The Grand Calibur Die Cutting machine is a great die cutting and embossing machine that uses the thinner Spellbinder Nestabilities dies and many others.
Ease of Use, Performance: 3/5
Look & Feel: 5/5
How much I enjoy: 5/5
Recommendation: 4/5 Stars
The Spellbinders Grand Calibur is a die cutting and embossing machine that can use the Spellbinders Nestabilities and other thin dies to cut paper. The die cutting machine can also emboss paper using embossing folders and embossing plates like the Fiskars Texture plates.
Spellbinder sells a wide variety of dies and the Grand Calibur can cut using the Spellbinders Shapeabilities, Nestabilities and other thin dies. You can also use other company’s dies like the Sizzix Sizzlets, Quickutz and Cuttlebug dies as long as you use the correct sandwich.
You can emboss using the Grand Calibur and M-Bossabilities, Impressabilities and Grand Impressabilities as well as other companies embossing tools like Fiskars Texture Plates. The Grand Calibur comes with three plates and a tan embossing pad to use with the dies and using the correct plates and pad is the key.
When cutting you need to use a bottom plate to hold your materials as they go through the machine and a top plate to cut against while your die and material gets sandwiched in between. Inside the machine the steel rollers press the die into the material and cuts it or embosses it depending on the sandwich.
You can use the same dies to emboss or cut as by just using the thinner embossing plate and embossing pad to lessen the thickness of the sandwich. This makes for a great way to use the dies for multiple projects which means less cost for the more expense part of the die cutting system.
The die cutting machine itself only costs about $100 while the dies can run from $10 to $25 for most of the thin dies but you can find dies for less when buying used or on sale. The dies can really begin to add up in price when trying to get a good variety but I have found several for really good prices on clearance and at thrift stores.
The Grand Calibur has an 8.5 inch wide opening to fit letter sized paper without having to cut it down but for 12 inch wide scrapbooking paper you will have to cut it. The machine does have a large suction cup pad to secure it down to smooth surfaces right under the feed slot and a top handle.
I had no problem securing it down to my table and other work surfaces and the suction cup does keep the machine tight to the table. The top carry handle is also a handy place to hold the machine while cranking but I found it was not really necessary as the suction pad does hold it down tight.
I received my Grand Calibur and after careful reading about proper use did several projects but when trying to emboss some material the plates holding the rollers broke. In putting a bit too much pressure on the rollers the screw holes where the plates secure the sides stripped out.
I found out that Spellbinders had a problem with a third party vendor who made the two plates inside the machine that holds the rollers. Spellbinders sent me the new parts and the machine is working good as new, I am very impressed with Spellbinders customer support.
I have heard others who have had the same and similar problems like the machines handle breaking and customer support sends the new handle or repairs the machine quickly. After emailing customer support I also mentioned my problems on Twitter and the company responded about receiving the defective parts.
The Grand Calibur works well and customer support was quick to respond to my problems so I really do not have any complaints but rather commend them on their quick response. Spellbinders has a wide variety of dies and embossing products but you can also use a huge assortment of other dies and embossing templates from others as well.
I have made a wide variety of projects using the Grand Calibur and really enjoy the handy and compact size as well as ease of use of the die cutting machine. While the Grand Calibur does not use the thicker steel cut dies sold by Sizzix it can use the thinner ones like the Sizzix Framelits.
If you’re looking for a paper and thin material die cutting and embossing machine the Spellbinders Grand Calibur is a perfect one for scrapbooking and much more. I highly recommend the Spellbinders Grand Calibur as an excellent die cutting and embossing machine that is very portable.
Great die cutting and embossing machine
Uses a wide variety of thin dies
Smaller size, very portable
Some internal parts are plastic
Does not work with steel rule dies