Best Electric Embossing Machine For Card Making – Comparison Reviews (2021)

General crafting and DIY cutting embossing projects are some of the most rewarding pastimes around. Some activities, such as die cutting embossing, can also make you some money if you have the best equipment and different materials. This, however, means that you have to find the best embossing machine or best die cutting machine that can handle complex patterns and give you the best results and make your job easier.

If you have never owned one of these before, we recommend that you first look at the best embossing machine features that we have explained below, and then set a budget for your purchase. It is usually best to get a die cutting embossing machine that is easy to use and affordable than to get an expensive one right from the start and not use the cutting embossing machine to its best potential.

This will also allow you to get different materials apart from paper, and other equipment, such as a Big Shot embossing mat and an extra cutting plate if the first one warps over time.

Our Picks

Cutting and embossing machines are relatively easy to manufacture. This has led to a large number of models flooding the market. This means that there is a lot of diversity and that you have many models to choose from. Still, it also means that you have to spend days or weeks going through the available embossing machines.

We have compiled a list of the best embossing machines around and have reviewed them to decide if they are worth the money. These have been chosen for their durable design and ease of use and will last you for several years if you maintain them properly. Here are the most popular ones on the market:

#1. Brother SDX 125E Electronic Cutting Machine – A multipurpose device that can scan and cut

Brother SDX 125E Electronic Cutting Machine - A multipurpose device that can scan and cut

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

Brother has been in the printing industry for quite a while and has recently started manufacturing die cutting and embossing machines. The quality of the SDX 125E reflects the company’s reputation and offers a large number of quality-of-life features that can help speed up your DIY projects. The model can scan your drawing first and then emboss or cut it into the material. Furthermore, you do not have to fiddle with the settings to choose the correct material because the SDX 125E will automatically detect its thickness and make the required adjustments.

What makes it different?

The SDX 125E makes die cutting and embossing easy if you have never done it before or do not have a lot of time to reconfigure the machine every time you change materials constantly. Overall it may be one of the best embossing machines for casual users and teens who like to undertake DIY projects.

It’s also important to mention that the over 600 presets make it easy to use if you do not have the skills to make your own designs on a computer.


  • Touch LCD – the patterns and settings can be changed using a large touch-enabled LCD.
  • ScanNCut – the device can both scan your drawing and cut it into the material.
  • Wireless connectivity – you can connect to the device through your home wireless network.
  • Includes presets – the SDX 125E includes presets for gift cards, quilting patterns, letter fonts, die cutting designs, and many more.


  • Large – this is the size of a standard printer and will take quite a bit of space on your desk.

#2. Dymo Embossing Label Maker – An affordable label maker that comes with three label tapesBest embossing machines - Dymo Embossing Label Maker - An affordable label maker that comes with three label tapes


OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

The Dymo Label Maker isn’t a fully-fledged embossing machine, but it is great for many DIY projects. It is designed as a mechanical handheld device, so you do not need to plug it in or add batteries, and the machine can print letters, numbers, and symbols. The model is easy to use, and you can emboss one character every time by squeezing the trigger.

What makes it different?

This is not an actual embossing machine, but it can create paper tags that will fit the color scheme and design of Christmas and birthday gifts. The fact that it is so affordable makes it great to have in a drawer if you ever need it.


  • Label tapes included – The maker comes with 3 label tapes.
  • Easy to use – Just set the symbol you want and pull the trigger. There is no need to worry about having multiple dies or a durable base plate.
  • Affordable – The label maker is affordable enough to get just as a gimmick that you can fall back onto if you need a quick label.


  • Only good for labels – The design of the model is great but it is far from an embossing machine;

#3. Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit – A complete starter kit for beginners

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit - A complete starter kit for beginners

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

This Big Shot machine is designed mainly for beginners who have never tried their hand at die cutting and embossing before. The model comes with an extended multipurpose platform, cutting pads, two die sets, an embossing folder, and 6 cardstock sheets. All things considered, this manual Big Shot machine can be used right out of the box.

What makes it different?

The Big Shot is a complete set that contains everything that you need to get started and an extended multipurpose platform. Also, the Big Shot package includes materials that should last you about a week of intensive use, and afterward, you only need to get more cardstock. Get the Big Shot as a gift or for yourself.


