Choosing your first vinyl cutter is one of the most difficult parts of being an aspiring sign maker. Buying the wrong equipment could lead to a lot of frustration and failure. It’s not uncommon to find a startup buying a cutter because of its speed or price. So what are the most important criteria when buying a vinyl cutter?
Our complete guide of the best vinyl cutting machines has been specially curated for you to offer the best guide possible as well as the pros and cons of each product based on size, ease of use, the capacity of the machines and how well they operate.
Our Top Picks
List of the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
Table of Contents
- List of the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
- #1. Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine
- #2. Silhouette Cameo 4 – New Model 2019
- #3. Cricut Explore Air 2 – Embedded Bluetooth for Wireless Cutting
- #4. Silhouette CAMEO 3 – Wireless Cutting Machine
- #5. Silhouette America Cameo 2 Touch Screen Starter Bundle Kit
- #6. Silhouette America Portrait 2 Vinyl Cutting Machine
- #7. Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Electronic Cutting Machine
- #8. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in BUNDLE
- #9. GCC Professional Expert II LX Vinyl Cutter – 52 Inch Wide Stand & Aligning System Contour Cutting
- #10. Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutter
- #11. GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter
- #12. Graphtec Fc8600-160 64-Inch Plotter
- #13. USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter and Plotter
- #14. USCutter 28″ Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter with Servo Motor & ARMS Contour Cutting
- #15. 31.5″ USCutter Laserpoint II Vinyl Cutter Bundle – Sign Cutting Plotter with Design & Cut Software
#1. Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine
Get the best Cricut Maker today
Are you hunting for a stronger Cricut maker in the market? If your answer is a yes, your hunt ends with the Cricut Maker. This product seems almost ten times stronger and more accurate that similar maker machines. In case, you are looking for a maker machine that has lightning speed cutting potential, portable and stylish design, Cricut Maker is the ultimate product to consider.
Rende any kind of sewing and quilting projects
With the help of Cricut Maker, you can make sewing projects, balsa models, leather crafts, paper crafts, vinyl decals and iron-ons. Thanks to the advanced and new powerful Rotary Blade that can easily cut through any fabric quickly and with precision. The rolling and the gliding action of the blade has been designed to render perfection.
Things are simplified with the machine
By the end of 2017, you are expected to get hold of a new knife blade, that is sold separately. The blade is additionally deep with the potential to slice through balsa wood and matboard without any hassles. You can choose with a host of tools like scoring tool, powerful and advanced blades, sharp pens, etc. Cricut maker makes your sewing and quilting projects easier and simpler.
There are apps to make things easier
The best part about the Cricut Maker is that you have the option to choose from tons of digital sewing patterns. There are simple and easy design applications available. All you need to do is lay your sewing project on your smartphone or computer and things get done in the most convenient manner. You don’t have to be a pro to operate the apps.
Be creative and innovative
With the Cricut Maker, you can get innovative and creative by using your own original designs. There is an array of standard file formats available. You can make use of your own design images and fonts at absolutely free of cost. In case, you are busy, the docking slot can hold your smartphone and even charge it using the USB port.
#2. Silhouette Cameo 4 – New Model 2019
Such an ultra-smart system, the Silhouette Cameo 4, makes a good vinyl cutting machine to have. This boasts Bluetooth connection, auto blade 2, 1×12 cutting mat, silhouette studio software, and 100 designs in total.
Among its excellent features added include the Rotary Blade, Kraft Blade, AutoBlade, and Punch Tool. And with the selected rolled materials of heat transfer and vinyl material not needing backing anymore, they no longer need a cutting mat.
The powerful and robust design of this cutting system makes it a standout on the market. Its highlighted features, as mentioned, amazingly impressed those who have used it already. It is simple and easy to use.
It is a tool type detection vinyl cutting machine that uses tool sensor technology. This technology feature can detect the tool that you use that also triggers the studio software.
This twelve-inch width desktop cutting machine enables you to cut cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and more in precise measurements. Create perfect vinyl cuts while becoming more interested in crafting and cutting.
