When it comes to the best vinyl cutting machine models currently available, there’s plenty of choice on the market. Unfortunately, it's no secret that professional cutting machines can cost up to several thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, options for more budget-conscious consumers are also only a few clicks away, so you don’t have to spend more than a few hundred bucks to bring your crafting game to the next level. If you’re not planning to invest in a vinyl cutter for professional purposes, a hobby model should serve you just fine. Read on to learn more about what features to look for in the best vinyl cutting machine and then check out our reviews of popular models on the market.
What Is a Vinyl Cutting Machine?
Vinyl cutters are versatile machines generally used for multiple purposes. They enable users to create custom stickers, labels, signs, decals, magnets, and more. They basically enable you to personalize anything with customized designs.
Despite the name, vinyl cutters can do more than just cut vinyl. You can use them to carve through all sorts of materials, from card stock to fabrics to balsa wood. Think of them as fancy, digitally controlled scissors. Some options can also draw, scan, or emboss, depending on the features the machine comes equipped with.
The device is shaped like a printer, but it’s considerably smarter. Users need to upload an image, load the machine with a sheet of material from which the design will be cut, adjust settings like cutting pressure or knife depth, and push a button. The vinyl cutter then carves the design and then ejects the sheet with the image cut out.
You can use it for all sorts of projects, from creating personalized gifts for friends to starting a small business that revolves around selling customized designs.
The Best Vinyl Cutting Machine Models for Any Budget
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s take a quick look at some of the best vinyl cutting machine options on the market. Depending on how you plan to use the device, you’ll want to pay special attention to the specifications for each machine, as well as look up reviews from other customers before making a decision. There are several factors to consider when shopping around – and we’ve listed the most important ones towards the end of the article. Before we get to that, here are several great vinyl cutters that really caught our eye. You can easily find one to fit your budget.
Silhouette America Cameo 3 Touch Screen, Blue Tooth, Auto Blade Starter Bundle kit
This Starter Bundle is a great investment for anyone thinking about dipping their toes into the world of vinyl crafting. It includes a Cameo 3 machine, as well as several materials and accessories that come in handy when you’re just starting out – like multiple sheets of premium vinyl and transfer paper, an idea guide, a Sketch pens set, and more.
As for the vinyl cutter itself, it comes with several similarities to the previous version, but also boasts considerable improvements. It uses a small blade to cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric up to 12 inches wide. Moreover, it has the ability to register and cut printed materials and is PixScan compatible. Here’s a full list of the new Cameo Silhouette’s Starter Bundle pros:
- Responsive, easy to use touch screen
- Plugs into your computer via USB cable
- Uses a small blade to cut through various materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric
- Materials can be up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long
- Replace the blade with a pen and the new Cameo starts sketching instead of cutting
- PixScan compatible so you may register and cut printed materials
- The kit includes starter guide which comes in handy for beginners
- You also get a PixScan mat
- Four sheets of premium vinyl
10-feet of premium transfer paper
- The Cameo 3 comes with a Silhouette hook, scraper
- Exclusive card good for 10 vinyl designs, idea guide, instruction guide and instructional guide
- Also included: cutting blade, vinyl trimmer blade, scraper
- The new model comes with a metallic pen set
- You get a one-month card $25 worth in downloads
- USB cord, Power Cord 110V-240V included
- The kit is easy to operate and set up
- You may save your favorite models on your computer
- The touch screen is sleek and practical
- The menu is very easy to understand and there aren’t many options to choose from
- The machine is accurate in cutting
- The program helps you choose the blade accordingly to the material you’re cutting
- The Cameo adjusts the speed and pressure to the material you’re using on its own
- Easy to move around
- The machine leaves few residues behind
- The price is great
- 1-year warranty
As for the parts we’re less thrilled about and would like to see improved:
- Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of cutting, the item freezes for a few minutes
- The cutting mat seems to lose its stickiness after a while
- The cutting blade could benefit from an upgrade
- The vinyl in the kit is not the best quality
Overall, the cons are not deal breakers, as proven by the raving reviews. The Silhouette Cameo is one of the best vinyl cutting machine models currently on the market, so you can’t go wrong with trying it for yourself.
Check out its pricing and reviews on Amazon.
Silhouette Portrait 2
The Silhouette Portrait is Cameo’s little brother, a more affordable vinyl cutting machine that provides great freedom for creating all kinds of designs on various types of materials. You can use fabric, paper, vellum, adhesive vinyl, and magnet paper.
The device features a MAC and PC compatible software and includes no less than 50 exclusive digital designs. You can use the included design software to cut any font on the computer or download shapes from the Online Store; or you can draw your own designs if you’re feeling creative.
