Customer Reviews: Sizzix 655268 Big Shot Cutting-and-Embossing Roller-Style Machine with Standard Multipurpose Platform, Black & Pink
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on March 8, 2009
I have no complaints at all about the Big Shot. It is heavier than its competitors,and has a bigger footprint, which makes it a bit more difficult to take to crops or to store at home. However, the size and weight are what make it the excellent machine that it is. My video demo shows how to use it with Cuttlebug Embossing Folders, Cuttlebug Dies, a QuicKutz die, and a brass embossing template. These are by no means all of the dies that the Big Shot can take -- they just happen to be the ones I own. I love this craft tool.
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on April 3, 2009
I just got the Sizzix Big Shot a few days ago and I already love it. (It arrived from Amazon in less than 2 days!) I'm not a scrapbooker, but a mixed media artist, and I haven't found a single material yet that my Big Shot can't cut through. So far, I've cut paper, card stock, chipboard, eva foam (fun foam) sheets, Grungeboard (thick rubbery sort-of chipboard) and .020 clear rigid plastic with the blue liner still attached. I was suprised how easily it sliced through anything I tested. This thing is awesome!

The dies can be purchased for so little money, if you shop around or use those craft-store coupons. I haven't spent more than 7 bucks on any set, and just a few dollars for single dies or embossing folders.

Here's my favorite things about it, and why I chose the Big Shot over other choices:

1. Cuts through just about anything. Even the electronic cutters can't do that.

2. I like that it's "old school." Crank handle, old fashioned type dies, rather than electronic cartridges. I do art and crafting to ESCAPE the computer, not sit in front of it even longer! I do plan to purchase a Craft Robo for more intricate custom designs, but I prefer this "hands-on" method for creating my masterpieces!

3. Old School Esthetic: Even the design has an antique look about it. It reminds me of the old fashioned black rotary phones, the black manual sewing machines and typewriters. It looks neat sitting out on my studio countertop. Keeping it out and handy, makes it easier to "try something real quick" when inspiration strikes.

4. Versatile: There's an abundance of inexpensive choices when it comes to buying dies and embossing designs. I think this Big Shot will cut just about every other brand of die out there. It comes with a multipurpose platform to accommodate every possible design format you are using. So far, I haven't had to buy any additional accessories to use my assortment of brands and types of dies.

I guess my only complaint would be that I wish the instructions were a little more clear. It's a tiny little booklet that doesn't seem to want to mention brand names of any of Sizzix competitors. So they call them by other names like "wafer-thin" dies. It's up to you, to go online and try to decipher the code. It took me quite awhile to google-up the answer to whether or not a cuttlebug die is wafer-thin or not. Apparently not. They don't have an assigned alias, but I've figured out that cuttlebug dies go through on TAB 1, like the sizzlits, clearlits and embosslits. I wish the MultiPurpose Platform (which has instructions printed right on the tabs there) would make this more clear. I'll probably write this on there myself with a Sharpie, so I don't forget next time.

I have absolutely no other "cons" that I can think of. I expected to not like the pink handle... I'm just not a pink/bling kind of girl ... but I find it strangely pleasing! I even like the two little crystals embedded in the handle. Maybe in a household of men, it says "hands off boys, this is Mom's toy."

Anyway ... TWO THUMBS UP! For this neat gadget and for Amazon's awesome price and quick delivery.
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on December 3, 2008
I love this machine, there are so many possibilities! I did want to make a note though that even though the description says Machine only it actually comes with the multipurpose platform and a pair of standard cutting pads. I actually bought a pair of cutting pads because I thought that it didn't come with it. Oh well, I guess I can still use them.
Shipping from Ritz takes a little longer than Amazon. But you end up still saving money even with paying the shipping. and it only took an extra day or so. I would say it was worth it.
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on March 29, 2011
I was very reluctant to spend such a considerable amount of money on a piece of equipment I didn't quite fully understand, but eventually I took the plunge and I am so glad I did! I'm a mixed media/collage artist and I learned of the BigShot from the Tim Holtz website. I love his embellishments and hardware and thought it would be so much more cost-effective if I could cut my own shapes rather than buying them (and wasting so many resources on packaging and driving here and there). I opted for the BigShot over the CuttleBug because I read several crafting blogs where it was almost unanimous that the BigShot was simply more likable than the other die-cutting machines. "More sturdy," "easier to use," and "cuter," were a few comments. Most of the dies I like are from Sizzix so it was natural for me to look at the die-cutting machine offered by Sizzix. I got it for a GREAT price on Amazon ($60) and have been finding more and more uses for it every day! It cuts so many materials, more than I will ever use! I'm a chip/grunge/cardstock kinda gal; I love paper! But it will also cut wire mesh and thin metal sheets, as well as sandpaper and fabric. The cuts are very clean and it's easy to maneuver the dies and the cutting plates. I've had the BigShot for less than two weeks and have already cut more things than I have use for! And that was my plan! To have the selection of my dream craft store right in my studio!

