In this review, we talk about the best vinyl cutting machine. I will even discuss how each compares regarding performance and design.
The only purpose of a vinyl cutting machine is making intricate designs with a broad range of materials. This adds more texture and look to whatever you’re crafting. It could be a scrapbook, holiday card, posters, or invitation cards.
Based on the different kinds of cutting machines on the market, these models offer different prices, features, and power levels. You can opt for a manual cutting machine or an electric one. You also have options for wired and wireless connectivity.
The best part about buying a cutting machine is the cutting depth, width, and length. Based on the materials you need to cut, you can opt for a consistent cutting depth and size.
There are several factors to consider before buying a vinyl cutting machine. But before we get in on that, let’s compare the different models worth buying.
BEST VINYL CUTTING MACHINE IN 2018
With that out of the way, let’s look at the table I’ve created for you below.
Vinyl Cutter Machine Name
|USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle (Editor’s Choice)||34 inches||Wide range of materials||57.6 pounds|
#1 Editor’s Choice
|Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine||12 inches||Touchscreen interface||10.6 pounds|
|Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine||1/4 to 11 1/2 inches||Wireless connection||17.1 pounds|
|Silhouette Portrait||8 inches||Can cut over 100 different materials||8 pounds|
|Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine||12 inches||Handwritten design creation||16 pounds|
|Silhouette Cameo 3 Bluetooth Starter Bundle||12 inches||Roller locking upgrade||15.5 pounds|
|Brother Sewing ScanNCut CM100DM Cutting Machine||12 inches||Built-in 300-DPI scanner||12.9 pounds|
|Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting Machine||14 inches||Multi-purpose extended platform||11.5 pounds|
|Cricut Mini Cutting Machine||8.5 inches||Cutting-edge and user-friendly design software||7 pounds|
|Cricut 29-0001 Personal Electric Cutting Machine||12 inches||Cartridge-based machine||14.7 pounds|
As you can see, each vinyl cutting machine offers unique features. These features may be present in other models too, but not as their most attractive quality.
Based on the price, you can tell that most machines are pocket-friendly. And only a few come with a high price tag.
1. USCUTTER VINYL CUTTER MH 34IN BUNDLE – MOST VALUABLE VINYL CUTTING MACHINE FOR HOBBYISTS
The USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle is a user-friendly vinyl cutter. It’s the most fitting option for professionals and hobbyists. Although it might feel a bit too big for a hobbyist, so make sure you have tons of space for this cutter before it arrives. That said, it’s easy to assemble. Plus, the software is not hard to crack once you read the instructions well.
For simple to complex jobs, this best vinyl cutting machine does it all efficiently. The two pinch rollers are easy to adjust. It also has a precise blade roller to back up its performance. Thanks to this roller, you can have access to practically any blade you want. It’s enough to create detailed and clean-cut designs.
The best part about this machine is that it has the most intuitive interface. So you can make all the precise adjustments as per your liking. And this best vinyl cutting machine will deliver an excellent piece.
The customizable settings and seamless operation are all worth the price you pay. Not to mention, it’s a hit among small businesses owners for their daily vinyl cutting needs.
If you ask me, this machine is an excellent value for the quality and performance. The fact that it comes with a handy kit makes all the difference. More than a task, vinyl cutting with this kit will feel like an adventure. If you don’t believe, then see it for yourself!
I’ve always loved using different vectors and outlines for my vinyl cutter. But to my surprise, I never found the right fit. And ever since I’ve found this machine, it’s as if the best choice was right in front of my eyes and I hadn’t noticed it.
This machine offers expert cutting designs, including vectors and outlines. Plus, an intuitive design software to go with the interface. Now that’s saying something!
My only complaint with this vinyl cutting machine is that it can’t handle complex designs. So if you’re looking for far-reaching cuts; you’re better off with some other pick on this list.
