Vinyl Cutter Reviews 2018 2018-02-20T19:43:16+00:00

Are you looking to purchase a new craft cutting machine?  We have all the up-to-date information on the best cutting machines available in 2018!

There are so many choices of craft cutting machines these days, and we know how overwhelming it can be to compare each machine with your business or personal cutting machines needs. So, we’ve got our comparison chart of vinyl machines for you to easily find what you need, and then have a look at our more detailed Best Vinyl Cutter Reviews to follow.  Happy craft cutting everyone – we love our cutting machines and all the amazing crafts we create!

Best Vinyl Cutter 2018 – Comparison Chart

BRAND &
MODEL

IMAGE

MAX
CUTTING
FORCE

MAX CUTTING
DIMENSIONS
(Width x Length)

BEST USAGE

WIRELESS

RATING

CHECK
PRICING

Cricut Cuttlebug

Die Cuts

6" x 8"

Beginner, Teachers, Home, Dies & Embossing - Cards, Stickers, scrapbooking

N/A

Check
Price

Cricut Explore Air 2

Unpublished

12" x 24"

Beginner, Home, Small Business - Drawing, Vinyl transfers, Scrapbooking,

YES

Check
Price

Silhouette Cameo 3

210 g

12" x 10'

Beginner, Home, Small Business - Vinyl t-shirt transfers, Scrapbooking

YES

Check
Price

KNK Maxx Air 15"

1500 g

15" x Unlimited

Pro, Business

YES

Check
Price

Janome Artistic Edge 15"

750 g

15" x Unlimited

Designer, Home, Small Business

YES

Check
Price

Brother ScanNCut 2

Unpublished

12" x 24"

Designer, Sewist, Experienced

YES

Check
Price

Silhouette Portrait

210 gf

8" x 10"

Beginner, Home - Sticker, Cards, Scrapbooking

NO

Check
Price

Cricut Maker

Unpublished

12" x 24"

Experienced, Sewist, Small Business, Tissue Paper, Thin Wood, Fabric

YES

Check
Price

Silhouette Curio

210 gf

8.5" x 12"

Experienced, Complementary to Vinyl Cutter - Emboss, Sketch, Stipple,

NO

Check
Price

KNK Zing Orbit 15" or 24"

1000 g

15" x Unlimited
24" x Unlimited

Pro, Business, Designer

YES

Check
Price

The BEST Vinyl Cutter Reviews 2018

The Cricut Cuttlebug is a versatile die cutting and embossing machine.  It can cut several materials from tissue paper and foil up to thin leather. This machine accepts dies and embossing folders from other than the Cricut brand (Sizzix etc), which is very helpful if you have die cuts from other machines that you’ve had in the past. It’s small size makes it very portable for whenever you need to do some crafting on the go in other places besides your home.  These machines are great for school teachers to use in the classroom, and come at a very affordable price – well under $100.

Pros

  • Professional Quality Cutting and Embossing

  • Lightweight & Portable Die Cut Machine

  • Inexpensive Die Cutting Machine

  • Good for Beginners & Easy to Use

  • Compatible with Dies from other Brands (must purchase separate plate)

Cons

  • Limited Cutting Width of 6″

  • Occasionally the suction comes loose that keeps the machine in place

Our Evaluation

This is a bargain, super cheap die cutting machine that is great for beginners, kids, or even the well experienced.  Homemade card makers and scrapbooking enthusiasts love this portable and lightweight machine.  If you’re looking to do wider cutting widths, this machine could limit you, but for personal and home use, this mini vinyl cutter machine gets our vote for best value vinyl cutter machine – it’s practically a steal at just over $50!

Cricut Cuttlebug Machine
Cricut Cuttlebug Dies & Accessories

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a really nice machine for personal and home use. Rated as the best vinyl cutter under $300, it cuts and draws at twice the speed of it’s predecessor, the Cricut Explore Air. It comes enabled with wireless bluetooth technology, for those times when you want to send the machine a job from your iPad in the living room.  We love this convenience! It has maximum cutting dimensions of 12″ x 24″, which is usually acceptable for most hobbyist craft cutters.

