The Big Shot is a multi-purpose cutting machine made by Sizzix, who is owned by Ellison. The Sizzix brand started in 2001 and now has a huge product offering.
Here’s the Nitty Gritty:
Big Shot measures: 8.5” x 6.5” x 14.25”
Weighs: 7.5 lbs
Comes with: 1 Pair Standard Cutting Pads, Instruction Booklet and the Multipurpose Platform (can be used for the thinner Sizzlits® Dies, Metal Stencils, Sizzix® Texturs™, Embosslits™, Clearlits™, Textured Impressions™, and Simple Impressions®)
Note: There is some assemble required – handle must be attached, but they provide you with the hexagon wrench that is required.
Get the rest of my review after the jump:
Ease of use:
As soon as I opened the box I had the handle assembled in a couple of minutes – the diagrams in the instructions make it really simple. There are two downsides that were immediately evident to me, one is that it does not fold or get compact in any way, so if you have limited space for your crafting, this could pose a problem. The other downside is that while, yes, the handle is theoretically easy to remove for storage and transport – I’m not sure I would want to do that. I would have to hold on to the hexagon tool forever plus the screw and washer are really quite small – I would be very afraid I would lose them. That aside, it feels like a very sturdy product.
The three dies that I received from Sizzix were the Sizzix Bigz Die – Leaves, Tear Drop, Sizzix Bigz XL 25” Die – Strips 1.5” Wide, and Sizzix Bigz XL 25” Die – Quarter-Square Triangles, 3’H x 6’W. The tear drops will be great for small appliqué projects, and the Quarter-Square triangles finish up at a 6 inch square (5.5” when sewn into a quilt) – these will both save me a lot of time cutting and measuring!
According to the Sizzix website there are currently 40 Quilting Specific dies that are compatible with the Sizzix Big Shot. If you upgrade to the bigger machine Big Shot Pro – there are 50 available. These quilting designs include: 2 different sizes of 1/4 square triangles, 4 different sizes of ½ square Triangles, 3 different sizes of Hexies and Circles, Dresden plate, Fan, and Drunkard’s Path (among others).
The machine is easy to use. You make a sandwich with the two cutting pads. Cutting pad – Die –Fabric (or other material) – Cutting Pad.
Then you place it up to the roller and turn the crank. The instructions for cutting fabric recommend that before you run your material through the machine you should first iron on your fusible web – which makes perfect sense if you are doing appliqués, not so much if you are cutting basic quilting shapes and strips.
I can easily say that the biggest benefit to this particular cutter is that you can cut almost ANYTHING on it:
- Chipboard & Mat Board
- Craft Metal
- Craft Plastic
- Flexible Magnet
- Poly Foam
- Shrink Plastic
This is a major bonus for a crafter with multiple interests. It can be used for card making, scrapbooking, sewing, home décor, you name it.
There are 833 products available on the Sizzix website that are compatible with the Big Shot. They come in multiple categories including: Animal, Basic Shapes, Birthday, etc.
- Can cut virtually any medium
- Over 800 products available for it
- Easy to put together
- Quick set-up – cutting within five minutes
- Versatile machine
- The quilting dies do not produce standard size quilt blocks
- Not all of the triangle dies are dog eared, which means after sewing together your quarter-square and half-square triangles you will still have a lot of trimming to do
- Cannot be folded or made compact
- Handle comes off, but pieces are small and may be easily lost
Overall, I would recommend the Big Shot to someone who quilts and does scrapbooking. It is a great product and considering the price of the machine it is perfect for someone on a tight budget – although it should be kept in mind that some of the quilting dies (specifically the 25” long ones) run over $60.