- Simple, compatible features
- Flexible use of materials
- Intuitive interface
- Not suitable for intricate work
2. SILHOUETTE CAMEO ELECTRONIC CUTTING MACHINE – BEST PORTABLE AND INTUITIVE VINYL CUTTING MACHINE
The Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine has the same great interface. But it can print longer cuts with more accuracy and details. It features a touchscreen interface with incredible responsiveness. So there’s no lagging left to deal with. It’s lightweight and easy to assemble the first time. So making decals right the first day won’t seem like a bother.
That said, I also liked the fact that this best vinyl cutting machine doesn’t leave any residue after. It slices off edges at the back precisely, but without any crumbs left to clean after use. Such efficient and visceral performance can only be seen on this machine.
It features two mats and two durable cutting blades. You can alternate between 12-inch and 10-feet long cut-ups with the blades. It delivers accurate cuts each time.
By the looks of it, this best vinyl cutting machine is very simple and effortless to use. It even has a definite portability factor attached to it. If you don’t know about such types of cutting machines or you haven’t ever used on before. That’s not a problem. It’s very undemanding of your time and effort. As long as it gets the work done, you’re a happy consumer.
To sum it up, there are lots of exciting features on this machine. Including the 1-month free downloading, built-in templates, and durable vinyl trimmer. All this makes the Silhouette Cameo Machine beyond compare on the market.
Beginners want to sketch their design first because it saves time and effort. This is important as you can look over the final design rather than opting for cutting straight away. All things considered, this machine features four flexible pens for a better sketch. These pens you can switch to the blade as and when you need to.
Be that as it may, this cutting machine may be the best, but it’s the quietest. It has a tendency to produce an undeviating sound during operation.
- Touchscreen interface
- Lightweight and portable
- 100 mat presets
- Very noisy
3. CRICUT EXPLORE AIR WIRELESS CUTTING MACHINE – BEST WIRELESS VINYL CUTTING MACHINE
The Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine is a high-quality vinyl cutting machine. It is feature-extensive housed in a durable and intuitive design. Being incredibly lightweight and portable, it is considered to be a multi-purpose device. It starts with only basic DIY design cuts for a hobbyist. But it ends as an expert and precision-driven beast for businesses.
There’s no limit to what this best vinyl cutting machine can do. The creative potential matches well with yours. All thanks to the dual cartridge feature to make cutting, scoring, and writing simple.
The Explorer’s Smart Set Dial makes it easy to operate. This also allows you to cut every kind of material there is. Add this to your workspace or homeroom, and you have a wireless connection and seamless operation. Everything that works on this cutting machine is cloud-based. So you can even sync all your designs from your PC, Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
Moving forward, the cutting range on this best vinyl cutting machine is from 1/4 inch to 11 1/2 inch wide. Pretty impressive for a handy cutting machine, don’t you think so? So you can cut the smallest prints with the most precision without settling on low quality.
Another one of its impressive features is personalized message creator. This means you can cut the perfect cut and write a personal message on it, exactly where you want it, and that’s all. But it doesn’t end there. It can also help make the box and fold the edges in a single step. So you don’t have to do anything!
If you want to use a cutting machine with a built-in design space with a variety of cuts and outlines, this one is for you. The effective Circuit Design Space program offers a cloud-based collection of over 50,000 images and fonts for the perfect clean-cut design. This also means you can add your personal touch to your designs. Plus, it cuts a broad range of materials, so the possibilities are endless!
The only downside to this cutting machine is that it doesn’t work with larger designs. It only cuts vinyl from ¼ – 11 ½ inches wide and 23 ½ inches tall.
- Flexible use of materials
- Wireless Bluetooth Enabled connection
- Not suitable for big projects
4. SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT –BEST COMPACT AND AFFORDABLE VINYL CUTTING MACHINE
The Silhouette Portrait is a small and stable vinyl cutting machine. You’d stay completely absorbed in its design and seamless performance. As would I, considering how definitive and precise its features are. The best part about this best vinyl cutting machine is that it’s budget-friendly to use. It offers important usability for small to medium projects.
