It was a cold winter’s day, and my hands had taken a real beating when I walked into the craft store. I was there for some more canvas and cardstock, but I had to pause at a display of We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile products. Covered in craft knife slices and jabs from paper piercing tools, and with every single finger either protected with a band-aid or bearing a wound farther along in healing, I had a moment of total madness – or utter clarity, depending on how you look at it.
Without a second thought, I grabbed the Crop-a-Dile Big Bite that was on sale and threw it in my cart.
It took a pre-CHA crazy week of intense creative deadlines, but I finally caved into one of these very popular cutting tools.
So there it sits on my desk, as it has since the day I brought it home. Today I can honestly say that I wonder what I ever did without this tool. It’s one heck of a hole punch, essentially. Sure, it has eyelet setting tools, but I haven’t used an eyelet since 2004, so that part has gone wholly untested. What really works for me about it is that because of its design (it has a 6″ reach), I can punch a small (1/16″) or a large (3/16″) hole anywhere on almost any scrapbook project I make. Also, because it is so heavy duty, I can punch through almost anything. From fabric to chipboard, canvas to thick paper and even acrylic, I’ve chomped right through many materials to make holes for ribbons, brads, or any other reason I might have.
The key to actually using it is that it is right on my desk. I don’t have to dig it out from some hidden space. – when I need holes punched I just run my project through it! Since purchasing this tool, my need for band-aids and Neosporin due to craft knife and paper piercing tool injuries from putting holes into projects has become all but non-existent. In short, I’m loving this tool!
On the flip side, despite my passion for my Big Bite, I still don’t have any interest in the original Crop-A-Dile (pictured above). Not only is it very limited in depth as to where it can punch or set eyelets, but because of the design the punched circles of material can potentially fly out of the tool – potentially causing injury. Scrapbook Update’s own Betsy Burnett experienced this first-hand when a piece of laminant she was punching flew out and got embedded in her eye. I’m sure this isn’t common – but if you’re like me and putting all kinds of materials through your tool, it would be better to just get the Big Bite – where any debris goes down through the hole (and onto your work surface) – and it would be nearly impossible to injure yourself with debris.
So that’s my story of impulse purchase turned craft staple! Since I put brads through many of my layouts (and often in the center and through multiple layers) what previously required bravery and a kraft knife now just is a push of an orange handle. In short: the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite is fabulous. I have not used a regular hole punch even once since this tool came into my studio, and I’m so glad that my deadline madness led me to discover this great tool!
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