Which craft machine will you buy?
There are various factors to consider what’s best for your needs:
- Do a Google search and compare international machine specifications. The one that may appeal to you may not (yet) be available in South Africa, which will add to your costs to import. Look out for voltage compatibility.
- International suppliers may list which South African distributors stock their products. You may be able to find stock at other local reputable retailers.
- Your budget will usually determine the best model that you can afford. The cheapest embossing machine retails around R1000. The cheapest electronic cutting machine is around R1500.
- Compare machine specifications for your needs. Will it be able to cut or emboss the size and type/thickness of materials you want to use?
a. Size – Electronic Machines typically accommodate projects around 9, 12, 14, 24 or 48 inches in width. Length of projects/materials in usually not a machine limiting factor.
b. Most ‘home-use’ machines can only cut materials around 0,8mm in thickness. This is usually adequate for thinner or less dense materials such as cardstock or thin plastics for home crafting use. Other more robust machines specify higher cutting forces and typically allow cutting of materials up to 2mm in thickness. Thicker than that, you would probably have to consider a relatively expensive laser cutter, or find thinner materials to achieve your project result. What projects do you have in mind, and do you intend to use it in your business? The suppliers normally advertise a list of materials and settings that can be used with their respective machines.
c. Determine if other unique features available on certain machines indeed add value for you, or will it be a limiting factor in future use: eg. Bluetooth connectivity, ready designs by themes and fonts on folders or cartridges, limited use of designs supplied by the manufacturer under license, can you access FREE SVG files via the internet to use or modify yourself for own or business use, etc.
5. Compare the software included in the bundle, to determine if it allows cutting certain files types. Does the software already include functionality such as print-and-cut features, etc. or will you have to upgrade to a higher software edition at a cost?
6. Can you identify a local reputable supplier that has and will stock accessories and replacement parts in future? What are their terms of Guarantee and Warranty and do they have access to spares for repairs? How do their prices compare to others, and more importantly, do they readily have stock and offer support?
Note: The above list is not exhaustive, and your own requirements will determine which is best for you.
The above guidelines are probably skewed by the products we know and retail.
· KNK Zing