So if you’re a beginner looking for something compact and basic, this one is for you. It comes with a compatible software with exclusive downloads to look forward to. This includes 50 cutting designs including outlines and vectors. The machine cuts vinyl as wide as 8 inches. Plus, you can make cuts up to 10 feet long.
The USB cable it comes with offers smooth and durable connectivity. So you don’t have to worry about the vinyl getting stuck in the middle of the process.
This machine is made precise and rugged because of its high-quality components. The heat transfer material and magnet paper offer over 100 design cuts. Meanwhile, the cardstock and chipboard make artistic designs more probable for someone new.
Based on its features, this best vinyl cutting machine offers class-apart performance. Something you’d see in more high-grade and businesslike cutting tools. The 31.5 mils thickness and high-interface 2.0 USB configuration make all the difference. It packs a punch, despite its compact size. So using this at home, at the office, or in school won’t be a problem.
If you want something similar to a starter kit and works with a broad spectrum of materials, this one is for you. It’s flexible, compact, and runs on a seamless software with over 40 customizable designs. So you can kick-start your project and easily get back to bits of the design like you want.
The only downside to this vinyl cutting machine is the design cutting speed. It slows down a bit for more detailed and intricate design. But if you’re buying such a compact vinyl cutting machine, that too at a low price, a minor drawback is expected.
- Compact and easy to use
- Perfect starter vinyl cutting machine
- Very slow speed when cutting intricate designs
5. CRICUT EXPLORE AIR 2 MACHINE – BEST VINYL CUTTING MACHINE FOR SCRAPBOOKING
This best vinyl cutting machine is yet another wireless model. It has all your designs up on the cloud. It can cut over 100 materials from vinyl to vellum and leather. You get the option to create designs right from your smartphone. If not that, then you can do so on your tablet or computer.
The best part is yet to come. It runs twice as fast as other models I’ve tested, all thanks to the quick mode capability. All you have to do is select the fast mode option on its Smart Set Dial, and that’s it! It finishes tasks far more quickly than other wireless models.
And when coupled with a scoring stylus and Cricut pens, it’s even better. The scoring stylus offers handwritten designs. This makes it a simpler alternative to using fonts right off the computer.
You can do the latter too to write up new designs, but if sketching is your forte – you can also do that as well. The scoring stylus adds the perfect fold lines to all types of crafts. Starting from 3D paper designs, pinwheels, to envelopes.
If you’re new to using a vinyl cutter, it comes with a simple instructions guide to help you get started. Consider it like a quick and efficient tour of the way this machine works. So your first project doesn’t go to waste.
About the technical details, it comes with a 12-inch cutting width and a 24-inch cutting length. For its design space software, it offers over 50,000 printable images to choose from.
My only advice is that you should buy a set of tools, just in case, to keep up with this incredible machine. Papercraft tools like a blade, a transfer tape, basic crafting tools, and paper tools are essential. This will give you a better understanding of how to design intricate and creative designs for yourself.
Since you’ll be cutting vinyl on a day-to-day basis, you’ll need tools that are important for your creative projects.
Be that as it may, this cutting machine is slightly noisy since it’s a Bluetooth-enabled device. But if you want professional quality results, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
- It has a small footprint
- Seamless wireless compatibility
- Speedy operation
- Does not work with Wi-Fi connection
- A tad bit too noisy
6. SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3 BLUETOOTH STARTER BUNDLE – BEST VERSATILE CUTTING MACHINE FOR LEARNERS
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is an upgraded version of an exclusive software to boast of. It happens to make the lives of consumers (that is yours) much simpler, thanks to the Silhouette Studio 4.0.
This software comes with a basic learning program for the beginner craftsperson. So if you’ve never used a vinyl cutting machine before. Or you’ve been turned off by some complicated machine’s performance; this is your only chance.
It offers a gradational walkthrough of all the important tasks at hand. Plus, it offers a new interactional guide for those who love to experiment. All this coupled with this starter bundle’s smooth and seamless interface. Additions such as tracing tools, a freehand slider, cutting blade, and a cross cutter. All these tools compliment the style of this best vinyl cutting machine.
