I’ve seen people talk about the AccuQuilt Studio and the AccuCut GrandeMARK. What’s the difference?
Before I get into the difference between the two cutters, let me give you a little family history on the two companies.
AccuCut was the original company (TEK Industries is the parent company) started in 1990 to produce die cut systems for the education market. In 2001, AccuCut unveiled the GrandeMARK, which was the company’s first fabric cutting machine introduced into the quilt market (back then, they were called AccuCut Quilt.)
In 2008, TEK reorganized the company and separated the fabric & papercutting sides of the business. AccuQuilt was born, and the GrandeMARK was renamed to the Studio. However, the GrandeMARK remained also on the AccuCut side of the business, to continue serving the scrapbooking and education markets.
So what’s the difference between Studio and GrandeMARK? Nothing but the label on the machine and the marketing between the two divisions. You’ll never see AccuCut at a quilt show, and you’ll never see AccuQuilt at a scrapbooking show, but both of them share the same building down in Freemont, Nebraska.
In terms of the dies, technically AccuQuilt dies can cut paper, and AccuCut dies can cut fabric, but neither of them is necessarily optimal for the task. Just like you can take nearly every high-quality pair of scissors and put them to use cutting fabric, you’d probably be much happier with pinking shears to cut satins, or a rotary cutter to cut strips. It’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.
I think you’ll also find the support better for quilters on the AccuQuilt side. All employees of AccuQuilt are required to make at least one quilt, and they have used at least one of the die cutters. I don’t know if any folks on the AccuCut side are quilters; I’m sure that there are some, but their job is to know more about scrapbooking and educational cutting than quilting.
If there is a die from AccuCut that you simply MUST have, and you’re not sure whether it’s appropriate for cutting fabric, just call AccuCut and they will tell you. I’ve gotten a few dies myself from AccuCut (mostly for appliqué) and haven’t had any issues.
If you are interested in purchasing a Studio, you might also want to check the AccuCut site before ordering. They often have much better deals on the GrandeMARK if you’re patient enough to wait for one.
To endless possibilities,