Conclusion: The Silhouette Cameo 4 is a good machine that is worth the upgrade. It is a faster machine that says it all while it does the job. Load and unload paper a lot smoother and quicker. So far, it is working perfectly while it is quieter and faster to use.
#3. Cricut Explore Air 2 – Embedded Bluetooth for Wireless Cutting
This DIY speed machine can cut and write up to 2X faster than the previous models from this manufacturer and can help you make products from vinyl, cardstock even to leather. You can choose from more over 3,000 ready to make projects or make quick cuts from their extensive library to make iron-on for t-shirts, totes, and pillows.
This machine doesn’t just cut. You can score for fold lines. You can also write with individual pens and markers. Once your product is ready, you can send it from your computer to the Cricut via Bluetooth.
The following items are included with the Cricuit Explore Air 2 machine:
- Accessory adapter
- Cricuit Design Space software and app
- USB cord and power cord
- 100+ free images
- Instruction manual
- German carbide premium blade
- Pen and cardstock sample
One of the major advantages of the Cricut Explore AIR 2 is its versatility. This machine can work with a range of different materials that includes cardstock, vinyl, paper as well as fabric. Though it is possible that you might need to buy an additional deep cut blade for cutting thicker materials, but it is compatible with lots of materials.
The Smart Set Dial in front of the machine can be used to set ‘automatic settings’ when cutting different materials while the ‘custom material selection’ within the software (which comes with the device) has more automatic settings as well that can be used.
The cutting width of the Explore Air 2 is 12″ by 24″ long which translates to 11.5 by 23.5 inches when you use it. We know it’s not the biggest vinyl cutter on the market, but it is quite ideal to service the needs of most crafters.
If there is one area where crafters have found tiresome when using Cricut products is in their software. Their products are usually rigid meaning you can’t use any other software other than Cricut Design Space software. While it’s not news that the Design Space software is not as robust as the Adobe or CorelDraw, but it’s still quite easy to use, and it serves as an excellent starting point for many beginners.
#4. Silhouette CAMEO 3 – Wireless Cutting Machine
The SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3 is a great machine to cut your custom designs. It is quite similar to the Cameo 2 save for some few upgrades such as the Cameo 3 having a dual carriage which allows you to cut and print at the same time without having to stop operations.
There is Bluetooth functionality to send and receive jobs wirelessly as well as the matless cutting capability to cut lined media up to 10 feet long. The dual carriages are a top upgrade which allows you to draw and cut on one project without having to stop. Previously, on its predecessor, you have to halt the cutter, swap out the blade and then start the job again.
The other items in the box aside the SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3 cutting machine include:
- Power cable and USB cable
- 12×12 inch cutting mat
- Silhouette Studio software
- AutoBlade cutting blade
- Vinyl Crosscutter
- One month basic subscription to Silhouette Design Store
- 100 free digital designs
When it comes to materials that the Silhouette can work with, consider it at the forefront of developments. It can cut a variety of over 100 different designs and a whole lot of others that you probably haven’t heard of. It is quite versatile, and we have to agree with its marketing slogan that tags it as the “the ultimate DIY machine’.
When you decide to cut materials on the SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3, it can cut a maximum of 12 inches by 10 feet long. It can be used for smaller design cuts as well as for larger designs.
The SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3 uses the Silhouette Studio 3.0. We initially thought the Studio 4.0 would be released along with this product as originally announced by the company but instead, they created a patch for the Studio 3.0 which now allows you to set up Bluetooth connection. There is also a mobile app that is compatible with both iOS and Android that makes things quite easy for users.
A major part of the SILHOUETTE CAMEO 3 that makes this cutter highly rated is the AutoBlade. With the AutoBlade, you don’t need to manually adjust your cutting depths and hope that you can remember the sizes used for each cut.
The AutoBlade setting ensures that the blade will be automatically calibrated based on what you’re working on. This is a very nifty feature that will appeal to everyone from the experienced operators who might forget to change the depth as well as beginners who don’t know what the best setting should be.
AutoBlade can be setup from the software. You will need to instruct the software on the material that you’re cutting, then you select AutoBlade, and the Silhouette Cameo 3 will handle the rest. And don’t forget to check out the Silhouette Cameo comparison.