I just finished cutting with some of the brand new Alterations dies and I must say this machine has really opened up my imagination, and creative juices are flowing! That's why I came back to Amazon mid-cutting to write a review! I'm really happy with my purchase and yes, I have been investing more and more into dies and embossing folders but any craft or hobby has a financial investment. This new die- cutting obsession has surely been costing me a pretty penny! I hate to sound so cost-conscious, but once you buy a BigShot you will be tempted to buy ALL of your favorite designs from ALL brands! However, this truly allows for creative freedom and a lot more control over your designs! I have quite a few projects I have been postponing for lack of ideas or the right pieces, and now I'm finally ready to blaze through them in a flurry of cutting and embellishing goodness! EVEN THOUGH I myself was very reluctant to spend more than say $20 on any one item, even a piece of equipment, I still HIGHLY recommend this product to any creative individual, any artists, scrappers, crafters or cardmakers, even teachers. This is a great tool for creating beautiful, professional-looking projects, whether they be for your home, as gifts to others, or even for sale. This would also be a lot fun for family get-togethers or craft parties for kids (or for adults who still like to make stuff). Sharing is caring!

Note: If you're anything like me and you have to have it all yesterday, you will indeed find it a challenge to max out your die-cutting library instantaneously, even with a large budget! The fact that companies come out with new dies every season is great, and building a collection over time is quite fun as well. I only buy and use items that look vintage (hey, that NEVER goes out of style) so I have been limited. This has been a good thing for both my wallet and my brain! But it's just awesome to know that I could design my own die and have a company custom build it and use it in my BigShot.

Another cool thing I just learned about the BigShot (I keep finding more!) is that it can be used with the Lifestyle Crafts L Letterpress starter kit! YES! The one that Paper-Source sells for $150! If you already own a 6-inch bed die-cutting machine (like the BigShot) you can buy their starter kit (~$50-60) and start letterpessing your very own stationary! It just keeps getting better!!!

The BigShot (which is ironically not THAT big) is an investment both initially and over time, but once you realize all of the nifty things you can make yourself rather than buying them store-bought, you will be glad you took the plunge into the world of die-cutting with the BigShot. There is something about handmade and handcrafted pieces, from cards and envelopes to alphabets and embellishments, and that hand-cut artistry and craftsman's pride cannot be emulated when buying things out of a package, no matter how altered or distressed they are!
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on December 1, 2009
I have been using my Big Shot machine for a few weeks now. It was easy to set up and easy to learn how to use. You crank the handle to cut and emboss, and it didn't take long to figure out how to use it. The machine is very portable and quiet. I have only used it with Spellbinders dies so far. To emboss, I had to buy the embossing pads separately. The machine comes with two acrylic cutting plates and a universal platform/folder. When you use the machine, the acrylic plate that is closest to the die gets etched into. The first few times it happens, there is a loud cracking noise. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong and breaking the machine. But then I realized it was normal. It is a good idea to always use one of the acrylic plates for cutting and turn it and place the dies in different places on the platform so you cut it in a different area. That way, your acrylic plate doesn't become warped. Try to keep one acrylic plate always on top. Use that one for embossing. If you use the etched acrylic plate for embossing, it will leave an imprint on your paper. The directions that come with the Big Shot are very brief. Use different internet sites to learn more. For example, I used the Spellbinders FAQ to learn how to cut using Spellbinders dies.
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on April 8, 2009
I had been wanting to buy this product for awhile. I purchased the Sidekick machine late last year and really loved the ease of use, but the size was limiting. I wondered if the Big Shot would be just as easy, but was concerned about the cost of replacing the acrylic cutting pads, since the ones for the Sidekick really didn't last that long the way I used the machine. I had a gift card for part of the purchase of my Big Shot, so I decided to take the plunge and I don't regret it. Even my husband couldn't believe how easy it was to use. Just sandwich the dies (none included) according to the instructions on the multi-purpose platform or without the platform, and crank the handle.