  • Complete kit – The kit contains everything needed for die cutting and embossing.
  • It comes with cutting pads.
  • Extended multipurpose platform.
  • Manual – The Big Shot machine is manual, so you don’t need to configure anything to use it.


#4. Crafter’s Companion Gemini – A fast and quiet die cutting and embossing machine

Crafter's Companion Gemini - A fast and quiet die cutting and embossing machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

The Gemini is great if you do not have a lot of room on your desk but still want an electric embossing machine. Although the model is still fairly large, it is considerably more compact than other similar embossing machines.

In terms of compatibility, you will be able to use almost any of the dies and folders you find online. Furthermore, the machine will fit materials that are up to 8.5″ x 11″ and comes with pause, resume, and reverse buttons.

What makes it different?

Overall, this is a low-profile electric die cutting and embossing machine. It cannot be connected to a computer like other models, and it does not also scan. It is just an automatic device.


  • Relatively compact – The model has a small form-factor when compared to other similar products.
  • High compatibility – The Gemini can be used with almost any embossing folder and dies that you may come across.


  • Pricey – This is one of the more expensive models of this type, considering that it does not offer advanced features.

#5. Xyron Creative Station – An affordable manual cutting and embossing machine

Xyron Creative Station - An affordable manual cutting and embossing machine

OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

The Xyron Creative Station offers a lot of flexibility in terms of die cutting and embossing. The machine can be used to make membership cards, invitations, stickers, labels, and much more. One of the best things about it is that it comes with a glue cartridge, so you won’t have to use glue sticks anymore. This having been said, the machine can also be used as a laminator, which is great if you need to create high-quality cards that will last for several years without degrading.

What makes it different?

The Creative Station is surprisingly affordable for what it can do, especially when considering that it comes with a free adhesive cartridge that is enough to cover a total surface of 25 ft. x 9 in.


  • Included adhesive cartridge.
  • Easy to use – The cold lamination makes it easy to use and safe. You don’t have to worry about having a heated base plate that may burn you or melt anything you don’t want.
  • Relatively small – machine only measures 13″ x 6″ x 7x”.


  • Not specifically for embossing – This is not an actual embossing machine and will require a few additional materials if you want to use it this way.

#6. Gemini Jr. Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser – A multifunctional machine designed for children

Gemini Jr. Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser - A multifunctional machine designed for children

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

The Gemini Jr. is an easy-to-use die cutting machine and embossing machine that is great if you have children interested in DIY projects. Most machine reviews place it above the competition since it is considerably more powerful than other models, but it offers much more. This machine can easily work with thick cardstock, vinyl, and even thin leather or several fabric layers.

What makes it different?

The Gemini Jr. is one of the most popular models in most embossing machine reviews because it can be used with surprisingly thick materials without any issues. It is a great model that you can use with something like a flower embossing folder and make thick book covers or die cut several layers of material at once.


  • High compatibility – The model works with most dies and can cut or emboss a large variety of materials.
  • Easy to use – The device can be controlled using only 3 buttons.
  • Good multipurpose platform.
  • Long power cord – The cable measures 5 feet.


  • Plates can get stuck – The plates will get stuck if you use thick embossing folders.

#7. Sizzix Sidekick Die Cutting & Embossing Machine – A super cheap manual machine that comes with a lot of extras

Sizzix Sidekick Die Cutting & Embossing Machine - A super cheap manual machine that comes with a lot of extras

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

The Sidekick is not classified as a kit, but it does come with many accessories that will be very useful for beginners. Purchasing the Sidekick will also get you a pair of cutting pads, 1 embossing pad, 6 Framelit dies, 2 Thinlit dies, 2 small Textured Impressions embossing folders, 7 stamps, a booklet containing a full table of contents and instructions, and a 1-year warranty. All of these make it a great choice if you’re on a tight budget.

What makes it different?

The Sidekick comes at an entry-level price and includes as many accessories as most mid-range kits. This having been said, while it is great for a beginner, the fact that you can only work with thin materials is a bit restrictive and will limit what you can do with it.


  • A full kit – You get everything needed to start cutting and embossing folders except the cardstock.
  • Good multipurpose platform
  • It comes with cutting pads.
  • Includes die and embossing accessories.
  • Affordable – The Sidekick is one of the most affordable manual machines on the market.
  • Durable – The model has a solid construction and will last for far more than one year.


