I took the plunge and bought the Grand Calibur and I love it! I don’t have any
of the grand dies yet but I’ve been running lots of other things through it.
Some general impressions:
The machine comes packaged with the crank handle unattached. This handle pushes
on to the side of the machine very easily. There is a nice large carrying
handle built into the top of the machine which makes it very easy to move the
machine around. There is a knob you turn to suction the machine to your work
surface. It has very good suction. It doesn’t move around at all on my kitchen
countertop(laminate) or smooth wood surface.
The machine is very easy to operate. The crank handle turns very smoothly and
effortlessly. People with limited strength or mobility in their hands should
give this a test run. The crank handle has a very large knob and is very easy
to turn. The plates feed into the machine very smoothly, run through easily,
and exit quietly and slowly. No need to catch them as they come out, it’s a
very smooth process. After you’ve cut your shapes and are ready to emboss there
is no need to handle the die/paper. You just remove the cutting mat and put
down the tan polymer pad and the embossing mat.
This machine must have very good pressure. It cuts my fleur de lis pendant die
in one pass very cleanly. It is absolutely wonderful to run a number of dies
through at the same time.
I use the Cuttlebug embossing folders a lot and these came out great for me.
In order to do the CB folders you need a mat that does not come with the
machine, the W-025 mat. I already had this for my Wizard so it wasn’t a problem.
At least for the A2 folders. I have one of these mats from the original wizard
so what I’m about to say may or may not be true for the current W-025 mat. My
mat is about 5-3/4″x5-3/4″ in size, not large enough to cover a 5″x7″ embossing
folder. I have found that either the CB B plate or the Sizzix Big Shot cutting
pad (1/8″ thick) work great for this.
I have had great results with a 5″x7″ CB Embossing Plus folder using the
following sandwich(listed from bottom to top)
CB Emboss Plus folder w/cardstock
tan polymer pad
Sizzix Big Shot cutting pad
Hopefully, Spellbinders will come out with a “grand” size in the W-025 mat.
Then we’ll be able to run more than one folder through at a time. I would also
like to see Spellbinders come out with 5″x7″ impressabilities or other embossing
ideas. I make 5″x7″ cards all the time, rarely make A2 size cards.
I don’t use steel ruled dies so it doesn’t bother me that these do not fit in
the Grand Calibur.
The feeding tray is slightly less than 8-1/2″. Spellbinders says you don’t have
to trim 8-1/2″ paper, that the edges will just curl up as it feeds into the
machine. I’m finding that this depends on the weight of the paper. For
lightweight paper the edges do curl up and go through easily. With my cardstock
it’s too thick to curl easily. Apparently you can remove the feeding tray and
then the opening is large enough for 8-1/2″ paper. For me, trimming the paper
is very easy. Not a big deal in my book.
I’m very happy with this machine.