Wednesday, August 5, 2009

eCraft by Craftwell VS Cricut by Provo Craft


So, I may get bashed a bit for this post, however if you know me, since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 I speak my mind. Especially after learning that stress was the cause of my cancer. I use to keep things in and now I speak my mind and let it all hang out! I have family members that have issues with this, however life is too short and now I am going to do what I want to do, and say what I want to say. Sooooooo here goes..............
I have been a Cricut lover from THE day I took my Cricut out of the box. I went right for the Expressions, as after a lot of research on many cutters and research on the Cricut, I went large. One of the reasons I bought my own store was because of the Cricut. I was so jazzed about this machine, as I was sure I could sell a bazillion of these babies! I had stars in my eyes and little did I know, I would not get a but a little bit of support from Provo Craft, but most times, none at all. How frustrating to buy an new cartridge at wholesale and find that other bigger internet stores and big box stores could buy these cheaper and sell them cheaper and also make money. A basic $90 cartridge has been so devalued, customers just don't want to pay more than $30 any longer and who can blame them. I can't compete, and this is a product I so do adore. How many times I wished, as a store owner and a crafter, Provo Craft would send me a product to test, and nothing...........and I have asked...........nothing...........so now I have found this new die cutter at CHA! And I have to say, when the guy in the Craftwell booth "dragged" me in, I was wearing my Cricut Lover t-shirt and I was a little disinterested. However here we go!
eCraft by Craftwell just may give Provo Craft a run for their money! After hearing all the cool things about this new die cutter, my mind started churning! Here is the lowdown:
Craftwell is proud to bring you eCraft, the revolutionary personal cutter that is easy to use, fun and fast. It is ideal for scrapbooking, paper crafting, making cards, banners and so much more.

The eCraft’s unique design makes it easy to cut paper and alike materials automatically without the use of a cutting mat or the need for manual cutting adjustments.
The eCraft by Craftwell is ultra slim and its lightweight design lets you take it anywhere. Use it on its own or attached to a computer.
With its easy to use software, large selection of fonts, shapes and designs, anyone can be an expert in minutes.
Features:
Automatic Cutting Sensor (no manual adjustments needed)
Paper Feeder (no more messy cutting boards)
Unique Roller system handles paper up to 12” by ANY length (wow!)
Draws and cuts without changing from blade to a pen (really!)
Easy to use software and a big bright LCD display (looks great)
So after much reflection after returning from CHA, I contacted Craftwell and asked if there was some place I could go to give this machine a work out and decide if I would like to sell it. Their response was quick and they offered to ship me a machine and have at it! Really?!?!? They are going to assist me to sell this machine, they are going to let me play, and I was told my opinions were valued. In my book, their customers service is already spot on and from just the little bit I have seen, I am very intrigued! Watch out, because this just might be the next hot item in the die cutter arena!
What do you think? I would love to know your thoughts!
~Kim

35 comments:

Desiree said...

Please post an update when you get this thing in your hot little hands! I would to see how it competes with the Cricut (which I do love as well).

Kim Bush said...

I promise to keep everyone updated as I find out info!

Kim B

Heather in FL said...

You know, Kim, you've gotten the runaround from Provo Craft on so many occasions. You're one of their retailers, and they don't even bother to communicate with you. Even when they do, sometimes they give you bad information (wasn't it Home Decor?). Anyhoo...I saw the eCraft at the consumer show as well and it looks like a really good machine. It seems that they have listened to Cricut users and created something that can compete and really has some of the things Cricut users like. I think it's awesome that they offered to send you a machine for testing. You'll have to post after you've had a chance to play. See if you can get the software to play with as well...I'd be interested to know if it's easier/harder than DS or SCAL. Had there been a choice at the retail level (i.e. Michaels/Joann) when I first bought my Cricut, I may have chosen something that gave me more freedom. And maybe having competition will make PC more open to hearing complaints.

Kim Bush said...

