Top

Pazzle Inspiration Computer Driven Paper Cutter

(Fair warning: this review is not all sunshine & happiness. It’s also really long. Just so you know what you’re getting into!)

I have been in the market for an electronic die-cutting machine since the first Cricut appeared on the market. But I waited. I waited through the bigger Cricut Expressions too. I didn’t want to be tied to buying a bunch of cartridges with limited sizes. I wanted it ALL, baby! I have approximately 1 million 10,000 all the fonts ever created, yep, and I wanted to be able to use them with my die-cutting machine.

There are a number of computerized die-cutting machines on the market. The aforementioned Cricuts are self-contained, portable units that don’t require a computer hook-up. That’s great if you need the portability aspect, but I don’t. I don’t go to crops, and I hate people, so really, the thing could be as big as Deep Blue for all I care. I just want it to work, out of the box, exactly the way I think it should.

Aye, there’s the rub… despite all of the research I did (and I did plenty… I’m a scientist after all, and this was no small purchase), the Pazzle Inspiration was not the electronic die-cutter for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that out until after I bought it!

The Pazzle Inspiration is a snazzy looking machine, about the size and weight of a large printer. It includes a software CD, featuring image manipulation software. It also comes with an adjustable cutting head and a 12″ x 12″ sticky cutting mat; seemingly everything you need to get started (except for the computer, but we knew that already).

I loaded the software onto my laptop, and started playing with the image manipulation program; choosing a stock image and setting up multiple copies to be cut out of a 12″ x 12″ piece of cardstock. I went to save my project, which brings us to:

Issue #1:
In order to save anything using the included software, you need to have your computer hooked up to the Pazzle Inspiration, and the Inspiration machine TURNED ON, even if you have no intention of cutting anything yet. For someone who has one computer, this is not a big deal, but how many of us want to be able to work on a design while sitting on the couch with our laptops, watching the kids, and then execute the design later on? I’m guessing lots, myself included. So then I had to load the software onto our desktop too. But whatever, I was willing to keep trying. Which brings us to:

Issue #2:
After getting everything set up to cut, I set the thing in action, and was a very happy girl… for about 3/4 of a 12″ x 12″ sheet of cardstock (or about 9 large snowflakes, for those keeping track) when all of a sudden, the cutting head zoomed across the page, cut a deep gash in my mat, made a horrific grinding sound, and just stopped. Stunned, I turned it off, turned it back on again (Bill Gates has trained me well), and heard more of the same grinding noise. I let it sit overnight, and pictured this:

(clip art courtesy of Cool Clips)

while I frantically googled for solutions. I emailed technical support, joined the Yahoo Group, and finally found out about both a software and a firmware patch that needed to be downloaded. This brings us to:

Issue #3
I totally understand that if a product is sitting on a store warehouse shelf, not coming directly from the manufacturer, and the need for a patch is discovered, there’s really no good way for the manufacturer to get that patch out to all of the existing product. HOWEVER, I registered my Pazzle Inspiration online, and can’t imagine why as part of the “Welcome” email I received I wasn’t directed to download the patch. I shouldn’t have had to freak out in a panic and search for an answer. To be fair, Pazzle’s customer support emailed me over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which exceeded my expectations, but regardless, there’s a better way, and it wasn’t utilized.

Okay, so I’ve downloaded both the software and firmware patches, I’m on my desktop computer, I set up another file to cut (this time a cute scrolly frame), slap some black cardstock on my sticky mat, and away we go. Which brings us to:

Issue #4
I went to peel up the black cardstock and it wouldn’t come up. It was stuck fast, and even when I tried with a little scraper, to gently lift the edge, it separated and boogered up my (way too) sticky mat. So, I put a little brute strength behind it, removed the black card stock, and a good bit of the sticky on the sticky mat. Ergh.

Okay, fine. How about cutting some felt? I had a great idea about creating Spirograph-inspired wreaths for my holiday cards in hot pinks and orange, because how fun would that be. Yeah. Don’t go checking your mailboxes, because we’ve arrived at:

Issue #5
I beat myself senseless trying to get my design into the software package (rasterized .jpgs vs vectorized lines, and by the way, I’m VERY computer-literate and still wound up with a headache), AND THEN, when I went to cut it, the peel & stick felt wouldn’t stick to the sticky mat (felt side down OR backing sheet down) well enough to keep from moving around, so I peeled the backing off and slapped it down on the not-so-sticky mat. It wasn’t moving now, boys!

