Cut & Emboss Like a Pro
Since I reviewed Sizzix Big Shot and Big Shot Pro, it was a logical choice to conclude the full experience with the Pro version.
And, that’s what we’re doing today - reviewing Sizzix Big Shot Pro!
Today, Sizzix remains one of the most popular and sought of brands on the die-cutting machine market. It pleases the crowd with innovative, high-quality crafting tools and products, and in return, it can praise itself with quite a few awards.
If you are keen on expressing your artistic potential, but cannot decide which die-cutting machine would be a good companion on that quest, read my Sizzix Big Shot Pro review.
Sizzix Big Shot Pro is a reliable machine that is sure to inspire you to express yourself in the best possible way. I am sure that it will take up a place in your home and heart!
Spare a few minutes and give Sizzix Big Shot Pro a chance to win you over!
Sizzix Big Shot Pro: Key Points & Grades
The table that follows represents my personal opinion on Big Shot Pro, and you should use it only as a guide to forming your own opinion. I hope it helps!
|Sizzix Big Shot Pro Review|
|Supported accessories and materials||5/5|
|Value for money||4.25/5|
The following in-depth review will showcase my opinion and explain all there is to know about this versatile machine.
What Comes in The Box?
- 1 Big Shot Pro Machine
- 1 Standard Sliding Tray,
- 1 Standard Cutting Pad
- 1 Premium Crease Pad
- 2 Mylar Shims
- 1 Standard Adapter Pad
- 1 Die Pick
- 3-year limited warranty card
Specs and Highlight Features:
Dimensions - 61 x 54.9 x 20.3 cm (24 1/4" x 15" x 7 1/2")
Weight - 19.9 Kg (44 pounds)
Length of the opening: 13 inches (33 cm)
- Textured Impressions
- Embossing Folders
- Bigz Pro
It is also compatible with:
- Cricut Dies
- Spellbinder Dies
- Accucut Dies
- Fiskars Dies
- Paper and Cardstock
- Corrugated cardboard
- Fabric and felt
- Balsa Wood
- Craft metal such as thin brass and aluminum
Sizzix Big Shot Pro: Detailed Review
As soon as you open the box, you cannot but notice that this machine is huge and heavy. Weighing over 40 pounds, it can hardly be lifted and let alone be considered a portable device.
It is 24 1/4″ long, 15″ wide, and 7 1/2″ high and thus requires quite a portion of your working space. You also need to consider the fact that the handle sticks out five more inches.
Therefore, think good and hard where you want to put the Big Shot Pro as you will not feel delighted when you have to move it. It is solid as a rock!
Heaviness & Its Benefits
On the bright side, the machine will not move an inch while you cut materials. You can operate it single-handedly, unlike Big Shot or Cuttle Bug, which require both of your hands.
Some of that heaviness comes from the high-quality components and materials used in its construction. It boasts heavy-duty steel rollers, and that’s something you don’t find every day.
Its size comes with another advantage – it allows you to cut or emboss bigger items with a significant amount of force.
As a result, the choice of materials is almost limitless – Sizzix Big Shot Pro can even cut through multiple layers and thin sheet metal. More on that later, though.
When you put it like that, sacrificing extra space doesn’t seem like a considerable trade-off, now, does it?
The Big Shot Pro is, once again due to its size, ideal for quilting too. Its large working area allows you to use multiple dies or cut multiple layers at once, and that is sure to save you a lot of time.
Accessories & Storage space
Another potential negative is the fact that an average user needs more than the plates that are provided with the purchase of the Big Shot Pro machine.
You should, therefore, consider purchasing the Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory Bundle as it includes the Big Shot Pro Solo Platform. It is an essential addition for all of you who want to use the machine for embossing or to be able to use chemically-etched dies.
If your project includes working with wafer-thin dies, you’ll also need the Wafer-Thin Adapter. I know that many of you will not like the fact that you need to purchase these additional accessories, so it is better that you be warned up front.
There are also extended accessories for your Big Shot Pro die-cutter, but you will need those only if you plan to use longer dies. The extended adapter and plates are longer than the regular ones - to be precise, they are 26 inches long. I recommend these extended accessories to those of you who are dedicated quilters as they will allow you to cut long pieces of fabric more easily.
You can also buy the Big Shot Pro Machine with extended accessories, the so-called “quilter addition,” right away.
Although it is a bit more expensive, you will not need to make any additional purchases and will be able to get down to quilting right away. You might not save any money, but it will save you some time and effort.
Here is what you will get:
- Extended Sliding Tray
- Pair of Extended Cutting Pads
- Extended Adapter Pad
- Die Pick
Even though there are some downsides to it, the good things still prevail. For instance, it comes with built-in storage space, big enough to fit your tools, materials, and dies, covered by a sliding tray. Once closed, the machine operates as usual.
Performance & User Experience
So far, I’ve mostly talked about the technical aspects of the Big Shot Pro, and I think it’s about time to address the most critical part – its performance.
