Friday, 23 September 2016

Guillotines, Trimmers & more shopping......

Good Morning Ladies,

We all buy the same type of tools at some point along our Crafting journey, whether its something as simple as Scissors, of which there are thousands and as many bad as good, or die cutting machines.  So I thought that it would be good to share some of our experiences with different brands of machines and tools, it would then be a good reference guide for any of us thinking of buying new tools or upgrading.
I will give my experience on each tool we feature but it wouldn't be anything without your experiences too, so please add your favourite make of tool and why you like it.

This weeks we are featuring : Guillotines and Trimmers

The Trimmers I have used over the years are .........

The Xcut Guillotine (small)

This was my first Guillotine style cutter, I still use it today for smaller jobs, my only problem with this cutter was its size, I found it frustrating that you were so restricted lengthwise, apart from the size I haven't really had a problem with the Xcut Guillotine. Bearing that in mind I moved on to ..........

The Tonic 12 x 12 Guillotine

I upgraded to the larger 12 x 12 guillotine after being frustrated with limited size of paper I could use in the XCut, for about 3 years this Tonic Guillotine worked well, its handle and ruler extension fit underneath the guillotine, making it easier to store and take with you to craft in classes or with friends. 
However after about 3 years my cuts become more and more 'wonky', no matter how many bits I trimmed off, I started with a 10 x 10 inch piece of card and end up with a wonky postage stamp!  Paul took the handle off and reattached and tightened it and it seemed better but within a few cuts it returned to cutting a wonky line, if you look at it closely you can see that the blade is bowed slightly, which is what is causing the problem, so this one is now retired! It cost me about £39.99 at the time, which isn't cheap.   I then went on to try .............
The Xcut 13 inch Guillotine

I only had the Xcut 13inch trimmer for about at month at the very most, it had a frustrating issue, the handle/blade tightened with each cut, so after a few cuts I had to get paul to use an Alan key to loosen the handle, so frustrating ! 
In desperation I went for .............
Tonic Super Trimmer 

How frustrated I was with this trimmer, it cost be about £20 and the first few cuts were fine, one frustrating point is that you have to remove the  scoring blade if you are cutting a 12 inch piece of paper and the cutting blade if you are scoring a 12 in piece of paper!  The major issue though is that after about 15 to 20 cuts the 'v' blade blunts, giving a 'fearhered' finish to thicker paper and it just wrinkles and tears thinner paper, I ruined many pieces of paper with this tool! 

The Cutterpillar Pro

This is my latest Cutter, The 'Cutterpillar Pro', it was a birthday gift from Paul, (I think he got fed up of hearing me complain about ruining paper and card)! 
Obviously it is a lot more expensive than the other cutters featured above at £119  but I have wasted what this one cost on rubbish trimmers before!  
So far so good, it has a lifetime guarantee on its blade, which is said to sharpen itself with every cut. Its a good size and the the cutting is very easy. 
I will update this review in a months time, to see if its still performing as it should.

Now I have a review from Karen on her experience with Paper Cutters.....

 - I have a very old X-cut guillotine which I bought from a closing down sale It's OK but you cannot line up for prcision cutting very easily - your pleat card being a perfect example for lining up the cutting line and sometimes it doesn't appear to cut squarely.
I also have a Fiskars A4 trimmer which you can line up really accurately for the cut line but doesn't cut at all well. I think I've binned it because I was going to take photos of them both and can't find it!

Thank you Karen, I think your review goes along with what I have said above.

Lillian's Trimmer Review.......

Hello Sandra, this is the trimmer that I use now, it's by fiskars, I had the old model for years but this new one has a fine wire so you can see exactly where it's going to cut.
I bought it at the range a couple of years ago,can't remember exactly how much about £25 if my memory serves me right.

I had the very expensive cutterpiller bought which cost an arm and a leg, saw Mel on C&C selling it, and thought it looked good, but really don't find it any near as good as the fiskars , teach me not to take to much notice of selling on tv. The only draw back with the fiskars is that you have change the blade quite frequently.

Hope this helps, I have had many others , too much to mention as they weren't much good.

Thank you Lilian, I have a friend down the road that uses this Fiskars trimmer and she swears by it, she also finds the guide wire very useful, she doesn't use it very often though.
I am interested to read your comment about the Cutterpillar Pro, what is it that frustrates you, I tried to ignore the fact that 'I couldn't wait to bring this trimmer to you' Mel was selling it, I bought a Cricut cutting machine under her influence, I have seen her contradict herself so many times now, even Paul laughs when he sees her on screen, I don't doubt she puts the work in getting to know machines, I just find her a little hard to believe, I guess she is a fantastic saleswoman though, I'm sure a good many of us have bought a punch or machine after a 'Mel' sales pitch.
So far I haven't had any issues but I haven't had mine as long as you.

I would love to hear what the rest of you have experienced, so please leave your comments below...

Now for some more Craft Shopping ............

