Overall Rating
4.1

Introduction

Have you been looking for a big, no-nonsense manual die cutter? The Sizzix Big Shot Pro might just be what you need. It’s big, heavy, and massively powerful. And while that makes it less desirable for anyone searching for an easily portable machine, it remains a great choice when power and extra capacity are required. That said, it doesn’t come cheap. Here are our two cents on whether it’s worth investing in or not.



Sizzix Big Shot Pro Overview

Sizzix has maintained a firm grip on the manual die cutters market for a long time. In fact, apart from the Big Shot Pro model which is designed for medium to large-scale manual cutting, they also have another smaller Big Shot model which is popularly used for small to medium scale cutting.

One thing that really stands out about the Big Shot Pro, in particular, is that it can be used with different dies. In fact, it can accommodate pretty much all kinds of dies available out there in the world:

  • Ellison dies
  • Spellbinder dies
  • Fiskar dies
  • Accucut dies
  • Cricut dies
  • SureCut dies

The list of dies that can be used on the Big Shot Pro goes on and on – and of course, the main benefit here is that you can always get better bargains when shopping for those due to the extended sovereignty. Besides that, you also get extra freedom to be creative since you can acquire a wide variety of dies and use them to create different patterns for your projects.

Key Features of the Big Shot Pro

Don’t let its large size fool you, the machine is actually quite simple. And, therefore, its list of features is also rather short.

1. Sliding Tray

This manual die cutter comes complete with a wonderful tray that easily glides across making it possible to make cuts from either side. The tray is large enough and can accommodate up to 5 average-sized dies at once. Therefore, you can cut multiple patterns in one go which also means that you can save a lot of time while using this.

Please note that the option to purchase different kinds of trays exists. There are some people who complain that the extended tray is tricky to use but there are also those who swear by it. Whichever way, it’s comforting to note that you can always order for different-sized trays depending on your preferences.

2. Storage Space

The die cutter provides ample, built-in storage space. This is a perfect place to store your materials, tools and even dies. What’s more? This storage area sits right below the sliding tray’s rails.

Therefore, you can have all the stored materials safely tucked beneath the tray and still get to operate the machine normally.

3. Handle

This is made from metal alloys and has a soft, ergonomic handling surface. It sticks out 5-inches providing you with just enough space to rotate the gears freely. To make the deal even sweeter, its gears run smoothly such that even a 5-year-old can easily crank it.

What’s more? It operates quietly. And all thanks to the machines 44-pound weight, this handle can be operated with one hand as the machine does not wobble.

4. Build-Quality

The last thing you want to invest in is a large machine that’s weak. Luckily, you don’t have to deal with that here. What you get is a tool whose exterior is made from ABS plastic, TPR, POM Plastic, and rubber. Its key moving parts are either made from steel, metal alloy or aluminum.

There is no denying that the machine is well-made and is capable of running for several years without any major issues. It’s no wonder the manufacturer backs it up with a 3-year warranty.

5. Weight & Size

The Big Shot Pro has a length of 24 1/4-inch, a width of 15-inch, and height of 7 1/2-inch. It also weighs in at 44 pounds. So, you might want to avoid it if you’re looking for something compact to be taking with you to your local die cutting meetups. Its smaller brother the Big Shot would probably be a better choice if portability is a priority.

6. Adapter Pad

This is a high-quality adapter pad made from plastic resin. It comes in handy when you need to make a sandwich. The special design of this pad eliminates the guesswork involved in making die sandwiches. You’d, however, need to buy a larger one if you use extra-large dies.

7. Cutting Pad

The Pro’s cutting pads are made from high-quality polycarbonate plastic. These see-through pads make it extremely easy to create a sandwich and easily roll through the machine during cutting. However, you may need to use a crease pad if the dies you’re using contain a crease rule.

8. Crease Pad

This is a must-have if the dies you’re using have a crease rule e.g. dies for envelopes, boxes, bags, 3D popups, and even cards. It measures 14 1/4-inch x 12 1/4-inch x 1/8-inch and has been specially created with subtle fold lines for the job.

9. Mylar Shims

You get a pair of these with your initial purchase of the Sizzix Big Shot Pro – but what are they for? Well, when your cutting pad or crease pad wears, the Mylar Shims will come in handy in compensating for the variations. Likewise, the shims can come in handy in compensating for the variations in paper thickness.

So, if you notice that your steel rule dies are not cutting the shape out completely, you can always make use of these to correct that.

List of Materials This Die Cutter Can Cut

Thanks to its powerful jaws, this bad boy can comfortably cut the following materials.

  • Flattened aluminum cans
  • Balsa wood
  • Matboard
  • Chipboard
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Felt and fabric
  • Foam
  • Thin leather
  • Cork
  • Thin brass

What We Like About It

  • It has a large working surface
  • Easy to operate (one-hand operation)
  • Can be used with almost all kinds of dies available
  • Easily cuts through most commonly used materials
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty
  • Easy to maintain, no oiling or lubrication is needed for it

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s extremely heavy and large in size and, therefore, isn’t easily portable
  • It retails at well above 300 bucks which makes it quite pricey

Final Thoughts

A big machine that can accommodate multiple dies can be a great find if you want to get the most from your craft. We’d, therefore, recommend the Sizzix Big Shot Pro to anyone looking to scale up their die cutting activity. Its heavy-duty design makes it ideal for both commercial and residential use.