April 3, 2010
So...Is it a Cinch?
I've only played for a few minutes but here's my preliminary review. (yes more may follow LOL!) I've attached a video I found so you can get an idea of what this thing does. It retails for $99. Most stores that ordered at CHA seem to be expecting them in stock this week. It sounds like this is the first round and shipments of another batch will follow this summer (not positive about that but I've heard ot from two different sources). I watched with the same enthusiasm as most during CHA and wondered if the Cinch by WeR Memory Keepers would live up to the power and bite that the previous Crop-a-dile and Big Bite have.
First I need to say I have held out on getting a Bind-it-all by Zutter for a few reasons. I don't like the rectangular holes and I'm not a fan of being "bound" (haha!) to using the wires. I wanted to be able to use book rings and ribbon and not have those ugly rectangular holes in every project. There were lots of other concerns with the Bind-it-all that I read about. I won't get into them here but you can do a google search and find some reviews. ;) I just want you all to know this is NOT a comparison of the two (beyond the obvious aesthetics of the holes/spacing) but an *independent* comparison of the WeR products only.
The two things that drew me to the Cinch immediately were the round holes and the ability to turn the holes "off" so to speak. If I want to skip holes I can. If I only want 3 holes along the spine and choose to bind with 3 book rings, that's an option too. Those were HUGE pluses for me. I didn't want to have every album I did bound with only wire coils and rectangular.
What I have found now that I bought it was a little surprising at first. That is, until I realized I just needed to change the way I approached binding. In the past when I made a junk journal or mini book I would complete the pages, stack the book (well usually half of it cause my books are pretty chunky LOL,) and then punch it with the Big Bite. When I opened the Cinch I noticed that the thickness of the material it will accommodate seems to have been reduced compared to the Big Bite. I got out some stacks of cardstock and sure enough it WAS less!
Here's how they compared:
The original Crop-a-dile will accommodate a thickness of 18 sheets of cardstock (this was not Bazzill but just some cheaper stuff I had, but it will still show a good comparison between models)
Next I tried the Big Bite and found it could accommodate a thickness of 33 sheets of cardstock. Now I would never suggest you pack either of these to capacity and use them. I have heard of CAD's and BB's being broken, so don't try this at home LOL. This is merely to gauge the height of a stack of items you can fit in each machine. Many times my mini books are bulky but there isn't a whole lot to them on the edge where the spine is punched.
Lastly, I tried the Cinch and was a bit surprised by the results. It accommodates less space than the original pink CAD. A total of 17 sheets of cardstock. OK so only one sheet less but when I saw the Cinch I was fully expecting it to accept MORE than the Big Bite.
So now you are probably wondering (like *I* was), "what's the point of paying all this money for something that cuts through LESS cardstock?". And that is exactly what I was wondering too!
I realized that while it won't cut through my entire mini album at once, that's OK. They made the Cinch "smart" so we don't have to stack and punch it all at one time now! As you saw in the video you are able to pull out the measuring guide and cut the fronts of the book, the back of the book, and the middles pages (or even single pages) and have them all line up when bound. You don't have to worry anymore about stacking and clamping a whole mini book while you use the Big Bite. There's no more wondering if the pages inside the stack have shifted! And, if you are using fewer holes with the use of book rings you can make sure that even half pages (or tags!) still have two holes in them (and not dangling by one LOL). You can just punch the holes in the pages as you complete them.
The last tip I have though is regarding the sliding ruler. I wish they'd made this a little stiffer it slides in/out a bit too easily along the channel. While it does have "teeth" to set the distance I would probably still use a piece of tape to hold it in place while working on an album. It is easy to bump the guide a hair off and put all your future punches slightly askew. That could be really bad if you are completing pages and then punching them!
There are several other cool features with this tool that I won't even go into because they are wonderfully highlighted in the video. It does take 2:1 O-wires like the BIA and are the same wires you can pick up at most office supply stores. I'm happy I purchased the Cinch and realise this may not be something every scrapbooker can afford right now. If you still are not sure check with your LSS. They may be getting one for their classroom, so you can try before buying it. ;)
Adding: Get the matching wire cutters too!! They are nice, hefty and well made. My DH might like to steal them, thankfully they are PINK though so I know they are MINE!