The Ultimate Guide to The Best Vinyl Cutter Reviews of 2018!

Are you trying to find the best vinyl cutter machine 2018 has to offer?  

The search for the ultimate ​best vinyl cutting machine for the money is a tough one!  I bet you might even have done some research before you got here!  You might be confused about whether to get a Silhouette vs Cricut Vinyl Machine!  You might want to upgrade your home vinyl cutter to one more suitable to a small vinyl cutting business.  

The reality is, each vinyl cutting machine has its best features and each has a few not so great issues; so compiling a best vinyl cutter machine list is pretty hard.   But fortunately I have been lucky enough to actually use each and every one of these machines so I can detail out what each type of vinyl machine is brilliant for.   This should make it simple for you to choose the best cutting machine for vinyl for your needs!  So without further ado, here is the best cutting machine 2018 buyers guide!



Side note: If you are looking to purchase a vinyl cutter, you will most likely be interested in purchasing a heat press to press your vinyl designs.  Click here to open a new page to our heat press machine buyers guide! We also have a helpful die cutting machine guide.


Vinyl Cutting Machine Comparison Guide: Our Vinyl Cutter Reviews

Trying to work out what the best home vinyl cutter is? In this vinyl cutting machine buying guide, we suggest you check out our comparison chart, understand the different types of cutters to decide which are the best vinyl cutting machines for you and then read our vinyl cutter machine reviews of the machines that best suit your requirements.  We always keep our list updated with the newest and latest machines, so you can rest assured that we have the best vinyl cutters 2018 has to offer!

Our Vinyl Die Cutting Machine Comparison Chart | Machines For Home Use

Below is a comparison chart of all the top vinyl cutters for home use, which are mentioned in this article.  You can then read my vinyl cutting machine reviews below featuring the best vinyl cutter machine 2018 has to offer.

Please scroll right to see table on mobile

NAME

IMAGE

MAX CUTTING

WIDTH

CUTTING ABILITY

WIRELESS

PERFECT FOR

PRICE

RATING

12"

Cuts 100+ materials, from thin fabric to thick leather, metal & foam

YES

Sewing & Quilters

Scrapbookers

Card-Makers

Vinyl Crafters

Silhouette Cameo 3

12"

Cuts 100+ materials.  Not suitable for those wishing to work with thicker materials

YES

Beginners

Signage Makers

T Shirt Transfer Creators

11.5"

Cuts 100+ materials, from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal & foam

YES

Beginners

12"

Paper, sticker paper, vinyl, cardstock, vellum, iron-on heat transfer and stabilized fabric.

NO

Sticker Makers

Gift Box Makers

Card-Makers

Scrapbookers​

9"

Cuts paper, cardstock, felt, foam, leather, fabric, flexible magnet and craft metal

NO

Card-Makers

Scapbookers

Quilters​

Die-Cutters & Embossers​

8"

Over 100+ types, incl. paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, chipboard, heat transfer material & rhinestone template material.

NO

Beginners

Sticker & Decal Makers

Card-Makers

Scrapbookers

11.5″

Cuts material of up to 2mm thick - paper, cardstock, vinyl, vellum, thin cotton, flannel, felt, magnet, sticker & more.

YES

For anyone who wants to scan in and cut their own designs

For those who wish to work with fabric

8.5"

Has a clearance of up to 5mm, so can cut thin materials as well as thicker ones such as foam, leather, metals and stabilized fabric

NO

For cutters who wish to work with thicker material

For those who love to emboss, deboss, etch, sketch and stipple 

24"

Designed to work more specifically with standard and heat transfer vinyl, but can also cut paper, craft paper, cardstock and paint mask.

NO

Heat Transfers for T Shirts

Sign Makers for Decal Work​

31"

Works more specifically with standard and heat transfer vinyl, but can also cut paper, craft paper, cardstock and paint mask.

NO

Simple Sign Maker Business


Best Commercial Vinyl Cutter Comparison Chart 

Below is a comparison chart to feature the top commercial vinyl cutter which is mentioned later in this article.  You can then read my vinyl cutter reviews 2018 below featuring the best professional vinyl cutter.

Please scroll right to see table on mobile

What is the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for Home?


The Best Vinyl Cutter Machine of 2018 is the Cricut Maker Cutter!

The Cricut Maker is one of the newest releases amongst the vinyl cutters!  As it is one of the latest releases (August 2018) it offers some of the best features and technology that is currently on the market.  

The machine can cut over 100+ materials from thin fabric such as silk to 2.4mm thick material (if you purchase the Knife Blade).  We also love how intuitive this machine is; so much so that you don't need to do any guessing when it comes to settings.  The Make can automatically calculate and calibrate the correct cutting force on your materials!  Add in the fact that Cricut has made the machine to fit all your past tools and has guaranteed that it will be able to fit all the future tools, so you know that you won't need to upgrade this baby any time soon!

It is a totally innovative and powerful machine.  It offers lighting-fast speed and intricate precision cutting.  This is a brilliant machine.

For more information about why recommend this machine as the best vinyl machine for 2018, read our Cricut Maker Review

Take a Moment ...

Before we head into the official buyers guide to help you find the best vinyl die cut machine; I figured it might be useful for you to take a moment and figure out the answers to the following questions.  Your answers will determine which of the machines is THE ONE for you!

  • Are you after a vinyl sticker cutting machine that will work for personal hobbyist use or one that is suitable for commercial or small business?
  • What exactly do you want to do with the machine, what capabilities are essential to you?  Stickers?  Decals?  T-Shirt Transfers? etc.
  • Do you have limited space or is the size of the machine not an issue?
  • What is your budget for the cutter plotter machine?
  • Does the machine need to have bluetooth functionality? USB? Or are you happy with a crank operated machine?
  • Are you after a starter package deal or would like to purchase a stand-alone machine?

