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Die Cutter Review: The Wizard Embossing and Die-Cutting System by Spellbinders
I invited five women to try out The Wizard™ Embossing and Die Cutting System by Spellbinders™ and review it based on the ease of use, price, size, versatility and die selection. The following is our evaluation of The Wizard™:
Ease of Use
The Wizard™ requires a two-step process: first to cut, and then to emboss.
To cut, you create a sandwich with the embossing mat on the bottom, next add the white spacer plate, then the die (facing upward), then the paper, and finally the cutting mat on top. To feed the sandwich through the machine, you push one end against the rollers and then push the lever all the way across to the other side. That makes the “sandwich” catch in-between the rollers. Then you pull the handle up about 1/3 of the way and press it back down, repeating the process until the sandwich rolls all the way through the machine and pops out.
To emboss the die cut, leave the paper inside the die, but create a new “sandwich” with the embossing mat on the bottom, then the die with the paper still inside it (facing up), next add the tan embossing mat, and then finally add the cutting mat to the top of the sandwich. You then repeat the process of running the sandwich through the machine.
- Cuts made are very clean and sharp and often very intricate.
- Everyone was very impressed with the end results of the cut and embossed dies.
- The instructions needed more pictures rather than text to make it easier to understand how to work the machine.
- Some felt as though they were changing a tire as they cranked the handle 16 or 17 times for each cut.
- Each cut took quite a bit of prep time and cutting time.
- Having to create several layers was sort of awkward, and it took some practice to hold them together without the paper and die shifting while you tried to get the sandwich to catch in between the rollers.
- The paper often didn’t pop right out of the stencil, so it helped to have a pointy tool to pop them out.
- It was a noisy machine to operate.
- When the mats come through the machine, they fly out with significant force, so you have to be ready to catch them, or they’ll hit you right in the stomach!
- Since the embossing mat and the cutting mat look the same, it’s easy to get them confused, although it didn’t seem to matter which was in each position. Perhaps after repeated use the little cuts in the mats would make impressions on the embossed side of the die.
The Wizard™ Embossing and Die-Cutting System includes two White Master Mats, a White Spacer Plate, a Tan Emboss Pad, and a Universal Cut Mat.
- The Wizard™ Tool - $129.99
- Alphabet Sets - $79.99 - $159.99
- Shape Dies - $12.99 - $24.99
The Wizard™ has a simplistic design, making it both low-profile and fairly lightweight. When planning for storage space, factor in at least two cutting mats, a spacer plate, and an embossing pad--all of these are needed to use the tool. Dies are conveniently stored in clear CD jewel cases, so they can be stored in a CD rack. For better portability, you may want to transfer the dies to a pocket-divided binder system.
- Footprint - 12” long x 9” wide x 3 ½” high
- Cutting Area - 5 ½” x 7 ½”
- Dies – wafer thin, stored in CD jewel cases
Spellbinders™ products are available for purchase at the Spellbinders™ web site.
The Wizard™ has an embossing feature that really makes it distinctive. Every one of the Spellbinders™ has an embossing element to them, giving the die-cut designs a unique dimension. In addition to Spellbinders™ dies, it also accommodates Boss Kut, QuicKutz, Sizzlits (without using the spacer mat), Zip’eCuts™ and Zip’eSnaps™ dies. It can also cut Sizzix Originals and Zip'eSlim dies by using the translucent white mat that comes with the machine, making it one of the most versatile machines on the market. The larger cutting area on The Wizard™ also gives you more flexibility in the size of dies you can use.
Alphabet & Shape Die Selection
We loved the embossing abilities of The Wizard™ and the ability to use larger dies. The end result of the die cuts was fantastic. Usability was more complicated than other similar machines and took some practice to learn. We’d recommend a faster way to run the dies through the machine, and maybe a locking pouch to put the entire “sandwich” of layers into to hold them in place while you run them through the machine. The price was a little high for this machine considering the labor- and time-intensive method of cutting and embossing each die.
Indulgence Font Set by Spellbinders™
Circles-Squares Totally Texture Plate by Spellbinders™
Accents Accessories and Hardware Collection by Spellbinders™
Patterned Paper by Pressed Petals
Patterned Paper by Paper Heart Studio
Cardstock by DMD Industries
Ink by Vivid