20 Best Embossing Machines For Scrapbooking & Cardmaking In 2021

Various embossing machines and projects

Turn your simple photo album into an engaging scrapbook or transform bland greeting cards into something that will wow your recipients. The possibilities are endless if you can get your hands on the best embossing machine for all your crafting needs.

Read this in-depth review to determine how to choose the best embossing machine, depending on your skill, budget, and art material. We also answered some frequently asked questions to help ease your way to embossing and die-cutting art.

Our Top Picks

Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit
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Best Overall - Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit

• Precision cuts
• Portable and lightweight
• Quick and easy cleaning

Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Die-Cutting Machine
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Best Electric-Operated -  Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Die-Cutting Machine

• Vintage design
• Portable
• Compatible with different die-cuts

Best in Label Making -  DYMO Embossing Machine Label Maker

• Portable and versatile
• No batteries needed
• Affordable

1. Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit - Best Overall

Sizzix Big Shot 6-Inch Starter Kit Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, cutting pads, embossing pad, embossing folder, dies, and craft paper
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 Pros Cons
  • Easy to set up and store
  • Includes crafting materials
  • Precision cuts
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Quick and easy cleaning
  • Doesn't come with an instruction booklet
  • Needs additional shims

What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers posted images of the crafts they made with this best embossing machine starter kit. The instruction manual is confusing with its seven languages, but there is no need to check on the instruction manual as soon as you get used to it. 

The dies and the embossing folders included did a good job, and you can do a lot of 3D arts with this simple machine. 

Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit review

Why We Think It’s Great

Sizzix wanted to give you better packages, so they included dies, embossing folders, and craft supplies so you can immediately start with your paper crafting as soon as you get them. 

It is strong enough to cut and emboss cork, felt cloth, and balsa wood and is compatible with most A5-sized (6 inches) dies and embossing folders. You can use it for scrapbooking, quilting, making appliques and fashion embellishments, and other crafts.

Whether you decide to sell your crafts or frame them, your artwork will indeed impress anyone. Plus, the machine is super easy to use, even for beginners. Don’t let young children mess with them, though. It uses solid steel materials for the gear and the shaft, so it’s a hazard around kids. 

The embossing machine includes an extended multipurpose platform, a pair of standard cutting pads, dies, an embossing folder, an instruction booklet, and 6x6-inch cardstock sheets. You can use the extended platform to make it longer. 

Who Should Buy It

If you love making 3D cards, invest in this best embossing machine for smaller projects. The cuts are so crisp that you will think you are looking at real flowers instead of paper flower bouquets.

2. Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine

Evolution Advanced Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine
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 Pros Cons
  • Works with most die-cuts and embossing folders
  • Used in card-making, scrapbooking, and other crafts
  • Space-saving and portable
  • Set includes cardstock and tools
  • Works manually or can be fitted with a motor
  • Expensive for a small machine
  • Adjustment dial is too hard to turn 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

After trying other brands, many customers found this dual-power embossing machine to their liking. The adjustable die lets you make deep and light emboss, depending on what you need. 

It comes as a complete package so that you can use it out of the box. The suction is good, and the crank works excellent even if you want to go manual. 

Why We Think It’s Great

This machine is perfect for die-cutting and embossing projects. It can work on 6x13-inch projects and add a motor (sold separately), so you can automate it while you do other stuff for your crafts.

The Evolution Advanced is lightweight and foldable for portability. It also has built-in storage space for keeping small tools, dies, embossing folders, and even the removable handle.

You can make almost any papercraft using this embossing machine, such as embossed and die-cut cards, home decors, and scrapbooking accessories. All you need is paper to get started. You may want to buy additional embossing folders and dies, though.

The machine includes a 6x13-inch cutting and embossing platform, one self-healing mat, and a bonus nesting die. The device consists of a knob to control the machine’s pressure for cutting and embossing precision, depending on the type of paper and its thickness. 

Who Should Buy It

Professional crafters will love this best embossing machine. And with a few dies, you can make unique cards and scrapbooks.

3. Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine - Best Industrial-Strength

Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, cutting pads, adapter, embossing pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Constructed from steel, aluminum, and metal alloy
  • Includes tools and accessories
  • Perfect for large die-cutting and embossing projects
  • Excellent alternative for etching presses
  • Expensive
  • Does not come with dies

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Users find this best embossing machine very helpful because you only need one device to make small and large embossing and die-cutting projects. With its 13-inch wide opening, many crafters boasted of the projects they made, such as full-sized cards and embossed gift bags. 

More importantly, this machine can do chipboards, felt, and cardstock without any issues for the die-cutting projects. Remember, always check the compatibility of your die with the device before you add it to your cart.

Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine  review

Why We Think It’s Great

Accessories will eventually wear out after prolonged use since this embossing machine works on an industrial level, which is very demanding. That’s why we appreciate that Sizzix had the foresight to make their premium crease pads, cutting pads, and adapter pads required when doing shim and wafer-thin cuts.

The embossing machine is huge and made of steel, aluminum, and metal alloy. It measures 24 ¼ x 15 x 7 ½ inches and weighs over 40 lbs, needing a permanent place within your craft shop. It can even do linoleum carving, which is also great. The metal tray slides off easily, and the die-cutters cut flawlessly. 

The Sizzix Big Shot Pro includes a standard sliding tray, a standard cutting pad, a premium crease pad, two mylar shims, a standard adapter pad, and a die pick. It is also compatible with Sizzix dies and embossing folders.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this as the best embossing machine for professional paper crafters and those running a desktop publishing business. It is also an excellent investment if you teach paper-crafting and art classes.

4. Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Electric Die-Cutting Machine - Best Unique Design

Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Electric Die-Cutting Machine
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 Pros Cons
  • Vintage design
  • Electric-operated
  • Portable
  • Compatible with different die-cuts
  • Includes thin die adapter and platform
  • Tends to bend and warp dies
  • Rubber feet keep falling off

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Users of Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 are happy with its precise and consistent cuts and embossing. It is sturdy but portable and easy to store. 

Even if you are an elderly crafter with arthritic hands, you can still do die-cutting and embossing crafts because it is electric-operated, so no cranking for you.

Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Electric Die-Cutting Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

We can guarantee the durability of the Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 because it packs all-metal gears. The industrial-strength motor makes precise cuts on different materials, even on chipboard and felt. It runs on electricity, so you can concentrate on assembling your die-cuts and embossing jobs instead of operating the machine.

This embossing machine is also portable. The platform is foldable to the body and resembles a vintage suitcase. When closed, the device measures 12 ½ x 4 ⅝ x 9 inches. It measures 15 ¼ x 12 ½ x 10 ¼ inches and weighs 17.5 lbs with the platform open.

The Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 is compatible with many Sizzix dies and embossing folders wider than 6 inches, except for the dies and folders made for bigger machines. You can also use the steel rule die to cut through layers of paper.

However, you need to select the package that includes the accessories and tools separately, such as the cutting pads, impressions pad, and silicone rubber required to use this machine.

Who Should Buy It

The Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 is the best embossing machine for those who want to rest from all the heavy cranking.

5. Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine

Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, cutting pads, embossing pad, embossing folders, and cutting dies
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 Pros Cons
  • Comes with tools, dies, and embossing folder
  • Best for scrapbooking, card-making, small tags
  • Strong suction for stability
  • Portable and easy to store
  • Ergonomic handle for easier cranking
  • Works only on a single lightweight cardstock
  • Small projects only (2 ½ inches)

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Customers recommend this embossing machine for every crafter who loves working with wafer-thin paper. It saves you lots of time making lovely, precise embossed and die-cut projects that you can never achieve if you try to do them manually. It is also a space-saver, and you can use it even if you have a small work desk. 

Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

No more tedious and manual imperfect cuts, especially if you are using wafer-thin paper. Measuring just 7 ¾ x 4 ¾ x 3 ½ and weighing 1.5 lbs, this embossing machine is perfect for making paper crafts on the go.

The Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit includes a pair of cutting pads, an embossing pad, dies, embossing folders, stamps, and an instructions booklet. The dies and embossing folders have commonly used designs for cards, scrapbooks, and gift tags. It can fit 2 ½-inch embossing folders and dies.

The bottom of the embossing machine stabilizes it on the table so you can work with the device to make beautifully embossed cards and die cuts.

Who Should Buy It

The Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit is the best embossing machine for crafters who want a device for smaller die-cutting and embossing projects.

6. Sizzix Big Shot Express Electric Die-Cutting Machine

Sizzix Big Shot Express Electric Die-Cutting Machine best for elderly crafters
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 Pros Cons
  • Electric-operated
  • Versatile use
  • Strong suction 
  • Compatible with most Sizzix dies
  • Quiet operation
  • Wider body than the manual 6-inch machine
  • Issues with the power cord

What Customers Have To Say 

Older crafters with weak and arthritic hands think this embossing machine is excellent as it eases the pressure on their joints. As a result, many of them retired their older manual machines and switched to electronic.

The power cord seems to be the most common issue for this embossing machine. But you can find compatible power cords in your local hardware store to solve it.

Why We Think It’s Great

Here is Sizzix’s attempt at an electric die-cutting and embossing machine. Compatible with most Sizzix dies and embossing folders, it has internal steel gears and a solid steel shaft. 

You need to hold on to the switch while rolling your sandwich, and you can reverse its movement by pushing the other side of the control. 

It also includes an extended platform, a thin die adapter, and a pair of cutting boards. But you’ll have to buy the embossing pad separately.  