There are multiple types, different features and price tags to take into account. Even just going on to Amazon and buying the top rated cutter is not necessarily the best option as you need a craft cutting machine that works best for your personal requirements. That is why we have produced this ultimate guide to buying the best die cut machine for your vinyl needs. We cover which machine is the top choice for a vinyl cutting machine for beginners, which is the best vinyl decal machine as well as the top commercial vinyl machine.

Vinyl Cutting Machine Names

It will also be important to note that the machines go by all sorts of different names.  We will use various variations of the names in our guide.

Vinyl Cutters are called Various Names Including:

  • Craft Cutter Machine
  • Die Cut Sticker Machine
  • Stencil Cutting Machine
  • Vinyl Printer Cutter
  • Vinyl Decal Machine
  • Vinyl Plotter Cutter

The reality is that the technology of these machines keep improving and in 2018, you will find that most of these machines can handle vinyl, paper, cardstock, tissue paper, thermal transfer material and so much more.  If you are into embossing, you will find that some of the machines can even emboss and de-emboss.  Which is why these versatile machines go by various names these days.

Reasons why you Should Buy a Craft Cutter

I'm sure you are here today to try and find the best plotter and read through our die cutting machine reviews because you already know that you want a vinyl cutting machine!  But for those of you who need a bit of convincing, below are our reasons why we personally love vinyl plotters.

Versatility for Crafting

In 2018 cutting machine for crafts and for commercial use are designed to be incredibly versatile.  You will be able to use this one piece of equipment for a wide variety of crafts including:

  • Decals
  • Stickers and Labels
  • Die-Cuts for Crafting such as Scrapbooking
  • 3D Objects
  • Cutting around contoured shapes
  • T Shirt Transfers
  • Signage
  • Origami
  • Car Wraps
  • Cards

Some of the machines listed below, can even score, emboss, de-emboss, etch, stipple or scan and print!  We love how quickly the vinyl cutting machines are advancing technology-wise.  We love choices because we love creating a variety of different types of projects!

Special Effects

There are a lot of different finishes that cannot be created any other way that with a vinyl cutter, such as reflective designs, foil, shimmer, glitter, bling designs etc.  You can also pop a variety of different types of designs on multiple locations on your item, such as on a tshirt.

Exceptional Durability

The machines will last you for a very long period of time!  Some machines on the market today in 2018, were released in 2010 and they are still strong contenders and still make lots of sales.  You won't need to replace your machine any time soon, so you know that your investment is worth it!

Customization

Your ability to create whatever you need.  You can use designs that you find online, design your own designs, you can customize vinyl designs for specific needs.  You can customize the size, you can customize the style, you can customize the color and you can customize the font or image.  Create away to your heart's desire!


Commercial vs Personal Vinyl Cutter | Which One is Right for You?

There is a massive difference in the market between a cutting machine for hobbyist compared to a commercial or small business vinyl cutter plotter.  Their functionality is vastly different and their price range is extreme.   If you are after a vinyl crafting machine because you simply love to be creative at home, or maybe you even want to sell some goodies on Etsy or eBay, then a personal vinyl cutting machine should be just fine.  If you are planning on using your machine on a day-to-day basis to create items for your business, such as a T Shirt Transfer business, then you really need to invest in a professional vinyl cutter.

A Personal Vinyl Cutting Machine

Generally speaking those who are after an at home vinyl cutter machine, you are most likely after machines that are:

  • small and can fit on a desk in their house
  • designed for light use
  • that are versatile in functionality, maybe they can also scan or score or emboss or cut dies
  • can handle smaller projects due to the fact that the cutting base is generally small in size

A Commercial Vinyl Cutter

The benefits of a commercial vinyl printer plotter far outweighs those of a little personal vinyl cutting machine, some benefits include:

  • versatility and value!  If you choose to purchase a commercial vinyl machine, we hope you realize that it is a small investment for a BIG and quick return - short runs, no set up costs to create short run designs and products, it costs the same to produce 1 unique item as what it would cost to produce 10.  
  • the ability to perform on demand which creates loyalty with your clients and repeat business.


  • independance to work for yourself rather than having to go through a middle-man where messages can be heard wrong and money you make is less.  
  • profitability - It really is a small investment to start a business. You can get a vinyl cutter for under 2K and it won't take you long to earn enough profit to repay the machine.

Business Ideas:

  • Decoration and Personalization of Bags
  • T Shirt Transfer Business
  • Vehicle Sticker Branding Business
  • Signage Business
  • Home Decor Business
  • Custom Apparel Business

Have you figured out whether you are after a home or commercial vinyl cutting machine?

Are you looking for the best vinyl cutter for shirts?


A Concise Buying Guide to the Best Vinyl Cutter 2018

1.  Price

Ultimately you will get what you pay for!  You can't expect to purchase the best vinyl cutter for only a few hundred dollars!  Another consideration would be whether you are willing to pay extra for good quality vinyl cutter blades.  Will you pay more for bluetooth functionality?  Our favourite vinyl cutter for home use is well under $300, whilst our recommendation for the best commercial vinyl plotter is over $​4000.

2. Printing Size

Think about what size material you would like to cut!  A cheap vinyl cutter machine might only cut up to 6" in width, which really is pretty small, but perfect for those who make cards or vinyl decals for small items.  Most machines for home use can cut up to 12" in size.  If you want to cut vinyl that is larger in size than that, then you really need to look at an industrial vinyl cutter. 

3.  Size of the Machine

Where will the machine live?  Do you want it to fit in a cupboard so you can store it away? Are you planning on squeezing it onto a desk?  Or do you have a corner of a shop dedicated to a machine on a stand?  Don't assume that the machine looks small just because of a photo.  Do have a look at the specs of the vinyl cutting printer if size is an important factor for you.