  • Only for thin materials – The Sidekick can’t be used with thick cardstock or layered materials.

#8. Happybuy Embossing Machine – A manual model designed for embossing PVC cards

Happybuy Embossing Machine - A manual model designed for embossing PVC cards

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

This Happybuy model is not your typical embossing machine. It is designed for the singular purpose of embossing PVC cards, and it can only write letters, symbols, and numbers. Largely speaking, it can only be used to create custom access and business cards.

What makes it different?

This model is built like a tank. It is highly durable and it is specifically designed to emboss PVC, so there is very little that could damage it. This having been said, its usefulness is restricted to this single purpose.


  • Durable – The machine is made entirely from heavy-duty steel.
  • Can emboss thick materials – The model is specifically designed for thick, hard materials.


  • Useless for anything else – The machine is compatible with only specific materials that are cut to a specific size, namely 85.5mm x 55mm.

#9. Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 – A highly-portable die cutting and embossing machine

Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2 - A highly-portable die cutting and embossing machine

The Vagabond 2 is an electric die cutting machine and embossing machine that you can carry around as you would a suitcase. Sizzix uses an industrial motor for this machine, enabling it to cut and emboss a wide variety of almost any thickness of materials. The machine also comes with an extended platform, an extended thin die adapter, one pair of cutting pads, and has a 1-year warranty.

What makes it different?

If you need a highly portable machine that you can take with you, then the Vagabond 2 may be a great choice. The model is both powerful and durable, and it offers a 6″ opening, so it will give you a lot of flexibility in terms of what materials you can use.


  • Compact – The machine closes up like a suitcase and has a handle, making it easy to carry around.
  • Good multipurpose platform
  • Industrial strength motor – The motor is perfect for thick materials.


  • You need an outlet – The fact that the machine is electric means that you can only work if you have an outlet nearby.

#10. HotToBuy Stamping and Embossing Machine – A powerful machine designed for professionals

HotToBuy Stamping and Embossing Machine - A powerful machine designed for professionals

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10

This model looks like it should sit in a laboratory rather than in a workroom. The machine can stamp and emboss almost any type of material, from tissue paper to leather, and it can even be used for brass stencils. In terms of design, the machine is a heat press that can be lowered onto the material that you want to emboss. All settings are controlled using an LCD screen.

What makes it different?

This may be the most versatile machine on this list. However, it is designed specifically for professionals. Configuring it is difficult, and the fact that it can reach 350 degrees Celcius also makes it dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.


  • Great for any material – The machine can be used with any type of material of almost any thickness.
  • Accurate temperature settings – You can set any temperature from 0 to 250 degrees Celcius.
  • Great for brass stencils


  • Not suited for beginners – You need to know what temperature to set for each material, as well as for how long to leave it pressed down. Beginners might get hurt or ruin the materials.

#11. Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway A5 Machine – A manual model that can fit an A5 piece of paper

Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway A5 Machine - A manual model that can fit an A5 piece of paper

OVERALL RATING: 9.1 out of 10

This Big Shot machine is great if you need to emboss covers for a book. The Big Shot opening is perfect for an A5 piece of paper, which is generally the largest size of a book, and the Big Shot features a storage compartment on each side that can be used for cutting dies and embossing supplies.

What makes it different?

This Big Shot model is durable, easy to carry due to its comfortable handle, and comes with ample storage space for all of your dies and embossing supplies. The Big Shot Foldaway is great if you don’t have a lot of room and constantly need a machine to pull in and out of storage.


  • Great for covers – The Big Shot machine is the perfect size for an A5 cover.
  • Easy to turn – Using the Big Shot model requires little force.


  • Small compartments – The two compartments are only useful for storing wafer-thin dies.

#12. Spellbinders PL-001 Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine – A compact model that’s made from solid steel

Spellbinders PL-001 Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine - A compact model that's made from solid steel

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

This may be one of the most durable heavy-duty machines around. Its folding design makes it easy to store, and the steel construction enables it to cut through pretty much any kind of material. However, this is a manual machine, so quite a bit of force will be required to turn it, especially if you try to cut or emboss chipboard or craft metal.

