Last Spring I was a guest on Scrapbook Soup and I got an eyeful of a new digital die cutting machine- one with an integrated scanner- the Brother Scan N Cut! I was literally salivating with the possibilities! I couldn’t even hold my horses to see if they would send me a review copy- I went ahead and ordered one from Amazon!
But first things first. Here’s how it’s described on the website:
The secret to ScanNCut’s amazing versatility lies in the 300 DPI built-in scanner, making ScanNCut the only cutting machine that can take your scanned images, photos or hand drawn sketches, and turn them into unique cutting designs, without the need or expense of a computer, software, or pricey cartridges.
ScanNCut is perfect for those who have a passion for creating one-of-a-kind crafts and projects:
- DIY/Crafters — Easily create patterns and cut materials to use in any crafting or DIY project.
- Scrapbookers and Paper Crafters — No longer be limited by cartridges! Cut personalized elements, like handwriting, to make projects your own.
- Multi-Media Artists — Unlimited creative potential with the ability to cut a variety of surfaces and materials.
- Sewers — Easily cut fabric pieces; draw in sewing guidelines and add a seam allowance.
- Quilters — Create custom quilt blocks and cut several fabric pieces at a time. Revolutionize the way you craft and create, with ScanNCut.
So let’s get going! I made little Brother Scan N Cut unboxing video that I posted on YouTube, if you are interested in that. Make sure you subscribe to my Channel if you want to see extra videos that don’t make it here on CTD!
I got this version of the Brother ScanNCut (affiliate link)- it came with the mats and tools shown in the unboxing video. There is a “Blue” version, too- and it comes with an extra mat, pen holder and pens, and extra images.
You can see the blade holder here- it’s easy to insert/adjust, just by lifting up the latch. (A huge improvement on the Cricuts, which had a screw to twist.)
The Scan N Cut is a stand-alone machine- no computer necessary! You’ll do all of your “work” on the LED touch-screen. They include a stylus, too. But if you lose it or can’t keep it hands a crochet hook will do!
Now, this is a VERY involved machine- as a matter of fact, I didn’t even go into hardly ANY of the fabric cutting options, or much of the scanning . So this review is really focusing on paper cutting.
I decided the ONLY way to tackle this is via video- so while this one is longer than most I do (14 minutes) it’s actually more helpful than uploading a ga-jillion photos. So here you go!
Now for a few of the detail photos:
Here’s a close up of my mat- you see the black bits from cutting the black paper? I can’t figure how to clean those off. They are embedded in the blade marks- and they show up when you scan things. So either scan on top of white paper, or get an additional mat and keep it just for scanning. However, these are nice sturdy mats- much moreso than my Silhouette ones.
Here are the cutting samples- cardstock, text weight paper, glossy paper, and even a single fabric applique.
I tried that last demo again on glitter cardstock with a bold pattern- and I place a shape right on top of the pattern to fussy-cut it.
And here’s how it turned out! Really, it cut through this glittery paper like butter. For some reason, I had the best results with the medium-weight cardstock. Which is the paper weight I use the most.
SO! There are some definite pros and cons with this machine:
- You can use it as a scanner to scan photos and documents and save them on a USB.
- Scan and cut feature is exclusive- and pretty darn cool
- No computer necessary
- Ideal for artists and folks who want to scan in original artwork and have it cut
- Cool welding feature I didn’t even get to yet
- Lots of included designs for quilters-YAY!
- No SVG support- yet- which is very disappointing to us with cut files for our Silhouettes
- Included artwork is unimpressive for paper crafters.
- Pricier than other die-cutting machines ($399-$499)
- Sticky mat is “meh”
- Learning curve
For me, the jury is still out. Sure it’s cool, but I’m still undecided if it’s $400 worth of cool. I’m certainly going to play with the scanning feature more to become more proficient, and I’m thinking it’s time for me to pull the dust cover off of the sewing machine and try some of the quilting and applique options.
I’d love to hear YOUR questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in my follow-up videos!
Here are some follow-up reviews, too:
- Brother Scan N Cut part 2- Cutting Stamped Images
- Brother Scan N Cut Canvas- Software Overview & demo video
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