I’ve been asked the question: Which are better, dies or punches? My answer is: Since both tools have a job to do, it makes sense that one is not better than the other, in general. It totally depends upon what you want to accomplish! Because today’s feature is Sizzix on Saturday, we’ll talk about dies! I’ll talk about punches in my Tool Time on Tuesday feature.
The Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (#113439) is a very versatile tool: it cuts shapes from multiple pieces of card stock or paper with less-detailed designs; it cuts and scores certain dies (Designer Rosette Bigz™ XL #125594 or Petite Purse Bigz™ L #125606) on single sheets; it cuts shapes from Framelits™, Edgelits™ and Thinlits™ on single sheets; it cuts and embosses with Embosslits™ on single pieces; it cuts more detailed designs from single sheets or pieces with Sizzlits™ and it embosses with Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folders or Texturz™ Plates.
The Big Shot cuts a variety of materials and is best for die-cutting Glimmer Paper. Punches have a hard time cutting through Glimmer Paper and can quickly go dull if they do cut through it. Big Shot Dies don’t dull as readily. The Big Shot can also cut through thicker materials than punches.
I’ve been playing with my new Four Feathers Bundle (#137629, wood; #137630, clear), which includes the Four Feathers Stamp Set (#135050, wood; #135053, clear) and the Feathers Framelits™ Dies (#135852). This week, I covered Very Vanilla 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (#101650) with Watercolor Wonder Designer Washi Tape (#133000) and stamped on it. I didn’t have to stamp, I could have cut out feathers without the images, but I wanted to tie together the colors. Besides, I was experimenting, as you can read about in my Tips for Using Washi Tape post. The Framelits™ cut out the shapes through the Washi Tape very well. Punches wouldn’t be able to get through the thickness.
It’s very easy to line up images inside Framelits™. The Big Shot Magnetic Platform (#130658) holds the die in place as long as your Cutting Pads (#113475) are unwarped. You also should only use one die at a time. However, you can use more than one die at one time if you are not worried about lining up with images or if you keep the Framelits™ lined up with the images by holding them down with Post-It™ Notes. Securing the dies with Post-Its also lets you use warped Cutting Pads, but the Framelit can sometimes go out of alignment anyway.
Other Supplies Used in Example: Good Greetings Stamp Set (#135014, wood; #135017, clear – only available free to Hosts with a $300 or more PlayShop); Pool Party (#122924), Island Indigo (#122923) & Brushed Gold (#102935) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Subtles Designer Series Paper Stack (#130135); Island Indigo Classic Stampin’ Pad (#126986); Island Indigo 1/4” Cotton Ribbon (#134557); Fast Fuse Adhesive (#129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (#104430)
To summarize, Dies are better than Punches for:
- Cutting through thicker materials
- Cutting a stack of card stock or paper (3 to 5 sheets max)
- Lining up stamped images with the matching or coordinating Framelits™
To order what you need to play with your own Big Shot Dies, and see for yourself which is better – dies or punches, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150. As a bonus, from now through October 31st, you’ll receive the free Good Greetings Stamp Set for a $300 order or PlayShop!