Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die Cutting and Embossing Machine Review
The Sizzix Big Shot Pro is a professional quality die cutting and embossing machine that uses a wide variety of dies to cut and emboss materials from paper to leather and even sheet metal.
Ease of Use, Performance: 5/5
Look & Feel: 5/5
How much I enjoy: 5/5
Recommendation: 5/5 Stars
The Sizzix Big Shot Pro is a die cutting and embossing machine that uses just about any die cutting dies from companies like Spellbinders, Accucut and Fiskars. The Big Shot Pro is a quality machine built with steel rollers and a metal body with only plastic used for the interior tray and adapters.
The Big Shot Pro works as a die cutting and embossing machine with its roller system and layers of plastic adapters called sandwiches. Simply put the dies or embossing folders press into your material at the correct height due to the proper sandwich so your material is cut or embossed.
The Big Shot Pro is a larger machine at about 24.5 by 15 inches and about 7.5 inches tall with the handle sticking out another 5 inches if attached. The extended adapter tray is about 27 inches long so if you are looking for a carry case you need to take into account the adapter tray you have and the handle being attached or not.
The sandwiches consist of layers of plastic to bring the dies to the correct thickness so the material you use is cut but you can use dies and embossing dies from other companies. Most of the die cutting machines use a base and cutting pad that is expendable when using dies which is a pretty inexpensive part of die cutting.
The cutting pad is what the dies cut against much like a cutting board in the kitchen so that the rest of the sandwich does not get damaged. Sizzix sells accessories like the cutting pads as well as adapter pads in a package so that you can use any of the Sizzix dies as well as dies from other companies.
The Big Shot Pro is available in two packages with a standard size of about 14.5 by 12.25 inches while the extended set is about 26 by 12.25 inches. The extended pad is nice as the tray and pads are long in case you want to use longer dies and does save you money if you buy that set instead of buying the tray and pads separately.
If you are purchasing a Big Shot Pro I seriously would just buy the Extended Accessory set as you can always just use the tray and pad without the larger cutting pads. Purchasing some extras like smaller cutting pads and using them on the larger tray and adapter works well.
Dies come in specific thicknesses like the steel rule dies from Sizzix that have a thin steel blade that is embedded in a wood or plastic base. Thinner dies like the wafer dies use pressure against the rounded die to cut while the steel rule dies use a sharp edge to cut.
For most of the thicker steel rule dies you will use the metal tray, adapter pad and the two clear cutting pads to cut materials. When using the Framelits or Nestabilities wafer dies you can cut most materials but for things like metal and leather some of the thin dies may not cut these.
The Big Shot Pro can use the thinner wafer dies but you will need to buy additional adapter pads to make up for the thinner dies. The Big Shot Pro Accessory set for using the wafer thin dies costs about $60 and is a great buy as well as a required set to cut and emboss with the wafer thin dies and more.
Sizzix as well as brick and mortar stores like Hobby Lobby sell the 8.72 by 6.125 inch cutting pads that are a great size for most of the smaller dies. I have used this size cutting pad on the extended adapter and do not have to move the adapter much when cutting.
I have been using the Big Shot Pro for about a month and have tried cutting a wide variety of materials which the machine has had no problems cutting. Papers of all kinds, cork, leather up to about 1/8th of an inch and sheet metals like aluminum brass and copper all cut without problems.
I tried cutting some galvanized sheet metal that is 28 gauge or .0149 but it only embossed the metal using a Bigz die so thick metals above about .01 will probably not cut. I have had no problems cutting thinner metals like aluminum and copper as well as a wider variety of other materials.
I even cut through 2 inch thick foam to make a puzzle out of foam that would be great for kids in the tub or playing in the pool. I am going to try some other things like using expandable sponges for some kids toys and some other ideas I have that may or may not work out.
While I have not made very many useful scrapbooking or crafting objects I have started to find out all the various things you can do with the Big Shot Pro. Creating cards and a variety of paper objects like small boxes and cartons for gifts is a start while scrapbooking embellishments is another common thing.
You can come up with all kinds of projects and there are also plenty of websites that will help with things to do with your Big Shot Pro. Whether its scrapbooking and simple crafts like making cards for family or for business use like creating boxes for sale items the Big Shot Pro is the perfect die cutting machine.
I highly recommend the Big Shot Pro for a high quality die cutting machine that has plenty of dies available form both Sizzix and several other companies.
Solid quality and construction
Easy to use
Can use other companies dies
Dies and machines can be expensive