What makes it different?

The PL-001 has a durable, heavy-duty design that is extremely useful if you work with hard or thick materials. This having been said, it is not suited for beginners because it is heavy and requires quite a bit of force to cut or emboss craft meta, leather, or chipboard.


  • Great for thick materials – The machine can be used for a wide variety of materials, including craft metal.
  • Easy to store – The model folds up and can be stored under a bed or a desk.


  • Requires a lot of force – Using the machine to cut or emboss thick materials requires a lot of force.

#13. Gemini Go-North America Version – An electric Gemini machine that is compatible with US outlets

Gemini Go-North America Version - An electric Gemini machine that is compatible with US outlets

OVERALL RATING: 8.9 out of 10

There isn’t much to say about this model other than that it offers the same high power as all the other Gemini models. It can be used to die-cut or embossing, and its motor is specifically designed for US voltages. From a functional perspective, the embossing machine is compatible with heavyweight cardstock, vinyl, foil, and leather and can even cut multiple fabric layers. It comes with multiple dies.

What makes it different?

This Go model is just as powerful as any other Gemini electric cutting and embossing machine and will work with the same materials. Still, its motor is specifically designed for US voltages.


  • Powerful motor – The powerful motor makes the model great for seasoned artisans who are used to working with thick materials.
  • Great for the US – The motor is specifically designed for US voltages.
  • Affordable – The price is considerably lower than that of other similar models.


  • Difficult to use with more than one die – It can be difficult to use multiple dies simultaneously without moving.

#14. We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advanced Machine – A portable machine that comes with great storage compartments

We R Memory Keepers Evolution Advanced Machine - A portable machine that comes with great storage compartments

OVERALL RATING: 8.8 out of 10

The Evolution Advanced model is light, compact. It comes with storage compartments for the handle and other supplies, and it also includes a self-healing cutting mat, and nesting dies. As far as durability is concerned, the machine has a plastic case, but it is durable enough to cut and emboss several materials, from paper to thin vinyl.

What makes it different?

The Advanced Evolution is a great model overall. It has storage spaces to hold your supplies, it is well-built, and it can be used with basic materials that are needed for simple DIY projects.


  • Light – The body of the machine is made out of plastic, making it easy to carry.
  • Great for beginners – The Advanced Evolution is relatively affordable and comes with everything needed to get into scrapbooking.
  • Easy to store – The model folds up, making it easy to store.


  • Not for thick materials – The model is not designed for thick materials such as multiple layers of fabric or leather.

#15. Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine – A small machine that is great for simple scrapbooking projects

Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine - A small machine that is great for simple scrapbooking projects

OVERALL RATING: 8.7 out of 10

This Bira model is not designed for large DIY projects, but it is great to make party invitations, greeting cards, and other small items. It only has a 1/8″ feeding slot, which will limit how you can use it, and it is only compatible with thin materials such as cardstock and certain types of craft leather and vinyl. The package includes 3 plates, one base, one for cutting, and one for embossing, along with other materials.

What makes it different?

This mode is small enough to install on the corner of your desk permanently, and it comes with powerful suction cups that allow it to remain fixed while it is in use. Also, the package contains everything that you need to start scrapbooking right away.


  • Mini model – The machine is small enough to store under the bed or a desk.
  • Additional accessories – The package contains 3 plates, rubber cutting pads, an embossing folder, 7 cutting dies, and 8 pre-cut cardstock sheets.


  • Small slot – The feeding slot is not large enough to make book covers or larger objects.

Understanding what an embossing machine is and what it can do

Generally speaking, a cutting embossing machine like the Grand Calibur will allow you to cut beautiful patterns in a wide variety of different materials, apart from paper, and make the best membership cards, gift cards, and even pop-up books for your children.

The best embossing machine will come with embossing tools that include two folders embossed. The material, for example, paper that you want to emboss, go between them, and then the whole sandwich is run through the embossing machine. Some embossers like the Grand Calibur also use a manual die cutting machine as tissue paper, paper, and cardstock embossing tool because these are the best at creating decorative objects and embellishments.

