Cutting Machine Reviews
Picking the best option for your money…
Picking the best option for your money…
Need to find the best Cricut, Sillouhette or other cutting machine? You’ve come to the right place. We provide a full and deep dive into the best cutting machines on the market today, so you can make the correct choice, at the right price, for your craft and DIY needs.
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You have probably come across garments such as t-shirts, hoodies, dresses, and surfaces that have some beautiful artwork/ design on them and wondered how it was achieved. One such way through which this is achievable is through heat transfers. The market is saturated with heat press machines as well as machines such as the Cricut Easy Press which not necessarily a heat press machine or iron.
The Cricut Easy Press is a machine was purposefully designed to deliver specialized iron-on results in under a minute, and that can be used to press transfers such as sublimation transfers, inkjet transfers and even iron-on also known as HTV. This Cricut easy Press relies on a combination of the handiness of a regular iron box and the speeds of a conventional heat press to deliver transfers that can last beyond several washes.
This machine is available in four different forms, namely the RASPBERRY 12?X10?, RASPBERRY 9? X 9?, RASPBERRY 6? X 6?, and the SKY-9? X 9?. It consists of an evenly heated plate and dials that are used to manage the operations of the machine. Users can use the Cricut easy press for layered, small and large projects as the, has the capability of reaching temperature settings of up to 180°C (350°F). Additionally, it brags several features, including an insulated resting base and automatic shutoff. Upon purchase of the machine, users receive a package that consists of a warranty card, a welcome booklet, a user manual, a safety base, and the Cricut machine.
Before we get into how the Easy Press works, it is important that you are aware of the machines specifications. This includes a ceramic coated heating plate which can be used for projects that are big and involve layering, handles that facilitate maneuverability, two winding heat plates that heat the machines surface, precise temperature control settings, auto shutoff, and safety base to ensure safety while you are working.
Before even beginning to use the machine, it is crucial that you work from a surface that is not only flat and heat resistant but also firm. The Easy Press starts working once the machine has been powered up using the power button situated on the left-hand side of the display. Once you are certain that both your surface and machine are ready, you can go ahead and set the temperature and time that align with the needs of your project.
Both the time and temperature can be adjusted using the +/- buttons that allow users to stipulate their chosen time and temperature accordingly. When adjusting the temperature, the machine typically displays an orange color which turns green once the right temperature is achieved. My personal favorite thing about this machine is the amount of time it takes to heat up. Unlike regular irons, the Easy Press heats up to 180 degrees Celsius in approximately two minutes and forty-four seconds upon which it will notify the user by beeping. Once the machine is ready, a user simply has to place their material of choice onto the silicone foam mat, pre-heating it to rid it of wrinkles. The next few steps are where the magic happens as a user simply puts their vinyl design on to the base material and places the Easy Press onto their vinyl decal. Immediately after a user must initiate the machine’s timer and apply moderate pressure to keep it in place as they press. Once the pressing is done, it will beep once more, and at this point, all a user has to do is return the Easy Press onto its stand and wait for the mat to cool down before removing it from the vinyl. The most important thing to remember when using the machine is that the materials that one is using have to be completely dry and moisture-free.
The Cricut Easy Press is a portable, convenient, and easy to use alternative for your regular heat presses if you are a crafter/ DIYer who does not create in bulk. It is perfect for small spaces, and its lightweight and compact nature make using the machine extremely enjoyable. This machine has excelled where a few others have failed with their uneven heating surfaces and lack of variable temperature setting. Regardless of whether you’re a novice or expert, I would wholly recommend this machine. For as long as the manufacturers reference guide is adhered too, you will have a breeze using this machine just like I did.
Anyone who has never used or seen the Cricut Explore is likely to mistake it with a printer, but it couldn’t be any further from that. The Cricut Explore is a crafting tool that takes away the hassle of having to use things like pencils, razors, scissors, and shears to create intricate designs and patterns. It has the ability to score, cut, and even draw on several different materials ranging from vinyl to leather and so much more. Cricut is known for many things in the craft world, but the Cricut Explore product line has to be by far one of their greatest achievements even superseding the Design Space Software that is used with most Cricut Machine. The Cricut Explore product line consists of Cricut Explore One, Cricut Explore Air and Cricut Explore Air 2. Each of these machines brags its unique set of features and fare differently from each other. However, for, this article, today we shall be looking at the Cricut Explore one which revolutionized the crafting world when it was first introduced into the market.