The embossing machine measures 14 ¼ x 10 x 6 ¼ inches and weighs 9.62 lbs. It can cut up to 6 inches of embossing folders and dies.

Who Should Buy It

The Sizzix Big Shot Express is perfect for A5-sized cards or smaller. It is the ideal embossing and die-cutting machine for older crafters who have weaker hands.

7. Gemini Junior Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser

Gemini Junior Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser
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 Pros Cons
  • Electric-powered auto-feed plate
  • Comes with embossing and die-cut tools
  • Cuts intricate designs
  • Small and portable
  • Available replacement plates
  • Some dies arrived warped 
  • Damages cutting plates easily

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Customers love this die-cutting and embossing machine for its intricate dies and impressive embossing. Many of them retired their previous equipment because this device exceeded their expectations. It also does the work in half the time.

Gemini Junior Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser review

Why We Think It’s Great

Don’t be fooled by the size of his electric-powered die-cut and embossing machine. It may be small, but it is very powerful. The dies make precise cuts, while the embossing folders make good impressions on paper, heavyweight cardstock, vinyl, foil, leather, and even fabric. 

It also does not need cranking like manual embossing machines, making it easier on the hands. It fits most A5 embossing folders and dies. It includes metal dies, a 3D embossing folder, a pair of clear plates, a magnetic shim, a metal shim, and a rubber shim.

You can also buy a booster cable and an external power source (10,000mAh) for on-the-go crafting.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this die-cut and embossing machine to every crafter who doesn’t want to spend more energy than is necessary when doing papercrafts. All you have to do is sandwich your die or embossing folder and paper between the cutting plates, and everything is good to go.

8. Gemini Go Die Cutting and Embossing Machine

Gemini Go electric cutter and embosser, 3-inches
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 Pros Cons
  • Smallest die-cutting and embossing machine
  • Includes embossing and die-cut tools
  • Electric-powered
  • Cuts intricate designs
  • Works with heavyweight cardstock and other materials
  • Suitable only for thin dies and embossing folders

 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers think this embossing machine complements the slightly larger Gemini Junior, especially when stamping and embossing projects. 

Some users think that it would be even better if the company offers a battery pack to use on the go. Nevertheless, the embossing machine is automatic, helping crafters who have weak hands.

Why We Think It’s Great

For crafters, the hands and the eyes are the best assets. That’s why giving your hands a break is a treat, and the Gemini Go is the perfect way to do this. This embossing machine cuts your working time and lets you do small and intricate designs in less than a minute.

The package includes cutting plates, metal cutting plates, magnetic shim, plastic shim, rubber embossing mat, power cable, and user manual. It can fit 3x6-inch embossing folders and dies. Like the Gemini Junior, you can add a booster cable and an external power source (10,000mAh) if you want to use this machine off the grid.

The Gemini Go is the smallest version of the Gemini series. The largest Gemini can work with letter-sized embossing folders and dies.

Who Should Buy It

The Gemini Go is the perfect companion for more extensive embossing and die-cut machines that crafters love to use for their card-making and other papercrafts.

9. Spellbinders Platinum 6.0 Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine

Spellbinders Platinum 6.0 Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine and plates
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 Pros Cons
  • Includes plates and instruction manual
  • Steel rule dies cut through metal and 40 other materials
  • Small and portable
  • Collapsible handle for easy storage
  • Several dies and embossing plates available
  • Steel rule dies sold separately

 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Crafters who have tried this die-cutting and embossing machine are happy that the handle has ample torque, which means less cranking and more power. 

After a stroke, one customer got paralyzed, but she continued making crafts using this embossing machine because the handle is easy to crank.

Spellbinders Platinum 6.0 Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

Although you have to buy the steel rule dies separately, the Spellbinders Platinum 6.0 allows crafters to work on more materials. It fits most A5 embossing folders and dies and can cut through 6 layers of paper using Contour Steel Rule Dies.

The embossing machine is compatible with wafer-thin dies, steel rule dies, single side embossing, double side embossing, 3D embossing, and die embossing. It can cut through fabric, leather, metal, and balsa wood. The set includes a pair of cutting plates, a standard platform, an embossing plate, and an embossing mat.

The Spellbinders Platinum 6.0 is small enough to fit in your luggage if you want to bring this machine when traveling. The platform folds itself for more accessible storage and crafting on the go. It also comes with a 1-year warranty, so you have peace of mind when using it. 

Who Should Buy It

The Spellbinders Platinum 6 is the best embossing machine to get if you want durability and reliability, cutting your work in half. It also allows you to work on several materials, including metal, balsa wood, burlap, etc.

