Are you still confused about the vinyl cutting machines? Don’t worry most people have the same issues. And it is good to have doubts because without doubts you won’t learn and without proper knowledge, you won’t be able to get the best vinyl cutting machines for your needs.
By the way, we have done all the research on your behalf. We tested 13 popular vinyl cutting machines based on different parameters that are important for a good vinyl cutter. Also, we consulted eight experts who have a good amount of experience in vinyl cutting. After 132 hours testing and expert views, we were able to create a list of 6 vinyl cutters that are above all other cutters.
If you want to learn more about our testing process feel free to scroll down to the section that describes it. In addition to the test, we have also created a buyer’s guide to help you purchase a perfect vinyl cutter that meets your needs and budget.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
|Product||Cutting Width||Connectivity||Check Price|
|Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint||11.5"||Wireless||Check Price|
|Silhouette Cameo 3 4T Wireless||12"||Wireless||Check Price|
|Silhouette Cameo||12"||Wireless||Check Price|
|Brother CM350||12"||Wireless||Check Price|
|Cricut Expression||12"||Wireless||Check Price|
|USCutter MH 34in Bundle||31"||Wired||Check Price|
1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint- Vinyl Cutting Machine For Home
- The Cricut Explore Air 2 is your personal DIY cutting machine. Make custom vinyl stickers, personalized home decor,...
- Upload your own images for free or choose from Cricut's vast library of pre-made designs and projects. Double tool...
- Design anywhere. Free access to Cricut's simple design software, Design Space. Create and design from your computer,...
We instantly fell in love with the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint. Though looks are not that important for a vinyl cutter the design looks slick and elegant. It was the first name suggested by our experts because according to them, it is probably the most popular vinyl cutter at present. The specifications of it are also impressive. It can cut more than 100 types of material which is more than its competitors. You can create your design on your phone and print on it from anywhere which is a cool feature to have for a vinyl cutter.
The present age is all about doing things wireless and smartly. The Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint completely justifies that. When you get this machine, all you have to do is create Cricut account. It gives you access to the program to manage the machine. To use the machine the internet is a must. You are anywhere in the world; you can print your designs. However, there is one thing that might bug some users is a monthly fee of $10 is required to make full use of the online software of Cricut. We suggest paying for it because there are some preset projects and thousands of fonts, icon and designs that you can use.
2. Silhouette Cameo 3 4T Wireless- Vinyl Cutter With Best Software Support
- Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and 10...
- Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects. Features Bluetooth technology for wireless...
- Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials. Is compatible with...
It can be considered as the biggest competitor of the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint. However, it doesn’t have the cloud capability like Circuit, but you can print out your design from various computers. Another thing that works for it is compact hence can be used for home. Some features like Autoblade is perfect for the average users of cutter machines. The Autoblade impressed us. With most of the vinyl cutting machines you have to make sure that blade is in the right position, but with this model, the machines automatically bring the blade in the right position.
The machine is well compatible with most of the materials like vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and many others. The maximum length it can accommodate is 10 feet. We installed the Silhouette studio design software on our computer and connected the machine wirelessly via Bluetooth. We used simpler design and intricate design to test out the time it took. We observed that there is not much difference because of the Autoblade.
3. Silhouette Cameo- Budget-friendly Vinyl Cutting Machine
- Silhouette Cameo II - Newest Model
- Vinyl Starter Kit - $39.99 Value
- Cutting Blade, Vinyl Trimmer, 12" x 12" Mat
If you are not a big fan of wireless technology and you like everything on the cutter than Silhouette Cameo is just perfect. The main reason being it has a touchscreen that gives everything needed for your cutting job. The also the cool thing is that you can see what your design will look like on material. The way it is possible is by replacing cutter with a pen.
As far as the cutting is concerned, it is precise and fast. Though we think if you are using it daily for hours, you might need to change the cutter after a month or two. Even the mats will need replacement. It is acceptable for any professional who uses vinyl regularly.
4. Brother CM350- Vinyl Cutting Machine With Scanner
- 300 DPI BUILT-IN SCANNER: The ScanNCut2 machine allows you to turn your scanned images into unique cut designs and...
- LARGE COLOR TOUCHSCREEN: The Brother ScanNCut2 CM350 includes a 4.85" LCD touchscreen that allows users to easily select...
- WIRELESS NETWORK READY: The CM350 permits multiple connectivity options, including PC connectivity and standalone or...
It was one of the unique variants that we tested. The Brother CM350 comes with inbuilt 300 DPI scanner. Sometimes having a scanner with a vinyl cutter is an advantage. Many artists are known to create a design on paper using hands. Not all like to work on illustrator for their designs. If you are one of those who creates their designs by hand, then you won’t require a separate scanner. During our test, we also tested the scanner. The 300 DPI is enough to get a quality result.
As far as the cutting is concerned, the cutting is really precise. However, we found that if the image quality is really low, you won’t see the finishing. We loved the cutting area it uses. The 12” x 12” mat is included in the package, but if you still want to go bigger, you can always upgrade it. The machine can accommodate easily. It is the biggest reason why we think it is very good if you like creating your design.
5. Cricut Expression- Vinyl Cutting Machine For Monograms
- Electronic cutting machine for scrapbooks, classroom decor, signage, and more
- Cartridge system requires no computer; cuts from 1/4 inch to 23-1/2 inches
- Easy-to-read LCD screen; 6 modes; 4 functions; portrait or landscape orientation
We have already included one Cricut vinyl cutting machine in our list. The Cricut Expression is another powerful offered by the manufacturer. Though it does not have cloud capability like Cricut Air 2, it is one of the best standalone vinyl cutting machines. With being a good standalone machine, it offers quality results. We also believe that it is probably the best vinyl cutting machine for monograms.