I am hoping they will send me an all inclusive package so I can really test everything on this baby. I am very excited and will let everyone in on how it goes either way.

Kim B

Vickie Y said...

I observed the demonstration at CHA Craft & Hobby Supershow. Was very impressed with this cutter. AND, I just received an email that I WON one and it will ship before the holidays! I can't wait to get it in my hot lil hands to play. I too have the expression and a ton of cartridges, but I think the eCraft Personal Cutter will be my cutter of choice.

Kim Bush said...

Vickie, please let me know how you like yours. I am trying to get as much info as I can as I think my store might be selling this! Thank you!

Kim B

fontjunkie said...

I think I am going to be standing in line to get my hands on this machine. I love that they are giving you a sd card system and the ability to make your own creations. Will be checking back often!!!

Pam said...

Does it do everything that Cricut does and how much is the software that allows you to use it with your computer. I will probably switch to it but do not want to lose anything that Cricut has.

Kim Bush said...

It appears that it does. Craftwell will be sending me a machine and I will ge giving it a work out. I believe the SD cards were $30. I hope to have a ton og information on this, once I can give it a crafter's run at it!

Kim B

Jeannette said...

Wow! this is VERY interesting. I have a Cricut & teach Cricut classes, in addition to being a school art teacher, but I am VERY intrigued by this machine. I would like to know if you can cut a border though for your 12" papers (b/c I noticed it said 10" cut)
I would also want to know if it cuts through cereal board, shrinky dink material. I hear that a Mac version is in the works--Apple users like myself would truly enjoy the sleek design. I am very intrigued by the capability of not having to change blade depths or deal with mats. Also, it says it can draw--How so? Only black & white? or can one use their own pens? I can't wait to learn more.

Kim Bush said...

Craftwell said they would send me a machine and as a crafter, I will be trying everything out and hope to give you a lot of informed answers. My initial thought is the eCraft could be a winner. I think it may have a few bugs, however I was told that they would use info from crafters like me to work them out and work them out quickly. Time will tell, and I will give my 100% opinion about this new item, as I will never lead anyone down the garden path.

Kim

Jeannette said...

That's really awesome that you get to test it out for them! I wish I were that lucky........I've already had many teachers @ my new school asking me about the Cricut, where to purchase, if I will give them classes, etc--they want to purchase one after seeing my classroom (visit-http://www.cricut.com/messageboard/tm.aspx?m=5066642&mpage=1&key=)
Now I am wondering if I should tell them to wait or not.....

Kim Bush said...

I would tell them to wait and see if this product is everything it is supposed to be, as if it is it will be inexpensive too.

Kim B

StarlightScrapper said...

I am just discovering info on this machine now as I'm comparing new die cutting options to replace my Cricut. I also have issues with how PC handles their customer service and their marketing. I am so excited to see that you will be testing and selling the eCraft - can't wait to hear how wonderful it is!!

Simply Complicated said...

I'm Glad i have been waiting to get a machine. Now I'll have to wait a little longer for the mac compatible version to come out. I really like the fact that you don't need a matt. I plan to use it to make custom die cuts to cut stickers and embellishments with my own image sheets. Will be looking for your reviews!

Icecat62 said...

I'm really interested in this new machine as well after reading your post. I haven't bought a Cricut yet and was holding off to save money to buy the larger one. If the new machine works with a Mac and you give it a good review, I just may find myself saving for another machine. ;-)

Kim Bush said...

We should be getting our Beta test machines in about a month!
~Kim

Chris said...

Kim,

I am so excited about this machine. I will be following you to find out more. Actually this will be my Christmas present. I have the Cricut and love it, but I really am looking forward to this machine. I signed up on your store but I can't seem to find where to sign up on you yahoo group. Please let me know.

Chris

Kim Bush said...

Chris,

I would love to have you join! Here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eCraft_Crafters/

Kim B

Memory Lane said...

Hi Kim
I can't wait to get this machine too! Like you, I am a small independent store and have the same problem with Provo. I think they have "shot themselves in the foot".
Cindy

Kim Bush said...