10. Spellbinders PL-001 Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine

Spellbinders Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine, 8.5 inches
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 Pros Cons
  • Wider platform than the Platinum 6
  • Solid steel construction
  • Includes plates and instruction manual
  • Steel rule dies cut through metal and 40 other materials
  • Collapsible handle for easy storage
  • Expensive 
  • Compatible only with Spellbinders products

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Users of this embossing machine love its large format and the many wonders it can do with various materials. 

Using the steel rule cut, you can cut up to 8 layers of paper and other materials with precision. Customer service was also reliable when users had some issues with their purchases.

Why We Think It’s Great

The Spellbinder Platinum is compatible with most standard thin dies, embossing folders, and steel rule dies. It can cut through almost any material, allowing you to make more crafts. 

These materials include balsa wood, chipboard, metal, leather, vellum board, newspaper, aluminum foil tin, grunge board, acrylic, cork, burlap, wool, bubble wrap, denim, magnet sheets, craft foam, and shrink sheet.

For thicker materials, you need the steel rule die to make cuts. You can stack 6-8 layers for thinner materials to make a single cut, making your work more efficient and productive.   

The platform can fit the letter-sized paper and other materials for larger projects such as bags, boxes, and other crafts, giving you more opportunities to create. 

The Spellbinders PL-001 makes letter-size cuts at 9.3 kgs (20.44 lbs) and 11x15 ½ x 9 ½ inches but is still portable enough. The handle and the sides are collapsible for easier handling and storage.

Who Should Buy It

The Spellbinders Platinum is robust and is the best embossing machine for professional crafters who want to work on other materials aside from paper and cardstock.

11. Bira Craft Mini Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit

Bira Craft Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo Starter Kit, cutting pads, embossing pads, adapter, dies, and craft paper
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 Pros Cons
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Strong suction cup for better stability
  • Comes with supplies, tools, and accessories
  • Works for acid-etched dies and embossing folders
  • Easy to store
  • Works only with paper and cardstock 80gsm or lower
  • Warps the cutting plates

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Some customers call the Bira Craft Mini a little workhorse because it is small but powerful enough to make great embossing and die-cutting projects. The dies are very sharp, making precision cuts. However, you can only do one sheet at a time.

Bira Craft Mini Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Bira Craft Mini Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine weighs only 3.1 lbs and measures 8 ¼ x 3 ¾ x 4 ¾ inches. It has the largest feeding slot among small embossing machines at 3 ⅛ inches, making it perfect for scrapbooking and card-making projects.

Although it needs some muscle power to crank, it is also very sturdy, and the materials used are of good quality. The same is true about the dies and embossing folders. The suction cup works well, keeping the machine stable even when cutting through thick materials. 

You need to replace the cutting plate after some time, but that is understandable, especially with all its action. All the replacement accessories are available in craft shops and online stores. 

Who Should Buy It

We love this small but powerful machine because of its versatility and affordability. The Bira Craft Mini is the best embossing machine for paper crafters who make those cute and ready-to-use scrapbooking and card-making accessories.

12. Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway Embossing Machine

Sizzix big shot foldaway machine, large format
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 Pros Cons
  • Easy foldaway storage
  • Built-in storage for dies and other small supplies
  • Precision cuts
  • Collapsible handle
  • Quick and easy cleaning
  • Expensive for a small machine
  • Embossing pads and folders sold separately

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Delighted customers think that this is the best embossing machine they tried and is an excellent upgrade from the ones they previously used. The suction cup is not that great, but the handle on top of the machine makes up for it.

According to some users, you shouldn’t try more than 3 layers of 80gsm paper, as the machine won’t cut through the bottom layer. But you can use up to 6-8 layers of quilting fabrics, making fast and accurate cuts every time.

Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway Embossing Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway Machine is surprisingly light for its size, although it uses solid core steel rollers, steel gears, and an ABS plastic exterior for sturdier construction. 

At just 9.1 lbs and measuring 6 ¼ x 10 ½ x 8 inches, it is very portable and easy to store in your crafter’s closet. When the platform is open and the foldable handle is ready for use, it measures 13 ¾ x 13 x 8 inches.

The set includes the embossing machine, multipurpose platform, die adaptor, and one pair of cutting pads. It can fit dies and embossing folders as wide as 6 inches. If you are into quilting, upcycling, and other home projects, you can use the Sizzix Big Shot for cutting fabric and quilting pieces using the dies, so you have consistent cuts every time. 

Unfortunately, you need to buy a set of dies, an embossing pad, and embossing folders separately.

Who Should Buy It

This best embossing machine is perfect for crafters on the go because of its foldaway design. It is a game-changer for every scrapbooking, car-making, and quilting enthusiast. No more hours spent on cutting fabric that does not fit well in your quilt or making cards with printers and even hand paintings. 

