Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Fiskars Fuse...

Hi folks...home for 24 hours and I'm still on a mega high...still buzzing from all the excitement of Stitches and it's going to be a hooting and tooting day right enough...I've been chomping at the bit to share my excitement about THE FUSE or to give it it's Sunday name...the FISKARS FUSE CREATIVITY SYSTEM but I've been sworn to secrecy and had my lips well and truly stapled until now. I had a sneaky feeling that it would go down well at the show but I was totally overwhelmed by the wonderful response from the lovely folks who travelled from the far flung corners of Europe (Spain Italy Germany Latvia Estonia and Bulgaria to name but a few) to attend the show. I didn't half put this machine through it's paces making samples for the show and road tested it within an inch of it's life for 3 days from dawn to dusk (well near enough) at the show...pushing the boundaries at times and boy it didn't let me down performing each task with ease. I'm ditching my Fiskars Demonstrator Hat and sharing what I think of THE FUSE...my own personal opinion from a crafter's viewpoint.
It didn't take me long to realise that this is so much more than just another die cutting machine...the only machine on the market that allows you to die cut...emboss and letterpress all in one pass...to watch it in action click HERE
It's a large machine with a 12.1/4" cutting width and 24" in length...it's quite heavy because it's solidly built with heavy duty rollers fit for any task you're going to ask it to do and if you don't have a large work area...the platform on the left doubles up as a workspace while you're using the machine.
but when it's not in use...it folds up suitcase style and the handle tucks neatly away taking up less space in your craft area. It has an easy carry handle when you need to move it around...I would say it's about the same weight as a sewing machine...
the crank handle releases easily for use by pressing the orange buttons and everyone was amazed how light it is and so easy to turn...after the thousands of revolutions I did at the show I had absolutely no aches or pains and because the rollers are so powerful it just takes a couple of turns to pass the dies through the machine.
With the addition of the adapter kit...it will cut any other die currently on the market and you have everything you need to create the correct thickness to run your exisiting dies or embossing folders through the machine...it includes an easy to follow recipe chart to make sure you're using the correct components...so you won't need a degree to work out what plates you need to use with different dies. I've tested it with Tim Holtz Alterations-Sizzix BigZ-BigZ Pro-Grand Spellbinders-Nestabilities-Framelits-Memory Box-Sizzix Quilting Dies and a variety of embossing folders...no problems at all and a little eureka moment...when you die cut your Spellbinders...it embosses at the same time...no need to change your sandwich and run it through again...saving us busy crafters valuable crafting time.
Sometimes it's the little things that tickle your fancy when you get a new toy...for me it's the inbuilt storage compartment where you can keep your extra plates, ink pads...dies...scissors or adhesives and the machine comes with an instructional manual, one steel rule die with 2 letterpress plates, an ink pad and cutting plates...everything you need to get started.
The Fiskars steel rule dies will cut through a variety of materials...chipboard, acetate, fabric, felt, thin metal, cork, shrink plastic etc. Each die comes with 2 letterpress plates and it's own storage tray.
and there is an expansion pack available for each die giving you another 4 letterpress options all stored in a zip-lock bag...again scoring points in the easy storage department... 
I worked the dies hard...die cutting 10 sheets of paper/light cardstock weight at once...OK all steel rule dies will cut multiple sheets at once but the problem arises when you try and remove them from the die...Fiskars have come up with a very simple solution...one of those "why didn't I think of that ideas"...each die has a small hole on the back and with the use of a blunt tool...I used a cotton bud...all 10 die cut shapes popped out cleanly and perfectly cut...
the first job of the day will be to clean all those much inked mucky letterpress plates and another box ticked on my list...the dies all stack saving valuable storage space...
So far so good but I did say this was a warts and all review so I did have one little nit-picking criticism...you need to place the die into the cover to raise the letterpress plate for inking and it is inclined to jiggle around a bit...
but with lots of samples to make...I came up with a "where there's a will...there's a way" solution...hold the plate down with the tip of your finger or a pokey tool as you tap with your ink pad...problem solved. It is recommended that you use a felt based ink pad such as the one provided with the machine or Versafine, Momento, Distress Inks, Archival or Adirondack work well too...the Pigment Ink foam pads are more squishy and would result in getting ink where you don't want it on the plate.
So the cubbyhole jury retired to consider the verdict...how does it perform...does it do what it says on the tin...well I could wax lyrical for the next week and bore you all to tears...I have a sneaky feeling that even my fellow Fiskars team members were wishing that those staples were still in place and were fed up of me wittering on for 3 days solid on how wonderful THE FUSE is...so let me just say that it will definitely be staying in the cubbyhole...Fiskars have no chance of getting this boy back...it's a great big 10 out 10 from me...in other words...
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT
...because how many machines can do this...
DIE CUT...EMBOSS AND STAMP A CRISP CLEAR IMAGE ON FELT...
I'll be back tomorrow to share some of the many road-test samples.
Hugs Kath xxx
The Fuse will be available to buy from early April in the UK but if you live in my neck of the woods...Charlotte and I will be arranging a demo day at The Papeterie when you can come along and play with it...a try out before you decide if you want one opportunity.
In reply to e-mails about cost...the RRP for The Fuse is £199.00 and the Adapter Kit...£51.99 but shop around folks...there may well be special deals available if you buy both and in my opinion the adapter kit is essential if you want to use the Fuse to it's full potential.