So, my Spirograph-inspired wreaths were coming along reasonably well. But then I tried to peel them off the mat (no sticky pretense), and all the remaining original stickiness came up with the wreaths. I went out and bought 3 different kinds of temporary adhesive to reapply the sticky. To be fair, Pazzle’s does make an adhesive refill, as well as extra mats, but that brings us to:

Issue #6
Try finding any Pazzle anything at your local craft store. I have three large, well-stocked craft stores within a 15 minute drive, and none of them have Pazzle products on their shelves, regardless of the fact that I bought the thing from one of the big craft store’s web sites.

After (what I thought was) a stroke of brilliance, I used one of my 50% off coupons on a Cricut Expressions 12″ x 24″ pack of two sticky mats. I cut one of the mats in half, so now I had 2 12″ x 12″ sticky mats, 1 12″ x 24″ sticky mat, and a bag full of spray adhesive that I didn’t really need. Genius, right? Not so much. The Cricut mats are not sticky enough (in my experience) to be used more than once with the Pazzle Inspiration, which despite the adjustable cutting head pressure, just moved the cardstock around.

Because this is Craft Critique, I’ll give you some pros too, just to show I’m a good sport:

Pros:

  • Ability to use any True Type font that’s on your computer
  • Not limited by prepackaged cartridges or preset sizes
  • Really cool accessories, including engraving, distressing and embossing heads to swap out for the cutting head. This was a big selling point for me.
  • Customer Service reps work on Black Friday, and send very friendly emails.

Cons (in addition to those listed above):

  • It’s loud, even when it is working the way it should be
  • It’s pretty slow too, and the cutting path it follows seems to be inefficient
  • It’s expensive (retails for $699, I bought it on sale for $499 USD)

And so, I give up. I’d love to show you a project that I made, but I don’t have one. Frankly, I gave it my all, and it’s just not working for me. I’m returning it, and don’t recommend it.

Do you love your Pazzle Inspiration and think I’m an idiot? Please, let me know. Seriously, bring it. I’m ready :-)

The following two tabs change content below.

Dana Vitek

Dana Vitek is a craft-‐‑supply hoarder with an obscenely understanding husband. She works full-‐‑time as a geologist, and spends her free time sort of paying attention to her two kids, reading a lot, and crafting. She's a crocheter, but not a knitter because knitting seems way too complicated. She's a card maker, but usually only 10 minutes before a birthday party. She cusses at her sewing machine. She has at least 12 different types of glue, but can never find the scissors she wants when she wants them. Dana started writing and editing for Craft Critique in 2008. She is perhaps best known for her Mother of All Black Ink Tests, and her annual April Fool's posts. She blogs extremely irregularly at Stamping Science. http://stampingscience.blogspot.com

Latest posts by Dana Vitek (see all)

, , , , , ,

56 Responses to Pazzle Inspiration Computer Driven Paper Cutter

  1. the whimsical butterfly December 9, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Well, this is what CC is for. I know I always feel bad, too, when reviews I do aren’t the best, but this is what it’s all about. Hopefully someone will have some great suggestion and things will turn around, but even if not, people WANT to read this before they go spending so much money. I think you did awesome, Dana!

  2. LisaVB December 9, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Hey Dana, don’t feel bad! I’ve been selling digi diecut machines for 3 years now I think, and not every machine works for everyone. :) I will say to give Klo a shout at http://scrappingklo.blogspot.com/ as she is FABULOUS with the Pazzles machine.

    I personally haven’t used one, but have seen them at CHA before. I have chosen to sell the Klic-N-Kut machines, which are fantastic. A bit of a learning curve, but they’re GREAT for someone who wants to cut TTF, chipboard, 12×12, etc.

    Feel free to email me if you’d like to chit chat about those machines!

    Lisa

  3. Karen Hanim December 9, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks so much for your critique! Not only was I well informed but you had me in stitches as well!

    I am far cry behind you guys. I am just buying a Cricut machine so to arrive by a friendly traveler. But I look at it this way. I live overseas and will be about the fourth person in the country to own one so I actually am feeling ahead of the game!

