Our complete guide of the 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.
1. Personal (Desktop) or Commercial Cutters?
The vinyl cutters come in 2 different categories, one for personal use and the other for commercial use. Your present need will determine the one you end up buying. So what are the differences between personal or commercial cutters?
+ Personal Cutters or Desktop Cutters: They need something small enough to fit their home office, preferably their desktop; something quick and easy to use that can be operated quietly without disturbing the kids or waking up the neighbors and a cutter that is simple for anyone to operate irrespective of their experience in vinyl cutting.
+ Commercial Cutters: Commercial businesses will be using their cutters for signage and other large roster demanding work for their clients. These kinds of cutters are physically large, a bit expensive with the ability to cut large designs and other materials. Individual cutters, on the other hand, are for those whose needs for cutting are not to the extreme.
2. Drive Motors – Stepper Motors vs Servo Motors
The engine of a vinyl cutter determines its power and how well it operates. There are 2 kinds of drive motors, Stepper Motors, and Servo Motors.
+ Stepper Motors: The mechanical stepper motors move in ‘steps’ and are driven by physical gear. They are mainly used to save costs, but the downside could be costly as they are quite noisy during operation. There is also the issue of some graphics losing their precision.
As with most things that are large, it finds it easy to cut them accurately but on characters that are less than half an inch, the size prevents it from being able to plot the path smoothly.
+ Servo Motors: The other drive motors for cutters are Servo Motors allow manufacturers to produce usable vinyl cutters at an affordable rate. It is mainly targeted at entry-level plotters. For cutters driven by digital servo motors, an encoder translates the command from the software commands into ones and zeros which results in a smooth, precise movement of the drive motor over the cutting head.
3. Price – You Get What You Pay For
When it comes to vinyl cutters and even most things in life; you get what you pay for. It is true that most of the times an expensive machine might not be the most functional but we also can’t ignore the fact that the most expensive vinyl cutters are also the highest quality ones that can take on different and delicate designs. They can produce results without a hitch as they have the highest quality blades for the most precise cuts possible.
New Features of the Vinyl Cutting Machines
Vinyl cutters have continued to evolve with 2019 being the year we saw a lot of the popular vinyl cutters emerging with new features. Some of the major features that we came across include: