Pazzles Inspiration Review
Despite a lot of potential with its cutting power, functionality and the number of materials supported, we were really disappointed with the Pazzles Inspiration and, ultimately, cannot recommend it.
The included software is difficult to use, the machine has reliability issues, it requires lots of add-on tools, and it seems a little overpriced.
Negative reviews aren’t really our thing over here, but we’ve had a few readers reach out to ask us about the Pazzles Inspiration Electronic Die Cutter.
We’ve got to be totally honest: we were disappointed by it.
Although it looks good and seemingly has lots of potential (check out its 1,000 grams of cutting force!), we ultimately found it hard to use, a little unreliable and pretty noisy.
Not to mention expensive.
Sure, there are definitely some positive aspects of the machine, which you can read about in our Pazzles Inspiration review, but, for us, it simply doesn’t hold a candle to the likes of Cricut, Silhouette and Brother.
Pazzles Inspiration Specs
What comes in the box
- Pazzles Inspiration Creative Cutter
- Inspiration Studio software
- Inspiration adhesive cutting mat (12″ x 12″)
- Inspiration universal cutting blade
- Full color manual
- 300+ ready to cut images with 6-months free access to Pazzles Craft Room
All specialist tools and the 12″ x 24″ cutting mat will need to be purchased separately.
What materials can it work with?
One thing that you can say about the Pazzles Inspiration is that it’s versatile.
It can cut a hell of a lot of materials, including all the usual suspects plus some interesting extras…
- Pastry, including fondant, sugar sheets and gum paste
- Window cling
- Magnet paper
- Stiffened fabric
- Thin plastic
- Thin metals
Pazzles estimate it can cut hundreds, if not thousands, of different materials.
The machine can also cut materials of up to 2mm in thickness.
It also boasts of being able to:
But — annoyingly, considering its high price tag — you’ll need to buy additional tools in order to access any of these new functions. You’ll also need to buy the pastry tool (and presumably a food safe cutting mat) if you want to use cooking materials in there.
Maximum Cutting Size
Although the Pazzles Inspiration is widely advertized with a maximum cutting size of 12 inches by 24 inches, that’s really only true if you buy the optional 12″ x 24″ cutting mat.
Without that and with just what comes in the box, you get 12″ x 12″.
All of these upsells become a little irritating after a while (it reminds us of the Silhouette Curio in that respect). We’d much rather a marginally higher price tag with everything you need to fulfill the product specifications already included.
One of the major problems we have with the Pazzles Inspiration is the Inspiration Studio software.
First off, it comes on CD and isn’t compatible with Macs. If you have a Mac, however, you’ll be able to use their InVue software instead, which we think is much better than Inspiration Studio (although no longer benefits from the Adobe Illustrator plug-in).
Inspiration Studio has a steep learning curve, to put it mildly.
We would like to think that we’re pretty computer savvy. We know our way around a number of operating systems and generally have no problem mastering most software.
Yet we found Inspiration Studio pretty difficult to use. It’s not particularly intuitive and just generally leaves a lot to be desired.
Some of our older crafters found it downright impossible.
If you pay for a pro upgrade, you do get to upload your own SVG files, which we did appreciate.
We’re still not sure we’d label it as pro software, however.
Thankfully, the Pazzles Inspiration is compatible with Sure Cuts A Lot 3 so we’d recommend you switch to that if you value your sanity.
You get 6 months free access to the Pazzles Craft Room when you buy the Pazzles Inspiration, as well as 300 included shapes. The Craft Room has 1000s more shapes and a bunch of helpful videos and tutorials.
The Craft Room is fine although we found the designs in general to be pretty dated, especially when you compare to the design stores with Silhouette and Cricut.
Pazzles Inspiration Review
We know we’ve been pretty negative about the Pazzles Inspiration so far, but there are some positives to this vinyl cutting machine that go some way to explaining how some users really like it.
Whether these attributes make up for its issues is up to you…
As we’ve discussed, the Pazzles Inspiration can work with a dazzling number of materials and has a number of interesting new functions, including engraving, distressing and cutting pastry.
In this respect, the machine outshines similar desktop cutters from Silhouette and Cricut. It’s definitely a makers’ machine and for those that enjoy experimenting with different styles and materials.
Here’s the engraving tool at work (watch out for the bizarre robot voiceover though!):
As well as being versatile, it’s pretty damn powerful.
It has an amazing 1,000 grams of cutting force at its disposal and 5 different speed settings for you to choose which work best for particular materials.
There are no automatic settings so we’d suggest that beginners might want to give the Pazzles Inspiration a hard pass.
But if you know what you’re doing in terms of pressure and speed adjustments, this might pique your interest.
There’s no need to pay for the costly additional cartridges for preset designs like you used to have to do with older Cricut products.
Cartridges are less popular with craft cutters today so this is less relevant.
While the Pazzles Inspiration has plenty of power at its disposal, we didn’t find it to be the most reliable of machines.
It claims to be able to cut materials up to 2mm thick, but we found that when we used thicker materials, they would sometimes need multiple passes to truly cut and these would inevitable misalign leaving us with a load of trashed materials.
Pazzles fans claim that you need if you scour the manual watch every tutorial and join various groups you’ll have no problem with the machine, and will be clued up on all the different hacks you need to use it to its full potential.
That’s all very well, but who has the time to do that?
Especially when there are so many cutters out there which are much easier to use and produce just as good results without needing to take a degree in it first.
It’s Noisy and Slow
To add insult to injury, the Pazzles Inspiration operates pretty loudly and really takes it time with cutting and especially drawing.
This wouldn’t be a huge issue if it guaranteed great results every time but, as we’ve seen: it doesn’t.
Not worth it.
To top it all off, you could hardly call the Pazzles Inspiration a bargain. If anything it’s the opposite, and significantly more expensive than the latest models from Silhouette and Cricut.
Again, we’re not against spending a little extra for quality. We’re just not sure that the Inspiration ultimately justifies its price tag.
Again, the Inspiration Studio software is in desperate need of a usability overhaul. Opt for InVue or Sure Cuts A Lot 3 if you can.
Overall Verdict on the Pazzles Inspiration
While the Inspiration has plenty of potential — a strong cutting force, the ability to work with plenty of materials, and access to some exciting tools — we found the results it produced were simply not up to par.
The included software isn’t particularly user-friendly, there are reliability issues with thicker materials, and we found its operation to be loud and quite slow too.
Beginners should take a hard pass — those committed to the Pazzles brand will probably fare better, however.
Where to Buy the Pazzles Inspiration
If we haven’t put you off too much from investing in the Inspiration, you can buy it from Amazon. Pazzles don’t seem to be stocking it in their online store anymore, as they’ve now released the upgraded Inspiration Vue.
What do you think? Do you like the Pazzles Inspiration die cutter?
Want to see which other vinyl cutters ARE worth the investment? Visit our Best Of guide for a comparison of the best cutters. Also, don’t forget to visit our Reviews portal for the latest technology reviewed.