Scrapbook message boards everywhere have been buzzing with news about the launch of the the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite from WR Memory Keepers. It debuted on HSN yesterday, and from what I can tell, the response was over-the-top. So if you haven't heard of it yet, what's all the hype? Simple -- this nifty tool does everything the original Crop-A-Dile could do (punch and set), but this one has a 6-inch reach, allowing you to set embies in the centre of your 12 x 12 page! Also, this mega machine will set grommets, something that by specification, the original CAD couldn't do (although I beg to differ....see below). What do I think? Is this a must-have? Honestly, the jury is still out, and I'm undecided. According to web reports, the Big Bite will hit store shelves eventually at around the $40 (US) mark, but I'm just not sure I can justify that big of an expense just to get the longer reach. You see, I already own (and absolutely adore) my original pink CAD. I love the fact that it's easy to use, portable and most importantly quiet. Yes, the 1-inch reach is a bit frustrating at times, but in those rare cases it's no big deal for me to pull out the old hammer, punch and setting tool. (I just tell myself that's it's okay to be noisy just this once!) On the video, HSN demoed placing a series of holes in a straight line using the Big Bite's built-in depth guage. Initially I thought this was pretty cool, but then I realized that it still doesn't eliminate the need for me to measure and mark my page to get my embies equi-distance apart. That used to be my big struggle, and I can't tell you how many times I mucked it up. But I struggle no more. A wise person once told me that plain old plastic canvas makes the perfect ruler -- mark your holes with a pencil using the canvas as a guide and then punch away -- and she was right! As far as portability and ease of use --- of course I've only seen the video, but geez.....I sure hope the Big Bite is a whole lot lighter than it looks. It's great that it's built to last, but wow....it looks a bit intimiditing. It also looks to me that if your hand span is a bit on the tiny side you might have some trouble simply operating it. But again, I say these things without having actually SEEN this in person. Perhaps I am completely wrong, only time will tell. Grommets.....are definately way cool, but are something that everyone will tell you that the original CAD couldn't handle. Well, I have a different opinion on this. I HAVE set grommets (albeit those of the smaller variety - 8mm) with my CAD. It's true, it's a little trickier than setting eyelets, and you have to be absolutely positively certain that you've got the cubes in the right place so you don't get the grommets stuck (I've been there), but it's definately doable. The Big Bite can set larger ones also I assume, so that's a plus - because those embies can be pesky to deal with at the best of times. So the big question for me is ---- can I justify buying yet another tool, just so I can set large grommets because for me while the large reach is a plus, it's doesn't make the Big Bite a must-have for this reason alone. I have a hammer, punch and setter (actually several) and I can always use that. Can I set grommets by other methods? Sure --- I have been doing so up until now right? What are your thoughts? Do you love it? Is it a must-have? I think for me, I need to try it out before I'm convinced.