that can be easily positioned next to a larger project.
The manual crank can make it hard to produce cut large quantities of materials and can come loose if used incorrectly. As with all die cutters, the cutting plates will become scratched and warped with age and will eventually need to be replaced.
- Incredibly easy to collapse and store
- Lightweight and affordable
- Compatible with several other brands of dies
- Can emboss as well as cutting
- Processes more delicate materials
- Small size is a hindrance for bigger projects
- The crank can be tough to turn
Despite its smaller size, the Cuttlebug wins out in several areas, first among them embossing; the Eclips2 cannot emboss materials at all.
Although easily solvable with a simple upgrade, the software that powers the Eclips2 is rather crude. Cuttlebug, by comparison, easily and quickly processes several makes of die, with no tech support required.
With its manual power, the Cuttlebug weighs less and is more mobile than the Eclips2, and the simpler machinery also helps cut the price tag nearly in half.
While there are definitely some tasks that will be best suited for the Eclips2, the Cuttlebug is the clear winner in an even contest.