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Sizzix, Explained! By Katie Skilton

It's Sizzix central today on Hochanda, as Katie Skilton takes a look at all the main Sizzix products, what they can do and what they are compatible with... All of which are available on the Hochanda website! Happy Sizzixing!


Today I am sharing a post looking at all the main Sizzix products, what they can do and what they are compatible with. I hope this can become a resource guide for you and help you know which dies work with which machine.

Big Shot

The Sizzix Big Shot machine is an affordable, easy to use multipurpose creative system.  It is designed to cut and emboss for creating unlimited fun projects. The platforms themselves come with all the instructions on the so no need to be looking for the instruction book every time you want to get creative.
It has a 6” opening meaning that you can use:
*Sizzix Originals
*Sizzix Bigz Dies
* Embosslits
*Textured Impressions Embossing Folders

Plus you can use all of your existing dies that you already have in your collection! The only die you cannot use in this machine are the Sizzix Pro dies and the Sizzix Plus dies. As long as your dies are small enough to fit through the 6” opening, this machine will take them.

The Big Shot comes alone (which includes 1 extended multipurpose platform and 1 pair of cutting pads) 


The Big Shot Starter Kit

*Big Shot Machine
*Extended Multipurpose Platform
*1 Pair Of Standard Cutting Pads
*1 Thinlits Die Set (which includes 14 dies)
*1 Bigz Die
*1 Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
*1 Instruction Book
*10 sheets of 5 ½” x 6 ½” Cardstock Sheets

The construction is solid core steel rollers, unibody cast roller housing, solid steel gears and ABS plastic exterior.

Big Shot Express

The Big Shot Express leaves the crank behind!  Simply the push of a button gives easy motorised cutting and embossing.  It works in the same way as the Big Shot but instead of the handle there is a button that will feed the plates in both directions.

The construction is solid core steel rollers, unibody cast roller housing, solid steel gears, high torque motor, ABS Plastic exterior.

Included is 1 Big Shot Express Machine, 1 Extended Platform, 1 Extended Thin Die Adapter and 1 pair of cutting plates. 

Big Shot Plus

It’s everything you love about the Big Shot Plus the versatility to use 8 ½” x 11” materials.  With a 9” opening you can cut the whole Sizzix library (with the exception of the Bigz Pro Dies) the real beauty of this machine is the step rollers.  In the centre of the rollers they dip slightly to give even pressure throughout the whole of the machine.  No matter where you place your die you will get a perfect cut, with no more strategic placing of your dies.

The Big Shot Plus comes alone (which includes a pair of standard cutting pads, the Big Shot Plus platform and adaptors A & B which makes all Sizzix components thinner than a Biqz Die compatible with the Big Shot Plus machine and even works with other brand dies and embossing folders.  


The Big Shot Plus Starter Kit

*Big Shot Plus Machine
*1 Pair Of  Cutting Pads
*Adapter A
*Adapter B
*1 Thinlits Die Set (which includes 13 dies)
*1 Bigz XL Die
*1 Textured Impressions Plus Embossing Folder
*1 Instruction Book
*10 sheets of 5 ½” x 6 ½” Cardstock Sheets
*A4 Cardstock Sheets

The Big Shot Plus machine measures approximate 15 ¾” x 11 ¾” x 7 ½” and features a three year warranty.

The components are solid core steel rollers, unibody cast roller housing, solid steel gears and ABS plastic exterior.

Precision Base Plate

Constructed of high quality annealed steel the Base Plate allows for precise die cutting of intricate dies. The Precision Base Plate allows you to use thin dies to cut through burlap, felt, craft plastic, craft metal, fabric, aluminium, canvas, light weight suede and thin cork.  It allows the most intricate dies to be cut in a single passthrough the machine.  

For use in the Big Shot, Big Shot Express, Vagabond and Big Kick.  

Please note this is not for use in the Big Shot Plus.

Magnetic Platform

The Sizzix Magnetic Platform uses high grade magnets to hold Thinlits, Framelits and other wafer thin, chemically etched dies securely in place during cutting.  Great for cutting alphabet dies and keeping them in place.

The Magnetic Platform is used along with the cutting pads. The diagrams on the magnetic platform offers easy guidelines about how to make the perfect Sizzix sandwich.

Bigz Dies

The Bigz dies can cut almost anything! The general rule to follow is if you can cut the medium with a sharp pair of scissors you can cut it with a Bigz die.

They are encased in a plastic case with a steel rule metal blade inside and covered in foam to ensurer safety.

They come in a range of sizes from Bigz, Bigz L, Bigz XL and Bigz 25”. The following table shows which dies will work in which machine.

 Bigz L 
Bigz XL 
Bigz Plus
 Bigz Pro
Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix Big Shot Express
Sizzix Big Shot Plus
Sizzix Big Shot Pro
The Bigz Dies will cut a variety of materials including:
* Paper
* Card
* Chipboard
* Cotton fabric
  • Felt
  • Leather
  • Balsa wood
  • Thin aluminium 
  • Denim
  • Cork
  • Acetate

Because of the thickness of Bigz Dies they will only fit through certain die-cutting machines which include: 
Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix Big Shot Express
Sizzix Big Shot Plus
Sizzix Big Shot Pro
Cuttlebug (Only Bigz size)
Spellbinders Platinum

Sizzix Thinlits Dies

Thinlits create detailed shapes for more creative cardmaking and papercraft projects.  These wafer thin, chemically etched die sets are designed to cut a single sheet of cardstock, paper, metallic foil or vellum.  The dies give amazing detail and for best results use with the precision Base Plate. 

These dies will fit through all die-cutting machines as long as they are small enough to fit through the opening to the machine.


Sizzix Framelits allow easy cropping of photos, precise cutting of windows in cards and even 3D layering. The design of a frame lit allows for perfect registration which is useful for stamped images or sentiments.

These are a great staple item to have in your die-cutting collection.  They will fit through any die-cutting machine as long as they are small enough to fit through the opening.

Now that you're all clued up on Sizzix, make sure you watch Hochanda every day 24/7 for lots of fun and crafty demonstrations and inspiration from your favourite guests, including the amazing Katie Skilton! You can watch Hochanda live online, Sky channel 663, Freeview 39 (12am  4am) or Freesat 817.

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