13. Sizzix Portable Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine 

Sizzix Portable Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, cutting pads, embossing pad, dies, and embossing folders
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 Pros Cons
  • Small-format machine
  • Fits up to 2 ½-inch materials
  • Best for scrapbooking and cardmaking crafts
  • Cuts different materials
  • Portable
  • For lightweight cardstock only

 

 

 What Customers Have To Say 

You can take inspiration from some of the cutest crafts that customers made. Check out some common die shapes that can fit in resin molds, and you can make resin art and jewelry with these cute cuts. 

Delighted users think this is the best embossing machine for small dies. It is very user-friendly and works very well despite its size.

Sizzix Portable Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine  review

Why We Think It’s Great

Fits only 2 ½ inches lightweight cardstock, the Sizzix Sidekick is tiny but very sturdy. It measures 7 ¾ x 3 ½ x 4 ¾ inches and weighs 0.7 lbs. 

It comes with everything you need with your paper crafting projects. The kit includes the die-cutting and embossing machine, a pair of sidekick cutting pads, an embossing pad, dies, an embossing folder, stamps, and an instruction booklet.

The bottom of the machine seals itself on the work table, giving it a stable grip while you make your cuts and emboss your materials.

You may need to buy dies, stamps, and embossing folders in the future, but you can start working with the free tools included in the starter kit. It is compatible with the 2 ½ dies and embossing folders for your scrapbooking and cardmaking crafts. 

Who Should Buy It

The Sizzix Sidekick is the best embossing machine for crafters who love working with cute projects. Watch the product video for ideas on how to make love cards, cake toppers, and scrapbooking accessories.

14. We R Memory Keepers Mini Evolution Embossing Machine Starter Kit

 We R Memory Keepers machine, cutting pads, adapter, embossing pads, and dies 
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 Pros Cons
  • Small and portable
  • Comes with supplies and tools
  • Best for cards, tags, and embellishments 
  • Suction cups to secure to the tabletop
  • Best for tiny workspaces
  • No replacement plates

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Customers are pleased with this small machine that can cut dies and emboss small cards and tags. Table suction is good, and turning it is easy. Small dies at 3 inches fit this machine, and you can make gorgeous scrapbook accessories.  

Why We Think It’s Great

Manufactured by We R Memory Keepers with over 90 years of experience in bookbinding and paper crafting, the Mini Evolution Starter Kit is another testament to the company’s commitment to quality and excellence.

We wish it had longer plates because this machine does a great job at embossing or cutting dies. It does not have replacement plates, but you can use other embossing folders smaller than 3 inches. 

This embossing machine is a great companion to bigger devices when making smaller embossing designs and die-cuts for scrapbooking, gift tags, card-making, and other small crafts. It effectively cuts down papercutting time and produces clean cuts and impressive embossing on your projects.

Table suction is also impeccable. You can work on your designs without having to hold the machine. The machine is small at only 8 ¼  x 5 ¼ x 3 ¾ inches. It includes (2) buffer plates, cutting plate, embossing plate, (2) embossing folders, nesting circle dies, and 50 sheets of 5x3-inch cardstock.

Who Should Buy It

This best embossing machine is excellent for paper crafters looking for a device that works for smaller dies and templates.

15. Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine

Sizzix Big Shot 9-Inch Starter Kit Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, cutting pads, embossing pad, embossing folder, dies, and craft paper
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 Pros Cons
  • Large-format machine
  • Fits up to 9-inch materials
  • Comes with cutting pads, platform, and adaptor pads
  • Includes die, embossing folders, and craft paper
  • Solid build
  • No instruction booklet
  • Replacement parts are costly

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Customers made lovely 3D art using the Big Shot Plus Manual with die-cuts and highlighted them with permanent markers for a more realistic effect. 

The machine is very sturdy with its solid steel shaft and gears and heavy-duty ABS plastic. Sizzix even went out of its way to serve customers better by including dies, embossing folders, and craft paper in the package.

Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

All other Sizzix dies work with this embossing machine except for those designed for Big Shot Pro dies. Like the Big Shot 6-inch machine, the Big Shot Plus uses solid core steel rollers, steel gears, and an ABS plastic exterior. These materials ensure durable construction and long-lasting investment. 

This die-cutting and embossing machine is a bit heavy at 17 lbs and measures 15 ¾ x 11 ¾ x 7 ½ inches. It also includes a platform system, two cutting pads, dies, embossing folder, A4 cardstock sheets, and 5 ½  x 6-inch cardstock sheets. 

It has a 9-inch opening for bigger cuts and embossing projects. You can use the dies to cut, and the embossing folders to emboss materials from wafer-thin tissue to cardstock, film, felt, cork, balsa wood, and even fabrics used for quilting and applique projects. You can also cut vinyl stickers to use for your decals for your epoxy tumblers.

