To create a complete site, I’m going to post the original reviews I wrote when the KNK was first released, as well as, the review of KNK Studio software. Again, the goal of this blog is to have as much information in one place, as possible. πŸ™‚

Here is the initial review I wrote in December 2006 based on the original 13″ yellow Klic-N-Kut.
I’ve added some updated comments in blue. I also want to add one comment about the Klic-N-Kut line of cutters. They are production-quality machines and can be run all day long without overheating. This is not true of most other digital die cutters in the same price range or less. You will even find that some of these others are not warrantied for production use.

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As many of you know, I was asked to be tester and reviewer of the new Klic-N-Kut. Below is my assessment of this new cutter which should begin shipping within a week or two. I’ve done my very best to present every aspect because it’s always been my goal to make sure every prospective owner of ANY cutter knows exactly what they’re buying. The new Klic-N-Kut Studio software is due to arrive in a few days, so I will be reviewing the software separately. I did my testing using Win PC Sign Letter 2005.

10 Reasons to Buy the Klic-N-Kut (KNK):

(1) The KNK cuts like butter! πŸ™‚ Finally, I don’t have to worry about ANY of my Bazzill cardstock not cutting. I pulled out one particular heavy weave that I couldn’t even cut in two passes on my CR and it cut right through on the KNK.

(2) I can plop ANY of my scrapbooking papers or cardstock on the mat and not have to trim them first. I suppose if some company starts producing 18″ x 18″ cardstock, then maybe we have a problem. But I don’t see THAT happening, do you? The KNK will cut up to 13″ wide (the media can be up to 17.5″ wide). There are now four available cutting widths: 9″ Element, 13″ KNK, 15″ XL, and 24″ Grand. Refer to our web site, www.thatsscrapinc.com for pricing.

(3) I can get a lot more out of a sheet of cardstock or paper! The CR and WB restricts one to 8″ wide. But with the KNK and the ability to physically move the blade to the (0,0) orientation of choice, one can truly utilize every square inch of your 8-1/2 x 11 or 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock. It’s also much easier, for the same reason, to comfortably cut from a scrap of cardstock or paper.
(4) There’s a cool panel on the front of the cutter and I can set both the speed AND the pressure. You can even change these settings DURING the cut! Speaking of speed, the maximum setting is 24.5″ /sec which is about 6 times the speed of the CR or WB.

(5) There’s NOT a roller for inserting the mat. Instead, there are two levers on the back of the cutter to lift up and then you slide the mat into position and drop the levers to secure. This means you can place your media anywhere on the mat without having to align it at the edge and waste that first half an inch or so. The levers have adjustable springs to tighten for really thin materials and loosen when cutting chipboard.

(6) There’s a ruler built in on the front. Not only is it handy as a ruler, but I find myself using it to make sure my mat is parallel with that ruler (and thus the cutting strip) before cutting. Again, this helps one make sure you can cut up to the edges of your cardstock or paper. The ruler is no longer included on the KNK’s but alignment is just as easy using the horizontal indentations along the front of the machine.

(7) I LOVE the handle! Being able to simply lift this cutter by a handle to move it has proven to be a great feature! Even moving the CR and WB feels a bit awkward to me. I took the KNK to a crop and it was easy to get in and out of the car and to carry in one hand while pulling my scrapbooking tote with the other.

(8) The KNK has a built-in tool storage. While the CR and WB does have the little extra storage for one tool, the KNK can store up to FOUR tools. Additional tool holders are now available for purchase. Some of the KNK owners like having several bladeholders so that it’s not necessary to change out blades or drop-in accessories.

(9) It cuts chipboard! For the first time, I’ve been able to cut my own letters and shapes from scrap chipboard AND I did it using only 300 of the maximum 500 g of pressure! Granted it was thin chipboard, but it cut it in a single pass. The sliver blade, which was released in Fall 2007 allows for cutting thicker chipboards, although the chipboard still needs to be somewhat flexible.

