There are now so many different manual die-cutting machines to choose from!  How do you know which one to choose?

Which manual die-cutting machine is for you?

We've rounded up the opinion of papercrafters, cardmakers and scrapbookers to find the best manual die-cutting machine as confirmed by you!

Spellbinders Platinum Machine

The Spellbinders Platinum is a large manual die-cutting machine which features VersaCut technology, offering unsurpassed power, strength and durability. Unlike it's predecessors, this machine doesn't fold away but is solid in construction and will effortlessly cut up to eight layers in a single pass! The Platinum cuts through a wide range of thick to thin materials, from paper and cotton, to metal and balsa wood!

Sizzix Big Shot Machine

The Big Shot machine has been through a few makeovers in it's time but this sleek grey and white version is here to stay! This model of the Big Shot die-cutting machine offers versatility of working with the entire Sizzix product library (with the exception of Bigz Plus and Bigz Pro dies) - including 6"-wide Sizzix plastic-backed die cutting dies and embossing tools - as well as products from many other supplies. The perks of this machine include portability, and a large platform to support your sandwich of plates.


CraftStash have a fantastic offer on a Sizzix Big Shot Bundle! WAS £151.79, NOW £94.99!


Gemini Midi

Although Gemini is known for it's fantastic collection of electronic die-cutting machines, Crafter's Companion have introduced the Midi. The Gemini Midi has been designed to create effortlessly smooth and perfectly precise results simply by the turn of a handle. This compact and portable manual machine is a great essential when crafting on-the-go and features strong suction cups to ensure it does not move when it is in use. To secure the machine to your surface hold the top and push down firmly, the suction cups will activate and the machine will steady. This is the cheapest option for manual die-cutting machines, but is limited in size unlike the other examples.


CraftWorld User Reviews

"I love my sizzix foldaway as you always get a good cut/impression but it stores away neatly and makes it easy to move room to room if its needed!"

"My Big Shot without a doubt! I also have a Big Shot Plus, but will use the standard size one for everything except the big dies that won't fit."

"Sizzix big shot for me, and for larger projects the Big shot pro. They are both true work horses that never, ever let me down. I own lots of others too but they don’t come close."

CraftStash Customers

"I have had many machines the Grand Calibre was great, I then had the Platinum which I do still use, I bought a Gemini but just can’t get on with it. The best machine in my opinion is the Big Shot Plus it’s so smooth and easy to use so that’s my main choice."

"I have a Grand Calibur (2nd Gen.) and Platinum. I like the plates for the Grand Calibur better than any of the other plates, but I can't use steel rule dies and I have trouble finding the right sandwich for embossing folders. The Platinum does well with steel rule dies and generally well with the wafer dies, but I have trouble with the plates going through crooked and making the machine hard to crank and/or damaging the plates. I don't like how soft the plates are; they don't last as long and warp easily.

I have several Sizzix machines, from the Sidekick to the Express (a replacement for my old regular Big Shot–they do wear down after a few years of consistent use)–to a Big Shot Plus, which is my favorite for embossing folders of any type, to a Big Shot Pro, which I need because I like to use Pro dies to cut envelopes. The switch on my Express is a bit finicky, but otherwise I like the machine a lot. I generally use the Plus for those huge Tattered Lace Dies for cards and embossing. Regular cutting with thin dies depends on the size of the die. Tiny ones go through the Sidekick, mostly I use the smaller plates for the Spellbinders machines, but I take advantage of being able to place the paper and die askew for better cutting of straight lines on those machines. I like the precision base plate for the Express and complex dies. Most of the embossing dies get run through the Grand Calibur."

Christina Griffiths in her exclusive CraftWorld live chat-  

The one I use every single day is the Spellbinders Platinum … the large one and I love it. It is so strong and sturdy and I have used the same machine for years. To make my boxes the large platform is needed and I know it is not a cheap item but it is so well worth the money

The overall winner... the Sizzix Big Shot!

Did you guess it? In clear first place in our CraftStash survey with an overwhelming response is the famous Sizzix Big Shot.

Compatible with the entire Sizzix range of dies (excluding Big Shot Pro dies) as well as the majority of dies on the market. This machine is terrific value for money.

You can find out more about this die-cutting machine here – Sizzix Big Shot die-cutting machine

Check out reviews for electronic die-cutting machines and our basic guide to die-cutting!

Gemini Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine Reviews

Die-cutting for Beginners