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In the spotlight: Heidi Swapp Cinch machine and my first impressions

Well hello there! Great to see you back at the blog and today I am reviewing the Heidi Swapp cinch machine and my first impressions on how it works. I recently bought this item as i have really gotten into make handmade notebooks. I wanted to added another technique and this machine allows me incorporate wire binding. Please note this post contains all my own opinions. I do not work for We R Memory Keepers or Heidi Swapp. I decided to make this post for you, to hopefully help highlight another technique and to give my honest opinion.

Cinch Machine and My first impressions:

Now I bought the heidi swapp version of the cinch machine but We R Memory keepers do a plain green one. At the time I was researching them, they were the same price. For the same price i was going to buy the prettier one! I purchased this machine online at Craftiler.co.uk for around £70 and was quick delivery.

About the machine:

The machine is quite big. It measures at, so bear this in mind as it can take up quite a bit of your craft space. The machine isn’t too heavy, I can easily lift it up in one hand so you don’t have to worry that it needs to stay put in one place. There is a little clip to the left which helps keep the arm down when not in use. This is great if you only have a small place to store your machine.

In addition, We R Memory Keepers have thought about the crafter when making this machine – the instructions are printed onto the machine. Therefore you never have to worry about loosing the instructions!

The machine has 3 stations to it: the punch, the bind and the cinch.

The punch:

I would advised you to have a play with the punch before you start in any projects. I practiced on scrap paper and noticed discolouration around the holes. When I opened the bottom by removing the punch tray I cleaned the punches. However plebe careful  you plan on doing this as the punches are sharp. I just used a clean dry paper towel a to wipe the punches. After punching several more times this disappeared.

You will find 12 knobs located across the side of the punch. Each of these represent a whole punch. When a knob is pressed in it will punch, if it is pulled out it will not punch. To activate the punch system, you need to pull the handle all the way down. 

The machine has a ruler maker in both inches and cm, so this caters for all crafters. The ruler also pulls out allowing you to make projects up to 12 inches in length. This is great if you want to make your own scrapbook albums. But wait, there is more. The white vertical piece at the end of the rule pushes up and out allowing you to punch up to 24 inches!!

There is also a great little leaver to the side for punching additional wholes. Once you have punch your first set of wholes but say need an addition three, you slide the ruler out. You the move the paper down until the lost hole is in line with the leaver. You push the leaver down to secure the paper in place and continue to punch your addition wholes. 

I also noticed that when I punched, I wasn’t always getting a clean punch. At times it appears a little rough around the egdes. I decided to email American Crafts who the makers behind We R Memory Keepers and was greeted with a quick response. They advised to try punch through some aluminium foil a few times. This will help sharpen the punches and they said it will help clean them too. So, if you have the same problem, give this ago!

The bind:

The bind section is located down the right hand side of the machine. Here you will find what look like posts moulded out of the base. These posts allow you to wire over the top. This keeps the wire in a fix position whilst you load the wire with your punched paper, ready for cinching. 

The cinch:

To cinch your book, you need to use the equipment located at the back of the machine. When you are ready to use the cinch, you need to place the binding between the black strip on the base, and the metal piece.  

It is important the opening of the wire binding is pressed up against the back of the machine. This is to make sure it presses the opening closed.

The dial on top of the cinching equipment relates to the diameter of the wire you are using. The diameter of the wire you use depends on how many pages you want to create for your book.  If you use a 3/4 of an inch wire, then your must turn the dial to 3/4 on the top. This will ensure it presses down enough to cinch the wire. 

Depending on the length of the book, you may need to cinch the wire in two stages. However, I would suggest you pay attention to the position of your wire when you move it along to finish cinch the rest. If you move the opening of the wire from the back of the cinching press, it can affect how well it cinches. 

And one more thing:

I hope you found this review useful. I tried to give an overview of the machine and my first initial thoughts when using it. If you want to know more, I usually find We R Memory Keepers website very useful, link here, and they have a Youtube video on how to use it. Also, check out Youtube for other videos by crafters – it is amazing what you can learn there! Make sure you stay tuned to the blog to see the first notebook I have bound!

If you have enjoyed this post, why not check out these two other post on notebook making:

And you don’t need a cinch to make these!

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Till next time,

*this post was NOT sponsored, requested, or paid for; I have written it because I wanted to. The information provided is based on my own personal experience. I am not an expert and I do not work for these companies. 

About Me

Hi, I am Verity and I live in the UK.  I love to create beautiful projects whenever I can. My main passion lies with Papercrafting, however, I will always turn my hand to a new project or craft any chance I get.


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9 thoughts on “In the spotlight: Heidi Swapp Cinch machine and my first impressions”

  • Just getting into the scrapbooking and travel journals. I have one of these and wondered whether the machine allows you to reopen and rebind a notebook. I have a planner that I made and it is too big to hold six months so I thought I might use three months at a time and reopen to change out the next three months. Thoughts?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lynn,
      I haven’t been able to find a way to use the machine to unbind bound notebooks. I know you can do that with plastic bindings on other machines. However, this doesn’t have the option to pull the wires out in sync and without distorting the wire. Sorry I cannot be any more help!

  • which one is more recommended? the HEIDI SWAPP CINCH or version 2 (the blue one)? and which one is newer?

    • The Heidi swap one was a collaboration between her and We R Memory keepers, so it is mainly just a colour change. The main thing you need to look into is whether it punches round holes or square holes and the will depend on your preference.

  • Hi Verity!
    I ordered the Heidi swapp version, but the one I got looks different. It’s got a pink handle and says Heidi swapp on it but it doesn’t have the 3 tips across the base.
    Would you know If they changed the model, or is this an older version?. I’m a little disappointed as I was expecting the striped version with the tips. But I can’t seem to find anything that talks about this difference

    Thanks again!

    • Hi,

      This post was from 2017 so I would suspect they have come out with revised models. This often happens, with new colours and they change the layout etc at times. I think you can get this model on some websites or second hand, but looks like the new models and more of a minimalist design.


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