Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

May 13, 2008

Three Things : Tools


Following up on last week’s words + photos series I wanted to feature three things today that have become staple tools for me:  

Crop-A-Dile : This is probably my most recommended tool. I use it mainly for the hole punch feature (it will go through just about anything: chipboard, metal, some acrylic, etc.). The best part is that you don’t have to squeeze hard at all to punch the holes. Check out We R Memory Keeper’s website for a how-to and other creative uses.

Basic Grey Rub On Roller Tool
: Do I really need a rub on tool? That was the question I asked myself when I first learned about this device. I was skeptical at first but after testing it out I found
that it really works well. The best part about it is that there is some
"give" in the ball tip that especially helps when rubbing on some of those "tougher" rub ons (rub ons are definitely not all created equal).

Fiskars Desktop Rotary Paper Trimmer : I went for a long time using just a craft knife + metal ruler for all my cutting (cardstock, patterned paper, photos, everything).
I had tried a couple different trimmers when I first started
scrapbooking and was completely dissatisfied with the results – nothing
cut straight. I decided to try again this past year and started with
this trimmer. I love it. I love that I can see where I am cutting (a
clear plastic piece makes this super easy
) and it cuts straight. I use this one all the time now.


[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


  • 1.
    Heather V said…

    I have to say that my Crop-A-dile is my favorite thing in the world now!!! I love that it will go thru everything I need it to and that it is quiet!! Pretty sure that my neighbors used to know when I was setting an eyelet…that’s how loud it used to be…. Now I just have to find a use for my old eyelet setter. :)

  • 2.
    Marie - mariemc said…

    Thanks for the thoughts on the tools. I’m curious about the paper trimmer – can it cut more than one piece of CS at a time? Thanks!!!

  • 3.
    Heather H. said…

    Happy to see these items on your list of faves too. I just got the rub-on tool and think it’s great.

  • 4.
    Marie - mariemc said…

    Thanks for the thoughts on the tools. I’m curious about the paper trimmer – can it cut more than one piece of CS at a time? Thanks!!!

  • 5.
    LisaZ said…

    I love my Crop-a-dile. I haven’t tried the rub-on tool or the paper trimmer. I have a different brand rotary paper trimmer that I call “old reliable”. It is pretty heavy tho, so I don’t take it to crops.
    I’ll have to use my next coupon to get the rub-on tool. So true, all rub-ons are not created equal.

  • 6.
    Erin said…

    Super cool items, I agree!

  • 7.
    junebug said…

    Time to update my wishlist again. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • 8.
    sue Treiber said…

    The Cropa die is the best tool ever. I just bought a big-bite. Can’t wait to use it.
    I never thought I’d see the day when you stopped using a ruler & craft knife! “)

  • 9.

    I had the same experience with the BG RubON Tool. I thought, why would I spend money on this when my craft stick will do? AND THEN I TRIED IT! YEa–it makes rub-ons so much easier to use and they tend not to slip. I still haven’t purchased one (I borrowed a friend’s) but it is on the shopping list!

  • 10.
    Jen said…

    This is my favorite trimmer too!
    I need a Crop-a-Dile. Don’t know how I’ve held out this long, but its definitely the next tool on the list :)

  • 11.
    Rose said…

    I just purchased the Crop a dile 11! It is the greatest! It has a 6 inch reach so that it can get into the center of a large 12×12 paper!

  • 12.
    Donna. said…

    It’s like you raided my desk top for this post. ;) Well, except for the trimmer. I have been looking for another one since my trimmer is losing it’s grid lines to over use. I’ll definitely look into that trimmer. Thank you.

  • 13.
    Amanda said…

    I love Three Things…I love hearing about what products go into the artful layouts you create! And while I’m at it, I LOVE that photo of Simon on your shoulders.
    Thanks for sharing how you do what you do. You are simply fabulous!

  • 14.
    Emily said…

    I love my Fiskars trimmer also. I am waiting to get one of the Crop-a-dile things when I get another 50% coupon at Mike’s. ;)
    My three tools are trimmer, circle paper punch, and stapler.

  • 15.
    Jeanette said…

    I’ve debated on whether to purchase the Basic Grey rub-on tool. Like you, I wasn’t sure if it is something I need. You’ve now convinced me to give it a try.
    And I couldn’t agree more on the Fiskars trimmer and Crop-a-dial. :)
    BTW, I was looking at the photos Paolo took at the Inspired event and noticed your Tory Burch flats. Just love ‘em!!!!!

  • 16.
    Doris said…

    My friend Madeline and I took one of your classes and got to try the crop-a-dile (we were on the fence) and went out and bought one. I just got my run-on tool after waiting weeks for it. I love it.

  • 17.
    Rosa said…

    I love my Crop a dile and you are absolutely right “rub ons are definitely not all created equal” have a great day, hugs, Rosa.

  • 18.
    lori p said…

    love my crop a dile and big bite. i have the smaller non-rotary fiskars trimmer and i love it!!
    do not have that rub-on tool, but i guess that i will have to give it a try.
    thanks for all the wonderful ideas and helps…look forward to them everyday!!

  • 19.
    Mary said…

    How does the Crop-A-Dile compare to the Big Bite? Here in Canada it’s hard to find the Big-Bite but my hope is that I’ll get one!