From a functional point of view, there are two types of embossing machines:

  • Manual – These are easy to work with and configure but can be slower to use the machine than electric models. Embossing thicker paper and materials with a Grand Calibur requires quite a bit of force.
  • Electric embossing machines work faster than manual embossing machines and require no physical strength to use. The downside with these is that programming them can sometimes be difficult. Overall, they are the best if you need to produce the same pattern en-masse. Still, they are inefficient if you want to play around with different papers, materials, and embossing tools and learn advanced embossing techniques.

In the end, the best embossing machine, electric or manual, can help you create beautiful patterns. You can use the machine on anything from birthday cards to storage boxes and home decor objects. Whether you choose an electric model or a manual one like the Grand Calibur is more a matter of preference and types of cutting embossing projects you want to undertake. Furthermore, keep in mind that a die cutter machine can be just as useful as an embossing one, provided that you get cutting machine pads and a few other embossing tools.

Buying Guide

Embossing tissue paper, paper and cardstock is something of a lost art, and very few people still know how to do it at home, without large industrial presses. This, unfortunately, means that there is very little information regarding the proper embossing techniques, how to use the equipment, but most importantly, how to choose the best embossing machine.

We have done a lot of research and have looked at hundreds of cutting embossing machine models to understand the best features you should look for and understand how they can impact your working style.

Here is what you need to keep in mind before getting a new cutting embossing machine:


The best embossing machine should offer a lot of flexibility regarding cutting embossing projects you can undertake. Look for online reviews from customers with at least a comment name or name email address and on the manufacturers’ websites to determine which different paper and materials can be best used with the machine you like.

The secret to finding the best embossing machine in terms of versatility is determining what you want from the machine and then looking for a machine that can handle the size and types of different papers and materials you want to work with. Keep in mind that these two factors have a big impact on what you can make. They are the main limitations that you have to consider because these are the main elements that will restrict what you can do in terms of embossing.

Build Quality.

Generally speaking, the best embossing machines have a large number of moving parts and mechanisms that need to handle relatively large pressures, especially if you plan to use thick paper or more rigid materials. This makes the build quality of your chosen embossing machine extremely important.

It is important to look for embossing solid machines and not make cracking noises when applying pressure. Furthermore, most embossing machines are made from a combination of metal and plastic. Make sure that the metal mechanism works smoothly and that the plastic elements are thick and durable.

Keep in mind that the build quality has a direct effect on the price. In other words, the best embossing machines will cost more. They will also last you considerably longer, even if you use them regularly. In most cases, it is better to spend a bit more and get the best model that has better build quality than to get an affordable model that you will have to replace every few months.

This has been said, embossing machines with a higher build quality also plays a part in how detailed your embossments will be and getting the best results. Cheap embossing machines tend to allow the paper or material to move during the embossing process, leading to doubled or blurry patterns.

If you are unsure about the best build quality of a particular machine, the best way to clarify things is by looking at the manufacturer’s reputation and reviews given by other customers. The rule of thumb is that large companies that have been around for more than two years and have produced quality embossing machines in the past will continue to do so in the future to protect their reputation.

Mechanism style and durability

The mechanism of the embossing machine or embossed machine is the most important element of the entire machine. This means that the machine has to operate smoothly, and it has to be durable enough to handle all the different papers or materials you want to work with. Pieces that wiggle or become loose while the die mechanism moves lead to poor quality embossments.

You will also have to keep in decide what kind of mechanism you want for your embossing machine.

  • Electric machines – The best ones tend to be extremely expensive, especially if you want to work with larger pieces of paper and other materials. For example, the motor of an electric machine that has a 12-inch opening for different materials may easily cost as much as the device itself. This can double the price of electric models when compared to manual ones.
  • Manual machines – Most manual devices such as the Cricut Cuttlebug machine tend to be more durable than electric ones because the Cricut Cuttlebug machine contains no electronics that could stop working, and you don’t need to be near an outlet to use the Cricut Cuttlebug machine. Most Cuttlebug die cutting machines available on the market are manual ones, and these also tend to be the most popular due to their lower prices.

When it comes to choosing one type of cuttlebug die cutting or embossing machine or the other, look at how much you intend to use it. If you need an embossing machine to use daily, your best bet is to get an electric model. An electric machine will help you get more done every time and give the best results. On the other hand, if you simply need one that you can use whenever you feel creative and on certain occasions, for example, when making birthday cards, then a manual model like a Cricut Cuttlebug machine will serve you better.

