It doesn’t matter whether you have just entered the world of arts and crafts or you have been doing it for a long time; it is inevitable that you are going to need a vinyl cutter. It is also inevitable that you are going to search for the best vinyl cutter out there. As you might guess from the name, a vinyl cutter is a machine that is mostly used for cutting vinyl or other materials into many different shapes or letters, whatever you want. It is not a very big device. In fact, the size of an average vinyl cutter is the same as a computer printer which is connected to a computer, and it works in the same way as well.
Our Top Picks
- Editor’s Choice: Cricut Explore Air 2 Matte Black
- Best for Home Use: Brother CM350E
- Best Professional Vinyl Cutter: Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60
- Best for Small Businesses: Cricut Explore Air Die-cutting Machine
- Best Scan-and-Cut Combo: Brother SDX125E
- Budget Pick: Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless
- GCC Professional Expert II
Vinyl cutters can be divided into two categories based on how one wants to use it. The first category is commercial use models. These include professional vinyl cutters and they’re suitable for handling complex designs and signs in huge numbers. The second category is personal machines, and they’re designed for personalized use. Personal vinyl cutters are suitable for beginners since they are affordable and portable. They are mostly used at home or for small business.
While creating the list of the best vinyl cutting machines, we emphasized the following important features:
- Size: When it comes to the size of a vinyl cutter, there are two things you need to consider – the size of the machine itself and the cutting area. The first factor is important because while placing the cutter, you will need to think about the amount of space you have to place it in. The second factor is important because if you are planning on working on large projects, then you might want a cutter that can work around 25 inches or more.
- Speed: The speed of a vinyl cutter is measured in millimeters per second, and the speed determines how fast it can cut.
- Material compatibility: When you are shopping for a vinyl cutter, you’ll want to buy one that can cut a variety of materials.
- Easy to use: How easy the vinyl cutter is to use is also important. When you are investing in a cutter, make sure to buy one that has a less complex mechanism, and that its instructions are clear to you.
- Cost: We have emphasized the cost because different people have different set budgets when they are looking to buy a vinyl cutter. Make sure the one you are buying is well within your price range.
While making this list of the best vinyl cutters, we spent a lot of time collecting all the necessary information required. We used different sources, including reviews from people who have used the cutters, opinions from experts, etc. We have also laid down all the specifications of the products. The structure is divided into small categories. We have a detailed review section that includes the cutters on our list. We have listed the pros and cons there as well. Then we have the buying guide and a FAQ section, and finally, we have summarized the article by including which vinyl cutting machines are one of the best according to us. So keep on reading till the end and hopefully by that time you’ll have found one that is to your liking.
1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Matte Black – Editor’s Choice
- Fast mode
- Wireless connection
- Pen designs
- Easy-to-use functions
- German carbide premium blade
Cricut Explore Air 2 is a personal DIY cutting machine that can help you in making a lot of projects including vinyl stickers, personalized home décor, greeting cards, and much more. Its cut feature helps you to cut with the ultimate precision. You can also make handwritten cards and projects with the help of Cricut Pens, which allows you to choose from over 370 fonts. The fast mode enables you to write and cut two times faster than usual. This product also allows you to upload your image without any costs. The possibilities with this product are endless, considering you can use it with over 100 different materials. You can create projects on smartphones, tablets, or computers.
- 100+ cut materials
- You can design projects anytime, anywhere
- Wireless cutting
- Creates perfect fold lines
- Bluetooth connectivity
- The software costs $10 per month
- The software cannot be downloaded
- Can’t score and cut on the same mat
2. Brother CM350E – Best for Home Use
- 300 DPI built-in scanner
- Large color touchscreen
- Wireless network ready
- On-screen editing
- Large scanning and cutting area
The Brother CM350E allows you to make different, unique, and one-of-a-kind projects with just one push of a button. In fact, it is the only cutting machine with built-in scanning. It is so easy to use that all you have to do is connect wirelessly or directly to a PC and then scan images directly to a system. It also features a large cutting area that can be used to draw different kinds of images, all with precision and quality. This product does not require cartridges, dyes, or monthly subscriptions. It includes a lot of built-in features that allow users to use this product easily. Whether you want to scan handmade drawings or family photos, you can do it with the help of this product. You can also edit designs on-screen with the help of the LCD touchscreen.
