10 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines in 2018 For Small Crafters

Vinyl cutters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be used to manufacture commercial-grade products.

Looking to buy a new vinyl cutting machine?

Silhouette or Cricut?

We know how confusing the search for the good vinyl cutter for a reasonable price is.

These awesome machines are really expensive, so before you start looking for some, you should have an exact idea of what you want to do with it.

Will it be a personal or a commercial cutter?

Do you wanna have Bluetooth enabled device or just a manual operation is enough?

What’s your budget?

Do you have any space restraints?

You need to ask yourself these types of questions before you invest in a vinyl cutter. Buying the wrong machine could lead to a lot of frustration and failure.

If you have already decided how do you want to use it, we pick up for you two of the best vinyl cutting machines in 2018. If you need more help, we have an understandable guide on this page.

Our Pick

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker

Are you looking for a machine that has lightning speed cutting potential, portable and stylish design? Cricut Maker is the ultimate product to consider. It is almost 10x stronger and more accurate than similar devices. To be honest, for the price, there is no comparison with some of the other commercial cutting machines with the same cutting force.

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Silhouette Portrait Machine

Best Budget Vinyl Cutter – Silhouette Portrait

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Cricut Explore Air 2

Best For Beginners – Cricut Explore Air 2

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What is the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine

Vinyl cutters come in two major categories – personal and commercial. You have to determine in which of these categories you fall to get most of your investment.

Personal Vinyl Cutting Machine

People who are after a home vinyl cutter are most likely after devices that are:

  • Small enough for a home office
  • Easy and quick to use
  • Versatile in functionality
  • Reasonable price
  • Can handle small objects

Commercial Vinyl Cutter

Businesses will be using these machines for a variety of jobs for their client. These devices are large, expensive, with an ability to cut large design, different materials and make more jobs at one time.

  • Large
  • Expensive
  • Fast
  • Can handle multiple sophisticated tasks at one time
  • Are more precious, and work without errors
  • Can work with different materials

Always keep in the mind that because a machine can handle bigger designs, it doesn’t mean it is better. Invest in a big vinyl cutter only if you are sure you will need it for bigger designs.

Important Things To Consider Before Buying Vinyl Cutter

Price

We will repeat it again. Buying a vinyl cutting machine is a big investment. Most of the units on our list cost around $300. Choose wisely if you need to pay extra for better blades or wireless compatibility.

Printing Size

Most home vinyl cutters can cut up to 12 inches in size. If you have to cut larger objects, you have to pay more for a business cutter.

Machine Size

We know that the size of the cutter is also an important factor for you. Therefore we include detailed dimensions of each machine you can find on our top 10 list.

Included Software

You cant do much without software. It is essential to use proper programs to design object you want to cut. Of course, some high quality vinyl cutting machines come with their own software with few pre-made templates, but mostly the included software is useless. Our favorite is Adobe Illustrator.

Materials

The math is simple. More materials the cutter can handle, the better. Always look for a unit that is able to work with materials you want to use for your designs.

Below we take a look at some of the bestselling vinyl cutters on the market. These machines are great for people wanting to create their own crafts without buying professional business devices. Take a closer look at their features, pros or cons, and perhaps make the first step to buy the best vinyl cutting machine in 2018 for your home.

Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Under $200

 

Silhouette Portrait

Silhouette Portrait Machine
Silhouette Portrait – credit: silhouetteamerica.com

Type of Cutter: For beginners, low cost | Size: 5 x 16 x 5 inches (12.7 x 40 x 12.7 Centimeters) | Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 8 inches (20 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 10 feet (3 meters) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ | More: Silhouette Studio software CD, 50 exclusive digital designs

For:

  • Low cost
  • Ideal for sign cutting
  • Capable of contour cutting
  • Simple software
  • Affordable blades

Against:

  • Only for standard vinyl
  • Poor build
Silhouette Portrait Machine – Buy It Now On Amazon

Hobbyists on a tight budget. This is the target audience for Silhouette Portrait. A smaller version of the famous Cameo cutting machine, this device allows you to cut all the fonts and small designs very fast. An ideal entry-level cutter for DIY enthusiasts who are looking for an affordable way to experiment the potential of a quality vinyl cutting machine. With a low price, this unit will definitely hurt your budget too hard. But… Don’t expect many useful features you can find on the more expensive premium models. If your intention is to cut in bulk precise pieces, go for any of the other products we recommended on this list. Silhouette Portrait is small, fast, cheap, and overall an excellent unit that can help you running on your first project within a matter of minutes, but it lacks precision.

