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Deciding between an AccuQuilt or Sizzix cutting machine and not sure which to purchase?
I was there at one point, and, well, I now own both. My AccuQuilt Go! is my fabric cutter workhorse, and my Sizzix Big Shot Plus cuts the occasional fabric but mostly embosses and rocks at cardmaking.
If you’d asked five years ago which I thought was the better option between Sizzix vs. AccuQuilt for quilters, my answer would have likely been different than it is today.
Let’s discuss the differences between the AccuQuilt vs. Sizzix machines and when you should choose one over the other.
About AccuQuilt Cutting Machines
All AccuQuilt cutting machines use dies, which are thick plates surrounded by foam with a metal blade.
Simply top a die with a piece of fabric and one cutting mat, and pass it through the machine. The machine then applies pressure, which causes the metal blades to slice the fabric.
The Different AccuQuilt Machines
Home-use AccuQuilts include the AccuQuilt Go! Me, AccuQuilt Go!, and Accucuilt Go! Big in order of increasing size.
Here’s a little info about the different options so you know what I’ll be talking about. (I own the AccuQuilt Go!)
|Go! Me||Go!||Go! Big Electric|
|Weight||8.5 lbs||15 lbs||23 lbs|
The AccuQuilt Studio 2 is an industrial, manual cutting machine, which I’ll not mention as much about.
All About Sizzix Machines
Sizzix machines also are die-cutting machines but are more commonly used for papercrafts like cardmaking.
For example, I use my wafer-thin dies to slice cardstock and my embossing folders to create embossed paper.
However, any material thin enough to pass through the Sizzix opening is fair game. Like fabric, which can be cut by their Bigz dies!
A similar process for cutting applies to the Sizzix machine. Place the die and fabric between cutting pads, pass this “sandwich” through, and watch the metal blades cut the fabric!
The Different Sizzix Machines
Sizzix machines start as small as the Sizzix Sidekick. The Sidekick is way too small to use fabric dies, so for purposes of comparison, I’ll be only mentioning the Big Shot and larger machines.
Here’s a comparison of Sizzix machine options. (I own the Big Shot Plus.)
|Big Shot||Big Shot Plus||Big Shot Pro|
|Weight||7.5 lbs||16 lbs||44 lbs|
|Operation||Manual and electric versions||Manual and electric versions||Manual|
|AccuQuilt Die Compatible?||No||Yes, with adapter||Yes, with adapter|
Sizzix vs. AccuQuilt: The Details
Let’s not compare apples to oranges. If trying to decide between a Sizzix or AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine, comparing the most similar models is essential.
Thus, here’s how that breaks down roughly in terms of machine sizes, functions, and manual vs. electric.
- AccuQuilt Go! Me vs. Sizzix Big Shot
- AccuQuilt Go! vs. Sizzix Big Shot Plus
- AccuQuilt Studio 2 vs. Sizzix Big Shot Pro
The AccuQuilt Go! Big doesn’t really have a direct competitor since it’s electric (not the case with the Big Shot Pro). And, it has a much bigger opening than the Big Shot Plus Switch, which is an electric version.
Now, let’s get into more details about the two machines!
1. Materials To Cut
If you want a machine that can do more than just cut fabric, choose a Sizzix die-cutting machine.
My Sizzix can emboss paper like the cardstock above with the crank of the handle. It cuts cardstock flawlessly and even lets me play with stamps.
Sizzix machines work with a vast line of dies like Bigz, Framelits, Thinlits, Impresslits, Sizzlits, Movers and Shapers, and so many more! They also work with various materials, not just paper or fabric.
In contrast, the AccuQuilt is a fabric cutting machine only, and using the dies for anything else could dull them.
2. Quilting Die Availability
The availability of applique dies and quilt shape dies is significantly better with AccuQuilt!
Sizzix used to release new quilting shape dies regularly and had a large selection of fabric dies back in the day. However, new shapes were halted years ago, and most of the quilt dies were discontinued.
In contrast, AccuQuilt has continued to produce new dies monthly! They have a great selection of Qubes, Blocks-on-Board, and other helpful options. (Here are the best AccuQuilt dies to buy!)
