Sep 18, 2008

The Crop-A-Dile

The crop-a-dile is usually used by scrapbookers, and I'd read reviews about it. I've been holding off buying one because I'd read a review that had said it doesn't work well with fabric even though the package says it works with paper, leather, plastic, metal, chipboard, acrylic, fabric, and wood.

• Will cut through chip board, CDs, clipboards, layers of cardstock, plastics, and tin like butter. I have tried it on a coffee can (works great), plastic yogurt cup, cardboard, and fabric. It worked wonderfully on all.
• Reaches 1" into dimensional items (like buckets and tins). An advantage for items that cannot be laid flat on a surface which is necessary for the tool setter & hammer system.
• It is one tool (excluding packaging) instead of a cutting mat, hole punch, too setter and hammer.
• Takes very little pressure or strength to set eyelets and snaps. Might be a plus for those with carpel tunnel syndrome.
• It's quiet. No banging, pounding, snapping or twisting.

• It won't reach any farther than 1" reach so your eyelets etc can't be more than 1" from an edge. If you want to be able to set eyelets anywhere else, this probably wouldn't be the right tool.
• It's a little big and chunky, and the handle are a bit far apart which might not be great for small hands.
• This wasn't a big deal for me since I eyeball everything. You have to look down a hole to see your hole markings if you make them. So you'd need good lighting and good close-up eyesight.
• Again, this wasn't a biggie for me once I figured it out. You have to watch the pressure applied to the handles so you do not mar the eyelet or squish it flat, which I imagine is easy to do on cardstock (if you're a scrapbooker).
• It only sets 1/8" and 3/16" size eyelets. I only use 3/16 so not a big deal to me.
• It's pretty expensive unless it's on sale, or you can use 40%-50% off coupons that some stores offer.

I found the crop-a-dile on sale at Hobby Lobby, so I figured what-the-heck, I'll try it. I didn't realize it punched holes until I got it home and started playing around with it. So not only is it supposed to set 2 sizes of eyelets and snaps, it can punch the holes for them... and advertisements proclaim it can set any metal embellishment. Since I don't know anything about metal embellishments, I'll just stick with talking about how I'd use this cute tool.

If you buy the green tool, the case comes with it. If you buy the pink one, the case comes separately. I didn't have a choice, HL only had pink ones and being the gadget freak I am, I *had* to have the case. With the case comes 400 eyelets in various colors: dull silver, pewter, silver, black metal, gold, antique brass, antique copper, and copper. That's a LOT of eyelets.

My first test consisted of using the hole punch through a double thickness of aida. While the crop-a-dile did the job, it wasn't a smooth cut for the hole and I ended up trimming excess threads.

Second, I tried a triple thickness of aida with two thin pieces of cardboard. The hole punch cut a smooth hole. I'm thinking that even if I don't use cardboard in my finished project, I may use it for stability when punching through fabric.

Setting the eyelets was simple. Just put the eyelet in the hole and line it up on the crop-a-dile. Squeeze the handles together lightly and viola... done. Out of the five I did, I only messed up one of the eyelets and I think that's because I didn't have it lined up correctly on the tool.



The colored eyelets didn't come with the case, I had them in my stash. My skepticism is gone. The tool works great, and I can use it to embellish other crafts as well.

Here's a good video on how to use the tool:

Other videos can be seen HERE and HERE.


Velda said...

My sister swears by this thing, she LOVES it!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm V's sister Barb. I love my cropadile. I'm a scrapbooker. I've only squished one eyelet and that was when I first started using it. It works great on card stock! I have yet to find an eyelet or snap that doesn't fit. THe big bite, will do 6 inches in, but it's pretty pricey too. That may be my next purchase. And it actually sets 4 different sizes, you just have to change the black squares. Just make sure the black squares are locked back in so they don't move.

Kristin said...

That sounds like a great tool.

Shari said...

gosh Meari, looks like something I will need to look into!!! I see floss tags galore!!!!!
Thanks for the tip!

Breigh (Canadutch) said...

I have a tool like that which I found at a local sewing machine shop. I needed it to make eyelets for the hangers for my rat hammocks haha

It didn't come with that cool little box though!!

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

That is so cool. I am going to have to get something like that ... as I am dying to try some of the finishes that I have seen.

Debbie said...

I have the pink one and love it, I also loved reading your review of this cool gadget.

Carolyn said...

Pretty cool, worth checking out!

Lucy said...

I've had that tool for a few months and really like it...the 1" thing is really the only draw back I have with it.

CJ said...

Meari -

Great review. I think I need one of those buggers.


Carol R said...

Mine's pink and came with the case and eyelets. I've not used it yet but your write up is really good and now I can't wait to have a go

shutterbug said...

Thanks for posting this Meari. I have been thinking I 'needed' this because of all the little floss tags everyone is making. I've been debating because I already have a few eyelet setters for my scrapbooking. The one thing that has been holding me back is that it only goes 1 inch in. I might just have to deal with that though. This week HL has a 40% coupon so maybe..... :o) Can you let me know what the price was at HL for the tool and the case w/eyelets?
Hugs, Elaine

Nancy said...

So that's what that pink box was that you picked up last weekend?? Interesting! With the trouble I had understanding the *ring* concept I see why you didn't test this out while I was there! LOL

Gabi said...

Ohhh....this is a nice tool. Better said since I read about it on your blog I saw a video how to use it....and am flirting with the idea of getting one too. One thing I don't get is about the backside. The eyelets I set until now were 2 pieces and I wonder how the 1 piece eyelets look on the backside on fabric.

Alberta said...

Great product review Meari! I had the chance to try my DD's and was impressed but found it a bit awkward to handle...I have small hands with Carpal Tunnel. I'm still mulling over a future purchase because I love the look of eyelets!

Sandra said...

Great review, never thought about the cons... I still want one, but haven't seen them in Venezuela, so I'll end up with a belt hole puncher...

Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Thanks for sharing this, Meari. I love to know about new products we can use. Great demo, too!
Hugs, Deb

Sharon said...

I bought one of these a few months back to make floss tags. I just love it and I am having so much fun with it. I started using the little tool that you tap the eyelets on and I thought there has to be a better way. So glad that I found this. Enjoy yours!!

stitcherw said...

What a fun new tool, you can add all kinds of accents to your different projects now. Your LK piece is coming along nicely, and I'm glad you had such a good visit with Nancy and then Deborah. That's great that you clicked so well when you got to meet in person. Love your new cabinets. You did a beautiful job, the new paint and hardware makes them look so pretty. How enjoyable to walk into your kitchen and be able to see your cabinets looking so great.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the review, Meari. Now I'll be looking for this product in my travels. I like your balanced review, what other gadgets do you have that you like? Let us know, I like the idea of a 'gadget review' posting every so often. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great review on the crop-a-dile! I've been seeing a few of these on the blogs lately and it's great to hear more about them :)

Barbara said...

Great review you wrote Meari. Would you believe I still haven't used mine? I've just been spending way too much time on the computer and my stitching has taken a back seat. That needs to change & soon!!!
Barb in TX

Robyn in Oz said...

Sounds interesting Meari. I'm lined up to do a floss tag exchange, don't know where to obtain ring, but now know to look out for this gadget for the hole! BTW your dates sound as if you don't need to reply at all.

Kellie said...

I have this tool and it is great! I also invested in the Crop-a-Dile Big Bite which will go up to 6". Both are great for scrapbooking and cross stiching. :)