 

➤ Silhouette Portrait

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Silhouette Curio

Silhouette Curio cutting machine
Silhouette Curio – credit: silhouetteamerica.com

Type of Cutter: For deep cuts & embossing features | Size: 17.2 x 5.5 x 7 inches (43 x 14 x 18 Centimeters) | Weight: 10.5 lbs (4.8 kg) | Bluetooth: No | Max Cutting Width: 8.5 inches (21 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 6 inches (15 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ | More: Silhouette Studio software CD, deep cut capability, cuts up to 2mm thick materials, 5 mm clearence, dual carriage

For:

  • Flexibility of expensive models
  • Easy to master software
  • Variety of materials

Against:

  • Small capacity
  • Low cutting force

Silhouette Curio Cutting Tool – Buy It Now On Amazon

Sturdy, fast and functional. The Silhouette Curio is labeled as a companion device to other larger die-cutters that are lacking some functions such as embossing, debossing, piercing, etching, scoring, stippling, deep cutting, and drawing. More than that. It allows you to work with a wide range of materials like foam, leather, rubber, foils, wood and even metal sheets. The Silhouette Curio is able to cut a depth of 10 feet and a width of 8 inches. Great ability is that before it cuts, it gives you fast reference chart specifying the blade depth and base for each type of material. That´s really great for users who are not sure which material requires which setting.

 

➤ Silhouette Curio

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Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Under $300

 

Cricut Explore Air 2

Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut Explore Air 2 – credit: shop.cricut.com

Type of Cutter: Personal DIY cutting machine | Size: 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches inches (61 x 24 x 24 Centimeters) | Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 23 inches (58 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ | More: Cricut Design Space software and app, german carbide premium blade, pen, cardstock sample, USB cord, power cord, 100+ free images, 50+ free projects, StandardGrip cutting mat

For:

  • Works with over 100 materials
  • Fast mode
  • Amazing design, quality build
  • Cutting strength

Against:

  • Loud
  • Print Then Cut sizes are limited
Cricut Explore Air 2 – Buy It Now On Amazon

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is without a question one of the best craft cutting machines on the market. It looks good, it cuts good, it etches good and draws good. An ideal machine for home use is someone who loves crafts or designing small projects like t-shirts. You can even start a small business around it. Cricut Explore Air 2 so incredibly versatile device which can work with over 100 different materials. For example cardstock, fabric, vinyl, metals, foam or leather. If you will cut materials like vinyl, cardstock, and iron, you may work in fast mode. This mode is faster than on any other home craft vinyl cutting machines on the market right now,

 

➤ Cricut Explore Air 2

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Silhouette CAMEO 3

Silhouette CAMEO 3
Silhouette CAMEO 3 – credit: silhouetteamerica.com

Type of Cutter: Personal die-cutting machine | Size: 22.5 x 8.5 x 6 inches inches inches (57 x 21 x 15 Centimeters) | Weight: 13 lbs (5.8 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 10 feet (3 meters) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ | More: Silhouette Studio software, USB cable, power cable, 12 inches cutting mat, AutoBlade, Cross Cutter, Dual carriage, 100+ free designs

For:

  • AutoBlade function
  • Dual carriage
  • Fast and clean vinyl lettering

Against:

  • Low-pressure blade
  • Loud

Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine – Buy It Now On Amazon

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is not the best die-cutting machine available but with its simplicity an ideal device for both beginners and less experienced vinyl cutters. It builds on the success of the previous models and adds some new features as well as a few design improvements. A small, intuitive and fast machine can cut different materials, but… To be honest, Cameo 3 isn’t the most versatile vinyl machine, as it can only cut thinner materials. It is specially designed to cut drawing paper, postcards, scrapbooking paper, photo paper, and vinyl. It is able to handle a few other materials but its variety is very limited. The low-pressure blade has a problem to cut through anything tougher then chipboard. As we said above, Silhouette Cameo 3 is a machine designed to work primarily with paper projects and lacks functions such as piercing, embossing or engraving.

