For several years, my wife wanted an embossing machine to make her own greeting cards and use for scrap-booking. For years, I thought this would make a wonderful gift. However, neither of us could find a review on a machine that made us comfortable with the investment. We learned about the Sizzix Big Shot from a friend. We asked her several questions and I placed the order for Mother's Day. The Sizzix Big Shot Machine arrived very well packaged. However, out of the box, it took me less than five minutes to assemble and my wife was able to create her first cards. While we had read of other machines cracking and breaking because of their plastic construction, the Sizzix Big Shot Machine is NOT one of these. It is well made, in fact, I would go as far as to saying it is probably one of the best made. Craft enthusiasts will love the Sizzix Big Shot Machine. It is capable of cutting a wide range of crafting materials, cutting everything from card stock to fabric. When I purchased the machine for my wife, I thought it was just for embossing but with the correct die, you can cut any material scissors can cut! The machine is user-friendly too! The platform that comes with the machine has tabs with easy to follow instructions on them. Another thing is the Sizzix Big Shot Machine plays well with others. By that I mean it is compatible with most dies on the market. One only needs to look at the package to see if it is compatible or not. So far, my wife has not found any die she wanted that would not work!. I would highly recommend the Sizzix Big Shot. This product more than exceeded our expectations!