Having one of the best embossing machines can be a game-changer for your creative projects. For some, an embossing machine is an easy and low-effort way to add some flair and texture to a homemade card or label. For others who may want to make embossed food and even leather, they will complete fashion or design projects with professional-standard detailing.
If you're already a crafter, note that you won't be able to emboss with the best Cricut machine, but luckily an embossing machine doesn't cost much and can be used in combination with the rest of your crafting kit (see our best laser cutters and best watercolour pencils if you're in the market for more supplies).
Most embossing machines can also die-cut, and some of the best embossing machines in our guide are designed as die-cutting machines with added embossing functions. Bear in mind that to reach an evenly embossed piece of cardstock, embossing machines require a fair deal more pressure than a standalone die-cutting machine. If you're not exactly sure what you're looking for in an embosser, see our how to choose an embossing machine section.
In our guide, we have included a mixture of manual and electronic embossing machines. Most are manual, because all it takes is the turn of a handle to achieve even compression across your chosen material, but some will work with just the touch of a button to make sure that your crafting projects are quick and hands-free. Featuring top picks from Gemini, Sizzix and Vevor, here are the top seven best embossing machines available today.
The best embossing machines in 2021
Unlike many of the best embossing machines, the Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine has an adjustable gear system to adjust the height of the platform for a range of projects.
It combines a 9-inch slot opening with a portable, fold-away cutting surface, so not only is it large enough for full-sized A4 tasks, but it's also a portable choice. There is even space underneath the cutting surface to store the handle when you're travelling.
There are three modes to choose from, which can be controlled with the dial at the top of the embossing machine. Alongside a 3D emboss and 2D letterpress emboss setting, there is also a die cutting mode.
This set from Gemini is expansive. Included with the Gemini GEM-M-GLO you'll get a magnetic shim, plastic shim, rubber embossing mat, metal cutting platform, and two clear cutting platforms. It also includes an ornate lase 3D folder and a multimedia die set.
Another thing that sets the Gemini GEM-M-GLO is its electronic design. It has three buttons on the top of the machine: On, Start, and Reverse. This design makes it quick and even, and it's perfect for those who want to me more hands-free or who may struggle to turn a lever.
This starter kit from Sizzix is built to last. It has a steel core roller system to evenly emboss and die cut every task, and comes with a platform, cutting pads, and a thin die adaptor.
It won't work with embossing folders wider than 6 inches, but with a carry handle and manual design, the Sizzix Big Shot Manual Die-Cutting Machine is perfect for beginners and those who are new to embossing. Because Sizzix has a wide range of compatible dies and platforms, you can even expand your collection as you advance.
Our one complaint is that the Sizzix Big Shot won't fold away for easier storage, but this does mean that the cutting platform is stronger.
Embossing your homemade cards is an easy way to add a professional touch. The Gemini Midi Manual Die Cutting & Embossing Machine has a 6 by 9-inch cutting platform, so it's the perfect size for cards.
It works on felt, cardstock, foil, glitter paper, and more materials, and comes with a plastic shim and cutting folder. You'll have to buy additional folders for embossing, though.
While it's perfectly sized for card making, you can also use the Gemini Midi for smaller embossing tasks, making it a perfect machine for scrapbooking or adding finishing touches to larger projects. At under 3kg, it's also very lightweight.
With an opening of 13 inches, the Sizzix Big Shot Pro can be used for large tasks and die cutting in bulk. You can cut up to A3 size paper and use dies of up to 12 inches, made especially to be paired with the Sizzix Big Shot Pro.
Its roller is industrial strength and the design is entirely made of metal, but you'll still have to do the rolling yourself with the manual handle. Underneath the cutting pads the Sizzix Big Shot Pro offers plenty of storage space for extra dies and crafting materials.
The professional standard dies are suitable for cutting more than just paper and cardstock. You can also use the Sizzix Big Shot Pro for materials, making it perfect for quilting or fashion projects.
The Gemini Mini Crafter's Companion is the smallest embossing machine in our lineup. From simple embellishments to stick to cards, to mini labels to complete a perfectly wrapped present, it's great for those little tasks that don't require a large machine.
At only 1kg in weight, the Gemini Mini Crafter's Companion is also the most portable design we tried. It's got a platform of 3 by 6 inches, so your crafts will be quick and you'll be able to turn the dial evenly and smoothly. Use in addition to your main embossing machine, or pair with a Cricut machine to add to your list of crafting capabilities.
When closed and packed away, the Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway is just 15.8 x 26.6 x 20.3 cm. Even the handle folds away in front of the machine, so it's perfectly portable and also well sized for those who want a neat and tidy crafting space when it's not in use.
As with any hinged cutting surface, it may be less sturdy than a model that won't fold away, but it's a price worth paying if you love to craft on the go. The Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway also has in-built storage that can keep dies and tools safe and out of the way when you're not crafting.
At 6-inches, the Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway is best suited to A5 tasks, so expect to do any full-size A4 tasks with this portable embossing machine.
The Vevor Leather Cutting Machine looks decidedly more industrial than the crafting machines we've mentioned above, but if you want to emboss hefty leather projects, it's the best choice for you.
It can also be used on fabric leather, foamed PVC, plastic or rubber board, and medium soft board. The large cutting surface will make it perfectly suitable for fashion projects and even large leather garments. It's also a great price for such a capable machine.
Choosing an embossing machine
How do I choose the best embossing machine?
The best embossing machine for you will ultimately depend on what you plan on using it for. When it comes to materials, most embossing machines predominantly work with paper and cardstock, so if you want a machine that can emboss leather or wood, you may need to get something a little more heavy-duty.
Another thing to consider is size. Most embossing machines have a 6-inch opening, so they're best suited to A5 tasks like making cards and scrapbooking. If you want to work with larger dimensions, size up to the Sizzix Big Shot Pro or the Gemini GEM-M-GLO.