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Spellbinders Grand Calibur

{Reported by Ashley Harris}

Spellbinders released their large format die cutting machine called the Grand Calibur at CHA this past summer. The company offices are located about 5 minutes from my house. So I was invited to come pick up a Grand Calibur and try it out. Well let's go!

Ease of Use: Once you get it figured out, the machine is super easy to use. Just pick your die, put down your paper, sandwich them and crank it through. EASY PEASY!

Construction/Durability: The construction of this machine is great. It is going to last you a good long while.

Usefulness: This is a multi-functional machine when you use the dies. It cuts, embosses and stencils.

Cost effectiveness: Now here is the tricky part. The price is decent for the machine. For the dies I think that $49.99 per set*(Please note that the $49.99 are for the Grand Nestabilities and you can still use the normal sized dies that aren't as expensive, in this machine), is a bit steep.*

What I liked:
- I liked that there is a clean cut with the dies. No tearing or ripping.

- I liked that you can cut and emboss just like you could with the Wizard.

- I liked the various die shapes and are nested hence nestabilities the name.

-I also liked that the plates were labeled base plate, cut plate, etc.

What I disliked:

- I didn't like that there are no instructions included. I have never owned any of the Spellbinders products before and I feel that it was assumed that prior to this purchase you were to be familiar with how their products work.

-The price tag on the dies are a bit much.

-Though it cuts a larger format than the Wizard at 8.5x11, I would have liked to see it in at least a 12x12 format.

What I made:

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Kraft; Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket Girl Friday; Sticker border: The Girls Paperie; Stamp: Studio Calico; Ink: Close To My Heart; Pearls: Zva Creative

Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Cream Puff; Patterned Paper: Donna Salazar; Flowers: Misc; Leaf: Prima; Stamp: Technique Tuesday; Ink: Tsukineko; Mist: Maya Road

Where and how much:
Product: Spellbinders Grand Calibur and Grand Nestabilities Dies
Manufacturer: Spellbinders
MSRP: $49.99-$129.99
Available Online: A2Z Scrapbooking Supplies*, Oh My Crafts,

What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!!


Anonymous said...

While I'm lucky enough to have a (fabulous!!) digital die cutter, I'm still interested in someday getting a "traditional" die cut machine so that I can cut thicker materials like felt or fabric. Thanks for your honest review of this one-- It's good to know that the dies are pretty pricey, something like that extra cost could be easy to forget while making a decision on the machine.

Rebecca Geile said...

$50 for dies? Yikes. I have a cuttlebug and I haven't found anything I can't put through it yet, even the big dies.

Angela Fehr said...

Anything that helps me use larger dies is a plus in my book! I have a big shot and the biggest width I can send through is 6". So how large does the Grand Calibur use?

CuddlyBunny said...

Thanks for the review and the notation that it doesn't include instructions.

I would be in deep trouble trying to figure out how to use the little guy!

Joni Parker said...

Other than the original red handled Sizzix, I have never purchased another die cut machine... Still waiting for the perfect one, I guess? And more importantly, one that I can justify using enough to spend HUNDREDS of dollars on machine & dies INSTEAD of gorgeous paper collections!! Thanks for the honest review....

Theresa said...

I have several of the Nestabilities die sets, and I use them a lot in my Epic 6. I also use all other types of dies - haven't found one yet that wouldn't work.

I love the idea of the new large format dies, but yes, $49/set is not a bit expensive, it's WAY expensive. Those dies probably cost $2 to have made and packaged, so you can see where the rest of that money goes.

If the new Grand Calibur machine cut 12x12, I would buy it up in a snap. Since I already have to cut my paper down to size before running it through my die cutting machine, it doesn't make much sense to buy a larger machine if I still have to do the same thing. I guess you might need the bigger machine for the bigger dies, which could pose a challenge. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Jen said...

Would love one of these Caliburs, but like everyone else...the cost is prohibitive for me. Still haven't gotten through the economy issues, so though I love the size of cuts this could do, I couldn't justify the thought of a purchase. But your creations are fabulous!!!

Anonymous said...

I work in an LSS and this machine is nothing but a headache - you can ONLY use spellbinders in it (not embossing folders of any kind) and we have had one returned that had the plate system and the spellbinders die jammed in it so bad that we couldn't get it out. Disappointed to say the least...