Friday, March 18, 2011

The Black Cat Cougar

(If you use this machine with Make-the-Cut, please add your opinions about this machine under the COMMENTS section of this post. Please only comment if you use the COUGAR. If I see any comments relating to any other cutters on this page, I will move or delete it. Thank you.)

13" Cougar. Picture from

MSRP: from $689 and up


MTC Thread dedicated to the Cougar: The Cougar Thread

The following information is provided by Dawn. Dawn is the owner of Thyme Graphics where she offers the Black Cat cutters for sale. Thank you, Dawn for taking the time to share this information with us.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any retailer of electronic cutters.


The Cougar and Lynx can use Cricut mats and blades. And Mats from any manufacturer.

Both Cougar and Lynx can be purchased with or without software. They are compatible with Inkscape/Signcut, Illustrator/Signcut, CorelDraw/Signcut, Funtime, MTC and soon to be compatible with Scal.

Both Cougar and Lynx can be used on PC including Windows 7, or Macintosh.

Both Cougar and Lynx can do Print and Cut, either using MTC or Signcut

The Cougar can cut -
Stencil Vinyl
Glitter card - non shedding
Fun Foam
Metal Foils
Balsa Wood
Double sided Adhesive
Shrink Plastic
Glue film
and many more!

You can also engrave
Glass - toughened
Perspex and acetate

You can also emboss

The Lynx will do all of the above except for chipboard and Mountboard, on these it is limited to Cereal weight thickness     
What do you like about the Cougar?
Everything, but I admit to being biased. I like the way they look, I am not into girly colours and the black and silver combo of the Cougar is smart, as is the graphite black of the Lynx. I love the control we have over speed and pressure, the Cougar has the most control of any cutting machine on the market and the Lynx is not far behind.

Does it cut vinyl and chipboard?
Both will cut vinyl with ease. For Chipboard again yes, although as with any machine it depends on the density and thickness of the chipboard. We have one Cougar user who has cut 3mm thick chipboard, I myself haven't cut over 1mm. The Lynx is suitable for chipboard that is cerealweight thickness

What do you, as the end-user, think about the pros and cons of the machine?
This I had better skip and allow customers to comment on instead.

Is it too slow?
No, both will cut 600mm per sec, and that is fast.

Is it too fast?
No, the Cougar can go slower than any other machine, there are 108 speed settings between the slowest and fastest settings. Plenty of choice for everyone. The Lynx has fewer speed settings, but still 12 - ample for most uses

Would you recommend it?
I do, but then I sell them

How expensive are the mats and blades?
Blades start at $9.99 and mats at $12.99. I give the US price as there are probably more US people than anyone else here.

Are they hard to find?
No, you can get them from any of our distributors, or you can use others manufacturers consumables as well.

The Cougars and the soon to be released Lynx will both work with MTC.
They can also be used with Illustrator/Signcut, CorelDraw/Signcut and Inkscape/Signcut - these have a greater learning curve than MTC and are not everyone's cup of tea.
Also soon to work with Scal

The Cats cut circles very well.

Warranty is I full year on all the Cats for parts and labour. The Cougar has an additional 6 months warranty on parts.


Thank you, Dawn for sharing the information with us.

Here are some pictures of projects that were made with the Cougar cutter.



Everyone, if you are using this machine, please add your own review to the COMMENTS section below.

Thanks so much!


  1. I am a new owner of a 13" Black Cat Cougar, 3 weeks. I am a cardmaker and vinyl cutter. I found it easy to setup, install the drivers, and was cutting a basic 4" square within 45 minutes. It is easy to operate and to get perfect alignment for Print and Cut using the amazing Laser registration. I only had to adjust my Y axis settings 1mm for a perfect Print and Cut. Cuts are smooth quick and even the smallest are exceptional. Also, I can not say enough about their customer service. No question is dumb or too unimportant. Every question or issue is addressed. They are patient and will work with you until your issue is address. I am so happy I made the choice for my "Oh Kitty" Black Cat Courgar it has made such a differenc in my papercrafting and vinyl work.

    1. please I want the drivers
      i have Black Cat Cougar More than a month and I could not run
      This is my email
      please please please help me

    2. angel-s, to get technical help for your cutter, please contact the dealer for your Cougar machine. If you had ordered it from That's Scrap Inc, the authorized dealer in the US, you can contact Sheri through her site ->

  2. I, too, own the Black Cat 13" Cougar. I have owned it for around 5 mo. now. The customer service for this machine is outstanding. Dawn, Sherri, Rachellann, and Christy's video will have you up and cutting as soon as your machine arrives. Dawn has become a friend, not just a person I bought my machine from. Between the family at MTC and the family at Black Cat, who could ask for more. I have made life long friends and appreciate them all. Back to the cutter, my 13" Cougar is the perfect size for my needs. I usually make cards and love the print and cut, which I might add is spot on. Love'n my Cougar and PnC.

