Sizzix Big Shot Gets 5 Stars

Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix Big Shot | Source

For Christmas this year I got a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting and embossing machine and I am super excited to share this review with you of what I think about it so far. I had been wanting one for quite some time now because I have heard so many great things about it. It is one of the top machines out there for die cutting and embossing but what made it particularly desirable for me is it's ability to cut fabrics. I love making fabric flowers so this machine is definitely ideal for me!

When I realized the gift that I was opening was indeed a Big Shot, I was so excited I could hardly stand it! It came with two thick cutting plates and a multi-tab platform. The multi-tab platform is a thick plastic plate that has two flippable tabs on it. This platform enables you to use all Sizzix dies and even most other manufacturers dies with this machine so the versatility is amazing. It says on the platform which tab you need to use with whatever die that you are using-it's like a cheat sheet. This platform will come in very useful especially for those who have a lot of different types of dies and also for the different types and brands of embossing folders. All of them can be used with the Big Shot!

In addition to the Big Shot, I got a Sizzix Bigz die which is a good thing or I would not have been able to try out the machine and that would have been a real bummer! The die is the Tim HOltz Alterations Tattered Florals and I absolutely LOVE it. It has 4 different sizes of flowers on it. I ordered another die from Amazon and got it within a few days. It is the Sizzix Originals Circles #2 die and it is awesome as well. With just these two dies, I'm going to be able to make a TON of fabric flowers!

multipurpose platform with tabs- comes with the Big Shot
multipurpose platform with tabs- comes with the Big Shot | Source
set of cutting pads- comes with the Big Shot
set of cutting pads- comes with the Big Shot | Source
These are sold separately - Sizzix Circles #2 and Tattered Florals dies- I own these 2 so far and they are awesome!  You will need to purchase dies in order to cut with the Big Shot.
These are sold separately - Sizzix Circles #2 and Tattered Florals dies- I own these 2 so far and they are awesome! You will need to purchase dies in order to cut with the Big Shot. | Source

Assembling the Big Shot

Pretty much all you have to do in order to start using the Big Shot is attach the handle and its super easy. Just take the handle and put it in the slot where the handle goes, use the little tool that comes with it to screw the handle in place. Then take the little screw cover and pop it on to hide the screw and you are good to go.

After I attached my handle, I looked over the machine. It's a solid and sturdy machine, weighing 8lbs and it measures 14.5 by 12.5 inches. It is black and is embellished with a pretty pink flourish and some bling here and there. It sits firmly on 6 rubber feet. Once you start using this machine, chances are you will want to use it often so it's perfect sitting on a table or shelf in your craft room. I use mine on the kitchen table. I'm not lucky enough to have my own craft room, just yet!

6 rubber feet on bottom of the Big Shot
6 rubber feet on bottom of the Big Shot | Source
cute bling on the handle
cute bling on the handle | Source

Cutting

Using the Big Shot is super easy. You make a "sandwich" using the 2 clear cutting plates and whatever die you are using along with the material you are wanting to cut. The multi-tab platform that comes with the machine will tell you how to make your sandwich if you are using dies other than the ones made specifically for the Big Shot, so the platform will come in extremely useful. Once you make your sandwich, you roll the sandwich through the Big Shot by turning the handle. What happens is there is rods that are turning in the machine as you crank the handle. These rods catch the pads and pull them through the machine and while it's going through the pressure pushes the foam down on the die and the metal cuts through the paper, fabric or whatever you are cutting. Once you roll it through to the other end, take off the plate and look at all your pretty die cuts!

You will notice after you start using your Big Shot that the cutting plates will start to get marked up. Don't worry! This is completely normal and expected. The cutting plates are very thick and should last you a good long while but at some point in the future, they may need replacing. I've just checked with Amazon and you can get a replacement set of plates for just 8 bucks.

