Saturday, September 18, 2010

Follow Up on IHAN Product Review for Sizzix/Westminster Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Express

Since my  last post I've received several e-mails asking lots of questions.  Instead of answering each person I'm going to write a post and do my best to answer everyone's questions.  I'm sure there will be more over time, feel free to either leave a comment or e-mail IHAN. (IHaveANotion@yahoo.com)

1.  Which do I like better, my GO! Fabric Cutter by AccuQuilt or my Big Shot by Sizzix/Westminster?
I like them both and I don't think one is better than the other, just different.  I tried to point out the differences I noticed in my previous post : size, weight, storage, effectiveness, tips etc. 

2.  Why did you buy the Big Shot if you already have a GO! Fabric Cutter?
Because that is what I do....I test sewing, quilting and needle art notions and supplies and report my experience here on the IHAN blog.  I probably own 20 plus pair of scissors....many different manufactures....do they all cut?  Yes.  Why do I have so many pair.....because many are different and are good for specific projects, I like to have them at my sewing area and in project bags....and because I love scissors.  Yes, Brint - The Scissor Man- still loves me even though I own scissors made by others. 
I might consider bringing my Big Shot to a stitch-in because it is smaller.  By the time I've taken my machine and all my other necessary supplies I'm not likely to bring the GO! Fabric Cutter.  Just my way of doing things.  Everybody has their way of doing things and that needs to be taken into account here. 

4. Are Sizzix/Westminster and AccuQuilt coming out with more dies?
I was told that there will be 16 new Sizzix Dies in October (probably won't be available until Jan. 2011...in my experience).   My best guess is they will be shown in Houston for Quilt Market and they will take orders for shipping in the new year.  After all, that is what Market is intended for, shop owners to purchase for the next season.  I just happen to be impatient and when I see it, I want it and I want it right then and there....LOL.

I know AccuQuilt is coming out with some great new dies soon as well.  Click here to see the latest (and there is one that is not listed here too....oh the suspense is building!!) I'm very excited and can't wait to get the Dresden Plate and the 3.5" Drunkards Path

3.  Are the dies from both companies interchangeable?
The GO! Dies are slimmer than the Sizzix Dies so by themselves they will not go through my Big Shot Machine.  However, you can see below,  I made a shim and then put the GO! Hearts Die through the Big Shot and it worked just fine. Let me explain a bit further: the Sizzix acrylic cutting mat was on the bottom of the sandwich, then my personally made shim (3 pieces of slim hard cardboard taped together) the GO! Hearts Die and on top I used the GO! Cutting Mat.  I found with the shim I had made I could not get the Sizzix acrylic mat to fit through the machine.   
( I could have taken more or better photos-but I just didn't and it is late and night when I do my posts typically and I'm just too ready to go to bed to be re-taking all the pix so they look "professional.")
Then I tried a Sizzix Die with the GO! Fabric Cutting Machine.  It did go through the machine but look at the cutting mat bowing up in the air.  It was a very tight fit and the cutting mat curled up because of the pressure.  I was very cautious because I obviously did not want to break my GO! Fabric Cutter!!!  I have to say I would not likely do this again because there is not really enough clearance to continue doing this without serious risk of breaking my GO! Fabric Cutter.  

 


That was my experience.  I have been told by Sizzix that the Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and the Big Shot Express will all take the GO! Dies (keep in mind the width of some of the GO! Dies clearly would not fit into the Big Shot or Big Shot Express...they are just too wide....the narrower ones work just fine.  The wider GO! Dies will fit into the Big Shot Pro because of it's wider bed).  I have not tried them all myself, just the GO! Hearts Die with the Big Shot and then the Sizzix Bigz Sunflower and Poinsettia Petals Die in the GO! Fabric Cutter).  I have been told by Sizzix that their machines work with the GO! and Studio Dies but that their Dies do not work in the GO! Fabric Cutter.  I don't own a Studio Fabric Cutter nor any of those Dies so I can not personally say I've done it or have seen it done. 