  3. I am an owner of a 15" Black Cat Cougar and could NOT be happier. I have had many machines, I still have three currently , and my Cougar is by far the ABSOLUTE BEST I have ever owned!!!!!!! The customer support is absolutely supurb. I so wish I would have found my Cougar before I bought my others cutters, I could have saved a fortune!!!!!!!!!

    If you want a cutter that does everything you coudl possible need this is the one. no more wasting money on different cutters trying to get one that works. You have it ALL right here in a cougar!!!!!!! I love it so much I spend hours of my own time making video's over it and my MTC for my blog and to help others.

    Okay so I sound like I m selling.LOL I do NOT sell cougars for the record but I am one HAPPY customer!!!!!!! LOL

    thanks Jin for doing this review!!!


  4. I am the proud owner of the 18 inch cougar since november 2010 and love all i can do from micro paper shoes to large wall vinyl and so much more. Icould not ask for any better customer service or better support anywhere. Thay are fast and curtious.

  5. I use the 18 inch Cougar and I love it but I am an Australian Seller of them. I have been with them from day 1 but I have known Dawn way longer. I knew from the beginning I was in because I knew what Dawn was telling was the truth. We would finally have a cutter that we could use that would do what we wanted first time, every time. Because of Dawn's integrity we had customers buying and paying for a machine that hadn't been made yet. They knew it would tested to death by Dawn before it was passed as perfect and I do mean every little bit of it.
    As sellers we do not give opinions when someone comes to our Forums. They only hear what the customers have to say. That is all they need to hear.
    Thank you Jin.

    1. Hi, I am looking to buy one, would you ship to Singapore?

  6. I have had my 13" Cougar for 1 1/2 years. I have never had a problems with it at all. Customer service has been premium. I use MTC and the Sign Cut software with Illustrator CS5. I have rattled, tortured, and put this machine thru a lot. I had to cut almost 500 snowflakes out of extremely heavy glossy cardstock, in fact I would say almost the thickness of cereal box. It cut like a dream. I never had to change blades, just kept feeding the mats in. The whole process took me about 2 hours, that is how fast it cut. It has never failed me, the errors or problems I have had have always been user issues. When I have needed customer service (yet again user issues)Dawn was right there on the spot even though it was midnight her time to help me thru my issues. This is an amazing machine that is second to none. It was and is worth every penny I have invested in it. The only thing I regret is that I didn't buy a larger one. There have been many times I could have utilized the extra width.

  7. I have the 18" cougar - one of the first ones as I was amoung those that ordered before the machines where actually ready. Dawn was working 24/7 to make sure everyone had their machine before that christmas and 99% of them were delivered on Xmas eve.
    Every machine was tested before it left Dawn.

    They are the best machine out there - a professtional machine for the home user and they would not bat an eye if you used it for a small business, such is the quailty of them.

    As others have said every problem I have had with my machine has been user (my) error.

    I use inkscape/signcut but my computer is a mac so MTC only runs under parallels and native is always best.
    I also like the greater scope of inkscape.

    Customer Service for the Cougar is 2nd to none, aska a question on the black cat forum and it will, most likely, be answered within 24 hours, not only by Dawn or the other sellers but by other users, and with many options as to how to do it. more than one way to skin a cat, as they say LOL

  8. I have a Cougar and it's wonderful. There doesn't seem to be anything it can't do (except make the tea) LOL. I used to have Craftrobo and wasted so much time and card, not so with the Cougar, I can cut with confidence knowing that it will every time.

  9. I bought a 15" Cougar about 18 months ago and recently upgraded to a 24" - get bigger than you think you need because once you use it you will want to do bigger and better things ;)

    The Cougar is just the most amazing machine out there and you simply will not find anything that comes close without paying substantially more.

    It just does everything superbly well, from the thinnest vinyl to thick media such as chipboard and mountboard, fabric, leather, metal foils, embossing (even heavy card), engraving and pen plotting

    There is no denying it is one of if not the most versatile cutter on the market, just last night I decided to make some templates for marking fabric from VERY heavy duty template plastic which I need to cut twice with a stanley knife, the Cougar cut it in one pass absolutely perfectly.

