Monday, April 06, 2009

simple Cuttlebug & Big Shot comparison

Just a quickie here. I know that there are lots of folks who have questions about the Cuttlebug vs the Big Shot and which one is better etc. I have both machines and have talked about my preferences here. Easy choice for me--the Big Shot, for lots of reasons.

What's interesting is that Cuttlebug users often talk about how light-weight that machine is. I'd noticed that it's heavier than it looks when picking it up, and in fact I'd thought it a bit heavier than the Big Shot. I'd never really compared though. So, I put my theory to the test today after reading yet another discussion about which one is preferred by crafters. I weighed each on my digital scale--the Big Shot weighed 7.4# and the Cuttlebug weighed 7.6#. Oooo, I kinda impressed myself being able to detect a 0.2# difference. LOL! But actually I think that difference is negligible, eh?

Okay, so weight aside, what about size? Now the Cuttlebug does fold up to make it easier to store and/or to transport. Those aren't issues for me, and I find the Big Shot very easy to carry because of the handle, and I like that I can just store my multipurpose platform and the cutting plates on the bed of the machine, but I was surprised a bit when I put the machines side by side.

Here are some photos. I don't recall seeing these machines pictured right next to each other, so this is my comparison.

I've seen the Cuttlebug described as being compact and taking up such little space. I do think it's great that it folds up, but I wouldn't call it tiny in comparison.

That's more of a bird's eye view--better because you can see all of both machines, particularly the back end of the Big Shot. I'm trying to be fair, eh? :-)

Above you can see that by the time you account for the C'bug's handle, its length when folded is just maybe an inch shy of the Big Shot's. The respective widths are 5 1/2" and 12 1/4", including feet, handles etc, so that's the big difference when you're needing to store these.

And I thought I should include a photo of the C'bug when it's open alongside the Big Shot. I should have added arrows, but the stability of the Big Shot comes from four of its feet being positioned at each of the far corners of the machine, as well as another pair located at the center. This gives a nice big surface area for the Big Shot to rest on and it's very stable. The Cuttlebug's feet are located more centrally, a pair at each end of the body of the machine with the large rubber suction grip located between, so the entire body of the folded machine rests on the work surface. But when open, pressure on the platforms can make the machine tip and rock if not fixed in place by suction. It becomes comparable to a seesaw. This can be important because with some sandwiches it's nice to use one hand to crank while the other feeds the sandwich through the opening. There's no hand left to hold the machine stable if it starts moving, particularly for those of us who work on weird surfaces and experiment with non-traditional sandwich stacks. ;-)

Hope the side by side comparison might help anyone who's trying to decide which machine better fits their needs. They're both good machines and which one is better is a matter of personal preference really. I just wanted to debunk a bit of the C'bug chatter that I'd been apparently taken in by after reading it so many times online--it's not really that much tinier than the Big Shot, and it's actually heavier, too, though not by much. :-)


  1. Good comparison, and I agree-I'll take the Big Shot anytime. The stability of the Big Shot in use more than makes up for any savings in space!

  2. Well unless my eyes deceive me, the CB DOES indeed take less STORAGE space, which is an issue for many people. It also costs less, not everyone has the $$ for the expensive SU Big Shot. If you decide for a Big Shot keep in mind it is the same machine inside as the Big Kick which you can get at the big box craft store.The case is red and white, Big Shot is black. THe BIg Kick is $99 use your coupon and get it for $60 or $50. Don;t let any SU demo tell you it is better, it isn't and I have that on good authority directly from Sizzix.

  3. I thought it was interesting to look at these two machines side by side. The Big Shot can be made to sound unwieldy and cumbersome compared to the C'bug. It isn't really though, and as I said above, (so no, Phyllis, your eyes don't deceive you), there is an appreciable difference in the widths that can be both seen in the side by side photo as well as read in the text of the blog post where I stated this explicitly. And I backed it up with numbers, too! :-)

    As for the Big Kick, I don't own or have access to that machine, so I didn't include it in the discussion here. My goal wasn't to list the pluses and minuses of all of the machines out there but rather just to look at these two particular machines, as I indicated in the post title.

    I should add here since it's now been brought up, that the Big Shot does NOT have to be purchased through Stampin' Up, and I have never suggested that it should be. As can be easily seen in the photos, I have one of the original teal machines from long before Sizzix and SU got together. The Big Shot, as long as you're not set on it being the SU or Hello Kitty design, can be purchased fairly inexpensively from many online sites and it's often bundled with the multipurpose platform. It's not been unusual to see a price of ~$65 USD for both the machine and the platform. With the platform retailing for $19.99, that makes the price of the Big Shot competitive with that of other machines, even using coupons, especially since free shipping is usually part of the deal; plus for many of us sales tax has to be added back to the total when purchasing from local bricks and mortar stores, and occasionally from online vendors, too. Lots there to consider when looking at total purchase price.

    As usual, it's worthwhile to do the homework, shop and compare to find the best deal for you and your particular situation. That's really what it's all about, eh? And what this blog post and comment are about--just adding my two cents worth, gleaned from my personal experience, to the vast amount of collective info out there so that someone can perhaps make a more informed decision when choosing between these two machines.

  4. Sandi, like I said, the stability of the Big Shot is a big plus for me. I like to play around and use things in non-traditional ways, so a machine that's stable and sturdy under those conditions is a must. That's also the reason that you're unlikely to see me using the Big Shot Express anytime soon. I can just see burning out its motor or something when I try to put a stack that's too thick through it. LOL! No way do I want to play and break that thing! But for me, too, stability easily trumps space-saving. :-)

  5. Thank you for this comparison Jay. I have the cuttlebug at the moment and love it but I know what you mean about people putting the Big Shot down. Cathy xxx

  6. I have no problem understanding that people love their C'bugs, especially if that's the machine that they started out with. It does most everything you could want. It just amuses me that I'd bought into the notion that it's so much smaller and lighter than the Big Shot, and I've had both machines for a while now! LOL! Just never looked at them side by side. And then to find that it's actually a tad heavier than the Big Shot?! Really surprised me.

    Thanks for stopping by, Cathy. :-)

  7. More importantly the cuttlebug is GREEN

  8. LOL! Anon, if you like that particular color of green, then yep, that's the machine for you. That's not a deal-maker for me though, not by a long shot. When the day comes that I have to replace my teal Big Shot (GASP!), I'd love to get the black one with the pink and white detailing. Much easier on the eyes. :-) Now if you'd meant green as in 'environmentally friendly'... then that's a different matter entirely. ;-)

  9. Hi Jay...Well, three months later, and this is one of the best comparisons I've seen. I'm such a visual person. Takes a lot of time to get those pictures out....thanks!

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  11. Great comparison! I have been struggling about which one to "wish" for. I think I'll just go ahead and purchase the Big Shot. Thanks for posting this information.

  12. Thanks! My mind is made up now! BigShot all the way! ;)

  13. Thank you for the comparison. I have the cuttlebug and love it. I don't find it a problem not to have a handle to hole onto to apply some pressure on the thicker projects. That seems a bit awkward for me. I just press down on the top of my machine. It works great. The suction cups on the machine give me good stability. I do have space issues and I like to be able to fold mine up. I just set the whole machine on my plates for storage. Works GREAT! Happy Cuttin!

  14. I have read all of your comments but mainly they are all about the size. How about the products come out from the machines? Are they the same? Which one is easier to use? I am debating to get either one so I want to know more before I make my purchase. Thanks.


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