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vinyl cutter
Jessica QuiltNCo
Posted by
Jessica
|
Updated on
June 5, 2023
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Best Vinyl Cutters For Every Situation

Best Overall
Cricut Maker – Smart Cutting Machine
With 10X Cutting Force, Cuts 300+ Materials, Create 3D Art
Buy at Amazon.com
best FOR beginners
Silhouette Cameo 4 Plus
with Bluetooth, 12×12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2
Buy at Amazon.com
best portable
Silhouette Portrait 3
Electronic Cutting Tool with Bluetooth and autoblade
Buy at Amazon.com

Choosing a vinyl cutter is time consuming and overwhelming. With all the different features and options to choose from it’s hard to start looking.

Whether you’re a hobbyist into DIY projects, or an owner of a startup or small business looking for a cheap investment, there are certain things you need to consider when investing in a vinyl cutter.

In this post, I review the best vinyl cutters on the market today for every situation.  If you need help choosing a vinyl cutter, you are in the right place.  Let’s dive in!

1. Cricut Maker – Best Overall

Specifications

Weight: 15.02 Pounds
Dimensions: 22.6 x 7.09 x 6.22 inches
Cutting Space: 11.5 x 23.5 inches

Features

12 + expandable tools. 
New rotary blade for fabrics 
Access to hundreds of digital sewing projects
Create custom designs with Design space for free 
Docking slot for tablet and smartphone
Bluetooth and USB connectivity 

What I Like

Versatility 
The Circuit Maker is a versatile option that has adjustable attachments. These attachments allow you to switch between cutting different materials quickly. One of the best attachments if you need to cut fabric or other thick material is the newly introduced rotary blade. 
 
Designs Space App
The design space app makes it easy to decide what design you want to cut. There are many pre-determine designs you can use. Or you can use the app to create a custom design for your project. 

What I Dislike

Limited Cutting Space
If you need to cut large pieces of vinyl this might not be the best option. It has a cutting space of 11.5 x 23.5 inches. For some people, this cutting space can be very limiting. 
 
Learning Curve 
If this is your first vinyl cutter, there is a learning curve you must overcome. Without any digital screen or button, you need to rely solely on the software and app.  
The software and app are not the easiest to use and take some time to learn. Once you understand the software, performing functions is relatively easy. 
 
Expensive 
The base price of this model is quite expensive for most. The major downside is that depending on your projects you might need to purchase some expandable tools. These expandable tools can quickly drive up the price of this machine. 
Before purchasing this cutter, try to determine which tools and accessories you might need in the future. This will give you a better idea of the full price you will pay for the machine. 
Positives
Makes cutting leather or balsa wood or any thick materials easier and finer
The Rotary Blade for cutting fabrics
Adaptive Tool System for quick adjustments 
Speed mode for cutting twice as fast. 
Embedded Bluetooth for printing. 
Negatives
Expensive
Requires phone and computer skills to appreciate the features of the machine
Limited cutting space
The rotary blade is not as fast as other tools
Difficulty to load your pre-existing sewing patterns
Additional tools are expensive 

Who Should buy

This is the most versatile and reliable vinyl cutter on the market. If you purchase the circuit maker it will complete all the cuts you need and more. 
The circuit maker is ideal if you are interested in cutting custom designs. While other cutters require a computer and special software. The Circuit Makers allows you to create custom designs using the app. 
If you are tired of looking for vinyl cutters and won’t be cutting larger than 11.5 x 23.5 then the Circuit Maker is a great option. 
It’s a reliable and versatile cutter that will allow you to complete many projects with ease.  

2. Silhouette Cameo 4 Plus – Best For Beginners

Specifications

Weight: 16 Pounds
Dimensions: 25.44 x 7.68 x 6.69 inches
Cutting Space: 12 x 24 inches

Features

Easy load, unload, and pause your projects in style. 
New built-in roll feeder for quickly cutting vinyl and heat transfer material directly from a roll. 
Built-in cross cutter allowing for a clean straight edge cut
Tool sensor technology that detects what tool you are using which then triggers the silhouette Studio software to adjust cut settings automatically.
New dual-motor system – smooth and intricate cuts, 3x faster than previous models 
Mat-less cutting
The auto blade functionality – with a single-tap reset for quick switching between projects and tools.

What I Like

Tool Type Detection
The tool type detection allows you to change between projects and tools quickly. The cutter automatically detects the change and adjust the settings accordingly to avoid any issues or breaks. This is a great feature for ease of use and for beginners who are unsure of what settings need to be adjusted.
 
Roll Feeder and Cross Cutter
The new built-in roll feeder allows for quickly cutting vinyl off the roll. It also allows you to cut long rolls of vinyl that other cutters on the market can’t due to the limited cutting space. 
The cross cutter feature also allows for faster and more accurate cutting. Rather than relying on a single angle of cutting, the cross-cut allows the blades to move across the fabric creating better angles and speed for cutting designs. 

