Best Vinyl Cutting Machines for Crafters

Top Best Vinyl Cutting Machines Complete with Comparisons and Reviews

 

Do you want to know which the best vinyl cutting machine is?

Your wish is my command. In this article, you will find out which vinyl cutter fits your needs. You might be a small business or a stay at home mom or a hobby crafter or a bigger commercial entity doesn’t matter there’s something for you.

Ever since I’ve started my journey, you guys frequently asked: but Emily what the best vinyl cutter for this and that?

This is why I’ve decided to create this post. It’s hard to find useful information on the internet. You guys gave me a lot of feedback during my journey. I’m grateful for everybody who took the energy to write.

I’ve organized this article so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. Please take a look at the table of contents so you can get to that part which interests you the most.

Let’s get this best vinyl cutting machine post started.

MachineCategoryCutting SizeCutting PowerPrice
cricut maker

Cricut Maker

Best Vinyl Cutting Machine12 x 24 inches4000g
Silhouette Cameo 3 cutting machine

Silhouette Cameo 3

Best Die Cut Machine12" x 10 feet210g

Cricut Explore Air 2

Best Electronic Cutting Machine12 x 24 inches350g


USCutter MH Series

Best Vinyl Cutter for Small Business30.5" x 8 Feet350g

Roland GX-24

Best Commercial Vinyl Cutter24 inch width350g

Silhouette Portrait

Best Home Vinyl Cutter8" x 10 feet210g

Brother Scan and Cut 2

Best Paper/Vinyl Cutting Machine12 x 24 inches350g

Graphtec CE6000

Best Professional Vinyl Cutter24 x 164 inches450g

Cricut Maker

Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts12 x 24 inches4000g

Cricut Maker – Best Vinyl Cutting Machine

 

cricut maker

Choosing the best vinyl cutting machine was the hardest from them all. Also, be sure to double-check I said best and not the perfect machine. To my knowledge, the ideal machine doesn’t exist.

Try as they might, but eventually, something will come up, and it will rub people the wrong way. After trying and testing several machines here’s my verdict the best vinyl cutting machine is the: Cricut Maker.

Here are the different points that I took into count. The very first thing I considered was what the best machine should be able to do. After that, I’ve considered the price and the cost of ownership. Lastly, I’ve looked at the drawbacks of the machine.

Going through and checking all the boxes, I gave the highest mark to the Cricut Maker. As I’m writing this, it’s the best vinyl cutting machine on the market.

Who’s the Cricut Maker for?

The Maker is a well-rounded machine. It can handle over 100 different materials. This means you can try and experiment for many years to come. Among the essential materials it can work with: vinyl, paper, fabrics, cardstock, woodstock, chipboard and balsa wood.

These were only the most important materials. Now you probably saw the price tag. The machine is a bit pricier than the rest. Silhouette Cameo came in second on my list. But for you to access the same materials, you would need to buy the Cameo and the Curio.

I’m still not sure if owning the two Silhouette machines you would be able to compete with the Cricut Maker. My main problem is that both Silhouette machine have 210g of cutting force while the Maker has 4000g.

Besides the cutting force, it can cut at double speed. This means that you can get jobs done faster with the Maker than any other machine on the market.

This was my main reason for putting Cricut Maker ahead of the pack.

Now let’s take a look at the cost of ownership. The Cricut brand has the lowest priced accessories on the market. This is good news. It doesn’t matter if your cutting blade went dull or your mat lost stickiness you can resupply cheaply.

The Cricut machine is controlled by the Cricut Design Space software. This is where I’ve found the very first drawback. But first, I will talk about the positives.

cricut design spaceThe software is web-based so no matter what kind of OS you have, it will run. It doesn’t matter if you have a PC or a Mac or an Android or IOS the software is compatible with everything.

Here’s a significant plus for this software. It has the easiest learning curve of them all. It’s so easy and intuitive to get started. Imagine getting used to smartphones and swiping. That’s how easy it is to learn using the Cricut Design Studio.

