Over the years I see people asking alot of the same questions in classes, on message boards, and during crops:

  • How do you organize your scrapping supplies?
  • What tools should I buy/ What are your favorite tools?
  • How do you pack for a crop?
  • How do you make page kits?
  • What kind of diecutting machine should I buy?

I have answered lots of these on my blog but the last one was recently a topic on a message board I frequent and it got me thinking–how DO you choose a diecutting system?! Especially if you can't try it out first, they usually are a large investment of several hundreds of dollars, and we all have fear that we will buy it and it will end up collecting dust.

I currently own diecutting systems from Quickutz (everything they have ever made), Sizzix, Silhouette America, and Accu-Cut as well as own dies from Cuttlebug and Spellbinders in addition to the dies for the manual machines I own. I have experience with the Slice, Pazzles, Wishblade, and the Cricut so all of that comes into play in creating the quiz below. Also, my experience with other crafters and listening to their stories comes into play as well.

I have developed this quiz to try to help you choose the diecutting system that is best for you. Answer the questions and then total your score. Your score will determine what kind of diecutting system will work best for you.

Diecutting Quiz:

1. Where do you craft most often? (Choose one)
a) At home
b) At Stores or Organized Crops (not hosted at private homes)
c) At friends' homes

2. Which Kinds of Materials/Media Would You Like to Cut Most Often? (Choose one)
a) Thick Materials like Fabric, Chipboard, Metal, Acetate, Acrylic, and Felt
b) Cardstock, Paper and other Thin Media (Vinyl, Vellum, Acetate)
c) Flocked, Varnished, Lacquered, or Glittered papers in addition to the media listed in b

3. What Kind of Materials Would You Like to Cut Occasionally? (Choose one)
a) Thick Materials like Fabric, Chipboard, Metal, Acetate, Acrylic, and Felt
b) Cardstock, Paper and other Thin Media (Vinyl, Vellum, Acetate)
c) Flocked, Varnished, Lacquered, or Glittered papers

4. What is your Monthly Scrapping Budget (amount you'd feel comfortable spending on diecutting accessories) (Choose one)
a) $0 – $10
b) $20-50
c) $50-100
d) I don't have a limit!

5. How much would you feel comfortable spending on a diecutting system? (Choose one)
a) Up to $100
b) Up to $250
c) Up to $400
c) I don't have a limit!

6. How do you feel about using the computer? (Choose one)
a) I'm on the computer all day at work, please don't expect me to come home and get on the computer again.
b) I can check email and surf the web but don't ask me to do anything else.
c) I am comfortable using programs like Word, can email, and maybe have a blog or visit online forums and message boards.
d) I love it! I love to play in Photoshop or other graphics programs all the time!

7. What kind of shapes do you plan to cut using a diecutting system? (Choose one)
a) Titles only
b) Basic Shapes like Circles, Flowers, and Journaling Spots only
c) Everything in a & b plus single layer themed shapes like animals, trees, cars/boats, and holiday shapes
d) Everything in a, b, & c plus licensed shapes like Disney, Pooh, and Cars
e) Everything in a, b, c, & d plus have the ability to create multi-layer diecuts and create shadows
f) Everything in a, b, c, d & e plus have the ability to create my own custom shapes
f) I want to cut everything under the sun and then some!!

8. What other features would you love your diecutting system to have? (Choose one)
a) Embossing
b) Sketching (drawing a shape instead of cutting it) and Print + Cut (print a shape on your printer then use the diecut machine to cut it out)
c) Inking/use of dies as a template

9. Is noise an issue when you craft?
a) Yes — it must be quiet because I craft when my family is sleeping
b) Sometimes
c) No, noise does not matter

10. How much storage/crop space do you have available for a diecutting system?
a) Table top only
b) Table top plus room for a laptop (about 4′ wide space)
c) I need this system to be as compact as possible
d) I have table top space and about 2 square feet or more of storage for dies and accessories
e) I have loads of storage!

11. How important to you is having a bag for transporting your diecutting system?
a) Extremely important — I never crop at home or I have to store the system whenI am not using it (no place in a crop room to leave it set up)
b) It would be cool but I would not die without it
c) Don't need it–plan to have the system out on my craft table all the time.

12. How important to you is the appearance of your diecutting system?
a) If it isn't cute, I won't bother using it. I need flowers or a cute design on it, color choices, and more!
b) Cuteness is a factor but if it isn't cute, I will still use it as long as it works well
c) Who cares? As long as it cuts, I am happy

13. If you're leaning towards a computer based system, please choose one from the following:
a) I plan to use my diecutting system at home only using my desktop computer
b) I plan to use my diecutting system at home using my desktop computer but would like the option to take the diecutting machine with me to long crops or retreats
c) I own a laptop I plan to use with my diecutting machine

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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