As previously mentioned, the Cricut Explore One caused a paradigm shift in the crafting world when it was introduced in the market. Even though there have been other cutting machines that have come up since, the Explore One still remains a crowd favorite for a lot of crafters and DIYers given that it is an easy tool to use and it is also affordable. Despite its basic set of features, the Explore One is a great machine for scoring, writing and precision cutting. The machine is extremely user-friendly with an interface that is easy to maneuver. It also allows for users to effortlessly create and design their projects straight from their tablets, personal computers, and smartphones. Equipped with a premium German carbide blade, the Explore one is a beast capable of cutting through a series of different materials including, paper, leather, vinyl fabric, and so much more. The German carbide blade, which is overly resilient and durable facilitates the cutting of products with up to a medium weight without breaking down. The biggest downside of the Cricut Explore one in our opinion would be the lack of Bluetooth. Although this may not have been an issue a couple of years back, the evolution of technology today has changed how a lot of things operate and as such being able to function wirelessly is something that is extremely crucial not only for crafters but also for the rest of the world.
Like with every other cutting machine, the Cricut Explore one has a set of features including
Integrated storage compartments: The Explore one has storage compartments on the side of the machine which were ingeniously designed to be used as storage for work items such as pens, scissors, etc. and ensure that a user’s workspace remains clutter-free. The integrated storage compartments also play a vital role in ensuring users can save up on space that they are likely to use later while working.
Smart Set dials: previously, when crafters would do their work, there was a lot of guesswork involved as they tried to figure out how things worked. However, the smart set dial has changes how things work as the innovative feature enables users to work with the optimal predetermined settings for whatever material they are using. By choosing the right mode when operating the machine users no longer have to worry about things like getting the pressure, speed, or even depth that is ideal for their projects.
Cricut Design Space Software: For starters, the design software opened a whole new world of designs giving users access to over 60,000 designs that they could use on their projects. Users can access this extremely powerful software through their smartphones, tablets, and computers by simply logging into the system. You’ll certainly be spoiled for choice from the selection of pre-made projects. The software is quite simple and easy to use and provides users with the option to create their designs in the moment by clicking the “Make it Now” option.
Grip Cutting Mat: I think that this is actually a privilege as some cutting machines usually do not have the grip cutting mat forcing users to purchase it as an additional accessory. The Explore One’s mat has been designed in such a manner that it can be used for various crafting materials without the material slipping out of place while it is being worked on. The mat is of high quality and has great grips to achieve the perfect cuts.
The Cricut Explore is a great machine that offers great value for money to its users. It is a machine we would highly recommend particularly to beginners who are just getting into the die-cutting world. Nevertheless, this is not to say that experienced crafters cannot use it as anyone who enjoys crafting can. The entire Explore product line offers users with unlimited possibilities, and it helps if a user understands what their needs are and opts for a die-cutting machine that can help them realize their goals.
Available in two different models, namely the 6-inch cutting width and the 8.5-inch cutting width model, The Spellbinders Platinum machine is a sturdy and sophisticated manual die cutting machine capable of cutting and embossing. , the Platinum machine is a one of a kind die-cutting machine that can handle dies as thin as wafers, as well as steel rule, dies both from Spellbinders and other companies. As previously mentioned, the spellbinder is are sturdy and heavy and brags gears that are almost impossible to break regardless of the material being used. The weight of the machine ensures it remains still and unfazed while it is in use; however, as well as steel rule, users require to input quite some effort to use this machine. This machine is ideal for crafters who have a large workspace since it occupies a large footprint which may be inconveniencing for users with smaller spaces. Nevertheless, the machine’s sides are foldable; however, which makes the Spellbinders Platinum compact and easy to store away. The Spellbinder platinum can effortlessly cut over 40 different materials including Balsa wood, leather, paper, craft metal, chipboard cotton, and many more. The “full-size” platinum is extremely flexible as it.
Nevertheless with 16 contour dies that facilitate flexibility for a user looking to achieve intricate cuts, patterns, and designs. The two platinum machines hold their own weight as they can cut paper sizes as big as their widths; however, the 8-inch platinum requires that users acquire larger cutting plates as opposed to the regular sized ones that are sold together with the machine.
Regardless of the size, both the smaller sized platinum and the full-sized platinum are equipped with the same accessories and items that users receive upon purchase. These items include: the machine itself, an embossing mat and plate, two standard 6” cutting plates, an operational manual and a cutting platform which varies depending on the size of the machine purchased.
However, users should note that they have the option of purchasing additional accessories that they like and are compatible with the machines such as the magnetic platform which is used to hold the overly thin dies and ensure that they do not move around while being cut. The crease plate and 3D embossing plate used alongside 3D embossing folders are yet another set of accessories that can be separated from the machines.