Anne's Craft Shopping

Anne you have bought some lovely new dies, the basic rounded corner rectangle dies are so useful, for either cutting apertures, making frames or creating a basic shape,
The Sizzix Tim Holtz Trees and Thinlits Background dies are fabulous, I am really looking forward to seeing how you use them, I love the Flower Garden stamps too, 
Having flower heads and stems separate is so useful, you can use the stems as extra foliage, grasses etc, the heads stamped individually can be cut out and decoupaged, again I look forward to seeing what you make with them. 
Thank you so much for sharing your shopping with us xxx

My other shopping......

I had some birthday money to spend when we got back from holiday so here are a few bits I bought.......
The Crafter's Companion Nordic Christmas Time Embossing Folder, I was inspired by one of Val's Christmas card to buy this folder, I love its clean, crisp look. 

The inkyliscious Winter Bauble kit, I saw this a few months ago on their website, they had a link to their blog, showcasing this technique, I was hooked there and then, I bought this just before we went away, its surprisingly easy to use, I love it.

I have wanted a Window die for months now, I think that you all know that as I have mentioned it more than once, I originally wanted the Memory Box Madison Window, well I think they must have discontinued it as I couldn't get it anywhere, I looked at many different ones but decided that the Tim Holtz Bigz Window was the one I wanted, I got this one for £10 on eBay. The Tattered Florals Bigz die is one I have had on my wishlist for years, it was on sale in Hobbycraft £10, so it went in my basket !

Now the last 3 photos were all 1 bargain purchase!!!, after Sue and I had spent a few hours browsing Pinterest I noticed I that my eye kept being caught by the Inkadinkadoo Grasses Silhouette Stamp, so I set out in search, I found it on eBay butvas part of a bundle, I 'ummed and aarghed' for an hour or two, but it only had three hours left, I decided I wanted it, I liked the butterflies too, so decided that I would bid no more than £18 which would be the cost of buying the two individually.
I put my bid in and waited, (it was on £8.50 when I started), much to my surprise I won the auction and call 8 sets cost me £13.50 !!! A real bargain. 

Please feel free to share your shopping with us anytime, just email me the photos.

Have a lovely day ladies, sorry for the huge post !

Love and hugs,


  1. Morning Ladies

    Lovely crafty purchases Sandra and an interesting review on trimmers. I've only ever had the small Xcut guillotine (same as yours) and it's been brilliant. The only downside is it's size do when I want to cut 12x12 card then I have to use my cutting knife and a metal ruler and I'm not that neat!!

    Sorry I didn't get chance to send a written review in last night but I ran out of time. I was late out of work, did the Tesco shopping, spoke to my Dad then put the shopping away after we'd eaten.

    We had some progress at work-the temporary site we're moving to is now a) secure and b) been fully cleaned & decontaminated so we can start moving our stuff in there which is a big worry off my mind. We're hoping to hear by Monday if the refurb work will go ahead on the 17th-I'm only in work next week then off for 2 weeks. Certainly never a dull moment at work right now!


    1. Hi Michele
      Work certainly keeps you on your toes.

  2. I'm totally with you SANDRA on the Mel shopping front I bought a punch which she was supposed to send me the measurements to be able to punch in a circle She never replied I bought a ScanNcut when they first came out Neither her or John Bloodsworth acknowledged my email/problem So I sent that back I am very very wary of her sales pitch now Must dash I need to shower and get off to work I'll be back

  3. Hi Sandra and all in the Café today.
    Thank you for a great review of trimmers and guillotines (guess who forgot to send you the details of mine!)
    I bought a Purple Cow trimmer from C & C not long after getting in to card making. It has a knob which you twist for several different styles of cuts, straight, wavy etc. The blade became blunt after only a couple of weeks of use and you had to buy new strips of plastic that lay on the base of the trimmer and they weren't cheap (didn't realise that at the time of purchase!).
    I went back to cutting with my trusty scalpel and metal ruler for a while then got the large Friskers trimmer, with the wire guide. This was OK for a couple of weeks then needed a new blade and it just got too expensive to have to change blades every week or so. Ruler and scalpel are still used every day, the only cost with that are new blades, traditional ones that one of my son's gets for me from his workplace, a blade lasts me at the very least a month. I will be very interested to see how your Cutterpillar Pro performs Sandra, will you have the same issues as Lilian? If the blade really is self sharpening then it could be just what we have been looking for all this time xx
    Anne, you have some lovely goodies, I love those tree stamps, keep looking at them but as I'm not a great stamper I haven't got them. The fir tree dies are great too, Mum and I did look around at Ally Pally at tree dies but didn't find any that were just what we wanted. These look just right, and as they are Sizzix they will cut beautifully won't they. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations using these goodies x
    Lilian, I hope your arm isn't as bad as last year's flu jab x
    Janet, I hope your tummy is improving x
    I'm baking cheese scones and Chris is making muffins for Mum's Macmillan Coffee morning tomorrow, and finishing my CC. I am determined to get it to you this week my lovely x
    Mum, don't go doing too much please. Love you xx
    Sending love and hugs with extras for Janet and all in need. Take care xx