As a versatile, top notch vinyl printing machine, not only does this craft machine cut, but it also will do scoring and drawing for you.  The Explore Air 2 boasts of it’s ability to cut over 1oo materials with ease.  It cuts anything from thin vellum and HTV vinyl, up to foam, leather, and even metal! What a variety!  It does have trouble with tissue paper, so we don’t recommend this machine for that (try the Cricut Maker for excellent tissue paper cutting!).

The Cricut Explore Air series only allows the use of it’s own proprietary software called Cricut Design Space.  Unlike other Design software such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, Design Space is very user friendly for beginners.

Pros

  • Cuts Twice as Fast as Cricut Explore Air

  • Well Priced at under $300

  • Easy to Use Design Space Software

  • Cuts 100+ Materials from Thin Vellum to Thick Leather and Metal

  • Cuts, Draws, and Scores

  • Wireless Bluetooth Technology

Cons

  • Limited Cutting Dimensions of 12″ x 24″

  • Makes More Noise than Cricut Explore Air 1

  • Limited to Using Only Cricut Design Space Software

  • Cricut Design Space Requires Subscription Fee for Access to Additional Designs

Our Evaluation

The Explore Air 2 is an excellent machine for beginners who are wanting a vinyl printer and cutter machine all in one. This is a well priced machine for beginner cutters or even experienced hobbyists and small home businesses.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
Cricut Explore Air 2 Bundle

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is known for its cutting precision!  It is compatible with the self-adjusting AutoBlade (the only Silhouette machine that is). This amazing technology lets your machine set the proper blade depth for whatever material you choose to cut – automatically!

The Cameo 3 is an excellent machine for cutting vinyl for t shirt transfers or wall decals. It comes with a dual carriage for multi-use printing and cutting. This craft cutter has a higher clearance than most for cutting thicker materials and is in fact so versatile that it can cut over 100 materials!

The Silhouette design store has tens of thousands of pre-made designs for you to choose from, or you can get crafty and create your own designs with Silhouette’s free software, Silhouette Studio.  One thing to note is this software has a significant learning curve, but otherwise this vinyl plotting machine is a good one for home use!

Pros

  • Cuts 12 inches x 10 feet

  • Well Priced at $200

  • User-Friendly Silhouette Studio Design Software

  • Allows Multi-tool use with Dual-Carriage

  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology

  • Ability to Cut Thicker Materials with 2mm Clearance

Cons

  • Does Not Cut Metal Well

  • Limited Cutting Force

Our Evaluation

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is the BEST vinyl cutter for t-shirts!  Design all your own custom t shirts and bags with the Cameo 3’s amazingly precise cutting technology.   It cuts a little more slowly than it’s competitor, the Cricut Explore Air 2, but still does a great job, and has a large fanbase in the vinyl cutting world. This machine has great value for the money, and would be an excellent addition to your crafting room!

Silhouette Cameo 3 Machine
Silhouette Cameo 3 Bundle

The KNK Maxx Air is a solid machine best for small business usage.  It has a much higher cutting force than the traditional Cricut and Silhouette hobbyist cutting machines. It has new technology that runs a quiet, yet faster motor.  It’s blade cuts with excellent precision. This machine comes with flatbed tables to bolt the KNK onto, so it has a home at just the right height for efficient usability. Adjustable pinch rollers and blade holder are a bonus for the user to have complete control over how the machine moves based on density of cutting media.

This compact machine has the ability to cut fast around curves, and can cut more intricate designs and complex images. It’s quiet but fast and powerful motor give it an edge over the competition.  This machine is a high quality choice for small business usage.  The price is more than a hobby cutting machine, but also lower than several of the other commercial vinyl cutters on the market.

