The Sizzix Eclips strikes a nice balance between cartridge and software die cut systems, allowing you to use the one that is most comfortable for you. Insert a Sizzix cartridge and use Eclips' remote control to make your cut. Or, use eCAL, the Eclips version of Sure Cuts A Lot software, to design and cut your projects. The freedom will be nice, especially if you don't particularly like technology. Using the software is easy, and using the cartridges is even easier.
With this die cut machine, the software is a separate purchase, and so are the cartridges. That is part of the reason the costs associated with this machine – which is already pretty pricey – really add up.
This die cut machine can help you make some beautiful crafts, though. It makes precise cuts in paper, cardstock, vinyl and other crafting materials for gorgeous finished products for scrapbooking, cards and the like. Eclips also is excellent for making gift boxes. Its scoring feature changes the surface of materials just enough to get a perfect folding line.
We like the wide selection of Sizzix cartridge designs too. They are expensive, but for some folks, it might be worth the extra cost to have gorgeous designs at the ready rather than trying to find or create them. This is definitely a machine that works well for a super busy die cutting fan. Once you establish your cartridge collection, the die cutting process will be very fast. Get even one friend to either share their collection or help fund yours so that you can both use it, and your cost gets cut in half.
You also get quite a lot of control over things like blade pressure, depth and cutting speed with this die cutter. These will matter a lot as you work with different materials. Even with all its 700 grams of cutting force, though, the Eclips cannot handle any heavy-duty materials like some of our higher-ranking machines can, and that is disappointing.
This die cutting unit is also rather limited in terms of its capabilities. Eclips will help you cut, draw and pierce certain materials, but you will not find it ready for your embossing or engraving tasks. We expect more from a die cutting machine in this price range.
This die cutting machine is no lightweight, at more than 16 pounds, but there is a carry handle to aid in portability. The fact that this cutter machine can operate apart from a computer will also aid in its ability to go wherever there are scrapbooking gatherings.
The included extra blade is a nice touch. The blade is something you will undoubtedly have to replace with any die cutting machine. Having an extra on hand from the start may save you some time and money when you realize that your first blade is worn out.
At this price, we expect a die cutting system to do more than cut. We expect it to handle more than just paper and cardstock too. If you need to find the best die cutting machine for simple scrapbooking and cards, there are less-expensive options. If you want a tough and lasting all-purpose cutter, there are sturdier die cutting machines that cut much more than the Eclips does. This die cutting machine will provide you with a solid tool for many digital die cutting projects, though, and busy hobbyists will love the flexibility of being able to pop in a cartridge or use the software to find the perfect design every time.
The Sizzix Eclips works independently of your computer or with your computer.
The Eclips cannot help you with engraving or embossing projects.
The Eclips die cutter seems overpriced for a machine that cuts only a few materials.