What I Dislike

Old tools not compatible
If you have older tools from other Silhouette cutters you can’t use them. This is a major downside because it will require you to purchase new additional tools.
Keep this in mind if you are trying to save money by building on your Silhouette cutter collection.
 
Certain Tools not included
With the purchase of your Silhouette Cameo 4 key tools to cut are not included. For example, the rotary cutter and kraft cutter are not included.
These cutters are essential for cutting fabric and other cardstock. To fully equip your cutter you will need to spend additional money on these attachments.
Positives
Comes with a tool-type detection making it easy to start new jobs
User-friendly touch interface that’s responsive and supports
You can use materials that were previously unusable such as machine-wood, magnetic material, and leather
Can match the Cricut in power but is much cheaper in comparison
The vinyl roll feeder allows you to cut longer fabric. 
Negatives
Two of the cartridges only work with certain tools.
Old Silhouette tools are not compatible.
The kraft and the rotary blade aren’t included in your purchase.
Most of the designs in the Studio program aren’t free
No USB port

Who Should buy

This machine is best for hobbyists and people who art into arts and crafts or DIY at home.
It has many features that make it great for beginners to get started without the worry of ruining their projects or cutter. Operation is also easy with Cameo because it has simple start and stop functions. 
It’s also great for people who are looking to cut directly off a roll. Many similar printers don’t offer this feature at this price range. This is what sets the Silhouette Cameo 4 apart. It has an unlimited cutting range due to its roll feeder capability.

3. Silhouette Portrait 3 – Best Portable Vinyl Cutter

Specifications

Weight: 3.52 Pounds
Dimensions: 18 x 8 x 9 inches
Cutting Space: 8 x 12 inches

Features

Automatic blade adjustment – AutoBlade
2mm cutting depth with 210 grams of cutting force
Bluetooth and Wireless connectivity 
Requires cutting mat 
50 cutting designs 
Includes Silhouette Studio software 
Cut and Draw feature 
PixScan technology allows designs from an image 

What I Like

Scan and Cut 
The Pixscan feature allows you to scan images or designs and then cut them using the cutter. This is great for quick I love this feature. I capture the image I want to cut from my camera or smartphone. After that, I simply feed that image’s picture to the machine for cutting. It works wonderfully without any quality compromise.
 
Blade varieties and smooth blade adjustment
The AutoBlade feature adjusts the cutting strength on its own depending upon the type of material. Separate blade for cutting thicker materials like foam or leather is available. Additionally, a regular blade and fabric blade are also available.
 
Length of cutting
The machine allows cutting up to 10 feet long material. I have tried cutting materials of varying lengths and materials and found the performance impressive.

What I Dislike

Limited cutting width 
The cutting width offered by the machine is just 8 inches. Most of the mats and materials come with 12 inches in width. 
 
The cutting force could have been better
The Silhouette Portrait 2 has a low cutting force. This makes it difficult to cut thick materials or perform intricate designs. 
 
Blades aren’t durable 
I’ve noticed that the blades tend to dull out relatively quickly. As they dull out you will notice their efficiency and accuracy reduce greatly. If you plan on using this often or cutting thick material you can expect your blades to dull out quickly. 
Positives
Built-in optical scanner allows customizing the prints and cuts
Comes with an adjustable auto-blade that is adaptable manually as well
Inexpensive makes it great for beginners 
Lightweight 
Bluetooth enabled with smartphone or laptop connectivity for easy access anywhere 
Negatives
The cutting width is limiting
Limited cutting force is not great for thick materials 
The software upgrades are expensive 
Doesn’t have a touchscreen 

Who Should buy

Despite a few shortcomings and limitations, this machine is value for money. It’s for starters who may want more professional machines later. It’s also great for demonstrative purposes and home-use. There are enough functions to explore, and the cutting quality is not bad either. 
Beginner level die cutters, amateur hobbyists, trainers, teachers, and small studios would find this machine useful. This is not a machine for advanced hobbyists, professional die cutters, and small business owners.
JessicaJessica
I’m Jessica, mother of two and passionate seamstress. From a very young age, I’ve cultivated a passion for the creative arts, from drawing, sewing and now quilting. I saw it as a way to escape, to create, and above all, to please by offering my creations around me. The desire to pass on this passion has become more and more important, this is why I’m sharing my experience and my knowledge online.
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Jessica QuiltNCo

Warning!

I am a passionate Quilter.
This means that I actually enjoy chopping up perfectly good fabric into little teeny tiny pieces and then sewing them all right back together again…
JUST FOR FUN. 😉
Jessica
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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