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CHA Mega Show 2016 | Hot Product Sneak Peek

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

Pen Blade

One of the most impressive products that I saw demonstrated at the CHA Hot Product Sneak Peek was the PenBlade. There are three different blade types offered by the company:

  • #10
  • #11P
  • #15
Pen Blade has three tip choices

Each blade has a different purpose and can be used for intricate work.

Pen Blade Cuts through leather.

The PenBlade has a retractable blade that works like a click pen. A click on the button will push the blade out and then another press on the button will retract the blade. This allows the user to retract the blade without repositioning their hand. Additionally, the blades are made of stainless steel and are very sharp. The PenBlade can be used either right or left handed. Because of its design, there are no sharp edges to get caught when the pen is not in use (as long as you remember to click it closed). I also found it really confortable to hold. The PenBlade also includes the ability to trim thread while the blade is not retracted by threading it through the safety tip.

Penblade Can Be used To cut thread

The next product that caught my eye at the CHA Hot Product Sneak Peek was the “i-loom”.

i-Loom - iPad Bracelet Loom

The i-loom and its accompanying app are the next generation of friendship bracelet making tools.

i-Loom - iPad Bracelet Loom Machine

The i-loom app pairs up the i-loom with the user’s iPad to create a classroom-like experience. The various knots and patterns are demonstrated through video on the iPad. The i-loom is interactive through the i-loom app, which allows for the user to swiftly go through the videos, patterns and tutorials to find what they need. The app allows the user to create their own patterns for the i-loom, as well as to use the many patterns that the app offers. The i-loom app teaches a range of simple to complex knotting techniques which can then be applied to complete some fun projects.

The i-loom Bracelets Design Samples

I love to make jewelry, so obviously any new jewelry making tools are going to catch my eye!  My new favorite is the new Beadalon Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool!

Beadalon Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool

Since Beadalon was at the Hot Products Event showing off their new “Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool” by Kleshna Handel, I got a chance to see the set-up of this tool. It is pretty simple and straightforward.

Beadalon Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool and sample bracelet

The Beadalon Bracelet Weaver Tool is made of an Aluminum Base, and includes 22 pins and 44 holders.  This tool can be used to create three different sizes of bracelets using wire and other materials. The tool retails for an affordable $35.99.

Kleshna Handel
Kleshna Handel

Kleshna Handel has designed some fun patterns that are available on the Beadalon website for her fans to try. I love that this tool allows the user to be truly creative in the materials they choose to use!

Kleshna Handel Bracelet made with wire and jean fabric
Kleshna Handel Bracelet made with wire and jean fabric

Among the samples displayed in the booth, there was a bangle made of wire and jeans. Another one was made of wire and plastic trash bags. The ability to make jewelry out of a multitude of materials, including recycled materials, is so exciting!

What CHA Hot Products excited you? Check out part 1 of my series to find out about more of the 2016 Hot Products finalists!

Review | Fiskars Cuts + More Scissors

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program. Some links in this article may earn this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click.

Fiskars Cuts More Scissors with Titanium Blades

I recently had a chance to test out the Fiskars Cuts + More Multi-Purpose Scissors which have titanium blades and come with pretty cool extras.

Fiskars Cut More butting wood ice cream stick

The Fiskars Cuts + More Scissors are really great multi-purpose craft scissors with great functionality and ease of use that can even be used to cut a wooden popsicle stick!

One of the extras that the scissors comes with is that on these scissors the blade protector doubles as a scissor sharpener.

Fiskars Cut More Scissor Sharpener

Once you are done using the sharpener, it slips on to protect the blades.

Fiskars Cuts More Scissors

There is a handy tape cutter located at the bottom of the black colored blade which is helpful when crafting.

Fiskars Cut More Tape Cutter

The scissors also have a designated wire cutter at the top of the black blade which I used to cut universal electric trimmer line (.65″).

Fiskars cut More Wire cutter

The packaging said the scissors would cut through thin wire, so I tried it on 22 gauge wire. It cut through it easily with the wire cutter feature. Then I tried it with the blades, which is probably not recommended but I tried it anyway (since our job at Craft Critique is to push things to their limit). I ended up having to sharpen the scissors afterwards to fix the nicks the wire left on the blades. It probably would not affect cutting most items but fabric requires sharp clean blades to make a clean cut, so I would avoid using the blades to cut wire and only use the wire cutting tool for that.

There is a twine cutter just beneath the black handle which I also used to cut light rope.

Fiskars Cut More Power Notch Rope Cutter

I was also able to cut small branches with it.

Fiskars Cut More Power Notch Rope Cutter

And, of course, as I mentioned earlier – these will also cut a popsicle stick!  You can see how clean of a line that these scissors cut.  These are perfect for summer crafting fun.  Another cool feature is that the tip of the black blade is designed to be used as an awl.

Fiskars Cut More Power Notch Rope Cutter

Just below the handle on the silver-colored blade is a bottle opener, which is handy for soda and beer bottles. It also worked to loosen the lid on my honey jar.