The Platinum machines have a few features which we found to be great value adds such as;
Ergonomic handle: Unlike a lot of the electronic die cutting machines which have fancy buttons to operate it, the Spellbinders Platinum’s functionality is made possible through its ergonomic handle that connects with the machine’s roller bearings and turned manually to complete tasks. The handle, therefore, makes it easier for tasks and projects to be completed in a matter of minutes after a few turns.
Cutting platforms: Even though each machine has a cutting platform that corresponds with its model, the Spellbinders die cutter platforms are overly generous in comparison to some of the die cut machines that we have available in the market. Users can cut dies to their satisfaction, including multiple small dies all at once. The construction of the machines is such that they can accommodate varying dies, all while being portable and user-friendly.
Contour steel rule dies: today, the number of die-cutting processes available are quite many, with each of the processes being used for different techniques and serving a different purpose. The Spellbinders use the steel rule dies, which are popularly known for facilitating the use of different types of materials such as foam, paper, cardboard, rubber, and many more all while being easily centered. The contour steel die cutting process is revered to be an economically efficient method through which users can achieve unique designs on materials that have soft sheets as well as the “exotic” ones.
Solid steel core: the strength and longevity of the Spellbinders cutter because of its full-hardened steel construction. For the mere reason that this machine is constructed from the toughest metal in the globe means that users can rely on the machine to give them great service for a long time to come.
Regardless of whether you are cutting, scoring, or embossing, the Spellbinders Platinum is the ideal machine that you could opt for. This is because not only is it functional, but it also has a user-friendly design that makes it more than ideal for most crafters regardless of their skill level. The Spellbinders Platinum scores highly in our books because it is one of those machines that can outlast you for generations to come and it provides crafters with model different options and the ability to use several die types. If you have been contemplating on a die cutter to acquire for yourself or even someone else, then this is a great choice to contemplate.
There are lots of questions surrounding the Cricut BrightPad. What is the Cricut BrightPad? Is the Cricut BrightPad worth its cost? Is it a must-have tool for crafting enthusiasts? Does it really make weeding vinyl much easier? Do I really need the BrightPad? If you have found yourself plagued with questions such as the one above, then you are in the right place. This is because Cricut introduced to the market their version of the light pad known as the Bright Pad. But before we review the BrightPad, we shall quickly define what a light pad is and what it is used for.
A light pad is a viewing device that is used by crafters and artists for tracing, sketching, weeding, and reviewing their artwork amongst other things. The light pad essentially helps artists and crafters elevate their artworks, and while it is not a mandatory tool, it helps town one if you can afford it.
The Cricut BrightPad, which resembles a tablet, is one of the most innovative tracing and weeding tools in the market. The BrightPad is thin, lightweight, and brags a sleek design like most advanced tablets do. It is equipped with five settings which are used to adjust the brightness of the pad and enable artists to customize their workspace depending on what suits their needs. Upon purchase of the device, users receive a package containing a user manual, power cable, and the pad. The pad is fitted with several features to ensure that it can absorb any shock and arrive at the user’s destination in one piece. To use the BrightPad, a user simply has to plug in the power cable to a power outlet and press the power button. Users can adjust the pad’s light settings with either one of the two +/- buttons located on the side of the tablet.
High Scratch Tolerance level: the scratch tolerance level refers to the abrasion resistance levels depending on how hard a surface or material is. The scratch hardness/ tolerance typically ranges between 1 and 10, where ten is the highest level, which is categorically reserved for diamonds. The Cricut BrightPad has a 6H hardness level which cannot be said for other light pads which typically brag a 3.5H hardness/ tolerance level. A device is more scratch-resistant if its scratch hardness is high, which means that users can certainly rely on the quality of the Cricut BrightPad.
Great design: As previously mentioned, the BrightPad is an extremely lightweight device that is 0.35 inches deep and almost looks like a high-tech tablet. A quick glance at the device will reveal that its design is well-thought-out, particularly because no artist would appreciate having to uses a light pad that is extremely bulky and heavy. The Cricut BrightPad offers artists with the possibility to work in an appropriate body posture as they do not have to prop their elbows onto the desk while working or even change their posture.
Light adjustment capabilities: The light adjustment button is a pretty nifty feature that a lot of crafters can appreciate. This is because users can effortlessly adjust the LED light of the Cricut BrightPad from level 1 to level 5 by simply pressing the +/- keypad buttons on the machine. By increasing or decreasing the light, it is possible for users to work in their ideal light conditions however we think that these buttons deserve and upgrade to become touch-sensitive buttons if for nothing else other than convenience. In a matter of seconds, users can move from the lowest 400 Lumens level 1 brightness settings to the highest 4000 Lumens level 5 brightness settings. The other brightness settings offer Lumens of 1300, 2200, and 3100 for levels 2, 3 and four respectively.
