Our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner for die cutting machines, the Boss Kut Gazelle, has an excellent overall value. While it does not quite have the cutting pressure of the highest-ranking products, this unit is popular and well respected in the crafting realm, and with good reason. The Gazelle can help you make unforgettable greeting cards, scrapbook pages and other crafts with its ability to precisely cut vinyl, cardstock, foam, glitter paper, balsa wood, chipboard and more.
This could easily be the last cutter you buy, even though it is not the most portable. Gazelle is a tough machine paired with software that will free you forever from the cartridge system, with its ability to help you find and adapt new cutting designs from anywhere.
This versatile die cutting machine plays well with your computer. Gazelle comes with Funtime software but also works well with popular cutting applications such as Make The Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot. Both of those applications allow you to take any pattern and adapt it for cutting. Funtime comes with 700 shapes and 200 fonts, and you also can easily import AI, WPC, PLT, JPEG and BMP files. You can manipulate them in Funtime or other compatible software, and then Gazelle can then cut them out for you. This eliminates the need to buy expensive cartridges like the ones required by some die cutting machines.
Gazelle allows you to adjust the blade depth, speed and pressure so that you have full control over the finer points of your cutting process. As you get more experienced, or as you learn more and more on YouTube and in the forums, you will be able to take full advantage of those features. You will come to know which blade depth, speed and pressure settings work best for each material, each unique job.
This die cutter machine will cut individual lines in a specified order with the cut-by-color function. You can instruct the Gazelle to cut one line first – the inside line, for instance – so that you don't risk having the piece lift off the mat as the other lines are being cut. You can also use this feature when you are working with different colors of paper, cutting only Santa's hat from the red sheet and Santa's face from the flesh-colored sheet, for instance.
The Gazelle can help you save paper with a click of the fill-the-page feature, which will automatically position as many graphics as possible on one page. The fit-to-path option instructs the Gazelle to cut your text into a specified pattern, like a circle or an arc.
Gazelle needs to be hooked up to your computer to work. That will only be a drawback if you really want to be able to take your cutter with you on the go. Scrapbooking parties and other gatherings are a great way to stay motivated and have even more fun with your creative endeavors. If you can't picture the social aspect of this hobby – scrapbooking with friends and family – without a cutter at your side, then you may want to choose one of the other products on our lineup.
The thing about the Gazelle is that your time with it at home will be so productive, we don't think you will mind leaving it behind for a few hours to attend a scrapbooking convention because you will be so far ahead of the game. Also, if you have a laptop, you don't have to leave it behind. Having your laptop on one shoulder and your Gazelle on the other is not going to be easy, but it might be worth it. This is one of the lighter die cut machines we reviewed. At 12 pounds, it's definitely portable – not tiny, but still portable. There is no handle to help you carry it, though, which is a shame.
With 500 grams of pressure, this die cutting machine will cut just about anything you can throw at it. Think cardstock, glitter paper, chipboard, balsa wood, foam, Grafix plastic sheets, metallic paper, vinyl and other media. You can only cut some materials, like foam, if the slab is fairly thin – no thicker than 1mm.
First and foremost, the Gazelle is a lean, mean die-cut machine. It does a lot of things well, but any cutter we like has to be able to cut. As mentioned, this die-cutting wonder can handle a very wide range of materials. The Gazelle can also engrave, emboss and perforate if you instruct it to do so through Funtime. The Gazelle embossing material is designed to last longer than most, interfacing with a plastic cutting mat rather than one made from chipboard. And when the embossing mat is spent, you can clear off the adhesive, spray it and use it as a regular cutting mat.
The Gazelle engraving function is impressive. You can engrave very intricate patterns on thin sheets of metal. We think that's pretty impressive for a machine that costs less than $400.
This die cutting machine can also draw designs for you if you replace the blade with a pen. With the piercing feature, you can have Gazelle replace the edges of your design with small pinpoint indentations rather than full cuts. Through its software, the Gazelle can also quickly weld and unweld characters, as directed by you.
Boss Kut's customer service is decent. The company's main website layout is confusing and cluttered but if you buy a machine you gain access to Boss Kut's forum, which is packed with good information.
This company is very dedicated when it comes to customer requests. We experienced very quick responses to our email inquiries, and the answers were detailed and helpful. Having more information on the website in the first place would be nice, though, so that potential customers wouldn't have to make so many inquiries for basic information.
The Boss Kut Gazelle is an excellent die cutting machine. It can cut an impressively wide range of materials. That can be said of a few die cutting machines, but the Gazelle can also emboss, engrave and draw. You can access all of these features through the easy-to-use Funtime software, which is also able to import an unlimited number of designs and translate them into cutting instructions for the Gazelle. You can forget the competitors' expensive cartridges with this clever die cutting machine.
Gazelle offers access to unlimited designs.
This unit has less cutting force than some competitors.
Its ability to cut, engrave, emboss and perforate makes this a versatile and useful die cutting machine.