Fiskars Cut More Bottle Opener

Another cool extra on these scissors is that they are easy to take apart and are also dishwasher safe. If you have cut something sticky, you can appreciate scissors that can be easily  cleaned.  I ran the scissors through the dishwasher before I tried them on various produce.

Fiskars Cut More Scissors come apart easily

The take-apart feature also allowed me to use the blades individually to open packages.  They were almost like knifes in how easy they cut through various materials.  Another bonus was that they cut through the plastic packaging that my new stylus came in.

Fiskars Cuts More cuts through plastic

These scissors can cut through a lot of different items – here is a small list of some of the items I tested the scissors on:

  • twine
  • 22 gauge wire
  • cardboard
  • a 1/8″ thick postal box
  • Assorted types of paper
  • canvas
  • Assorted fabric (cotton, muslim, wool felting, etc.)
  • Assorted threads and yarn
  • herbs, salad, spinach and celery (after I washed the blades)
  • A less than 1/8″ thick soft leather
  • A less than 1/8″ thick piece of balsa wood (use power notch)
  • A popsicle stick (use power notch)
  • A soda can
  • Amaco ArtEmboss Metal sheet (use care, the scissors cut a very clean line and could give you a nasty paper type cut).
  • Amaco Contour Wire Mesh #80
  • Plastic toy packaging (it cut right through that annoying plastic packaging but I did need to use the power notch to get it started due to the weird shape of the plastic)
  • Rino-Tuff Electric Trimmer Line (.65″ or 1.65mm)

I also used the scissors to trim my roses and they did provide me with a nice clean cut.

Due to the shape of the blade at the power notch, using these for cutting fabric is not really recommended. It is really challenging to get a perfect line unless you use just the lower part of the blades to cut the fabric. I would rather use these for all the other materials that I craft with daily and cut fabric with a designated pair of scissors.

These scissors are, in my opinion, the ultimate multi-purpose scissors.

Pros:

  • Very multi-purpose – Great for cutting a variety of materials.
  • Made of quality materials.
  • Good value because of all the great extra tools on it.
  • Dishwasher safe.  (You probably don’t want to do this often but at least being able to clean it well before using on produce is great.

Cons:

  • Blades nick if you cut wire with them.
  • Not optimal for cutting fabric due to the design of the blade
  • Tape cutter feature is a stabbing hazard when pushing the blade sheath onto the scissors.

Fiskars Cuts + More Multi-Purpose Scissors have an MSRP of $20 and are available at Scrapbook.com and other retail outlets.

Do you have the Fiskars Cuts + More scissors? What have you tried to cut with them?

Review | Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissors

Reported by Linda Neff

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I thought I owned all the scissors I needed for my crafting projects but then I received a pair of Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissors to try.  I had lots of projects going on using a variety of products so I put these to the test.

I needed to cut some burlap strips and muslin pieces and was delighted at just how easily these scissors glided through both types of fabrics. They really did cut “like butter” – I felt no pressure at all and both fabrics were cut with nice clean edges.

Westcott_linda_neff_craft_critique_3

The packaging declares these scissors “easily cuts through multiple layers of fabric” and they did! My daughter and I were making new seat covers for some dining room chairs and used the Westcott scissors to cut through the 1″ thick seat padding. These scissors whispered through this project as if they were simply cutting through one layer of fabric.

Westcott_linda_neff_craft_critique_2

I have scissors for heavy projects like cutting chipboard, wire and such and if I try to use them to cut a piece a ribbon they won’t do it. The blades will just chew at the ribbon. So I’ve always had to have both fabric scissors and work scissors. These Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium scissors easily went back and forth from one type of project to another without any problem.

I use a lot of corrugated cardboard in my art projects which can be really tiring on the hands to cut. That’s where I learned to love the fact that the tension on these Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium scissors can be adjusted. The scissors come with a Blade Tension Key – a fabulous idea – so the blades can be easily adjusted for varying cutting materials.

Westcott_linda_neff_craft_critique_4

I loosened the blades just slightly to test the scissors on the corrugated cardboard. What a difference it made! With the tension adjusted for the thicker material it was very easy to cut through quite a lot of chipboard pieces with a whole lot less pain in my hand.

Westcott_linda_neff_craft_critique

Overall I have to say for the street price, less than $15, these scissors seem like the perfect little workhorse. The fact that the blade tension can be adjusted also should help the blades stay sharper longer. I’ve been using them on a variety of materials – fabric, paper, chipboard and corrugated cardboard – with ease. The lightweight scissors have very comfortable ergonomic nylon handles. My only worry is that I will put the Blade Tension Key in a safe place and when I need it I won’t remember where that safe place is. I wish it could be attached to the scissor handle somehow.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable to hold and use
  • Easily cuts through a variety of materials – from fabrics to paper products
  • Includes a Blade Tension Key for tension adjustment

Cons:

  • Includes a Blade Tension Key that could be lost

Westcott Extreme Edge 8″ Titanium Scissorsare available from a variety of office supply and crafts retailers, or the Westcott website, for around $12.50.