Not all heroes wear capes, and not all pressing devices wear an LCD screen. This is the case for the Sizzix BIGkick, a stripped-down version of a heat press that takes all the complications out of crafting. As long as you have a set of working hands, you can operate this device with no advanced technological know-how.
The questions you have probably revolve around a comparison to other pressing machines out there. How great can this be if it’s lacking all of the electronics-enhanced features that you can see in competitors?
In short, it’s a pretty amazing tool.
12.2” X 9” X 17.2”
First Impressions of the Sizzix BIGkick
For anyone who has a passion for making cards and scrapbooking material, the Sizzix BIGkick is one of the first machines you should consider. It’s a crank-operated device that can be taken almost anywhere you can think of.
You read that right – the BIGkick is totally portable, meaning you can bring this with you whenever the creative urge strikes you. You’ll be efficient with making small crafting projects regardless of your location. The best part about looking at a BIGkick is the price. It’s a fraction of the cost of other pressing machines on the market.
For anyone who has never used a pressing machine before, the BIGkick is the perfect introduction. Whether you have children who are interested in using one for the first time or you want to start a new hobby, this will easily fit into your budget.
When you first open the BIGkick box, you’ll find a multipurpose platform inside. This is what you’ll use to balance all of your projects and make sure you always have a base to work on. You’ll also get a pair of standard cutting pads. Finally, you’ll find the BIGkick itself, which doesn’t require much in the way of assembly.
Making Projects with the Sizzix BIGkick
When emphasizing the importance of this machine for beginners, it’s also good to remember how small the BIGkick is. Don’t expect to take on any large or even medium-sized projects if this is what you’re going to use.
At only 6 inches, you’re looking at one of the smallest maximum cutting widths out of any pressing machine on the market. Each of the cutting pads are 8.75 inches long, while the included extended platform gives you a limit of 14.125 inches.
Should you plan on using the device for longer projects, you’ll need the expansion pack. You can find the extended pads for a low price if you’re looking to expand the BIGkick’s arsenal.
- COMPATIBILITY - Compatible with the Sizzix Big Shot, Big Shot Foldaway, Big Shot Plus, Big Shot Pro...
- DIE CUTTING - Sizzix cutting pads are used to 'sandwich' the die and material for die cutting and...
- TRANSPARENT - The see-through PC plastic allows easy placement of materials for a precise die cut.
Once you have everything in place, you can get to your cutting and embossing. You’ll primarily use the BIGkick for cardmaking, scrapbooks, and many other minor crafting projects.
You won’t find any embossing folders included in the box. This helps to keep the initial cost of the machine down, and it’s possible that you already have a bunch of designs to work with. This machine is also compatible with any designs you own, so don’t worry about needing to buy more. Those making the switch from a Cricut Cuttlebug don’t have to do any double dipping on folders.
The different kinds of materials that you can use with the BIGkick makes this an attractive device to consider purchasing. The machine is relatively low-maintenance and the design doesn’t suggest that it’s as simple of a device as it actually is. If you have metallic foil, foam, leather, or basic paper, you can make a new project with this Sizzix device.
- Bonus includes one A2 embossing folder and two metal dies
- One 6x8 a plate and two 6x8 b plates included
- One 6x8 rubber embossing mat included. Features a collapsible handle and compact fold n store...
You’ll find that certain dyes are better made to work with specific materials. Thankfully, the BIGkick is incredibly easy to use, even if you’ve never touched a pressing machine before. You won’t need any more than three steps to create something new.
All you have to do is take the sandwich approach, placing your fabric or other material in between the two cutting pads. You feed this through the machine with the crank, and out comes a brand-new project that you have created.
If you’re still confused about how to use the machine, there are plenty of tutorial videos showing you how to use the BIGkick.
Upgrading to the Sizzix BIGkick Vintaj
If you’re an aspiring jewelry designer, you might be interested in a variant model of the BIGkick. You can look into the Sizzix BIGkick Vintaj, which looks exactly the way it rolls off the tongue. It doesn’t stop with the aesthetics, as you’ll find it to be a more robust and tougher machine than the basic BIGkick.
The Vintaj does everything that the original BIGkick can do, for starters. You can still use it for basic fabrics and other material that you want to press and make original designs with. The important part of the Vintaj comes in what you can do with blank jewelry.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your own jewelry, the Vintaj is the perfect choice for your first pressing machine. You’ll get the same machine, cutting pads, and platform inside the box that you would with the regular edition of the BIGkick. The Vintaj also comes with a shim, which helps in the creation of jewelry when using a pressing machine.
Just about any design you have will work in the Vintaj as long as you can tell that it works with another Sizzix device. It doesn’t stop with jewelry, either. You can craft 3D pieces of art just as you would a new t-shirt design.
