Die cut machine just for letters? Which one should I get?

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Posted 2/8/2013 by ashazamm in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
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Loc: NY

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:05:44 AM
I never bought a die cut machine due to the price. I'm thinking now how great it would be just for the letters. If you were to recommend a machine just for letters, what's the best choice?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 252,090
March 2006
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Loc: Beautiful South Orange County, CA

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:11:55 AM
Are you looking at a manual or electric machine?


PeaNut 563,248
August 2012
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Loc: Florida

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:11:57 AM
Do you want electric or manual?


PeaNut 563,248
August 2012
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Loc: Florida

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:13:10 AM
OOOPPPPSSSS! I prefere manual and would go with the Big Shot! Fast.Easy.No Hassles.


PeaNut 542,105
February 2012
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Posted: 2/8/2013 9:15:39 AM
I am wanting one just for letters too plus maybe a few nesting shapes for layering

I was looking at the grand caliper but many here say the big shot is better

I am so confused lol

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PeaNut 477,798
August 2010
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Posted: 2/8/2013 9:15:51 AM
The two at the top of my list are the Sizzix Big Shot (manual) and the Silhouette Cameo (electric). From my research, those are the two that would work best for me, and apparently the Big Shot can take almost all dies, regardless of manufacturer. The Big Shot PRO can take the ones the Big Shot can't take, since it takes the largest dies (correct me if I'm wrong on this, Peas!)

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:30:34 AM
The Big Shot Pro is a beast! Literally something like 16"x26"!!!! Huge footprint in your space. Plus you need space to roll the tray through. But the regular Big Shot is awesome and my favorite manual die cut machine (and I have quite a few )

If you just want letters, I'd probably go electronic. The Cameo is wonderful. You can cut any font on your computer. And many, many fonts are free. Alphabet die sets can get pricey and if you only have a couple, it's kind of limiting. You can also resize fonts on the Cameo to give you so many more options.

Just my $0.02


PeaNut 450,739
January 2010
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Loc: Colorado

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:34:26 AM
Manual-Big Shot hands down!

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PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
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Loc: NY

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:53:23 AM
Either manual or electric. I just want something simple and inexpensive.


PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
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Loc: NY

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:54:07 AM

I am so confused lol

Me too!


PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
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Layouts: 18
Loc: NY

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:56:16 AM
I'm going to sound really pathetic here: can you buy the Big shot at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's? I also have a Michaels.


PeaNut 67,751
February 2003
Posts: 555
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Loc: Milton, Ontario

Posted: 2/8/2013 10:03:09 AM
If you buy manual for letters, it will be a big investment for alphabets. You might be able to get some nice used ones for $25. New can be upwards of $100.

If you go electronic, you have letters for free as you can use any ttf font (at least, that is the case with the Cameo).

Wise~old Pea

PeaNut 17,460
June 2001
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Loc: Central NJ

Posted: 2/8/2013 10:11:33 AM
The Sizzlit alphas are going for $10-$15 on the FSOT board right here at 2Peas. IF you look around you might find a Sidekick that will take those. Or the best other manual is the Bigshot, IMHO.


PeaNut 465,906
April 2010
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 2/8/2013 11:32:37 AM
Js, Ms, and HL all carry the blue BS. Overstock (dot) com has some package deals, as does Sizzix (dot) com. I got mine from Amazon because I could pay $4 for prime overnight and I had it the next day. It's $65 there right now, but I'm pretty sure I paid about $55 for mine. They do have a BS with the bubble alpha for $80. That's a good deal.


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PeaNut 475,563
July 2010
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 2/8/2013 12:40:59 PM
I think the Cameo is your best bet for letters. You can use any font you have and there are thousands of free ones out there you can download. The Big Shot is cheaper (and I use it all the time) but in the long run you will pay more if you are buying alphas for it. Even at $15 a piece you are looking at $75 for just 5 fonts.