4.  Included Software

Another important point is that you need to have a close look at the software that is included with your vinyl printer cutter machine.  Does it work on a PC, MAC or both?  Is it easy to use?  Does it come with loads of designs?  Would you need to purchase these designs at an extra cost?  Does the software allow you to customize and design your own work?  Some of the software that is included with the machines are truly useless!  Others are brilliant but requires a steep learning curve to learn how to use it.  Think about how tech savvy you are;  maybe an easy to use software is the better choice for you?

5.  Range of Material that can be Cut

What are you after?  Do you want to purchase a machine that can only cut vinyl or would you love for the machine to handle a variety of materials?  How thick is the material you want to cut?  These are all important considerations when you are choosing your vinyl cut out machine.

6.  Warranty and Support

Have a look at how long the warranty is of the machine.  Most vinyl machines have a decent lifespan and we find that most companies offer warranties around 1-3 years.  It might also be important to find out if they offer support.  If you struggle to set up your vinyl cutting machine, will there be someone to help you?


Top 10 Personal Vinyl Printing and Cutting Machines Comparison Table

Below is a comparison chart of all the top vinyl printing and cutting machines for home use, which are mentioned in this article.  You can then read my vinyl cutting machine reviews below featuring the best vinyl cutting machine 2018 has to offer.

NAME

IMAGE

MAX CUTTING

WIDTH

CUTTING ABILITY

WIRELESS

PERFECT FOR

PRICE

RATING

12"

Cuts 100+ materials, from thin fabric to thick leather, metal & foam

YES

Sewing & Quilters

Scrapbookers

Card-Makers

Vinyl Crafters

Silhouette Cameo 3

12"

Cuts 100+ materials.  Not suitable for those wishing to work with thicker materials

YES

Beginners

Signage Makers

T Shirt Transfer Creators

11.5"

Cuts 100+ materials, from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal & foam

YES

Beginners

12"

Paper, sticker paper, vinyl, cardstock, vellum, iron-on heat transfer and stabilized fabric.

NO

Sticker Makers

Gift Box Makers

Card-Makers

Scrapbookers​

9"

Cuts paper, cardstock, felt, foam, leather, fabric, flexible magnet and craft metal

NO

Card-Makers

Scapbookers

Quilters​

Die-Cutters & Embossers​

8"

Over 100+ types, incl. paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, chipboard, heat transfer material & rhinestone template material.

NO

Beginners

Sticker & Decal Makers

Card-Makers

Scrapbookers

11.5″

Cuts material of up to 2mm thick - paper, cardstock, vinyl, vellum, thin cotton, flannel, felt, magnet, sticker & more.

YES

For anyone who wants to scan in and cut their own designs

For those who wish to work with fabric

8.5"

Has a clearance of up to 5mm, so can cut thin materials as well as thicker ones such as foam, leather, metals and stabilized fabric

NO

For cutters who wish to work with thicker material

For those who love to emboss, deboss, etch, sketch and stipple 

24"

Designed to work more specifically with standard and heat transfer vinyl, but can also cut paper, craft paper, cardstock and paint mask.

NO

Heat Transfers for T Shirts

Sign Makers for Decal Work​

31"

Works more specifically with standard and heat transfer vinyl, but can also cut paper, craft paper, cardstock and paint mask.

NO

Simple Sign Maker Business


Top 10 Vinyl Cutters for Home Use

Below you will find the best vinyl cutters for individuals and craft cutting hobbyists.  We will have a close look at the top 10 vinyl cutting machines for personal use.  I will outline the top features, the pros and cons of each in detailed vinyl cutter reviews, which should help you choose the best vinyl machine 2018 has on offer for your home. 

Cricut Maker (Best Vinyl Cutter for the Money)

- Our Quick Circut Maker Review -

A new Cricut machine is out! The Cricut Maker is incredibly versatile!  It can cut even more material than the Explore and offers more strength and even more precise cutting.  The top features we personally love are the Rotary Blade that you can use to cut a wide range of fabric (without the need for backing!).  We are also loving the he innovative Adaptive Tool System that automatically controls the blade direction and cutting pressure for you!  So easy, so simple! This machine is a brilliant buy and happens to be one of the best vinyl cutting machine for crafts!

PROS:

  • Wireless & Tablet Docking Station
  • Can cut a range of material from the thinnest fabric to thick balsa wood
  • You can cut sewing patterns with it  
  • The adaptive tool system that automatically calculates your force according to the material you are using
  • Very reasonable price tag

CONS:

  • Old Design Space software
  • exclamation-triangle
    You have to purchase the Knife Blade separately

OUR VERDICT:

The Cricut Maker is one of the newest vinyl cutting machines on the market.  It is a truly innovative and revolutionary machine, especially for those who love to cut fabric.  The machine offer lighting-fast cutting and can handle intricate cutting with precision.  We love that it can cut a large number of materials from the thinnest of fabrics to the thick pieces of balsa wood and leather.  This is a brilliant release by Cricut and if you can reach the price tag, you surely won't be disappointed with this baby!

You can either purchase the Cricut Maker Machine by itself or you might like to invest in the Cricut Maker bundle deal which will save you money if you are starting out!

>>> CLICK TO READ FULL CRICUT MAKER REVIEW OR CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO BUY NOW.


Silhouette Cameo 3 (2017 Best Seller)

- Our Quick Silhouette Cameo 3 Review -

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is the ultimate DIY cutting machine. It is most definitely a formidable contender to the Cricut Explore Air 2 and just as popular with the dedicated Silhouette community.  I would rate it as the best Silhouette machine 2018 has seen.  We love our Cameo 3!