  4. Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    I’ve always wondered about these ‘other’ electronic die cutters. All you ever hear is Cricut!Cricut!Cricut!, so it’s nice to actually read a review on one of the other options. I hope there will be others as well. :)

  5. Jean December 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    I recently took the Cricut dive and was hesitant because of the expensive cartridges. It’s good to know that pazzles expanded the options, but maybe machine basics need some improvement. You are a great writer and I learned a lot from the review. Thanks!

  6. scrappymomtotwins December 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    Had a Wishblade for the reasons you wanted a pazzele.

    HATED IT.

    Got a cricut.

    LOVE IT.

    Because Cricut now has SCAL–SureCutsALot software. So you can cut ANYTHING on a cricut–you can use carts if you want or your PC if you don’t. Both are easy to use with a very minimal learning curve.

    Very happy I went with my cricut. I can cut chipboard, i can cut every font in the known universe–or can pop in a cart and do it the lazy way. I HAVE IT ALL.

    Anyone want to buy a wishblade??

  7. Angel December 9, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Thanks for the review!! I just started looking into digital die cutting machines & was considering the Pazzle. I’m glad to know that I can take it off my list. I want something that uses the fonts on my computer so I don’t have to buy a bunch of cartridges.
    I’d love to see your reviews on other machines like the Klic n Kut or the Silhouette!

  8. MaryNSC December 9, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    Yes I would love to see what U say about the Silhouette.. I am so sorry u had so much trouble. I am still laffing about you HATING People.. HAHAHAHAHA
    I just said that about a hour ago!!
    I SAID I HATE PEOPLE.. HAHAHHAHA
    I dont really mean it but it felt good..
    My dishwasher died DOnt Buy a Kenmore.. HAHAHAHHA
    Had it one year in June.:O(

  9. Jennifer Priest December 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    I contemplated a Pazzles (the $1500 one long before the Inspiration came out) too but when QK came out with the Silhouette I opted for the cheaper option. Why didn’t I just buy a wishblade (also cheaper than Pazzles)? Because QK’s customer service reputation really made the difference for me. It doesn’t do EVERYTHING I want to do, like cut chipboard but I don;t know that such a machine exists — one that does everything AND is easy to use. Or maybe it does and only the manufacturers have it so they can make their products! Thanks for the laughs though.

  10. Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    Sorry… but I LOVE my Pazzles. I’ve had the blue Wishblade for years. And was ready to upgrade to a more versatile machine.

    The software is a piece of cake compared to WB. And, with any software, you MUST get the most current patch.

    There is new software to be able to do remote Pazzle work as you suggested without being connected to the machine.

    Felt?? A good pair of scissors doesn’t even cut felt well and you expected a machine that drags around a tiny knife to cut it well?

    What did you do??? Try it for a week and blast it because you couldn’t handle it?

    I think you needed to watch the tutorials first girl! Or maybe the Cricut is the level of sophistication that you can handle.

    Let’s see ya put some felt in that baby! LOL

  11. Krissi December 9, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Very well written and informative review – thanks Dana.

    BTW, anonymous comments are fine (you know who you are), but can we all be civil and keep the nastiness our of our comments? Flaming isn’t what this site is about or why so many of us rely on it.

  12. jules p December 9, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    that is so sad. I hate to hear about products that are poor quality and they still stay on the shelves.
    I am glad you mentioned this. I don’t have that so of money right now, but…I like you would love to have a nice die cutting machine.
    Thanks again.
    sorry it did not work.

  13. Tammy B December 9, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    ack, thanks for taking one for the team. i’m sorry you had such a cr*p experience, but you not only made your review informative, but also enjoyable. thanks for that. good luck with your next machine!

  14. Deb December 10, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    Love your review, now I can take the Pazzle off my list, I’m glad I read your review before going out and buying one. I’ve been looking for a cutting machine that you don’t have to buy all the seperate cartridges, and you can use your own images and fonts off your PC I’ve read about a machine called the Craft Robo has anyone got one? I’d really like to read a review on that one.

  15. Paula December 10, 2008 at 6:14 am #

    Buy a Cricut. Like another commenter said, you can use SCAL or Design Studio software to use your own fonts. I love Cricut. I just upgraded from the baby to the Expressions. Cricut works right out of the box.

    Your review was funny, too. I understand your frustration.

  16. Michelle McGee December 10, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    Dana… hope CC gives out a “Reporter of the Year” award this month because you are the hands down winner!

    I loved CC when I first discovered it, but to be honest most of the reviews here are (as you say) “sunshine and happiness.”

