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KNK Zing VS Black Cat Cougar 13"

exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
edited September 2012 in General
Hello (:

Does any one has a good comparison between the KNK Zing and Black Cat Cougar 13"?
I want to cut , pierce emboss cardstock, transparencies, and cut chipboard, acrylics for album covers .. which machine is better? I actually have decided on the Zing but after some research in forums, i saw some people saying that it doesn't cut 2mm chipboard, provides jagged edge and the intricacy is not very appealing so i swayed XD the black cat cougar seems to get better reviews and many were very loyal to it.

QNS about the cougar:
What software can i use with the Black Cat Cougar?
Where to get the machine below $700? The Zing is $450 shipped to Singapore.. price wise..hmm?
Does it perform print and cut nicely?
Is the bulkiness a dread?

Comments

  • iggyloveriggylover Moderator Posts: 11,513
    There isn't going to be a very good comparison between the two machines. It's like comparing apples and oranges... which do you like the taste of better?

    There will be many opinions on the different machines, the companies, etc...and that could lead to flames and rude comments. (Everyone, do your absolute best to avoid giving insult to the company/machine you don't care for)

    The Zing is excellent for light work and light chipboard (cereal box weight). There are several people using it for card making, paper-crafting and vinyl cutting that are extremely happy with their machines. Yes, there are people using the Zing machines for extreme, heavy, constant cutting. I'm happy it's working for them, but it wasn't advertised for that type of work.

    You don't clarify whether you are looking at the Black Cat Lynx 13" or the Black Cat Cougar 13" (different machines).

    The Lynx has lighter force than the Cougar, but it is still marketed to do constant cutting. The Cougar itself will be a workhorse.

    There is a comparison chart here that includes all the machines using information from their own companies specs to compare: http://silverbulletcutters.com/comparison-chart/

    The Cougar and the Lynx can use MTC, along with other software, depending on your preferences. There are people selling their smaller machines as they move up to larger machines, you may want to check into that. To get the machine to Singapore, you would want to contact Dawn (Thyme) at [email protected] as she handles the international orders. She may hook you up with her Australian dealer, but she will be the first to let you know if she thinks your needs are for a machine that isn't as pricey as the Cougar or not. Yes, it is pricey, but as you have noticed, the customer satisfaction and support are incredible. I have not personally done print and cut yet, but I've seen some incredible examples of it done on both Lynxs and Cougars.

    I also want to say all of these comments are my own, personal opinion, and are not to be taken as an official stance by a Moderator on this forum, I'm just talking as a happy Cougar owner.
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke Jeanette in Orange County, CA Love my Italian Greyhound --> I.G.--> iggy Own a Create: Krikee, getting used to a Black Cat Cougar: Bagheera
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    hello, thanks for your information (:
    I'm looking at the black cat cougar 13" which has a 950 g cutting pressure compared to the zing which has 750g.. if space is an issue for me, is the black cat cougar a bother? Does it come with the MTC software?
  • SassycutterSassycutter Member Posts: 340
    You may also want to consider the Silver Bullet offered by That's Scrap, Inc.
    13" Cougar owner
  • jestermannjestermann Member Posts: 483
    Another Cougar owner here.... I love mine. I have the 13"
    Jessica Kitty...come on kitty... (a proud owner of a 13" Black Cat Cougar) Crowned as PnC queen by Dawn...so therefore I am a queen!
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,858
    Regarding cutting chipboard, I can easily cut 0.03" chipboard on the Zing which is considerably thicker than cereal box weight. I've also cut simple shapes from 2mm mat board which is 0.08" thick.

    Was the shipping cost to Singapore a quote from KNK USA or from Skat Katz in Australia? I would expect the shipping from Australia to be less.
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • hwganghwgang Member Posts: 2,808
    I considered both brands. My personal experience: The Cougar distributor never answered my technical questions and after 28 emails with the US distributor saying I'd be gotten back to with answers but never was, I gave up. The KNK folks (Sandy McCauley), never flinched at answering my technical questions---and QUICKLY! As a result I now own two KNK machines and the support I have received is unequaled to any I have received anywhere for any major purchase. I sold sewing machines and now sell knitting machines and offer free lifetime support myself, so I have my own standards for support standards and appreciate getting as good as I give. :) My cutting and support experiences have been stellar with Sandy McCauley and KNK. I am a very, very happy KNK Zing and Eagle owner.