If you plan to create designs on top of metal, you should stick to the thinner and malleable types of metal. This way, you don’t run the risk of damaging the first machine you buy. It’s covered with a warranty, but careless use isn’t covered in the terms of agreement.
When you craft with metal, you’ll want to pick up the dies from DecoEtch and DecoEmboss. Along with the necessary tools, you get access to some gorgeous designs that you won’t find anywhere else.
Comparing the Sizzix BIGkick to Other Models
You may also wonder what the BIGkick is like compared to another Sizzix model, the Big Shot. The answer might seem like a cop-out, but aside from the color, there isn’t much of a difference. If you ask certain people, they may tell you it’s the exact same machine, different only in color and name.
That’s an oversimplification, really. Yes, the colors are different, and this might make a big difference for you. The Big Shot’s simple white/grey appearance might look boring and not inspire you to work on your crafting as much. The BIGkick’s sky blue color is kid-friendly and would look great in younger art classrooms.
The Vintaj has a design that looks like it’s ready to be operated by a professional. This could be great if you want to feel as if you know exactly what you’re doing despite still learning the ropes of pressing machines. Keep in mind that the Vintaj is designed for specialty use, and you might not need to spend the extra money on features you won’t use.
While the BIGkick is no longer being actively produced by Sizzix, there are still plenty of machines available for purchase online and in stores. All it really comes down to is how you prefer your pressing machine to look in your studio or office.
Advantages of the Sizzix BIGkick
Moving on to the BIGkick itself, there are quite a few features to admire about the machine.
Ease of Use and Simplicity
Much like other machines that operate on a simple hand crank, you won’t spend a lot of time learning how to use the Sizzix BIGkick. There’s no software to install, learn, and constantly update. In fact, this machine doesn’t even require electricity to operate. You’ll spend more time making an actual sandwich than you would feeding material through the crank.
You might get a workout if you plan on using the BIGkick for long periods, so remember this if you’re worried about using the crank for a bigger number of projects. If you’re sticking to just cards and scrapbooks, you shouldn’t have any trouble, but be warned about prolonged sessions with the Vintaj and jewelry/metal.
The fact that you don’t need to learn very much when it comes to operating the BIGkick makes it a perfect choice for anyone who has yet to craft projects on their own. Children and amateur crafters alike will enjoy the ease of setting this device and simply turning one handle to make something new.
The BIGkick doesn’t weigh more than a case of water, making it the perfect companion to bring with you whenever creativity inspires you. You’ll be amazed at how durable such a small machine is, especially with the various kinds of material you can use with it.
Still, you want to be sure you keep all of those materials as thin as possible. Even if the machine can accommodate metals that you can etch and emboss, you don’t want to overwork a smaller machine like the BIGkick. It’s not the most expensive machine on the market, but you don’t need to be buying a new one just because you got careless with some metal.
As stated above, the BIGkick will process just about anything you put through it. Metal, metallic foil, and fabric alike will all work once you get the crank turning. Embossing and etching are no problem for the machine either, which is impressive considering its price and ease of use.
You won’t be able to set anything automatically, but your projects will be low-key enough that it shouldn’t matter.
The price of entry for the BIGkick is incredibly low. For the initial investment, you’re looking at a perfectly capable pressing machine that can do small-scale projects you would expect out of something 5 times as expensive.
There’s a handle on top of the machine which tells you it was made to take with you. Don’t be shy about bringing this to your next event, convention, or crafting party.
Thanks to the extended optional platform, you can open up the door to other projects in the future.
Disadvantages of the Sizzix BIGkick
You’ll love the BIGkick, but it doesn’t come without a few things you should know.
There’s almost no difference from the Big Shot, which makes purchasing the BIGkick pointless if you already have another machine in the Sizzix family. Because of the lack of production for the BIGkick, it might not be actively supported when you call customer service or need to email them about a problem.
You’ll also need to invest in the extra accessories that don’t come in the BIGkick package. If you want to increase the potential size of your project, you’ll need to purchase the optional multipurpose platform. It would be nice if you could just get it in the same box, but it’s a minor complaint.
Overall Verdict on the Sizzix BIGkick
For beginners and those who have yet to learn the ins and outs of crafting, there are few better choices than the Sizzix BIGkick. You’ll love how easy it is to plant your roots and begin a new hobby or career in crafting.
The simplicity of the machine will make you feel like you can do anything, and the versatility of the machine won’t stop you from actually doing everything. Don’t let the limits of a non-electronic pressing machine stop your creative juices from flowing. This is an incredibly capable device that can hang with anything automatic.
As long as you don’t need to fill a massive order within a very short deadline, there isn’t much you can’t accomplish with the BIGkick. It’s no longer the go-to choice for Sizzix production, but don’t let that stop you from purchasing the device. Your kids, clients, and friends will love your decision when they see what you start making.