    Boring.

    This review is perfect. Not because it’s a negative one (although refreshing,) but because it’s well written, easy to read, smart, real and funny. (Having the ability to put us right there with you is such a writing strength!)

    Thanks.

  17. Lyssa December 10, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    I”m glad you put this on the table! I have a friend who owns it and says it’s the best. And for a second, I regretted buying the expressions machine. But after reading this, I am one glad crafter!`

  18. Lyssa December 10, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    And i’m sorry, but anonymous comments who leave nasty ones are just cowards, plain and simple!

  19. Jessica December 10, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    Thanks so much for this review!
    i don’t even have the budget for a machine like this right now, and doubt i will anytime soon. However, i have been super-curious about this machine and it’s ilk. i still don’t have a Cricut and really wanted to wait until i could afford a Pazzles or Wishblade. Now i’m rethinking that decision, especially after reading the comments about the SCAL software for Cricut.
    i love this site. keep up the great work, Dana!

  20. Linda Bandow December 10, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    No Dana you are NOT an idiot. I decided against the Pazzle due primarily to $$$. Boy am I glad I did….I am fairly computer literate and think I would have ripped out what is left of my hair. Thank you for saving us from everything you went through.

  21. Carol C. December 10, 2008 at 4:40 pm #

    Speaking of digital cutting machine, I bought a Silhouette a year ago and it took me some time to become comfortable with it. I like that I can download images online 24/7 for $3-5 each and then I can resize them. It works with your own true type fonts. I had also cut chinese characters too (after saving it as an image). The noise is loud, but not unbearable. And you can’t really use small scraps of paper either. It would really help if you take the time to read the manuals and FAQs on their website.

    If I’m not mistaken, I think Robocraft is the same thing as Silhouette, only rebranded under another company. Now that the Silhouette has gone down in price, why not try it? but only if you invest the time to learn how to use it. =D

  22. Jen December 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Well, judging by the reader response, this has got to be one of the best reviews all year, so thanks for the effort Dana.

    I haven’t got any electronic die cutting machine (quite frankly, it was a big step even getting cuttlebug!) nor do I have any plans to do so. BUT IT IS SUCH A COMFORT to know that if such a time finally arrives, I will have a reliable source of objective information about an $$$ product to help me make an informed purchase.

    THIS IS WHY I VISIT CC ALMOST DAILY- it is just as good as blog candy (well, maybe…depending on the candy ;)

  23. Anonymous December 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    I have to ask if you read the step by step manual that is pretty clearly written? I do agree there is a learning curve. There is with most software. I also wonder why if you were having trouble cutting paper you would jump to something more difficult without mastering the basics first?
    This is my second Pazzles. I upgraded from the mini. So I am an fan. I do not feel that you gave much time and consideration to the impact of your words when you posted your critique. No, I do not expect all reviews to be sunshine and roses. I do expect them to be thourough. I personally do not feel you gave the machine enough time or consideration. You also do not have a baseline for comparison since you were not using other electronic die cutting machines. I would love to see an honest comparison of machines AFTER you have used the major machines on the market.
    Leigh

  24. Krista December 11, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    I was thinking I wanted a Wishblade but to put out that much money at once was unthinkable. The pazzle was even more expensive. I want TTF and not to have to buy carts all the time, BUT, I have a baby bug, and now the E. I only have a few carts but intend to purchase SCAL when the funds are availabe. It’s the best of all worlds. Yes you can use TTF, other images converted using INKSCAPE, which is FREE. For the price of one or two carts (depending on the sale price), you can do it all with a pretty user friendly machine.

    I’m sure htere is quite the learning curve with the Pazzles, but if you were expecting it to come ready to use out of the box, it was surely a disappointment.

  25. Anonymous December 11, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    BEFORE YOU TAKE THIS REVIEW TO HEART AND WRITE OFF THE PAZZLES, go to the yahoo groups and join a couple of those groups. I asked if they would rebuy the pazzles if they had it to do over and all but one said yes and that one had some issues that an update on software was supposed to fix. Some of the problems mentioned in this review should be fixed with an update. Also, you can work on projects without being connected to the PI. You just have to know how to do it.

    I’ve asked lots of questions since this bad review and almost all of them have been answered.