The Cameo Silhouette 3 is very similar to the its predecessor, the Silhouette Cameo 2, but comes with some pretty nifty ugrades. These include dual carriages, bluetooth functionality as well as some upgrades to the Silhouette studio.

The Cameo 3 Silhouette has the ability to draw and cut on over 100 different types of material.  We did find though that the Cameo 3 tends to struggle with thicker material such as leather, due to the lack in cutting force.  The machine is perfect for signage as it has the ability to cut material that has a width of up to 12 inches by a crazy 10 feet long. 

This Silhouette Cameo version 3 is best suited to people who are after a vinyl cutter machine that can handle a wide variety of materials and tasks.  This machine is the absolute top vinyl cutting machine for t shirts and those who enjoy working on larger scale projects favor this machine as their top choice as well.  


PROS:

  • Bluetooth Vinyl Cutter
  • Easy to use Silhouette Cameo software
  • The AutoBlade is definitely a selling point
  • Dual Carriage which gives you the ability to draw and cut
  • Touchscreen

CONS:

  • Cutting force is still lagging

OUR VERDICT:

This new and updated Cameo Cutting Machine is one of the best vinyl draw and cutter machines on the market in 2018.  The Cameo 3 is not only a favorite as a personal vinyl cutter, but it is also the preferred vinyl T shirt printing machine for those who operate a T Shirt vinyl heat transfer small business. As the machine's cutting force is still lagging, this machine is not suitable to those who wish to cut thicker materials such as leather or shrinky dinks, but for most of us, this machine is simply brilliant.

>>> CLICK TO READ FULL REVIEW OR CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO BUY NOW.


Cricut Explore Air 2 (Best Vinyl Cutter Under $300)

- Our Quick Explore Air 2 Cricut Review -

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the latest, top of the line Cricut Vinyl Machine product.  It is the best Cricut machine 2018 has on the market!  It replaces its very popular predecessor the Cricut explore Air 1, but it has the ability to cut and draw at twice the speed of the previous machine.  It is also our top pick as the best beginner vinyl cutter.

It is an incredibly versatile machine, not only is it a vinyl printing machine, but it can also do scoring as well as operate with designs that you have created yourself!  You can download fonts from the computer to use as well!  The Cricut Explore 2 has the ability to work with a whopping 100+ materials! We love that it can handle anything from a thin sheet of vellum, vinyl & paper to thick pieces of leather, metal and foam!

The maximum cutting width of this Cricut Vinyl Machine is 12" wide by 24", which is large enough for any hobbyist or beginner crafter.   The Cricut Cutting Machine can operate wirelessly through bluetooth and comes with the Cricut Design Space software.  A very easy to use software for those who do not want to learn the ins-and-outs of other programs such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw.

This vinyl cutter is best suited to people who are after a vinyl printer and cutter machine.  The machine is perfect for beginner cutters as well as those crafters who wants to get more serious with their hobby.  


PROS:

  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Faster Precision Cutting
  • Extra Features such as Scoring, Cricut Pen for Handwritten effects and Download Fonts from your Computer to use!
  • Cuts over 100+ Materials; from Thin Vinyl to Thick Leather
  • Design your own Art Work to Use

CONS:

  • The Machine is a Little Loud
  • No Android App Available
  • You can only use the Design Space software that comes with the machine

OUR VERDICT:

Explore Air 2 is a very popular, top rated desktop vinyl cutter machine.   It features wireless connectivity, precision cutting and easy to use software (that includes over 60,000+ designs).  It is the best Cricut machine for beginners; a machine that makes it super easy to turn your ideas into professional-quality projects.  Due to the fact that it is so easy-to-use and super versatile, we always recommend this baby as the best vinyl machine for beginners.

You can either purchase the Cricut Explore 2 Machine by itself or you might like to invest in the Cricut Explore Air bundle deal which will save you money if you are starting out!

>>> CLICK TO READ FULL REVIEW OR CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO BUY NOW.


- Our Quick Sizzix Big Shot Review -

The Sizzix Big Shot Machine is the best die cut machine that is specifically designed for card-makers, scrapbook addicts as well as quilters.  We absolutely love the modern, clean and sleek new look of the Big Shot!  Even though this machine works with a crank, it is still an incredibly popular small vinyl cutter due to its affordable price tag, it's small size and portability, as well as due to its ability to work with Sizzix Dies together with its embossing capabilities.

With solid core steel rollers and solid steel gears, the Big Shot might look feminine but it is as tough as can be.  This vinyl stencil cutter can cut and emboss all sorts of materials from paper, vellum, fabric, chipboard, and cork.  Its portable due to the fact that it is crank operated, if this is a problem for you, you could upgrade to the electronic Sizzix Big Shot Express.

The Big Shot Sizzix is best suited to people who love creating one-of-a-kind cards, invitations, scrapbook pages & elements, home décor items, fashion accessories, altered art projects, quilts, and so much more!  It is great for those who love to take their tools along to craft workshops or friendship groups.  If you can handle the crank factor, then this might just be the machine for you!


PROS:

  • Small and portable to take along with you
  • Can cut using stencils and can emboss
  • Very powerful crank feature that can cut through multiple layers of material
  • Has a gorgeous modern sleek new look

CONS:

  • Has a crank instead of an electronic feature
  • Limited capabilities, mostly used for cutting with dies and embossing with folders.
  • Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

OUR VERDICT:

The Sizzix 660425 Big Shot is by far the best stencil cutting machine on the market in 2018!  If you are after an affordable machine that is small enough to cart around, then this is the one for you!  Whilst this vinyl die cut machine operates with a crank feature, its ability to cut and emboss various types of materials, including various types of vinyl, will far outweigh the negative of having to use some good old arm muscle!  A hot favorite by a brand that we all trust and love!


