Looking for the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines?
Look no further. We at Nonstop Signs have tons of experience when it comes to vinyl cutting machines — it’s part of our job, after all. Beginners in the field will approach buying a vinyl cutting machine as they would any other piece of equipment. They Google a few reviews, see if a particular model has five stars, and then compare and contrast. The problem is that there are literally hundreds of vinyl cutting machines on the market. You will most likely have other things on your mind as a small or medium business owner.
So how do you get the most bang for the buck? By consulting professionals (that’s us!). We know that most business owners will look at factors such as how fast and powerful a vinyl cutting machine is before they buy. They will definitely look at the price tag as well. But that is not all you should be on the lookout for. Reliability, durability, and accuracy are factors that are often neglected by novice buyers of vinyl cutting machines. The best vinyl cutting machines tick all the right boxes.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
A general rule of thumb is to always focus on the ‘why’, rather than the ‘what’. Why do you need a vinyl cutting machine? And in which context will you be using it? In order to find the best vinyl cutting machines, it is worth looking at a few of the factors you should take into consideration before you buy.
What is the purpose of your vinyl cutting machine?
You might want to opt for a personal or commercial model of vinyl cutting machine depending on the size of your business. If you are a small business and just starting out, then you might want to opt for a personal vinyl cutter, to begin with. These small machines are portable, relatively quiet, and can easily take on small jobs without problems. They are also quite a bit cheaper than the commercial models.
If you, however, need a machine that can handle complex work in large volumes, then you might want to consider a commercial model. These machines are larger and noisier. However, they can handle everything from printing to scanning, to welding.
How deep can it cut?
You need to know what kind of material you will be cutting, and how thick it is. This will help you select a vinyl cutting machine with the right cutting depth. Although the majority of models has a cutting depth of around 2mm, there are some that can cut deeper. If you will mainly be working with paper and leather, then 2mm should do it for you. Always opt for the machine with the most cutting depth if the price difference is negligible.
What kind of motor does it have?
The two kinds of motors used in vinyl cutting machines are typically servo and mechanical. The mechanical motors tend to make a lot more noise and be less accurate than the servo motors. Mechanical motors will do the job if you are not bothered by noise and don’t need to work with any small images. Servo motors are preferable for several reasons, however. These motors are a lot more precise in their cutting, deliver the work smoothly, and make minimal noise.
What kind of materials can it handle?
Vinyl cutting machines can cut vinyl — it’s in the name. However, you might want to work with materials other than vinyl. Make a list of all the materials you will be working with, and check if the vinyl cutter you’re considering buying can handle them. Many will advertise that they can cut any number of materials, but check if they can cut the specific materials you want to work with. Check if there are any limitations to the kind of paper it can handle. There are many types of paper, including magnet and adhesive paper.
How easy is it to use?
Learning how to operate a new piece of equipment can be a frustrating experience. That’s why it’s always good to look for the simplest models. In an ideal world, you will want to get to work with minimal hassle. Check how easy it will be for you to replace the paper and empty printing cartridges. It is even better if the machine comes with its own internal software. Many models will have printing templates that will make it quick and easy for you to get started. It is also practical if you can find a vinyl cutting machine that is wireless and have some automated functions.
How wide does it print?
When considering which model to buy, you should also think about how wide you want your prints. A personal vinyl cutting machine on the cheap side might only cut six inches. A more expensive machine for home use can cut up to 12 inches. You will most likely need a commercial vinyl cutting machine if you need to cut anything wider than that.
How large is the machine?
The size of the machine will matter only if you purchase a commercial vinyl cutter and have limited space to store it. Personal vinyl cutters tend to be small and portable, which makes them handy for tight spaces. If you’re working out of a small office or studio, then you don’t want the machine to take up your workspace.
Does it come with any accessories?
Although you are just on the lookout for a vinyl cutting machine, it doesn’t hurt if there are extra accessories that come with it. Some manufacturers will include nothing more than the machine and the instructions manual. However, you can get lucky and score yourself some extra equipment like a spatula, a hook, a vinyl trimmer, adhesive paper, sketching pens, or a pickup tool. These tools might drive the price up for the vinyl cutting machine, but you might save money on having to buy them separately.
How long is the warranty?
Even the best vinyl cutting machines will eventually malfunction if you use them frequently enough. That’s why it’s very important that you pay attention to the warranty of the vinyl cutting machine. Not all warranties are equally long, it can pay off to shop around for the longest warranty. This will save you lots of money on repairs down the line.
How much does it cost?
The bottom line is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when looking for the best vinyl cutting machines. If you are running a small or medium-sized business, chances are you will have a budget you need to stick to. As with everything else in life you get what you pay for with vinyl cutting machines. You might have to make some compromises depending on how much money you have to work with. But that’s why we made this guide for you — so you can get the best value for your money.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines #1: Cricut Explore Air 2
If you fancy something a little quirky, then the Cricut Explore Air 2 might be for you. These are comes in fancy colors like mint green and baby blue. It is also one of the faster vinyl cutters in terms of functionality. It has a fast mode function that allows you to churn out pieces like never before. The machine also comes with its own fonts, software, and can be used with all kinds of devices.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines #2: Cricut Maker
The Circuit Maker is the best vinyl machine for you if you are looking to make extra deep cuts. It comes with cloud-based storage for your designs and has a few more bells and whistles than the Cricut Explore Air 2. The Maker also comes with the ability to switch between two different tops without having to stop production. The only prerequisite for getting the most out of this machine is a fast internet connection.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines #3: USCutter MH Series
The USCutter MH Series is an ideal middle-ground between personal and commercial use. If you’re a small business, this vinyl cutter is not a bad bet. You can see that it is relatively cheap and fits on a desktop. It also comes with a set of handy tools, like vinyl rolls and squeegees. It also comes with lifetime support and has a good warranty.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines #4: The Silhouette Cameo 3
As with the Circuit Maker, The Silhouette Cameo 3 reduces production time by slowing you to do both cutting and writing in one go. Although the functionality of this vinyl cutter is great, the community the manufacturers have created around it is even better. Expect to become part of a very enthusiastic group of craftspeople who are more than happy to share their tips and experiences.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines #5: Roland GS-24 CAMM-1 Cutter
Last on our list here is the Roland GS-24 CAMM-1 Cutter, which can handle pretty much any project you throw at it. Whether you’re into making small stickers or larger signs, this vinyl machine has you covered. It has got an overlap cutting function, a built-in optical registration system, and is perhaps the fastest machine on our list.