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Sizzix 656499 BIGkick/Big Shot/Vagabond Magnetic Platform, 6.125 by 8.875 by .625-Inch
|Price:||$26.50 + $1.99 shipping|
- Uses high-grade magnets to hold things, frameless and other chemically-etched, wafer-thin dies securely in place during cutting
- Diagrams on the magnetic platform and its tabs offer easy guidelines about how to make the perfect Size sandwich
- Compatible with the BIG kick, big shot, big shot Pro and Vagabond machines
- Size 6-1/8-inch by 8-7/8-inch by 5/8-inch
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The attraction is obvious! for perfect registration, the Size magnetic platform uses high-grade magnets to hold thin its, frameless and other chemically-etched, wafer-thin dies securely in place during cutting. This makes them instantly compatible with the BIG kick, big shot, big shot pro and Vagabond machines. To die-cut one layer of thin material using Size frameless, thin its and other chemically-etched wafer-thin dies, the magnetic platform is required along with cutting pads. The diagrams on the magnetic platform and its tabs offer easy guidelines about how to make the perfect Size sandwich.
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My biggest beef with Sizzix's product is the continued use of Clear Plexiglass Cutting Pads. I can't imagine why they keep using these, other than the fact that they are a consumable which needs to be replaced. Even more so with the magnetic platform.
Here's the breakdown of PROs and CONs, as I see it:
*Sizzix Platform PROs: more compact than the Genius platform (6-1/8" x 8-7/8") and the die cutting edge faces down, making it easier to line up and cut an image. Sizzix magnetic platform has a much stronger magnetic pull. The cutting sandwich is the platform, one un-warped clear cutting pad, the paper, the die facing down, and another clear cutting pad. No tabs or shims to deal with, unless you want to emboss.
*Sizzix CONs: You still have to use those awful clear plastic plates that warp. Once it warps, the dies have a harder time making contact with the magnetic surface. Some reviews say that's a myth. No, it's no myth! It's true. I bought a brand new set of Sizzix Cutting Pads just to use with my new Sizzix magnetic platform. I made one pad dedicated to "No Cut"... both pads are still beginning to warp after just 5 or 6 cuts, because the "no cut" pad has to be on top.
*Genius PROs: No clear plexi cutting mats to warp after five cuts! The Genius platform embosses simultaneously because of a flexible cutting mat. I really like the self healing mat, so much better than Sizzix clear rigid plates. The Genius only uses ONE cutting pad. The sandwich is: the platform, the die, the paper and the cutting mat. Also, the Genius has a much longer, but slightly narrower, cutting surface (6" x 13") which means it will fit through the Cuttlebug.
*Genius CONs: The Genius platform has fewer magnets, spaced farther apart. If you are making a frame with multiple dies, you do have to move and turn the dies to find a good position. And of course, the fact that the cutting edge faces up, is a real bummer. To ensure a perfect image cut, you may want to use a bit of washi tape or a post-it note to keep the paper/die aligned, which is a disappointment considering I bought the Genius magnetic platform to skip that step! Still, the magnetic feature keeps the die from sliding on the platform, which I like.
The best thing about both brands of platforms, is that you can toss all those cardstock & cardboard shims you have lying around, because both magnetic platforms cut the wafer-thin dies without a jerry-rigged sandwich of shims! I really like that feature so much! If I was only cutting shapes with no image to line up; I prefer the Genius. If I need to line up the die on a photo or an image; I reach for the Sizzix Platform. Too bad they don't make a hybrid of these 2 brands!
It's magnetic and it will hold in place, but it just doesn't allow you to align the smaller shapes to where you want to align them.
So, if you don't really care if the pieces move, then it will work great for you. If you do care, let me know and I will take stock out in whoever makes post-it notes!
I bought this product after it was recommended by Stephanie Barnard (Stamps of Life). It was a "must" for when you are using the stamp and die sets - first you stamp, then you die. She mentioned that you have to find the "magic spot" when you're putting down the dies, since the magnets are in certain places. What she did not mention, is that the magnets are separated out pretty far, and I often will have to do quite a bit of work to get it to magnetize. Sometimes, it's more work than what it's worth.
One tip I learned, is it's better to have two sets of cutting pads. One set, use for the original platform. The other set, use with the magnetic platform. Flip the cutting pads every time you cut, so they don't warp in one direction. This will really help with ensuring the magnets have every chance to be successful!
If you want to try it out, heck, it's only $20 or so, add it to your collection. But, I think using a sticky note to make sure your dies line up is a much more efficient strategy.