- Color touch-screen display
- Wireless connectivity
- Standalone use
- SVG data readability
- Cut with precision
- The mat loses its tackiness
- You would need a huge table to place the mat on
- Boring designs
3. Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60 – Best Professional Vinyl Cutter
- Professional-grade design software called Pro Studio
- A roll of 24 inches by 30 feet white vinyl
- A roll of 24 inches by 30 feet black vinyl
- A stand for the machine
- A standard vinyl blade that cuts vinyl up to .25 mm thick
- Training software
- A pen adapter, so you can use the machine to write beautiful text on paper and other materials
- BONUS Design Software, Oracal 651, and 2 Year Warranty
This vinyl cutter is top of the line and could be great for creatively marketing your business. It’s professional-grade, which gives the cutter extreme precision and accuracy. The Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60 comes equipped with training videos so that you can educate yourself or an entire staff. Once you’re comfortable using the cutter, the Graphtec PLUS comes with 30 feet of black and white vinyl so that you can get creating right away. What’s interesting about this cutter is you can replace the blade with a pen allowing the Graphtec PLUS to provide beautiful handwriting anytime. It can also cut pre-printed graphics using an Auto Registration Mark Sensor System. The cutter connects via a USB 2.0 full speed data interface, making it compatible with both Macs and PCs. The Graphtec PLUS also does well with heat transfer vinyl. Ever wanted to make coordinating company shirts? That, and so much more, is possible with the Graphtec PLUS vinyl cutter.
- The design software is easy to use, especially if you have experience in PhotoShop or Illustrator
- It’s easy to set up
- It doesn’t just cut vinyl but works with pens as well
- It comes with 200 dollars to So Fonsty Design Store, which is home to many commercial fonts and graphics
- There is a “learning curve”–it takes some experimenting to learn the best cut depth, pressure, and speed
- It’s 24 inches wide, but the design space won’t let you cut all 24 inches across
- It’s on the more expensive side of vinyl cutters
4. Cricut Explore Air Die-cutting Machine – Best for Small Businesses
- Embedded Bluetooth
- Dual carriage
- Smart Set dial
- Cut Smart
- Free Cricut Design Space software
With 30,000+ images in the Cricut Image Library, the possibilities are endless. Whether you want to make party invitations or decorations, you will be able to do it all with the help of this product. It allows you to cut a lot of different materials, including paper, vinyl, fabric, and more. With the Smart Set dial, you don’t need to get into the complicated settings part. Just set the required dial on the Smart Set dial, and you will be good to go. You can cut all kinds of shapes, from ¼ to 11½ wide or 23½ inches tall. This product ensures you will not have to deal with unnecessary cords, and you will be able to work with more space. With the help of the feature Cricut maker Explore Air, you can cut a card and then write a personalized message wherever you want. It is also capable of cutting a box and scoring the fold lines in just one step.
- No settings required
- Clean cuts
- Cut and write in just one step
- More space to work
- Works with all Cricut cartridges
- Weak software
- Requires a special mat to cut on
- Mat loses stickiness fast
5. Brother SDX125E – Best Scan-and-Cut Combo
- Blade sensor technology
- Cuts up to 3mm thickness
- On-screen editing
- Detailed designs
- Wireless network ready
This is another product on our list by ScanNCut. ScanNCut is the only cutting machine on the market with a built-in scanner. With the help of this product, you can cut a lot of different materials such as vinyl, fabric, foam, and many more. The product comes with a pen that you can use to write or draw. You can also use a universal pen to do that. It allows you to turn your scanned images into a unique and different pattern. It is able to scan up to 3 mm thickness. You don’t even have to adjust your blade as the auto blade detects the thickness of your material. Another exciting feature of this product is that it is whisper-quiet, meaning that you can work on your projects without disturbing others. Thanks to this product, you can now work on projects in an efficient and clean way.
