Friday, March 8

Product Review: Martha Stewart Circle Edge Punch

I've always been a fan of Martha Stewart tools.  They are innovative and have class, if I may say.  And as most crafters, I enjoy using their punches the most. 

Very recently, Martha Stewart released a new line of edge punches meant to make decorative circles.  Shown below, at center, is the Circle Edge Punch Starter Set (MSRP $35.99).  The four smaller boxes are punch cartridges (MSRP $19.79).




For this post, I'll be talking about the Circle Edge Punch Starter Set.

Seeing the Circle Edge Punch tool for the first time was intimidating.  I can't tell how it worked just by looking at it.  Definitely not like any I've seen before.




But the instructions that came with was very easy to follow.  This tool is so easy to use that I was able to make a video tutorial after my first try (to be posted tomorrow).

For now, let me just show you some photos documenting my first "play" with the Martha Stewart Circle Edge Punch.


The starter kit has 4 main components.  The base, Eyelet Doily punch cartridge, sliding tray and rotating knob.




The punch cartridge has the protective cover and a matching metal plate.
 




The metal plate rests on the sliding tray.




The rotating knob is detachable, and is used to keep the cardstock/paper in place during the punching process.

Shown also is the measuring switch, which sets the size of your circle.  This tool can make 6 - 12 inch circles.  There are measurement selectors on both sides of the base as well.




This is how everything should look like before the punching process.  As you can see here, the cardstock is secured by the rotating knob and the punch cartridge.  I had the measurement settings at 6 inches.




Here's a snapshot of the first two punches.  Basically, you punch, pull off the punch cartridge, rotate the knob, then put the punch cartridge back on - over and over again.




And here's my very first doily cut with the MS Circle Edge Punch.  




The process was very easy.  My first try was already a success.

I also like the fact that the base catches paper waste - cleaning is super breeze.




Overall, I think the Circle Edge Punch is well designed and very easy to use.  I'm sure a lot of crafters will be collecting the punch cartridges, the same way they (we) hoarded the edge punches.

My take about this new tool is this:  If you have an electronic die cut machine like the Cricut (and probably with gazillions of cartridges), and you use it a lot, you won't need the Circle Edge Punch.  First of all, you have to have the Starter Set which is already about $36.  Then you need at least one punch cartridge, which only has one design, priced at $20.  For that price, you can get a good Cricut cartridge with a whole lot more circle shapes and designs.  Maybe even cheaper, if you know where to look.  The range of sizes is wider even, as you can cut as small as one inch.

However, I also think that the Circle Edge Punch is better than the circle/round wafer thin dies like that of Spellbinders.  The only comparable size I can find is the Grand Nestabilities - one set costs $50, and you will need a separate die cut machine for it to work, like Sizzix or Big Shot.  The Circle Edge Punch Starter Set can work on its own.

And just like any other punch of any kind, the Circle Edge Punch cartridges will eat space.  But who cares, right?

Watch out for my video tutorial about the Circle Edge Punch tomorrow.  'Til then!
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