Saturday, March 10, 2012

Big Shot Cutting Pads

Maximize Use of Your Big Shot Cutting Pads

"When do you throw out your Big Shot Cutting Pads?"
 is a question that has arisen many times with my customers. From the very first cut, your pristine new cutting pads are marred for life. And, with repeated use, they very quickly look used and abused. You will also find that they may warp over time, causing large cracking noises when used.   If you are a first time Big Shot user, this may cause you much not worry....all is fine.

So when do you throw your cutting pads away?

In my Studio, not until they actually break - which may eventually happen.   And even then, if it is 'only a crack', I have known women who use it a bit longer!   I have Standard Cutting Pads that I have used for years with heavy wear and tear for personal use and in classes.   At only $8.95 (item # 113475 page 215) for a set of Standard Cutting Pads, I've found I get great return on my investment. 

Want to get the same return on investment?

Tips for getting the most out of your Big Shot Cutting Pads:
  1. Rotate:

    When using your cutting pads, remember to rotate which surface faces up. The first time you run your sandwich through the Big Shot, have one side up. The second time, flip your cutting pad over so the opposite side faces up. This will help minimize warping.
  2. Don't Force It:

    While I have been known to add heavy shims (even thin chipboard) to my sandwich to help cut through a particularly tough material, over shimming your sandwich can intensify the warping of your cutting pads - not to mention putting excessive wear and tear on your Big Shot gears, eventually causing breakage of the handle gears!
  3. Give Assigments:

    I have found it helpful to 'assign' my cutting pads to specific duties. In particular, I like to keep one cutting pad for embossing and another for cutting. In this manner, one of your pads takes the bulk of the wear and tear and the embossing cutting pad can also be used for the bottom pad in your cutting sandwich. You may choose to label these pads with a permanent marker - although it will quickly be evident which pad is for which purpose.
  4. Detailed Dies

    When using the new large size Sizzlits
    Paper Doily die (and any die with great detail), a newer cutting pad can actually help. An old warped pad may not make all of the cuts fully. Leaving you with a torn die cut as you try to poke out the little bits. You will find you get much better cuts with a newer cutting plate.
  5. Letterpress Plates

    As with the detailed dies, Letterpress Plates work better with a newer cutting pad. Since these plates do not cut through your piece, marring your cutting pad, you can use the cutting pad you have assigned to embossing in item #3.
  6. Use Cracked Pads

    While it may be better to just toss your pads  after they've cracked, I can be a miser at times. I usually use my cracked pads when I am cutting with a smaller die/sizzlit where the crack can be kept well away from the area you are cutting. If you try to cut near the crack, you may get uneven pressure and uncut sections.
  7. Keep Spares on Hand:

    I recommend you keep a spare set of cutting pads on hand. While you will get much use from any individual cutting pad, your pads will eventually break. Having a spare set on hand means you won't have to wait to complete a project!
Most of all, enjoy your Big Shot.  It is a great tool.  I know that I love mine and use it almost everyday even though I have an electronic cutting machine.  The Big Shot cuts almost everything so easily!  Can't say enough about this great machine!

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Until Next Time,
Denise Foor


  1. Denise, I LOVE MY BIGSHOT!!!!! Carol

  2. I just bought a new set of cutting pads to use for embossing only and labeled them. My first set of cutting pads got very warped, so I did replace them, too.


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