(10) The price is great! Okay, it is $850, but this is amazingly cheap compared to buying the equivalent functionality in the Pazzles Mighty at $1500! As of Spring 2008, the 13″ KNK retails for $749.

Negatives

There are only a couple I’ve run into.

(1) The cutter comes with a RS232 serial cable, rather than USB, so you’ll need to see if your computer has the appropriate serial port in the back. As it turns out in our family, every computer BUT mine has one. So I needed a converter. Of course, this can be a real plus for someone who does have that port but not enough USB ports for all of their peripherals. The Klic-N-Kuts are now direct USB machines and ship with a USB cable versus serial. There is still a serial port available on the KNK for those owners who want to connect that way.

(2) I wasn’t able to cut thick chipboard scraps that were also in my “junk pile.” I’m sending samples to Accugraphic so they can see what kinds of chipboard we scrapbookers manage to collect. The limitations may be based on blade length, however. I will be working with Accugraphic to understand more exactly how to identify several good chipboards to use. As mentioned above, there is now a sliver blade available for cutting thicker materials such as chipboard, Grungeboard, foam board, stiffened felt, etc.

(3) The following isn’t really a negative, but rather a warning to the prospective buyer. These heavy-duty cutters like the KNK, the Craft Robo II, and the Pazzles Mighty are substantially larger than the Craft Robo and the Wishblade. In fact they dwarf them in size. So, before purchasing make sure you have the desk or table space available. The KNK is 8.75″ x 24″ x 9.5″ and, of course, you need additional room in the back if cutting longer materials than normal. With the handle, however, it would be easy to store elsewhere and simply pull it out as needed. These are the dimensions for the 13″ KNK. The 9″, 15″, and 24″ all have the same width and height. Their lengths deviate from the 13″ based on the cutting width. In other words, the 9″ is ~20″ wide, the 15″ is ~26″ wide, and the 24″ is ~35″ wide.

Outstanding Issues

(1) I’m still hoping for the “perfect pen holder” which will hold a Marvy Uchida marker. I have a whole set of those scrapbooking markers that I like using to add “detail” to my die cuts. I also like using a silver gel pen to write on dark cardstock. The new multi-purpose pen holder has a larger opening and will hold a wider range of pens. It was also discovered that the Foohy Elements pencil grips will hold larger pens in the holder on the KNK itself.

(2) The KNK arrived without a mat since I was a tester. I made my own 12″ x 18″ using quilter’s plastic and Krylon spray and it worked well. But Accugraphic is currently working on a new mat to ship with the KNK’s, thus I can’t provide a review on their new mat yet. Currently, the KNK’s ship with a styrene mat and a can of Kyrlon Easy Tack.

(3) The KNK Studio software should arrive this week and I’ll spend at least a week playing with it and learning how to do a print and cut, how to auto-trace, connect letters, etc. Then I’ll review it. I’m very eager to check out the functionality as Accugraphic is very excited about this new program. The review of this software is in the next post.

Summary

I LOVE the Klic-N-Kut! It solves all of the problems I’ve had with the Craft Robo, namely the inability to easily cut through certain cardstocks and the limitations on width. I can now cut certain chipboards! Additionally, it’s far easier to know where something will cut. I will keep my Craft Robo because I teach WB and CR students using it, but I haven’t used it for my own personal use since the KNK arrived.

Prospective buyers should feel very comfortable purchasing from Accugraphic. This company is experienced in industrial cutters and committed to their customers. We’ve received terrific feedback from members at the Wishblade Venting Yahoo group and buyers can be worry-free about after-purchase support. πŸ™‚

Let me know if you have any questions or comments! I’m eager to discuss. You can also email me privately at sandy@iloveknk.com

Sandy

PS Please feel free to share this review elsewhere. I plan to post at quite a few groups and forums, but I’m not a member of every cutter group or forum. πŸ™‚