  26. Gayle December 12, 2008 at 12:23 am #

    well i’m with you Dana, I dont have the patience or want somethig with a “learning curve” for that dollar amount!! I want to be able to plug it in and go to town!!! Thank you for the review.

  27. Anonymous December 12, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    it is that pricey because it is a sophisticated piece of equipment. It is not like a calculator where you know sort of how to use it before you even open the box. I have a cricut because I am an istant gratification kind of person. I do however have a friend who has one and I love having her cut special things for me. She is a whizz on that thing. There is a reason they make the cricut so EASY to use. I like pushing my one button and she likes making her own things. WE are both happy. I don’t think this review was well written.

  28. Etha December 13, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    This was a fun and good review :) I really don’t think it is about taking sides or such, its just one person’s experience with one cutter. That’s all! Not many people who have a cutter this expensive will freely say it doesn’t work for them, what would justify the expense then…. I don’t think this review would stop somebody from buying it, you would just be more aware of issues that can arise while you are learning to work it (like that stupid patch thing!!). Try taking a knitting machine out of the box and make a sweater on the first day… even if you KNOW how to do it on another one ;) it ain’t going to happen.

  29. Radiogirl December 23, 2008 at 1:41 am #

    Wow, this was a fun read, both Dana’s critique and the comments. I’m disappointed in the anonymous commentors, be brave and show your face/name; can’t you respectfully disagree? We each have different experiences w/different items; this was Dana’s experience. This was not meant to be a comparison article.

  30. Anonymous December 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    I have a cricut and just received my Pazzles for Christmas. I LOVE IT! Before I cut anyhting I read a lot of tutorials and watched a lot of tutorials. I think this is what helped me. With my Cricut, I just jumped right into a project. I was much more wary of the Pazzls because of the Learning Curve. However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

  31. Anonymous January 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    LETS’S SEE… TO Anonymous #1 THE Pazzle STINKS!!!!!

    From Anonymous

  32. Anonymous March 1, 2009 at 7:03 pm #

    I have a Pazzle Inspiration and I love it! If you are computer savvy and read the small instruction book before you begin you’ll do just fine.

  33. Angela May 11, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Because of this review so many are now turned off of the pazzles, the problem is this was only one review of someone who didn’t like the machine, that’s ok everyone is entitled to their opinion of a product. Along with myself I have found so many reviews of people who love love love the pazzles. It’s like going to the movies, one person will go and hate the movie then they’ll tell everyone how horrible it was and not to waste their money but another person will go and love it. You can’t judge something or someone by what someone else has said.

    For those who think the cricut is cheaper than the pazzles.
    I have to wonder how many have stopped and really thought of how much they have spent on cricut products?

    My husband bought me the cricut machine for my birthday I was so excited! Though over time I have become disappointed with the cost of it all. I don’t have many cartridges because I can’t justify what they are selling them for.

    To make the cartridges is really cheap, yet they sell them for soooo much more than what they are worth. Now I understand that Provo Craft has to make a profit off of their product, that’s part of business but, the gap of how much it costs to make vs. how much they sell it for drives me crazy.

    Because of the cost I started looking for a machine that in my opinion is just as good (if not better)as the “cricut”. I searched and searched and did my homework for what I think is a much better deal. In the short run yes you you fork out more $$$ for the pazzles but, in the long run you will be saving hundreds and hundreds of dollars by buying a pazzles instead of a cricut.

    There is a learning curve but life itself is a process of learning, It’s how you deal with it “patience” is the key word.

    I still love the cricut I think it’s a great product and for some people might be the right product. Price wise though…pazzles is a much better deal.

  34. Siri Fjørtoft, Fjørtoft Design June 29, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    I haven´t heard of the Pazzle befor, but I do have a Cougar from Black Cat Cutters! I have had it for 14 days, and I have used it a lot! It works with both PC and MAC, comes with free software, you can design your own designs or buy files. It can use all True Type Fonts and cut all kinds of materials. I LOVE IT!! I have not tried to cut felt with it, but according to the Cougar Forum it should be no problem. It also cuts balsawood, chipboard, engraves metal and embosses. It is quite expensive, but not more than 2-3 alfabeths from QK (at least in Norway). If anybody is considering buying a computer driven paper cutter I would absolutely recomend looking in to this truly amazing machine!

    Siri

  35. cindy June 30, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    To anonymous # 2. You don’t know what your talking about because if you did you would give examples. So hush–your comment doesn’t count.