When you start up the machine the first time, you get to go through a tutorial. This helps you get up to speed in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is follow the instructions, and you are already learning to use this machine.

It’s just like playing a game. Before they throw you in the deep end, there’s a tutorial teaching you to swim.

cricut maker colors

Now here’s the drawback. It’s great that the software is web-based so it’s compatible with any system and you don’t need to worry about staying up to date. But this comes at a cost. You need to have a constant internet connection. If your internet is down the machine is down as well.

With all the great stuff you can do with this machine, there’s this huge limitation. You can’t use it in a wireless blind spot. Before you go out to an expo or a trade-shows, you need to know what’s the internet coverage is.

There’s nothing worse getting orders upon orders and there’s no way to fulfill them because there’s an issue with the internet. Another negative is that there are hidden fees in the design software.

Cricut charges a subscription fee for the service if you want to get access to its design database. Now you don’t have to subscribe. The subscription is for those who don’t know how to create a certain designs or don’t have the time for it. They join the club and get access to the designs for “free”.

All in all, the Cricut Maker deserves its righteous place as the best vinyl cutting machine. It can handle different materials from the most delicate to the hardest.

The software is easy to learn and use. But the biggest issue is that it won’t work without the internet. If you would like to read a more detailed review check out this Cricut Maker Reviewed Post.

Pros
  • Beautiful and comes in different colors
  • Can cut over 100+ materials
  • 4000g of cutting force
  • Dual Carry ability
  • Double cutting Speed
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Cheap accessories low cost of ownership
Cons
  • Design software online only, doesn’t work offline
  • It gets loud when on 2x speed
  • Additional tools are purchased separately (knife blade, fabric cutter)
  • Hidden fees when you use the software (purchase not necessary)

Silhouette Cameo 3 – Best Die Cut Machine

 

Silhouette Cameo 3 cutting machine

Let’s see who’s the winner of the best die cut machine badge? Are you ready? It’s the Silhouette Cameo.

I want to clear something up whenever I talk about the Silhouette Cameo I’m talking about the 3rd version. I know that Cameo 4th was just released. I didn’t get my hands on it. I do an indepth testing before I write a review.

In the next few months, I will get the newer version and see if it’s better than V3. Maybe then I will update this best guide.

What do you need to know about the Silhouette Brand? It’s a well-known brand which has stood the test of time. It has created many different machines over the years.

I know you’re not interested in a history lesson and less in corporate history. You have probably seen that the Silhouette is priced under $300. That means the initial investment is small.

The brochure said that it could cut over 100 different materials. I have my doubts on this claim. This is because it has a small cutting force which is 210g. With this cutting force, it’s a good idea to stick with thin and soft materials.

I had no problem cutting vinyl and paper. For die-cutting it’s simply the best machine available.

To control the machine, you use the Silhouette Design Studio. My first surprise was that they sent the program on a CD when you can easily download it. Either way, you will need an internet connection because it’s a good idea to update the software. Besides the Silhouette Studio, Cameo’s firmware needs to be updated as well.

The ads all say that you can connect wirelessly to the machine. If it says on the brochure, it must be true? I’ve tried days on end to connect with the Bluetooth. I had no luck what so ever. So my only remaining option was to use the USB cable.

Wherever and whenever I can, I use wireless connectivity because it avoids tripping over cables.

Many crafters have complained about the Bluetooth error, and they have still haven’t fixed it yet.

Let’s get back to the software. It has a bit of a learning curve but nothing too hard. It’s good to make a few test cuts on the same material, so you get used to the interface.

The beauty of the Silhouette Cameo is that you can attach a feed roller system to it. This means that you can go way beyond the 12-inch by a 14-inch mat. With the feed roller system, you go up to ten feet long. No other desktop die cutting machine has been able to do that so far.

Another great feature is the dual carriage system. The machine can holster two items so it can do two jobs. The way you configure the holster is by adding a cutting blade and a pen in the holes. You can draw and cut at the same time. This saves you time in the long run.