- Our Quick Sizzix Eclips2 Review -

The Sizzix Eclips2 is a perfect machine for beginner cutters!  It offers perfect scoring, reliable cutting and the ability to handle small, intricate designs.  It is a brilliant machine for those who want to feed and cut materials of up to 0.5mm thick; these materials include paper, sticker paper, vinyl, cardstock, vellum, iron-on heat transfer and fabric that has been stabilized.

The Sizzix Eclips Machine has a cutting width of up to 12".  It comes with software that you can download and use for your designs.  The software is perfect for beginners as it is pretty basic, but doesn't allow much free-reign for those who wish to create more complex designs.  You can upgrade the software of the Eclips cutting machine, but this will set you back by an additional $60 or so.

The Sizzix Eclips 2 is best suited to people who love creating stickers, gift boxes, cards and scrapbooker pages or elements.  We love its ability to work with intricate designs. We are definitely in love with the auto-select feature, it just makes life so much easier; whilst the laser cut preview mode allows you to make fewer errors.  This machine is a fabulous choice and its precision cutting far outweighs the cutting ability of the Cameo 3.


PROS:

  • Excellent Precision Cutting Skills
  • True Scoring
  • Scrap Cut Mode
  • Easy Auto-Select Settings
  • Laser Cut Preview

CONS:

  • Super Basic Software that is Suitable for Beginners
  • Upgrade of Software for Advanced Features comes at an Additional Cost

OUR VERDICT:

The Sizzix Eclipse 2 cutting machine is a fabulous machine for those that are after an easy-to-use machine that can still manage to cut to precision.  Its cutting is fast and quiet and it can handle a wide variety of materials.  Its software is a bit basic, but that might be great for those who get overwhelmed with complicated software programs.  Overall, we think it is a fabulous buy for those starting out!


- Our Quick Sizzix Big Shot Plus Review -

In most ways the Sizzix Big Shot Plus is similar to the Sizzix Big Shot; essentially the machine is just giving you a larger cutting space (can cut up to 8.5 x 11") to work with.  It is important to note that the machine offers a wider width however the length of the platform is still the same length.

The Sizzix Big Shot Plus machine can cut and emboss all sorts of materials from paper, vellum, fabric, chipboard, and cork. It is still lightweight and portable and it also still features a crank mechanism. So if you are wondering whether to get the Sizzix Big Shot vs Big Shot Plus - it really boils down to what size material you wish to work with!  The Big Shot can cut material that has a width of 6" whilst the Big Shot Plus can cut up to 9" in width.

This die cut vinyl machine is best suited to people who love creating one-of-a-kind cards, invitations, scrapbook pages & elements, home décor items, fashion accessories, altered art projects, quilts, and so much more!  It is great for those who love to take their tools along to craft workshops or friendship groups.  If you can handle the crank factor, then this might just be the machine for you!


PROS:

  • Small and portable to take along with you
  • Can cut using stencils and can emboss
  • Very powerful crank feature that can cut through multiple layers of material
  • Has a gorgeous modern sleek new look

CONS:

  • Has a crank instead of an electronic feature
  • Limited capabilities, mostly used for cutting with dies and embossing with folders
  • Extra costs involved when purchasing dies and embossing folders

OUR VERDICT:

This machine is perfect for those who are after a great die cut and embossing vinyl machine!   The Big Shot Plus offers a wider cutting width than its little brother the Big Shot.  It is a brilliant machine for those who love to enjoy their craft with groups and friends, due to its lightweight and portable features.  You might even wish to purchase the whole Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit!  I guess your main problems will be which dies and embossing folders to purchase!  


Silhouette Portrait Machine (Best Small Vinyl Cutter)

- Our Quick Silhouette Portrait Review -

The Silhouette Portrait machine is the best electronic cutting machine when you look at both the features as well as the price tag!  The machine is perfect for beginners!  The Silhouette Portrait Vinyl Cutter has all the nifty features and abilities that the popular Silhouette brand is known for, but it comes at a pretty cheap price tag!

In fact this machine is so popular that is known as THE best sticker and vinyl decal maker!  If you are trying to figure out whether to get the Silhouette Portrait vs Cameo 3, the following might help you make a decision.  Both machines can cut over 100+ types of material!  The Portrait is smaller and more compact, however the cutting abilities of Cameo 3 outweigh those of the Portrait.  Ultimately if you can't manage to fork out the cash for the Cameo 3, then the Portrait Silhouette is a great beginner machine for you!

The Silhouette Portrait cutting machine is best suited to entry-level hobbyist cutters who love creating one-of-a-kind cards, stickers, small signage, decals, scrapbook pages & elements and so much more! The Silhouette Portrait Cutter is lightweight which means you can take it along to craft groups.  


PROS:

  • Comes with PixScan, which means you can create designs from photos and pictures.
  • We personally love Silhouette Studio software which is included with the machine
  • Really easy to set up, install and start cutting away.
  • it is small and lightweight
  • You absolutely have got to love the price tag!

CONS:

  • Max thickness of material it can cut is 0.8 mm
  • Max cutting force is a bit low at 210 g, so don't try to cut any thick material
  • Max cutting size of 8″ by 12″

OUR VERDICT:

The Silhouette Portrait Die Cutting machine is brilliant for those who wish they could afford the Cameo but just can't reach the dollar price!  It offers the same quality as the other Silhouette products.  We love the PixScan feature as well as the software that is included.  It is a fabulous machine for beginners as it is easy to set up and use.  Our only pet peeve is the smaller cutting size and the fact that it can't handle thick materials!  If you are a sticker maker, decal maker, card maker or scrapbooker then this is a gorgeous machine at an exceptionally low price! 

If this is your first machine, you might like to invest in the Silhouette Portrait Bundle.

