Whether you’re a scrapbooker or crafter, chances are, you have the need for a vinyl cutter. Perhaps you already have one but it’s not really suiting your needs. Maybe this is your first foray into vinyl cutting and you need some step-by-step guidance. In any case, we are here to help you locate the best vinyl cutting machines for you.
Which Vinyl Cutter is The Best?
First off, what is a vinyl cutting machine? A programmable machine designed for trimming vinyl and other materials, a vinyl cutter can create virtually any shape, letter or symbol you want for application just about anywhere. Thus, it’s a versatile piece of equipment that any hobbyist wants in their craft room.
Vinyl cutters aren’t large, so they don’t take up a lot of space. Plus, they’re portable so you can take them anywhere. About the same size as a compact printer, vinyl cutters are controlled by computers and operate via a sharp blade that does all the heavy-duty work. They need to be super sharp in order to cut out multiple sheets of adhesive vinyl material. The leading tools for vinyl cutting have to be strong yet lightweight, powerful yet user-friendly.
Choosing the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
Naturally, you want to know: what’s the best vinyl cutter for me? The answer is very subjective and will depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- Desired speed and force
- Ease of use
- Cutting capability
One factor you may want to keep in mind when choosing a product is how helpful customer service is. You want to be able to get in touch with someone at the company should you have a question or concern about the product and need help troubleshooting. Above all, doing adequate research on the best vinyl cutting machine is of paramount importance, as the wrong decision can lead to frustration and failure.
The quality of the unit should be time-tested and trusted. Read reviews, ask your family and friends which ones they use, and take your time making your decision using all the information available. That’s where this guide comes in!
Top 7 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
Here, you’ll find a listing of the top seven vinyl cutters, a summary of features, pros and cons of each, and an explanation of why we chose each one for this list. Happy shopping!
1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
- ART AND CRAFT CUTTING MADE SIMPLE, EVEN FOR BEGINNERS - Designed...
- CUTS 100+ MATERIALS WITH EASE – The included Premium Fine-Point...
- APP BASED CRAFTING TOOL WITH WIRELESS-BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY -...
- KEEP YOUR SPACE NEAT AND ORGANIZED - Machine comes with built-in...
- ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES - Compatible with 6 tools for cutting,...
Cut and write two times faster with the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint, your personal DIY cutting machine. With the ability to create and design from your computer, this device allows you to make custom vinyl stickers, personalized home decor, greeting cards and even custom-designed apparel.
We found it easy to craft personalized, professional-looking DIY projects, with the Cricut considered to be one of the fastest cutting machines on the market – cutting more than 100 materials, from paper to vellum to leather. Speed is a big factor for us, which was ultimately what tipped the scales for the Cricut Explore Air to take the #1 slot for best vinyl cutters.
- Adjustable cutting and writing speed
- Design Space App for PC, Mac & iOS devices
- Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one simple step
- Upload your own images for free or choose from Cricut’s library of pre-made designs and projects
- Design anywhere thanks to the free simple design software called Design Space
- Create and design from your computer, tablet or mobile phone
- The Smart Set Dial ensures that your machine cuts at the correct depth and pressure no matter the material.
- A wide range of materials designed and tested for use with the Cricut machine, including basic and specialty vinyl colors, iron-ons, cardstock, faux leather, foils, poster board, specialty paper, etc.
- German carbide premium blade
2. Cricut Maker
- A POWERFUL, VERSATILE SMART CUTTING MACHINE - Take your...
- CUTS 300+ MATERIALS IN A WHIZ - Cuts everything from delicate...
- APP BASED CRAFTING TOOL WITH WIRELESS-BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY -...
- KEEP YOUR SPACE NEAT & ORGANIZED - The device comes with a...
- ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES - It is compatible with 13 tools for...
Next up is the Cricut Maker (notice a trend here with the Cricut?). With the Cricut flagship, you can cut, write and score 100 materials featuring up to two times faster cutting and writing. You enjoy access to an expandable suite of tools and advanced rotary and knife blades, which widens the freedom you have to make pretty much any DIY project.
From fabric to paper to leather, the amount of materials this model cut is staggering. With this best vinyl cutting machine, you get professional-level cutting performance with easy accessibility at a price that reflects its powerful capabilities.