This is the "sandwich"  It is one pad, the cutting die, 4 layers of fabric and then another cutting pad on top.
This is the "sandwich" It is one pad, the cutting die, 4 layers of fabric and then another cutting pad on top. | Source
Roll it through the Big Shot to cut your shapes
Roll it through the Big Shot to cut your shapes | Source

What Can You Cut with the Big Shot?

One of the reasons I wanted the Big Shot so much is because of it's ability to cut other things besides just paper. Here is a list of other materials that you can cut with the Big Shot:

  • cardstock
  • chipboard
  • craft foam
  • fabric
  • felt
  • transparent sheets
  • thin plastic
  • aluminum cans
  • thin cork
  • vinyl
  • magnetic sheets

Something else worth noting here is that you can layer up to four, depending on the thickness of whatever you are cutting, at one time. I usually put four layers of fabric in and cut them all at the same time. So instead of cutting just one sheet of fabric yielding the four flowers on my die, I can cut four layers of fabric and get 16 flowers with just one crank. That is pretty awesome and very helpful when I need several layers for making my fabric flowers!

Embossing

In addition to cutting, the Big Shot can emboss. The embossing is done the exact same way. You make the sandwich and the way you stack it is according to what type and brand embossing folder you are using. Once you have your sandwich, run it through the machine and you will have a beautiful embossed surface on your paper, metal, etc. Because of it's ability to do both cutting and embossing, it's a great value for those who are into scrapbooking and other paper crafts. You can make your own scrapbooking or paper craft embellishments by cutting out shapes first and then running them back through to emboss them. The possibilities are truly endless with all the different dies and embossing folders out there that can be used with this machine. I am so thrilled at how versatile this machine is.

Paper embossed using the Big Shot and Sizzix Textured Impressions embossing folder.
Paper embossed using the Big Shot and Sizzix Textured Impressions embossing folder. | Source

Die Cutting Machines vs Using Punches

I love paper punches and I am sure I will still use them occasionally but after using the Big Shot, I realize if I'm going to invest in tools that cut shapes, It would be smarter for me to go with purchasing the cutting dies and use the Big Shot from this point on. Here is the reasons why:

  • Size of the Cut Shape- My Sizzix Bigz die which was $17 is 51/2" by 6" and it has 4 different flower shapes on it, the largest measuring approximately 3 inches. Just one paper punch that size will cost around $20. Yet this one cutting die has 4 flowers on it. The other flowers on the die measure approximately 2 1/2 inches, 1 3/4 inches and then a flower that is about an inch so already you can see the value of using a die in the Big Shot vs buying individual punches.
  • Materials- With a regular paper punch you are pretty much limited to paper, chipboard, foil and aluminum. The Big Shot will cut all the materials I listed above with my fave being fabric!
  • Selection of Cut Shapes-I love that you can use so many different dies, including other manufacture's dies with the Big Shot plus many dies have more than just one shape on them. There are lots of different paper punch shapes but your not going to get the versatility of cutting different materials and value for size like you would using the Big Shot.

All these fabric flower shapes with just one "roll" through the machine!
All these fabric flower shapes with just one "roll" through the machine! | Source

5 Stars for the Big Shot!

So because of all the reasons above, I am giving the Big Shot 5 stars. I think it is an awesome machine, hands down and a MUST for all crafters. To me, the Big Shot is like a factory grade machine because of the number of quality shapes I can cut with just one crank through the machine, not to mention the selection of dies and different shapes and number of shapes that come on just one die. I'm thrilled to be able to have one and use it in my home. If you are a crafter, I suggest you give this machine a try. I don't think I have ran across a crafter yet that doesn't love it.

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Comments 20 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nice review, Jamie! I hope you are well and the New Year is treating you well so far.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Bill- Thank you! The new year is going well so far.. I hope yours is, too :) I have quite a few hubs to read and catch up on... so will be visiting you very soon. It's always nice to "see" you.. thanks for dropping by!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

This is pretty awesome. I have noticed a lot of crafters using the die-cutting machines, but haven't looked into them. Now I am definitely adding one to my wish list. It would make cutting shapes for applique so easy!