    @iggylover, I am hoping this has complied with your very sensible request for unemotional, factual answers. I understand that this is a volatile subject, but I do believe it deserves factual answers based on personal experiences.
    Lynne
    Moderation in All Things should be Practiced Sparingly
    In KNK Love with my Zing, Eagle and the Support!
  • kmmhugkmmhug Member Posts: 890
    I have had a very different experience than hwgang. When I bought my cougar a little less than a year ago, I asked tons of questions both before and after my purchase and received help very quickly always. I have found Sherri to give outstanding service both before and after the sale.
    Loving my Cougar, Cameo and new Pazzle Vue!
  • gingerginger Member Posts: 179
    I recently bought a black cat cougar 18" and love it! I have had nothing but great service from Sherri since I bought the machine; and she was willing to talk to me on the phone answering all my questions before I purchased the machine. The cougar came with Sure Cuts Alot software. It also works with MTC; which is what I use because I was already using it prior to purchasing the new machine. Tyler helped me set up the software so my machine functioned perfectly. I was replacing a Cricut Expressions and do not regret the machine purchase.
    Cutting with an 18" Cougar
  • KimKim Member Posts: 2,488
    Customer support means alot to me....and I think the machines that I own speak for themselves as to where I get great customer support....I have the 24" Cougar, the 24" Silver Bullet and the Black Cat FoilMaster. I got all of mine from Sherri at That's Scrap, Inc. Oh, and I bought the Black Cat Lynx for my niece!
    Proud Owner of a Silver Bullet Professional Series 24 inch cutter rated #1 by Top Ten Reivews http://die-cutting-machines-review.toptenreviews.com/ Tigger the Black Cat Cougar 24" - the cat with attitudeTM As Yet Un-named Silhouette Cameo Hot Stuff the Foil Master
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 9,299
    edited September 2012
    hwgang said:

    I considered both brands. My personal experience: The Cougar distributor never answered my technical questions and after 28 emails with the US distributor saying I'd be gotten back to with answers but never was, I gave up. . . .

    @hwgang - Lynne, I would be curious to know WHICH US Distributor you were trying to communicate with? For those "unaware", there has been a "split" on the Cougar machines of business partners and, as a result, there are two different US distributors that one would possible find. They are totally separate and not connected in any way.

    Only one is the one everyone who had previously bought a Cougar cutter from had dealt with and is who everyone has raved about having had wonderful customer service from before, during, and after the sale in the US. That would be Sherri at That's Scrap, Inc. I would find it extremely difficult to believe that she did not answer emails, etc. However, the other "US Distributor" is new and unknown to most all of us AND is NOT CONNECTED to Sherri at That's Scrap at all. I suspect that this may have been the distributor Lynne tried to make contact with. They were only made new distributors for the Cougar in the past several months. There is ongoing lawsuits between those business partners over who owns the distribution rights to the Cougar machines which is, in part, why the Silver Bullet was introduced.

    I have an 18" Cougar and have been extremely happy with the machine and just as importantly, the customer service I received from Sherri. I too had LOTS of questions BEFORE the sale (as it was when the machines were first being introduced to work with MTC a few years ago now - and they were they first one outside of that other machine that shall not be named that would work with it). She answered email after email and many were technical questions.

    So basically, if you are looking for a Cougar machine - the first question that should be asked is WHICH Distributor are you trying to work with/talk to? The only one that everyone raves about is Sherri at That's Scrap and the only one I would do business with if looking at that line of machines.

    Post edited by MeFlick on
    Go Vols!
    image
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    Thanks everyone for the reply:)

    @SandyMcC is 2mm the max for ZING! ? If i get the Zing!, i will get it from paperthreads.com bcos shipping is only $50 to singapore :D it's the cheapest i can find haha!