- Comes with powerful blades, pens, and scoring tools
- New Rotary Blade featuring gliding, rolling action to cut through any fabric quickly and accurately without the use of backing material
- Choose from hundreds of digital sewing patterns, and Cricut Maker cuts and marks all the pieces
- The docking slot holds your tablet or smartphone and allows you to charge your device using the included USB port
- Upload and use your own images and fonts for free
- Ability to make everything from paper crafts, iron-ons, and vinyl decals to sewing projects, leather crafts, and balsa models
- Simplifies sewing and quilting projects
- Bluetooth wireless technology
- Rotary Blade and Drive Housing
- Premium Fine Point Blade and Housing
- Fine Point Pen
- Two 12” x 12” cutting mats
- USB cable and power adapter
- Design apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- 50 free ready-to-make projects
- Enough materials for your first project
With enough materials included for your first project, this best vinyl cutting machine is a good choice for beginners or more advanced users. At 23 pounds, it’s not the lightest on the market but it is certainly sturdy and well equipped to handle all your vinyl cutting needs.
Ideal especially for quilters and seamstresses looking to simplify their projects, the Cricut Maker comes with hundreds of digital sewing patterns. It cuts and marks all the pieces so you just have to sew them together.
Offering clean precision cuts no matter the material, we recommend this one if you are a sewing enthusiast, but any crafter will enjoy it as well.
3. Silhouette CAMEO 3
- Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock,...
- Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your...
- Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm...
- Is the only Silhouette compatible with the self-adjusting...
- Includes Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine, Silhouette Studio...
The Silhouette Cameo Wireless Cutting Machine also made our list but came in at a higher number than its sister, America Portrait 2. That’s because this one has one of the largest cutting spaces and is the only Silhouette compatible with the self-adjusting AutoBlade. This produces quick and clean vinyl lettering.
You can create virtually anything through the use of your computer, smartphone or tablet. The range of materials is quite lengthy, including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and more, with the capability to cut 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. We like this freedom of measurement because it gives you more options than some of the smaller models on the market.
- Comes with Silhouette Studio design software
- Bluetooth® technology for wireless cutting or computer plug-in
- Dual-carriage for multi-tool use
- Higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials
- Compatible with Print & Cut and PixScan technology.
- Only Silhouette compatible with the self-adjusting AutoBlade.
- Includes: Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine, Silhouette Studio software, power cable and USB cable, 12-Inch Cutting Mat, AutoBlade cutting blade
- One month basic subscription to the Silhouette Design Store
- Vinyl crosscutting
- 100 digital designs
- Blade adjustment tool
Designed for the beginner in mind, more advanced users may want to consider upgrading to a sturdier die-cutting machine in the future. This one is lightweight and portable, getting basic jobs done with ease and precision. And with 100 digital designs that allow you to start creating right out of the box, this is one of the more user-friendly models on the market today.
If you don’t like to fuss a lot with directions and troubleshooting, you’ll enjoy the Silhouette CAMEO 3. We also like the fact that it has a print-and-cut functionality for straightforward results every time.
In the end, for users who want to create stunning designs without the need for cartridges, this cartridge-free die cutter comes in second place for its middle-of-the-pack pricing and clear-cut capabilities. Its large cutting space makes this the ultimate DIY machine.
4. Cricut Explore Air Wireless
- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
- Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in...
- Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif,...
- Smart Set dial for easy material settings, Free Cricut Design...
- Cut Smart precision cutting,Works with all Cricut cartridges
We really like the Cricut family of vinyl cutting machines for their ease of use and fast cutting speeds. The Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine is no exception. With embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting and a dual carriage that allows for cutting, writing and scoring in one step, this machine is versatile and handy. It’s also a great value and a solid machine for the price.
- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
- Dual carriage for cutting, writing and scoring in one step
- Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf)
- Smart Set dial for easy material settings, Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
- Cut Smart precision cutting
- Works with all Cricut cartridges
- Integrated storage compartments
- Cuts more than 60 materials
- Smart Set dial for easy material settings
- Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
As crafters, we like this model for basic performance. However, professionals like graphic designers will want something more robust and in-depth with more capabilities. In addition, unlike other brands, Cricut is the only one that doesn’t allow you to use third-party software with the machine. That being said, the Cricut Explore Air is a versatile machine that’s easy to use and cuts all sorts of materials precisely. Ideal for scrapbooking as well as making party invitations, decorations and favors, it’s a good value with a wide range of basic capabilities.