#5. Silhouette America Cameo 2 Touch Screen Starter Bundle Kit
The Cameo 2 is the predecessor to the Cameo 3 but it is still quite popular among Silhouette fans that haven’t made the jump quite yet.
It is one of the best-selling vinyl cutters on the market alongside the Cricut’s Explore Air. The package it comes with includes the Cameo 2 machine, four metallic sketch pens, cutting blades (two), 2 cutting mats, USB and power cord, an instruction manual for guidance and 51 exclusive Cuttables designs.
When it comes to cutting of materials, the Cameo 2 cuts them up to 12 inches wide to 10 feet long, which is the size still used in the Cameo 3. It uses the Silhouette Software 3 as well. The software requires a bit of learning curve but once you get the hang of it, you will find it quite versatile and unique as compared to other software from other vinyl manufacturers.
One of the standout feature for the Cameo 2 is for the continuous community support that is provided for Silhouette machines. When you buy a Silhouette, you will never run out of ideas to use, tutorials, step-by-step guides, etc.
#6. Silhouette America Portrait 2 Vinyl Cutting Machine
Working inside an office, or dealing with personal projects at home may require the use of a cutting machine. This cutting machine from Silhouette America. Silhouette America Portrait 2 comes in the form of a silhouette cameo mini electronic cutting machine.
It has the capacity of cutting more than 100 types of materials, such as fabric, cardstock, transparencies, heat transfer material, vellum, paper, magnet paper and adhesive vinyl. It can also cut everything that an actual Cameo 3 model can, in a compact and portable format. It also offers a free silhouette studio for both PC and Mac.
Other features include an auto blade, Bluetooth connectivity, 8-inch cutting mat, as well as a one-month free subscription to the silhouette store. At the same time, with its 2mm clearance, you can easily cut thicker materials, while utilizing its silhouette deep cutting blade.
Conclusion: With this cutting machine at hand, there is no need for you to spend time to prepare everything and go on a trip to the nearest cutting store in town. You can cut things according to requirements, provided that they fall under the list of materials that can be cut. It is complete with features that make it quite easy to use. As a bonus, it even offers a one-month subscription to the silhouette store, which is equivalent to $25 in downloads.
#7. Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Electronic Cutting Machine
The Brother CM350 SCANNCUT 2 is an electronic machine that doesn’t require cartridges or dies. It is quite popular with artsy craft fans particularly those who like scrapbooks. One reason why this Brother ScanNCut stands out in our list of the best vinyl machines is that it’s the first vinyl cutter that offers built-in scanning capabilities. There are so many things that make this unit a better upgrade to the ScanNCut. It features a much larger display screen that makes tinkering with your designs easier. It supports wireless design transfer as well.
Transferring designs from the computer to the cutter is more digital nowadays than it was in the past when you had to connect cables. There is support for direct connection via USB cable also, but the package doesn’t come with a USB cable, so you have to buy it separately.
* The Brother CM350 SCANNCUT 2 is sold with the cloud-based application needed to edit, resize and design your cut data. This tool lets you convert files from SVG format to the FCM format that SVG uses.
#8. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in BUNDLE
The MH 34in vinyl cutter bundle from USCutter offers a great deal for individuals and small establishments who are mostly occupied with easy small-scale vinyl cutting jobs. It is relatively more affordable compared with many vinyl cutters of the same size but can cut a maximum width of 32 inches and a maximum length of 10 feet. That is a good cut capacity at this price range.
It also makes good and precise cuts on easy projects, thanks to its adjustable pinch rollers. However, there is only a limited number of materials the MH 34in can work with: standard and heat transfer vinyl, regular and craft paper, paint mask, and cardstock. If you regularly cut laminates, reflectives, tints, and similar materials, this machine will not cut it for you.
The MH 34in can help you produce simple vinyl and paper signages requiring easy cuts at small runs at a time. If you try to push it by making intricate cuts or producing too many pieces in one run, you may end up overworking it and causing it to conk out halfway.