18 comments:

scrappymo! said...

Sounds fabulous! I like the sound of stamping and cutting and embossing felt all at once!

Jane said...

Wow that sounds amazing and that it will give the other die cutting machines a run for their money. Many congrats to your local craft shop on their win x

Redanne said...

Congrats to the Papeterie! Thanks for the info on the Fuse, it looks amazing...I would be very tempted if I had not just got a new Vagabond, but if anything happens to that, then I will definitely look at this fabulous machine. It looks good too. You are quite right to was lyrical about it Kath! Hugs, Anne x

Alexandra said...

Congratulations to the shop. I wish it was a bit closer so I could pop in. This new machine sounds great. I love the idea of being able to cut and emboss in one sweep, and that it helps with stamping too. Thanks for showing us this, looks impressive! I already have 3 die cutting machines plus my Cricut/Gypsy, so though I'm tempted I think I'll need to think about this one, whether I have room & if I can justify getting another.

Squirrel x said...

So, you liked it then Kath? Lol, thank you for such a comprehensive review hun - this definitely sounds like a piece of kit to covet. May have to start saving.... Hugs Sxx

Crafting Queen said...

Sounds like a wonderful machine!

PeeJay said...

Excellent review and a machine to consider along with the other new one released at the show that also takes all dies. Only thing missing here, that I can see, is the estimated cost of it.
Congrats to the Paperterie. My local store 'done good' as well ... The Glitterpot :)

Craftin Suzie (Susan Flynn) said...

Oh wow Kath it looks amazing! Wish I hadn't got my Big Shot Pro now!!! Congratulations to The Papeterie! xx

Rita said...

Good Morning Kath. You are such a tease showing us this brilliant machine, it sounds absolutely brilliant. Congratulations to the Papeterie on there fabulous win. Hugs Rita xx

loftylass said...

Great review Kath. The machine certainly sounds wonderful and seems to cover most needs - a great consideration. Fiskars should be justly proud and I think they will be recruiting you to their sales team. tfs.
Hugs
Heather
x

openid said...

Kath did rave the whole three days, but understandably so. I learnt how to use the fuse after a 5 min tutorial from Kath. It is a fantabulous machine and I am sure that it will end up being one of my desert island essentials too. Hina xxx

Kat said...

Sounds amazing Kath. I knew you would give us an impartial review.

Great news about the Papeterie. Great boost for Charlotte and her team.

Kat xx

Aud said...

Sounds great Kath, Carol and me were very tempted it looks and sounds great think I will have to get saving. A great review on it Thanks. Aud x

Crafty Lark said...

Very interesting, if I get to the point of needing a replacement I shall certainly consider it and look forward to having a play at the next show. xx Flora

Pamela said...

The Fuse sounds amazing! I'd made my mind up to buy the new machine from Once Upon a Stamp later in the year but I'm not so sure now!

craftyfoxglove said...

This sounds like a must have kinda toy! (MMM which one of my kids do I sell to be able to afford it? LOL.)
Great review! Sounds like you had loads of fun too.
Val

Paula (PEP) said...

This certainly looks like an intriguing piece of kit. I love the sound of embossing & cutting the Nesties all in one go too.
Paula (PEP)

Christine B. said...

Hi Kath, you definately but it through it's paces by the sound of it. It looks a goos solid machine. Just have to win the lottory now so I can treat my self. Hugs x ChrisB

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