 

➤ Silhouette CAMEO 3

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USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter

USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter
USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter – credit: uscutter.com

Type of Cutter: For hobbyist and small business signage makers | Size: 15 x 23 x 23 inches (38 x 58 x 58 Centimeters) | Weight: 46 lbs (20 kg) | Bluetooth: No | Max Cutting Width: 28 inches (71 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 5 feet (1.5 meters) | Materials It Can Cut: minimal variety | More: VinylMaster Cut software, Power cable, USB cable, blade holder, floor stand

For:

  • High quality cuts
  • Adjustable pinch rollers
  • Wide range of compatible file types
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use

Against:

  • Not compatible with Mac
  • Difficult assembly process

USCutter MH721 28in Vinyl Cutter – Buy It Now On Amazon

The size. A first thing you will notice about USCutter MH721. This is a pretty big cutter, but it is logical. The machine cut to around 28 inches wide. We are sure MH721 is not your usually entry-level craft cutter, so make sure you have the space to place it before you buy the machine. Cuts are precise and customizable, the unit is very easy to use and you get good value for the money. By the way, this is why MH Series is super popular among people. They are mostly cheaper in comparison to other semi-commercials cutters, so we highly recommend this to anyone looking to start out in vinyl cutting.

 

➤ USCutter MH721

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Sizzix Eclips2 Starter Kit

Sizzix Eclips2 Starter Kit
Sizzix Eclips2 Starter Kit – credit: sizzix.com

Type of Cutter: For perfect scoring, reliable cutting and small, intricate designs | Size: 26 x 6.5 x 7 inches (66 x 16 x 17 Centimeters) | Weight: 18 lbs (8 kg) | Bluetooth: No | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 12 inches (30 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: mostly paper, vinyl and fabric up to 0.5mm thick | More: eCAL lite software, 12 x 12 inches cutting mat, 2 cutting blades, blade holder, USB cable, power supply,

For:

  • True scoring
  • Precision cuts
  • Less waste with Scrap Cut Mode
  • Auto-select settings

Against:

  • Basic software
  • No embossing and engraving

Sizzix Eclips2 Starter Kit – Buy It Now On Amazon

The Sizzix eclips2 is not quite as versatile with materials as its main and more popular rivals and does not have any embossing or engraving features. But its high precision cut, perfect scoring, reliable cutting and the power to handle small design, makes Eclips2 great for paper crafts, especially card-making. If you do want to use it on other materials, it does have easy to use automatic speed and pressure settings, so you can adjust the blade for deeper cutting. To be honest, the precision and strength of the cut is the best you can hope for in this price range.

 

➤ Sizzix Eclips2 Starter Kit

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Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Under $400

 

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker
Cricut Maker – credit: shop.cricut.com

Type of Cutter: For fabric cutting | Size: 22.6 x 7.1 x 6.2 inches (57 x 18 x 16 Centimeters) | Weight: 23 lbs (10 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 24 inches (60 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ up to 2.4mm thick | More: Rotary blade, drive housing, 50 free ready-to-make projects, USB cable, power adapter, Fine Point Blade and Housing, Fine Point Pen

For:

  • Adaptive Tool System
  • Sewing pattern library
  • Amazing cutting
  • Unique gliding and rolling action
  • Great value

Against:

  • Small cutting space
  • You have to buy knife blade

Cricut Maker – Buy It Now On Amazon

Let´s take a look at Cricut Maker, possibly the best home vinyl cutting machine on the market. So incredibly versatile cutter for those who wish to work with a wide range of materials. Over 100 materials can be cut with Cricut Maker, from thin vinyl to thick leather, foam, metal, and fabric. If you buy the knife blade, it will be able to cut materials up to 2.4 mm thick. With the rotary blade alone, you get a versatile crafting machine with dozens of pre-designed patterns ready for you to create. It can cut almost every fabric you can think of – silk, denim, canvas, chiffon etc. And the abilities to switch easily between tools, use two tools at once and import a huge range of design files, even the advanced crafters – WOW. We are sure that Maker will fit all your needs.