Great review! Voting and sharing!


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Thank you for your review! I have a friend who talked to me about that kind of machine because I am doing a lot of cutting of all kinds. What would help me the most would be if I can fit a paper plate in it because I am cutting special shapes in paper plates to create 3D creations like a rocking horse, shells, sea horse, etc.

I suppose that what you put in the machine has to be flat.... and paper plates are not flat at all!

One of these days I will explore those machines because beside the paper plates, I cut a lot of cardboard and on the long run and with big quantities it can become painful on the fingers!

Thanks for your review again!

Voted up and interesting


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Sharkye11- Thank you for the votes up and for sharing! I'm so glad you found this review useful.. I think this machine would be perfect for making appliques. In fact, I think I saw a video on youtube where a lady was making appliques with her big shot. I love that it cuts so many different types of materials... and especially that I can cut up to 4 layers of fabric in just one crank through the machine!! I know what you mean about seeing and hearing about the die cut machines.. for years I had heard of this but figured it was too high or figured I could get along with out it. Now I'm wondering how in the world I have gone without it so long...LOL! I hope you are able to get one and try it out.. it really is an awesome machine :)


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Kidscrafts- Thank you for the vote up! Yeah, I don't think the big shot would cut the paper plates just because they aren't flat but for anything flat it is awesome. What I love is that I can layer up to 4 of whatever I'm cutting... so it really saves time on cutting individual pieces. I make 3D paper flowers by cutting out several layers of the same flower but I guess that is a little different than what you are talking about with the paper plates. I hope one day you'll be able to give this machine a try... it really is a wonderful crafting tool. Thank you for dropping by! Happy Crafting :)


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

I can't get over the fabric shapes you got from this. I may have to look into this and get in my birthday request early. Cool device for us crafters! Thanks.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Glimmer Twin Fan- I can't even tell you how cool this machine is! I am not the type to try to "sell" something but as useful as this machine has been for me, I just can't help it. It is a must have for any crafter. I hope you get one.. I just know you will love it :)


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

A very interesting review about an equipment that will help a lot in doing your creative works. The machine shows its function very well on that embossed paper which looks very special.


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 3 years ago from UK

Great start for 2013, Jamie! Good information here and a delightful Big Shot machine! Can it also cut mounts for my small paintings???

By the way, voted up and shared.


Rui Carreira profile image

Rui Carreira 3 years ago from Torres Novas

My mother has one of these... never knew what it was...lol


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

agusfanani- Thank you for dropping by! Yes, this machine is very useful.. I am really happy with it. You mentioned the embossing and it did such a great job with that. It can emboss other surfaces besides just paper too. Glad you enjoyed the hub, thanks for dropping by!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

jantamaya- Thank you for the vote up and for sharing! I'm so glad you enjoyed learning about the Big Shot. You asked about cutting mounts for your paintings. It depends on the material the mount is made from. If it is something thin like canvas, it should be no problem. It can cut chipboard and things similar to that. If it's a super hard type board, it may not cut through though. Whatever you are cutting, it has to be completely flat in order to roll through the machine. Hope this helps!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

Rui Carreira- Now you know! Pretty cool, huh :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I would have really loved this when I was doing scrapbooking. I can see how this would be fun to own. You really have a treasure there!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great review. Now I want one. It could be so useful to me. Thanks for sharing.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

teaches- I just LOVE it. Now that I've been using it regularly, I don't know how I've managed all this time without it! Thank you for stopping by to read my review.. I hope you have a great weekend :)


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals- You are welcome :) Thanks for dropping by to read my review of the Big Shot. It's the best crafting tool I have ever owned, hands down. I think you will love it!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 22 months ago

Love the embossing. It's really attractive.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 21 months ago from Texas Author

poetryman6969- Thank you so much :) Glad you liked it.

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