  4. Hi Sandra and everyone.
    More lovely craft goodies :-) Anne, look forward to seeing your creations with the Sizzix corner dies - love the look of these and the other sets available. Sandra, your stamps were a fantastic bargain :-)
    Great reviews on the trimmers and guillotines - thank you for sharing :-)

    I have the same guillotines as your first two Sandra:
    The XCut small one, which was my first was fabulous apart from the size restriction and after many years of using it and eventually not getting a clean cut on some card types I decided it was time to upgrade to the Tonic 12x12 Guillotine. I have had it now about 3 years, and I am again now finding that I'm not always getting a clean, straight cut! I had put it down to the fact that I wasn't holding my card firmly enough on the machine or pulling the handle/blade down quick enough or that it was just the type of card, but after reading that you've had the same problem am now thinking it is the machine. Maybe, it's time for me to look into getting another one. Will be interested to hear others reviews :-)

    Hope everyone has a lovely day. Sending hugs to all xxxx

  5. Hi Sandra & all in cafe,
    Sandra sorry I didn't get in yesterday, I went food shopping then spent the rest of day cake making, I was determined to finish cooking yesterday so I can get house sorted today & crockery out ready, well that's the plan anyway. Your card yesterday Sandra was lovely, I haven't dared even get mine out of the box yet, roll on Sunday. Interesting review on cutters, I have the guillotine we used at work & I love the square dies, I do use a scalpel sometimes. These reviews will be very useful for me setting up, I would like an electric die cutting machine any suggestions
    Anne your buys look interesting look forward to seeing them used. Congratulations on winning the cup I kept forgetting to mention it
    Linda hope Terry feels better, hope it wasn't my fruit cake that upset him!!! Shame it spoilt his birthday give him a hug from me. Pleased to hear you have told them you want the stent fitted, hope you don't have to wait too long, sending
    Must get on washing just about finished, will try to get in later tomorrow.
    Sending hugs especially to Janet hope the Dr sorted her problem. Hugs to all who need them love

  6. Hello All, lovely day here, very cold this morning, looks like we may have to put heating on next week when we have family from Australia net week.

    Love all the goodies, all look very interesting, still trying to stick to my resolution not to buy more stuff, not sure how long I'll hold out.

    As to the cutterpiller, I have the small version, rather than the one you have Sandra, I find that if I'm cutting dark card, I have a difficulty seeing where it's cutting, also I like to do middle cuts eg slots, and you can't do that on the cutterpiller, also tried to do the diagonal cut which I saw Mel do on copier paper, just wrinkled every time, so have gone back to friskars. Hope this helps, it's cheaper to buy new blades than the cutterpiller.
    I have several electronic cutters when you want to do a review on these.

    Well have to pack for o/h as he's away for the weekend.

    Have a good rest of the day, hugs Lilian

  7. Hi Sandra
    Thanks for the heads up regarding cutters. Mine is a Create it paper cutter but only cuts just over 7x7. But apart from having to move the screws as it didn't quite cut straight it works fine. I don't made cards any bigger than 7x7 now so it suits me fine. Love Anne's buys and your Nordic folder.
    Went into Oxford this morning to buy tickets to see Ghost at the end of October.

  8. Hello Sandra and everyone in the coffee shop,

    Love all of your bargin buys, and I'm sure you will find you can use the stamps you didn't need, you could even try to sell them on eBay. Ha ha.
    ANNE I love those Inkylicious stamps you have, those dies look very useful to.

    Sandra, you have really had me on the journey today looking at a paper trimmers on the Internet. I had had a quick peak yesterday before I went out because I would like a cutter that will go up to A3. I had sort of made up my mind to go with Fiskars. Than reading today yours and Karens comments, I decided to investigate further, to be truthful I think I'm even more confused.
    Avery P460, Dahle 552 and Rexel A525 all look interesting. The cutter I have now is an A4 I think it only cost me about £20 several years ago. I find it doesn't cut square, no matter how careful I am, one of the sides always seems to go wonky! And is it really worth replacing a blade on a cut as it was so cheap. I think I need HELP!!!!! And would really appreciate anybody is input or experiences.
    I will try and pop in later, although I will be babysitting. Maybe the 10yr old baby will go to bed early ( I don't think)
    Hope you're all having a good day, the sun is shining beautifully here and I've got two loads of washing peged out with the sunshing on it. Sounds silly but that's sort of thing makes me feel happy. Think that says a lot about me!!!

    Take care everyone, love and hugs Brenda XXX

  9. Good evening Ladies,
    Sorry I'm commenting so late but inbetween trimming Iain's hair doing my hair colour and giving Tollie a bath I have been playing with my new goodies and time just disappeared ! I must say I do love them all so I'm happy with my buys.
    Great info on the trimmers Sandra, I also have a very large Fiscars I bought about twelve years ago and now really just leave a deckle edge blade on it for doing inserts but it has been great.
    Love and hugs to all xoxo