Pros

  • A Powerful 1500g + of Cutting Force

  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology (PC Only)

  • Quieter than Previous Models

  • Faster Cutting Speed – Up to 800mm Per Second

  • Adjustable Pinch Rollers

  • Adjustable Blade Holder for Use with Compatible Accessories

  • Comes with Bolt on Flatbed Tables

Cons

  • Must Use USB for Mac (Bluetooth compatible with PC Only)

  • Rotary Accessory Not Yet Available

Our Evaluation

The KNK Maxx Air is a compact machine that is an excellent value purchase for small business usage.  It has a powerful motor, great for cutting vinyl decals for walls and glass or vinyl for heat pressing onto fabric. This machine also handles more dense materials well. With an incredible wealth of high quality features, we recommend this KNK vinyl cutter a the perfect choice for a small business!

KNK Maxx Air 15″ Machine
KNK Vinyl Cutter Accessories

The Janome Artistic Edge vinyl cutter machine is a fabulous addition to the Janome brand, best known for their Janome sewing machine line.  Janome has entered the digital die cutter machine market with both the Janome Artistic Edge 12″ and the Janome Artistic Edge 15″ models. These machines are well-liked by the quilters, since they are excellent machines for cutting fabric with high precision.

Embroiderers enjoy the large variety of designs included with the Janome SimpleCut Software that comes with these machines. The software allows the user to design within it, and the 3 high quality blades included can cut almost any material you will need with an amazing 750g of cutting force.  This amount of cutting force is unheard of for a hobby craft cutter machine.

Another thing to note is the solid build of this machine with steel components of commercial grade quality. This machine has a higher price tag than it’s competitor hobbyist cutting machines, but it is also very durable and built to stand the test of time!

Pros

  • A Powerful 750g of Cutting Force

  • Includes Accessories that the Competition Makes you Buy Separately

  • Bluetooth Wireless Included

  • Great for Quilters – Cuts Fabric Well

  • Cuts Wider than Most at 15 inches (Also comes in 12 inch model)

Cons

  • Can Not Perform One-Step Print and Cut (Single Carriage)

  • SimpleCut Software has a Learning Curve and Has Reported Bugs

  • Larger Footprint Requires More Space to Work

  • Mats are Reported to Lose Sticky Adhesiveness Quickly (Fixed using Quilt Basting Spray)

Our Evaluation

The Janome Artistic Edge 15″ is a favorite of the sewists, particularly those into quilting and embroidery. This machine is well-built and has a powerful cutting force to cut through almost any material!  This is a high quality machine with some great features, and we highly recommend it as the best cutting machine for quilting!

Janome Artistic Edge 15″ Machine
Janome Artistic Edge Bundle Deal

The Brother ScanNCut 2 is what creative designers are looking for!  Create your own designs, then scan and cut them – all without a PC! While this nifty vinyl cutting machine takes some getting familiar with, once you learn how to use it, it can cut almost anything, including fabric for quilting! Brother, famous for their sewing machine line, has created this fabric cutter machine that is perfect for the quilters and embroiderers among us!  Not only does it cut material, but also cuts vinyl for t-shirts, is great for scrapbooking, and even creating your own die cuts for homemade cards!

The versatility and cutting precision of this vinyl and fabric cutting machine is top notch! The well-known Brother brand name does not disappoint with this amazing scan and cut machine!

Pros

  • Large LCD Screen

  • Bluetooth Wireless Included

  • Create Your Own Designs and Scan and Cut Them with Built-in Scanning

  • Ability to Use with PC or as Stand Alone

  • Comes with Hundreds of Designs and Seven Different Fonts

Cons

  • Steep Learning Curve on Getting Settings Correct

Our Evaluation

The Brother ScanNCut 2 is a cutting machine for creative types!  If you are a designer and like to create, scan, and cut your own images, then this is the machine for you!  This can all be done without a computer, just on this machine itself. This is also an excellent cutting machine for the Quilters and Embroiderers out there! We give it a huge thumbs up!