It has it’s kinks and if you can accept them it will be a great addition to your design arsenal

The Cameo 3 has an LCD from where you can control the cutting steps. The most significant improvement from Cameo 2 is they have covered the LCD screen with a plastic cover. This is important because in a crafting room things could fall on it and might break the LCD. This means that the cutter becomes useless.

Another issue I want to touch base on is the noise. Sadly this runs in the Silhouette family the machines are loud. It’s not unbearable, but it’s annoying. Hopefully, in the next release, they will work on that.

For die-cutting is an excellent machine. It’s robust and it does the job. Check out this detailed Cameo 3 review if you would like to find out more.

Pros
  • LCD screen makes it easy to use
  • Auto Blade (no manual adjustment needed)
  • Dual Carriage
  • Cross Cutter
  • You can cut vinyl up to 10 feet long
  • Over 100,000 designs to choose from (paid)
Cons
  • Bluetooth connection is impossible to get working
  • It’s a loud machine
  • Only 210g cutting force
  • Questionable if it can cut 100+ materials

 

Cricut Explore Air 2 – Best Electronic Cutting Machine

 

Choosing the best Electronic cutting machine wasn’t easy. There were many contenders for the spot. After weighing in all the pros and cons, my final decision came down to the Cricut Explore Air 2 as the best electronic Cutting machine.

Continue reading on, and you’ll discover why I’ve chosen this machine over others.

As you probably know Cricut Explore Air 2 isn’t the latest model. Even so, I believe and know that it’s the right machine for this position.

The significant difference between the Explore and Maker is that the maker has a few more tools and higher cutting force. The drawback is that the Maker helps you access over 100+ materials.

For people like me who suffer from shiny object syndrome, it’s just way to tantalizing. For example, I simply can’t do something the same way twice. And if I get bored, I start searching for something new. This means I know many things at a basic level and nothing at an expert level.

If you are like me, then pick the Cricut Explore Air 2 as the best electronic cutting machine, and you would be cutting fabric in the morning and etching a name into the chipboard by the afternoon.

It’s an affordable machine it’s priced under $300, and if you get it on sale, you will pay just a bit over $200. You don’t want to go cheaper than this.

No matter which Cricut machine you look at, you can see that they are simply beautiful. I’ve referred to Cricut as the Apple of the Vinyl cutting world. The machine comes in different colors and has beautiful curves.

I know there are some die-hard Silhouette fans out here. Silhouette is like IBM grey and square (maybe white). Their machines are so retro.

Anyways let’s return to this Cricut Explore Air 2 and show you why it’s the best electronic cutting machine.

What you need to know about the Cricut brand is that they all have quiet motors. This means that you can easily work in the night without bothering people’s sleep.

It was the first machine in the production line that got the 2x speed upgrade. Boy, this makes a difference. When all the machines were tested head to head the Cricut has beaten all of them by minutes.

Just think about the time it can save and the more projects you can make if you utilize the 2x speed. Here’s a warning if you use this speed you are forfeiting the machine’s noise level. It’s evident that with higher speed, the noise increases as well.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 has dual carriage ability. This means it has two holsters. One is for blades and the second one is for pens. This is a huge time saver if you have to draw and cut.

Now, this cutter isn’t the perfect machine either. It suffers the same flaw as the Maker. It has the same issue, and this is the software. You can only use it if you are connected to the internet. Without the internet, you are out of luck. Besides that minor or major inconvenience, the software is great.

As in it works on any device that can open a webpage. You don’t have to worry about upgrading the software because engineers are doing it in the background.

It’s truly is the Apple of the Vinyl cutting market

There’s one more thing I didn’t like about the Cricut software, and this is the hidden fees. I mean you don’t have to pay for it. The software is free, but if you want to get designs and fonts than you have to pay a monthly fee. Even so, this model is way better than what dinosaur companies are doing. They are charging to use the software. Sadly they are still alive and kicking so I hope they will change their practices.