   


- Our Quick Brother Scan and Cut Review -

The Brother Scan n Cut 2 CM650W is a super popular machine for those who love to scan in their own handdrawn designs!  If you love cutting your designs on material, then this will also most likely be the winning machine for you! 

We love the built-in scanning, the wireless functionality as well as for its reliable and precise cutting. The Brother ScanNCut2 CM650W can cut a maximum width of 11.5″, which is all that is needed for most hobbyist crafters.  It has a large LCD touch screen to enable easy operation.  The only negative is the pretty basic software that comes with the machine.  Whilst the software has over 600 designs and 7 built-in fonts, it doesn't allow much room for customization.

The Brother Scan and Cut 2 CM650W is best suited for crafters who are happy to make use of existing designs or those who enjoy scanning their own handdrawn designs. The Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 is truly an innovative machine and is the ONLY vinyl cutting machine that offers a scanning functionality!


PROS:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Can cut max width of 11.5"
  • Large touchscreen for ease of use
  • Scanning ability so you can use your own designs
  • Works really well with fabric
  • Can cut material of up to 2mm thickness

CONS:

  • The Software is not very user-friendly

OUR VERDICT:

The Brother Scan n Cut 2 is the only machine that offers crafters the ability to scan in and cut their own art work, photos, images and more!  It is perfect for anyone who wants to keep things easy and use the images and fonts that are included in the software!  It is a hot favorite machine for those who love to work with material!  Maybe not the best machine for actually cutting vinyl, but if this is not an issue for you then this is a great buy!


- Our Quick Silhouette Curio Review -

If you are after a vinyl cutting machine that does way more than simply cut vinyl, then the Silhouette Curio is for you!  Not only can it cut, but it can also emboss, deboss, etch, sketch and stipple!  It is also our preferred machine if you wish to work with thicker materials of up to 2mm in height.

The Curio Silhouette has specifically been designed to fill in the gaps that are lacking in the larger machines.  As a result though, unless you are after a machine that does embossing, cutting, stippling and etching on a smaller 8.5" x 6" base, we highly recommend you purchase the Curio plotter as a perfect companion to your Silhouette Cameo 3 machine.

The machine is still very much loved by the crafting community due to the fact that it has so many unique capabilities.  Another plus of the plotter Silhouette Curio is the fabulous Silhouette Curio software that comes with the machine that contains over 70,000 ready-made designs (which you can purchase for an additional cost).  

You can watch this Silhouette Curio video below to see what the main difference is between the Silhouette Curio vs Cameo

The Plotter Curio Silhouette Machine is best suited for crafters who are after either a specialty machine or who are after a companion machine to their current vinyl cutter.  The Curio cutter is best suited to those who want to go beyond cutting and drawing.  It is also a great little machine for those who are after a machine that handles thicker materials really well.


PROS:

  • It can cut, sketch, emboss, deboss, etch and stipple
  • Ability to handle thicker material really well
  • Speedy dual carriage

CONS:

  • Small cutting space
  • Steep learning curve to figure out how the machine works
  • Additional costs involved when purchasing the extra large tray (8.5" x 12"), the deep cut blade, the stippling and etching tool as well as the designs on the software

OUR VERDICT:

We absolutely love the Curio Cutting Machine as a companion to our favorite hobbyist vinyl cutter, the Cameo 3.  I'm not sure I would purchase this machine as a stand-a-lone machine though.  We love the added features that makes this machine so unique!  The ability to emboss, deboss, stipple and etch on thicker materials such as metal is definitely exciting!  Imagine all the incredible projects you can finish off with this machine!  However, if you are after a machine that is brilliant at vinyl cutting, then we might suggest you look elsewhere.

You can also purchase a Silhouette Curio bundle if you wish to get a lot of nifty extras on top of the machine.


24" USCutter SC series (Cutter & Heat Press Combo)

- Our Quick USCutter SC Series Review -

These USCutter SC series are brilliant 24" value cutters!  They are perfect for those who are after a machine that is halfway between a 'home' machine and a commercial machine.   It's not meant to be a workhorse like Roland or Graphtec, but it will allow you to start your own small business for an incredibly affordable price.  

Where the previous machines were fabulous for various different types of crafts, this is the first machine on our list that really is dedicated to those who love working with vinyl specifically.

So what exactly is the main difference between an inexpensive vinyl cutter printer and a mid-grade commercial unit?  Well typically it comes down to the quality of the blade and type of motor the machine has.  This USCutter Vinyl Cutter has a Stepper motor, instead of the more durable Servo motor (which will cost a lot more money).   The Stepper motor is slightly noisy however you can still have a normal conversation over the noise.

What we particularly love is that you can join up on the USCutter forum to discuss various topics to get to know the machine better.   There is also fabulous USCutter support available.  The reason why we love this machine so much is because it is perfect for those who wish to work with vinyl heat transfer cuts to apply on T Shirts; which is why the machine comes with the popular clamshell USCutter heat press.

The USCutter SC Plotter is a popular vinyl T Shirt printing machine, hence the reason why we have this bundle up for you with a heat press!  It is also fabulous for sign makers who wish to cut vinyl decals. It is a great machine if you don't mind the noise factor too much!  If you want to dabble in selling some unique T Shirt heat transfer designs then this is most definitely the machine for you!


PROS:

  • Inertial rotating blade holder enables more accurate and high quality cutting
  • 3 high quality blades are included
  • Cuts up to 24" in width
  • Digital force & speed adjustable
  • Includes Sure Cuts a Lot Pro Software for MAC
  • Value machine at a totally affordable price
  • Clamshell heat press included in the package

CONS:

  • The machine is loud
  • This package does not include Vinylmaster Cut Software for PC users.  You will need to source this separately.

