PROS / The Silver Bullet has an impressive cutting force of 1,250 grams.
CONS / This die-cutting machine is pricey and has a steep learning curve.
VERDICT / This is a great die cutter for experienced crafters, but because it has so many capabilities, it can be tricky for novices.
The Silver Bullet is one of those rare products that lived up to virtually every one of our expectations, which is how it became our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner. We were skeptical as we read rave reviews from owners regarding its cutting power and accuracy. However, this die-cutting machine does more than any other product we reviewed.
One example of this machine's skill is its ability to make precise cuts. One common problem among die cutters is that you can only go so thin before your material rips. The Silver Bullet can make thread-thin cuts without any issues. The high quality comes at a price, of course. The machine costs quite a bit more than other units we evaluated, but it is also made to last. Building on the excellence of its predecessor, the Black Cat Cougar, Silver Bullet Cutters, the manufacturer, have created a machine that will likely be the last one you buy. The enhanced features and quality materials make it the best die cutter in our comparison.
Function & Capabilities
The Silver Bullet is built around a strong and quiet motor, with 1,250 grams of cutting force and speeds of up to 800 millimeters every second. With four sturdy pinch wheels to hold your mat in place, you have great control over what and how you are cutting. The control panel on the top of the machine makes it easy to adjust the depth, speed and pressure on the blade for each unique project.
The die cutter comes with Sure Cuts A Lot software and can work with other popular die-cutting applications such as Make The Cut. Sure Cuts A Lot is user-friendly and allows you to do the types of things you expect – welding words together, cutting along a specified path, cutting specified layers and much more. For more advanced projects, you can import SVG files from Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape and Corel Draw, which allows for a lot more creative freedom. Sure Cuts A Lot also comes with a nice selection of patterns to get you started.
This die-cutting machine has many features beyond making cuts. You can add a pen and have the Silver Bullet draw something for you. You can also plug in an embossing tool and have the Bullet imprint very specific patterns. The engraving tool lets you punch holes or distress items. It can emboss paper, cardstock, chipboard, vellum and soft metals. It will also engrave metal, acrylic, glass, mirror, chocolate, soap, plastic, wood, leather and acetate.
Portability & Convenience
This is not the paper die cutter you will want to take to crafting events, or anywhere really. Even the smallest model – the 13-inch Silver Bullet – is bulky compared to the other die cutters we evaluated. There are no handles or convenient storage containers on the machine to stash tools. Once you set this up, you will want it to stay put for the most part. At 13.5 pounds, it isn't the bulkiest product on our lineup, but it is big. However, its bulk is a side effect of its many capabilities. Quality cutters weigh more because they are made from sturdier materials.
The diamond tip you will find at the end of the Silver Bullet's engraving tool, for example, allows you to craft for a long time. Even with little experience, we were able to start making basic cuts with it quickly, but expertise with this advanced die cutter does not happen overnight. Even experienced crafters face a learning curve. The Silver Bullet has software to learn and precise blades to insert, and some other minor assembly is required.
The list of things you can cut with the Silver Bullet is impressive: vinyl, paper, cardstock, chipboard, plastic, leather, acrylic, foam core, acetate, felt, cork, fondant and mat board, just to name a few. It can also handle delicate materials, including tissue paper, which is rare among die cut machines. You can use this machine to create your own rubber stamps, promote your business with a set of customized magnets and create amazing scrapbooking layouts. This is not a table saw, of course, but you can cut thin metals, balsa wood and stiffened felt. The Silver Bullet die-cutting system will conquer even light clay and cotton fabric, if it is secured properly. You can create your own purses, T-shirt prints and glass-etching patterns with this machine.
Help & Support
Most people need assistance at some point because there is a learning curve with this machine. Silver Bullet Cutters does not put forth the most organized or intuitive website, but the information is all there. When you send an email or call, you get a friendly response quickly. Beyond talented staff, you can find devotees who are very active in forums and are happy to help fellow Silver Bullet users.
This unit will cut, draw, pierce, engrave and emboss just about any material quickly and accurately. It is also especially tough and perfectly fine for commercial use. With most competitors, you void the warranty if you use their machines all day, every day, but not the Silver Bullet. That level of quality comes at a price, though – a price that not every novice crafter can justify. If you have the means, though, investing in the Silver Bullet is a solid choice. It is the best die-cutting machine on the market today.