The cutting performance comes with 12-inch wide and 10 feet long measurements. This makes it perfect for working on big-time projects tirelessly. This increased size works for both small and businesslike projects.
Another one of its great features is the material. It can easily cut through 100 materials. Making it the perfect DIY cutting machine for hobbyists and more versatile projects.
The fact that this best vinyl cutting machine offers an AutoBlade says a lot. You’ll love how flexible and persistent it is!
You can opt for a standard or deep cut or let the machine decide with the AutoBlade mode. This mode detects the material being cut and makes the right choice. Pretty convenient, don’t you think? The dual cartridge, push locking mechanism, and touchscreen makes all the difference.
This cutting-edge vinyl machine offers incredibly smooth and seamless performance. The key improvements and upgrades to this model offer a stronger cutting performance. The polished cutter is suitable for all kinds of materials.
So if you’re only looking for vinyl, there’s nothing more stable and reliable than this one.
The downside is the poor cutting power. It doesn’t work well for thicker materials like leather or chipboard. The cutting depth of this machine is not at all suitable for solid materials.
- Impressive roller locking feature
- Excellent design
- Spacious cutting clearance
- The cutting thickness is not good enough
7. BROTHER SEWING SCANNCUT CM100DM – BEST STAND-ALONE VINYL CUTTING MACHINE
There’s a clear reason for the Brother Sewing ScanNCut’s popularity on the market. It’s considered one of the most capable cutting tools.
It features a 300 dpi scanner which allows you to import images without accessing a computer. With this built-in scanner, you will be able to scan drawings, posters, cutouts, and other images. The images get automatically saved in the internal memory. And you can extract all the data with the help of a USB drive later on.
Coupled with its intuitive touchscreen and you won’t need a computer for anything! This best vinyl cutting machine works with the help of any other device. And this is one of its best qualities.
When you’re working with different materials, adjustable settings are a must. Otherwise, it might cause accidental ripping because of the extra speed and pressure.
I also liked the 12 blade depth level, which is very rare to find nowadays. It can penetrate down to 2mm thick materials. Plus, it’s compatible with all sorts of materials. This includes flannel, cotton, magnet, glitter paper, etc. All you have to do is adjust the speed and depth level to the right measure.
For learners who love to experiment, the cutting blade and idea book is great. It offers plenty of creative space and comfort for a lightweight die-cutting machine.
That said, serious hobbyists can also make adjustments to pre-made designs. You can do stuff like adjust the height and width, change the fonts, or duplicate the design if you want. There’s no disadvantage to this vinyl cutting machine, so there’s room for trial and error.
In whatever way you use it, I think this best vinyl cutting machine is an excellent choice. Especially for those who’d like to adapt to the new software right away. It offers streamlined menus, a touchscreen, and essential tools.
You can make adjustments to your designs and scan them in seconds without using a computer. If you ask me, all these features offer the kind of inspiration other models miss out on.
My only suggestion to you would be to use dark-colored designs for accurate scanning. As with any other scanner, using light colors such as yellow, white, or light pink will only result in blurred visuals.
With the help of a dark-colored pencil or marker, you can outline the light portions. This will bring out the unclear bits of the design, so your scanner doesn’t miss anything! Rest assured, you can always erase the outlines after the completion of the task.
It’s always good to prepare for the bad stuff along with the good. With this cutting machine, the drawback would be the 2mm cutting force. It is not suitable for materials like rubber, leather, etc.
- Perfect for cutting delicate materials
- LCD touchscreen with built-in scanning
- Not suitable for thick materials
8. SIZZIX 660425 BIG SHOT CUTTING MACHINE – BEST VINYL CUTTING MACHINE FOR ARTSY USERS
The Sizzix Big Shot is the ideal cutting tool for DIY and creative projects. And it is certainly the perfect product to gain access to a wide variety of designs and crafts. This upgraded machine boasts of electric cutting, unlike its previous models.
