Nowadays, more and more people spend their time handcrafting since this kind of activity has lots of positive effects. But they can’t do without special accessories, and I know that die-cut machines are good helpers. That is why I spent more than 20 hours in order to examine each item carefully and create a review of Sizzix vs Cricut devices. So what are we waiting for?
Comparison Table: Sizzix Big Shot vs Cricut Explore Air 2
I know it must be quite difficult to perceive lots of information, so I suggest checking the table below first. It contains some key features of both machines, so now it will be easier to deal with the review itself.
Key Features of Sizzix Big Shot
The compact size of the Sizzix Big Shot may not be encouraging for everyone at the first glance. However, after discovering all its specifications and functions, you will definitely change your mind. In fact, this is a really universal device since while it has its own dies that can create numerous designs, it is still compatible with the dies from other companies.
Its construction is unsophisticated thanks to a manually operated roller system and durable gears that are responsible for quality-made projects. As additional helpers, there are diagrams and guidelines that help to place the project correctly between the extended platform and the rollers. For extra customer confidence, the manufacturer supplies this machine with a 12-month limited warranty and additional 24 months after registering the product on the Sizzix website.
The machine is able to die-cut and emboss. Meanwhile, the variety of suitable materials to work with is pretty wide, but there is only one rule: their width shouldn’t exceed 6 inches. In particular, fabric, felt, foam, and, of course, paper can be used. If you are not sure whether the desired material can be cut in the machine, check whether stationery scissors are able to handle it.
The arsenal of dies that come with the device is limited; however, it can be expanded by purchasing the extra patterns. Besides, even the kit that the machine comes with is enough to deal with quilting, letterpressing, scrapbook projects, etc.
- It’s easy to work with
- It doesn’t require electricity and wires
- It is compatible with a variety of materials
- The construction is durable
- It’s compact yet practical
- It can be used with dies from other companies
- The project size is limited
- The quality of the screw for the crank is very low
Key Features of Cricut Explore Air 2
The first obvious thing about the Cricut Explore Air 2 is its sleek and pleasant design, and someone may not even guess what it is. In addition, the right color option of the device will match the whole design of the space where it will be. Its folding doors with 2 accessory compartments and a built-in holder for stationery tools will keep the things organized and won’t create a mess in a working space.
In terms of operating, the machine will do everything automatically, so it must be the best option for beginners. The only thing that the user needs to do is to adjust the settings before starting a new project, particularly to select the material type by using the dial on the control panel. Some settings can be selected in the special online software Cricut Design Space. Meanwhile, the most appealing feature of this device is that it can cut whatever design you want, even if you’ve created it by yourself. It is possible thanks to the special construction, which implies installing a blade, pen, or even both simultaneously.
The variety of suitable materials is huge, and they are not limited by the list mentioned on the dial; the required one can also be selected from the list in the program. Besides, the machine is smart and knows what pressure or speed should be applied in a particular case, even if not a cutting but writing or scoring mode is set. The only thing you should keep in mind when selecting the material, which is better suited for your project, is that the max length shouldn’t exceed 24 inches. However, be sure that the size will be appropriate for scrapbooking, decor, home-made gifts, etc.
- There are a few available color options to match the design of your room
- The construction is solid
- It is capable of writing and cutting
- It’s easy to operate via an online program and a mobile application
- It’s fast
- The blades are really durable since they are made of carbide
- It is compatible with the huge variety of materials
- It has some storage space
- It’s impossible to start the process without an application or online program
- It can be noisy
So, What Is the Difference Between Them?
For those who are not familiar with die-cutting machines, it may be too challenging to understand the difference between these two items. Thus, in order to compare them, you need to carefully investigate the specifications and functions of each. But not now since I’m going to provide you with the highlights of the mentioned-above machines.
The Sizzix Big Shot and the Cricut Explore Air 2 belong to different types of die-cut machines: the former is manually operated by twisting the handle, while the latter is electrically powered. However, you should keep in mind that the Big Shot doesn’t require electricity, so it can be used anywhere.
The principle of operation is the next difference. The Big Shot model requires user’s interference, particularly setting up the “sandwich” according to the required result. Despite the fact that the Explore Air 2 also needs some user’s “help” in order to launch the process, it is not the same thing at all since the latter requires only selecting the settings and a pattern in the program.
The width of the materials the machines can handle is another distinction. The Explore Air 2 is able to cut the projects up to 12 inches wide, while the Big Shot has a cutting capability of only up to 6 inches wide.
Are the Sizzix Big Shot and Cricut Explore Air 2 Right for You?
If you are now confused and asking yourself, “Is it better to use the Explore Air 2 rather than the Big Shot?” here are some prompts that you should know about these two devices. If you need some basic cutting options that don’t require numerous repetitions and size options, then the Big Shot is the best choice for you. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner looking to deal with lots of potential cutting projects that have to be multiplied, then you should consider proceeding with the Cricut Explore Air 2. Hopefully, the comparison of both die-cut machines, the Explore Air 2 versus Big Shot, I’ve created has helped you to make the right decision, and now you enjoy your handcrafting more!
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- Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White & Gray) – https://www.sizzix.com/
- Cricut Explore Family – https://cricut.com
- Opinions on Sizzix Big Shot / Big Shot Plus? – https://www.reddit.com/
- Getting Started With The Cricut Explore Air 2 & Easy DIY– https://www.youtube.com/
- How to Use the Big Shot Machine – https://www.youtube.com/