Scrap booking and card-making is a great hobby enjoyed by children and adults alike. Personalized cards add a special touch that can't be found in those commercially prepared cards. If you find that you're spending quite a fortune buying cuts and designs for your scrapbooking hobby, you might consider buying a die-cutting machine
Choosing a die cutting machine that's right for you doesn't have to be a daunting task.
Here are several factors to consider:
1. Your budget.
Most machines are above $300. You need to allocate how much you're willing to spend so you'll have a benchmark budget range. Some models are expensive, however they do have certain features that can't be found in cheaper models. Bear that in mind so you can adjust your budget properly. If money is of no object, then skip this section and move on to other factors.
2. Your technical skills.
Die-cutting machines are of 2 kinds: manual and electronic. Manual machines are the simplest to use, but they are limited in terms of design and function. Plus, they are not recommended for children as it poses safety hazard. Electronic ones, however, are easier and with more functionality and design options.
They are further divided into 2 types: cartridge-based and software-based. Cartridge-based machines are quicker to use - you can just load up the cartridge and then start cutting. Software-based machines require you to first design using a computer software before you can start cutting. This is good for advanced users and those that need elaborate designs. Of course, there are some machines like the Cricut Expression, which utilises both.
3. Your workspace.
If you plan on having a separate crafts room, then you can get bigger die-cutters that are great for mass production. However, if you only intend it for your own personal use, then you can opt for a smaller, more portable machine like the Cricut Imagine.
4. Your crafting needs.
You need to ask yourself why you want to have a die-cutting machine. Is it because you want to cut your own designs? Do you intend to use it for mass-production such as wedding invitation and greeting cards? Perhaps you plan to open your own crafts store selling die-cuts for scrapbooking and card-making. If this is the case, then you need a dedicated machine that can handle such volume, without breaking down or running into some bumps.
5. The type of material you plan to cut.
Some units have limited functionality in terms of the material it can cut. Some can only cut paper whereas others can cut a wide variety of materials such as vinyl, felt, chip board and fabric. Knowing what materials you'll be cutting will help you decide which machine to buy.
In choosing the right die-cutting machine for you, you need to consider your budget, your technical skills, your workspace, your crafting needs and the materials you plan to be working with.
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