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Scissors Comparison

Reported by Taylor Usry

Today I’m going to compare four different types of scissors and share the results with you. I did an informal poll on Facebook recently to find out what crafters love to use the most, and these four were the most talked about scissors. So I thought I’d test them out and see how they rate!


How Tim Holtz describes the Tonic Non-Stick Micro Serrated scissors:

  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Non-stick coating minimizes adhesive build up
  • Extra large Kushgrip Handles for comfort and less fatigue
  • Micro serrated edge great for detail cutting
  • Protective plastic cap for sharp pointed blade
  • Excellent cutting on all types of material including sheet rubber, vinyl, and adhesive backed papers

My thoughts after testing:

  • The Kushgrip Handles are most definitely *the* most comfortable handle – very roomy for all sized hands (I even let my DH test them out, and he was pleased with how well his large hands fit in them)
  • Micro serrated edge does work well for detail cutting – on rubber and adhesive backed sheets. I’d stick with the smaller scissors (like the Cutter Bees) for precision cutting of cardstock and paper
  • These scissors don’t seem to “gunk up” as fast as others do when cutting adhesive backed things, which is nice
  • I got a smooth, consistent edge when cutting stamps backed with cling foam
  • As a mother of small children, I appreciate the safety cover included with these


What Stampin’ Up! has to say about their Craft & Rubber Scissors:

  • Perfect for trimming rubber stamps before mounting
  • Economical and heavy duty
  • Best rubber-cutting scissors available
  • Short blade length allows more control, 1-3/4″ blade length
  • Cuts to tip, allowing access to very tight corners
  • Over-sized cushioned handles reduce muscle fatigue

My thoughts after testing:

  • Handles are not as comfortable, large, or cushy as the Tonic scissors
  • Scissors are a lighter weight than the Tonic scissors
  • Cut through rubber very well, but sometimes leaves jagged edges that require extra trimming (i.e. less control in small spaces)
  • Adhesive builds up faster on the blades


What the box says about the Cutter Bee scissors:

  • Comfort grip handles
  • For left and right hand use
  • Ideal for detail cutting with precision tip blade
  • Safety cover


My thoughts after testing:

  • Handles are small, but have a non-slip cushion which is nice
  • Amazing precision for cutting flowers, intricate shapes
  • Does well in small, tight spaces and on curves
  • Very durable scissors – I have one pair that has lasted without sharpening for five years, and just bought a second pair
  • Love the safety cover included with these – helps make the scissors easy to find on teh craft table, keeps the sharp tip away from small, inquisitive hands


What the Judinkins website says about their detail scissors:

  • Great for cutting small and intricate images for applique

My thoughts after testing:

  • The grip on the scissors is not non-slip, which is not as comfortable for me. I think it affords less control over the scissors while cutting
  • Smaller blades allow for easier access into detailed areas for cutting
  • Edges that the scissors leave behind do not appear as smooth as with the Cutter Bee scissors


To wrap all of this up – I think all four pairs of these scissors are excellent for craft use. Each one does do a good job, but my personal favorites are the Tim Holtz Tonic cutters and the Cutter Bee scissors. I also like that these two are widely available both online and in retail stores. Do you have a favorite pair? Share some information with us – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Circle Scissor Cutter by EK Success

Reported by Christine Ousley
Being able to cut circles of varying sizes is very important in paper crafting, and having the right tool definitely helps. In this first article I will be reporting on the Circle Scissor Cutter by EK Success. The version I have is actually sold by Stampin Up! but it is manufactured by EK Success, as are all of the punches Stampin’ Up! sells.
The Circle Scissor Cutter needs a glass mat under it in order for it to work properly. This mat is also from Stampin Up! but you could probably use any brand you might have. The cutter sits on the glass which helps keep the cutter in place while cutting, as well as provide a cutting surface for your paper.

The blade, which I will show closer in later photos, fits into the cutter where shown below. When cutting a circle you will hold this blade down against the spring and push your hand in a circular motion around the cutter.

This photo shows me adjusting the circle size. One of the things that I love about this cutter is that you can cut circles in any size from 1 inch to 6 inches. Just twist the size button a tiny bit or a lot to get various size circles and mats for those circles.


Here is a picture of a large circle that I cut from a piece of regular cardstock. The larger circles seem to cut easier. The movement of the cutter is smoother on the larger settings than the smaller ones.

Now I have moved the Circle Scissor Cutter over to cut the smaller circle. The cutter was a little bit off the glass mat but the rubber part was pretty secure.


The circle I cut this time was a little off. This is consistent with my past and present use of this cutter. It is accurate about 75% of the time.

Here is a picture of the underside. You can see the foam feet that keep the cutter from slipping. This particular feature of the cutter could probably be improved by attaching larger or more pieces of foam. I believe that the movement of the cutter while in the process of cutting is what is causing the inaccuracy.

Here is a close up view of the blade holder. You can see the spring mechanism and the shape of the blade. Having to push down on the spring also causes some accuracy problems. Maintaining the same pressure as you go around the circle is difficult and causes spots that are not cut as deep as the should.