OUR VERDICT:

The USCutter SC series Vinyl Cutter Combo deal is a must for anyone who wants to purchase a vinyl cutter for T Shirts.  It is also our choice of machine to make vinyl decals.  This machine is a step up from our other personal vinyl cutter machines and is perfect for those who wish to run a smaller sized business.  Incredible value at a totally affordable price, we love this deal combo!


- Our Quick US Cutter MH 871-MK2 Reviews -

The US Cutter MH 871 MK2 is another popular machine that straddles the line between being a personal machine and a small businesses vinyl making machine.  The beautiful thing about the MH 871 vinyl cutter machine is how incredibly cheap it is for what it can offer!  For only a small investment you can start running your own small sized business!

If you are after machine that works specifically with vinyl and that offers you a larger work space; the MH871 cutter can cut to a maximum width of around 31 inches and length of 8 feet, then this is the one for you!  Included in the Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in bundle deal you will receive vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, a knife, squeegee, chart, access to the USCutter forum and lifetime phone support.

The USCutter MH Series Vinyl Cutter is a popular vinyl decal printing machine for those who love to work with signage.  


PROS:

  • Delivers quality cuts on simple designs
  • 3 Blades are Included
  • FREE Lifetime Phone Support
  • Incredibly cheap price for the bundle deal
  • Works with VinylMaster Cut and other popular software (like Sure Cuts Alot, Flexi, SignBlaser and SignCut Productivity Pro)

CONS:

  • Compatible with PC only
  • The USCutter MH 871 MK2 machine is a bit noisy
  • The machine struggles with more complex intricate designs

OUR VERDICT:

The Cutting Plotter MH871 MK2 are pretty damn cheap semi-commercial cutters.  With this machine you can start up a simple signage business for an incredibly low cost.   Whilst it is important to note that this large-scale cutter does indeed function much better on simple designs in comparison to intricate ones, it definitely is a great purchase for those who want to get more serious about vinyl crafts!


Our Commercial Vinyl Cutting Machine Comparison Chart

Below is our best vinyl cutter plotter comparison chart to feature the top commercial vinyl cutter which is mentioned later in this article.  You can then read my vinyl cutter reviews 2018 below featuring the best vinyl cutter for small business.


Top 5 Commercial Vinyl Cutters

Below you will find the best vinyl machine for commercial use.  We will have a close look at the top 5 commercial vinyl cutting machines on the market in 2018.  In our cutting machines reviews I will outline the top features, the pros and cons of each which should help you choose the right vinyl cutting machine for your business. 

Roland Plotter Camm-1 Pro GX-300 (Best Machine for Cutting Vinyl)

- Our Quick Roland Vinyl Cutter Review -

You simply can't go wrong with a 36" Roland Vinyl Cutter.  If you have the money to invest, the Roland Plotter Camm-1 Pro GX-300 is probably our top pick as the best commercial vinyl machine in 2018. The Roland 300 PRO machine might be a touch pricey but it is incredibly durable, high quality and it will give back quickly on your investment with its ability to cut a wide range of materials between 2 to 36 inches.

The Roland Camm 1 PRO has powerful Servo motors that offer a professional grade cut that is fast, accurate and precise.  This Roland cutter can handle large scale projects and has the ability to work with thicker materials.  It can contour cut pre-printed graphics,  has a cutting speed of up to 33" p/s and has a downforce of 350gram.

See the larger 46" GX 400 Roland Cutter in action.

The Roland Vinyl Printer Camm-1 PRO is the best commercial machine for those who wish to make professional vehicle wraps, custom window tinting, and even heat transfers for garments.  The professional machine can handle vinyl, reflective vinyl, twill, paint mask, heat transfer, mylar, polyester and sand blast mask. The Roland vinyl cutters are sturdy enough to handle thicker materials with precision cutting.


PROS:

  • High Quality Machine
  • Powerful Servo Motor
  • Precise Contour Cutting
  • Cutting speed of up to 33" p/s
  • Overcut and Autocut Ability
  • 3 Years Warranty

CONS:

  • Premium Price

OUR VERDICT:

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Roland Cutters are the absolute best cutters on the market!  They are professional machines that can handle the heavy duty of daily printing!  They are precise, accurate and can handle intricate work.  They have fast cutting and can cut thicker materials as well.  This is the perfect machine for vinyl printing businesses.  The only decision here is to figure out what size you would like!  

Click here if you wish to upgrade the size to the Roland PRO 400 (46"), the Roland GX 500 (54") or the Roland 640  (64")


- Our Quick Graphtec CE6000 Review -

The Graphtec CE6000 60 Vinyl Cutter is a highly recommended professional vinyl cutter for those who are specifically after high precision and reliability.  The Graphtec 6000 60 machine is created for vinyl business owners who wish to make signs, car decals, car tinting, t shirts, unique home decor, rhinestone template materials, glitter transfers, sandblast resist stencils and more!                             

Graphtec is the world's largest manufacturer of heat presses and heat transfer films!  This machine can cut up to a width of 24" and the cutting force of up to 300gr means that you can cut material up to 0.25mm thick.  

The Graphtec CE6000 vinyl cutter uses digital servo motors to ensure accuracy and precision.  It includes an automatic registration mark sensor and the plotter Graphtec CE6000 60 also has blade wear monitoring.  They also have larger machines available for those after a larger cutting surface - 48" Graphtec CE6000 120.

Watch this video on Graphtec vinyl cutter reviews for more information.

Whilst this machine is brilliant for a wide range of vinyl businesses, if you are after a machine that does car wrapping, we do highly recommend you go one step back and have another look at the Roland Cutting Machine.  As the CE6000 is a friction feed, it does tend to wander a bit if you are attempting longer cuts such as for car wraps.


