The Cricut Cuttlebug™ manual die cutting and embossing machine offers a simple, low-tech option for cutting and embossing a wide variety of materials.
If you are looking for a tiny, portable yet reliable manual die cutter, the Cricut Cuttlebug would be your best bet. And although it may not have the bells and whistles typical of the modern-day electronic die cutters, it seems to tick all the right boxes for anyone looking for consistent quality.
But does it measure up to the expectations the Cricut brand has set in the market? Let’s find out.
About The Cricut Cuttlebug
This embosser is designed to handle a wide range of materials among them leather, acetate, foils, thin wood, thin felt, thin metal, chipboard, cardstock, and paper. Please note that the thickness of the material should not exceed 1/8-inch and forcing extremely thick materials into the machine could get them stuck. Right out of the box, this unit comes with the following accessories:
- 1 A 6×8 plate
- Instruction booklet
- A2 embossing folder
- 2 B cutting plates (6×8)
- 2 Metal dies
- A 6×8 embossing mat
Please note that the C Plate is sold separately and does not come with the machine itself. It used to come with the older versions of the cutter but is no longer available with the V2 version.
Fortunately, you really don’t need the C plate unless you are planning to use dies from the likes of Spellbinders and Sizzix. Actually, we suspect that the reason why Provo Craft stopped providing the C plate for free is to limit the use of other manufacturers’ dies on its products. But then that’s just our view since Cricut is yet to release a clear statement on why they decided to take this route.
One thing you’re likely to notice at this point is how intelligently this machine has been constructed. In fact, its sides are meant to fold up such that they can be conveniently tucked away for easy storage and transport.
Yet another awesome feature you’ll only find in the Cuttlebug is that once you fold down the sides, a suction that’s located underneath is activated. This helps ensure that the machine remains firmly gripped on the work-surface – a big plus when stability is required.
And to top it all up, this cute little device weighs a paltry 7 pounds. That means you can take it with you anywhere you might be heading to without worrying that it might end up being too much of a bother along the way.
Its dimensions of 14.4×7.2×12 inches make it tiny enough to fit inside a typical tote bag. And the best part is that you can actually tuck away the handle located at the top to save even more space.
How It Works
Its manufacturers laud it for its abilities to create deep, professional-looking cuts. But you don’t have to take their word for it – which is why we have this Cricut Cuttlebug review in place for you.
When we put it to the test, we’d like to admit that it actually does deliver some smooth cuts. But unfortunately, you’re only limited to a cutting capacity of 6-inches which means you can’t work on dies or folders that are a bit larger than that.
Luckily, you can still use this device to emboss anything on A2 and 5×7 embossing folders as these two are compatible.
So, once again, although it has its limitations, the Cuttlebug seems to punch above its weight as far as the delivery of smooth cuts is concerned. We only wish that it could have had the capacity to accommodate larger dies and folders so it could be much more versatile to have around.
Otherwise, in our view, this seems like an above-average machine in terms of power. And the icing on the cake is that it is also highly reliable. It’s, however, not the deepest and most powerful die cutter we’ve encountered so far although we feel that it does a pretty decent job 99% of the time.
How to Use This Die Cutter
The best way to use this die cutter is by having the spacer and cutting pads form a sort of a sandwich with your die or folder. So, basically, the idea is to have this “sandwich” roll through the machine and for that you’ll need to crank the handle.
Luckily, Provo Craft has made this into a really well-made handle which besides being smooth and easy to operate is also quite durable. Plus you can always use the machine from either side meaning that the handle fits perfectly no matter whether you are left-handed or right-handed.
And, therefore, anyone can enjoy cutting and embossing using this machine. In fact, it’s safe-to-use even for the little ones.
You only need to remember that there’s a 6-inch limit to the size of the material that can pass through this machine. And also a 1/8-inch limit on thickness.
One thing we really like about this embosser is that it’s pretty well-built. And although its casing is almost entirely made up of polycarbonate plastic, it feels quite solid and sturdy.
As such, besides being light in weight it’s also long-lasting and reasonably powerful.
But even with that said, it’s still important to have a warranty coverage in place just in case. And fortunately, the Cuttlebug comes with a 1-year warranty to boot.
In general, unless you really expose this machine to heartless treatment, you can expect it to last for a whole lifetime. Just be careful not to force anything through its mouth openings.
The Cricut Cuttlebug may not be perfect but it certainly packs quite a few high-quality and pretty useful features. It is small in size which makes it a darling to anyone looking to save space. At the same time, it’s reasonably powerful which means you can comfortably use it to handle most cutting tasks.
The company behind it, Provo Craft, also enjoys a relatively good reputation in terms of customer support and honoring the manufacturer’s warranty. With all that said and done, we think that the Cuttlebug is worth giving a shot especially if you’re looking for a tiny and portable die cutter.
Hello there, my name is Carole Lokey from Texas. I am a die cutting and scrapbooking enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 15 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page. Learn More>>