Craft Product Review: Slice Elite by Making Memories

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For as much as I use my Slice, I can’t for the life of me figure out why I never did a review on it. I discovered it at CHA Summer 2010, and even and a quick-as-a-wink spot in an infomercial they shot there with Terri O as the host. Now, though, there is a new-and-improved version of the Slice- the Slice Elite- and I figured that I should give it a thorough going-over, and let you all know how it works with fresh eyes.

First off, here’s how the Slice Elite is described on it’s product description page:

MAKING MEMORIES-Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter. A hardware upgrade allows the Slice Elite to cut 40% faster; twice as deep; and more precisely than the original Slice. Use it to cut textured cardstock; vellum; vinyl; acetate; foam sheets; thin metal; and photos up to 1mm thick. Cut 1 inch to 4 inch designs in 1/2 inch increments anywhere on any size media. A large 2 inch window allows you to preview shapes with the push of a button before you cut. Slice Elite has a rechargeable battery; weighs less than 2lbs and measures just under 5 inches square so it’s perfect for crafting on the go!

The kit I received to review includes: the Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter; a power cord (for running on DC and charging the battery); one blade adjustment wrench; five replacement blades; blade replacement tool; one 6×6 inch glass cutting mat; one tube of repositionable adhesive; foam brush; Basic Elements design card and booklet;and user manual.

Before you can use the Slice Elite (or any other Slice machine) you must do two things- charge the battery and prepare the mat. So I plugged in the Slice to get it charging, and began to prepare the glass mat.

To do so, you just squeeze a nice thick line of the included repositionable glue from the tube, and then spread it out- not to thin, please- with the foam brush they give you. I’ve done this a few times with my “Old Slice,” and I can tell you from experience that it should look milky. The glue will dry clear, but if you use too little, your materials will not stick as well. They say to leave the mat to dry for at least 20 minutes….but I (for maybe the first time ever!) was planning ahead, so I let it dry overnight. When I came back the next morning, my Slice Elite was all charged up and the mat was ready to rock and roll!

Insert a Design Card into the back of the Slice Elite- there are no “on board” images, so you have to use the cards that they sell.

"Basic Elements " Design card comes with the kit.

So you are ready to go! There is a menu- but don’t be fooled! Each of those Icons actually has a sub-menu with many more designs.

Each of these icons is actually a menu heading.

So the “ABC” icon in the upper left will take you to the whole alphabet, the “123″ takes  you to the numbers, etc. The images range in size from 1 inch to 4 inches, depending on the design. Also, if you are using an “MS+” card, there are the additional options of mirroring and making a shadow of the image.

Once you choose an image, you depress "select." Then you hold the machine firmly with two hands and press the "cut" lever on the right site of the machine. Viola! Lovely cut!

Before I get to far gone, let me show you the swatch test of what the Slice Elice cut for me….

From left: text-weight paper, construction paper, cardstock, vinyl, vellum, adhesive-backed cork, cereal-box cardboard.

Wow- I never expected that it would cardboard in a million years!! And without doing any adjustments, it went ahead and cut vellum, which is really delicate. How does it do that?  Anyway, this really speaks to the versatility of this little dynamo- it goes from material to material without a pause. Also, from previous posts we know that it cuts freezer paper to make stencils, too. Now, I did run into one thing it wouldn’t cut for me- some embossed metal. As a matter of fact, it knocked my little blade for a loop. I knew this, because the next cut was a little off. I flipped it over, and saw that my blade housing was out of alignment:

The blade housing was knocked out of whack.

To “home” your blade, you just flip it over, select “settings” and then select “home the blade.” That will bring your cutting housing back into proper alignment for perfect cuts. (Don’t worry, by the way, all this is in the manual.) Afterwards, the housing looked like this:

All better! Ready to cut some more!

Ok, so now I was ready to cut a few more samples to show you….

A lovely, delicate vellum frame.

Look at this bird from a cereal box!

A delicate sentiment- this is Core'Dinations cardstock.

