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Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die Cutter and Embossing Machine Review

June 15, 2012

Posted under $301 - $400, Product Reviews, Scrapbooking Tools, Silhouette

Consumer Rating:

The Big Shot Pro was introduced in 2009 by Ellison, the company that acquired Sizzix. Like the Big Shot Machine, the Pro version can cut and emboss. It also depends on the manual operation to where rollers do the job of cutting and embossing. The major difference is that it is built to accommodate wider size of materials up to 13 inches.

But when the Big Shot Pro die cutting machine hit the market, we found that it didn’t have much fans. Never the less we will list down some of the good and bad points about this product on this brief review.


Big Shot Pro’s Enormous Built

The dimensions of The Big Shot Pro Machine is 24 1/4 x 15 x 7 ½ inches. It is almost double the size of the Big Shot length and crosswise. As mentioned, this is the main feature of the Pro as compared to its predecessor. Its mouth will be able to take in 13 inches of materials. So if you want to cut huge pieces or emboss an entire 12×12 page, you can do so. It can accommodate all of Sizzix and Ellison’s dies and textures they ever designed. You can also fit other brands’ like the Big Shot.

Also, if you will look closely, the Pro version looks like it has a boat-like feel to it. The bottom is actually hollow where you can actually store your crafting knick knacks such as glues or use it for scraps of materials to fall under after being cut. This bulk body contributes to the products total weight of 44pounds that you will need when cranking the handle. This will prevent the machine to make unnecessary movement while at work.Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Machine-300x183

Because of its heavy construction that is made up of ABS Plastic, POM Plastic, TPR, Rubber, Steel, Aluminum, and Metal Alloy, it is wise to hold on both the ends of the machine. You will find molded handholds there. The main reason why they did not put a carrying handle anywhere else is because it is not safe. This makes traveling or lugging it around not wise.

Storage and placement are also questionable for some users. People ask how you can store something that is 1 x 2 feet. Some are satisfied on leaving them on their workstation. The workstation on the other hand must be flat and sturdy to handle the machine’s weight and that it should not have parts that are hanging. It should be well balanced.


Big Shot Pro Can Cut Anything!

Below are some materials that a Big Pro Machine can cut or emboss:

  • Aluminum – 0.016″
  • Balsa Wood – 3/32″
  • Basswood
  • Brass – 0.005″
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Butcher Paper
  • Cardstock/Cover Stock
  • Cardstock, Laminated
  • Chipboard
  • Construction Paper
  • Construction Paper, Laminated
  • Copier Paper
  • Cork, Self-Adhesive – 1/8″
  • Decorator Foil
  • Embossing Rubber
  • Fabric (Cotton, Linen, etc., as many pieces as will fit with a piece of paper)
  • Fabric, Iron-On
  • Felt (as many pieces as will fit with a
  • piece of paper)
  • Felt, Self-Adhesive
  • Fun Foam
  • Funky Film
  • Funky Fur
  • Gift Wrap
  • Leather
  • Magnet, Flexible Sheets
  • Magnet, Self-Adhesive
  • Mat Board
  • Paperwood
  • Personalized Embossing Plastic (PEP)
  • Plastic, Shrink Film
  • Poly Foam
  • Poster Board
  • Quilt Batting
  • Ruffle Board
  • Rubber, Self-Adhesive
  • Sandpaper, Fine 00 (paper side up);
  • limit usage, can wear rule on die
  • Shelving Paper, Adhesive
  • Shiny Paper, Self-Adhesive
  • Shrink Film
  • Sponge, Pop-Up
  • Tag Board
  • Tin – 0.008”
  • Tissue, Laminated
  • Vellum Paper
  • Vinyl, Static Cling
  • Wallpaper


Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory – Sliding Tray

Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Accessory-Sliding-TrayWhen creating your perfect sandwich, simply place it on the sliding tray. As mentioned earlier, the bottom part of the Big Shot Pro is hollow and dipped-like structure. So the sliding tray will hold your sandwich through the rollers.

The Big Shot Pro Sliding Tray is made of high-quality steel and PVC plastic that measures 15 5/8 x 12 7/8 x 5/8 inches. It is sturdy enough to last thousands of cuts, and can hold the smallest and the largest dies. It weighs 4.7 pounds and glides through the slide rails. It can be replaced but comes in $49.99 price tag. Using other trays may cause damage on the machine and Ellison does not advise this.


Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory – Plastic Slides

Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Accessory-Plastic-SlidesWhen feeding the Big Shot Pro, the sandwich on the Sliding Tray easily glides through because of the slide rails on the side of the machine. Compared to other models where only the roller pushes out your sandwich, the Pro version needed this additional force. It also makes the sandwich not to go astray while being rolled out. Same principle with trains, engines and steel wheels make them move, but without the rails, the train will go off course and with difficulty.

The Big Shot Pro Plastic Slides is made up of POM Plastic, measures 11 1/8 x 1 5/8 x 3/8 inches, and weighs about 0.31 pounds. Unfortunately, through extensive use, the slides wear out and needs replacement from time to time. A pair costs about $3.99 only.


Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory – Cutting Pad

Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Accessory-Cutting-PadsLike the Big Shot, the Big Shot Pro comes with a cutting pad. But it only includes 1 piece of cutting pad. If you need more cutting pads or just for replacement, you have to purchase a pair for $24.99. It can be used on both sides to prevent warping and prolong its life. Extended pairs are also available for $59.99.