It’s precise, fast, and long-lasting. One more thing that attracted me to its performance was the convenient design. It adapts to wherever you place it, and it has a tiny footprint.
People who’ve sculpted lots of materials will love what this best vinyl cutting machine has to offer. It cuts through vinyl, leather, foam, fabric, felt, and lots of other materials. The standard cutting pads provide incredible creative space.
Meanwhile, the extended multi-purpose platform ensures versatility and convenience. Not to mention, the versatile platform adjusts to fit all sorts of dies.
The face that this machine makes die-cutting seem so easy and fun is beyond compare. It delivers intricate shapes in a very short span of time. And sore hands and wrists from handling the roller are also averted.
The blade and embossing come out so well that it beats down other competitors regarding usability. If you have other brand dies, it’s not a hassle with this cutting machine. It fits a variety of materials you won’t find anywhere else.
That said, it is portable, has a small footprint, and offers incredible adaptability. It comes with a solid 3-year warranty. So nothing should go wrong regarding design and performance.
My first time using an embossing machine, it’s amazing how simple and efficient this machine is. It does all sorts of scrapbooking crafts, DIY, and other projects. Plus, it works with any brand dies, giving me great results each time! If you’re into card making and DIY, I highly recommend this vinyl cutting machine.
Be that as it may, this machine doesn’t include any embossing or die folders. So buying them might be an added expense for some of you.
- Portable and lightweight
- Completes with a multi-purpose platform
- Doesn’t include embossing or die folders
9. CRICUT MINI CUTTING MACHINE – MOST SIMPLIFIED AND CONTEMPORARY VINYL CUTTING MACHINE
A lot of you might now know much about the Cricut Mini Cutting Machine. It’s a smaller, more lasting, and very accurate device. It’s like your very own personal die-cutting machine.
The added advantage is that you can take it with you wherever you go or have it by your side at home. When compared to other models, its small size adds to its convenience and portability.
Coupled with its impressive designing software, you can make the most of the machine. It cuts through a wide range of materials including vinyl and chipboard. It allows better design manipulation and flexibility compared to other models. All in all, it delivers high-quality cuts in less time.
The way the Cricut Mini works is it connects to your computer or laptop via a high-powered USB cord. The other cord, which is the power cord, offers strong, consistent performance. With a seamless internet connection, you can use this vinyl cutting machine. To access its design software, all you have to do is access its main website to get to its very own craft room.
The craft room offers thousands of images, vectors, and designs for you to use. Without the need of a cartridge, you can select, adjust, and manipulate all your designs on the craft room. Finally, cut your design back on the Cricut Mini in a matter of minutes.
The craft room has all sorts of tools you can use to create your final design. You can change fonts, texture, and weld texts and objects together. It’s that user-friendly and efficient.
Moving forward, if you’re a newcomer, there’s a simple tutorial guide for you to fall back on. That’s just to help you get started on your first project. It takes die-cutting to a whole new level.
Working with Vinyl and Cricut Mini, you need your handy tools to get the design right. Whether you’re making a welcome sign for your deck or some scrapbook decorations. This cutting machine is convenient because it allows greater flexibility, the old-fashioned way!
The only downside to it is that it can’t handle engraved or embossed materials. Neither can you use it to draw or pierce materials. It’s a fairly basic cutting machine.
- Detailed cutting capacity
- Portable design
- Not suitable for embossing or handwritten designs
10. CRICUT 29-0001 PERSONAL ELECTRIC CUTTING MACHINE – BEST USER-FRIENDLY AND AFFORDABLE CUTTING MACHINE
The last one on the list is the Cricut 29-0001. As the name suggests, it’s designed keeping in mind a hobbyist with lots of DIY projects to complete. If you work on light projects focusing on lettering, doodles, or scrapbooking, this one is best. It takes less time to complete a task. Plus, it’s very lightweight and portable to handle. Setting it up isn’t difficult either – perfect for newcomers!