Pros:
  • Cuts circles from 1-6 inches in diameter
  • Glass mat never needs to be replaced
  • Portable and light weight
  • Cuts many different weights of paper
  • Does not need electricity
  • Inexpensive compared to other circle cutting system
Cons:
  • Does not always give you a smooth accurate cut
  • Take some muscle to move the blade around the circle as you cut
  • Sometimes slips when cutting
  • Cannot cut circles larger than 6 inches
Overall I like the Circle Scissor Cutter system. It is very portable and I love that creating 1/8th inch matting is not a problem for this tool. I also enjoy being able to cut circles up to 6 inches in diameter. Would I like larger circles? Of course, but for what this cutter was designed for it does a pretty good job
Please share your opinions on this tool, or let us know what YOU love to use to cut accurate circles.
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Cardstock Comparison

Reported by Taylor Usry

Everyone loves cardstock! It is definitely a product I cannot get enough of, and I am always interested in comparing different types, colors, textures, styles, and weights. I have found such a terrific variety of cardstock available to purchase, and thought I’d share a little about them. Pictured above are samples of Prism’s Prismatics textured cardstock, Stampin’ Up’s line of cardstock, Bazzill textured cardstock, and Georgia Pacific White cardstock (the kind you can buy at Walmart). Here are some basic facts about these samples:

  • Prismatics – 70# weight, available in a wide variety of colors, textured on one side, smooth on the other, can be purchased at a number of online and retail stores.
  • Stampin’ Up – 80# weight, available in four color families with matching ink, as well as specialty colors, can only be purchased through a demonstrator.
  • Bazzill – 65# – 80# weight, available in a large variety of colors and textures, can be purchased online or at retail stores.
  • Georgia Pacific White – 110# weight, available in large packs, can be purchased at Walmart or other office stores.

Not pictured above:

  • Coredinations Chocolate Box – 80# weight, available in individual sheets or coordinating packs at retail and online stores, has a gauze like texture and is multi-colored with a white core that is perfect for sanding and distressing.
  • Neenah Solar White — 80# weight, available in packs of 25 sheets from both online and retail stores.
  • Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select – weight 110#, available in packs of 40 sheets from PapertreyInk.


These are a small sampling of neutral cardstock colors and how certain effects look when applied to them. Each piece of cardstock was sponged with Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Ink, distressed with a distressing tool, and punched with a Martha Stewart edge punch. Additionally, I used a Copic marker to color a small square on each one to illustrate the different finishes on each sample. Stampin Up’s Whisper White and Georgia Pacific’s white do not take to Copic coloring well at all. The Prismatics sample looks a little rough but that is because I colored on the textured side – when Copics are used on the smooth side it is absolutely flawless. The Bazzill textured stock takes coloring well, however you can see the grain of the texture through the marker. The Georgia Pacific white did not punch as smoothly as the other cardstock, and left a rougher edge in the design.

This darling digital paper, A Little Love by Lizzie Anne Designs, was printed on Stampin’ Up’s Whisper White. In my opinion it does a wonderful job for printing paper. I have used Georgia Pacific in a pinch, and the designs come out grainy. I have not tried printing on any textured cardstock, since I just don’t think the texture would work well for printing. I did not have any on hand, but the Papertrey Ink cardstock (in white) is also excellent for printing digital paper. If you’ve tried a different cardstock, I’d love to hear the results of your experiments! What works? What doesn’t?

My sample above is made with all Prismatics cardstock. The colors I used were: Spring Willow Medium (G431-D), Suede Brown Medium (BR291-D), and White. I stamped my sentiment with Tim Holtz Ranger Disress Ink, and made the mistake of not heat setting it. It smudged (it takes awhile to dry on this paper if it isn’t heat set) so I sponged the entire panel as opposed to just the edges. I think the texture is gorgeous and lends itself well to simple cards. One of my favorite little bonuses about this cardstock is that it does not curl up or warp when you use a heat gun on it, either for embossing or just to heat set some ink.


This small love note features Bazzill cardstock that is available in a custom pack from Lizzie Anne Designs (they call it their French Floral pack). Their website provides an excellent close up picture of the texture on this cardstock. The colors I used were Juicy Plum and Moss. The textures of the Bazzill are much different than the texture of the Prismatics – Bazzill has a weave (sort of gauze-like), or stripes where Prism just has a texture, almost a bumpy look to it. I personally am not a huge fan of the Bazzill – I like it mostly for layers and small notes like this one. It just seems a bit to thin as a card base for me.


My last sample uses all Stampin’ Up cardstock. Two of the colors (Groovy Guava and Soft Sky) are no longer available; the Basic Black and Whisper White can be purchased through a demonstrator. One advantage to Stampin’ Up is their built-in color coordination – my ribbon was also made by them and matches the Guava perfectly. As far as stamping goes, the Whisper White takes color amazingly well for both line art images and solid images. It is difficult to color on though – no matter what media is used. Their colored cardstock is solid core and very heavyweight. Cards hold up with lots of embellishments, which is nice.

So that wraps it up for what I have to share with you today! I’d love to hear about your cardstock adventures (successes and mishaps!). Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorites (or non-favorites) are!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!