The reason I’ve chosen the Cricut Explore Air 2 as the best electronic cutting machine is because it’s affordable. You can learn it easily how to use it. The accessories are priced the lowest in the whole marketplace. This means that the cost of ownership is minimal.

It can cut many different things thanks to its 350g cutting power. It’s perfect for vinyl and paper. Also, the included tutorials will get you up to speed in no time. This was just a rapid fire review, if you are looking for a detailed Explore Air review then check out this post.

Pros
  • Can cut over 100+ materials
  • 350g of cutting force
  • Fast cutting speed 39 inches/second
  • Easy to learn and easy to use
  • Easy to use design software
  • No mats needed
Cons
  • Design software online only, doesn’t work offline
  • It gets loud when on 2x speed
  • Hidden fees when you use the software (purchase not necessary)

 

USCutter MH Series – Best Vinyl Cutter for Small Business

Do you want to start a new business using a vinyl cutter? This is why I’ve created this part in this best series. There’s no reason to have a huge sunken cost in a small business.

The most affordable machine for a small business would be the USCutter MH series. This was created for commercial use. By commercial, I mean large scale vinyl cutting.

The MH series has different sizes the most commonly purchased unit is the 34 inch one. This gives you the ability to cut larger vinyl pieces.

The pricing is quite ok; it’s priced under $400. If you are looking for a better quality machine, then be prepared to spend anything from $1,200 to $1,700 or even more.

For you to get your feet wet this is an OK machine. One of the best features of this size is for those who own T-Shirt business. With this size, you can easily customize a T-shirt in one go. For example, if you have opted for a desktop vinyl cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette, you maybe need to cut up your design. And if you have a bulk order, then delivery might take longer.

This is where large scale vinyl machines come into play. This size is perfect for larger projects, like creating decals for cars. Or if you are multiplying stickers hands down the machine can do it faster than any other desktop machine.

What you need to know about this MH series is that it’s the cheapest one you can find. This means that the materials they have used are not of the highest caliber. For example, take a look at the motors. They are using stepper ones. These are the most widely used one in the industry. Stepper motors have two limitations.

First of all, they are louder than the servo ones. Also, they are slower. Since speed came up this vinyl cutter can reach the top speed of 39 inches a second. It’s fast. I do not doubt that.

There’s a common problem with these business / commercial vinyl cutters. They are way too old-school for my taste. For example, you have to pay for the design software. Who does that in the 21st century?

The only way to install the software is through a CD-ROM. These are all technical issues if you can feather them than you will be doing great. Other than that the software is simple and easy to use.

It has more than enough cutting force (350g). If you are using it on vinyl, you will hardly exceed 100g. You probably need more force if you are using a much thicker or harder material.

It’s the cheapest machine to invest if you want to do commercial grade vinyl cutting

My last issue with this vinyl cutter would be that it requires a wired connection. Again this shows how old these machines are compared to the new desktop ones.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a fairly basic machine; let’s call it a starter one. Once you are up and running, it’s a good idea to invest in a more serious machine.

My biggest problem with this machine was that it only has a 90 day warranty. That’s like unheard of. I’ve tested the machine I had no problems what so ever. Also, the manufacturer said that these machines don’t do so well in high statically electricity areas. For that, the SC series is much well suited.

You get what you pay for. If you are serious about starting a vinyl cutting machine, this could be your stepping stone. The investment is minimal compared to the ones that are true industrial. You can learn how to operate the machine in a matter of hours. This means you can recover your investment fast. More info can be found on this MH Series Review Post.

Pros
  • The cheapest commercial grade machine
  • Cuts vinyl well
  • Strong cutting force 350g
  • Double cutting Speed
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Cheap accessories low cost of ownership
Cons
  • Design software is paid
  • Only 90 day WARRANTY!
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Doesn’t do well in high static electricity environments

 

Roland GX-24 – Best Commercial Vinyl Cutter

Let’s imagine the perfect scenario. You are serious about getting into the vinyl cutting business. This means that you have set aside some money to get the ball rolling. For these people, I’ve selected the best commercial vinyl cutter, which is the Roland GX-24.