PROS:

  • Powerful Servo Motors
  • Quieter Faster Cutting
  • Contour cutting capabilities
  • Integrates Graphtec’s ARMS
  • Cutting force up to 300grams
  • Support is included

CONS:

  • It is a friction feed, a long cut tends to wander

OUR VERDICT:

The Graphtec Cutting Plotter CE6000 60 is a highly acclaimed and successful professional cutting machine.  The machine is fast, powerful and offers highly accurate cutting.  It offers contour cutting capability and includes great software!  The machine will operate on both Mac and PC.  It is a top workhorse machine for those operating a business!


- Our Quick Graphtec CE6000 Review -

The Graphtec FC8600 60 Vinyl Cutter is a professional high-performance cutting machine.  It is one of the top industry leaders for those who run businesses as sign makers, graphic artists, automotive aftermarket professionals, countertop installers and other related users.                          

The Graphtec 8600 machine can cut up to a width of 24", it has a max cutting speed of 58.5 in/se and a cutting force of up to 600gr.  This is the machine for you if you are hoping to do diamond grade, high-intensity reflective film, sandblast resist rubber, automotive window & paint protection films, and self-adhesive vinyl as well as plenty of other types of media.

The FC8600 Graphtec features the next generation ARMS (automatically detects registration marks) system which adjusts for several types of potential print distortions, allowing for accurate contour cutting of pre-printed images and decals.  They also have larger machines available for those after a larger cutting surface - 42" Graphtec FC8600 100.


PROS:

  • Powerful Servo Motors
  • Quieter Faster Cutting
  • Contour cutting capabilities
  • Integrates Graphtec’s ARMS
  • Cutting force up to 600grams
  • User-friendly LCD control panel
  • Optical Sensor for Auto Alignment

CONS:

  • Premium Price

OUR VERDICT:

The Graphtec FC8600 series features the latest engineering advancements.  High performance features have been added to the new series, but yet its competitive pricing still remains.  The machine is top rated and comes second to none with its offer of being able to handle demanding and tough projects.   The Graphtec Vinyl Cutter is a quality machine that offers versatility and is backed up by high quality precision cutting!  It is also our recommended machine as the best vinyl cutter for sign making.


- Our Quick Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter Review -

The USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter is another top choice in commercial machines!  The Titan 3 cutter can be used for a wide variety of applications including signage, decals, lettering and pinstripping.  It can create logos, modify signs, make custom text, create and draw shapes and edit images.  It comes in three brilliant sizes!  The 15" Titan 3 Desktop Cutter, the 28" Titan Vinyl Cutter and the 68" Vinyl Cutter for those who wish to work on a large scale basis.

The Titan Vinyl Plotter uses ARMS (automatic registration mark sensor) for fast and accurate contour cutting.  You can control the speed and cutting force on this machine which means that it can cut a variety of material including adhesive vinyl, window film, hard paperboard, sandblast stencil, mask material and much more.  All this is easy to achieve with the use of the user-friendly LCD screen.

This machine has been manufactured to withstand rigorous use.  It is an absolutely brilliant machine for any vinyl business, no matter how large or small!  The machine includes VinylMaster Cut for PC users.  This software is taking the world by storm and serious sign-makers love the usability and customization that is available through this software!


PROS:

  • Vacuum Hold Down for extra grip on material
  • Accurate Contour Cutting with the optical eye
  • LCD Screen makes changes in settings easy
  • The digital readout makes for accurate and precise settings
  • 3 TITAN Blades included
  • FREE Lifetime Phone Support

CONS:

  • VinylMaster Cut is compatible with PC only
  • Tricky to set up as they don't include a manual

OUR VERDICT:

The Titan 3 is a professional commercial machine that has been created to withstand rigious daily use. It is as tough as can be and can handle a variety of materials.  With the inclusion of the optical eye for accurate and precise contour cutting and the ability to handle intricate designs, this truly is a handy machine to have in your office or store!   


Klick-n-Kut Maxx Air (Best Decal Maker)

- Our Click-n-Kut Maxx Air Review -

The newest KNK Maxx Air models have stepped it up a notch by introducing bluetooth technology to the playing field!  You can now set up your Klic n Kut machine out of the way.  Together with its optimum features, this machine might just be the best cutting machine for small businesses.

With powerful motors that offer an incredible 1,500+ grams of cutting force; together with its quiet fast cutting capabilities (1mm - 800 mm p/s), this machine is perfect in a workplace environment.  Its compact size and commercial functionality that offers more complex images, offers a great combination to any business owner.

The only drawback?  The machine only operates on PC, so if you operate your business from a MAC, this is not the machine for you!


PROS:

  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Powerful Motors
  • Quieter Faster Cutting
  • Faster Speeds around Curves 
  • Ability to Handle more Complex Images

CONS:

  • Compatible with PC only

OUR VERDICT:

The combination of incredible features together with its very reasonable price tag makes this Klic n Kut Die Cutter Machine perfect for small businesses.  It has the capabilities to handle any industrial task, whilst still being a compact machine that operates quietly.  If you are a PC owner, then this is the machine for you and your business!

Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T Shirts


Are you trying to find the best vinyl cutting machine for T Shirts?  We have a fabulous recommendation for you! 

The Best T Shirt Vinyl Cutter:  The Silhouette Cameo 3 plus a Heat Press 

For those of you who wish to create some unique vinyl transfers for T Shirts to sell, we cannot recommend the Cameo 3 highly enough!  It truly is the best vinyl cutter for T Shirts and you will find many videos on YouTube showing you how to use this brilliant machine.  Whilst we can rave on and on about this machine, we will simply show you a video of this machine in use!  So easy, so simple and the best thing is that this machine can do SO MUCH more than just heat transfers for T Shirts!  All you need with this machine is a clamshell heat press and you are ready to go!

For more information about why recommend this machine as the best vinyl machine for shirts, read our Cameo 3 Review

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