    I just found out that Collin has just came up with a major upgrade for the Cougars, theres now a CougarPRO that has an optical eye as opposed to the laser alignment both the ZING! and the original has. I have been wanting a silhouette cameo for months, bcos i heard that it is very easy to use compared to having to manually align the paper in every use. But it doesn't cut heavy media like the 2mm chipboard so i crossed it out of the list. And now, there's a CougarPRO that has the function of a silhouette, but stronger and faster version, i'm bought over by it XD

    There's also a Cougar+ which cuts faster and quieter than the original. So now it's between cougarPRO and cougar+ bcos i might want to cut an even thicker media than the 2mm chipboard, who knows what i want to do with the machine in future? So i'd better offer myself more options. I am extremely impressed that the cougar can cut 1/8"(3mm) thick chipboard and the intricacy is amazing too! Which do you guy prefer, laser alignment(Cougar+) or an optical eye(CougarPRO)?

    Does anyone have exp with Nikki from kycutters.com?
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,858
    2 mm is the maximum thickness of chipboard I have cut on the Zing, however our Maxx models have 950g of cutting force, like the Cougar, and can cut thicker chipboard.

    You do have to be careful when evaluating chipboard since the density and the composition also come into play. One type will cut nicely and the next will cut horribly and they could be the same thickness. Or you might find a thicker type cuts cleaner than a thinner type.
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
  • ScrappyDivaScrappyDiva Member Posts: 4
    hwgang said:

    I considered both brands. My personal experience: The Cougar distributor never answered my technical questions and after 28 emails with the US distributor saying I'd be gotten back to with answers but never was, I gave up. The KNK folks (Sandy McCauley), never flinched at answering my technical questions---and QUICKLY! As a result I now own two KNK machines and the support I have received is unequaled to any I have received anywhere for any major purchase. I sold sewing machines and now sell knitting machines and offer free lifetime support myself, so I have my own standards for support standards and appreciate getting as good as I give. :) My cutting and support experiences have been stellar with Sandy McCauley and KNK. I am a very, very happy KNK Zing and Eagle owner.

    @iggylover, I am hoping this has complied with your very sensible request for unemotional, factual answers. I understand that this is a volatile subject, but I do believe it deserves factual answers based on personal experiences.

  • ScrappyDivaScrappyDiva Member Posts: 4
    You're lucky the Cougar distributor didn't answer you. She got downright nasty with me!!! I couldn't believe that someone trying to sell something would fly off the handle because I dared to ask questions about what the machine could do before I bought it. I also dared to ask for videos so I could see the machine in action and a number of people told me I would be able to see their "private" videos once I bought my machine. Uh, I don't think so.

    Needless to say I bought a KNK and have been so happy with my purchase. Support from Sandy mainly (and others with KNK) has been incredibly fast and helpful.

    OK, for full disclosure, I am on the KNK design team now so I am a bit biased, but the bias is only due to working with the machine and the people. The invitation to join the design team came well after my purchase so it did not affect my decision at all.

    BTW, given your experience, I'm guessing the name of the person you were dealing with starts with an S :)
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 9,299
    exmasalps said:

    . . .
    I just found out that Collin has just came up with a major upgrade for the Cougars, . . .?

    Does anyone have exp with Nikki from kycutters.com?

    Most of the people on here who have purchased Cougar cutters - did so in the past before they split up and started their legal wrangling. As a result, we would have the Cougars with the Laser. As previously noted, ALL the raving positive customer service comments were from purchases of these machines from That's Scrap, Inc. (Sherri in the US) or Thyme Graphics (UK). PLEASE be aware that there is a difference in distributors and do your research very carefully. I am not familiar with Nikki or kycutters but know they are new to the Cougar lines as far as being distributors.

    I have not seen any information on any new Cougars or anything about an optical eye on one. I thought Silhouette people were the only one who could legally offer the "optical eye". You might also want to consider the Silver Bullet Pro line that is now being offered if you want a higher end machine.