Brother ScanNCut 2
Brother ScanNCut2 Bundle Deal

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is a great machine for beginners.  This machine does just about everything the Silhouette Cameo 3 can do, just can’t cut as wide (8″ vs 12″  Wide) – and its HALF the price! This is a fantastic starter machine that will give you good value for your hard earned dollars.  Easy to use and set up, this craft  machine comes with user friendly software and the ability to download new shapes and designs from the Silhouette Online store (the first month comes free, but there is an additional fee after).

If you are wanting to get your feet wet in the craft cutter world, this is the machine to start with.  This machine has a small footprint, so does not take up a huge amount of desk space and can be tucked away in a closet as needed. While it may be small, it can cut with as much precision as the best personal vinyl cutting machines on the market today, and can cut well over 100 different materials.

Pros

  • Adjustable Autoblade

  • Includes Silhouette Design Studio Software

  • Switch out Blade with Pen for Sketching

  • Priced Well Under $200

Cons

  • Only Cuts 8″ Wide

Our Evaluation

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is a budget friendly machine, and is an excellent choice for beginners.  It cuts with all the accuracy of the competition, just a bit smaller and quieter!  If the 8 inch cutting width limit is no issue for your craft cutting projects, we recommend this machine as the top choice for vinyl cutting beginners!

Silhouette Portrait 2
Silhouette Portrait 2 Bundle Deal

The Cricut Maker is one of the newest releases to the craft cutter market. It boasts of having TEN times the power of it’s predecessor, the Cricut Explore Air 2. This machine has revolutionized cutting material with perfection for sewing and quilting with it’s Rotary Blade. It can also cut anything from as thin as tissue paper to thicker balsa wood, leather, mat board, and even metals (with the Knife Blade, sold separately). It cuts over 300 different materials with cutting dimensions of 12 inches wide, by 24 inches long!

Not only does it cut, but it can score and mark as well with the Cricut Scoring Tool and Fine Point Pens. It also comes with two 12 x 12 cutting mats, and Cricut gives you digital access to hundreds of sewing patterns via it’s Design Space Software. If you are going to use the Maker for cutting sewing patterns, we highly recommend getting the 12″x24″ mat, as many of them will require it.

Cricut Machine Comparison Table

Cricut Comparison Chart

Pros

  • Rotary Blade Has Revolutionized Cutting Fabric with Precision

  • Hundreds of Sewing Patterns Included

  • Adaptable Tool System Technology Does the Thinking for You

  • Fastest Cricut on the Market

Cons

  • More Expensive than Other Personal Vinyl Cutting Machines

  • Knife Cutting Blade Not Included

Our Evaluation

The Cricut Maker is the most cutting edge cricut vinyl machine on the market today.  It’s ability to accurately and quickly cut fabric has revolutionized the sewing world! It is also so versatile that it cuts anything from tissue paper to Balsa Wood with great precision! The Adaptive Tool System is an excellent new technology, and combined with it’s increased cutting strength and quick speed, we rate this Cricut Vinyl Cutter as top notch 2018 cutting machine of the year!

Cricut Maker Machine
Cricut Maker Ultimate Bundle Deal

The Silhouette Curio really has some diverse functionality.  Not only is it a vinyl cutting machine, but it can stipple, score, etch, print, and emboss.  Pretty amazing, right? This nifty little crafting machine allows for the cutting of thicker materials than most of the others, with a clearance of 5mm. The Deep Cutting blade allows for cutting of up to 2mm thick materials. It’s dual carriage is handy in allowing the machine to do two things at the same time, such as draw and cut or cut and score.

Pros

  • Rotary Blade Has Revolutionized Cutting Fabric with Precision

  • Hundreds of Sewing Patterns Included

  • Adaptable Tool System Technology Does the Thinking for You

  • Fastest Cricut on the Market

Cons

  • More Expensive than Other Personal Vinyl Cutting Machines

  • Knife Cutting Blade Not Included

Our Evaluation

Silhouette Curio Machine
Silhouette Curio Bundle Deal