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Guides

Best Die Cutting Machine of 2021: Complete Reviews

 February 19, 2020

By  Jane Melcher

Are you a scrapbooker, craftsman, or designer hoping to make some extraordinary items for your customers? If the answer is yes, a great die cut machine can be very valuable to you. There are numerous brands and models available, so which one should you buy? This can be a hard choice, but you want to find one that meets your particular design needs and budget.

In this review, we will take a look at three of the best die cut machines on the market today. Hopefully, we have found one that will be able to meet your needs.

Comparison Chart

Sizzix Big Shot 660200 Die Cutting Machine

Gemini by Crafter’s Companion Die Cutting Machine

Spellbinders PL-001 Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine

Best Die Cut Machine Reviews

Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine

Our first die cut machine is an easily portable option that is a manual cutting and embossing machine. The Sizzix team has brought detailed attention to the things that really make a great machine. In turn, they have given us a high-performance option for all our DIY needs.

Review

You may look at this die cut machine and think that the manual operation seems a bit technologically backward. Even with its manual hand crank, this model offers so many rich features. Having to put a little muscle into it will not even cause you to break a sweat. In fact, the features that this model is designed with are:

  • Crafted with an A5-sized opening
  • Able to emboss and cut materials up to 6” thick
  • Comes with a large library of die-cut

Even with manual labor needed to work this model, it is comfortable and easy to use. Plus, it is lightweight and compact, which makes it perfect for those that are looking for a highly portable option. The versatility of the machine is also well worth the investment. If you have already owned a Sizzix machine, there is a good chance that the dies are compatible.

It does have its limits, though. You will have to stick to premade dies. This limits its customizability and creativity. Plus, if you have any type of injury or medical condition that limits the movement or grip of your hand, the hand crank may be a problem for you.

Even with these few minor drawbacks, you can see why this model had to be included on our list.

PROS

  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Transports easily
  • Good range of materials
  • Compatible with a majority of the proprietary collection
  • Comes with pads and adapters

CONS

  • Can only use premade dies
  • Some may find the manual hand crank a problem

Gemini by Crafter's Companion Die Cutting Machine

This entry is an automatic option that is designed to give you flexibility and high-quality cuts. The Crafters Companion team has worked hard to deliver this well-built, high-performance option.

Review

Some may say that it takes a crafter to create the right tools for fellow crafters, and that is what Crafters Companion does. This die-cut machine is built with many awesome features that are included to elevate the unit's efficiency and performance. These features include the following:

  • Designed for edge to edge cutting
  • Compatible with most dies and embossing folders
  • Fitted with a pause, resume, and reverse control
  • Lightweight and compact design

Where do we start? There is so much to love about this die cut machine. To begin with, it is automatic. This may make it a viable option for those that can’t benefit from the Sizzix manual model. This model from Gemini is easy to use and has a level of versatility that is simply outstanding.

There isn’t much wrong with this model. It is a well-built and efficient option. However, there have been some reports of warping. This is not a universal issue. However, it is still one that you should be aware of as you make your final decision.

Once again, the one issue is not something that is a global concern. Taking into account all the wonderful advantages you are afforded with this machine, it is clearly one of the best available today.

PROS

  • Automatic
  • Larger platform
  • Sleek & low profile
  • Silent and efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Able to cut multiple dies

CONS

  • Issues with warping

Spellbinders PL-001 Cut & Emboss Machine

Our last entry is by far one of the best embossing machines on the market today. It also cuts incredibly well. Two machines for the price of one can’t be bad, right?

Review

This little machine is a durable and hard-working die cut machine that was designed with everything you would want. The features and materials used and included in the build of this machine are exceptional. They offer a level of performance far beyond what its tiny frame should be able to execute. Some of these features that make it such a great option are:

  • Crafted with a solid steel core
  • Capable of cutting thick materials or multiple layers
  • Able to cut 40 different materials
  • Able to be used with most thin dies, folders, plates, etc.

Its steel construction makes this machine able to withstand the rigors of the road. Therefore, it is extremely easy to transport. Not only that, but it is a powerhouse when it comes to cutting. Its ability to cut multiple layers makes your job that much easier.

The steel does cause it to weigh a bit more than some other models, but even that doesn’t impact the portability. Other than that, you may find the fact you have to use a shim with the blades slightly annoying. In the end, even the drawbacks aren’t enough to outshine what you get from investing in this die cut machine.

PROS

  • Wide range of materials to cut
  • Able to cut 8 layers at once
  • Durable and strong
  • Portable for off-site projects

CONS

  • Have to use shims with cutting blades
  • Weight is too much for some

FINAL VERDICT

It's valid to say that each of our choices for the best die cut machine has its own specific advantages and disadvantages. That being said, the ones we have chosen definitely offer you high-quality, superior performance. Whatever your taste and crafting needs are, we trust you'll have discovered a unit that meets your needs.

FAQ 

What is the best die cutting machine?

There are a majority of die cutting machines in the market, giving users the opportunity to cut sharp, intricate designs on different materials from paper to fabric and even leather. Our pick is the Sizzix Bigshot because of its functionality durability and furthermore efficiency. Also, its layout makes it good for professional designers as well as beginner ‘card cutters’. Other brands you may look at are the Cricut, Silhouette Cameo 4 amongst many other die machines.

How does a die machine work?

A die cut machine is simply used to cut or create shapes with near to perfect outlines. This is achieved through placing the shapes (die) and material intended to be cut, between two plates then passing them between a combination of rollers which put pressure and make the cut. These shapes are called die cuts, and with the machine always come out very neat and precise. Cutting plates are put together based on the type of machine you are having. Be sure to go through the guidelines attached by your manufacturer of your machine.

Do you need a machine to die cut?

No, you do not need a die cutter machine to die cut. Though machines may be quite expensive in some cases you may still want to have the possibility of using dies and getting crisp, sharp and precise cuts. Though it might be time consuming when compared to using the machine.

How do you use a die cut without a machine?

You can employ the rolling pin method; where you mimic the rollers of the machine by pressing the die over a plate and sticking the die on the material (e.g., hard paper) with washi tape. Place them under the plate, which should be relatively harder and press using a roller or rolling pin on a surface. Another option would be using harder sturdy bone folders instead of the pin or the hard plate. You just have to press on the die's edge while placing them upside down on a surface.

How do you die cut?

To die Cut this are the steps you should follow:

  1. Place the paper/card and die (with edge towards the paper) inside the cutting plates.
  2. Run through the die cutting machine rollers.
  3. Turn the machine (Most are turned manually).
  4. Get a nice clean die cut shape after the pass.

Which is better Cricut or brother?

The Cricut stands out as better overall, especially in accuracy with the brother you can still attain good cuts the only downside being you might have to employ different tools to fulfill that task. For fabric cutting the Cricut, stands out as well due to the design of its rotary blade, brother cuts fabric but it may not be as accurate every time.

Jane Melcher


Jane is a stay-at-home small business mom. She makes more than her husband selling her creations on Etsy.

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