Product Type: Sizzix Art / Craft
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Sizzix Big Shot
Member Name: freud
Sizzix Big Shot
Advantages: easy to get the hang of, great results, no maintenance
Disadvantages: only embosses/ cuts up to 6"
I love to make handmade cards and attend a craft class each week where we all have access to the Sizzix Big Shot machine. I love using this clever piece of kit but as they cost around £74 and the fact I have a die-cutting machine at home means I do not have to fork out the money to have my own.
Sizzix are an American Craft company who are well respected within the craft industry. I've been using their machines, cutting dies and embossing folders for a good few years now and have had no problems at all. The quality is great and their range is quite extensive. Many cardmakers and scrapbookers rely on Sizzix for this reason.
I have seen Big Shots for sale at a lower price but they do not come with the essentials - ie a multipurpose platform and a pair of cutting mats and, bought separately, these can be quite pricey - so, if you are thinking of buying one make sure they are included. Places like Hobbycraft usually have them in stock and they can sometimes be found on eBay (watch the postage though as they are quite heavy)
The machine itself is approximately 14 1/4" x 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" and although portable is still a bit weighty. It is essentially a glorified mangle for crafters but I find the design, although simple, is fantastic.
It comes with a well-illustrated, clear to understand booklet or you can access a short video online to see it in action.
The principle is simple - you just sandwich your card/ paper/ sponge/ craft metal/ acetate/ vellum or fabric (along with the chosen die or embossing folder) between the plates and turn the handle and moments later your masterpiece is revealed the other side! Easy once you have done a few and get to know your machine better.
The dies and folders are easy enough to get hold of and vary in price from around £1.25 (eBay) to £15.99 (Hobbycraft). I like most of the designs although some aren't too useful for my purposes and obviously, as they are an American company. I have no need for Thanksgiving or American flags etc. I do, however, love the Christmas styles and have used a number of these for my cards with great success. Imagine having to cut out, by hand, 50 or more Christmas trees? - no thanks, I can do them in 5 minutes using the die and the Big Shot!
The only drawback to me however is the fact that you can only cut/ emboss (or both) up to 6" shapes. I guess this is why it is termed as a home system?
The aspects that I really like though are the following -
- it is neat, attractive and functional
- it does the job well
- it does not slip around when in use
- needs no maintenance
- has clear instructions
- works with a large number of materials
- meets the needs of fellow crafters and scrapbookers in my class
- well recommended for crafters if you get the chance to try it out
Summary: a great machine if you are a scrapbooker/ cardmaker
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