The Big Shot Pro Cutting Pad is made up of high-quality polycarbonate plastic, measures 14 1/4 x 12 1/4 x 1/8 inches, and weighs 2 pounds. It is specifically designed to be used in this machine for cutting Sizzix steel-rule dies like Bigz Pro, Movers & Shapers Pro, and ScoreBoards Pro. Also it can be used with the Bigz XL, Movers & Shapers XL, All Star Long Dies, Textured Impressions Pro, Ellison SureCut/Custom Dies, and Ellison ClearCrop. Make it a point to follow all directions in the manual of the machine to make cutting and embossing correctly.


Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory – Mylar Shim

Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Accessory-Mylar-ShimThe Big Shot Pro can squeeze in more than 1/8 of inch thickness. But when your sandwich is thin and you only need to cut or emboss a few layers, then the gap of between the rollers of the machine will not be able to do its job properly. Also when other accessories start to wear out, the thickness of the whole sandwich gets compromised. Tadd thickness, simply add 1 or 2 Mylar Shims which are 0.10mm thick each. A pair of Mylar Shims is included with the Big Shot Pro Machine upon purchase. For replacing the shims you can purchase another standard pair for $4.99.


Sizzix Big Shot Pro Accessory – Adapter Pad

Sizzix-Big-Shot-Pro-Accessory-Adapter-PadThe Big Shot Pro Adapter Pad is also included when you purchase a Big Shot Pro. It is made of high-quality plastic resin, measures 14 1/4 x 12 1/4 x ¼ inches, and weighs about 1.2 pounds. It is compatible with almost all Sizzix and Ellison dies except for Ellison SureCut/Custom Dies, and Ellison ClearCrop. Its main purpose is to add thickness or acts as spacer between the sliding tray and your sandwich. Like the Solo Shim & Platform, and Wafer-Thin Dies Adapter, guidelines are printed on them so that you will know when to use it.

A Standard Adapter Pad is retailed at $19.99 in case you need replacing it. But if you need to get a bigger one, an extended version of it can be bought for $29.99. It is 26 inches long.

Save on Accesories

Functions of other parts such as Solo Shim, Platform, Wafer-Thin Dies Adapter, and Premium Crease Pad are similar with the Big Shot. 1 Premium Crease Pad and 1 Die Pick are included in the box when you get a Big Shot Pro. Check out the Big Shot Review we posted earlier. Refer to the Table below for their prices.


Pros and Cons


  • Compatible with all Sizzix and Ellison dies
  • Accommodates wider materials up to 13”
  • Can cut and emboss using several dies and patterns all in one pass


  • Really heavy to move around
  • Needs getting used to
  • More expensive
  • Hard to store
  • No Multipurpose Platform so more accessories are needed


Consumer Ratings

The Big Shot Pro Machine was only given 3.7 ratings by consumers and only 17% gave it a 5. Although the Pro version is not as popular as the other models, it still sat in #34 among the Best Sellers in Die-Cut Machines Category in


Big Shot Pro’s Price

For a manual die cutter and embossing machine, the Big Pro is priced at $399.99, which is way expensive in our opinion. With this price you can get an electronic cutter already and you need to purchase dies and embossing folders if you do not own any of them yet. In Amazon, it is only $379.95 by the time this post is made.

Click to Order

Because of the heavy construction, Ellison used expensive but of good quality materials. This is what we think contributes to the big price the pro version has compared to other models.


Comparison Table: Big Shot vs. Big Shot Pro

Product Big Shot Big Shot Pro
Manufacturer Ellison Ellison
Product Dimensions 14 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ x 6 5/8″ 24 1/4″ x 15″ x 7 1/2″
Product Weight 7.5 lbs 44 lbs
Construction Solid core steel rollers, unibody cast roller housing, solid steel gears, ABS plastic exterior ABS Plastic, POM Plastic, TPR, Rubber, Steel, Aluminum, Metal Alloy
Available Colors Pink and Black, Periwinkle Blue, Hello Kitty Periwinkle Blue, Purple Westminster
Portable Yes No
Maximum Cutting Width 6″ 13″
Maximum Cutting Thickness 1/8″ 1/8″ or more
Create Shapes Yes Yes
Embosses Shapes Yes Yes
Manual Operation Yes Yes
Requires Dies Yes Yes
Compatible with all Sizzix and Ellison Dies No Yes
Compatible with other Brands Yes Yes
Plastic Slides No Yes, $3.99
Mutlipurpose Platform Yes, $19.99 No
Solo Platform & Shim; Wafer Thin Die Optional, $34.98 Yes, $39.99
Sliding Tray No Yes, $49.99
Cutting Pads Yes, $8.99 Yes, $24.99
Premium Crease Pads Optional, $8.99 Yes, $29.99
Adapter Pad Optional, $9.99 and $24.99 Yes, $19.99
Mylar Shim No Yes, $4.99
Machine Price $99.99 $399.99


Overall Impression for Big Shot Pro Machine

If you haven’t bought any of the other products by Sizzix and Ellison, get the Big Shot Pro Machine. Though hefty, it cuts and embosses with a maximum width of 13 inches of a material. Smaller than this can definitely be accommodated by the machine, even all at one go.

The only thing that turns us off is the expensive price tag for a manual cutter, and its numerous accessories that we hope the makers reinvent like the Big Shot’s Multipurpose Platform.


Images courtesy of Amazon and Sizzix

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