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Posts Tagged ‘Slice Elite’

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Making Memories Slice Elite

Making Memories; Slice Elite

Making Memories; Slice Elite

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Making Memories Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter
  • Item number; #36236
  • RRP at time of writing:£150

Reason For Buying

I have to admit to loving my Cuttlebug, its quick, simple and reliable but, because I am such a fan of alphabets it is expensive to buy those as metal dies. Of course with those you only get a single size per pack. The advantage of The Slice is that you can cut the designs on the cards in up to seven different sizes, and with additional tools you can emboss or draw the designs too.

What’s in the Box?

  • Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter
  • Power Cord
  • Blade adjustment wrench
  • 5 replacement blades with blade replacement tool
  • 6″ x 6″ glass cutting mat
  • Repositionable adhesive
  • Foam brush
  • User manual
  • Quick start Guide
  • Basic Elements SD Card
  • Design card Booklet.

Pros/Cons

 Pros

  • Portable, if you like to travel with your crafting the small size make this excellent
  • Lots of options; with add-on products you can do a lot with one machine
  • Compact size takes up less desk space than other electronic cutters on the market
  • Design Cards; Lots of brilliant design cards on all kind of themes
  • The packaging is sturdy; You can store the machine back in it when not in use.
  • Reasonable priced Design cards. Most contain an alphabet as well as words and images. Depending on the card.
  • With Seven sizes available to cut from 1″ to 4″ in half-inch increments. (Measured on the diagonal of the image).

Cons

  • Expect to need to buy additional items to get the best from the machine.
  • The 6″ x6″ mat is adequate for cutting a single image, or for crops and classes but if you want to use large card efficiently and make repeated cuts, you are better off with the 12″ x 12″ mat so you don’t have to constantly move your card around. The more you move your card the more you are wearing off the glue.
  • The glue in the box is little more than a tester, I struggled to get good coverage with the little bottle.
  • Keep the Basic Elements Design card safe! Even if you aren’t keen on the designs on it, it has a Calibrate setting on there, that you will need if you are struggling to get your machine to cut correctly.
  • I would not recommend this tool to newbies, it has a steep learning curve. The product is simple enough, but getting it to work as you expect takes a lot of time, practice and wasted card.
  • Getting a good coverage of adhesive is key to good results. This is tricky to perfect.

Build Quality

The tool itself is very well made, from quality materials. Very ergonomic and is easy to store in its own packaging. Heavy enough to be robust, light enough to be portable. The handle and edges of the machine where you hold it are a slightly rubberized plastic which makes for a good grip.

Value for Money

It is a considered purchase. If you use a lot of alphabets, or like the intricate shapes, then once you get the hang of it, it is worth the investment if you use it a lot. You get a lot of designs on each Design card and the seven sizes of each makes for good long-term value.

Would I buy it Again?

Ask me in 6 months. I’ve had it about three months and still working with it. It’s like Adobe Photoshop Elements, really good but it has a lot of quirks. If I had a friend with it, who lived near me, I’d like to have tried hers first.

Summing up

This is a superb product with a lot of potential. If you buy the embossing tips you can emboss the designs on your design cards too. If you buy the pens, you can draw the designs from the cards in the colours available. My advice is READ every review and comment on this machine that you can. Be aware that there was an earlier model just called The Slice, which was slower, however by using the MS+ Design cards they have a speed upgrade on them. If you can do a class with a Slice before you buy or can try a friends first, I would highly recommend that you do so.

My problem is that I over stretched my budget to get this and its extras, so this put a lot of pressure on expecting fantastic results. I immediately bought the 12 x 12″ hands free glass mat, as I could see the 6″ x 6″ one would be too small for day-to-day use. The Hands free version, due to my limited dexterity and the built-in foam on the back meant it would be fine for the embossing heads, should I go for them at a later date. By this point I had made a substantial financial investment in the product and expected it to get going easily, as soon as I got it out of the box.

What actually happened was, I struggled to apply the glue properly with the foam brush and later on, it seems I applied too little of the adhesive but I had overspent and couldn’t afford to get another bottle of glue straight away as I thought what was included would be enough. (Bear in mind I was applying this to the 12″ x12″ mat, not the little one included in the box).

My die cuts were coming out in strange shapes, wonky or with sections missing. Often the paper/card would lift and the machine would eat the die cut (this turned out to be due to not enough glue on the mat). What was most annoying was the fact that the machine would cut nicely sometimes, then the next cut of the same shape, same size would go all over the place, the cutter would trace back over the design and thereby sever part of the design. It drove me NUTS.

Luckily I am on a couple of forums and I begged my forum buddies for help. Thanks to them I found out that using the Design card that comes in the box and pressing the ‘Calibrate’ design on there fixed the wonky cutting. Trial and error suggested the design getting bunched up under the blade was due to lack of glue on the cutting mat. If you read other comments on the machine, I heard people having to spend a long time cutting and adjusting the blade to get it to cut correctly on different thicknesses of card. I’ve been lucky in that respect and it hasn’t given me any trouble in that area.

