Top critical review
Buyer Beware: Know what you are getting into, set your expectations accordingly
June 23, 2018
I'm writing a one star review so people will be aware of all the cons related to my user experience with this machine.
1) The mat it came with lost it tackiness almost right away.
2) I found that I needed to hold an Ott Light right over the cutting blade in order for it to scan in stamped out images. Even if I do this, it still won't capture all the stamped out images properly if I stamp out a whole sheet, even if I rescan several times.
3) It will not be able to scan and cut any stamped out images that do not have a fully "enclosed" design (unless you purchase the "enhanced imaging feature" - see more below on that (it will cost you almost $200)!
4) Forget about trying to print and cut stickers if they do not have a black outline. If the sticker sheet has a white background, the scanner will not be able to find the edges of the stickers (I tried, it captured about 1/3rd from an 8 1/2x11 sheet of stickers). If you buy their sticker kit, its $30 (I don't think so, my sticker sheet was $1.25 on Etsy, I'm not going to spend $30 for a sticker kit to print out a $1.25 sheet of stickers!)
5) If you want to be able to use the new "enhanced imaging feature" that came out, you have to purchase it for $130 from a Brother dealer, which comes in a bundle that includes a bunch of designs that are ugly, AND, in order to use that feature, you MUST purchase and install the Online Activation feature, another $50 purchase, so in all, almost another $200 to get that one feature. Owners have been outraged, most people feel this should have been a feature users can access for free through the Canvas software. The only thing I give Brother credit for is that they did not come out trying to sell a new machine with this new feature, but for the price they are charging, you might as well have purchased a new machine!
6) Also, BEWARE, if you purchase any "card" like the "online activation card" for this machine from any one else other then an "Authorized Brother Dealer" the warranty will be VOID, SO DO NOT BUY THE ONLINE ACTIVATION CARD HERE ON AMAZON.
7) Even though the area of the mat that can be cut on is 12x12" the mat is much much larger than 12x12" - it is so huge, you need a huge table for that mat to go in and out of that machine, it takes up the entire area of my craft table when I use it. I have to lug it out (its heavy), carry it over to my table, use it, then lug it back to where I store it. So I try to stamp out a bunch of images and do a big batch production when I do use it. If you have a large craft room with lots of tables where you can keep this machine in a dedicated area, that will help you out, otherwise, it is not very practical to stamp out images for one card, pull this out, set it up, and scan and cut 5 images, then put it away.
8) If you go into the Canvas software, there are no designs in there worth purchasing, in my opinion. They have a Disney section, if you are interested in Disney, there is not much there, maybe 15-20 designs at most, and only a few are worth using.
9)) Brother has terrible customer support. They have these You Tube Channels with tutorials on how to use the various features of the machine, however, if you leave a question in the comment section, no one answers it. You need to get help from a Brother Dealer, however, if you bought your machine in Amazon, well, out of luck. I have a local Brother Dealer and asked them a few questions, they were not trained on the machine and didn't know, ended up giving me a bunch of information that turned out to be inaccurate. The only other option is to call the Brother toll free number, which you need to get from a Brother dealer.
10) When I called the Brother Customer Support phone number they told me that for as long as this machine has been on the market, from the "original" they have never allowed any seller other than Brother dealers to see their "enhanced feature" cards (ie. online activation card, enhanced imaging card etc.) so there will never be price competition so you can buy them elsewhere for a lower cost. I still don't understand how the online activation card can be sold on Amazon after I was told that. Also, with the mats, you HAVE TO USE A BROTHER MAT on this machine, it needs to see the numbers along the edges of the machine when it scans in images, so you cannot use another mat from Cricut for example, and these mats are very expensive. At least you can buy them cheaper here on Amazon, my dealer wanted $30 for 1 mat, and they were unwilling to do a price match with online pricing for the mat.
The only thing and I mean the only thing this machine has been good for, for me, is that it does do a fairly decent job of directly scanning and cutting out a stamped out image. It has paid for itself already from what I have been able to save by not having to buy the coordinating dies for stamps I have purchased. But thats all it is good for. Its very big, it takes up a lot of space, and
Just wanted people to be aware of what you are in for if you buy this machine.