The machine cuts paper or other materials up to 8 inches wide and 10 feet long. This is the only con as far as we're concerned – since you’re limited to cutting 8-inch-wide sheets, you can excel at stickers and decals, but can’t tackle larger projects.
The Silhouette Portrait plugs into your PC or MAC with a USB cable. Durable, portable and user-friendly, it offers a one-year warranty. However, given the quality materials, it should very well last you for years to come - making it a worthy contender among for the best vinyl cutting machine title.
Slice Digital Die Cutting Machine
For the scrapbooker who doesn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the best vinyl cutting machine out there, the Slice Digital Die Cutting Machine makes for a decent alternative. It comes with a large LCD screen, 6 multi-function buttons and rechargeable batteries.
The lightweight machine is portable and easy to store. It also boasts an adjustment wrench, a glass mat, foam brush, and adhesive. There’s also a user manual included, a quick starting guide, and an SD card.
As for features, the cutting machine cuts fabric, felt, oilcloth and vinyl and produces nice fonts and shapes for cards. The device also alerts you when the batteries are low, so you can recharge them.
MAKING MEMORIES Slice Cordless Design Cutter Machine Starter Set
The Making Memories Slice Cordless Design Cutter Machine Starter Set, an excellent pick for any beginner, managing to provide everything you need for when you’re starting out.
This machine cuts paper, cardstock, vellum, vinyl, acetate, photos and lightweight fabrics up to ½ mm thick. It can cut designs in 7 sizes, ranging from 1” to 4” and is fully rechargeable. You can run it for about 1 ½ hours on a full charge. You can also plug it in if you’re not doing any crafting on the go.
Furthermore, the cutting machine features a large screen, with a simple menu and tips for embossing and drawing. As for the downsides, it won’t cut chipboard or anything thicker than that and you do need to cut each letter individually, while holding down the slice.
This set contains a basic Slice Cordless Design Cutter, Shapes Design Card & Design Guide, 6-inch by 6-inch glass cutting mat, 5 blades, a blade replacement tool, blade adjustment wrench, power cord, repositionable tacky adhesive, applicator brush, and a user manual. You get a 1-year limited warranty for the electronic elements.
Overall, this may not be the best vinyl cutting machine available, but it’s a solid starting point for crafting beginners. It also won’t break the bank, which is always a plus.
THE 5 BEST SELLING VINYL CUTTING MACHINE AND DECAL MAKER MACHINE REVIEWS
USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle
For the entry level cutter, the first best seller on our list is the Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE – Sign Making Kit w/ Design & Cut Software, Supplies + Tools.
This decal maker machine has two fully adjustable pinch-rollers that give you the ability to experiment with all kinds of materials. At the same time, the Roland compatible blade holder enables you to work with some of the most economical blades from the market.
The USCutter machine features a superior ball-bearing dual roller media roller system. It’s easy to assemble (though the instructions are a tad vague) and it has an easy to navigate software. Make sure you have enough room to store it, as it’s quite large. The device includes a kit that features Vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, knife, and squeegee.
As far as cons are concerned, the machine has its limits. It doesn’t do great with intricate, detailed decals; but overall it performs pretty well considering that it doesn’t have a laser. Sometimes, the machine does not show the trace and material waste can become an issue. You also need to keep the original box the product came in – otherwise the warranty is void.
Despite the downsides, we’re confident in recommending this as one of the best vinyl cutting machine models in its price range. If you’re not looking for anything too fancy, it will do the trick.
USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 24in Bundle
Aiming for more professional results? The 24″ USCutter Laserpoint Vinyl Cutter Bundle – Sign Cutting Plotter w/ Sure Cuts A Lot Pro – Design & Cut Software is a great pick for those with a more generous budget.
The machine features a cutter laser point with contour cutting and the speed is around 6 inches tall by 24 inches a minute. The “Sure Cuts A Lot” design and cut software give you the possibility to create a great range of patterns, as intricate and detailed as you want.
When you order this, you get 3 high-quality blades, a Grafix weeding tool kit and a Greenstar Vinyl Starter Pack, containing 12 rolls of 24”x5yd in most uses colors. The Greenstar Vinyl Color Guide Booklet that comes along is useful, as are the GreenStar Classic Application tape rolls.
The package also contains 5 squeegees, two magnetic sign blanks, a Design Mini Pack, and a self-healing Cutting Mat. The cutter has a 1-year warranty and comes with free lifetime phone support.
There are a lot of things we like about this model. The Laserpoint helps you contour cut around graphics and has a high–precision „steel barbed” axis for greater accuracy cutting. Plus, the digital force and speed are adjustable and you can manually contour cut just as well. And, if something goes wrong, you can always pause cutting thanks to the emergency stop/start feature.
