Creative Versa-Tool

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Creative Versa-Tool

Postby Zombie Pumpkins! » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:18 am

Ideal for carving Michaels brand foam pumpkins. A heated tool, used for wood burning, scrap booking and other crafts. They usually come with with alternate tips. But all you really need for carving a foam pumpkin is the blade tip. It's like an x-acto blade, but heats up. You'll be zooming through foam like butter.

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There may be similar products out there, but it seems the main one you'll find is the "Creative Versa-Tool" which is made by a company called Walnut Hallow. This company mostly focuses on wood crafting projects.

It's their plug-in tool that we're interested in - and there are variations on their product, some with a focus on scrapbooking or textiles. But their Versa-tool is the most... well... versatile, because it seems to come with the best range of interchangeable tips.

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If you wanted to save a few dollars, you might be able to buy a Creative Woodburning Pen which is basically the same product, but without all the extras. In this case, you'd still need to by the proper blades separately.

When you add in the costs of blades, and shipping (if the Woodburning Pen isn't available in the store) it actually still might be be more economical to pick up the full Versa-Tool set at your local Michaels with a 40% off coupon. You'll also get a nice plastic storage case this way too.

The attachment we're concerned with is the "Hot Knife Point." Looks just like your typical x-acto hobby knife. The full Versa-Tool kit comes with one of these blade tips, but if you ever needed more, you can buy also them separately. They look like this:

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They screw into the end of the tool on threads. Obviously don't try changing the attachments while the tool is switched on and hot. Speaking of which, when you're carving a foam pumpkin, the blade can become unscrewed, since you are sometimes twisting the tool slightly as you carve around curves. So I like to keep a small pair of pliers nearby, which I can use to grip the hot blade gently, and screw it back in tighter.

You'll get the smoothest carving if you wait for the blade to get really hot. It's easy to get impatient and want to try it right away. But give it several minutes to heat up, while you prep the rest of your carving area. Maybe you can transfer the pattern while the blade warms up. When not in use, the tool has a small metal stand for propping it up.

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And once the blade it hot, start cutting along the lines of your design. It should literally move through the foam like a hot knife through butter. There's usually not much need to move the tool up and down (like you do when carving with a typical pumpkin carving saw-tool).

Another important tip is to keep moving, or pull the blade out when you finish a line. If you let the hot blade sit too long in one spot, the foam might burn or the surface paint might peel. Supposedly it gets at hot as 950° F so DO NOT touch the metal areas of the tool to your skin unless you want to hear the sizzling and smell of cooked meat... your own.

This tool is best suited for carving the artificial pumpkins at Michaels. The foam is the proper thickness and density. I don't know if a Versa-Tool would be much good on a foam pumpkin that is more brittle or thick, such as Funkins and others.

For a Michaels foam pumpkin, be aware of how thick the walls of the pumpkin are, to make sure you're going deep enough. If you push the blade in all the way, the flat end of the tool (where the attachment screws in) could leave a little burn mark on the surface. But if you only cut with the very tip of the blade, you might not cut the pieces all the way out, and you'd then have to go over your lines again.

As I describe every aspect, I might be making this sound complicated. It's mostly all common sense. I've seen people struggling to cut crumbly foam with a saw blade, and when I hand them a Versa-Tool and say "here, try this" they start zooming along instantly, saying, "wow, this makes it easy!"

This tool is available at Michaels, Amazon, Walnut Hallow and many other places that sell craft hobby supplies.
Last edited by Zombie Pumpkins! on Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:46 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Kerianne19 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:22 am

Ah, the Versa Tool! I personally have the light green colored "scrap booking" tool; my Dad has the red colored "woodworking" tool. I know the come with a lot of attachments in the kits, but to be honest, we only ever use the exacto blade. Maybe others can chime in with the other attachments and how they use them. I found many of the attachments simply complicated things :oops:

We did try the cheaper version that was made for kids, but it was a lower wattage, and did not get hot enough to slice through the pumpkin easily. As for which one is better, we own both the kinds mentioned above, and they are identical minus the different colors, and varied attachments. I think all you need is the simple exacto blade! :D

This is my scrapbooking Versa Tool:
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Last edited by Kerianne19 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Woodburning tool kit

Postby willfulboy » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:37 pm

I found this one that was a little cheaper and includes a nice case.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EMBEY0
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Postby The Vlad Hatter » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:26 pm

The ratings are a little low on that one, but for what we are talking about using it for, I'd imagine as long as you get one with a decent manufacturer you aren't going to have too much problems.
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Postby JMP919 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:44 am

We did try the cheaper version that was made for kids, but it was a lower wattage, and did not get hot enough to slice through the pumpkin easily. As for which one is better, we own both the kinds mentioned above, and they are identical minus the different colors, and varied attatchements. I think all you need is the simple exacto balde!

I tried that one this weekend. Got it from Michaels. I think it was about 16 or 17 bucks. It might have been a higher voltage because it cut pretty well. The only problem I found was that it didn't lock the blade in very well. I kept a pair of pliers nearby to tighten the blade while carving.
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Postby GUS » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:14 pm

UK link for those who wish to try...

cuddlybuddly.com

I'll have a look at the manuf / distributor list in case it's a viable product for uk...

For those without a michaels near em!

Overstock.com

Better price for uk forum folk & crafters.....

alteredelement.co.uk
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Postby punchi » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:07 pm

WOW! I got one of these today and this is the greatest thing ever! It really does cut through the pumpkins like butter. A must have for the Michael's pumpkins.
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Postby shutterbug » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:55 pm

FYI folks.Just picked up extra blades at Micheals for the Versatool.They were 9.95,but I had another 50% off coupon.2 in a pkg.
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Postby heeljeff » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:00 pm

shutterbug wrote:FYI folks.Just picked up extra blades at Micheals for the Versatool.They were 9.95,but I had another 50% off coupon.2 in a pkg.

Thanks..I need some but didn't know they sold the blades at Michaels.
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Postby Ajax » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:13 pm

Just bought one of these today how the heck are you suppose to change the blade the one that came with it is in there so tight.
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Postby Zombie Pumpkins! » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:16 pm

Pliers maybe? Righty-tighty, lefty-loosie.
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Postby CorpseBride » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:17 am

I had the same problem when I bought mine...you want to know what I did??!

Well...in true Corpse form...it wasn't working so I banged it on the workbench a few times and VOILA! Problem solved :P
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Postby KILLER KLOWN » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:05 am

I'm thinkin bout picking one of these up. Less mess over a dremel.
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Postby CombichristGirl » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:59 pm

KILLER KLOWN wrote:I'm thinkin bout picking one of these up. Less mess over a dremel.

ahh everyone says that but you can get more detail with a dremel so its a trade off :wink:
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Postby GUS » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:29 pm

Would getting one of these be more advantageous than the industrial solder station I use ,eg cutting flesh? or doesn't it really have the rapid warm up time between uses?
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