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Traditional Die-Cutting Tools

Nab hand-cut looks in a fraction of the time with die cutters that offer a variety of cutting, shaping, embossing, and sizing options.

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-- the BIGkick by Sizzix, The Boss Kut, The Wizard by Spellbinders, and the Cuttlebug by Provo Craft. Let's get started! The first machine we're gonna start with is the least expensive of the group. The Tag-A-Long and Sidekicks are sister products and manufactured by the same company, Ellison Design. It retails for $49 and the dies start at $3. It accepts chemically-etched designs and embossing templates as well. Let me show you how to use it. Secure the Tag-A-Long by placing it on the table, then flipping the lever to suction it into place, then create a sandwich by using a cutting mat, the die face-side up, then the paper, then finish with another cutting mat. Place it into the machine and roll it though by using the handle. The great thing I like about this product is it's lightweight and easy to tape across. The dies are small so the handle's easy to turn. The Sizzix Sidekick and the Tag-A-Long are great for beginners. The next tool that we're gonna talk about is the Squeeze by QuicKutz. This is not only a tabletop device but a handheld device as well. The tool itself starts at $69 and goes up to $119 depending on if it comes with dies or not. The dies begin at $7 and go up. The dies are chemically etched with a small thin rubber foam on the top. They also include embossing stencils that you can buy as well. We're going to use the Squeeze inside the cradle. Simply place the die inside the tool base-side down, then insert the paper and squeeze the handle until you hear a little click, then take out the paper and carefully remove the design. The things I really like about this tool is that it's easy to use, and I get a clean cut every time, and there's no mats ever to replace. The Squeeze by QuicKutz is a great tool for on-the-go cropping. The Cuttlebug by Provo Craft is one of the newest machines on the market today. It retails for $80, and the dies start at $5 and go up. It accepts all chemically-etched designs and dies from other manufacturers as well. To use the Cuttlebug, we're going to create a sandwich. We're gonna start by placing the mat board, then the cutting mat, then the die face-up next to your paper, and then another mat. Simply, roll the sandwich trough the machine by using the handle. Press firmly on top of the machine to give it a little more weight. Remove the pieces to reveal the design. The Cuttlebug also embosses, and I'll show you how to do that too. Simply place a piece of paper inside the embossing folder, then create your sandwich as we did before, roll it through the machine, and you're left with a really cool embossed design. The things I really love about this machine is that (1) it accepts all dies from other machines as well also the sides fold up, so it's great for small spaces and easy storage and then you can take it on the go. The Cuttlebug by Provo Craft is a great machine and great for scrapbookers with small space. The next machine we're gonna talk about is the Wizard by Spellbinders. This is a portable tabletop Machine, and it retails for $129.99. The dies start at $12.99 and go up. The cool thing about these is they're chemically etched, but they also emboss, they die cut, and they stencil as well. Let me show you how to use it. The first thing you're going to do is start by creating a sandwich. You do this by placing a master mat on the bottom. Next, place a spacer mat in the center of the master mat, and then place the die with the raised-side up onto the center of the mat. Follow with your paper, and then finish off with another master mat. Make sure the handle of the Spellbinder is all the way back before using the machine. Place your sandwich into the front of the machine, giving it a gentle push into the machine before you start. Roll your sandwich all the way through, and once you're finished, removed the mat and the spacer and the paper to reveal your cut design. To emboss, simply remove the spacer mat underneath your paper and replace it with an embossing mat over the top. Create another sandwich with your master mat, and then push it through the machine again. This machine can also set eyelets. It can flatten bottle caps, and it embosses stencils and uses embossing plates that uses lightweight chipboard. You can cut through felt and through foam to make really fun, cool accents for your layout pages. The Wizard by Spellbinders is a very versatile and fun machine to use. The next machine that we're gonna talk about is the Big Shot by Ellison Designs. This machine retails for $119, and the dies start at $5 and go up. It accepts 2 different kinds of dies. The first die is a steel rule die that cuts through heavier and thicker materials as well as the chemically-etched dies, which get great intricate detail. It also accepts brass templates. Let me show you how to use it. To use the Big Shot, we're going to create a sandwich. We will do this by placing a cutting mat on the bottom next to your paper, then your die face-side down. Insert the sandwich into the machine and roll through by cranking the handle as you go. Simply remove the die and mats and you are left with a clean-cut, cute design. The few things I really like about this machine is first that it can take both steel rule dies and chemically-etched dies and other manufacturer's dies as well, plus it's been around forever, so there's plenty of designs to choose from. I really like the Big Shot by Ellison Design because it's so versatile. The BIGkick by Sizzix is the newest member of the Sizzix family. It retails for $129, and the dies start at $20 and go up. It accepts both chemically-etched dies as well as the steel rule dies and it accepts embossing templates as well. It's compatible with all of the other Sizzix dies from the family. To use the BIGkick, we're also going to create a sandwich as we have done before. Start with your prep mat, place your cutting mat on top, then your die face up, then your paper, and then finish it off with another cutting mat. Place the sandwich into the machine and use the roll handle to push the sandwich through. Remove to reveal the shape. The one thing I really like about this product is it cuts letters up to 5 inches big. It also comes with a bunch of extra products when you buy the tool. The BIGkick by Sizzix is really great for making a big impact on your pages. The Boss Kut personal cutter is a cute machine. It retails for $129, and the dies start at $5 and go up. This machine accepts all chemically-etched dies. We are going to place the die face-up inside the machine, then place your paper over the top of the die. Slide all 3 pieces into the machine, then firmly press the handle down. Remove your pieces, and you've got a great accent for your page. The one thing I like about this product is the leverage handle, plus it's heavy, so it won't move around. The Boss Kut personal die cutter is cute and easy to use. Revolution is the newest member of the QuicKutz family. It retails for $149, and dies start at $7. It takes chemically-etched dies and is compatible with all of the other QuicKutz dies as well. The Revolution is similar to the Squeeze QuicKutz. It also has a magnetic back, which you place the die on first then place your paper and your cutting mat on top. Use the handle to roll your die cut through. Remove all the pieces and then enjoy you die cut design. The things I like about this machine are it cuts images and alphabets up to 4 inches tall plus you get a nice clean cut every time. Well, that's it! I hope I've given you some useful and helpful information on how to use these handy tools. Make sure you check out the manufacturer's website for more information, frequently ask questions, and even video tutorials. I'm Christy Tomlinson. Thanks for watching.