  36. suebear209 July 11, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    I have owned a baby cricut for several years, but was looking for a more versatile machine. Less than a month ago, I purcahsed the Pazzles Inspiration at a scrapbook convention. To date, I have created over 200 cut files on my own. Yes, it has taken me a while to do this, but each one gets easier and easier…practice makes perfect!

    I would like to add, that I consider myself to be fairly computer literate, so I caught on fairly quickly. Plus, I got a wealth of information from the tutorials, manuals, and Klo’s blog. With that said, I will add the my best friend also purchased one at the same time. She loves her machine, and how versatile it is. But she is much less computer savvy that I am, so she does have a more difficult time converting, vectorizing, images.

    So, I guess I am trying to say that the Pazzles does require more computer skills, and prep work if you are creating your own files. But, it is WELL worth the work! Plus, Pazzles does sell image CD’s for $20-$30 for new images. But, If you just want to cut and go, the Cricut may be your best bet.

    I was at a crop this week, and all the other ladies, 3 of the 5 others were cricut owners, just loved the Pazzles, and asked me to make special items for each of them…sports logos, cartoon characters, etc. It was a breeze!

    PS. I no longer own ANY cricut items! I LOVE MY PAZZLES INSPIRATION!!!

  37. Anonymous September 16, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    While I don’t agree with Dana(that is ok, because we all have our own preferences and that IS what makes the world go round), she does have some valid points. I purchased a Silhouette machine AND a Pazzles only abot 9 months apart. I will NEVER go back to silhouette(wishblade is identical with the exceptions of Color)I found the program very user difficult, and many of the similiar issues that Dana had with the Pazzles(it just sits on the shelf gaining dust).

    You can do just about anything with the Pazzles, it has a very very user friendly program and to get supplies isn’t terribly difficult, since we all surf the web. They can be purchased through he Pazzles website, and the bring it right to me. What could be more convienient.

    There are a couple more points I find I like with the Pazzles. Even though up front it may cost a bit more, if you buy one of the “other” machines which will only allow you to cut “their” designs, once you have purchased 2 or 3 cartridges you have spent as much $$ on them as you would a Pazzles machine. And if you can scan you can cut with a pazzles — not to mention any clip art available you can cut as well. Also, their cutting matts and blade are 1/2 the price of others and you get twice the amount.

    There are pro’s and cons to every machine and it really comes down to the one you find tht most comforably suits you, your preference, and your abilites.

  38. Anonymous October 21, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    I have loved my pazzle!! I use it with some of the eps files from http://www.vinylreadydesigns.com I have been able to make some way cute things!!
    -Jenney

  39. Catt of the Garage November 5, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Anyone else notice all but one of the positive comments are posted anonymously?

    Just thought that was strange…

  40. infinity November 18, 2009 at 3:40 am #

    I’m completely happy with my Pazzles Inspiration. It’s a very easy machine to use, you just need to be sure you have the blade and pressure set correctly for the type of material you’re using. It was really easy for me to figure out. If you know how to use Adobe Illustrator or vector based programs it opens a lot of doors as well. I’m still finding new things that this wonderful machine can do. I highly recommend it!

  41. Abeer December 22, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I am kinda new to crafting and have limited supplies. Believe it or not, I was hand cutting before I got totally frustrated. I thought that Fiskars was my best friend!!!! I love researching and did check out a multitude of videos on youtube. The program used by Pazzle seems familiar; I use a lot of Adobe based programs. I believe that if you are used to them, using the Pazzle programs might be easier. Again, I am basing this assumption only on blogs and video available for free online. I have not bought the product at this time, I feel I still need more research, lol!! This has nothing to do with computer literacy, more like computer program exposure. Honestly, not everyone enjoys using intricate programming systems. To those who call themselves computer savvy/literate, as do I, I say- “There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t. “
    Dana, u got mad writing skills. I did enjoy reading your review very much. Thank you.

  42. michelle March 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    I have the cricut expression and have already spent a ton of money on cartridges and had just heard of the Pazzle Inspiration. I also have the Gyspy and Sure Cuts alot but can not figure out how to convert to SVG or even if that is what I am supposed to do. There is also Makethecuts which I have not tried. Any help would be great. I wish I could find a cutter that you don’t need to convert. I am frustrated and wish I could figure it out.