Who Should Buy It

If you can’t get enough of all the papercrafts you see on every crafting tutorial site, you better get this handy device. The Sizzix Big Shot is the best embossing machine for serious crafters who want to make 3D art, scrapbooking, and cardmaking accessories as a business opportunity.

16. Sizzix BIGkick Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform

Sizzix BIGkick Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform, platform, cutting pads, adapter
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 Pros Cons
  • Small and lightweight
  • Durable and sturdy 
  • Precision cut
  • Works on various materials
  • Excellent for paper crafting
  • Expensive for a small but manual machine
  • Awkward to use

What Customers Have To Say 

According to customers, the Sizzix BIGkick’s handle and crank are collapsible, adding to its space-saving feature. The cutting pads are very durable, and even if they have multiple scratches from prolonged use, the cutting pads still work well. It is fun to work with and cranks with minimal effort.

Sizzix BIGkick Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform review

Why We Think It’s Great

What caught our eye is the lovely periwinkle color of this embossing machine. Beyond that, we love its performance and versatility. It can work on both thin and thick dies. 

You can also use the Sizzix BIGkick for paper crafting, quilting, making appliques and fashion embellishments, home decors, scrapbooking, and party planning. Using the steel rule dies, you can create multiple cuts to make paper flowers and other 3D crafts.

However, to keep the embossing machine at its tip-top condition, we recommend using it with a medium (32pt) chipboard. You can also use it for cutting fabric, burlap, faux leather, and cork. 

Though it looks a bit bulky, it is still very portable at 10.6 lbs. With the collapsible crank and handle, you can store them in smaller spaces.

Who Should Buy It

Aside from its sturdy and durable construction, the Sizzix BIGkick makes precision cuts and a clean embossed finish. This is also the best embossing machine if you want a pop of color in your workspace.

17. Cheery Lynn Designs S174 Big Sister Die Cut & Emboss Machine

Cheery Lynn Designs Big Sister Die Cut & Emboss Machine, adjustable thickness, foldaway storage
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 Pros Cons
  • All-metal internal construction
  • Wide letter-size mouth
  • Foldable handle
  • Adjustable thickness
  • Foldable design for easy storage
  • Narrow plates (6x15 inches only)
  • Selective of dies

What Customers Have To Say 

The customers loved the adjustment levers since it means fail-proof cutting all the time. It is also easy to store because it is foldable, a plus for most crafters with a small craft room. Another user said it’s an excellent machine for the price. However, it is selective in its shims that some customers had a hard time looking for replacements.

Overall, crafters agree that the Cheery Lynn Designs Big Sister is excellent, affordable, and efficient. It can even compete with the more established brands in functionality and performance.

Cheery Lynn Designs S174 Big Sister Die Cut & Emboss Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Cheery Lynn Designs S174 Big Sister is foldable, and the crank is collapsible with a magnetic hold for more accessible storage, making it easier to store and lug around. The embossing machine’s platform opens to 6x12 inches and weighs just 4.4 lbs, considering the steel gears and internal rollers.

It comes with three base parts - base, cutting pad, and an embossing pad. The cuts are crisp, so there’s no need to take out those small tools to push out some design elements that did not pop out.

The Cheery Lynn Designs Big Sister is large enough to make cuts using 8 ½-inch dies and embossing folders for larger projects. It allows you more opportunities to work on larger, more practical crafts like invitation cards, paper bags, and large-format decors for parties. 

Unlike fixed platforms that need multiple shims, this embossing machine has an adjustable platform. So even if you’re using a thick die or wafer-thin die, a few turns of the knob adjusts the platform to accommodate your projects.

Who Should Buy It

The Cheery Lynn Big Sister is the best embossing machine for crafters who love using different dies and embossing folders. The die-cutter is adjustable, so you can save on having to buy adapter pads.

18. DYMO Embossing Label Maker with DYMO Label Tapes

DYMO Embossing Label Maker with 3 DYMO Label Tapes
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 Pros Cons
  • Portable
  • Versatile use
  • No batteries needed
  • Long-wearing label
  • Very affordable
  • Letters and numbers only
  • Unclear impressions

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Some users call themselves Dymo-crazy because once you start labeling, you can’t stop. No more permanent marker smudges or illegible labels. The embossing also contrasts beautifully in white on black or colored tape.

It’s the perfect labeling tool for gifts, condiments, and even cards. It’s water-resistant and does not wear off quickly. It is very retro-looking, and everyone who used a typewriter would love this embossing label.  

DYMO Embossing Label Maker with DYMO Label Tapes review

Why We Think It’s Great

Remember those vintage luggage sporting embossed tags? We didn’t forget to include an embossed label-maker on our list. This handheld embossing machine is compact at 8 ⅜ inches long and weighs 0.8 lbs.

It comes with preloaded 12 feet x ⅜-inch embossing tape and two spare rolls. If you run out, you can quickly check out these black or colored embossing tapes. You can make labels for almost anything because the tapes are self-adhesive. 