AccuQuilt dies are also available on their website, on Amazon, and even at my local quilting shops.
A Note About Die Crossover
You cannot use Sizzix dies on an AccuQuilt Go! machine.
For instance, since the Big Shot Plus opening is smaller than the Go!, none of the AccuQuilt Go! 10″ dies (that work on the Go!) fit through the Big Shot Plus. This means many AccuQuilt Block-on-Board dies, for instance, won’t fit in a Sizzix.
And while the Big Shot Pro, with its larger opening, is a solution to the issue, it is enormous and weighs a ton more.
3. Die Quality
A Sizzix Bigz fabric die is on the left, and on the right is an AccuQuilt Go! die.
I prefer the AccuQuilt Go! dies because the two colors make it easier to see where to place the fabric for cutting.
Also, my AccuQuilt Go! dies to make cleaner cuts when I stack multiple layers of fabric. However, I don’t have identical die shapes in both brands to compare one-to-one.
Both dies cut multiple layers of fabric flawlessly in most cases, though.
My AccuQuilt cutting mats have warped significantly less over time when compared to my Sizzix cutting pads. (Although I cut cardstock and more with my Sizzix, so again, not a super fair comparison.)
AccuQuilt also requires only one cutting mat for the process to work, whereas Sizzix requires two cutting pads.
And, one last reason to prefer AccuQuilt is their dies are more likely to have notches or markings to make lining up pieces easier and more precise.
For example, my double wedding ring die from AccuQuilt makes matching pieces SO easy because of the notches. The equivalent die from Sizzix does not have notches (and has also been discontinued.)
Dies from both companies do have clipped or dog-eared edges when applicable, which is a huge help.
4. Ease of Use
The initial learning curve is significantly higher with a Sizzix.
I will continually stand on my rooftop and shout that Sizzix needs a better user manual and more readily available information for their products!
They throw around words like platform, adapter, and wafer-thin dies without truly explaining what these are and what they do.
I remember being very frustrated with the learning curve and seeking out extra information besides what was included. However, once things finally “clicked” after trial and error, I’m now a pro.
In contrast, my AccuQuilt Go! came with print resources, links to online resources, and even a DVD.
Because it is for fabric crafts only, learning to use it is much easier. No need for anything complicated!
The above pencil project was one of the beginner projects that came with my machine booklet. I had my machine out cutting immediately, producing this fun classroom decoration within days of purchase!
5. Support and Community
For fabric crafters, I prefer AccuQuilt in terms of support and community.
For cardmaking and other papercrafts, Sizzix has lots of user support groups. However, there aren’t as many communities for fabric use of the Sizzix.
In contrast, AccuQuilt has many great Facebook groups with tens of thousands of users! AccuQuilt also fosters a great relationship with its customers by hosting frequent online courses and demos.
The AccuQuilt website also offers online chat, which is a big help if you need a quick answer to a simple question.
Sizzix cutting machines are less expensive than AccuQuilt cutting machines, although frequently AccuQuilt runs excellent sales.
At regular prices, AccuQuilt dies are also more expensive. However, if you catch them on sale, the prices are less expensive than Sizzix options.
I think the extra cost of the AccuQuilt is worth it for frequent quilters, though.
7. Machine Warranties
AccuQuilt warranties their cutting systems for one year (add six months if you register online) for manufacturing defects.
Excessive use, accidental damage, and improper use are not covered.
One great thing, though, is AccuQuilt has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you need to return your cutter for any reason!
In contrast, Sizzix warranties machines for one year for manufacturing defects. You can extend this warranty an additional two years if you register your machine online.
Sizzix vs. AccuQuilt: Final Notes
The lack of die availability with Sizzix cutting machines was the biggest reason I have an AccuQuilt Go! and why I recommend AccuQuilt machines for quilters.
Of course, Sizzix machines are more cost-effective and are incredible for cardmaking. Thus, they’re worth a look for sewists who want to do more than cut fabric. Just make sure you can find the right dies!