We were impressed by the ergonomics of the Cricut Expression. You get a good LCD screen. The buttons are enough for you to create and cut design. It doesn’t require a computer. However, we thought a touch screen could have been really useful. It comes with two cartridges. If you need more, you can always buy online but make sure the models are same. The Cricut has many different types of cartridges.
6. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle- Best Vinyl Cutting Kit
- 34" MH Cutter w/VinylMaster Cut - Design and Cut Software
- Three fully adjustable pinch-rollers allow you to use a flexible range of materials.
- Superior ball-bearing dual roller media roller system.
The US cutter is one of the most versatile vinyl cutters we have tested. The type of materials it can cut covers almost all the materials used in designing and printing. The biggest reason for this is three pinch-rollers that can easily adjust to the dimensions of any material. Also, the cutter is highly effective and precise.
A good thing about is that it uses a blade holder that is compatible with a wide variety of blades available in the market. During our test, we used quite different types of blades. The result was good, but we recommend you use only the best cutters for better results. After using it for hours, our team discovered that is more suitable for those who are not so tech savvy. Using it is easy. You insert the design and the material. Then position the blade and press cut.
Buyer’s Guide- What to Consider While Buying the Vinyl Cutting Machines?
The vinyl cutting machines have evolved a lot, and the software used for designing has also come a long way. But not all will be the same. In some or other way one cutting machine will be better than the other. So only way to get the vinyl cutting machines for home or business, you must know the factors that affect your buying decision. Let’s look at them one by one:
Each vinyl cutting machine has different cutting depth. Depth is decided by the type of blade it uses and also by the pressure it applies. During our test, we found that maximum depth any vinyl cutting machine can cut is 2 mm.
If you are planning to use the machine for materials like leather, thick papers we suggest go for the machines that can manage that thickness like Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint or USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle.
In addition to cutting depth, you also have to look at the maximum length of the material it can accommodate. Having a long roll of material can improve your productivity. Otherwise, you will have to change the roll again and again.
2. Driver Motor
Type of motor a vinyl cutting machine also uses an important factor. The motor is solely responsible for the machines speed and precision. Generally, there are two types of motor used in vinyl cutting machines—Servo and Stepper. But today most of the vinyl cutting machines use servo motors because they provide more precision and doesn’t make much noise. On the other hand, stepper motors are noisy and tend to have less accuracy if you plan to cut an intricate design. Most of the cutting machines on our list have servo motor but if you plan to go for a machine outside our list check if the machines use a servo or stepper motor.
Vinyl cutting machines are used creating different types of things like stamps, adhesive stickers, cards, vinyl, prints, etc. All things will use a different material. And each material has own thickness and hardness. Whatever machine that you plan to buy must be able to cut that material.
A good thumb of the rule should be to know the product you want to make using a vinyl cutting machine. If you plant to make t-shirt prints, you need a machine that cuts the design precisely. If you plant to make cards, you require a machine that is powerful as well as accurate. For commercial use, the machines may differ but for home use you want something that can do it all for that we recommend machines like Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint and Silhouette Cameo 3 4T Wireless .
Design plays a key role in any vinyl cutter machine. Most of the users like to create designs on the computer. It is why software becomes important. All the top vinyl cutting machines include software. The software provides you the ability to edit the design as well print it on the desired material.
With machines like Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint provide you the ability to use the software over the cloud. That means you can use the software from any device without having to install it on the computer. Such software does a small subscription fee but if you create designs on the move or want to print it from any device. It is not necessary to use the software, but sometimes they make your job easier. So choose wisely which software you use it with our vinyl cutting machine.
5. Ease of Use
To have fast and quality production, the machine should be easy to use. Too many settings and buttons will always cost time. While buying a vinyl cutting machine you have to make sure that it has speed and should not require too many settings.
How We Conduct Tests For The Vinyl Cutting Machines?
We began by getting the popular 13 vinyl cutters to the lab. We designed several tests based on the parameters like quality, versatility, speed, durability, and ease of use. We used almost all kinds of materials that are used with the cutter. We also tested out the individual software included in the package.
In addition to tests, we also hired eight experts that have years of experience in vinyl cutting. Their experience helped us to learn more about the cutters. They also helped us to design different tests for the products. Sometimes experts have some insights about the products that are not noticed during the tests.
In addition to tests and experts, we also value user reviews. There is no substitution of hands-on experience. We contact those users that have used or are using a particular model for a few months. It gives us more idea on the performance of the cutting machine throughout a month or even year.
After considering the test results, expert view, and user review, our team scored each model based on a parameter such as ease of use, versatility, and quality. After calculating the overall score, we sorted out the six top vinyl cutting machines. Here is the scorecard:
|Product||Quality||Versatility||Ease of Use||Overall||Check Price|
|Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint||98.2||97.9||97.6||97.9||Check Price|
|Silhouette Cameo 3 4T Wireless||97.6||97.4||97.9||97.63||Check Price|
|Silhouette Cameo||96.6||98.4||97.2||97.4||Check Price|
|Brother CM350||96.8||97.3||97.1||97.06||Check Price|
|Cricut Expression||97.8||96.1||96.8||96.9||Check Price|
|USCutter MH 34in Bundle||95.8||95.8||97.8||96.46||Check Price|
After a lot of testing and reviewing we have provided you the best possible machines for all type of users. But now it’s on you decide which perfect vinyl cutter is for you. We have tested a lot of products and have a fair share of buying different products. From that experience, we can tell you is that best way to choose any product is to know your needs. There is no point buying the most expensive machine if it doesn’t fit your needs. Another thing that you have to vary of is the budget. Make sure you find the right machine within your budget.