I cut this heart in the middle of a card front- so I could make a "window." It was so easy!

It's easy to get the most out of your paper- you can position the cuts close together.

I also wanted to show you how to change the blade- I thought you might like to see that.

You get 5 replacement blades and the replacement tool with the kit.

You use the grabby tool to pull out the existing blade. It’s teeny-tiny.

You don't have to touch the blade- it's in the tip of the replacement tool.

Then you pull a fresh blade out of the holder, and slide it into the cutting housing. You never have to touch the blade, and there is no fussy adjustments to be made.

Now, there are some fun optional accessories to use with your Slice Elite- like the Hands-Free system, some embossing tips, and markers- but I figure I’ll save talking about those in future posts. But for now, this is what I made with my new Slice Elite.

I cut the heart-shaped window, crown, bird, and sentiment, all with the Slice Elite- right at my work desk!

I cut out the text, medallion, and frame brackets with my Slice Elite!

So here’s what I like about the Slice Elite:

  • It’s portable. You really can take this from room to room or to a friends house and it’s not heavy or bulky.
  • It’s easy to store. Unlike some of my other die-cutters- manual AND electric- it fits in deep drawer or you can perch it on a shelf. Grab it when you need it, store it when you don’t.
  • I dig the glass mat. If it looses its stiky, just use some spray adhesive (like quilt baste spray) or re-apply the provided glue. (No mats to buy.)
  • Design cards are rock. They are easy to store and use, and don’t cost an arm and a leg.
  • Rechargable/cordless. Hello!!! This is amazing. No batteries to pop out, but all the convenience!

Here are some of the drawbacks….

  • Small cutting area. You can only make images 4″ or less, so it’s great for small embellishments and cards- but if you like big, then this might not be for you.
  • Limited layering. These designs are lovely and intricate, but are limited to the basic design and a shadow. No mulit-layered images here.
  • You have to hold it. To make a good cut, you must stabilize the machine with your hands- which can be inconvenient and/or difficult if you have arthritis, hand issues, etc. (I’ll be reviewing the solution to this- the “Hands-Free System”- in the near future.)

Now let’s talk the nitty-gritty of price. I’ve seen it listed from between $161 USD to $130 for this starter kit. That’s not cheap, and for that amount of money you could get a Cricut Create, which cut images 5 1/2 inches to 11 1/2 inches- twice the area that the Slice Elite does. But keep in mind that one of those machines also take up twice the footprint and are not cordless or very portable. I also love that you can just plop the Slice Elite down in the center of your scrapbook paper and cut a window in your layout.

For new paper crafters, folks who craft in small spaces, and card makers, the Slice Elite can’t be beat. And as I mentioned before, I’ll be reviewing some of the add-ons and accessories that make it an even better little workhorse. The Slice Elite is a winner for me- how about you? What are your thoughts?

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About Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.

View all posts by Jenny Barnett Rohrs

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19 Responses to “Craft Product Review: Slice Elite by Making Memories”

  1. Debbi Glennie Says:

    I must be the only papercrafter on the planet who DOESN’t have any electronic cutting thingummyjigs, I’ve always resisted them because I wondered how much I would actually use them. But I am very tempted by this one thanks to your review Jenny
    thanks
    Debz
    x

  2. Laura Says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m hoping to go out on the road w/my hubby & was trying to find something smaller than my E. I’m definitely interested in this one but will keep comparing. =)

  3. Michelle Says:

    I have the original SLICE machine. I have had it for about 2.5 years, I think. I love it!! I have purchased the hands-free. It works great!! I love all the different disks they have to offer! I have more disks for my Slice than I do cartridges for my Expression.

  4. Carol Heyboer Says:

    I LOVE my slice elite. It is simple. Put the best part of it is the Hands Free Kit. I have the case for it and everything fits in it. I love to take it camping because it is so portable and I scrap my pictures as we go.

  5. WhamBamPam Says:

    I love my Slice, really easy to pull out, put away, I bought the bag + the design card case + the tool kit. Everything fits in the bag, even extra adhesive & the hands free top, all I’m missing is the 6 inch hands free mat (I leave the 12 inch at home).