  43. Brigitte May 10, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    I just purchased the pazzles inspiration so I do not have much experience with it as yet. I have however watched all of the videos on Pazzles and most of the issues that you had were addressed on how to avoid these issues in the “Setting Up Your Pazzle Inspiration” video. They mention that you should use the scraper on your mats before opening them to ensure that the adhesive will stay on the mat. They also say that before running the machine to go onto the website and download all of the updates. This item goes as far as cutting acrylic sheets. I am a huge felt person and even have an Etsy store for my felt work. Although I don’t think that I would even think to put felt on a machine like this. But that is just me. But I really thank you for your insight. I really look forward to working with this machine!

  44. Erin December 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    This is way late…but I just bought the pazzles and spent all day yesterday frustrated. Then I started looking up everything online and found out one of my blades was damaged (honestly, I’m pretty sure that was my fault). I replaced the blade, found a tip about adjusting your blade length with pressure/speed etc. and now I LOVE it. It’s so easy to use and I’ve already made Christmas tags and business cards. Here is the link to the tips I found: http://www.pazzles.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=954&sid=55050c4aaf03bbaf5cb9e6fa60a1c947

    So, no, you’re not stupid…I was about ready to break down numerous times, but you can get the hang of it :)

  45. Catonisland January 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Happy New Year 2011. I realize that you wrote this post eons ago, but I just found it because I am in the market for a die cutter. I am looking for something what will cut felt and something I can scan my own images to from my computer. Do you know of another machine that can do what the Pazzle can do or is supposed to do?

  46. Liesl February 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Hello I am a begining scrapbooker but always look for the best when it comes to products. The pazzle does look like a well desinged machine though price is a little high. I will say they have a deal on the site where you can get the pazzle for $99 with a 2 year subscription to the site (subscription is $19.95 per month) so the total cost comes out to be around $579 still pricey but it is a way to pay off your machine in small more affordable payments and you get access to to forum to post projects and ask quetion.

  47. Anonymous February 20, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I have been looking for a Computer aided cutter for some time now. My wife has the Cricket and several other things like the big shot. I am well versed in corel draw, raster and vector techniques. I have been using a Epilog Laser for woodworking about 3 years and decided to try paper. My wife was amazed at the detail that i can produce. Any thing she wants I can produce, I mean anything, including portriats engraved and cut – outs, if you can draw it this machine will cut or engrave it.. Vic

  48. Renee March 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I had a pazzles mini and the only complaint that I have is that i used it for so long that when I upgraded my computer the Mini was out of date. You can upgrade it but you have to buy a disk so I have decided to upgrade to the big machine. Here is what I learned about the Pazzles Mini and the company for the many years I used it.

    No. You cant use a machine like this right out of the box. If you want something you can plug someone elses ideas into and press the “cut” button then definately go with the Cricut. I hear they are great for that. There is a Cricut at my scrapbook store and, believe me, I appreciate that its there when I need it.

    I have done so much with my Pazzles. I have scanned coloring book pages into my computer, transferred them to the Pazzles files and cut them out quick as you please. I scanned my son’s doodles and cut them out to make an album of his “early art”. If you take that in to consideration then the things you can cut with a Pazzles is TRUELY endless. This took some learning on my part but I’m ok with that. I dont have lots of time on my hands but what I do have I spend scrapbooking so I count the time Very well spent. There are tons of tutorials online now but when I started it was just me and the manual that came with the machine. It was plenty (I actually read it). Im not going to say that my first cuts were perfect but the hundreds of cuts I’ve made since then have MORE then made up for it.

    I had only one issue with my Mini in all the years I’ve been cutting on it and when I called the company to let them know they sent me a prepaid box to ship it back to them and A NEW MINI! Thats it. No fuss no muss. It was just the power button but they replaced my machine right away.

    Dont count out the Pazzles because someone didnt take the time to get to know this mighty machine.I dont mean to put down the reviewer, she seems intelligent and articulate (if a bit angry).

    I’m going to order my Inspiration now, I CANT WAIT to etch glass with it!!

