Die Cutting Machine Review

Hello! Today I am sharing a “review” of several of my favorite die cut machines. I would recommend any and all of these, but am sharing lots of information in hopes that you can decide which is most suited for you.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

[All products are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Multiple stores are also linked in the parentheses following the product name. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.]

A few things to keep in mind:

  • I don’t think any one of these machines is better than another. They each have their pluses! And we each have different needs. So hopefully you will find your perfect die-cutting match.
  • There are a couple machines I like that I didn’t mention much in the video, but do below.
  • I tried my best to gather and share accurate data. If I (or you!) catch a mistake, I will update it here.
  • I do not work for any of the companies. I personally purchased machines to be used in this video.

Also, there are two discount codes that may help if you are considering one of these machines. Check those out below!

Let’s first talk about my personal favorite type of die cut machine – electric machines.

ELECTRIC MACHINES

There are three electric machines I am focusing on today.

Gemini Junior

The Gemini Junior from Crafter’s Companion is the die cut machine that I have been using the most lately.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Gemini Junior:

  • Feed Type: Auto-feed. Plates go through machine without needing to push a button.
  • Cutting Plate Size: 6″ x 9”
  • Size: Approximately 14 lbs. and 8″ x 11″ x 6″
  • Comes With: Comes with all you need! Machine, 2 cutting plates, metal plate, magnetic shim, plastic shim, embossing mat, example embossing folder and dies, user guide.
  • Die Types: Thin dies & embossing folders
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacements plates and shims are available
  • Recommended Accessories: None – comes with what you need
  • Please check the company site for international power info.

This is the plate sandwich I use, but please check THIS pdf for what the company recommends. All of these plates come with the machine.

  • clear cutting plate (TOP)
  • frosted plastic shim
  • (optional metal cutting plate)
  • magnetic shim
  • die (cutting edge to paper)
  • paper
  • clear cutting plate (BOTTOM)

In my opinion, here are the positives of this machine:

  • The auto-feed feature allows the machine to do the die cutting while you sip coffee or continue crafting.
  • Cuts intricate dies (even multiple dies at once) beautifully every time. I have never had a challenge.
  • Comes with what you need.
  • Small footprint so it takes up little room.

Gemini

The Gemini from Crafter’s Companion is the bigger version of the Junior I mentioned above.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

The Gemini is very similar to the Junior, but varies mostly in size:

  • Feed Type: Auto-feed. Plates go through machine without needing to push a button.
  • Cutting Plate Size: 9″ x 12”
  • Size: Approximately 21 lbs. and 8″ x 14″ x 6.5″
  • Comes With: Comes with all you need! Machine, 2 cutting plates, metal plate, magnetic shim, plastic shim, embossing mat, example embossing folder and dies, power cord, user guide.
  • Die Types: Thin dies & embossing folders
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacements plates and shims are available
  • Recommended Accessories: None – comes with what you need.
  • Please check the company site for international power info.

This is the plate sandwich I use, but please check THIS pdf for what the company recommends. All of these plates come with the machine.

  • clear cutting plate (TOP)
  • frosted plastic shim
  • (optional metal cutting plate)
  • magnetic shim
  • die (cutting edge to paper)
  • paper
  • clear cutting plate (BOTTOM)

The advantage of this machine over the Gemini is that you can cut a lot more at once – even a whole piece of cardstock.

 

Big Shot Express

The Sizzix Big Shot Express is another die cut machine that I have been using a lot… and for a long time. This is a new-and-improved design.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Big Shot Express:

  • Feed Type: Push and hold button to feed plates through.
  • Cutting Plate Width: 6″ x 9″
  • Size: Approximately 10 lbs and 14″ x 11″ x 7″
  • Comes With: Two cutting plates, Extended Platform and Extended Thin Die Adaptor. (The diagrams on the Extended Platform and Extended Thin Die Adapter offer easy guidelines about how to make the perfect  sandwich.)
  • Die Types: All, including traditional thick dies, thin dies & embossing folders
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacement plates are available
  • Recommended Accessories: Multi-Purpose Platform, Embossing Pad, Metal Adapter Plate
  • Please check the company site for international power info.

This is the plate sandwich I use, but please check the website HERE for what the company recommends.

In my opinion, here are the advantages of this machine:

  • A Multi-Purpose Platform is available which is very handy – no need to keep track of shims. I use this exclusively.
  • The machine has a “table” that the plates can sit on while you prepare you die and paper.
  • Can use in both directions – feeding to the left or right.
  • Easy to grab handle.
  • Recently redesigned and improved.

VAGABOND 2

Another excellent die cutting machine is the Vagabond. I used this machine for MANY years and simply stopped because it is too tall for my die cutting drawer in my new craft room. It cuts beautifully and will even take the traditional non-wafer thin dies! You can learn more about it HERE.

 

 

BASIC MACHINES

There are two non-electric machines I like using.

SPELLBINDERS PLATINUM 6

If you are looking for a high quality non-electric machine, I would recommend the Spellbinders Platinum 6.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Spellbinders Platinum 6:

  • Feed Type: Crank to feed plates
  • Cutting Plate Width: 6″ x 9″
  • Size: Approximately 11 lbs and 14″ x 6″ x 5″
  • Comes With: Instruction book, standard platform, two cutting plates, embossing plate, embossing mat
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacement plates are available.
  • Recommended Accessories: None

This is the plate sandwich I use, and you can check HERE for what the company recommends.