    You can use Make The Cut software or if you want more advanced editing capabilities inkscape (Absolutely fantastic), Adobe Illustrator or corel draw.

    We are often asked about the negatives on the Blackcat forum, but there just are none, the Cougar really IS that good. It copes with everything you are likely to throw at it with ease, it cuts amazingly well, its an absolutely rock solid construction, its quiet, its fast.. How can we be expected to say anything negative about it? Everyone who owns one will say the same thing, it is fantastic, and I cannot think of a better recommendation than that.

    If that seems like too much of a dream come true then the story does not end there, the support offered by Dawn and the other international sellers is second to none. I have never before come across anyone who really does put customer satisfaction above everything else including sales!

    The Blackcat forum which all buyers get full and free access to is a wealth of knowledge, hundreds if not thousands of very high quality cutting files, loads of tutorials to print and video tutorials to watch, and absolutely the friendliest forum around with some extremely talented crafters sharing their knowledge and files freely.

    People are free to believe what I say or not, but I defy anyone to find a Cougar owner out there who does not agree with everything I have said - I think that says shows quite clearly where the wise money is spent ;)

  10. Amazing but true but I bought my 24" Blackcat Cougar before it was actually out on the market as I was so confident that if Dawn of Thyme Graphics said it was good then it would be. It is more than good it is FANTASTIC!

    I have had it for over 2 years and it has been ultra-reliable and it is so well constructed that I believe it will carry on cutting for years!

    I will just finish by saying 'Ditto' to all that is said above!

  11. I bought a Cougar when they first came to the market (now more than 2 years). I am a cardmaker and delighted with my cutter and the customer support, that is second to none. The Cougar has amazing capabilities and cuts all card weights that I have tried without a problem. It also cuts a great variety of other media, vinyl, fine metal sheet, acrylic sheet, veneer, to name a few. I have yet to see/use another machine that has the Cougar's capabilities.

  12. I am seriously considering a Lynx cutter. Do you know when it will be compatible with SCAL, as that is the software I use? Thanks! :)

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. is now available with SCAL..and we will be coming out with our own software as well. I would like to clear a few things up that were said in the KNK area of this revew. First my partner Dawn and I were BOTH dealers for Accugraphics that sell the KNK. I personally owned seven of their machines. I know them very well. I currently still have one for testing purposes. I can run it side by side with the Black Cat as well as the Pazzle I have the right to talk about the other machines. I do not feel it is necessary however to cut down another company or machine to make mine look better. I let my customers talk about the machine. Hoenstly and openly. I think the majority of the issue I have is their determination that we are not a U.S. based company. I have been operating for 3 1/2 years as a U.S. based company. Rest assured the Black Cat cutters are coming from a U.S. based comapny. The repairs (should there ever be any) are coming from a U.S. based company. There is nothing different about this machine than any of the other machines on the market with regard to where they come from or where they are repaired...The fact we have seldom seen a repair is a testament to the 18 month warranty we choose to provide. Having sold the KNK and the Pazzle Inspiration and having owned every other cutter on the market, I think I have the right and the responsibility to set the record straight about what we do and do not have. I will also hold my judgement of the KNK machines to private conversations where I am asked the difference..and there is a HUGE difference, contrary to what you will be told. We have MANY ex-KNK users running our machines quite happily. The posters offering their reviews to include the Black Cat family of cutters should not compare their KNK machine to the Black Cat since they do not own both. I think it is important to acknowledge this so it does not mislead people. I have a TON of experience with the KNK line of machines as I do the Pazzle Inspiration but I choose to comment only on the machine I currently run. I think it is sad that the reviews have to include a slant at the Black Cat family when we have a huge following of people that LOVE their machines as well and choose to not try to sway people with erroneous information. In reagrds to the accessories etc. that a poster is talking about..we have anything we carry for our machines right here in the U.S. If you see temporarily out of stock it has to do with the HUGE amount of sales we have had. In particular over the last few months. We think this is a testament to our wonderful machines, customer service and superior products. Again, many of our customers have run other machines and once they have run a Black Cat they know the difference and it is superior. We also have an entire team of people on tech support. It runs 24/7 365 and there is not another company that does that. :-)

  15. has been avaiable to SCAL users for a while now. :-)
    Sherri Jensen
    Black Cat, USA