As for cons, this is not the fastest vinyl cutting machine out there and you might want to slow it down on thicker materials. Overall, however, it provides great bang for your buck.
Graphtec Fc8600-100 42-Inch Plotter
The GRAPHTEC FC8600-100 Vinyl Cutter is a high performance cutting plotter with a speed of 58.5 inc/sec, a 4.0G maximum acceleration, and 20 to 600 g selectable cutting forces. You can process diamond grade, high-intensity reflective film, self-adhesive vinyl, and other similar materials.
The machine has an LCD control panel, a dual configuration function, Ethernet ability (you can run several machines from one place), and the option for additional push rollers with three tension settings. Moreover, it automatically detects registration marks with color variants thanks to its ARMS system.
The perfect cut feature enables custom tool settings; you can cut all the way through the pre-printed vinyl media for colorful stickers and decals. The blade won’t get damaged and neither will the cutting machine! Other supported materials include window tint film, automotive paint protection film, and sandblast resist stencils.
This machine comes in five model sizes, each one meant to provide users with endless versatility. The price includes plug in software for Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw, standard floor stands, and dual media catch basket. Maximum media width is 48 inches.
As you might expect, this machine is recommended for big, ambitious projects. If you’re just starting up, a smaller cutter will work just fine for you. When planning to open a small business, however, investing in one of the best vinyl cutting machine options your money can buy makes sense.
VEVOR Vinyl Cutter 34 Inch Plotter Machine
Another commercial cutter worth looking into, the VEVOR Vinyl Cutter 34 Inch Plotter Machine offers a maximum paper feed of 870 mm (34.3 inches) and maximum cutting width of 780 mm (30.7 inches). It comes with a backlight LCD display and an emergency stop/start function that should come in handy if something goes wrong.
The machine ensures flexible cutting thanks to adjustable cutter pressure (10-500g) and speed 10-800 mm per second. You can use your own fonts, import custom artwork, and draw personalized shapes. Also, the cutter features four fully adjustable pinch-rollers that allow you to use it with a wide range of materials.
The downside? It’s not compatible with Macs, only PCs. But if that’s not a deal breaker for you, rest assured that you’ll be purchasing one of the best vinyl cutting machine models aimed for commercial use.
Brother CM350 Electronic Cutting Machine
If you were looking for a powerful and reliable machine that allows you to turn your scanned images into unique cut designs and patterns, you’re in the right place.
The Brother CM350 Electronic Cutting Machine includes a 4.85 inches LCD touchscreen that allows users to easily select functions and permits multiple connectivity options, including PC connectivity and standalone or wireless network connectivity. In other words, it’s a versatile cutting machine you can use for a wide variety of projects, whether you’re an experienced crafter or just starting out in the field.
You can use the included 12 inches x 12 inches cutting mat or upgrade to a larger mat if you have more large-scale projects to tackle. The machine allows you to edit designs directly on the LCD touchscreen and comes with an instructional manual that’s easy to follow.
All in all, this one is a solid investment for hobbyists looking to bring their crafting game to the next level.
THE BEST VINYL CUTTING MACHINE FOR T-SHIRTS
For those who like to add a personal touch to almost everything, this next model will work wonders. If you’d like to start a small T-shirt printing business or simply plan to come up with thoughtful gifts for friends, the Cricut machine below will come to your aid with minimal hassle.
Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine
The Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine is a user-friendly and feature-rich cutting machine that enables users to personalize T-shirts (and so much more) without breaking the bank. In fact, the device actually cuts through more than 50 materials and comes with free software that’s fairly intuitive.
This Cricut model doesn’t require cartridges (but it’s cartridge compatible). You can use it to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes, extremely accurately, with fonts going from ¼ inch tall and images up to 11-1/2 inches wide by 23-1/2 inches tall. The machine is quiet and enables users to cut very fine details in a fast and precise way. The cut setting dial is particularly helpful. Not only that, but you also get $100 value of images and projects with your purchase.
Whether you want to work solely with T-shirts or plan to expand your horizons at some point, this device has you covered. It can cut through a wide variety of materials, going from paper, vinyl, iron – on to fabric, felt, and poster board. You can create and save custom settings for various materials.
As for cons, the software can take some time to get used to. Other than that, this vinyl cutter is worth your hard-earned cash.
THE BEST CIRCUIT MACHINE FOR CUTTING VINYL
Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
The Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine is an electronic cutting machine for DIY crafts and projects that features embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting with your Mac, iPad, iPhone or PC. You can basically design from anywhere thanks to the free cloud-based app, which ensures that your projects are synced across all devices.
Users can upload and cut their own images (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf) or work with a variety of images available with the device’s software. The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric for DIY projects. The machine has dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step and a Smart Set dial for easy material settings.
