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Our Review of Crafters Companion Gemini Machine
If you love die cutting but your arm is tired of cranking, then then Crafters Companion has released a new machine that might be exactly what you’ve been waiting for your whole life. We tried it and do recommend it – but only in certain circumstances.
Here is our Crafter’s Companion Gemini Machine review.
First, what is the Gemini Machine?
It is a die cutting and embossing machine, like the Big Shot or the Silhouette Cameo. However, it is more accurate to say that it is a hybrid between those two machines. Unlike the Big Shot, the Gemini is electronic and must be plugged in to work. But unlike the Silhouette, you do not have to use a computer to operate this machine. It works with any kind of thin die or embossing folder you already own.
How does the Gemini machine work?
You can watch this quick video by Crafter’s Companion to get an idea of how the Gemini works.
Who is the Gemini for?
This is where it gets tricky. First, we should say that the Gemini and any other die cutting and embossing machine is ideal for paper crafters of any type. Card makers, scrappers, and even people who do collage or art journaling can benefit from a machine like this. In addition, the Gemini also easily cuts fabric and thin craft metal, so other types of crafters can also get a lot of use out of it.
Now, with that said, we also want to say that we do not think the Gemini machine is ideal for everyone. As you will see in our Gemini review below, the Gemini has a high price tag. Thus, we think you should only shell out this kind of money if you meet certain conditions:
- If you do not already have a die cutting/embossing machine that works for you,
- AND you have a health issue that makes it difficult for you to crank a manual die cutting machine, then we strongly recommend a Gemini. You’ll see why below.
- OR you are a little lazy and do not want to crank the handle all the time (we prefer to say we “work smarter, not harder.”)
- OR if you need to cut a bunch of dies in a short amount of time.
- OR if you have tons of money and want to invest it in a cool new crafting toy.
So, if you get along fine with your current Big Shot or other die cutting/embossing machine, you do not need to buy a Gemini. But, if you get tired of manually cranking your machine, you should seriously consider buying a Gemini.
Finally, on to our Gemini Gemini die cutting machine review!
We made about a hundred cuts with our Gemini and a few dozen embossed card fronts. We wanted to test how durable the Gemini is and how quickly it works. Ultimately, we wanted to know crafters who already own a die cutting and embossing machine should upgrade to the Gemini.
Here is what we like and what we don’t:
- No Manual Cranking: We could have never cut so many dies with our Big Shot because our arms would have fallen off. The biggest feature of this machine is that you only have to press a button. There is absolutely no manual cranking involved.
- Just One Press: WRMK makes a similar machine called the Evolution Advanced. But with the WRMK version, you have to hold the button. We liked that you only have to press the button once with the Gemini.
- Any Size, Any Brand: The cutting area for the Gemini is HUGE. That means you can cut multiple dies at once and you can use any brand of thin metal dies.
- Reverse Button: If you want to get a deeper impression or a cleaner cut, you can press the Gemini’s reverse button and send you sandwich back through the machine again. You don’t have to reload.
- All Shims Included: With other embossing/die cutting machines, you have to purchase special shims separately. (ahem – we”re looking at you, Big Shot.) Those extras really drive up the price. So, even though the Gemini does have a higher price than other machines, when you consider the cost of extras, it does actually almost even out.
- Handy Handles: The Gemini has two handles on its side, making it more convenient to carry.
- Costs less than the Silhouette Cameo 3:
- Price: Our loyal readers already know that we don’t like over paying for craft supplies, so we have to the $200 + price tag of this machine as a con. However, as we mentioned, the price does start to even out when you consider that you are already getting a magnetic shim, a plastic shim, and a rubber embossing mat.
- Shims Warped Quickly: We were disappointed when our shims/platforms warped during our first use. We were still able to use them, of course. And we know that warping is pretty much unavoidable. But still, it was a bummer for them to warp so quickly. TIP – we sent the plates through without a die and that did make the warping better. It also helps to alternate the direction you lay them each time. UPDATE – when we were editing this post, we noticed that the replacement shims for the Gemini are actually much cheaper than for other die cutting and embossing machines. You can click here to see their price on Amazon.
- Accidentally Cut Rubber Mat – if you accidentally use the rubber mat with one of your metal dies, you WILL slice through it. Click here for replacement rubber embossing mats for the Gemini.
As we mentioned in our review, we think the Gemini die cutting machine is a great option for certain crafters. If you have health issues or you simply get tired of manually cranking your die cutting or embossing machine, then the Gemini is a must have.
But if you are already happy with your current setup, there is nothing about the Gemini that makes it so exceptionally useful that you need to immediately upgrade.