First of all, what does the manufacturer say about their product?
Freestyle Mouse Cutting Kit - Model 6045
Freestyle Mouse Cutting Kit: A perfect kit for embellishing artwork, cards, invitations, decorations, photos, scrapbook pages, and everything in between. With the Designer Click Blades you can add unique finishing touches to projects or create your own free-hand shapes.
Includes the Designer Purple Cows Click Blades Collection. There are 12 different cutting styles. Mouse attaches to cutting ruler for controlled cutting.
A special safety guard helps protect fingers from cuts.
Firstly, I will just say that Purple Cows sent us this product for review but we have no affiliation with the company or their products. We provide honest, independent reviews that will hopefully assist crafters out there when choosing products to suit their needs.
OK, I have to say I was quite excited about this product before I even opened the packaging. It solved, in theory, a lot of the issues I had with the multi-blade trimmer I already owned. I purchased the Purple Cows Ultimate trimmer a couple of years ago, and it did exactly what I wanted it to do, but it was not ideal for me for several reasons. It’s a big trimmer and takes up a lot of space in my craft room. I purchased it purely for the decorative blades as I already have a guillotine style cutter I love for straight cuts, and so I didn’t really have the space to keep both out on my work table. So, yep, it went away in a cupboard and I’ll admit, it’s only seen the light of day a couple of times since because I forget I have it.
When I opened the package from Purple Cows to find this little gadget inside, I was excited about the possibility of a more mobile tool with a much smaller footprint, that could perform the tasks I wanted. I can store this in reach of my desk for regular use (it fits nicely in a little basket, with all 12 blades) and I can store the cutting mat and ruler that’s included underneath the basket, or on my bookshelf as it’s nice and slim.
So, it solves a problem for most crafters: space. But does it work, and get the job done?
In a word, yes! It’s easy to use freehand, either for straight cuts (if you’re confident enough to get them straight) or to make curved cuts. When teamed with the ruler and cutting mat it’s simple to set up (literally place the complete mouse on the ruler and it’s good to go) giving you the functionality of a regular trimmer and lines as straight as you like. It cuts easily through patterned paper and cardstock – I used Bazzil cardstock to test it – and the clear plastic ruler helps you line everything up neatly. You don’t need to press excessively hard on the mouse to get the blade to cut, and you don’t need 8 hands to hold everything and cut at the same time, which is a feeling I’ve had when using other methods in the past. It’s sturdy and durable-feeling without being heavy or bulky – in fact it’s incredibly compact.
There’s a great range of blades included for this price, and they come in plastic storage trays which hold them safely and securely. It’s incredibly easy to swap the blades, and for the purposes of testing the tool, I managed to make a straight cut with each of the 12 blades using the ruler and mat in under 3 minutes, including blade-changing time. Impressed? I was.
Who will love this tool?
If you’re already using a straight trimmer that you’re happy with, but are considering a purchase because you’d like some decorative blades and a more versatile option, this product is for you.
In terms of everyday use to replace your regular trimmer this is probably not the ideal option because of its ‘mobile’ nature unless you have very limited space and don’t mind getting the mat/ruler out each time you want to cut.
If you craft on the go, are a regular at crops, heading to a retreat or simply haul your stash down in front of the TV every time you create, then this is a must have!
All in all, a great supporting tool. Five stars from me!
The recommended retail price for this trimmer kit is $29.95 (approx £19.20 at today’s exchange rate 15 Aug 2010)
The Freestyle Mouse is also available separately without the cutting mat, ruler and extra blades.
And finally, here’s a card I made using it ‘Freestyle’ with the straight blade, to show you the kind of thing you can do with it.