The handle fits nicely on the hand, and the trigger has depressions for the fingers for better grip. It does not need batteries and stands on your desk for easier work. The click labeling device includes 49 characters of uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. 

Who Should Buy It

Do you love to organize and your stuff for easier access? This is the best handheld embossing machine for labels that you can use for scrapbooks, cards, and even books.

19. Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine

Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine, mylar shim, embossing pads, small patterns only
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 Pros Cons
  • Compatible with other embossing folders
  • Adorable handbag design
  • Includes mylar shim and embossing pads
  • Small and portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Small patterns only (4 ½ inches)
  • Does not cut die

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Users are very impressed with this small but powerful embossing machine, even though it is hard to crank, especially for older and arthritic hands. Some of the cards that customers made are awe-inspiring and creative.

Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Sizzix Texture Boutique is a fun and beautifully designed embossing machine that measures 8 x 5 x 9-inch and weighs only 3 lbs. Aside from embossing, it can also do debossing crafts from ordinary cardstock so you can make lovely cards and scrapbooking accessories. However, it does not cut dies.

The kit includes the embossing machine, a pair of embossing pads, and a Mylar shim. Compared with regular cutting boards, the Mylar shim protects the embossing pads for long life. It does not include dies and embossing folders, but you can find many 4 ½-inch dies and embossing folders in the Sizzix portfolio.

It works best with thin paper materials and works adequately with cardstock, craft foil, vellum, and kraft paper. 

Who Should Buy It

Crafters will love this handbag-shaped embossing machine. It is perfect for those who want a decorative but functional tool in their workspace.

20. Bira Craft 9-Inch Adjustable Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine

Bira Craft 9-Inch Adjustable Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine, platform, cutting pads, embossing pad, steel rule die, and cutting dies
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 Pros Cons
  • Adjustable die-cut and embossing pressure
  • Large-size format for big projects
  • Compatible with other brand’s accessories
  • Three settings on cutting and embossing
  • Foldaway design for portability and easy storage
  • Plastic internal gears
  • Confusing instruction guide

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Delighted crafters recommend the Bira Craft 9-inch model as the best embossing machine for fellow crafters who want better precision in their work. And what can do that better than an embossing machine with adjustable pressure and function? 

Other crafters have tried other large-format embossing machines, and they found this to be of superior quality than more expensive brands. It has a foldaway design that makes it easier to store, and the built-in storage compartment helps organize smaller dies and other small tools. 

Bira Craft 9-Inch Adjustable Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine review 

Why We Think It’s Great

The adjustable pressure and settings for die-cutting and embossing are the most prominent features of this embossing machine. A knob adjusts the pressure of die-cutting and embossing, depending on the material you use and the depth of the cuts you want. Another knob selects the function if you wish to make die-cuts, 2D embossing, and 3D embossing. 

The starter kit also comes with a standard platform, a cutting mat, an adapter for steel rule die, an embossing folder, eight cutting dies, a steel rule die for cork, fabric, and other materials, A4 cardstocks, and instructions manual.  

Aside from that, the price is also very reasonable. Other brands command a higher price for smaller embossing machines. 

Who Should Buy It

The Bira Craft 9-inch is the best embossing machine for every professional crafter who loves creating die-cuts from various materials and embossing cardstock for multiple crafts. 

Best Embossing Machine Buying Guide

  • Versatility

Before buying an embossing machine, list all the materials you want to use. A small embossing machine is good enough if you plan to use only light cardstock for scrapbooking and cardmaking. 

However, if you want to cut quilting fabric, cork, even balsa wood, find a sturdier embossing machine. Some embossing machines are even hardy enough to cut thin metal plates! How cool is that! Look for an industrial-type of embossing machine if you are into the thick stuff. 

Lastly, most embossing machines can cut dies, but not all. Die-cutting is an excellent feature for your embossing machine, and don’t end up disappointed because you failed to check if it can’t do die cuts.

  • Size

Depending on the size of crafts you make, there are also embossing machines that go with that. The smallest we have on this list is 2 ½” while the largest is 13 inches, and each has its pros and cons. 

If you usually work on smaller designs, there is no need to buy a large, industrial embossing machine. Getting a larger-format embossing machine if you have the budget allows you versatility. 

As such, a large-format machine allows you the freedom to create larger, dimensional projects. You can make embossed gift boxes, bags, and other projects and embellish them with cute die-cuts, all made in a single large-format embossing machine.

  • Compatible Die-Cuts and Embossing Folders

It is best to choose an embossing and die-cut machine that accommodates dies and embossing folders from other brands. This way, you can select the designs you want. 

If you want to work with leather, cork, and others, you will need a steel rule die that is thicker than the other dies. For this die, you want a sturdy embossing machine, preferably with metal gears and shaft, so it does not give way when doing this thick die. 