The cutting is precise and the machine works with Cricut cartridges. Its performance on vinyl is amazing and the only thing standing in your way is… practice. But not to worry – the more you use the cutter, the more polished your projects will become. And with one of the best vinyl cutting machine models on the market by your side, the only way to go is up.
THINGS TO Consider WHEN CHOOSING A VINYL CUTTER MACHINE
Any beginner or experienced crafter will likely consider investing in the best vinyl cutting machine money can buy at one point or other. A high-quality plotter can bring your projects to the next level, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what features to look for before charging on. Bad, cheaply made equipment will only cause frustration in the long run.
A common mistake when buying a vinyl cutting machine is making the decision simply based on the device’s speed, force, and price. The market has considerably evolved in recent years, and getting the best vinyl cutting machine means learning more about additional factors like motor, tracking, or contour cut image printer. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some basic things to keep in mind as you embark on your shopping adventure.
Die cutters work for cardstock and paper but you can cut rubber, fiber, foil, paper, fiberboard, foam, and even sheet metal with tougher models. Even the most basic options available can cut and emboss, while the more advanced models can also draw, print, scan and weld.
Next, a vinyl cutting machine has a drive motor that comes in two models: mechanical stepper or servo motor. The first option is economical but noisy. It also loses points when it comes to precision on small graphics. Meanwhile, servo motors are silent and smooth, more precise, and great at tracking. As a result, the best vinyl cutting machine models available sport a servo motor. You may want to stay away from other type of devices if you’re after professional results.
If you look up reviews of vinyl cutters, you’ll notice that the motor isn’t the only important component meant to determine the machine’s tracking abilities. The quality of the pinch roller assemblies, for instance, as well as the presence or lack of a floor stand can make a huge difference. You should also figure out what size graphics you’re planning to produce. If you only plan to tackle simple projects like a scrap book, for instance, an entry-level cutter will serve you just fine. For larger designs you should pay attention to the maximum cutting area value for each model, usually listed under specifications.
Of course, there are other features to look out for when doing your research, but that ultimately comes down to your crafting needs. For instance, you might want to a cutter with a special feature called tangential emulation, which orients the blade direction, ensuring more precision cutting without any loss in speed or productivity. This is ideal if you plan to use the cutter to experiment with intricate graphics in thicker materials.
On the same note, you should pay attention to the software the machine comes equipped with. Cutters are expected to turn printer images into contour-cut decals these days, so the need for advanced software that enables the plotter to optically detect printed registration has grown exponentially. An ARMS-equipped vinyl cutter should be able to ensure great results whether you’re just experimenting with crafts for the first time or are a seasoned professional. You should also look for a vinyl cutting machine that has adjustable pinch rollers and a media cut-off feature that lets you begin each job with a clean straight edge, reducing material waste.
Moreover, don’t forget to think about die when you’re purchasing vinyl cutters; get one that is compatible with most popular die brands. Versatility is also important – the device should be able to provide cutouts in the most various sizes. Safety features should also be considered, since cutters have moving components that may cut/pinch and smaller pieces that are choking hazards for children/pets. Finally, warranty coverage is another issue to look for. The warranty may go from six months to three years, depending on the model.
VINYL CUTTING MACHINE PRICES
When it comes how much you’ll have to spend for the best vinyl cutting machine on the market, it’s ultimately about what you plan to use it for – as a hobby or for professional purposes.
High performance vinyl cutters may go up to even $7,000. For this kind of money, the cutting speed is up to 58.5 in/sec and you can use materials ranging from high-intensity reflective film, sandblast resist rubber, self-adhesive vinyl, and more. You’d also get an LCD control panel, Ethernet ability (you can run several machines from one location) and ARMS systems (automatically detects registration marks with color variants).
For a few hundred bucks you can get a cutting plotter that can handle sticker and decal vinyl, vinyl decorative scrapbook paper, inject dark/light transfer paper, and deal with various transfer media (flock, colored paper, PU vinyl). This kind of cutting machine would also have a USB high speed interface, compatible with most computer operating systems.
Last but not least, nowadays you can even get a digital die cutting machine for less than $200. Of course, these are not heavy use machines and you won’t be able to cut balsa wood, for instance, but they’ll do just fine with vinyl, papers, craft foam, tissue paper, lightweight fabric and even rhinestone template material. They generally boast pretty powerful software that enables you to create or import your personal designs and they can handle even complex and intricate graphics, so you can get as creative as you want.
- If you’re looking for other machines that can cut elaborate patterns in more types of materials, check out our die cutter page.
- You should also take a look at our Cricut Explore reviews, or our comprehensive Cricut model comparisons page.
For commercial grade machines, check the paper cutting machines page
- We also have a fun article on paper trimmers.