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Crop-a-dile by We R Memory Keepers

You definitely know THIS reporter… please welcome the Stampin’ Mama herself!

Reported by Erika Martin

I’m always looking for new ways to create altered art or 3-D projects, but sometimes it’s hard to find a tool that will punch through odd materials (think: book covers or CDs). I had looked into purchasing a Japanese screw punch, but the cost had always deterred me. When the Crop-a-dile came on the market, I knew I had found just what I needed.Not only does the Crop-a-dile punch through some of the thickest crafting materials, but it also doubles as a silent eyelet and snap punch and setter. If you’re one of those crafters that likes to stay up late at night (when you get your best crafting mojo), but you don’t want to wake the rest of the house with those noisy hammer/punch/setter tools, the Crop-a-dile is a great alternative and much easier to use than the passe hammer/mat sets that first debuted on the market when eyelets were all the rage.

Depending on where you look, you can find new Crop-a-diles anywhere from $14 to $30. It’s a hefty tool to hold in your hand, but the weight of it is indicative of its sturdy construction. A look over the mechanisms of this tool and you know you have a durable tool that will last a good, long crafting liftetime.

The Crop-a-dile has dual purposes – to punch holes and to set eyelets/snaps.

To use the tool to punch holes, you have your choice between a 1/8 inch and a 3/16 inch hole. You can also set the little slide rulers on each of the punches as a guide for up to 1 inch in depth – meaning, your punch can go up to 1 inch in on the surface you’re punching. Simply slide the punch part of the tool over your surface and squeeze the handles together. You’ll be amazed at how effortless the punching process is. The sharp pointed tip of the punch makes it go through the surface like a hot knife through butter.

The eyelet/snap setter part of the tool works for both mini and regular size eyelets/snaps. Just as the punch part of the tool is clearly labled with size and measurements, the setter is also clearly labled as to where to put the base of the eyelet/snap and where there top of the eyelet/snap should be placed. The setter and base both swivel out easily by pulling on them to move them around as you choose which size you’d like to use. As mentioned before, using this setter is virtulally noise-free and just as effortless as punching the hole. If you’ve been holding off on using snaps and eyelets because of the noise and hassle of all the different tools, the Crop-a-dile eliminates those problems. You don’t need a mat or a hammer….the Crop-a-dile will do the punching and the setting for you, with the ease of just one tool.

As I’ve tested this tool out, I’m amazed at how many surfaces the Crop-a-dile will punch through. I love to create altered books, but finding a cost conservative tool to punch through book covers was a problem. The Crop-a-dile will easily punch through most book covers with ease. I’ve also punched through a small stack of book pages without any trouble, even after I’ve glued many of them together. My Crop-a-dile has been used by quite a few high schoolers during altered book courses and it still looks and performs like it just came out of the package. It’s seen a lot of love and some abuse, but this tool holds up to even the most forbmidable of users (scores of high school freshman boys).


I recently completed a class using old CDs and used the Crop-a-dile to create holes that were used to thread book rings through to make a mini album. Even with something as potentially brittle as a CD, the Crop-a-dile was able to make holes in the CD without cracking, bending or breaking the CD. It seems this tool is not only strong, but gentle as well.

Thick coasters are also something I use quite often for crafting projects and a regular hand held punch only made a dent in the surface, but was not strong enough to go through the entire coaster. The Crop-a-dile punches through the coasters with no difficulty at all. Besides being able to punch with ease, I really like the fact that there are the sliding rulers on the sides of the tool. When creating a project that needs at least two or more holes punched in a straight row, the sliding ruler gives you a stable guide and eliminates the need to measure out and eyeball your punches and hope that you got them straight.


I am always finding new surfaces to use my Crop-a-dile on and I’m sure you’ll love yours as much as I love mine.

Pros:

  • Virtually silent punch and eyelet/snap setter. Great for late night crafting or to eliminate all the “extras.”
  • Clearly labeled/measured sliding rulers to use as stable guides when punching mutiple holes in a straight line.
  • Will cut through a multitude of thick and hard surfaces, which most hand held punches can’t handle.

Cons:

  • Range of depth into a surface only extends up to 1 inch with the sliding rulers and eyelet/snap setter. If you’re punching or setting, you won’t be able to reach further into your paper/surface more than an inch.
  • Only two sizes of hole punches (1/8 and 3/16 inch).

Where to buy:

I find that even with the cons of this product, the pros are what bring me to take this tool out again and again. With all the bizarre and unqiue surfaces I use in my crafting, I would find it very hard and frustrating to work without my Crop-a-dile. I recommend this tool as an all-around necessity for your crafting stash.

So, what kinds of things have YOU punched through with your Crop-a-dile? Any tips or suggestions you’ve learned along the way that you’d like to pass on to other Craft Critique readers?

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21 Responses to Crop-a-dile by We R Memory Keepers

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous May 18, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    I love my crop-a-dile so much that I now wish I’d gotten the Big Bite that would reach further onto the item I’m punching. But I do think that it might be worth having both at some point, because this model is so easy to just pick up and use.

    Last night I punched through a clip board with absolutely no trouble at all, and I’m not very strong. It really is just as easy as they claim!

  2. Avatar
    Coffeemomma May 18, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    You know the only complaint I have about my crop-a-dile is that sometimes I have trouble with eyelets. It doesn’t always “split” the bottom of the eyelet so it can reach out and grab…does that make sense? Anyone else have this issue, and how do you solve it? I’ve had this issue with every kind of eyelet, even those that WeRMK makes.
    Ideas?

  3. Avatar
    Tamikko May 18, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    I love my crop-a-dile, but I broke the top, so it has become my daughters tool for punching. Of course now I have the excuse to buy the orange big bite 🙂
    Can’t imagine not having this amazing tool.