  16. I bought my 24" Cougar about two months ago. I have had several Cricuts, and when PC brought the lawsuit against MTC, I started to research all the different cutters on the market. I wanted my next investment to be a wise one and to be one I wouldn't I should've gotten a larger one, I wish I could do this with it...and so on. I finally decided on the Cougar and got the largest one. I am so thrilled with my Cat. I have found new interests, like etching, that I never dreamed of doing before. I love detailed and intricut cuts and this baby will do it all. This cutter is well made and the customer support is wonderful!!! I'm not talking to That's Scrap; I am talking to Sherri (or Dawn). The people that have Cougars are so generous with their help too. My only regret....WHY DIDN'T I GET THIS SOONER?? This is a first rate machine with a first rate support group.
    Can't figure how to do the Google thing so I'll just post my name...Kim

  17. Oh, my. I just bought a 24 inch Cougar, and it arrived today. It's still in the box. I'm scared! I'm looking at all the videos and reading the manual before I even TOUCH it! I have a local business, make a lot of signs, and cut a lot of vinyl. I have used my Cricut so much, but my demands are too much for that small little insect. I needed a carnivore. After reading all of your comments, I can't wait to get started!
    Fondly, Tami

  18. Hi:

    I've had bad luck lately with trying out new machines (eCraft, name it). I really want to try out the Cougar, and the 24" caught my eye, but it is SO much money to find it is not going to work perfectly for me. My mom and I run a business cutting unique shaped business cards and labels for other small businesses, and my Cricut started failing to cut precisely (my designs were coming out on the machine very different than they looked on the screen). I have a few questions if someone wouldn't mind sharing some info:

    1. Does the Cougar cut precisely? I use SCAL, and I am hoping to find a machine that cuts what I see on the screen - and not rounded edges on a squared business card or one of my flourish shapes having a droopy side - one of those things that is hard to explain, you just have to see to believe it. :)

    2. Will it really work with my Mac, and directly with Illustrator? I am a graphic designer, all of my designs come from Illustrator. I am great at converting shapes to SVG and opening them in SCAL to then cut on the Cricut - and I can continue to do that with any machine I get, but if they would talk directly with Illustrator that would be sweet!

    3. Low noise, and fast is important. I see from comments that this is possible, and I really hope it is. I have so many machines in my office from 2 large printers, 2 cutters now and 3 computers I couldn't take hearing the drilling of cardstock as a machine runs through some of our 250 or 500 card orders. Just being honest...

    4. We work a lot with thick cardstock. We work with upwards of 120+lb paper, often over 300gsm, and we find with the Cricut we have to do two cuts (cut the shape twice) so we are not tearing the cards to get them off. We just finished a 250 card order that took us all day to finish because it was so slow and we had to go back over each cut twice. I see about the pressure and speed of this machine, and just want to make sure I can do one pass - of very thick cardstock, and pop off our designs and keep going.

    Thanks for any help or insight someone can offer. I'm fine with shelling out over $1000K, I just want to be sure - careful and cautious. Hope everyone can understand that.

  19. Hi Tiffany,
    I'm Dawn of Thyme Graphics and I sell the Cats in Europe.

    1. Yes it will cut very precisely, if you would like one of us to cut you a sample file we will happily do so.

    2. It really works with a MAC, I use a Mac myself. It will work with Illustrator via the use of Signcut. Signcut acts like a printer window does, so you just go to the File menu and choose send to Signcut.

    3. All the cutters will make some noise, but the Cougar is less noisy than such as the Robo.

    4. The Cougar will cut 350grm card in a single pass with no trouble

    If you have further questions or would like to talk to one of us direct you can contact me at Thyme Graphics, and Sherri at That's Scrap in the US

  20. Thanks so much, Dawn. I've heard wonderful things about you and the whole Black Cat Support community in general. I am very impressed, and my mom and I already talked today about making this business investment. I'm in the US, so I will be purchasing from Sherri at That's Scrap I assume. Just gotta return the Pxxxxxx that is defective and sitting in my office first. The cat looks like it will be the perfect machine, and will allow us to get so much more done using our parent sheets (the large sheets we get from our paper distributor). The 24" is what we are going for. Very excited, and I will be tapping into the community for help and tips on how to make the most out of the cat.

    Thanks once again!!

  21. Thanks Tiffany.
    Yes you will purchase from Sherri.
    Once you have your machine we have two forums and a learning centre, and you can also contact Sherri or myself - so lots of help is available.
    We look forward to you joining the family!