 

➤ Cricut Maker

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Brother ScanNCut2

Brother CM350
Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 – credit: brother.ca

Type of Cutter: For handmade drawings or scrapbook designs | Size: 10.1 x 22.8 x 10.6 inches (25 x 58 x 27 Centimeters) | Weight: 10 lbs (4.5 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 24 inches (60 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ up to 2.4mm thick | More: ScanNCut Canvas, 300 DPI scanner, 4.85″ colored LCD touchscreen, 600 built-in designs, USB cable

For:

  • Large LCD touchscreen
  • Wireless design transfer
  • Direct connection via USB cable
  • Scanning color recognition

Against:

  • Expensive
  • Vinyl cutting restrictions
  • Basic software

Brother ScanNCut2 – Buy It Now On Amazon

Loved by many crafters, with tons of new features and a wide range of cutting and scanning abilities. Yes, scanning. The Brother ScanNCut2  is perhaps the only home cutter for sale with a built-in scanner. This die-cutting machine has a 300 DPI scanner with a large screen to make working with patterns and customizing cuts more effective. If you are a person who loves drawing on paper or in scrapbooks, you will like the ability to scan those designs and sent them straight into a high precious cutter. ScanNCut2 is built around it – the ability to scan your designs. Do you need larger cuts for your small business? Than Brother ScanNcut2 is not for you. There are more powerful die cutting machines out there, which can easily handle hardier materials, such as metal and wood and sophisticated designs. However, for paper crafters or sewers who don’t mind working in relatively small sizes, this machine is a good choice.

 

➤ Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2

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Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Under $500

Cricut Expression 2

Cricut Expression 2
Cricut Expression 2 – credit: shop.cricut.com

Type of Cutter: Personal cutting machine for for small craft works | Size: 23 x 9.4 x 11.3 inches (58 x 24 x 28 Centimeters) | Weight: 17.5 lbs (8 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 12 inches (30 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 24 inches (60 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: 100+ up to 1.5 mm thick | More: Cricut Craft Room software, LCD screen protector, 2 pre-loaded cartridges, stylus, blade assembly, USB cable, power adapter, 800+ pre-loaded images

For:

  • Precise cutting
  • LCD Touchscreen
  • No computer needed
  • 800+ pre-loaded images

Against:

  • Cartridge-based
  • Can´t create own images
  • No wireless cutting

Cricut Expression 2 – Buy It Now On Amazon

The Cricut Expression 2 is old but still such a popular machine for few reasons. It is still without a doubt a good craft cutter and was a game changer when it was first released. It is extremely easy to use and what´s more – it cuts great. Two essential elements of a good vinyl cutting machine. It doesn’t require a computer, so it can be moved from place to place. It’s decently powerful, and it can cut tons of different materials. However, you cannot design your own custom designs. The Cricut Expression 2 is purely cartridge based, so if you need a machine that allows you to make your own images, this device will limit you, as you can only use it with purchased Cricut images and cartridges.

 

➤ Cricut Expression 2

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Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Under $1000

 

USCutter TITAN 2

USCutter TITAN 2
USCutter TITAN 2 – credit: uscutter.com

Type of Cutter: For professional sign makers and small businesses | Size: 38.5 x 17.2 x 13.6 inches (98 x 43 x 34 Centimeters) | Weight: 59 lbs (26 kg) | Bluetooth: Yes | Max Cutting Width: 28 inches (71 cm) | Max Cutting Lenght: 25 feet (7.6 cm) | Materials It Can Cut: Adhesive vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, cardstock, paint mask stencil, laminate, sandblast mask, low & high intensive reflective material | More: VinylMaster Cut software, Carriage with 4 wheels, blade holder, pen holder, 3x blades, USB & serial cable, spare fuse

For:

  • Precise cutting
  • Easy to use
  • Silent
  • Fast

Against:

  • Basic software
  • Very expensive

USCutter TITAN 2 – Buy It Now On Amazon

Firstly, this is not a machine for casual hobbyists. Only after you decide that you would like to make more professional designs, then this is the vinyl cutting machine that you should get. It has an ability to create a wide range of patterns thanks to its design and cut software, allowing you to give in to the whims of even the most demanding of clients. Its laser point helps in contouring cuts around graphics, with a high precision axis for greater accuracy in cutting. You can also manually contour cuts with this vinyl cutter.

 

➤ USCutter TITAN 2

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What Is Vinyl Cutting

The vinyl cutting means a creating a design in a software program and using a special machine (vinyl cutter) to cut out your design with the use of the blade on sheets of vinyl.

After the work is done, you have to remove all vinyl waste from the paper backed sheet and put the final design onto you want (card, wall, book, t-shirt, etc.).

Vinyl Cutting Machine

That’s an easy answer. A vinyl cutter is a computer controlled machine utilized to trim vinyl or other material into various shapes and letters. On average, they look and even behave like printers. Yes, the cutter is almost the same size as a computer printer, but unlike the pen reproducing your work onto printer paper, vinyl cutters are using a blade to finish your design into various materials.