Included in the bundle is the basic version of the design and cut software VinylMaster Cut. The software runs on PC only. If you want to run it on a Mac, you may have to find a workaround like other Mac users did. Although the software package initially looks very outdated (CD format), it is really quite decent. It has just the right features and is very easy to use. You will not have a hard time getting it to work even if you are new to vinyl cutting.
The VinylMaster Cut can be used for lettering, logos, pinstriping, and more. You have just the right text and object tool suite at your disposal. The software works with all major image formats and can convert any image for cutting. It is not so outdated after all. Furthermore, the VinylMaster Cut license applies to an unlimited number of users so you can use the same package for all your PCs if you have multiple units or if you have an office.
Conclusion: All in all, we would recommend the MH 34in for those starting out in vinyl cutting or for people and small businesses that mostly deal with light, small-scale projects. This vinyl cutter performs impeccably in these kinds of operations, making precise and customizable cuts. It comes with a basic version of the VinylMaster Cut design and cut software, which is convenient, user-friendly, practical, and good at what it does. Just remember not to overload it. If you find that your projects are increasing in quantity and difficulty, you might as well just move up to a heavier duty vinyl cutter instead of trying to force the MH 34in to do more.
#9. GCC Professional Expert II LX Vinyl Cutter – 52 Inch Wide Stand & Aligning System Contour Cutting
Those who are fairly familiar with the other cutting machines like Circuit Air or Silhouette Cameo, then you might think that there is no way that other machines will overpower it. This is where the GCC Professional Expert II focused on improving by providing faster outputs compared to the two mentioned products. It can cut through a material up to 400 mm per second with a downward pressure applied of 350 grams.
This cutting machine from GCC is great for delivering quality cuts of both heat transfer and vinyl like Siser Easyweed and Oracal 651. It can work on a maximum width of 52 inches which makes it more efficient compared to other cutting machines that only allows limited sized vinyl. There’s no need to minimize the size of the vinyl that you will be using instead you can push through with the use of vinyl in full rolls.
The whole package includes a 52” wide stand, an aligning system that can be used on the contour cutting, cutting blade and cutting blade holder, vinyl trimmer, cutting strip, weeding tweezers, tabletop roll feeder attachment, and an instructional CD on how to properly install this machine.
The plugins used for this cutting machine are the Adobe Illustrator CS and CorelDraw. It also works well on Windows XP or higher versions.
Conclusion: If you’re trying to finish a project that requires a large cutting area then this might be a good deal for you. People were satisfied with its ability to provide precise cuts that promote better projects. No wonder it jumped ahead of its competitors.
#10. Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutter
Cut vinyl like a pro with the Roland GS-24. This is a vinyl cutter that will make your projects look professional. It has a newly-designed LCD panel so you can clearly check settings and make accurate adjustments. The precise blade groove is for easy manual cutting while an included roller base helps keep feeds straight. You can easily use this vinyl cutter even if you have never used one before. It is technologically advanced with a re-designed cutting carriage and blade holder. It can store up to 8 settings for your commonly used blade and media combinations.
Aside from vinyl, the Roland GS-24 cutter also accepts other materials. Your projects made from paint mask, heat transfer, twill and sandblast material is no match for this cutter. The Roland Vinyl Cutter uses CutStudio, an easy to use design software that will help you create creative cuts in no time. CutStudio works for almost all OS and is a software that you need to install. The Roland Vinyl Cutter easily connects to your PC using a handy serial and USB interface.
Conclusion: The Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutter is a handy cutter for vinyl material and also for other project materials as well. It is easy to use and connects to an easy software so you can edit your work and projects easily.
#11. GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter
Are you in need of a vinyl cutter that can deal with heavy and big cuts? In case, you have been using other cutters, but is not satisfied with the outcome, it is high time when you should invest money in a reliable and trustworthy product like GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter. This is one such machine that can cater to your demands of high volume and heavy signage needs on a regular basis.
Who will benefit from the vinyl cutter?
Investing money on GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter can be beneficial to three groups of buyers. They are:
• An enthusiast artisan who wants to take his hobby to the next level.
• A medium size business planning to save money on the signage costs.
• An entrepreneur wanting to sell vinyl signage and make profits.
In case, you fall into any of the above mentioned three categories, buying the vinyl cutter will not be a bad idea.