  22. Hi, I've just bought a Cougar and I am so happy with it so far, it does everything i wanted it to do and more. I design wall art for kids and the cougar is great because it cuts my designs so precisely and professionally :)

    The only issue I'm having at the moment is that I bought it (from a supplier in Aus) with the promise it was mac compatible. None of the software that came with it worked on my mac and when i asked about it she said 'you have to buy windows for your mac and you'll have to buy VM Firmware so you can run windows from your mac'. To be honest, this made my blood boil, that is not mac compatible! and It was going to be an extra $250. So i said forget it and i am currently running it all off my husbands old PC which is driving me mad. (Ok, rant over lol)

    She has been so lovely and really patient with me, trying to get this all sorted, although i have a feeling she is giving me wrong information.

    Can you pleeeeeeease help me, how can i get this running from my mac (Mac OS X Lion) laptop without spending a fortune. Dawn, your name comes up all over the place when i search for Black Cat Cougar help so I thought you would be the best person to ask.

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Anna, Dawn is the dealer for the Black Cat Cutters in the UK. You can reach her from her site at

  23. Hi Dawn, I'm an owner of the 18" black cat cougar and am finding the set-up impossibly difficult with my MAC OsX. Can you tell me where/how to get some step by step help?? Liza

    1. Hi Liza, I'm not sure if Dawn is still following this thread but you can email her at

  24. Hi Anna and Liza,
    Let me see if I can clear this up. The distributor mentioned is no longer associated with Sherri and I. She should not have sold the Cougar as Mac compatible when she did not have the Mac software for it.
    The Cougar is fully Mac compatible if used with the correct software - we recommend Scal 3. Uisng Scal there is no need to run a virtual Windows machine.
    Dawn of Thyme Graphics

  25. I love my Cougar!!! I have one problem...I can't for the life of me figure out how far to feed the mat into the machine before I let it go to start cutting. Sorry for my ignorance. I've looked for tutorials and searched the manual but keep coming up blank. Can anyone advise? I hate to waste so much paper or keep using the pause button.
    thank you

  26. I graduated from a 6" bug cutter to a 13" Black Cat Cougar!! Oh, my!! I absolutely love it and I can't say enough good things about Sherri at That's Scrap, Inc. Customer service is beyond expectations and the cutter is such a great machine. My only regret is I didn't go ahead and get a larger machine. I am a card maker, but I have made a few vinyl items. I was able to make my daughter's wedding invitations with Make The Cut and my Black Cat. They were exactly what she wanted! Sherri (in the USA) and Dawn of Thyme Graphics (in the UK) are always available for questions and assistance. I highly recommend the Black Cat machines. While I have not had the opportunity to see the new Silver Bullet machines, I am sure they are of outstanding quality also.


  27. What is the thickest metal you have cut on the Cougar? I know the new Pro is supposed to have 1200gp, but they can't tell me what the thickest metal they can cut. That is one main reason I would make the purchase of the machine. I already have a Silhouette Cameo and it works for my vinyl cutting needs, which is mostly what I cut with it. Being able to cut metals would open up a whole new jewelry style for me!!

  28. I'm considering buying a Black Cat Cougar cutter for our business. We would use it mostly for cutting polyester felt fabric (not the dense, thin felt-like paper). Can anyone confirm for me that the Cougar does indeed cut felt fabric well? We'll be cutting hundreds of various shapes: body part shapes (such as eyes, nose, lips, hands, arms) dresses, brooms (long, skinny shapes) and many more. From the reviews i've read some cutters CAN cut felt fabric, but seems like there's always a problem with it: you have to hold it down well to keep it from sliding around, and the mat and blade get gummed up with felt fibers that you have to clean often.

    I've never used a cutter before, so I'm not sure what all the potential problems are, but before i spend the money I need to know that the cutter will be able to cut lots of felt easily. I also need it to be programmable, as I would never be able to find dies for all the shapes and sizes that I need. Suggestions on other programmable cutters that may be better would be welcome too.

    1. Hello Heebygeegy, if you have any questions about the Black Cat Cougar and what it can cut, you would probably get the best answers from Dawn. She is the owner of Thyme Graphics and she sells the Cougar. You can contact her at:

  29. I'm thinking of buying a black cat cougar for my small business. I need to know if this machine cuts my pictures already printed previously, because this is the basic function that I'll give. You use it without being connected to the computer.
    Thank you very much for the cooperation.

  30. I use the black cat cougar 13". It is one solid cutter. I cut vinyl for windows, vinyl for shirts, paper, cardboard, etc. So reliable. On here it says you can use cricut mats but they are too narrow if you want to cut 12" material. You are left with using only 2 rollers(one otside roller and middle roller). I prefer to use the 2 outside rollers when cutting viny as it seems the middle roller leaves slight mark. Yes my rollers are super clean. I use make the cut software and has no weeding feature. This can be done using inkscape.