Vinyl cutting machines are also known as die-cutters, plotters, and craft cutters because they are able to do more than just cut vinyl designs.

The high-quality machines can cut into cardstock, reflective, tissue paper, paper or thermal transfer material. You should always read the description of each vinyl cutting machine you want to buy and read about the materials you are able to use. Because some of this devices can even work with aluminum or wood.

What Everything You Can Make With A Vinyl Cutter

Before you buy the best possible machine matching your needs, you should understand what can you make with it. Simply put, it depends on your imagination. Below we give you few examples

  • T-shirt transfers
  • Cards
  • Labels
  • Tickers
  • 3D objects
  • Car wraps
  • Vinyl Decals

Of course, that was just a few examples. Need more? 34 Cool Things You Can Do with Your New Vinyl Cuttermakezine.com

What Kind of Business Can You Have

These machines come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and they are designed to manufacture commercial-grade products. You should always keep in the mind that just a vinyl cutter is not enough, you will also need a computer and software where you can design images you wish to print. With the right software, you are able to use your machine even to open a small business.

T-Shirt

A cutter is one of the key equipment you need to start your own T-shirt business. A combination of printer/cutter, computer, heat press is essential. After the design has been cut, a heat press is used to apply the design to the front of T-shirts, jerseys or jackets.

Vinyl Lettering

Custom lettering can be applied to indoor walls, cars or signs. With a cutter, you can offer your customers a variety of fonts and sizes.

Banners

What about to make large banners for special occasions. Weddings, parties or reunions. If you want to step into this business, create your own website and show future customers your ideas.

Magnets

With a correct software, you can create small and interesting refrigerator magnets for individual customers.

Again, that was just a few ideas. Many cheaper vinyl cutting machines are designed for common users. They don’t offer so precise cutting or larger printing surface. But these cheap cutters are still great for the hobbyists – for small designs.

How Does Vinyl Cutter Machine Work?

A newbie in this field may have an issue to understand how the vinyl cutting machines work. Let´s take a closer look at these awesome devices with this pretty nice video.

 

 

How To Choose A Good Vinyl Cutting Machine

One important thing you have to know. These machines are expensive. Even on our list of best vinyl cutting machine in 2018, we have most of the devices at price around $300. So, before you buy one, ask yourself a few questions.

What Size Will You Cut

If you already looked at some vinyl cutter, you have certainly come across the fact that they have a wide range of cutting widths. From small 6-inches cutters to huge 64-inch machines.

The most common cutting width of standard vinyl machines for normal users is between 9-12 inches, which should be good for small crafts makers or usual hobbyists.

You should know the size of the final product you want to design, but if you aiming to have a small company, you may have bigger machines to offer a variety of products to your customers.

What Cutter Offers The Best Quality

It is simple. If you need precious cuts, you have to pay more. In short, the expensive vinyl cutting machines are usually better. Don’t expect high professional standards from a device that cost around 200 dollars. We don’t include the best commercial vinyl cutters on our top list, we were looking for devices with a best possible value for a small or home crafters. All models above are still great for less complex cutting and whats the most important, they are praised by many satisfied users.

What Software Do You Need

Vinyl cutter comes with their own software (in most cases), that is used to make basic designs or to fill pre-made templates. This is all a beginner needs.

For advanced designs, you need a better software. Don’t worry, we have 3 most popular tools for you

  • CorelDraw
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • AutoCAD

Take a look at this video – How to Create Artwork for Vinyl Cutting – Adobe Illustrator Edition

 

Do You Need Inspiration

God bless YouTube. This website is full of useful tutorials and DIY channels you should watch and follow.

Need video tips?

Cut and apply vinyl decal 

How to Make Your First Decal With the Silhouette Cameo 3

How to Make Stickers

Stickers – How to make real vinyl stickers 

How to Make Planner Stickers With Silhouette Portrait 

Let’s Talk About Cutting Tools

What Another Equipment I Need To Start Vinyl Cutting

Computer, software, and vinyl cutting machine. Absolute essentials. What else do I need?

 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Nechstar team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners, including Amazon.

Clicking the device names, images or check price buttons will redirect you to the product listing on the appropriate Amazon.com (.co.uk, .de, etc.), where you can find the updated prices, customer reviews, and more product details.

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

 

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