The vinyl cutter makes an excellent commercial unit
GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter makes a better industrial cutter than a personalized use. But, you can use it for your personal work as well. The presence of the impressive specifications and configurations of the vinyl cutter, it is one of the most popular and well recognized units in the market today.
You will not be disappointed with the vinyl cutting device
The machine is efficient and you will not be disappointed with the high quality and accurate cuts at a rapid phase. All thanks to the Digital Servo Motor that powers the unit. The printing surface, measuring 47.8″ x 164′ is quite large to accommodate everything required for the commercial needs. Often there are several signage that are beyond the specified dimensions. This is where a cutter like GRAPHTEC CE6000-120 Vinyl Cutter can be really useful.
• The Auto Registration Mark Sensor makes it perfect for the precise cuts and prints.
• The Digital Servor Motor is accurate and fast.
• The presence of Graphtec Studio Software makes all the difference in the unit.
• The cutter is equipped with 4 point, dual-axis correction.
#12. Graphtec Fc8600-160 64-Inch Plotter
Graphtec is a very big name in the field of vinyl cutters. The FC 8600 series has made a very big name in the market because of the unit’s fast and accurate cutting. Graphtec Fc 8600-160 64-inch plotter is no different. The unit has created waves and has emerged as a successful product, with a huge fan base and high reputation.
The product has proved to be highly performing
If you are looking for a high performance vinyl plotter, Graphtec Fc 8600-160 64-inch Plotter is without doubt one of the best products accessible in the current market. It is an industry leading vinyl cutter, highly beneficial for professional graphic artists, sign makers, crafters, countertop installers, automotive professionals and the list go on.
When you explore the market, you will come across a wide array of vinyl plotters and cutters. It is no doubt an overwhelming situation to choose any one unit from so many that are easily accessible. Getting confused is also very normal. But, you have to make sure that you don’t get perplexed and select the wrong product.
You have to act smart to get hold of the right product. There is a huge competition among the different brands and everyone claim to be the best. But there are a very few that are worth the investment. Graphtec Fc 8600-160 64-inch Plotter is definitely one such unit that is reliable, efficient and delivers the best of performance.
Some features of Graphtec Fc 8600-160 64-inch Plotter:
• Graphtec Studio Software makes the whole process simple and easy.
• The advanced ARMS enables easy and seamless contour cutting.
• The plotter is effective on materials like vinyl, automotive windows, sandblast, prismatic grade reflective sheets, paint protected films, self adhesive rubylith and amberlith.
• A 3-inch LCD screen enabling the controlling of the speed and help adjusting the force of the blades.
• The machine training video as well as the Graphtec Studio software are very helful for anyone.
#13. USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter and Plotter
The first thing we noticed about the MH721 is its size. Just like the other cutters from its line, this vinyl cutter does not take up too much space. It is lightweight enough to be easily and conveniently moved when necessary but heavy enough to provide stability when cutting. The machine is also very solid and sturdy.
The MH721 cuts at a decent speed and makes even intricate cuts easily, which is a good thing if you have a signage business and regularly deal with projects of varying difficulties. The Sure Cuts A Lot design and cut software that comes with it contains all the essentials and is easy to operate once fully and correctly set up. The only problem is that it sometimes freezes even when it is not too busy but we should not take that against the cutter itself.
This vinyl cutter can take on easy to moderately difficult small- and medium-scale projects. If you run a business cutting around 500 to 700 stickers or decals per day, for example, the MH721 is a good option for you. The products you create using this machine will pay for the machine cost quickly.
The MH721 can work with up to 24-inch vinyl sheets. However, you have to make sure you get enough clearance before you start cutting. In some units, the blade is set too deep into the cutting area, causing the sheet to crumple sometimes and ruining the entire sheet completely.
The two major drawbacks of the MH721 are the assembly and the software setup. Assembly instructions are poorly written and can hardly be understood. You may spend more time guessing than doing any actual assembly. Also, there is no comprehensive guide to getting the machine hooked up to the software and the computer. There are helpful instructions available online but they come from other customers who figured it all out on their own. You can contact customer service but finding a how-to link is faster.