  4. Avatar
    java diva May 18, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    I have punched bottle caps. I absolutely love the ease it cuts through things like metal.

  5. Avatar
    MrsPeel May 18, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    wOw, thanks for this review, not only I will look for it and buy one, but you have just given me some ideas for a project I ll be starting this weekend (it may seem silly, but I have only very recently started doing projects on paper or *live* materials, I have been scrapping online for over two years though….
    so, thank you so much!

    Also thanks for every mail I receive from you guys, great site, wonderful style nd brilliantly useful!
    🙂

  6. Avatar
    KellyRae May 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    I love my pink Crop-A-Dile for close in work. I can punch the CDs, the CD tins, belts, purses, I even put eyelets in my leather cover of my day planner. (It was a big hit at my family Thanksgiving celebration last year…all the hubbies wanted to try it on their belts…lol). And when the Big Bite (Crop-A-Dile II) came along, well of course I got that as well. I use both frequently and they are never put away but always close at hand in my crafting space. I have severe arthritis (can’t even turn a doorknob or a key anymore), but the two Crop-A-Diles allow me the freedom to set those eyelets, snaps, and grommets with ease.

  7. Avatar
    Michelle Adams May 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    I have had the pink Crop-a-dile since it first came out, and I never use it. It is so hard to squeeze together! It is probably just me…I don’t have much hand strength. Maybe I should try it again, or think about getting the Big Bite? Thanks for the review!

  8. Avatar
    Christine May 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I love this tool. I don’t have to worry about it cutting through and I love that you can get your holes even because of the measurement guide. I think it is a definite must have for every scrapper. Hmmm, maybe I need the Big Bite too.
    xoxo, Christine

  9. Avatar
    Mari May 18, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    I do *love* how easy it is to punch through most materials. I *don’t* love setting ANYTHING with either the CAD or the BB. I can’t possibly be the only one that has issues with setting – it always looks mangled on the back! And it would’ve been nice if they made selecting the pieces for setting a little easier too. I remember tons of people complaining when they first bought theirs that they had thrown away the instructions.
    So, yeah, I’d really like to get some tips on how to keep the back from looking like it went thru a disposal. For now I punch holes with this, then set eyelets with a hammer & setter. Sad, huh? 🙁

  10. Avatar
    Kelly Jay May 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    I had problems at first too with my back looking mangled. I believe I was “squeezing” the crop-a-dile too hard. Just squeeze it with a normal pressure. I had a tendency to want to help it do it’s job. Let the crop-a-dile do all the work. I love it now and can’t live without it!

  11. Avatar
    Okispice May 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    I find this tool too big and bulky to handle. You are right that it punches through so many surfaces, but I can hardly hold it in place. I need one that sits on a desk so that I can free up one hand. This tool is just not working for me the way I want it to.

  12. Avatar
    Conniecrafter May 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    I too have problems with getting the back of my eyelets to be right, sometimes they don’t spread out correctly or I do it so hard it leaves an indention in the front of my piece, don’t know if I am doing it too hard or not hard enough, my husband doesn’t seem to have problems using it but I usually only do my crafting when he isn’t around.

  13. Avatar
    Bogner's May 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    I had a little dog making its ugly way into my back yard between a fence and metal (tin) car port. I used the crop-a-dile to punch the tin so I could wind a piece of wire through the shed and the fence to keep the ugly little mut OUT! *my pure bread lab was in heat and didn’t want icky little muts!!!
    It worked great, though I think it isn’t as sharp as it used to be 🙁 I do think that the 1″ is a bit of a hindrance too! I think the new generation (big bite) looks great since you can punch in 6″ (middle of 12×12 LO) though I haven’t tried the new version of the crop-o-dile.
    Your article was great and full of wonderful info. THanks for sharing.

  14. Avatar
    twinklescrapbooks May 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    It seems like the crop-a-dile can do so much!:0) tina

  15. Avatar
    meme2u May 19, 2009 at 5:56 am #

    I have been wanting to purchase the crop-a-dile but thought the use of it was way over my head. My daughter-in-law even showed me how to use it once, but after seeing all you can do with it thanks to your post…I am thinking this will def…be a purchase in the near future!!!

  16. Avatar
    Nancy May 19, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    I don’t use it often, but I’m glad I have the CAD in my toolbox. Unfortunately, I seem to use 1/16″ eyelets a lot, and the tool doesn’t handle those. I guess I should ask the mfgr to add that to their next model!

  17. Avatar
    Rebecca May 19, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I have a funny non scrap related use: my husband lost a bunch of weight and didnt want to run out and buy all new belts so he used it to punch new holes in his belt. AND we have those weird long blinds upstairs that crack on the connection to the top. When the individual piece falls down and wont fit back ino place we flip it over punch a new hole with the CAD and it works fine! Thick leather and thick plastic weird material!

  18. Avatar
    leu2500 May 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    I was surprised that you didn’t bring up one really important consideration about the Crop-A-Dile. It does not fit all hands. I have too many friends who have small hands and/or arthritis in their hands and they just can not use the Crop-A-Dile. So you really need to try one out b4 you buy.

  19. Avatar
    Erika Martin - Stampin' Mama May 19, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Hey leu2500 –

    Thanks for bringing that up. I have young hands, so it never even occurred to me that this tool might be a bit hard to squeeze for people with arthritis…or even smaller sized hands.

  20. Avatar
    JoAnne May 27, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    I phoned Croc-A-Dile re: the eylets splitting..they had a great explanation..it is the long shank on the eylet…they suggest using making memories eyelets..I bought some & they work great..no smashed back eyeletts

    JoAnne

  21. Avatar
    Anonymous July 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    what type/brand of snaps do you use for it? I would love to do this but now sure of what brand and where to buy them. Thanks!