Scrapbooking has quickly become one of America’s favorite hobbies. There is no better way to preserve memories, and have fun doing it. For most scrapbookers, buying a die cutting machine is an important decision. There are cutting systems that run into the hundreds of dollars and hook to your computer, but not everyone can afford them. I am comparing the two least expensive, non-computer die cutting machines for you.
The Quickutz die system is fairly simple. It consists of the tool and dies. Extra products can be purchased, such as a pad to place on the upper handle for comfort when pushing down on the handle, and binders to hold the dies. Dies are about 2×2, and come in a wide variety of designs. There are dies for about anything you can think of, from grass to credit cards, to people. Anything you want to put on a page, Quickutz probably has something for it.
The Quickutz tool runs about $70, but can usually be found online for as little as $48. Dies are inexpensive as well. Complete alphabets (upper and lowercase and numbers) run about $180.00. Single dies, such as tags, jelly beans,etc..run about $7, while doublekutz (meaning it takes 2 2×2 dies to make the design (such as people with beards or hair) run about $13. Embossers can also be purchased and they run about $12 as well. They make nice raised designs on the dies you have cut out. There are also themed sets of dies that run different prices.
To use the Quickutz, you simply remove the die from it’s package, place on the included ejection foam, and place the die in the pad on the tool. It is magnetically held in place. Place the paper you are wanting to cut in between the pads and press together. When you open it up, you have the die cut. The cradle to set it on the table and the Komfy Kutz for the handle make this easier. The cradle comes with the tool while the Komfy Kutz can be purchased for around $9 or $10. Should the die cut not cut out thoroughly, the dies each include a shim, a very thin, clear sticker to place on the back of the die to aid in the cutting.
The Quickutz is very portable. It is fairly light and comes in different colors. Dies fit neatly into die sheets and a binder. The biggest recommendation for this is if there is a die you like, buy it. Quickutz retires dies every month, and introduces new ones. They also are coming out with new products to enhance the line, such as rub-ons that match the dies. The Quickutz is only recommended for paper and cardstock.
The Sizzix die cut system is somewhat different from the Quickutz. It is much heavier and requires that you replace the pads that the system cuts the dies out on. They run about $3 each. The machine runs between $65 and $80.
The Sizzix sits on the table flat. It has a large handle and a cutting pad. You purchase dies, then place them and the paper you are wanting to cut into the machine and press down on the handle. Like the Quickutz, it has a great many dies to choose from, although the Sizzix dies are more simplistic than the Quickutz. They are also larger. Sizzix also makes another machine that uses somewhat smaller dies, and an adapter can be purchased for the Sizzix to allow those dies, called Sizzlets, to be used. It runs between $8- $15.
Unlike the Quickutz, which is recommended only for paper and cardstock, the Sizzix can cut dies onto paper, cardtock, foil, poly foam, some fabric, including felt, and self-adhesive rubber, making it possible to make your own rubber stamps. Dies come by themselves or in sets. Alphabets run between $150 and $250. Regular priced die sets are about $50- $60 but are often run on sale for much less. Single dies come in small, medium and large. Large Dies must be cut twice, once for the first half and once for the second half of the die. They are about $8-$10. Sizzlits are about $5 each for single dies. It also has embossers available for purchase to emboss dies or papers.
The Sizzix seems to have more versatility, as the dies are somewhat interchangeable with others in the porduct line, and there are a lot of neat accessories, like the Sidekick which uses the smaller dies. There are several little containers to hold dies, as well as different kinds of dies. It also makes making titles easier. However, it is quite a bit heavier than the Quickutz, making it harder to take to crops. The dies can also be quite simplistic, meaning a simpler look to pages. They are, however, beginning to release better dies.
Quickutz is quick to master, and they do release new things on a consistent basis. It is easy to carry to crops and the dies are less simplistic, meaning scrapbooking pages tend to look a little more “professional”. It is quick and easy to use, however, making titles and words can be a little time consuming, as they can only be done one letter at a time. Paper size doesn’t matter as much as it does with the Sizzix, but it does do ONLY paper and cardstock.
Both machines are quite popular for beginning scrapbookers. In addition, Sizzix can be purchased at Hobby Lobby stores, while Quickutz is usually carried at scrapbooking stores. Quickutz is also easily found online. Quickutz is also more compact, as it requires less space for storage. Either machine will work for newer scrapbookers, but I believe the Quickutz to be the better product, only because of the wider range of dies, and the fact that is generally more inexpensive to purchase them.