Even LED Backlight: The Cricut BrightPad produces light that is even as it uses superior LED bulbs, unlike most of the cheaper light pads that use substandard halogen bulbs. The LED lighting of the BrightPad can give users service for up to 50,000 hours emitting light evenly across the pad’s surface. Additionally, the light emitted by the LED lighting is not as harsh as it falls on the cooler white side.
Anti-Slip Base: the chances of the BrightPad slipping from a user’s hands or surface are very low as the pad is fitted with an anti-slip coating intended to minimize the occurrence of accidents. This ensures that users have steady work and that they will not move about while they are working.
The Cricut BrightPad is a premium-grade multipurpose light pad that goes a long way in unhinging a user’s creativity and artistic limits. From detailed crafting, weeding, tracing and handling glitter iron-on users will enjoy using this as long as they are familiar with how to work with it. We personally liked that it could be used by anyone regardless of their crafting experiences and abilities. Its polycarbonate surface ensures that you will be using it for quite a while as it is durable, practical, and most importantly, functional. If you were considering acquiring the Cricut Brightpad, we hope that this review has removed any doubts that you may have had and shed some light onto what the BrightPad is and how it can help you meet your needs.
HTV is a fun and exciting way for one to introduce themselves into the world of crafting. You are probably familiar with heat pressing because you have seen a few breathe taking designs done on different surfaces and garments and wondered how they were able to achieve it. Well if heat transfer vinyl and heat pressing are your cup of tea, then the Easy Press 2 is the kind of machine that you should be considering if you haven’t already. The Cricut Easy Press 2 takes over from its predecessor the original Easy press to give its users a wonderful experience crafting with HTV. The original Easy Press was a beast, but the Easy Press 2 is a much bigger and better machine as our research quickly revealed. It is equipped with new features that we shall discuss shortly together with the benefits and disbenefits that it offers you as a user so you can make an informed decision as to whether is a machine that you should purchase to meet your crafting needs.
Like its predecessor, the Easy Press 2 is a machine that enables users to easily and effectively transfer their HTV (heat transfer vinyl) and iron-on designs onto a surface of their choice. The HTV and iron-on are a type of materials that require heating to facilitate their successful transfer onto surfaces. The Easy Press 2 facilitates this transfer by providing the ideal temperature and time required for proper transfer onto the surface. This machine is available one color (raspberry) and in three different sizes specifically 6 x 7 inches, 9 x 9 inches and 12 x 10 inches. The varying sizes give users the flexibility to choose the size of machine that fits their craft. Unlike its predecessor, this Cricut heat press is capable of heating up to 400°F with a +/- 5°F variance that makes it more reliable and easier to use on a variety of materials.
Heating Time: the heating time of the Cricut Easy Press 2 is truly impressive given that it takes just a minute for the 6 x 6 press to heat up, two minutes for the 9 x 9 press and 3 minutes for the jumbo 12 x 10 heat press. Not a lot of heat press machines available in the market can be able to achieve such fast heating times. The heat-up time is 25% quicker than the original Easy Press.
Safety base: the Easy Press 2 provides crafters with a streamlined safety base on which they can place the machine when it is not in use. And in line matters concerning safety, the Easy Press 2 has an auto shut-off feature that automatically shuts off the press after ten minutes of inactivity. The safety base of this machine is slightly raised in comparison to other heat press machines, and this makes crafting all the more safe without taking away the fun of it.
Firmware: rarely do people talk about firmware when discussing crafting tools but I had to throw this in because I appreciated that the Easy Press 2 like with other Cricut machines updates itself when necessary to ensure that your machine is free of errors and is functioning efficiently.
Thicker heat plate: heat plates are usually there to ensure that the heat in the machine is distributed evenly. If the temperature is even the likelihood that a user is going to have a successful and professional looking outcome is quite high. The thicker heat plate on the Easy Press 2 ensures that the heat distribution is uniform and that the temperature variant is better managed. It’s this very feature that gives the Easy Press 2 a higher standing that is almost at par with traditional heat presses.
Thus far, the Easy Press 2 has proven to be a really cool crafting tool to have in your corner. But to paint a clearer picture before you make your final decision, we take a look at the machine’s pros and cons after which we believe you will be fully informed on what decision to make.
I am a big fan of the Easy Press 2 because it delivers value for me and my crafting. We rarely come across products that fully deliver on the promises made, and this cannot be said about the easy press given that you get professional results in under 3 minutes just as it promises. This machine is honestly the best compromise one can make if faced with the decision of choosing between heat pressing with a regular iron or a traditional heat press. Afterall what more could one want if they are getting long-lasting and effective results on a machine that’s efficient and easy to use.
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