Best Vinyl Cutters
We know how frustrating it is when your brilliantly designed signage is compromised by an aging vinyl cutter with precision issues. Such moments call for a shopping session to get the faulty unit replaced with one of the best vinyl cutting machines in the market.
How To Choose The Right Vinyl Cutting Machine
Whether you're replacing an aging vinyl cutting machine or buying your first unit, it pays to consider some of these factors as manufacturers are continually upgrading their models to suit the present demands.
1. Purpose Of Use
Commercial and personal vinyl cutting machines can vary differently in specifications and price. If you need a commercial vinyl cutting machine, look for those that can handle cutting in bulk for complicated templates. However, if you're seeking a vinyl cutting machine for your budding business or home use, a compact personal vinyl cutting machine is a better option.
2. Types Of Motor
Vinyl cutting machines are driven by two types of motors, stepper, and servo. Stepper motors are relatively cheap but can be somewhat noisy and less accurate than desired. On the other hand, servo motors are quiet, and accurate in cutting small patterns. For professional applications, we strongly suggest that you get servo motor driven vinyl cutting machines.
In case you're not aware, most vinyl cutting machines can cut more other materials than purely vinyl. Common materials supported by the machines are paper, fabric, faux leather, and adhesive foils. Ensure that the machine supports the materials you're working with.
4. Advanced Features
Manufacturers are making good use of the latest technologies to make their vinyl cutting machines stand out from the rest. Some machines allowed you to print from mobile phones and tablets. Others may be equipped with modern touch display for ease of calibration.
5. Warranty And Support
Getting the best vinyl cutting machines are not exactly cheap investments to make. As with any devices with electronics and moving parts, they are susceptible to wear and tear or damages over time. You'll want to get a vinyl cutting machine from a manufacturer that offers reasonable warranties and great support when required.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
You need to make an informed decision by evaluating the specifications of the vinyl cutting machines available. To narrow down your options, we've shortlisted some of the best vinyl cutting machines that we're impressed with.
Hobbyists working on a personal project may find this vinyl cutting machine by Cricut a decent fit for their requirements. It is designed to perfectly cut the greeting cards, vinyl stickers or any home decors that you're working on. You're able to work with more than 100 materials on the Cricut Explore Air 2, including basic and specialty vinyl, faux leather, poster board, cardstock and more.
Precision is what Cricut had in mind as its smart set dial make sure you get a perfect and accurate cut consistently. If you need to cut and write or cut and score simultaneously, the machine is well equipped with a double tool holder.
The Cricut Pens opens up the possibility for the machine to write in 370 fonts. Making perfect fold lines is achieved with ease with its specially crafted Scoring Stylus. Speed is essential, and the Explore Air 2 has a unique Fast Mode feature that increases the cutting and writing speed by 100%.
If you're pretty mobile when working on your designs, you'll be impressed by the machines ability to process your design from a computer or mobile devices through its intuitive Design Space software. If you need some inspiration, there are thousands of pre-made projects or images to choose from.
The Silhouette Portrait 2 is one of the best vinyl cutting machines when you have hardly any space to spare. It is designed to be compact and yet boasts impressive features for your projects.
The Portrait 2 supports more than 100 materials, including transparencies, cardstock, paper, and vellum. Coupled with its economical price, it is an affordable vinyl machine for both hobbyist and small businesses.
There is also ample flexibility when it comes to designing and the cutting process. A custom software is provided for both Mac and Windows when you purchase the Silhouette Portrait 2. It also features Bluetooth connectivity that allows wireless transfer of the files to the machine.
Designers working on templates that are wider than 8 inches across will find the machine smart enough to segregate the design into different sheets. Silhouette has also included an AutoBlade feature into the Portrait 2, which makes cutting more efficient.
Over 50 unique designs are also included with the software to save you the trouble of starting from scratch in specific projects.
An impressive product from industry leader Brother, the Brother CM350 Scan N Cut 2 boast a 300 DPI scanner that converts scanned images to formats optimized for cutting. That's not the only sign of sophistication of the machine. It also features a 4.58″ LCD touchscreen that enables you to configure the machine easily.
The CM350 supports various connectivity options. You can connect the cutting machine directly to your PC, or share it with multiple computers on a wireless network. This means no more copying files from one PC to another when sharing the machine.
You'll get a 12″ x 12″ cutting mat that ships with the CM350 that fits into its rather large scanning and cutting area. But if that's not good enough, feel free to upgrade to a larger cutting mat to expand the cutting limits for your designs.
The highlight of the CM350 lies in the ability to edit your design both on a computer and the touchscreen of the machine itself by using the ScanNCutCanvas web application. As you initiate the cutting process, you can expect highly precise results, thanks to the German carbide blade and superior Japan design.
For personal use, the Silhouette Cameo is arguably one of the best vinyl cutting machines in the industry. You'll have a decent range of design area to work with as the width extends from to 12″ and an unlimited cutting length.
Feel free to put unleash your creativity when it comes to the different types of material. The Silhouette Cameo supports commonly used materials like vinyl, cardstock, fabric, and paper. For designs that need sketching, merely replace the blade with a pen.
You don't need to purchase separate software to sketch and cut with the Silhouette Cameo. A free Silhouette Studio software is available for free and hosts the necessary tools to turn your ideas into intricate crafts.
The flexibility and extensive features of the Silhouette Cameo made it a perfect vinyl cutting machine for designers working on greeting cards, custom apparels, paper crafts and vinyl decors. To start cutting out your design, you need a direct USB connection to the machine or transfer the design over with an SD card. There are also free design templates to help you along if you need extra ideas.
5. Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker is one of the best vinyl cutting machines that will impress both professionals and hobbyists. You'll get to explore your creativity for projects that involved sewing, leather crafts, and balsa model. Rather than merely cutting, the Cricut Maker has an expandable suite of tool that enables sketching and scoring as well. It opens up the boundless possibilities of what you can do with a vinyl cutting machine.
The key to making the Cricut Maker a favorite choice for professionals is the new rotary blade. It makes cutting through the fabric a simple process by gliding and rolling through the material. You can also purchase an additional knife blade that makes quick work of cutting thicker materials like balsa wood and matt board.
Hobbyists working on sewing or quilting project will also find the Cricut Maker a decent choice. Besides having hundreds of sewing pattern to choose from, the machine cuts and marks the fabrics precisely.
Both connectivities and intuitiveness are taken into account by Cricut. You can create and edit designs in a simple app downloadable to your mobile devices or computer. You'll also find the convenience of a docking slot on the Cricut Maker to hold and charge your mobile device.
If you're cutting in bulk and need a reliable professional vinyl cutting machine, the Graphtec PLUS is worth your consideration. It is driven by an industrial servo motor that guarantees a quiet and accurate cutting process.
The Graphtec Plus comes with a floor stand and is equipped with a standard blade capable of cutting vinyl up to 0.25mm thick. A built-in Automatic Registration Mark Sensor facilitates contour cutting of pre-printed materials. The efficiency of this feature helps to reduce wastage and makes the process more efficient.
You can also turn the Graphtec Plus into an industrial plotter by equipping its pen adapter with Staedtler Lumocolor Pens. This industrial cutting plotter is superior regarding cutting speed and strength.
Setting up the vinyl cutter is easy as it comes with a comprehensive instruction manual. You'll need to install the Graphtec Studio on the computer and have a reliable USB or RS232 connection to the machine to start cutting.
We hope you found this list of the best vinyl cutting machines helpful in choosing the right vinyl cutter for your applications.