Scrapbooking is the form of art of some would say therapy!! Of preserving memories for the generations to come, by collating photographs and memorabilia and placing them together with their story in an album. Each page of an album can be simple, or these days many keen scrapbookers like to embellish their pages and each page becomes a piece of art.
Scrapbookers love to embellish their pages with objects and one of the best ways to create a great page is with fancy titles and images from different papers and materials. When scrapbooking die cutting machines came on the market, a whole new dimension was brought to scrapbook pages with die cuts that come in wonderful themed designs and can be cut with a personal machine die cut machine, over and over.
Two types of die cut machines exist on the market today. They compose of the electronic group of die cutting machines, such as the Provo Craft Cricut range, Making Memories Slice, Pazzles Inspiration Cutter and the Xyron Wishblade. The other market is for what are known as manual die cutting machines such as the Sizzix Big Shot or BigKick, Provo Crafts Cuttlebug and the Spellbinder Wizard
The manual die cutters have the advantage of being much cheaper than the electronic versions and are generally more portable and robust, as they dont require any power. However the biggest advantage of owning a manual machine is that they can cut much thicker materials than an electronic version. With an computerized die cutter, you would be limited to paper and thin cardstock mostly, however a manual machine can cut the toughest material like fabric, sheet metal, thick cardstock etc.
Owning a manual machine does have two slight disadvantages though compared to the electronic machines. Firstly they are manual, hence need your full attention to operate and can not be left to cut by themselves. Secondly, the size and shape of the dies can not be changed or adjusted. So what you see is what you get.
So you may be thinking an electronic die cut machine does sound good, but a manual machine also has confirmed its place in todays competitive market for scrapbooking die cutting machines because of its ability to cut through thick materials. Sizzixs Big Shot or also known as the BigKick, is certainly the leader in the manual machines market. This new bigger stronger better machine has improved so much since the first Original Sizzix Machine let the market quite some years ago.
The Sizzix Big Shot (BigKick) is like a press, where you lay down a die and paper on a platform and apply pressure, so that the design is cut into the paper or whatever material you are using. The platform is now very large and can accommodate pretty much any other brand of die on the market alone, or with an adaptor. So Sizzixs Sizzlits can also be used with this machine, along with the whole range of existing Sizzix dies.
The BigKick and Big Shot die cutters also have a larger base than the original machine. This means you can put the larger dies in sideways to make cuts quicker. It also fits in larger sheets of paper and basically cut more out at once. A new range of larger dies, which make fantastic backgrounds, has also been created for the machine. Also, if you own a lot of smaller dies, you can now cut out multiple smaller die cuts at once.
One of the best new features of the Big Shot is the rolling mechanism. This is absolutely the best feature compared to the original machine. It means no more having to slide the large dies through in multiple sections, like the original Sizzix, to get the shape cut out. No slippages, or having part of the die cut but part not, due to not enough pressure. Also, it saves a lot of the muscle work that was required by the press down handle of the old machine. I just love the crunching sound it makes as it cuts!
The Big Shot can also cut the same thicker cardstock and materials that the original sizzix cuts, like cork, cardstock, multiple paper sheets, fabric, felt etc. So with the new wider base and rolling handle, it means you can churn out great letters, titles and images from an amazing range of materials which no electronic die cutter can do. So if you like texture and variety on your scrapbook pages, the Sizzix BigKick or Big Shot are the best in the market.