My best advice before you purchase this machine would be

1. Read all the reviews and forum discussions on The Slice Elite that you can find. Be informed rather than resentful later

2. Try it just with what’s in the box, before you buy all the extra’s.

3. Expect to write off a lot of card while learning how to use the machine. Get a pile of printer paper or scrapbook card in a sale rather than risking your nice stuff in the early days.

I have learnt during the last three months, and have now just bought some alternative glue to try on the mat. I’ll let you know how that goes. It is a good machine, if you have friends with it let them show you how it all works and you’ll probably be ok. In fairness to Making Memories people who have registered their machines and requested help have been very very pleased with the support they received from the company. So if you are still struggling get in touch with them.

Sorry this review has got a bit long, I needed to explain the struggles I had and that some may have been down to me, not the product. I don’t love mine yet, I see a lot of potential but I’m still learning. I do think this may be a good long-term investment and the designs on the design cards are fantastic. Like Adobe, when it works nicely it is a joy, but the learning curve to get there is frustrating.

I try to give you as much information as I can, to help you make up your own minds on whether this machine is for you.

Links

Forum Discussion on the machine

Now some of the discussions in the following threads were started in 2009. Still lots of VERY useful advice for those new to The Slice or struggling but bear in mind that 2011 is when the New Slice Elite was launched in the UK. Some of the problems mentioned may have been fixed by the updated Slice Elite machine.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Making Memories Slice Hands Free Kit with 12" x 12" Glass Mat

Making Memories Slice Hands Free Kit with 12" x 12" Glass Mat

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Making Memories/ The Slice
  • Item number; #34854
  • RRP at time of writing: Around £40

Reason For Buying

I have limited dexterity due to tendon problems, I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold The Slice still and that even if I could the vibration would cause me pain. So I went straight in with the hands free kit. I chose the 12 x12″ double-sided glass mat as I figured I could cut more than one thing from a piece of card without having to keep removing and repositioning the card for each cut.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • As I’d hoped the 12 x 12″ mat works well for not having to reposition card so frequently
  • This size mat also make positioning the Slice just where you want it easier
  • Clear bright surface
  • Plenty of room to allow you to use a smaller scrap and still get your Slice into postion.
  • The magnet is very strong and works on both the glass side and the foam embossing side of the mat.
  • Double sided, one side is glass the other foam to allow embossing if you have the embossing tips for your Slice.

Cons

I’m still struggling with glue at the moment. I have used the weenie tube that came with my Slice machine and not sure I’ve got a good enough coverage with it.

The magnets are VERY strong though, and with limited dexterity I find it hard work to remove the Slice.

Build Quality

Excellent. Really dense foam, on the embossing side, looks like it will last well. The glass side of the mat is very thick and sturdy. The coloured edging is also a sturdy plastic. A well made tool, that Making Memories do so well.

Value for Money

Good, for the quality of the tool, it is fairly priced.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes. A a friend of mine said if you don’t have dexterity problems you may not need the hands free kit and she may be right, but the 12 x 12″ mat does make life easier.

Summing up

The 12 x 12″ glass mat makes life much easier than the 6 x6″ one, as you don’t need to constantly reposition your paper. It is fairly priced for the quality of the product. Having the hands free option is really useful if you have dexterity problems as you don’t get the vibration through your hands/arms as you would if you were holding the machine in place.

One thing to be aware of though, is that the magnets sure are STRONG. Even by rocking the Slice to the side to lift it up once its finished cutting, it’s still quite a pull to remove it. You probably wouldn’t struggle with normal dexterity, but it is a lot of effort if you have weak hands/wrists. 

Links

  • Why Slice The manufacturers dedicated website to all things Slice related.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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My Naughty Spend

Welcome Back

Today’s post is a bit of a confession {blushes}. I’ve been a bit naughty and spent a fortune on a new gadget! This is the new Slice Elite from Making Memories.

My early Birthday pressie

My early Birthday pressie

Justification

  • I love my Cuttlebug and Nesties but the prices are going up for Cuttlebug ‘food’. I love alphabets but they are so expensive. :(
  • Great design cards, much nicer than the Provocraft cards (sorry but personal taste and all that).
  • Upper and lower case alphabet plus elements in 7 sizes on each design card
  • Add ons for Drawing and Embossing at a later date ;)
  • I’ve kept my eye on technology, and no one is doing an affordable version that will let me cut images from my own designs.
  • In June I’ll be 40!
  • My continuing pain from whiplash, is making the chance of a holiday this year a non starter.
  • Got a great deal and didn’t pay full rrp on anything :)

Basically I felt somewhat fed up and when the going gets tough, the not so tough go shopping :) This has hammered my savings, so no chance of a holiday now, even if I wanted one. oops! I guess this year will be taking things slow and letting my crocked body heal. Lots of car bills will finish me off financially anyway!

Check out the links later in the article for the kind of things this Slice will do. I’ll have a play and once I’ve got the hang of this thing, I’ll share reviews and maybe if all goes well, some tutorials.

Links

For those wondering just what this is and how it works, check out the manufacturer’s website for inspiration and demos. Essentially the Slice is an electronic die cutting machine. It cuts designs from cards that you load into the back of the machine.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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