5. USCutter MH-871
- Two fully adjustable pinch-rollers allow you to use a flexible...
- Vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, knife, squeegee,...
- Roland compatible blade holder gives you access to the most...
- Superior ball-bearing dual roller media roller system.
- 34 inch MH vinyl Cutter with stand plus Design and Cut software
The USCutter MH-871 34inch Vinyl Cutter Value Kit is a great value for the money because it comes with so many items within the kit. The software alone is valued at $500, plus you get all the material, tape, vinyl and blades you need to ensure a successful vinyl cutting project. This is an entry-level machine, which means it’s great for beginners but more advanced users may want to upgrade at a later date for a more robust model.
- 4″ MH Cutter w/VinylMaster Cut – Design and Cut Software
- Three fully adjustable pinch-rollers for using a flexible range of materials
- Ball-bearing dual roller media roller system
- Roland compatible blade holder provides access to the most economical blades on the market
- Comes with vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, a knife and a squeegee
- Works with VinylMaster Cut and other software such as Flexi and SignBlaser.
The USCutter offers one of the best vinyl cutting machines on the market simply due to the large number of items that are included with the purchase. You get:
- 34″ USCutter MH Series Vinyl Cutter Plotter with Stand
- VinylMaster Cut – Design & Cut Software
- 5 rolls of Greenstar vinyl, each 24″ x 5 ft. in Black, White, Real Red, Green, Canary Yellow
- 2 sheets 12″ x 24″ magnetic blanks
- 1 TransferRite Ultra Clear 1310G Application Transfer Tape – 6″ x 10yd
- 1 TransferRite Ultra 592U Paper Application Tape, High Tack – 6″ x 10yd
- 3 Vinyl Cutting Blades
- 1 Hobby Knife
- 1 Squeegee
- Included Accessories: USB Cable, Power Cable, Blade Holder, Pen Holder, 3x 45° Blade
- Included Software: VinylMaster Cut
While the price may seem like a shock at first, it becomes apparent once reading through the included items that this is indeed a steal for what you get.
Keep in mind, that it’s best for beginners. As you get more advanced in your crafting abilities, you will want to upgrade so you get a more well-rounded suite of services as well as a greater range of material and size options.
The convenience alone was well worth the price, especially seeing how you get everything from the blade and blade holder to the pen holder and power cable included, which means no piecemeal is involved. This kit makes an excellent choice for those just starting out in vinyl cutting. You have everything you need at your fingertips!
6. Brother CM350
- 300 DPI Built in Scanner: The ScanNCut2 Machine Allows You to...
- Large Color Touchscreen: The Brother ScanNCut2 CM350 Includes a...
- Wireless Network Ready: The CM350 Permits Multiple Connectivity...
- Large Scanning and Cutting Area: Use the Included 12 Inches x 12...
- On Screen Editing: The Brother CM350 allows users to edit designs...
The Brother Electronic Cutting Machine CM350 ScanNCut2 features a 4.85” LCD touch screen and 300 DPI built-in scanner that’s wireless network ready. With more than 600 built-in designs, this is touted as the only cutting machine with built-in scanning. At about 10 pounds, this middle-of-the-road cutting machine features state-of-the-art technology called ScanNCut2.
It’s a standalone cutting machine that allows you to make one-of-a-kind creations, backed by the flexibility of connecting wirelessly or directly to a PC. You can also scan images directly into the system.
It’s essentially home and hobby cutting machine and does not need cartridges, dyes, or monthly subscriptions. To make the process simple to use, there are many multiple built-in features – not the least of which is the ability to scan virtually anything: handmade drawings, family photos, home decor designs, custom-cut shapes, outlines, etc.
- Built-in 300 DPI scanner
- 4.85” LCD touchscreen display (30% larger than before)
- More than 600 designs, including 100 quilt patterns and seven lettering fonts
- Ability to read SVG data files
- Connect wirelessly to transfer cut data to and from the ScanNCut2 machine via ScanNCut
- Canvas 25-year limited warranty with free technical phone support
- Includes 12” x 12” cutting mat
- Stand-alone machine
For use with a wide range of materials, from fabrics to handmade papers, the Brother Electronic Cutting Machine CM350 is a wise choice. We like it for its precision cutting capabilities, lightweight handling, and portability. While in the upper range in terms of price, it’s a solid offering that will give you exactly what you pay for and more. With so many built-in designs and fonts, plus the addition of the color touchscreen display, this is a good machine for beginner to advanced users.
