Die-Cutting/Machine Cutting Information

The cutting machines that I own are:

The Sizzix Big Shot

Sizzix Big Shot Cutting and Embossing Roller Style Scrapbooking Die-Cut Machine

The Sizzix is a die-cut machine. That means you need to have some kind of die or folder to use it. It is a great machine. It can cut:

  • paper
  • card stock
  • grungeboard
  • thin backed polymer Clay
  • Fabric
  • 26 gauge and thinner sheet metal
  • and more...

Another thing the sizzix can be used for is to emboss items. There are embossing folders for sale. When you place a piece of paper into a embossing folder and pass it through the sizzix, it will cause a design to be embossed instead of cutting. You can also combine the cutting and embossing functions together. There are die-cuts that also emboss available.

There are several different types of sizzix machines. I own the BigShot so that is the one I am familiar with. If you are planning on acquiring a Sizzix, I would recommend one in the BigShot series. Here are some of those.

The Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo3 Craft Cutter Bundle

The new Cameo 3 die cutting machine is Bluetooth ready so it can be used wirelessly through Bluetooth on your Windows 7/8/10 and Mac OS X 10.7 or higher computer. It can also be connected to your computer via the included USB cord. The Silhouette Cameo uses the included self-adjusting blade to cut multiple kinds of medium, including vinyl, cardstock, fabric, magnetic media, printable tattoo paper and other material (all which may be purchased separately) from as small as .25" wide up to 12 inches wide and 16.5 feet long. The Silhouette Cameo 3 machine features a USB Port to cut materials saved to a USB device, so you can work without bringing your computer along. The machine also has an LCD Touch Screen Display and features (optional) sounds to indicate when buttons are pressed. With the included Silhouette Slide Cross Cutter Tool you can load vinyl into your machine and cut your designs off the back of the machine without having to unload your vinyl, saving you time! Included:

Silhouette Cameo 3 Machine
24 pack of Silhouette Sketch Pens
mega pack of adhesive backed vinyl
hook,scraper,spatula and quick pick up tool
12 exclusive Craft-e-Corner vinyl designs with 12 full project tutorials, inspiration and tips and tricks for working with vinyl.

The Cameo is also an electronic cutting machine. It is also controlled programmatically. There are a few types of software that can be used to interface with the Cameo. The one I use is Silhouette Studio.
The software can be used to import multiple formats of images to cut. It can also import certain formats that can be used via the "Trace" option of the software. The trace option is primarily used for non-vector images that the software cannot directly read. It traces the image and re-creates it into a vector type image. It can cut:

  • paper
  • card stock
  • grungeboard
  • thin baked polymer Clay
  • Metal Clay (Flex Type)
  • Fabric
  • 26 gauge and thinner sheet metal
  • dried flex-type metal clay
  • vinyl for outside or inside
  • heat set vinyl for clothing
  • stencils
  • stamps
  • rhinestone patterns
  • and more...

The Cameo can be used to draw, by substituting a pen for the cutting blade. There are pen sets available that can be used with the Cameo. There is also an embosser tool available.

The Silhouette Curio

Silhouette Curio Crafting Machine with Lots of Accessories! Including Deep Cut Blade, Etching, Stippling, Sketching, Emboss, and More Bundle

The Silhouette Curio can do so much! You can cut vinyl, paper, heat transfer, paper, felt, leather, and more. You can emboss, stipple, sketch, engrave. You can even create stunning jewelry in sterling silver and other metals using metal clay. This machine is very versatile and is an amazing compliment to the Silhouette Cameo 8.5 in. x 6 in. base (includes four platforms), 8.5 inch by 6 inch Cutting Mat, 8.5 inch by 6 inch Embossing Mat, 24 Sheets of Permanent Oracal 651 Vinyl - 12 Inch x 12 Inch Each, 24 Sketch Pens (2xs the normal amount of ink) Fine Emboss Tool & Wide Emboss Tool, Cutting Blade, Hook Tool, 1 Roll of Premium Transfer Paper Curio Starter Guide by Silhouette School, Software and Power Cord 110V-240V, One month to the Silhouette design store worth $25 in downloads, 50 exclusive downloadable designs