    I will also say that PaperThreads is also here on the forum and I had previously checked into machines with her a long time ago and I only see positive and informative posts from her here without dishing other machines and positive feedback on her services when I was looking. Though I didn't ever buy from her, I would have based on the information and reviews I was finding at that time. Ironically, it was the introduction of MTC that kept me from buying a machine from her way back then!

    There are lots of happy users here on the MTC forum using a Zing and cutting chipboard. Like Sandy said though, it really depends on each piece of chipboard as they are all different.
    Go Vols!
    image
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    @MeFlick Do you prefer the silhouette SD or the Cougar? the CougarPRO is already on the site, and has an optical eye (: so it's like a combi or silhouette and cougar haha XD
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    I'm just getting 2mm chipboards from Taobao.com, China ;/ it's cheaper there.. costs only $1.5 for 20 A4 Size gray chipbaord. But i guess the cougar has the ability to cut anything including acrylic?
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    I've a qn regarding the optical eye and the laser alignment. I saw this video, , 4:48

    the user was able to get a perfect PnC despite laying the paper crooked on the mat, does an optical eye provide the same result?
  • PaperthreadsPaperthreads Member Posts: 748
    @exmasalps, sorry for the confusion, but the shipping international of the Zing and other large objects do not calculate in our cart at Paperthreads, so we have so we have a note in the description that you must email for a quote for international shipping, only flat rate shipping calculates, and that definitely doesn't fit in a flat rate box.

    I would guess all the U.S. distributors will be the same price, as we almost all drop ship international orders from Accugraphics, and they only ship via Fed Ex International, which at this time, is VERY pricey. Also check with Fred at SkatKatz, as Sandy said, it may be cheaper coming from a different part of the world.

    www.paperthreadsblog.com Pre-Order the Silhouette Portrait Today! If there are typing errors, blame it on my fat fingers on my mobile device....some days they seem fatter then others!
  • iggyloveriggylover Moderator Posts: 11,513
    Many of the companies selling machines have people willing to cut samples of materials you send them to let you know how well their machine will handle the media. They will usually include several close-up photos and information on the settings they used to get the best results.

    As part of considering machines, especially one that you want shipped to Singapore, contact the different companies and clarify the full price of the machine to get to your door. Ask if the cost includes the shipping, the import fees, and any and all taxes and other fees.

    As you saw in the video, the laser alignment for Print N Cut with the Cougars can be very precise...it usually takes a little work at the very beginning to calibrate the particular settings for your own machine, but once people have it down, they are pleased with their results.

    I can't address the new optical eye coming out on a Black Cat by Colin, as I haven't dealt with him. Does he have an actual set date for when that will be available? Is that date when the machines leave China to get to him? (If you search on this forum, sometimes new machines take a very long time to leave the factory, and then shipping, customs, etc. add more unexpected time into the delivery...and much of it depends on sometimes month-long holidays in China) The hard part for you is realizing all these machines start so close to you, then get shipped to the distributor, then get shipped back towards you...

    Ultimately, it will be your decision what machine will best fit your needs, now and in the future. Keep up the research, both here and contacting the different companies. Feel free to continue asking for clarification, and we will all try to give informed answers.

    Regarding those answers, please continue to keep it as civil as possible. :D If you have had a negative experience, you may state that of course, but keep it as factual as possible, there is no need for bashing. Positive experiences and offers of help on test-cutting media are also very welcome.

    Best of luck in your decision @exmasalps! Welcome to the forum!
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke Jeanette in Orange County, CA Love my Italian Greyhound --> I.G.--> iggy Own a Create: Krikee, getting used to a Black Cat Cougar: Bagheera
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    According to Nikki from kycutters, the PRO version will be instock before christmas but the specifications and features of the machine is still in the process of finalizing but the PRO is already ready for backordering ~

