Are you thinking of buying a die-cutting machine? Here’s the Sizzix’s little sister: the Big Shot Sidekick.
Back when we started, we dreamed of many tools and machines that could help us doing our crafts. Yeah, the die-cutting machine was one of these dreams. There are a lot of machines, but the most infamous one is definitively the Big Shot from the brand Sizzix.
And now, a year after its presentation, Sizzix introduces the new revolutionary model: the Sidekick.
You must have certainly have heard of it, or watched some videos on Youtube or photos on Instagram. We got the chance to try it and we’re going to tell you everything about it. The pros and cons and the features you have to take into account when you think about buying this kind of die-cutting machine.
Small size die-cutting machine and dies
What is really surprising when you first see this model is its size: it’s so small! It practically fits into one hand!
The exact measures are 19,68 x 12,06 x 8,89 cm. Light as a feather, it barely weights less than a kilogram. You can imagine how easy to use it can be. You may think that such a small size wouldn’t be stable or efficient. On the contrary!
To get the stability we really need when we die-cut, the machine has a suction pad and a lateral lever to put it and take it off from your craftwork table. Thanks to these elements, the Big Shot Sidekick stays perfectly stable and fixed to the working surface.
As for the quality, we can say for sure it’s excellent on different materials such as paper, Bristol card, acetate, rice paper or EVA foam.
This die-cutting machine can also do embossing using texture folders, and the result is just as good as the rest of the Big Shot models. The kind of folder used and the type of pressure is identical. So, we cannot find any particular difference regarding relieve quality except of course the embossed surface.
Although the cutting result is quite exceptional you cannot do large surface creations, since the working surface is the dies’: 12,4 x 6,4 cm.
Having said that, if you enjoy the art of card-making, dealing with small details or very precise decorations, this Big Shot Sidekick remains the best option. If you want to make biggest cuts to do biggest dies, you should try the standard Big Shot (with maximum cutting area of 15,88 x 37,47 cm) or the Plus (maximum cutting area of 22,54 x 38,10 cm).
Materials you can cut
With this Big Shot Sidekick, you can also use the Framelits and Thinlits dies and some other metallic compatible models. Although these dies are not multi-material as BIGZ’s dies are, which limit us to paper, rice paper, Bristol paper, etc.
In that case, the cutting materials limitation can be a constraint. You can put aside fabric, felt, cork, MDF or you can use those with BIGZ and the standard size Shot or Plus’s dies.
If you are looking for a tool to cut printed and Bristol paper (the most common materials for scrap amateurs), the Sidekick is a good choice for you.
In short, the Big Shot Sidekick is a pretty good tool, ideal because of its size and that you can have always by your side, when travelling or at crops workshops. Of course, as we have seen, this machine is somewhat limited by the maximum cutting size it offers, but its quality is exceptional and perfect for creating small projects.
We recommend the Sidekick, although you have the normal Big Shot, because you will enjoy taking it with you during your trips, your holidays and your workshops. This machine is very light and compact, so it’s really easy to transport and you can also usefully complement the original cutting machine.
However, the Sidekick is also interesting for scrapbooking beginners. You won't find any identical tools if you want to focus on small jobs. Its best advantage is that you can use the mini letter dies and create alphabets!
With quite affordable price, you will be able to get an idea of how a die-cutting machine works and perhaps a little later you may wish to acquire a bigger size.
Don’t forget the Sidekick is also available with a wonderful initiation kit to learn die-cutting:
- Die-cutting machine Sidekick
- Cutting pad
- 1 embossing mat
- 6 Framelits dies
- 2 Thinklits dies
- 2 small texture folders
- 7 stamps to combine with the dies.
So, are you interested?