Monday, 17 February 2014

X-Cut Xpress Review

A couple of people have asked what this new machine is like so here is my review; all views are my own.

By the way this is a long post, so you might like to get a cuppa and some chocolate to help you through.

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There are more good than bad points about this machine. I think the one that i wasn’t expecting was the thickness of card you can use when both embossing and cutting, it is only 216gsm, which isn’t that thick and less than the card stock i would use for a main card base.

Throughout this review i have followed the recommended settings that came with the machine instructions. I was advised that every machine is different and that you need to play with the settings on your own machine to achieve a perfect cut or emboss.

Saw this machine demonstrated by Crafty Devils at Event city on 6th February. I asked the demonstrator lots of questions but didn’t think to ask about the maximum card stock weight the X-cut would take.  I am so used to my Bigkick, which will take practically anything you throw at it, including 350gsm Kraft card stock and leather, it didn’t cross my mind that another metal cog driven machine couldn’t cope with the same.

I primarily wanted a machine that could use the A4 embossing folders and take all of my other dies, including my Sizzix Bigz dies, the following is what i tested on the X-cut.

The thing i do love about this machine is that it folds up and doesn’t have a huge footprint. It is a tad heavy but that’s because the insides of this machine are all metal, no plastic parts so it should last a long time.

In the box you get the machine and three platforms, 12mm is the base plate, 3mm is the cutting plate and a metal plate. You only need these three plates as there is a dial on top of the roller area which you can move to increase or decrease pressure when cutting different thicknesses of materials.

You also get a sheet of instructions called the matrix which advises you on how to use your machine safely and what settings to use for each different die and material.

 

DIE CUTTING

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Firstly i tested a long strip Tim Holtz Alphabet die. You can see that i wasn’t able to place the strip lengthways so cut it diagonally. The results are not good as i wasn’t able to get a clean cut, even though i ran it through twice. Used a medium weight paper for this, around 160gsm. I have used the same paper for most of the cuts as i wanted to be consistent with materials.

It might be because it was the first cut with the machine or because i haven’t seen anyone cut a strip die yet and haven’t done it correctly. The rest of the thin die cuts, using different makes of die, all cut exceptionally well.

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Vintaj metal embossing folder, which will cut paper bottom left didn’t do too well but the rest cut beautifully. All are Sizzix or Provocraft thin dies with foam.

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Used a Marianne, Nellie Sneddon,Paper Artsy, Spellbinder and Memory Box die all together on the same mat using the same pressure. You can see the results above. Both the small cog and the delicate vine border didn’t fare very well.

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I cut the Memory Box die on it’s own and got a superb cut, so crisp and the paper fell right out of the die,very impressed. Not too sure why i didn’t get the same results when cutting all on the mat.

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Acrylic Felt.

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Organza

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Thin cotton fabric.

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Corrugated cardboard.

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Jute and Hessian.

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Mirror card.

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Mulberry paper.

Used a Paper Artsy thin die to cut all these fabrics out, used two passes on each one, all came out very well.  This is something i struggle to achieve with my Bigkick (not the mirror card).

 

EMBOSSING FOLDERS

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Sizzix set of die and embossing folders, great impression.

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The two folders above are from Sheena Douglass called Distress Splat and Ancient Arches, used 160gsm medium weight paper to get these results.

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Lightweight card 185gsm was used for the above debossing look. Used the Ornate Butterflies A4 folder, love how it has brought out the colour of the background card.

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The above images show an eBosser A4 embossing folder called Swirltangle on four different types of card and paper.

Black card 300gsm,the next two are Kraft card 300gsm (this card is far too fibrous for embossing and it doesn’t look even across the folder, won’t use this again for embossing with these folders),Centura Pearl 300gsm card and finally copy paper 80gsm.

The eBosser folders give a better impression than the Embossalicious folders do so upon reflection i think i would go for a deeper etched folder next time i buy one.

Forgot to include Bigz dies, ooops! This machine cuts them really well including cutting lightweight fabric. Haven’t tested leather or Grungeboard yet as didn’t have time!  

I have enjoyed testing out this machine but i will not be getting rid of my Bigkick as it is capable of getting a great impression with Kraft card and other thicker materials.

Hope you have enjoyed this review, apologies for the bad photography, some of the images were taken at night.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

xxx

14 comments:

  1. Great review, very thorough. I have a Big Shot and a Cricut, and really dont use them enough. My main problem is lack of space to have them out all the time.

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  2. The reason they didn't all cut when you "loaded" up the plate is some are deeper than others. That one could have been a narrow one and therefore the cuts were guaged at the deeper dies. I learnt that with the GC. It's the same for same brand as for different brands. XX

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Jax, still getting used to the machine. Take on board your comment and will try again :-) xxx

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  3. Very comprehensive review. I am more than happy with my BigShot but you've really given this machine a workout!

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  4. A very thorough and helpful review. You really have put it through its paces. Seeing what u achieved with the embossing folders reminded me just how much I love embossing and that I do not use it enough. Thank you for taking the time to post this review. Xx

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  5. Very interesting thank you. Wld love to know how it fares with grunge,

    Lucy x

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  6. Thanks hun. As you know I have the X cut, a big shot, an ebosser, a cuttlebug, & 2 cricuts. (think I have a problem?) Lol. Anyhoo, I love the ebosser & the big shot, but, mostly bought the x cut to take to crops. To get perfect embossing with dies, I use a rubber mat that came with the ebosser, & adjust the dial on the top. Good thing about the xcut compared with the ebosser is, if you get the sandwich wrong, you can wind back. Unlike my ebosser which I've jammed twice! Lol x

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    1. Great feedback Linda, thank you for the tip about the rubber mat. I only have a Bigkick & the X-Cut so need to poss invest in an A4 rubber mat!

      Got this because of metal parts like the Bigkick, thought it would have even pressure, still new & learning all the time.

      Might find somewhere that has a demo of machine & take notes! :-) xxx

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  7. This is a GREAT review, VERY helpful, thank you

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  8. A great review. We had to use a larger machine on Saturday, in the Helen Chiltern class, for the over embossing, as we were putting folders & card through at an angle. We used a Bigshot Pro, but it is huge, I would struggle to fit one in my craft room. Think I will stick with my Bigshot, as I probably wouldn't use a larger machine very much.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Alison xxx

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  9. So useful, thank you. I only have the BigShot, which I'm very happy with, but which can be tricky to work out the sandwich for thin dies with... Interesting that this one can only do such lightweight card. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Alison x

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  10. Can't see myself ever getting this machine, but if I do I'll be using your great review. Thanks for taking the time to be so thorough.

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  11. Great review was thinking of buying one

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  12. Great review was thinking of buying one

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