    I’ve heard MM has an upgrade offer for the Elite, I really have to look into that.

  6. Charlene Woods Says:

    I recently upgraded my regular Slice cutter to the Slice Elite. I got my first Slice about 2.5 years ago. This is my 4th machine!! My first one was perfect, but my niece broke it. The second two, well…I was very frustrated over the fact that the small cuts were not lining up and Making Memories got tired of dealing with me!! But, I am a STEADFAST lover of my Slice!!!! Now that I have the Elite, I am completely and hopelessly in love with it!!! The Elite does everything my heart desires!! I have a Cricut too, but let me tell you, I use my Slice for nearly EVERY scrapbook page I do!! I will never be without my Slice! I take it to crops with me and demo it for anyone interested. It’s too bad I am not a paid spokesman! I love my Slice Elite!!!

  7. Colleen Says:

    I love my slice, and the hands free is awesome. It is a must have in my opinion.

  8. Tom Says:

    I’m probably one of the few guys that own a slice, maybe even the only guy. I’ve had it a year or so. I make cards (birthday etc.) and cut out letters for posterboard signs.

  9. Caroline Says:

    Thanks for your review! I really like what you made, and that bicycle paper is super cute. I got my first (original model) Slice over 2.5 years ago and I’ve had an Elite since last year. A couple of points to add:

    Adhesive: yes, you can use the tube of adhesive that comes with the machine, but many Slice users (myself included) prefer the spray adhesive. It’s much easier to apply and to use. The one made by Making Memories has zero minutes’ drying time so you can spray and you’re good to go.

    Cutting mat: again, you can use the small cutting mat that comes in the initial kit, but any Slice user who has tried the hands free cutting mat will tell you that it is a huge improvement. Getting a 12×12 mat also makes life easier than the standard 6×6 one. With the hands free kit, you don’t have to hold on to the machine while it cuts (thereby freeing you up to do something else); it cuts more accurately; plus the back of the cutting mat is an embossing mat so you get two mats in one.

    It might also be worth pointing out to the “unitiated” that the beautiful cuts you made (and the photos) are of the Bravissimo design card and not the Basic Elements card that comes in the initial kit… just to clear up any confusion. :)

    I have more Slice tips and tricks on my blog if anyone is interested! :)

  10. Anna K. Says:

    I got my Slice about 2 years ago for Christmas – just after they came out. I love it! I got the embossing tips a few months later and fell in love with them too. After the Hands-Free kit came out I bought one of those and really fell in love. When Making Memories offered the Elite upgrade I jumped on it. I am so glad I did. It’s awesome! I recently bought the drawing tips and the ball-point pen tips. I’m so excited to start using them!

  11. Betty Lamb Says:

    I have had my Slice for over 2 years and really like it. How can I get the Elite upgrade that I’ve been reading about?

  12. Caroline Says:

    @Betty: you can learn more about the Slice trade-in offer (to upgrade to the Elite) on the Slice website here:
    http://www.whyslice.com/slice_trade_in_offer

  13. Karen Says:

    Love my slice! I am new to scrapbooking and was told over and over that I needed to by a Cricut. I could not justify the cost and purchased the Slice instead. Love the varity of design cards and like the fact that they contuine to improve on them.

  14. Noemi Says:

    Hello, thanks for the review! Have you tried to cut foam sheets with this machine? Does it work ok or not? Thank you again!

  15. Jenny Says:

    Noemi= frankly, no, I hadn’t tried foam sheets with the Slice yet. Let me try it out for you! : )

  16. Dedi Says:

    I have tried on foam sheets and it is doesn’t do a very good job on them..some cuts would come out and others would not…so I would not suggest foam sheets.. I used the foam sheets that you get in a pack from Michael’s.

  17. Lily Says:

    I love my Slice…but have lost the power cord/battery charger and can’t find anyone who sells another one. Does anyone know where to find one???

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