  49. Diany July 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    I wanted a die cut & embossing machine, then i found cuttlebug and friends that do that, but i have to keep buying the templates.

    then i found cricut, but wanted my own fonts.
    then i found silhouette, but wanted embossing.
    then i found pazzles, that does it all but…it has to be easy to use. by the sound of it, pazzles may not be the best way to go.

    i’ll settle with silhouette sd then. Thanks so much for the review! you saved me hundreds of dollarsszz…

  50. Janine August 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Thanks Anonymous for your words. I have a Cricut and love it but hate that I can only create what Provocraft tell me I can. I used to have SCAL and now they have taken that away from us.
    I’m seriously thinking about a Pazzles. The $99 deal they have at the moment takes away the $$ dilemma.
    The last person I spoke to who didn’t like the Pazzles just couldn’t cope with the tech side of it and therefore hated it like this reviewer.
    I’m glad you have had two and liked them. It was more informative reading your review !

  51. BettyG April 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Interestingly, Pazzles now has another deal which is the cheapest I’ve seen. It’s $199, plus a 12 month (19.95/mo) subscription to their craft room. That totals $438. Considering that it includes 1 year of their craft room where you can learn a lot and download 400 files a month (let’s see, in one year that’s 4800 files)I think it’s definitely worth it.

    I understand that it can be frustrating when you want to take a machine out of the box and just fly with it and things don’t work out the way you’d planned. However, I hope that others don’t take this as gospel. Lots of folks have Pazzles and love them.

    As for me, I’m ordering my Pazzles today. I’ve spent a lot of time investigating the various machines and despite the cost, I think this is the one for me.

  52. September May 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I had a Wishblade – hated it, got the Pazzles – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Of course, I purchased mine with the Pazzles Craftroom membership (the only way to go IMHO) and spent the days prior to its arrival watching the tutorials that covered all the things you were frustrated by so that they weren’t issues for me when my machine did arrive. Also, I sprung for the Pro software from the beginning and that covered the having to be hooked up to your cutter. Even if you don’t have the Craftroom membership you still have access to Klo’s class and class archives which are a wonderful resource and their customer service is excellent. I’m sorry you had such problems but truly feel that you have put a lot of people off what really is an excellent cutter with a great deal more versatility that a lot of the other cutters. For those of you that made it this far in reading the comments, please check out the Pazzles Craftroom and decide for yourself if this machine is for you or not. Do your homework and please remember that reviews are very subjective, even mine, and so you shouldn’t base your decision on what one person says but on what the majority of people say.

  53. treasurector November 15, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    Cool Pazzles tips: I don’t use spray glues. I tape my work materials to stiff card stock for cut or plot work. 2: I reinforce floppy plastics with layers and strips of low tack tape underneath the workpiece. (3m green or purple, transfer tape or shelf liner.) 3: Slit a piece of tubing to fatten a regular pencil or many kinds of colored pens for vector plots and testing design layouts. They then fit nicely. Set the pressure about 12. 4: Keep your designs well inside the virtual borders (1 1/8″ on large sheet sizes) or slicing damage to workpiece occurs when the software goes crazy. I am still looking for a standard HPGL or print driver that would be nice for raster plotting and glue and paint pen pen applications. Soft clay can be layered onto stiff plastic sheets for engraving and transfer. Styrofoam casting forms can be done with stickers over styrofoam and then a quick pass over them with a heat gun or spray paint. Have fun – Treasurector

  54. Robin April 6, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    I don’t think that Dana has put anyone off the Pazzle that REALLY wants one. She has simply provided some entertaining, informative, educational input that people can factor into their decision (and maybe use to try and avoid the issues that she wrestled with BEFORE they become something that makes you pull out your hair).
    I am still anxious to buy one- when I win the lottery, because right now I can’t afford it- but in the meanwhile, I can now find out how not to have the same issues that were a problem to her IN ADVANCE. Thank you for suffering so that I won’t have to. I loved to article and think people need to get a sense of humour (those who complained).
    Unfortunately I can’t avail myself of the special cheap offer with the subscription (or I would, it sounds great) because I live in Australia and the offer isn’t valid outside the USA.
    Thank you for a good read and a good laugh Dana, better luck with your next machine. PLEASE write a review, I can’t wait to read it.

  55. Anita April 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    What do you think you will get next. I want one but they all seem to have trouble. I do my own designs and want to use my computer. Don’t want to spend a large amount either. Any suggestions?

  56. sandra May 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    So I have had my pazzles for a couple of years now and had complete buyers remorse. I bought make the cut software and now I am in love with the machine. For sure it is an inconvenience to not be able to save unless the machine is set up, and the software that comes with the machine is horrible! I have really been enjoying it since my splurge on new software.

Leave a Reply