- Auto blade
- Works with a simple internet connection
- Work remotely on your tablet, smartphone or PC
- Comes with 100 quilt patterns
- Slightly overpriced
- Does not come with a detailed manual
- Supplies not available everywhere
6. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless – Budget Pick
- 12-inch cutting mat
- Auto blade
- Power cable/USB cable
- Cross cutter
- Dual carriage
The Silhouette CAMEO 3 is the perfect machine for DIY projects. Although it has a small blade, it is able to cut over 100 materials, including paper, fabric, and vinyl. You can use this product by connecting it to any mobile, tablet, or computer. Moreover, this product also comes with an auto blade feature, which is especially helpful if you are someone who often forgets to adjust his blade. The machine will simply do it for you. The additional storage features allow you to store extra supplies such as the extra blades. It uses the powerful Silhouette Studio software to help you create your projects. Its dual carriage allows you to use two tools at once. The Silhouette CAMEO 3 starter bundle comes with everything you need to get creating right away. PixScan technology is a new technology in this product that allows people to cut precisely around a printed design. This product gives makers countless ways to customize their projects.
- Easy on the budget
- Adjusting blade is not required
- Additional storage
- PixScan technology
- Not user-friendly
- Vinyl and transfer tape are of low quality
- The knife doesn’t cut properly
- A cutting speed of 400 mm a second
- A vinyl trimmer and roll feeder attachment for tabletop use
- Tools for cutting and weeding
- Plugins for CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator CS
The GCC Professional Expert II Vinyl Cutter is a great option for both businesses and crafters. It’s on the inexpensive side, so if you’re looking for professional quality for less money, this is a solid choice. Equipped with a cutting blade holder, vinyl trimmer, and roll feeder attachment, you’ll be ready to cut out car decals and stickers right away. It’s 24 inches wide and is compatible with most rolls of vinyl on the market, including heat transfer vinyl. The cutter also has plugins for common design programs such as CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator so that you can elevate your designs from basic to professional quickly and easily. Although it doesn’t come with a stand, it does have a roll feeder attachment for use on tabletops. It has 350 grams of cutting force and three meters of tracking ability, which allows for flexibility in projects. This machine offers accuracy and reliability at an affordable price.
- It’s inexpensive
- It has an easy setup
- The machine has a large tracking area to make the most out of your materials
- It’s a good balance of affordability and precision for personal use
- It includes tools for trimming and weeding
- All the vinyl is sold separately
- Although it has plugins for design software, it doesn’t come with its own
- There is no educational software. It’s up to the user to learn the vinyl cutter
- It doesn’t come with a stand, so the machine must be set on a table or other surface
Buying Guide + FAQ
Choosing the right vinyl cutter will help you to create excellent projects. When you’re considering buying one, remember that different cutters have different features and levels of performance. You have to select the one which best suits your purpose. For instance, if you want a heavy hitter, then go for one that can work on large projects. If you are just starting out, choose one that has basic features.
Q. What software do I need for a vinyl cutter?
It varies depending on the type of cutter you are thinking of buying.
Q. Do vinyl cutters come with manuals?
Yes. Most of them come with manuals that explain their working process.
Q. What blade should be used for cutting vinyl?
The three most common blades are 30 degrees, 45 degrees and 60 degrees. The second one should work for most media. However, for thicker materials, the third one is best.
Wrapping it up
Finding the best vinyl cutter should not be a problem. You just need to choose the one that works for you. Different people have different needs. Some people might want it for home use, while others might need a professional one for small business. We have listed the best seven vinyl cutters available on the market. You should note that, along with the names of the cutters, we have narrowed down the people that should be using it. There are a few things you should consider before buying a vinyl cutter, such as the size, material compatibility, etc. When it comes to the cutters that are included in the list, the top recommended one is the Cricut Explore Air 2 Matte Black simply because it is fast at what it does. The next best has to be the Brother SDX125E because ScanNCut is known as being the only machine that has a built-in scanner, and finally, there’s the Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless because, for a small investment, it offers a lot of features. Make sure to remember the features and what that particular vinyl cutter is best for before making a final purchase. I hope this article helped you in choosing the best vinyl cutting machine. So, what are you waiting for? Order yours now and start cutting.