I actually watched this video all the way thru and enjoyed the 'refresher' on the features even though I have owned and used the Cricut Expression for almost a year now. It's about a 5min video. The sticky mats come in packages of 2 and usually retail for $10-12 for the 12"x12" and $12-14 for the 12"x24". The mats are on sale for only $5.99 and $7.49 at CUSTOMCROP right now! It uses the same replacement blades that the original cricut does and retail for $7.99 at Walmart.
PROVOCRAFT CRICUT CREATE
Recommendations: Quickutz is a reputable company. There seems to be only 7 portfolio/cds available, but there are quite a few downloadable images. Again, very limiting and not a stand alone unit. I still have to stand by the Cricut. You can do everything and more with the use of Cricut Design Software or SureCutsAlot software.
The Xyron Personal cutting system is a computerized die cutting machine that retails for an average of $100. The system uses font books and shape books that retail for $29.99 and up. HERE you can to see the different books and accessories available. This system allows you to quickly and easily cut out letters and shapes. It is simple to use and seems to be more portable for traveling to crops & retreats.
It uses simple controls that allow you to choose a shape from your design book and then to choose the size of the shape that you want to cut. There are a huge number of design books available for the Xyron Personal Cutting system. The machine comes with one alphabet font book and one book of basic shapes. These two books provide over 500 cutting options and there are additional cutting books available.
Although the Xyron Personal cutting system offers literally thousands of possibilities for shapes and sizes, it requires the purchase of font books and design books to expand its capabilities. Design books for the system cost around $30. That can add up if you want to collect a lot of shape books. The Personal cutting system uses a special blade to cut the shapes out of your paper. These blades need to be replaced over time especially if you are cutting through thick or fibrous papers. The blades cost $14.99 EACH! It also uses a special cutting mat to hold the paper in place during the cutting process. This mat will also need to be replaced over time and they retail for $9.99 for a package of 5, but remember that they are only 4"x4".
The Xyron Personal cutting system is probably the most USER FRIENDLY electronic diecutting machine on the market. It is more affordable system and much more portable. There are limitations in sizes and shapes, but initial investment is not bad. Here is an old YouTube VIDEO from HSN that shows you exactly how to use the machine. However, I would recommend the Making Memories SLICE over the Xyron Personal Cutting System... less bulky and probably cost effective over the long haul because of the mats & blades.