The Sizzix website says that the Big Shot, Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Express works with every Sizzix Die ever made.  So I'm concluding that really opens up the applique shapes quite a bit and would include the Sizzix Alphabet Dies as well. 

There are also differences in how each machine is made and the materials used(metal, plastic, rubber etc.) in making each of the machines.  I don't plan on going into all those details.  If you are interested in that information I would suggest you contact each company and inquire.

The GO! Dies come with a free pattern printed on the packaging and there were no patterns on the Sizzix Dies Packaging that I purchased.  Both companies Dies did have instructions for use and tips for use printed on their packaging which I found very helpful.  They also print their warranty information in the product manuals.

Warranty Comparison:
According to the AccuQuilt website the Studio Fabric Cutting Machine comes with a Lifetime warranty
The GO! Fabric Cutter Machine have a One Year Limited Warranty .   The warranty says if you experience a manufacturing defect within one year of purchase, AccuQuilt will repair or replace the cutter at no charge.  It also says to return the cutter to the place you purchased it.

 
As a consumer, you would have to return your GO! Fabric Cutter  or GO! Dies to the place where you purchased they are defective. If you purchased your GO! Fabric Cutting Machine from an on-line store like IHAN, their warranty says you would have to return it to that store and thus you would have to pay the shipping to return it.  I see this as an obvious drawback because if there is a manufactures defect and you have already paid once to have it shipped to you, I would not want to pay again to get a replacement.  On my part, I don't want to have to pay shipping back to a distributor and be charged again to have a replacement sent to me and then I would have to send it to my customer.   
I did have a situation where a customer paid to send their defective GO! Die back to me for replacement.  I compensated the customer for their shipping expenses.  I contacted AccuQuilt and they were very accommodating in getting my customer's defective die replaced without further expenses being incurred by myself or my customer which I greatly appreciated.  
According to the Sizzix website the Big Shot Express has a One Year Limited Warranty  and the Big Shot has a 3 year Limited Warranty.  The Big Shot Pro has a 5 Year Limited Warranty.  The photo below is of the manual that was enclosed when I purchased the Big Shot.



The Sizzix Warranty indicates that you contact the Sizzix Customer Relations and they will pay for the return and replacement of your product.  That is only the case if they determine there was a manufactures defect.  If Sizzix finds that you have misused the machine or used it commercially the customer will be responsible for the return postage. 

As a consumer and as a business owner, I must say I prefer the Sizzix Warranty.  I own the Big Shot and the warranty is 3 yrs vs the 1 year I have on my GO! Fabric Cutting Machine

Note: The warranties take effect from the date of purchase so save your receipt!!  I typically keep my boxes too just in case I need to send something back to a company so I can safely package it for shipping. 
That is what I know today.  When I learn more, I'll let you know.

Smiles,
Kelly

9 comments:

  1. great review and comparison, i saw the big shot in action at a local show and loved it, especially it's size

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  2. Thank you for such a great review. I have a GO!, and was curious about the Sizzix. Am going to go check out the new GO! dies now:)

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  3. Thank you so much! I know that comparing and writing up reviews is a ton of work. I really love all you shared. Thank you. It helps narrow my wish list just a little.

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  4. What a wealth of information, thanks!

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  5. Thanks for the post...I am probably going to own one of these machines in the future. maybe..most likely..I guess!

    Pat

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  6. Great review on both. That is one thing that is hard about buying online, sending things back. I have things like my rug cutter and my sewing machine and no way do I want to pay shipping to have it fixed, ugh.

    Debbie

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  8. Great comparison article. Thanks.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  9. I saw a youtube video where the girl said she used the Accuquilt square dies but had to shave the side to fit in the Big Shot. Do you find that the GO! dies have to be cut in order to fit in the Big Shot?

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Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I read every comment that is left here however I will not be responding to all coments for giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at IHaveANotion@yahoo.com if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding.
Smiles,
Kelly

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