Crafters that want to cut and emboss custom embellishments for their projects have plenty of options when it comes to machines used to accomplish that task. From manual machines that use cranks and levers to cut one shape or letter at a time, to high-tech machines that cut intricate shapes using your computer, there is a machine for any budget and creative need.
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The Cricut personal die-cutting machine uses a cartridge system that allows crafters to cut a wide variety of fonts and shapes. To use the Cricut, insert the themed cartridge into the machine, adhere paper to the cutting mat, choose the image you want to cut and the size and press the cut button. Depending on the version of Cricut machine you are using -- the Cricut, Cricut Expression or Cricut Create -- you can cut images up to 12-inches-by-24-inches. The Cricut can cut paper, fabric, and with a speciality blade, thicker items such as chipboard or plastic. If you use the Design Studio software, you can connect the machine to your computer for more versatility in cutting items.
The Cuttlebug is manufactured by ProvoCraft, and is a manual die-cutting and embossing machine. Using a system of plastic cutting plates and cutting dies and embossing folders, you can use materials such as cut paper and fabric with the Cuttlebug. The Cuttlebug only allows you to cut items up to 6-inches-by-9-inches, but with certain speciality dies, you can cut and emboss at the same time. Cuttlebug is also compatible with dies made by other manufacturers.
The Silhouette SD die-cutting machine connects to your computer like a printer, but instead of printing images, it die-cuts any font or image from your computer. You can also download speciality Silhouette images from the manufacturer's website to cut. The Silhouette can cut thin materials like paper, fabric and vinyl, but it does not emboss.
Ellison manufactures several versions of the Sizzix personal die-cutting machine, which is a manual die-cut and embossing tool similar to the Cuttlebug. The Sizzix, the Big Shot and the Sidekick all work with a system of rollers, in which crafters use a lever system to run cutting plates and embossing and cutting dies through the machine. Ellison also manufactures the Eclips machine, which uses a cartridge system to cut shapes.
The Wizard Embossing and Die-Cutting System is manufactured by Spellbinders, and using dies manufactured by Spellbinders and other companies, crafters can cut and emboss materials such as paper and fabric. The Wizard is a manual machine; to use the dies, you must run them through a series of rollers using a lever system.
Quickutz offers crafters multiple options for die-cutting and embossing. The Quickutz Squeeze is a handheld tool that can cut and emboss small embellishments using specialised dies. Quickutz also makes the Revolution tabletop die-cutting machine, which uses a crank to cut and emboss materials -- but it can only be used with Quickutz dies and embossing templates -- and the Epic Six Tool, which works similarly, but is compatible with dies and templates from all manufacturers.
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