Monday, July 12, 2010

Product Review: Crop-A-Dile Big Bite

We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite PunchNot too long ago I found a Crop-A-Dile Big Bite on sale for a price too good to pass up.  It is the current model, so there is no reason that I can tell that the price was so low (It normally retails at $39.99).  I hadn't planned to purchase one but it was just such a great deal.  Since Sally asked me to review it, I want to tell you what I think about it after using it a while.

There are three settings on the tool - you move a slider at the top to punch regular holes, small holes, or set a variety of eyelets. The slider is easy to set to the proper setting - just move it over.

This guy is powerful!  It really works very well.  It punches through many different materials, including some metal.  I punched the holes for Zack's new belt buckle through the thick, plasticy faux-leather of his kids belt with no problem.  I'm not sure the picture does it justice - it was thick.  There is no way any regular hole punch would have been able to do that.  The long handle gives you plenty of leverage.  I also punched heavyweight chipboard and then the whole stack of paper for a mini book (third picture).  The tool went through each without a problem.  It won't really punch fabric - it makes a hole but not cleanly.  Zack likes to go about punching things and even at five years old he finds it easy to use.

The footprint is a little ridiculous as you can see in the first picture, but it's worth it because the shape creates a six-inch reach.  It enables you to get into the center of a 12 x 12 paper or far into whatever other project you are working on.  It's nice not to be limited to the edge of something.  There is a ruler and a sliding stopper on the base so that you can mark the depth and repeat it.  That's a nice feature that I like.

The eyelet setting (there is a finished eyelet in the tag here) is done by moving the slider and turning a pair of blocks to the proper sides.  There are numbers and letters on the blocks but they are black on black, raised but not colored, so it is hard for tired eyes to read.  Also, there is no key on the tool telling you which side combination to use for what - you need to instead save the portion of the package with the little chart on it.  I'm glad I read this elsewhere and saved mine.  The eyelet setting is silent - so much nicer than getting in trouble at your scrapbooking retreat (ahem, hypothetically.  yeah, right.) for making too much noise banging on your eyelets with your tiny craft hammer!  Setting works very well for small eyelets.  The large ones set with quite rough back in thin paper, though. 

I find that it is easy to mark the depth I'm punching but because it's more of a table-top sized tool than a hand-held sized tool, it's hard to center the punch where I want it side to side.  The best thing to do is make a pencil mark where you want to punch and then it's easy to line up the punch at just the right spot.

Overall, I'm happy I have this tool.  I would definitely buy it again, though I can't see paying full price for it.  I wish I'd bought a few more for gifts!  I won't be taking it with me to crop nights - it's just too heavy and bulky. 
Main Pros:
  • Powerful
  • Simple to use
  • Quiet
  • Long Reach
Main Cons:
  • Big/Heavy
  • Large eyelets may not set smoothly in thin paper
[Note: I have an affiliate account so if you buy an item through an amazon link on any of these posts, I get a tiny referral fee.  That doesn't change my recommendations or lack thereof.  Just so you know.]


  1. This sounds like something I could have used in making the ultrasuede covers for the children's books I make last winter. Sounds like a super tool.