Ease of use

Depending on what kind of machine you are interested in buying, make sure that it doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Most electric cutting and embossing machines are difficult to configure, and the process of setting the machine up can quickly become frustrating if you have multiple designs and different paper and materials that you need to work with.

A manual machine is different because it is easier to configure, but the machine must work with it. When it comes to buying an embossing machine as a new model, the best indicators you have in this respect are the reviews from other customers.

Look for information regarding how comfortable the handle feels in hand or if it has any plastic edges and protuberances that might dig into your skin. Keep in mind that a lot of force is sometimes required to emboss thicker paper or different materials, which means that you will have to squeeze the handle of the embossing machine as tight as you can.

Furthermore, look for models that have a handle with a longer arm (the piece that connects to the machine, not the one that you hold in your hand). The longer that segment is, the less force you will need to apply to emboss.


Prices are all over the place when it comes to getting a new embossing machine. Some of the most affordable models on the market cost around 40 dollars. In comparison, professional ones that are more durable and offer more flexibility in different materials can go up to 400 dollars.

The most important thing here is to let your requirement dictate your budget. In other words, if you have never owned one of these before and are not sure what to expect, there is no use in spending money on the best features that you cannot yet take advantage of.

On the other hand, if you have had an embossing machine before and are now looking to upgrade, you may want to spend a little extra and get the best model that gives you more flexibility regarding what different materials you can use and their size.

Cost of repairs

All embossing machines break-even durable ones. When this happens, it may be cheaper to repair it than to get a new one, especially if you have a high-quality machine from a trusted manufacturer. The repair process for these can cost anything from a few dollars to up to half of the product’s price. Furthermore, these costs vary greatly from one model to another, and the best DIY enthusiasts either get machines that they can easily replace or ones that are cheap to repair.

Generally speaking, electric machines will cost the most to repair because their electric motors are expensive and require specific components that are difficult to find. When you need to replace the entire motor, you may have to pay up to half of the entire unit’s price.

A manual embossing machine is cheap to repair, and you may be able to fix it yourself if you have the right tools and a bit of technical skill. Furthermore, parts for these can be easily found online or manufactured at a local machine shop and should only set you back a few dollars.


If you do not have a specially designated craft room, the chances are that you will have to constantly get the embossing machine in and out of storage or find a place for it on your regular desk. This is where portability becomes an important factor.

The size of a cutting and embossing machine restricts the different materials you can work with. The larger it is, the bigger the pieces of material that you can use. This means that you will have to find the best balance between the flexibility that its size gives you and how much room the machine will occupy.

In most cases, beginners should go for smaller models that can handle 2-3 different materials. These are not only cheaper but also a lot lighter and can be stored in a drawer. As you gain experience and are prepared to work with thicker and harder materials, you will have to move on to a bulkier and heavier embosser machine.

Additional materials

Depending on what kind of machine you choose, you may need to get additional materials and equipment to start embossing. These include cutting pads, an embossing mat, and additional embossing folders that will allow you to apply more patterns to softer materials such as tissue paper and cardboard.

Keep an eye on what kind of materials your chosen embossing machine comes with and decide if you also need to factor in purchasing additional items to undertake the DIY cutting embossing projects you are interested in. These materials don’t cost a lot. However, as you buy more and more, the total price will grow, and you may quickly find yourself spending 50% more than what you initially planned to. It’s best to plan material purchases carefully.

Look at all of these elements before buying an embossing machine, and you should be able to sift through the best commercially available models easily. Once you find the best embossing machine for you, consider how long you will be able to use it before you need to upgrade. Take all of these things into consideration, and you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.


What is an embossing machine?

Embossing machines are, essentially, desk presses, of sorts. Like a die cutting machine, one of these devices uses an embossing tool passed through durable rollers that press the two sides together to transfer a pattern onto the desired material.

Embossing folders can have specific patterns raised on one side and debossed on the other. Typically, embossing folders are used by placing a piece of material, usually paper or cardstock, inside them, closing the folders, and then running them through the machine. As the electric embossing machine applies pressure to the “sandwich,” the pattern from both sides of the folder is transferred to the material that has been placed inside it.

Can a Cricut emboss?

