Should I get the Provo Craft  Cuttlebug or should I get the Sizzix Big Shot/Big Kick? I asked that question to the email list, Canadian Stamp Talk (CST).

My question was motivated by the highly important (to me) fact that Michaels Arts and Craft store has the Provo Craft Cuttlebug and accessories on sale for 50% off this week — or at least it’s in sale in Vancouver, where I live.

Both machines do die cutting and embossing — and apparently both do it well.

I received some excellent information from fans of both the Cuttlebug and the Big Shot. Seemingly the Sizzix machine is called the Big Kick  when sold at A.C. Moore, Jo-Ann Stores and Michaels. It’s called the Big Shot when sold in elsewhere, including the smaller craft shops.  I don’t think there is any difference between the Big Shot and the Big Kick.  If there is, someone please correct me.

Comparing the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug


The Provo Craft Cuttlebug Machine is smaller than the Sizzix 655268 Big Shot Cutting-and-Embossing Roller-Style Machine.   The Big Shot’s measurements are 14-1/4 by 8-1/2 by 6-1/2 inches and it weighs 11.5 pounds.  The Cuttlebug measures 12 by 7-4/5 by 9-1/2  and the mouth is six inches wide. It  weighs seven pounds.

The Cuttlebug takes up less space, is lighter and is therefore easier to tote around if you go to crops. I don’t go to crops, but storage space is a consideration.


The Cuttlebug is usually cheaper. In my area, it sells for anywhere between $70 and $110. Wal-mart has the lowest price, at $70. Interestingly, at $110, Michaels is by far the most expensive, exceeding even the small mom-and-pop craft stores that fall in between the Wal-mart and Michaels price.   However,  the sale at  Michaels  should bring that down to $60.  The Big Shot sells locally from $90 to $100 and there’s no sign of a sale.

Function and Warranty

Both machines are said to be universal — meaning they will use dies from other manufacturers. Both machines will cut on a variety of materials. The Cuttlebug recommends cutting material that is 1/8 or an inch or less in thickness.  Thicker materials may not cut properly and may damage the machine. The warranty covers manufacturer’s defects only, so this type of damage would not be covered by the Provo Craft warranty, nor would it cover damage caused by using dies from other manufacturers.

One woman who responded to my question said that the Sizzix warranty is NOT void if you use dies from another manufacturer. However, the Sizzix  web site offers no information  about the Big Shot’s warranty, or about anything else that would be helpful for comparison purposes. I find the Sizzix web site disappointing, frankly, compared to the wealth of information on Provo Craft’s site.

Also, with the Cuttlebug, apparently you  cannot  use some of the larger dies like the wonderful Bigz Dies from Sizzix.  I have the Cricut, which is lovely for die cutting, but the Cricut does not work on thicker materials such as chipboard.

Some respondents thought that the Sizzix machine would work on thicker material than the Cuttlebug — but given the shortage of information on the Big Shot web page, I cannot confirm that.  It would be nice to be able to cut chipboard shapes.

Some people who responded to my question said that Cuttlebug is easier to use and to work with. Some others said that the Big Shot is easier to use and work with. One commented that with the Big Shot there is no shimming to make the folders emboss as there is with the Cuttlebug.

Customer Satisfaction at Amazon

At Amazon, customer satisfaction is about equal. Two people gave the Big Shot a five star rating.  The Cuttlebug earned a 4.5 star rating from a total of seven people. The half star was lost because apparently the Cuttlebug’s suction plates are not as good as they could be and the machine tends to move around on the table when you use it.


Dies for both machines are readily available at local craft stores,  chain stores and online, so availability is not an issue.

What’s your choice? Cuttlebug or Big Shot?  Or some other machine altogether?

This entry was posted on Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 9:21 pm and is filed under embossing, paper craft technique, paper cutting, product review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.