7. Silhouette America Portrait 2
- Silhouette Portrait 2 with Bluetooth and Autoblade
- Cuts a variety of materials including: cardstock, fabric, heat...
- Mac and PC compatible software included
- 50 exclusive digital designs
- Note: Kindly refer user manual before use
We love The Silhouette America Portrait 2 because it is so compact and streamlined. It takes up minimal space, it’s easy and straightforward to use, and it only weighs six pounds. It, too, can cut more than 100 materials, which is a feat in itself due to its small size. This model does all the Cameo 3 model can do yet in a smaller size, which makes it ideal for portability and storage. At about $127, the price can’t be beaten.
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Cuts more than 100 materials, such as cardstock, fabric, heat transfer material, vellum, transparencies, paper, magnet paper and adhesive vinyl
- Comes with an auto blade, eight-inch cutting mat
- Bluetooth enabled
- 2mm clearance to cut thicker materials with the silhouette deep cut blade
- Dual voltage compatible
- Comes with USB and power cord
- Compatible with Silhouette Studio, free to download from Silhouette’s website
This best vinyl cutting machine is ideal for light personal use. You can easily transport it between craft rooms, it doesn’t take up much space on your desk, and it’s lightweight. Simply plug it into your pc or Mac with a USB cable to cut material up to eight inches wide and 10 feet long. This machine is designed for hobbyist cutters for precision and accuracy rather than for commercial grade cutters.
Generally, the setup is more user-friendly than other brands, like Cricut, for example. In fact, we found it to be a great “startup and cut” option, taking just 10 minutes from getting it out of the box. Featuring solid accurate cuts with minimal fuss, these are the best vinyl cutters for affordability.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint made #1 on our best vinyl cutters list due to its versatility, design options, ability to cut so many materials, its speed and its precision. Plus, we think it looks pretty good too. It’s one of the easiest cutting machines to set up and start using right away, thanks to software that comes with easy instructions as well as YouTube videos that describe the process seamlessly.
In addition, you don’t need a large area in which to place this product. A small portion of your table is all that is needed. Easy communication through Bluetooth makes the process hassle-free.
Well worth your time and money, we recommend the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint for easy cutting through any crafting material quickly and easily. Plus, you get the trusted name brand of Cricut, which tops the list of any serious crafter’s list of vinyl cutter choices.
Best Vinyl Cutter Brands On The Market
As you can see, there are many best vinyl cutting machines on the market today, with all sorts of excellent brands contributing excellent vinyl cutter resources. In case there was any ambiguity, let’s unpack the best brands (in our opinion) that are available today.
The Roland DGA Corporation has certainly carved out a niche for creating some of the most optimal cutting machines for vinyl, as this DGA arm of the company is the American wing of an international corporation that has consistently led the charge of development in regards to many technologies.
Operating out of Japan since Roland DG was founded in 1981, Roland has always been ahead of the game, pioneering advancements in everything from 3D modeling to many forms of professional graphic arts. Their vinyl cutter technology, much like their 3D scanners, engravers, and thermal transfer cutters, is simply impressive.
As a brand, Roland has earned every ounce of recognition they receive for its solid work in several fields, and as it relates in this case, they make some of the best vinyl cutting machines on the planet (and nobody is surprised by this). With impeccable contour cutting and dynamic possibilities, Roland is breaking ground in virtually every respect as it relates to today’s vinyl cutter.
Founded in the 1940s, the origin of Graphtec’s role as a major player in making the best vinyl cutter products on the planet more accurately began in the early 196-s, when they were just a small business that was working on their first plotters.
Now, they have exploded– moving through every phase of the technological revolution by creating excellent printers, plotters, and cutters along the way. Many say that the best vinyl cutter on the market has to be a Graphtec, and it’s hard to argue with this; the results are durable, visually appealing, and full of integrity.
Starting from such humble beginnings in the midst of the 20th century, Graphtec’s evolution from a curious, small business to an absolute cosmopolitan leader in these technologies is true to be admired.