Embossing does not have any similar issues, though, so if embossing is all you need, you don’t have to be too hard on yourself in choosing the best embossing machine for you. 

  • Replacement Accessories

Before you buy an embossing machine, check the availability of replacement accessories. The most common replacement parts are the cutting boards, embossing pads, adapter boards, and mylar shims. Don’t forget to check the sizes, too. 

  • Price and Quality

A $100 embossing machine may seem less expensive than a $120 starter kit, but sometimes, the “freebies” don’t even amount to the additional $20. Factor to that price the convenience of dealing with a single transaction and customer service, and you may find that the latter alternative has more value. 

Consider also the materials used in the construction. Metal gears are more expensive than plastic ones, so if you’re looking for something that can last for years, invest in one with better materials. 

It is also wise to consider buying a smaller, less expensive machine if you’re still trying things out. Do not commit to a costly device that you may not use after all.

  • Mechanism

Are you comfortable with going manual, or would you rather have an electric embossing machine? How about one that you can automate with the addition of a motor? 

Manual embossing machines are generally easy to use. Still, if you go for large-format projects or have hand issues (arthritis, surgery, etc.), an electric embossing machine is better. Understandably, the device is harder to crank with bigger and more rigid materials or if the die you use is thicker. 

There are also dual-powered machines that you can use manually, or you can add a motor to use it on electric power for more demanding jobs.  

Embossing Machine FAQ

1. What is debossing vs. embossing?

Embossing makes raised images on a material (paper, metal, leather, etc.). The image can be inked, foiled, or left blank, also called blind embossing). 

Debossing, on the other hand, is making indented images or depressions on your material. Both leave a professional touch to your papercrafts, signages, business cards, etc.  

2. What do you need for embossing?

As mentioned earlier, embossing can be inked, foiled, or blind. We’ll give you a list of what you need for each method:

For the inked embossing, you don’t need an embossing machine, but you will need the following: 

Foil embossing needs an embossing machine since it employs the same method as blind embossing. For blind embossing, though, you won’t add ink or foil to your patterns. 

3. Can you emboss without a machine?

You can still emboss even if you don’t have a machine. Here are some embossing hacks you can try. 

Rolling Pin Method

Embossing is simply applying pressure to your embossing folder to transfer the pattern to your paper. You merely have to mimic the mechanism of an embossing machine by using a rolling pin. To do this, follow the steps:

  1. Using a fine spray bottle, gently dust your paper with water. We recommend using construction paper, cardstock, or any specialty paper. 
  2. Insert your paper into your embossing folder.
  3. Roll your rolling pin over the embossing folder with some pressure several times. Deeper patterns mean more pressure. 
  4. Remove your paper from your embossing folder and lay it flat on the table. 
  5. You can also try using some paint to give a pop of color to your embossed paper. 

Texture Plate Method

  1. Prepare your paper by taping it to your texture plate and rubbing wax paper over it. This step will make the paper sturdier and lessen the friction. 
  2. Using an embossing tool, lightly scratch the paper on the texture plate to emboss the paper manually. You can use different sizes of embossing tools to get the design you want from your texture plate.  

Stencil Plate Method

Even if you don’t have an embossing folder or texture plate, you can also use a stencil plate, like these mandala templates, to make your embossing project. 

  1. Follow step 1 on the texture plate method to prepare your paper for stencil plate embossing.
  2. Trace the stencil using the fine embossing tool, filling all the gaps to highlight your embossed patterns. 

4. What is the difference between die-cutting and embossing?

Die-cutting is an easier way of making precision cut-outs that you can use for your cards. Position your die over your paper and sandwich it between your cutting boards and a shim. Roll the sandwich through the embossing machine to cut. 

Embossing, on the other hand, transfers a pattern from an embossing folder to the paper. To do it, place your paper or cardstock between the embossing folder. Sandwich it between a cutting board and an embossing board and roll it through the embossing machine. 

5. What kind of paper do you use for embossing?

You can use any paper when embossing, but we don’t recommend regular printer paper. We’d instead use construction paper, patterned paper, vellum board, or any specialty paper

Conclusion

Our winning vote goes to Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting & Embossing Machine Starter Kit as the best overall embossing machine. It is portable, lightweight, and makes precision cuts. It is also powerful enough to work on other materials such as balsa wood, metal sheets, leather, felt, and cork.

The best electric embossing machine is the Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 Electric Die-Cutting Machine. Although it is compact, it is powerful, versatile, and has a sturdy construction. Its vintage luggage look gives an added charm to this device.

We choose the DYMO Embossing Label Maker as the best label embossing machine. It makes retro-looking labels that you can use to tag almost anything. It also comes with three free labeling tapes that are long-wearing.

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