Yes. You can use a Cricut to emboss by placing your scoring stylus in the secondary housing that normally contains the pen tool and configuring the device to emboss rather than mark straight lines. This method is great if you only need a small section of material embossed and you don’t care very much about quality.

Another way to emboss using your Cricut is by using an embossing pen. This tool leaves a trail of sticky ink that you must cover with embossing powder every time. Once this step is complete, take a heat gun and melt the powder to get the desired pattern.

Keeping in mind that these methods will not yield results that are as accurate as of the ones you get if you use a dedicated embossing machine. However, a Cricut can be used for embossing if you do not have any other alternatives.

What is the difference between die cutting and embossing?

From a technical point of view, both crafting methods use the same types of cutting machines. To be more accurate, embossing is done using a die cutting machine but requires additional materials.

Die cutting refers to cutting identical material cutouts every time using dies, metal, or high-density polymer shapes. The material and the dies go through the die cutting machines and are pressed together by rollers. When the two come out, the material will have the desired cut-outs.

On the other hand, embossing is a form of transferring a pattern or a shape onto a piece of material by using pressure. This technique usually requires embossing folders but can also be done using regular dies and an embossing mat.

Can you die-cut or emboss without a machine?

Yes, it is possible to die cut and emboss without using a die cutting machine or electric embossing machine. You just have to place the dies for cutting onto the material and then use a rolling pin to apply pressure. However, if you want to emboss, you will need an embossing folder or a mat. Again, prepare the “sandwich” as you would for a machine and apply pressure using the rolling pin. Your pattern should come out beautifully.

What is debossing vs. embossing?

Debossing creates a recessed relief pattern on the material, while embossing creates one that is raised. Most embossing folders will have patterns on both sides, one embossed and one debossed, making it easier to create complex embellishments that can be seen from any angle.

It is important also to mention that you cannot do both of these things by using dies and a mat. You must have a folder if you want to apply a pattern to both sides.


Handheld embossing tools are always the best and cheapest option, but they require a lot of dexterity and skill to use effectively. In most cases, only professionals use them because they can be best used to emboss patterns on almost any type of soft material, including paper, thick cardboard, and thin leather.

If you like artsy DIY cutting embossing projects and want to be able to materialize the best ideas easily, then you may want to consider buying an embossing machine or the best die cutting machine, along with a few other pieces of equipment such as an embossing mat to use with the cutting machine. While an embossing mat is not essential, it is one of the best accessories you can get and will make your life a lot easier.

This having been said, paper embossing is a somewhat obscure DIY activity, and there is not a lot of information on it online, especially when it comes to choosing the best tools for the job. We have compiled a list of important things to look for when buying the best embossing machine. These points will help you make an informed decision and ensure that the die cutting embossing machine you get will be the best and worth the money.

We have also looked at hundreds of commercially available embossing machines to determine which ones deserve their popularity. Customers have reviewed the best embossing machines with comments, and we have included them in our guide to make it easier to find the best model that suits your crafting style. Most manufacturers are developing both entry-level models that are easy to use and premium models that can be used with craft metal plates.

Electric embossing machine and cutting can be used for beautiful DIY projects to create many objects, from scrapbooks and greeting cards to boxes and custom book covers. However, your work will only be as beautiful as the embossing and cutting equipment that you use. This makes it vital to get a quality embossing machine that you can use with a wider variety of materials.

If you have never owned one of these machines before, go through our table of contents and guide, make a list of features that you want, and go through the list that we have put together for you. There are hundreds or thousands of machines like the Grand Calibur on the market, each having a slightly different design than the others, and this makes it important to know what you are looking for.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the machine you get will limit the size of the materials you use, so if you want to make big book covers or larger designs, you should be prepared to spend a bit more than usual.

If you choose cutting machines carefully and make sure that you only focus on the features of cutting machines that you will actively use in your projects, like cutting pads, there is a big chance that you will also have some money left over to get a spare cutting plate, and a few extra embossing folders.

Lastly, please keep in mind that the die cutting machines we have included in our list are suited for die cutting and embossing materials such as cardstock, paper, and some leather types. If you want cutting machines to craft metal objects, you may have to look for big specialized cutting machines that are usually more suited for workshops than craft rooms.