  • 20.
    anna tremblay said…

    Thanks ali! I’m looking for a cutter that cuts straight so i’ll give this one a shot….. And I love the RUB-ON tool! I made a huge mess of rub ons before I added this to my supply stash :) Thanks for three things postings…. I love to see what you pick! xoxo Anna T

  • 21.
    Nicky Anderson said…

    I just got the crop-a-dile and can’t wait to use it.
    May have to look at getting the rub on tool also.

  • 22.
    Emily Hoadley said…

    I also thought the rub on tool was a bit much until I tried it at my lss. It really makes the rub ons go on easier and with less mess ups.

  • 23.
    kate said…

    so wait, do you really use this trimmer? for reals? I bought this trimmer around Christmas and have actually been sorely disappointed. It doesn’t reach 12 inches on the left side, which is so lame, and I have found that not only is the grid sticker on the entire board placed slightly crooked, but also printed crooked, which is just unacceptable when you can’t get the correct measurement on top AND bottom. I’d love to know I just got a dud and that your is truly fabulous, but let me know, I’ve been wondering if there were many complaints like mine!

  • 24.
    Ali said…

    Hey Kate – I really do use and love that trimmer. The fact that it does not reach to 12 inches on the left side has not been an issue for me – I guess I am usually just chopping things off (or turning it if I need to pay attention to the 12 inch portion).

  • 25.
    Terry said…

    Ditto on the cropadile. I put the BG rub on tool in my basket yesterday and took it out again thinking I really didn’t need it. Guess I might need to rethink that one.

  • 26.
    Michelle said…

    This is so wild you mention these three products because I have been thinking about getting all 3 of them…yet wondering if I really needed them. Do I really need a huge hole punch, a rub-on tool or yet another paper cutter. Good to know these all get high marks from you. I think the cutter will be first on my list.

  • 27.
    Michelle said…

    Kate, I really do love and use the rub on roller tool. It does work excellently and definatley all Rub Ons are NOT created equally!! Thanks !!

  • 28.
    Yoyin said…

    Hi, Ali. I have the Fiskars portable trimmer and I absolutely love it to bits. It’s sooooo lightweight and really cuts straight. :) Planning to buy the Crop-a-dile this Saturday (at the 5th Scrapfest here in the Philippines!!!!) and I wanted to ask your thoughts on the BigBite. Would the Crop-a-dile suffice or would i be getting more value with the BigBite? Would really appreciate your thoughts on this. :) Thanks!!!

  • 29.
    Libby said…

    This post made me giggle bc it brought back memories – the first time I saw a crop-a-dile was at a class you taught in Waco, TX a while back – you had me try to cut through a plastic baby wipe box and I nearly wet myself I thought it was so cool. :-) So my crop-a-dile always reminds me of you…!

  • 30.
    Helene said…

    Hi, I’m a fan of fiskars trimmer since I started scrapbooking, it’s great. I’ve heard there’s a new crop-a-dile that manages to go in the middle of 12x12pages; But I use a screw-puncher, and didn’t even know there was a rub-on tool ! can you imagine !!?! I’m going to check these out!
    Tanks !

  • 31.
    Karen Malloy said…

    i just bought the BG rub on tool and can’t wait to use it. was glad you showed your paper trimmer. i have been in the market for one i can leave out on a table in my scrap studio. may have to give this one a try. does is cut chipboard?

  • 32.
    sue said…

    Sorry I missed this on Tuesday. It’s been a hectic week and it’s only Thursday! LOL
    That rub on roller tool looks very intriguing. I’ll have to look into getting one of those. Thanks.

  • 33.

    I just picked up a crop a dile at costco with over 600 eyelets and snaps for 25 bucks!
    I live in MD but it’s worth checking out at your costco or even asking the manager to carry it.

  • 34.
    stephanie said…

    i love the crop a dile. i used mine to make an extra beltloop in a belt. effortlessly!

  • 35.
    Vicki Hall said…

    I have the trimmer and LOVE it – and the BEST thing is the interchangable scallop blade you can get. That’s right – it cuts a beautiful scalloped edge. I found mine at Archiver’s – they also have a couple more options for “specialty” cutting blades (“deckle” and “tiara” I think??). Seriously – you have to get the scallop blade for this trimmer – it will increase it’s use ten-fold. Okay, my excitement is spilling over – must go create scallops – ha!

  • 36.
    Christene said…

    I am so glad I am not the only one who has had trimmer woes!!! I’m pretty sure my friends thought I was nuts. I keep buying and returning them, and am still seeking those straight lines. So far I have been mostly happy with the Cutterpede version, but time will tell (my receipt is tucked safely away). Aside from the weight of the unit, the Making Memories folding version looks appealing – does anyone have any thoughts?

  • 37.
    joie said…

    Ali, I really enjoy and look forward to your “three things” posts. I love to see what prominent scrapbookers use for tools and supplies! Your reviews are invaluable! I have purchased a few items JUST because YOU think they’re great! I know that we all have different opinions, but it’s certainly worth trying out things that you (and Lisa and Stacy and Donna and Becky) like. In fact, I just purchased the Fiskars 12″ inch desktop trimmer with my 50% off coupon at AC Moore today! You can’t beat that! I’ve been very unhappy with larger paper trimmers I’ve had in the past, and I can’t seem to cut straight with a ruler and craft knife! (but that’s just me!) Thanks for the help! joie

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