Also, a leader in providing award-winning technologies, if you go with GCC you can be assured that each vinyl cutter machine comes with a seal of quality and integrity unique to the crafty minds at GCC. It also comes with a history of making excellent and some say unsurpassed contributions to the cutting, plotting, and printing game.
Having a repertoire of excellent inkjet printers, laser markers and cutters (and engravers), and various other products essential to many industries, their vinyl cutting plotters are well known for their cutting speed, quality, and durability.
Although they don’t have the long, storied pasts of a few of their competitors, they have been at this for five decades now and they have a thoroughly contemporary approach, including rigorous and immaculate quality testing, which is universally respected in all areas of industry.
Having emerged in the 21s century, USCutter arrived on the scene and knew they had to contribute something special to the vinyl cutter game in order to stand out from the rest… And they found that distinctive property: value.
Today, small business entrepreneurs and those working on more modest budgets continue to flock to USCutter’s products and services because they provide excellent quality at a significantly more affordable price point than several other competitors.
Although some may not agree that USCutter makes the best vinyl cutter on the market, very few will debate the fact that it is the best vinyl cutter in a value per dollar schema.
Also, this value does not come with unfortunate sacrifices, as they offer a huge variety of vinyl cutter machines and tools, aimed to fill many roles using a variety of materials, serve many purposes, and dynamically fulfill the diverse needs of their broad base of clients.
If you are a small business owner, a hobbyist, or working on any form of an independent project that can benefit from an exceedingly good vinyl cutter, odds are that USCutter is the best brand for the job.
Cricut is another emergent brand that comes from an American scene that continues to innovate and break ground in the best vinyl cutting machine game.
Cricut provides a refreshing choice if you’re looking for easy-to-use cutting plotters, infusible ink, and a variety of materials that are used in the industry.
Where they seem to separate from the pack is not in a claim that they “make the best machine” but instead that they offer premium services and each machine is great and available for a good price, but with exceptional customer service.
Portrait, Curio, Cameo, and Mint are just a few of the amazing products made by Silhouette, as well as their software offerings Mint Studio and Silhouette Studio, which are easy to use and about as high-end as each vinyl cutter machine they offer; for example, the Silhouette cameo gets particularly rave reviews in terms of value.
Their creativity infuses every element of the operation, from the machine to the software to the vinyl cutter specifics, such as ranges of options pertaining to cutting width, cutting force, and cutting speed– clients who use Silhouette rave about how unrestricted the process is, leading to all sorts of possibilities being realized; high-quality, easy to use, and one of the best vinyl cutter options in its price range.
Brother has grown from an early 20th-century sewing machine company to a contemporary 21st-century technology developer with some unique offerings in the world of printers, scanners, and viny cutter apparatuses.
Unfortunately, their vinyl cutting game is not quite at the level of these others we have mentioned in many regards, but it seems like they are on the path (given their ability to adapt to the conditions of so many other technologies and eventually rise to the top of so many diverse and dynamic fields.
Keep an eye out for Brother, even though their ScanNCut machine, while promising in its potential, does not quite cut it yet.
The Final Step
Now that you’re well-informed about the best vinyl cutters on the market, you can make an educated decision on the ideal model for you. In conclusion, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced crafter, you’re sure to find the top vinyl cutting machine on this list.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which vinyl cutting machine is best?
Really depends on the needs and requirements of the individual, but if we had to choose it’d be the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint.
2. What can you do with a vinyl cutting machine?
With a vinyl cutter, the world is your oyster. You can design t-shirts and apparel, stickers and signs, use it in woodwork, wall and card designs, and many, many more.
If you don’t know where to get stickers, you can check out these best sticker websites for inspiration.
3. How much does a vinyl cutter cost?
The price of a vinyl cutting machine ranges from $150 all the way up to the thousands.
4. Do vinyl cutters also print?
That’s the difference between a vinyl cutter and a vinyl plotter. The vinyl cutters, well, cut, whereas the vinyl plotters use a pen.
5. How does a vinyl cutter work?
A vinyl cutting machine uses a knife to cut along the outline of figures onto a sheet or vinyl, but not into the release liner. The motion shifts from side to side and rotates, while the vinyl shifts beneath.
6. Can a vinyl cutter cut paper?
In short, yes, they’re obviously designed to cut vinyl, but strong cutters can cut through materials such as paper or plastic, but it’ll often dull the knife.