NOTE: this product DOES come with a pair of cutting pads and the multi-purpose platform. Dies were not included, but I had purchased them separately and also could use the ones I had for already for my Sidekick. I also bought embossing plates for this machine and embossing is just as easy as die-cutting - so easy in fact, I didn't realize it had embossed the image the first time I did it, but it had.

The size of this machine is convenient, but does require that you use it on a sturdy surface because it sits on it's "feet" rather than solidly on the entire bottom. But these feet do keep the machine in place when you are using it, as opposed to having to make sure the Sidekick is suctioned to the surface or it will move around.

All in all I highly recommend this machine, although I know that Sizzix is shortly to introduce an electronic cranking the handle, just push a button. Even though I knew that option would be available in the near future and was in no rush to get either machine, I still am glad I invested in this Big Shot machine. Makes crafting go so much quicker.
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on April 6, 2009
I've owned my Big Shot since these machines were first released a few years ago. I love it, and it's still going strong. The advantages are that it's quiet, it has an easy crank action, it has a large footprint and is very stable when cranking things through, it's sturdy, it can take all of the non-commercial dies, embossing folders, brass stencils, and texture plates out there. It also has a multipurpose platform which makes using all of those items extremely easy--it has all of the instructions printed right on it, with helpful illustrations for the more visual folks out there.

I don't always do my crafting at my table. This machine is super if I happen to be working on the floor where there's carpeting. When I am at my craft table, I don't always clear a space for it--if it happens to be on top of a sheet of scrap paper or a magazine, it still works fine--no worries about suction to hold it steady and stable while cranking.

The one drawback is its size. It's not the best for taking to crops, but if you're like me and don't take it anywhere other than perhaps from room to room in the house, then that's not an issue at all. The handle at the top makes it easy to carry, and it weighs just over 7 pounds by my scale, so it's not nearly as heavy as the original red Sizzix machine, and it's actually just a bit lighter than the Cuttlebug.

This is a super machine and extremely versatile. I've really put it to the test over the years and it's held up beautifully. If I could only have one die cutting machine (I actually own a Cuttlebug, too.), this would definitely be the one that I'd choose.
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on April 20, 2009
The Big shot is a very versatile machine. I actually own the original and extremely heavy Sizzix Machine. I could not move it or pick it up myself so I soon stopped using it altogether. This machine is lightweight but not light on performance! I use it for fabric and metal cutting. This is so much better for me since I am disabled and my body would not hold out to cut the pieces for quilts or designs out in a short period of time. The Big Shot saves time but it has also given me back my sense of independence and the 'I can get it done now' mode of thinking! If you too have this issue, try the Big Shot- I'm glad I did!
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on March 10, 2009
I love the Big Shot. It is so easy and I really like the larger size cutting dies that are available. I'm just a beginner. I'm using it for scrapbooking, cardmaking, and everything in between. Also, check out Stampin Up. Stampin up is now selling Big Shot cutting dies that were specially made for their company and are not available anywhere else.
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on February 3, 2012
Sizzix 655268 Big Shot: This is my first jump into the die cutting/embossing pond. I knew nothing about these machines or even how they worked. I opened up my new toy when I got home from work last night and was up until 1 a.m. having a ball! (I did have to stop at a local hobby store first to get a couple of embossing folders since no dies or folders come with the machine). This will become addictive. I created 4 beautiful handmade Valentine's my first night with no real experience. After looking at the prices of dies at the local store, I will certainly be buying online. Big savings that way. Can't beat free shipping and no sales tax. One reviewer grumped about how difficult the machine was to get out of it's plastic packing. Heck, with a sharp blade I had that puppy open in no time. C'mon ... everyone has at least one X-acto, right??? Handle attaches within seconds. The machine itself seems very sturdy and the manual crank action is just fine! I enjoy doing mixed media art and I am looking forward to lots of experimenting with this nifty machine. Kudos to the reviewer who did post a video, because that helped me make my decision to buy.
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