PeaNut 567,699
September 2012
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Loc: NJ

Posted: 2/8/2013 3:36:31 PM
Cameo for sure.. You can get free fonts, buy fonts for cheap, etc? Unlike the cricut where you would have to buy an entire $40 cartridge every time you wanted a new image or font! Cameo all the way it's worth every penny especially considering all the great things you can do with the machine if you wanted to!



PeaNut 28,236
January 2002
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Posted: 2/8/2013 3:43:21 PM
Jo Ann's carries the black & pink big shot online. they always have big percent off sales. They have free shipping sometimes. I got mine at archivers with a 30 off coupie.


PeaNut 556,456
June 2012
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Posted: 2/8/2013 3:45:34 PM
I have both an electronic (like the Silhouette but a different brand) and the Big Shot. The BS is awesome but if your main desire is letters I have to agree with the Cameo. It will probably be cheaper in the long run, you can so scripty fonts much more easily and you can make them any size from tiny to huge.
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PeaNut 318,259
May 2007
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Loc: Florida

Posted: 2/8/2013 6:15:34 PM
Cameo for sure. With the big shot you have to buy the dies. If you are looking for a lot of variety, then I would suggest the cameo. I love mine!!
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PeaNut 41,525
June 2002
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Loc: Australia

Posted: 2/8/2013 7:38:28 PM
Definitely recommend the Cameo. I love being able to use hundreds of different free fonts. And of course you can change the size.
I know lots of people love the Big shot etc and using dies but personally I would not like to have the same alphabet, same size all through my albums.

Once you make the initial outlay on the Cameo you don't have to spend another cent if you choose. I don't know how much alphabet die sets cost but I'm assuming they are not cheap. I've had a Cameo for a year now and even with a $10 per month subscription it has still cost me way less money than my Slice or Cricut ever did. (and I only bought 8 cricut cartridges and 7 Slice cards!)

Go Tarheels!

PeaNut 90,289
June 2003
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Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:10:46 PM
My choice was the Sizzix Big Kick, a manual machine available at big box stores with a coupon! (If I recall correctly, I paid $45 + tax last summer. ETA: It's currently clearance priced for $49.99 at our local Michael's.) It's my understanding the Sizzix Big Kick functions exactly like the Sizzix Big Shot; the differences are cosmetic & cost. The machine can accommodate not only Sizzix dies, but also those from other manufacturers, such as Lifestyle Crafts/Quickutz, Memory Box, Die-versions, etc. HTH & happy die-cutting!

Not so clever.

PeaNut 161,666
August 2004
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Loc: Chicago

Posted: 2/8/2013 9:26:12 PM
I have a Big Shot and love it (also have the Silhouette SD) but you should consider the Silhouette Portrait. It's smaller and less expensive than the Cameo, plus at $179 it's a better value since you don't have to buy anything additional (eventually mats and blades) but it cuts all the true type fonts in your computer.
The Big Shot is $100 and alphas run anywhere from $19.99 on up. It makes more sense if you can pay the initial amount of the Portrait and have access to unlimited amounts of free alphas.



Don't let the dreamkillers get me

PeaNut 109,681
October 2003
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Loc: so. california

Posted: 2/8/2013 10:25:15 PM
the great thing about the manual cutters is that you can cut thick items like fabric and chipboard that the electronic cutters can't. i have the sizzix original alphabet dies that i use with the manual cutter and i love the flexibility of cutting out foam core letters, fabric and felt letters, and chipboard letters. i also have the sizzix expression but i can only cut cardstock letters with it so i never use it for letters.

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PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
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Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 2/8/2013 11:54:43 PM
I have a big shot, a regular sizzix and the tag a long.
Honestly, I wouldn't buy these to use as alphabet cutters. The alphabets are pricey and you only get one for something like $89.

The cameo would be much better choice cost wise because i believe you can cut any true type font with it. Those are free and often come preinstalled on your computer.
So, with the cost of one $250 machine you can cut alphabets free for the life of the machine

Don't bother with the manual ones if you're interested in saving money, you will be out a lot trying to find alphabets you like

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