Silver Bullet 13-inch Pro Series Review

The Silver Bullet is one of those rare products that lived up to virtually every one of our expectations. 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.

Our Verdict

This is a great die cutter for experienced crafters, but because it has so many capabilities, it can be tricky for novices.

For

  • The Silver Bullet has an impressive cutting force of 1,250 grams.

Against

  • This die-cutting machine is pricey and has a steep learning curve.
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The Silver Bullet die-cutting machine can engrave and cut.

The Silver Bullet die-cutting machine can engrave and cut.
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This 3D flower cart was cut out of cardstock using a Silver Bullet die-cutting machine.

This 3D flower cart was cut out of cardstock using a Silver Bullet die-cutting machine.
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You can cut and emboss for holiday decorations with the Silver Bullet.

You can cut and emboss for holiday decorations with the Silver Bullet.
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You can use the Silver die-cutting machine to engrave paper and other materials, like this acrylic engraved notebook cover.
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The Silver Bullet die cutter can make curved cuts easily on tough paper.
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This Silver Bullet die-cutting machine can help you make cards with intricate designs like this red and gold butterfly.

This Silver Bullet die-cutting machine can help you make cards with intricate designs like this red and gold butterfly.
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Besides cutting paper and vinyl, the Silver Bullet can create wood veneers.

Besides cutting paper and vinyl, the Silver Bullet can create wood veneers.
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A pen tool allows you to draw with the Silver Bullet.

A pen tool allows you to draw with the Silver Bullet.
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The Silver Bullet can handle very intricate designs like this kirigami butterfly pattern.

The Silver Bullet can handle very intricate designs like this kirigami butterfly pattern.
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You can emboss on metal with this Silver Bullet die-cutting machine.

You can emboss on metal with this Silver Bullet die-cutting machine.
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There's no reason to limit yourself with this machine. This Silver Bullet die cutter can even carve into chocolate or soap.

There's no reason to limit yourself with this machine. This Silver Bullet die cutter can even carve into chocolate or soap.
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Vinyl wall art is a common use for any die cutter. This vinyl bridge was cut out with a Silver Bullet.

Vinyl wall art is a common use for any die cutter. This vinyl bridge was cut out with a Silver Bullet.
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Die cutters are often used for traditional crafts, but the Silver Bullet can also make modern wall art.

Die cutters are often used for traditional crafts, but the Silver Bullet can also make modern wall art.
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You can cut out small pieces of a sculpture with the Silver Bullet to create a fun puzzle for kids

You can cut out small pieces of a sculpture with the Silver Bullet to create a fun puzzle for kids
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The software with the Silver Bullet makes it possible to import SVG files from Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Corel Draw and other applications.

The software with the Silver Bullet makes it possible to import SVG files from Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, Corel Draw and other applications.
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You can make use of the positive and negative space created by Silver Bullet cuts and their remaining outlines.

You can make use of the positive and negative space created by Silver Bullet cuts and their remaining outlines.
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Most die cutters cannot handle leather, but the Silver Bullet cut and embossed these leather keychains easily.

Most die cutters cannot handle leather, but the Silver Bullet cut and embossed these leather keychains easily.
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The Silver Bullet can emboss leather, paper and copper for projects.

The Silver Bullet can emboss leather, paper and copper for projects.
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You can engrave projects on unexpected surfaces like CDs with the Silver Bullet.

You can engrave projects on unexpected surfaces like CDs with the Silver Bullet.
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You can use two, three or four pinch wheels for better control of your material when using the Silver Bullet.

You can use two, three or four pinch wheels for better control of your material when using the Silver Bullet.
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Laser alignment makes it easy to cut exactly where you want to cut, which is especially useful for layered projects you make with the Silver Bullet.

Laser alignment makes it easy to cut exactly where you want to cut, which is especially useful for layered projects you make with the Silver Bullet.
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You can use the Silver Bullet to get precisely printed and cut images to make game pieces and other crafts.

You can use the Silver Bullet to get precisely printed and cut images to make game pieces and other crafts.
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The software included with the Silver Bullet works with Windows and Mac systems.

The software included with the Silver Bullet works with Windows and Mac systems.
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The Silver Bullet can cut up to 800 millimeters per second, making it great for otherwise overwhelming projects.

The Silver Bullet can cut up to 800 millimeters per second, making it great for otherwise overwhelming projects.
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The Silver Bullet is surprisingly quiet, even when cutting and engraving metal.

The Silver Bullet is surprisingly quiet, even when cutting and engraving metal.
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The narrow barbs of the vinyl peacock feathers on this clock were cut with precision using the Silver Bullet.

The narrow barbs of the vinyl peacock feathers on this clock were cut with precision using the Silver Bullet.
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With 1,250 grams of cutting force, the Silver Bullet can power through even heavy materials while maintaining precision.

With 1,250 grams of cutting force, the Silver Bullet can power through even heavy materials while maintaining precision.
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Using the Silver Bullet, you can apply the same design to multiple crafts when working with a theme for weddings or holidays.

Using the Silver Bullet, you can apply the same design to multiple crafts when working with a theme for weddings or holidays.
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This screenshot shows one option for Silver Bullet customer support, a contact email. You can also find answers in user forums, over the telephone and through tutorials.

This screenshot shows one option for Silver Bullet customer support, a contact email. You can also find answers in user forums, over the telephone and through tutorials.
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With the Silver Bullet's punch tool, you can make stippled projects.

With the Silver Bullet's punch tool, you can make stippled projects.

The Silver Bullet is one of those rare products that lived up to virtually every one of our expectations. 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. 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.

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.

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.