As you know, vinyl cutters come in different sizes. It’s not different with the Roland either. I’ve picked the 24 series because that’s big enough to handle bigger jobs and it’s in the budget for most people. Let me tell you these commercial machines aren’t cheap.

But before we get to the price, let’s see what does this machine has to offer. First of all, you need to set it up and start it. If you are used to today’s plug and play devices, you will be in a bit of shock.

These industrial and commercial grade machines are like form another era. First of all, you have to pay for the design software. Plus there’s no wireless support. Now if you can stomach these minor inconveniences, let’s see the highlights.

It has a decent cutting surface just shy of the 23-inch mark. It’s wide enough to cut most needs of the customer.

It has an optical eye. This is truly great if you have to multiply stickers or decals. Having this feature, you will be able to cut any vinyl or sticker accurately and fast.

For this, to work, you need to add three dots at the corner of the document. After that, the machine will be able to quickly triangulate the shapes that you want to cut. I’ve used it to create stickers for my kids.

You know how it is with kids. Once they see something and they like it, they want it at that exact moment. This is how I ended up creating special sticker badges for the whole class. If I’ve would’ve done it with a scissors probably would’ve taken me a weekend or more. With desktop vinyl cutters would’ve taken at least 4 hours.

Luckily I had the Roland, and it’s the best commercial vinyl cutter in my opinion. I’ve managed to do this job in less than an hour, including the weeding process.

What I particularly like about Roland is that it’s fast and quite. This comes from the servo motors. You know the most common motors used in the machine are stepper ones to keep the prices down. There’s nothing wrong with those except that they are loud and are slower.

I appreciated the silent way it works. This vinyl cutting machine has a great cutting force which is 350g. This is more than enough to cut any vinyl and paper. Most of the time, you will be using the only 100g of force to cut the materials.

I left the best feature for last. With the Rolland GX-24 series you are getting three-year warranty. This is amazing. The industry standard is just one year (on cheaper products it’s less). This means that the machine has been built to resist usual wear and tear.

By having this long warranty, you know you’re not getting a cheap product that may fall apart at any moment.

Now let’s talk about the price a bit. As I mentioned, in the beginning, it’s not a cheap product, and it shows. The warranty was the reason why I’ve decided to rent the machine. To test it I’ve rented it out for a full month. I’m working as a hobbyist, so I don’t have the space to put the machine. Secondly, I couldn’t fully utilize it.

I will surely miss the speed and quiet of this machine. These are the reasons why I’ve picked the Roland GX-24 series as the best commercial vinyl cutter.

Pros
  • Fast and quiet machine
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Has an optical eye
  • 350g cutting force
  • Top speed 20 inches/second
Cons
  • Design software is paid
  • Old-school last century software
  • No wireless connectivity
  • It gets extremely expensive to maintain and fix if you’re outside of US

 

Silhouette Portrait – Best Home Vinyl Cutter

One of the most frequented questions was which the best home vinyl cutter is. Dear readers, I have an answer. The best home vinyl cutter is the Silhouette Portrait.

The best way to characterize this machine is by saying it’s a small light and effective vinyl cutting machine.

It’s a perfect starter machine to anybody who wants to do crafting as a hobby. Besides all these features, it’s extremely affordable. It’s priced under $200, and on sale, you can get it at around $130.

The Silhouette Portrait is a plug and plays machine. You get it out of the box install the software and you ready to cut some vinyl. You don’t need a rocket science degree for operating it.

Here are things you need to know before you consider buying it. First of all, the cutting surface is smaller than the other desktop printers. The actual cutting size is 8 inches X 11 inches. If you are planning to do heat transfer T-shirt gigs, this machine is not the right fit for you.

Well, you can do it, but you will need to cut up the design and have multiple transfers done. For one T-shirt this might be OK, but for the bulk order, it would be challenging.