Both Cameo 3 and Curio

Other Cutters

Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine

Cricut Explore One Electronic Cutting Machine Bundle

Brother ScanNCut2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine with Rhinestone Trial Kit

Silhouette Portrait

We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advance Die Cutting/Embossing Machine

Brother ScanNCut2 Scanner & Cutting Machine Fabric Applique & Rhinestone Kit Bundle

Below are some links to a few other brands of cutters to check out.
Before you buy, you should find out how each cutter works and what types of material it can cut.
Can it emboss and engrave? What size is the cut area? Can it use pens to draw? Is it an automatic machine or is it a manual machine?
Is the cutting controlled by software or do you need to purchase additional items like dies, cafrtridges, or embossing plates?
If software controlled, what software can it use? How difficult is it to learn? Is the software free or is there an additional cost?
Does it run on my machine (PC and/or MAC)?
I recommend going on www.youtube.com and doing a search for "craft cutting machine reviews". Keep in mind that more current reviews will be more accurate than older ones.
When you have a machine in mind, I recommend going to www.youtube.com and watching a few tutorials on specifics of how to set up the machine and cut etc. This way, you can see what is involved.

Personally, I prefer the Silhouette machines because they seem to be the most popular. There are a lot of resources for information and supplies. It also seems like people are trying to really push the envelope with those machines more than the others. There are always new techniques being tried by users.

Specific Information and Links for the Silhouette Cameo and Curio

The Silhouette Cameo and Curio (and other brands of cutters, I think) can be used to cut unfired metal clay, unbaked polymer clay, and cut leather, in addition to all of the other items it can do. It can also be used to emboss a pattern on leather and unfired metal clay by using the Amy Chomas tools. Check out Amy Chomas' site (below) to see the add on tools she has for engraving and embossing metal clay and more.

Silhouette Top 40 Websites
Click Here To Visit Expressions Vinyl
Vist http://amychomas.blogspot.com/
Amy Chomas Tools For Cutters
Transparent Glitter Vinyl
Wonder Flock Repositionable Rhinestone Designs
To learn how to cut raw polymer clay with the Cameo/Curio, there are two video classes on the Craftcast.com ($) website.

They are:
Learn to Make Polymer Clay Faux Ivory, Jade, Lapis, Turquoise and More with Mags Bonham

Create a 3D Flower Polymer Clay Necklace using your Silhouette Cameo™ with Mags Bonham
To learn how to cut unfired metal clay with the Cameo/Curio, there are several video classes on the Craftcast.com ($) website.
They are: How to Create and Cut using 960Flex Metal Clay and the Silhouette™ Cutters with Cindy Pope
Learn to make these unique Open Design Metal Clay Rings
 with Cindy Pope
The Many Looks of Steel: Creating Jewelry using Steel Clay with Cindy Pope
Deciphering the Silhouette: Constructing a Mixed Metal Pendant using Hadar’s Clay™ with Cindy Pope
To learn how to cut and emboss faux bone and emboss leather with the Curio there is a video class on the Craftcast.com ($) website.
It is:
The Silhouette Curio – New Possibilities with Leather and Faux Bone with Cindy Pope and Robert Dancik More Cutter Machine Info

More Resources For Cutters

Cindy Pope: Create Mandalas with Silhouette Studio
Silhouette Design Store
Designs For Cutters

McSilies Facebook Group for People who Use Silhouette Machines to Cut and Emboss Metal Clay
Silhouette Cameo Creations Facebook Group for People who Use Silhouette Machines
Silhouette For Everyone and Everything Facebook Group for People who Use Silhouette Machines
SiLiequestions Facebook Group to ask and get answers about using the Silhouette Machines
Cricut The Official Facebook Page
Cricut CutUps Facebook Group for Cricut Users to Share and Be Inspired
Facebook Page for Brother Scan and Cut
Silhouette School Blog
Silhouette America
KNK Zing & Make The Cut Info
Miss Kate Cuttables
FREEFree Cut Files

Cutter Settings
2016 Silhouette Christmas Project Ideas