    haha what an exhausting process.. why can't they ship it to me directly from China, which is nearer as it's within Asia XD
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 9,299
    I like both my Silhouette SD and my Cougar. The SD is much smaller and has the optical eye. The Cougar uses the laser. both give me great "print and cuts". I have never had any major issue with either one though the optical eye has been a bit "finicky" on occasion. Usually cured by repositioning the mat or better lighting. The Cougar and the machines in the same higher end category can do much more but also require a bigger learning curve then the Silhouettes and the more simple machines. So which machine I reach for depends upon what I want to do. They are both setup and ready to plugin to my computer.
    Go Vols!
    image
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
  • ShrinkingMimsyShrinkingMimsy Member Posts: 212
    I have received continual excellent service and products from That's Scrap, Inc. I am in no way affiliated, simply a very happy customer.
    Elizabeth aka ShrinkingMimsy http://www.shrinkingmimsy.blogspot.com/ Love cutting with my Silver Bullet Pro 24"!
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    What r the challenges in learning how to use the cougar? I thought the learning curve all depends on how user friendly the software is , I'm gonna use MTc with it:)

    @Paperthreads
    May I know how much is shipping to Singapore then?
    .
  • kmmhugkmmhug Member Posts: 890
    The learning curve between the zing and the cougar are pretty similar from my understanding. They are different than a machine like a silhouette or a cameo which are basically load the mat and press cut and they go. Because they are higher caliber and able to do more, they require more. You do have to calibrate them in the beginning and you have to set the home and the speed and pressure. It is not hard and it quickly becomes second nature, but till you get a feel for it, it can be a little intimidating. That is why it is important to buy from someone who will help you in the beginning. I found that Sherri at http://thatsscrapinc.com/ was willing to email, call, and help in any way I needed. I know there are others on the That's Scrap inc forum and also on http://www.thymemachines.com ready and willing to help all the time as well. I do not know anything about Colin since I have not dealt with him at all, but I do worry for those who buy from him or his new distributors because there is very little traffic on his forum (I know because I joined) and I fear they will have difficulty getting the help they will need in the begining....I have never dealt with KNK, but I have heard only good things about their service as well and I know that there are normally people here to help also if you should buy a zing.
    Loving my Cougar, Cameo and new Pazzle Vue!
  • exmasalpsexmasalps Member Posts: 29
    Oh just the calibration part ? Shouldn't be a problem f I get the cougarpro, cos it has a automatic contour setting, which means it will work just like the silhouette:)

    Can I use the silhouette designer edition with other machines like the cougar ?
  • rachellann_714rachellann_714 Member Posts: 848
    I am not sure what you mean by automatic contour cut but you still have to calibrate the machine no matter which one you decide on. to use silhouette designer edition with any other cutter than the silhouette machines you'll have to save as a svg. I know Sherri @ http://thatsscrapinc.com/ can answer all Question about the Black cat and or Silver Bullet pro. also Dawn @ http://www.thymegraphics.co.uk/ can answer questions also on the Silver Bullets. the machines can use MTC, Scal, inkscape to design then send to Scal or to signcut When using MTC your best cutting will come from using the KNK Plugin and the settings to use are knk maxx and make sure the baud rate is set to 38400.
    Owner of a 24" Silver Bullet Professional Series, 18" Black cat Cougar, uscutters MH871, Bosskut gazelle. I can help with start up.  for the Cougar and Lynx and the Silver Bullet Professional Series. http://thatsscrapinc.com/ http://thymegraphics.co.uk/
  • PhyllisPhyllis Member Posts: 128
    That's interesting that there is a Cougar with an optic eye.

    You cannot use Silhouette Designer Edition software with any other cutter other than their own cutters.
    Silhouette SD and Cameo Mac OS 10 Southwest Ohio http://www.etsy.com/shop/OBannonCreekCrafts
  • MeFlickMeFlick Member Posts: 9,299
    exmasalps said:

    Oh just the calibration part ? Shouldn't be a problem f I get the cougarpro, cos it has a automatic contour setting, which means it will work just like the silhouette:)
    Can I use the silhouette designer edition with other machines like the cougar ?

    No, that is proprietary software that only works with the Silhouette machines. What software are they planning to use with that machine as I am unaware of any that at present would allow you to use a feature like that.
    Go Vols!
    image
    Cutting with 18" Silver Bullet and a KNK Force (the rest are collecting dust!)
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