Since it’s a cartridge-based machine, it doesn’t require a computer for usability. In fact, this machine’s so simple and straightforward; you wouldn’t mind spending hours on it. As a result, you’d end designing hundreds of shapes and phrases, but it’s all worth the effort.
Rest assured, it does come with an instructions guide to help you get started. So if the buttons seem confusing, you don’t have to search for a tutorial video online.
The cartridge-based system is efficient with a George and Simple Shapes addition. You can cut paper, vinyl, vellum, and all sorts of materials. Plus, it comes with 12 versatile shape sizes from 1-inch to 5.5-inch in length. Perfect for home offices and work tables involving mostly crafts and DIY projects. It’s a phenomenal machine for creative inspiration.
That said, let me tell you how simple it is to use this best vinyl cutting machine. You can start by placing your vinyl on the sticky cutting pad. Have the pad load into the cutting machine (there’s a loading button to press on the side). Next, punch in any particular shape, letter, or figure you want and press Cut. The variable size and quick cutting process make all the difference.
My only suggestion will be to buy this machine if you don’t want to spend too much money. Believe me when I say that it’s worth every single penny. You might need to spend a little extra on cutting pads and cutting tools. But it’s all a part of making DIY projects exciting and easy, isn’t it?
The cartridge this machine comes with is fairly basic and not as durable. So you might need to purchase more cartridges to make the machine last longer.
- Straightforward interface
- Built-in shapes and letters for cutting
- No extra cartridges
VINYL CUTTING MACHINE BUYER’S GUIDE
If you’re browsed through this guide as I’d like you to, you’ll know that there are two types of consumers. The first kind is a hobbyist who loves creating DIY projects. And the second kind is the professional user.
So whether you’re buying it for your commercial business or at-home projects, you must choose well. That’s why I’m here to help you do that.
If you fall into any one of these categories, there some things you should know:
FOR COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES:
People managing a business require machines that are in for the long run. Not to mention, devices that can meet a greater demand and can deliver fast results. With that in mind, let’s look at the ideal feature needs of a commercial business.
The machine should be able to:
- Handle complex projects without lagging
- Deliver a streamlined interface with precise settings
- Cut a variety of materials, including vinyl
- Follow through difficult tasks at hand in lesser time
FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME HOBBYISTS:
People taking control of a school, DIY, or individual projects require machines less bulky and more efficient. Not to mention, machines that are quick to use and aren’t that expensive. With that in mind, let’s look at what an average hobbyist looks for in a cutting machine.
The machine should be able to:
- Fit in tight spaces
- Handle less complicated, but creative projects
- Function without making loud noises
- Manage a single project in an efficient manner
But if you fall somewhere in between these two categories, that just means you want a bit of both. There are plenty of machines that are able to meet you halfway regarding features and versatility. The trick is not to use one, but to find the right one.
Simply put, if you want a machine that can handle big projects, buy a large vinyl cutting machine. On the other hand, for smaller projects, a portable and compact cutting machine will do.
BEING ON TOP OF EVERYTHING IS KEY
What does this mean? Knowing who you are as a consumer before buying a cutting machine is not enough. You need to know what features to be most excited about. These are the features that you will be fiddling with for months, or maybe even years! So taking it lightly is not an option.
There are two parts to this feature. The first part is deciding what kind of cutting machine do you want to use.
Do you need a cutting tool that has the ability to run without a computer? Or do you need to manipulate your designs on a computer screen? Either way, you get access to wireless or wired connections. Wireless connectivity means Bluetooth-enabled connection whereas wired means through a USB cord.
Some of the at cutting machines are Bluetooth enabled. This means you can create your design on your iPad or any other gadget and the machine does the deed via an internet connection. No need for a USB or anything! It all happens with a simple click.
In the same way, but with a wired connection, I have models that help you create your design and cut the material in minutes. This is best for people who have a stable workstation at the office or home.
The second part is the ability to create new designs right from the machine itself. No computer connectivity involved, wireless or wired. The machines that do that offer either a touchscreen LCD or a large panel with original settings.