I am cheering you on too!! Us Independant store owners need to stick together. I am very excited to get my first order and my beta machine too!

Kim B

The Queen said...

OMG! I am so with you about it all! About Provo, or the lack of Provo - pricing etc etc etc. I won't repeat what you said so well. Then the same thing happened to me! Yup, CHA happened and I can't wait to get these in my store here in Maine. What a small world that we had the same experience! I wonder if we were there at the same time, LOL! Thanks for being brave enough to post exactly how we all feel! BRAVO

Kim Bush said...

I am glad you enjoyed my post! We are getting closer to the eCraft release and I am very excited!

Kim B

Luna Tic Mom said...

Just wondered how eCraft compares to the BossKut Gazelle? I am want a machine for my party store that I don't have to keep buying stuff for ... fork out the money on the front end instead of nickel and diming me! (And P.S. I am so glad to see your mention of speaking your mind. I actually quoted you ... I have family members that also do not agree with me just telling it like it is because then there is a "white elephant" no one else wants to discuss. But it so releases the stress in your own personal life!)

Bridget M. said...

Okay, just found this product and am chomping at the bit to find out how it compares to my beloved Cricut Expressions. Looks like a winner so far without having to mess with the stupid mats! But I was looking at the fonts and images they offer and so far am not impressed. Can I use my cricut images with this software so that I can still get my favorite images and fonts? Does it cut as intricate designs as the Cricut?

Kim Bush said...

Unfortunately, you can't use your cricut images with any software, as that violates copyright laws. However the eCraft not only comes with eCraft Pro software, you can also cut svg files using Make The Cut and Sure Cuts A Lot, so you can cut any design you want and are not locked in to the SD cards made by Craftwell. This machine cuts better than the Cricut machines. It is more like a professional model die cutting machine than a crafting model. HTH!!

Tash said...

Just wondering, are you happy with your new ecraft machine? I need to buy a cutter and wondering if it's worth my money.

Natasha

Tash said...

I need to buy a cutter, do you like the ecraft machine, I am wondering if it is worth my money

Natasha

Kim Bush said...

I think the eCraft is 100% worth it. Especially now that Craftwell has asked the owners of MTC & SCAL make their software compatible with the machine. It is really worth every penny :)

Kim

Kay said...

I am a cricut owner but not too much longer. I am so disappointed with ProvoCraft. About a year ago I found SCAL and loved how you could use it with the Cricut and expand its uses. However, I dragged my feet in purchasing SCAL and now it's too late...PC has changed all that. Now am stuck with a Cricut until I can sell it, and am considering the eCraft along with SCAL. Glad to see you are happy with it.

Kim Bush said...

It really is an awesome machine and I love that you can and are allowed to use SCAL with it :)

Dani Jones said...

Hi Ya'll, I was reading all the comments and all the hype about the ecraft vs the cricut e. My ecraft fianlly arrived after a month after I paid for it. Anyways, the MTC that is advertised as being able to use is only in the beta version. I was all excited about the whole no matts and you can cut vinyl wide as you want... Here its been a week and I still have yet to figure out the roll thing and even getting anything to load right. The software that comes with the the ecraft half the time it too crashes. So personally, I'd wait.

Kim Bush said...

@Dani: There are two versions of MTC for the eCraft and one os the beta version. The eCraft performs more like a professional model than a crafter's model, so it has a steeper learning curve. If you need more help, please join the eCraft Crafters yahoo group and we would be happy to work with you and give you some assistance.

Mary Carolyn said...

I am looking for my first machine and I don't know what to choose! I am considering the eCraft or the Cricut Mini. Any suggestions? I like to sew so I would love to be able to cut fabric and they both say that they do this, but I read a review on the Cricut that said it wasn't a clean cut. Any advice?
Thanks!!

Kim Bush said...

If you want to cut fabric, you don't want the mini criuct, the eCraft will cut much better for what you are looking for!

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