First things first, though. It requires minimal assembly – screw on the handle onto the roller shaft, and you’ll be good to go.
The included manual is rather detailed and filled with visual explanations, so mastering the basics shouldn’t be an issue. However, I’d like to go over the essential setup and usage tips with you for good measure.
Start by finding a spot for it in your office or home – a flat, sturdy, clean, non-skid surface. I did struggle a bit with this due to the sheer dimensions of the machine. Be sure that it doesn’t overhang the edges of your work area, and that you’re happy with the spot you picked, too. Moving it around a lot is not an option – at least not a fast and easy one.
The Big Shot Pro is a die-cutting and embossing machine that employs a roller system with layers of plastic adapters, the so-called “sandwiches.” It works with a wide range of dies, which seems confusing at first. Surprisingly enough, getting started on your project is relatively easy, as long as you keep a few vital guidelines in mind:
Place your die onto a cutting pad of appropriate size, with paper or any other desired material on top of it. Then, add the top cutting pad to create the “sandwich,” which then goes onto the adapter pad, and in the sliding tray. Get hold of the handle, and start cranking. Once it passes through the rollers, that’s it; your die-cut shapes are done!
After putting it through rigorous testing, I can confidently conclude that it’s built to last – and perform exceptionally well, too.
It worked through an impressive range of materials, from paper to leather, like a champ. I even tried cutting sheet metals, such as aluminum, brass, and copper, and it held up perfectly.
It’s ideal for quilting, as well. The extensive work area allows you to use multiple dies and cut numerous layers – up to eight layers, to be precise – at once.
Maintenance & Warranty
Maintenance-wise, the Big Shot Pro doesn’t ask for much. You won’t have to bother with oiling or lubricating any parts, which is always a plus.
You should, however, pay attention to a few parts that are more likely to show signs of wear and tear. That includes the four sliding plates located on the sides and the cutting plates.
The former is made of plastic, and have to be replaced as a whole in case of damage. It’s an added cost you can easily avoid by taking some extra care. The latter is prone to developing scratches and warping as a result of continuous wear. Avoid this by distributing smaller dies throughout the plate.
The Sizzix Big Shot Pro comes with a three-year limited warranty, which covers all manufacturing defects, with the promise of repairing or replacing any defective parts. However, note that this doesn’t include possible damage caused by any misuse of the machine.
Big Shot Pro vs. Big Shot vs. Big Shot Plus: Comparison Chart
Now, since I already reviewed other well-known models coming from the same brand, a classic in the die-cutting industry – the Sizzix – it only makes sense to take a moment to compare their performances, too. I aim to give you the whole picture in hopes of helping you make the right call.
So, if you’re curious which one of them – the Big Shot Pro, the Big Shot, or the Big Shot Plus – wins the battle of Sizzix die-cutting machines, check out the chart below for a detailed side-by-side comparison.
|Product Name||Functions||Compatibility||Cutting Size||Dimensions||Weight||Warranty||Rating|
|Big Shot Pro||Cutting and embossing||Entire Sizzix product library||13 inches wide||24.25 x 15 x 7.5 inches||44 pounds||3-year limited warranty||4.0/5|
|Big Shot||Cutting and embossing||Entire Sizzix product library||6 inches wide||14.25 x 12.4 x 6.6 inches||7.5 pounds||1-year warranty (3 years optional)||4.6/5|
|Big Shot Plus||Cutting and embossing||Entire Sizzix product library||9 inches wide||15.75 x 11.75 x 7.5 inches||17 pounds||1-year warranty (3 years optional)||4.5/5|
Feel free to check out my Big Shot and Big Shot Plus reviews for more info as well!
Advantages & Disadvantages
As I’ve already pointed out, the Sizzix Big Shot Pro is a versatile and well-built die cutting machine capable of smoothly cutting through almost any die. Some of you might not appreciate its size, but one man’s trash has always been another man’s treasure. I’m sure that others will buy this machine for that very reason.
Let’s list all the advantages and disadvantages of the Big Shot Pro so that you can make a final decision and answer the question:
Is the Sizzix Big Shot Pro machine for me?
- Easy to use
- Hand crank guarantees a smooth feed
- Can cut and emboss up to 12″ x 14″
- 13″ opening allows you to use all kinds of materials
- Compatible with all Sizzix’s library of dies
- Cuts multiple layers
- High quality of cutting and embossing
- Ideal for both crafters and quilters
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Three-year limited warranty
- Bulky and heavy (it weighs more than 40 lbs!)
- Not suitable for all kinds of professional work
- A bit pricey
Sizzix is a renowned company that deserves credit for the invention of die-cutting machines. Their Big Shot Pro machine continues the legacy and brings about excellent performance and a world of possibilities. It is definitely a good purchase - if you can afford it!
The main question is: do you need such an advanced machine? If you do, you will surely not mind its size, weight, or price. Am I right?