Conclusion: Overall, we think the MH721 is great for you if you are wishing to start out in vinyl cutting and are looking for a cutting machine that pulls off the basics really well. This vinyl cutter is also ideal for you if you are either a long-time hobbyist or a small business owner who needs a cutting machine that gives a lot of value for money. Because you have been into the art of vinyl cutting for a while, you should not be thrown off by the challenging setup and assembly that this product requires. You can just put it together, hook it up to a computer, and start plotting and cutting away. Although affordable, this unit is still more than the typical starter cutter and offers a lot of benefits that you will not find in other units at this price point.
#14. USCutter 28″ Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter with Servo Motor & ARMS Contour Cutting
Your search for a reliable and a high quality vinyl cutting machine ends with USCutter Titan 3. There are a very few cutting machine like TITAN 3 that are so efficient and powerful. You won’t be disappointed using the vinyl cutting machine.
A host of materials can slide through the TITAN 3 professional vinyl cutter
Whether you are a professional sign maker or a DIY maker, TITAN 3 from USCutter seems to be the ultimate choice. Thanks to the powerful cutting force and varying speed, the product is capable of cutting a host of materials apart from vinyl. They include:
• Hard paperboard
• Window film
• Paint mask and many more materials
The laser contour cutting software brings all the difference
The machine is supported by the VinylMaster Cut, Dragoncut and Razorcut, which are basically laser contour cutting software. The cutter allows you to come up with a range of pinstriping, vinyl lettering and creative signage. Your creative vision is ready to be computer cut with the easy, customized and engaging interface. The USCutter TITAN 3 allows you to edit images, create logos, change signs, draw shapes and personalize shapes.
The Vacuum Hold Down is the highlighting feature
The Vacuum Hold Down is a striking feature of the vinyl cutter from USCutter. This feature offers additional support and grip to the specific material that is cut. It seems beneficial for the lightweight materials. Since there won’t be any slippage of the material that is being cut, you can get precise long cuts and fine details. Basically, there is accuracy and precision.
Features to look out for:
• There is improved grip because of the Vacuum Hold Down feature
• The presence of contour cutting brings in precision
• LCD panel for controlling the speed and the cutting force
• The cutter features moving parts made of metal
#15. 31.5″ USCutter Laserpoint II Vinyl Cutter Bundle – Sign Cutting Plotter with Design & Cut Software
If you are into vinyl lettering, general signage or pinstriping, you would definitely look out for a vinyl cutting machine that caters to your demands and requirements in the best possible manner. The market is flooded with tons of such products, but there are a very few that are worth the notice and investment. One such vinyl cutter machine is 31.5” USCutter Laserpoint II Vinyl Cutter Bundle-Sign Cutting Plotter with Design & Cut Software.
One of the best vinyl cutter in the market
31.5” USCutter Laserpoint II is perhaps the best in the market today. The presence of inbuilt vectorization tools makes it compatible with the major kinds of image formats. The best part is that even the lowest quality images can be turned into vector path designs that are easy to cut within seconds.
Some highlighting features of the cutter
Whether you are a professional or an enthusiast, the 31.5” USCutter Laserpoint II Vinyl Cutter Bundle is the best option to choose. Some of the highlighting features of the vinyl cutter are:
• There are 3 superior quality blades ensuring the cuts are always precise and accurate.
• The Grafix Weeding tool kit is one of the striking aspects of the vinyl cutter.
• The presence of the design and cut software, VinylMuster Cut, makes all the difference.
• The contour cutting feature offers the laser print cut.
• You can contour cut manually with the 31.5” USCutter Laserpoint II Vinyl Cutter Bundle.
• There is more high quality and accurate cutting because of the presence of the inertial Rotating Blade Holder.
• The cutter is equipped with the steel barbed axis rendering the high precision cutting of different materials apart from the vinyl.
• The big, blacklight LCD screen gives you the option to have control over the cutting speed and the force while you are working.
• The automatic memory of the blade speed adjustments and force makes it use to operate anytime.
• There is an emergency start and stop button. Hence, you can pause the work and continue again.
More: You can check out the Cricut bundle deals – accessories for beginners.