  • clear cutting plate
  • die
  • paper
  • clear cutting plate
  • platform

In my opinion, here are the positives of this machine:

  • Machine folds up for easy storage.
  • When you open the machine, there is a “table” to prepare your die cutting.
  • It’s cute! 🙂
  • Note: There is a larger version of this machine available, too.

Sizzix Big Shot

Another great machine is the Sizzix Big Shot. It is much like the Big Shot Express but is non-electric. It is a little narrower and lighter weight, too. A great machine!

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Big Shot:

  • Feed Type: Crank to feed plates
  • Cutting Plate Width: 6″ x 9″
  • Size: Approximately 7.5 lbs and 14″ x 12″ x 7″
  • Comes With: Extended multipurpose platform and pair of cutting pads
  • Die Types: All, including traditional thick dies, thin dies & embossing folders
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacement plates are available
  • Recommended Accessories: Embossing Pad, Metal Adapter Plate

This is the plate sandwich I use, but please check the website HERE for what the company recommends.

In my opinion, here are the positives of this machine:

  • Comes with an extended multipurpose platform which is very handy – no need to keep track of shims. I use this exclusively.
  • The machine has a “table” that the plates can sit on while you prepare you die and paper.
  • Easy to grab handle.

MINI MACHINES

There are two great mini machines that are great for quick or on-the-go die cutting.

Tim Holtz SideKick

The mini machine I used the most is the Tim Holtz SideKick from Sizzix.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Tim Holtz Sidekick:

  • Feed Type: Crank to feed plates through.
  • Cutting Plate Size:  2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • Size: Approximately 2 lbs. and 8″ x 5″ x 3.5″
  • Comes With: Two colored cutting plates, embossing plate, fun selection of starter dies, stamps, a coordinating embossing folder and user guide
  • Die Types: Small, thin dies and embossing folders
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacement plates are available.
  • Recommended Accessories: None.

In my opinion, here are the positives of this machine:

  • Able to suction onto many work surfaces to stay in place.
  • Has plate for mini embossing folders included.
  • Great for on-the-go crafting or to have on your desk for small die cutting.

Altenew Mini Blossom

Another mini machine that I like is the Altenew Mini Blossom.

Die Cutting Machine Review by Jennifer McGuire Ink

Here is a bit of info on the Altenew Mini Blossom:

  • Feed Type: Crank to feed plates through.
  • Cutting Plate Size: 6″ x 3″
  • Size: Approximately 2 lbs. 3 oz. and 8″ x 5″ x 4″
  • Comes With: Two Plates
  • Die Types: Small, thin dies
  • Replacement Plates: Yes, replacement plates are available.
  • Recommended Accessories: None.

In my opinion, here are the advantages of this machine:

  • Lightweight and small… perfect to keep on your desk for small die cutting.
  • You can color the flowers on the machine!

I hope this “review” was helpful!

DISCOUNT CODES

If you are looking to purchase a machine, check out these discount codes:

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Want to find the products I featured? I have listed them below. (Compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. All products were personally purchased. As always, this post was NOT paid for or sponsored.) Click on the icons below each product picture to go to a favorite store.

Gemini Junior Die Cut Machine
[ SSS ]
Gemini Junior Replacement Cutting Plate
[ SSS ]
Gemini Die Cut Machine
[ SSS ]
Gemini Die Cut Replacement Plate
[ SSS ]
Sizzix Big Shot Express Die Cutting…
[ SSS ]
Sizzix Multipurpose Platform
[ SSS ]
Sizzix Replacement Cutting Plate
[ SSS ]
Memory Box Metal Adaptor Plate
[ SSS ]
Spellbinders Embossing Mats
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Die Cutting Machine
[ SSS ]
Sizzix Big Shot
[ SSS ]
Spellbinders Platinum 6 Die Cut Machine
[ SSS ]
Spellbinders Platinum 6 Replacement…
[ SPL ]
Tim Holtz Sidekick Die Cut Machine
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Sidekick Replacement Plates
[ SSS ]
Altenew Mini Blossom Die Cutting Machine
[ SSS ]
Die Cutting Machine Replacement Plates
[ ALTN ]
Tim Holtz Craft Pick
[ SSS ]
WPlus9 Happy Birthday Dies
[ SSS ]
Neat & Tangled Modern Triangles Die
[ N&T ]
Couture Creations Bohemian Bazaar…
[ SSS ]
Lint Rollers
[ AMZUS ]


Leave a Comment

52 thoughts on “Die Cutting Machine Review”

  1. Hi Jennifer. Thanks so much for this video. I LOVE my Sizzix sidekick, but the crank has stopped working. There doesn’t seem to be a way to fix it.
    I have a cuttlebug and the original Gemini machine. I’m wondering whether to replace my Sizzix sidekick or buy the Gemini go. I do a lot of diecutting with small dies for my cards. I need something small that I can keep on my work surface. What do you think? My cuttlebug is probably on its last legs.

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