The cutting force is quite decent; it’s 210g. This means that you will cut easily any paper and vinyl material. In most cases, you won’t need more than 100g of pressure.

It only has one holster; this means that you can do only one job at a time. The older Silhouette brother the Cameo has a dual carriage, which means you can draw and cut at the same time.

Why did I choose this machine?

Well, it’s quite simple. It’s light and easy to carry. So if you are going to a baby shower, you can show off your design skills with ease. Also, do pick simple designs so the machine can handle it.

Let’s say you’re going to expos or trade shows then this machine would be a great companion. It doesn’t require much, and it’s easy to carry.

The Silhouette Portrait is easy and portable. Small investment for getting started

If we look at money/value, it’s a good machine if the cutting surface would be larger then I wouldn’t have anything to say about it.

Bsilhouette portrait machineuying this machine will get you access to its PixScan Technology. This means that after you have photographed your design with a smartphone, you can upload it in the Silhouette Design Studio. Then you can cut it out with the Portrait.

If you want something flashy with bells and whistles this machine is not for you. It’s basic lite and straight to the point. What you can cut with it are paper and vinyl. For home ideas, it’s simply perfect. Don’t forget the almost free price.

The machine is simple to use, so even kids can learn to cut out different shapes and designs. Don’t forget that adult supervision is required. After I’ve used my Portrait, I’ve given it away because the work I was doing required more than it could deliver.

For the hobbyist, this is a perfect machine. If you want to see how Portrait compares to other machine visit this post.

Pros
  • Light and easy to carry
  • It’s cheap and a great starter machine
  • Has auto blade feature
  • Fairly priced accessories
  • 210g cutting force
Cons
  • Small cutting surface 8X11 inches
  • You can have only one tool
  • No wireless connectivity
  • For a small machine its noisy

Brother Scan and Cut 2 – Best Paper/Vinyl Cutting Machine

Nothing says premium than the Brother brand. By premium, I mean you are paying for the brand and not the capabilities.

Either way, Brother Scan and Cut 2 is the best Paper/Vinyl Cutting Machine. And let me show you why.

I love the look and feel of the Brother machine. The LCD is huge, and it’s easy to operate it. They went a step further than most machines. Since the LCD is so big, you can do cutting jobs on the machine itself. This means that you don’t have to have a computer or any device near. Just tap the LCD screen, and you will be finishing jobs in no time.

The thing is that the LCD is kinda sticking out like a sore thumb. I get it it’s nice and big and colorful but it should’ve been integrated into the machine. Some kind of cover would’ve been nice to protect it from falling objects.

Why did this machine get the best position?

Because of the minor details that give huge benefits compared to the competition.

It has a built-in scanner. This means that it can digitize any personal reaction. After it has digitized the design, it can be edited and then duplicated. This little tech speeds up the duplication process.

Other machines went with a cheaper approach. Since they don’t have an optical scanner, they rely on the user’s smartphone. With these vinyl cutters, you take a picture of your creation and upload it into the editing software. As you can see, that takes precious time.

The other feature that I love from brother is its cutting force. Other machines are staying consistent and only have a cutting force of 210g. The Brother Scanncut 2 has a cutting force of 350g. This is one of the main reasons why I’ve picked this machine as the best paper cutter.

Paper comes in different shapes and thickness. With the 350g cutting force, you will be able to create wonderful designs out of cardstock. Make sure you obey the clearance levels.

The Brother machines cut well, and it’s a bit too noisy for my liking. But there’s nothing to do with that. When I’m using this machine, I try to work when I’m not bothering anybody.

There are some inconveniences with the machine. The first dumb mistake the missing USB cable from the package. And you need it if you want to connect it with your computer. Make sure you buy it, so you don’t have to take an extra trip.

In the beginning, I’ve mentioned that this is a premium product. The premium pricing is transferred in the accessories. By far Brother has the most expensive blades, mats and other accessories. This means that the cost of ownership is high.

Here’s a hot tip to remember. It doesn’t matter which machine you’re using to cut paper be prepared to change the blades frequently. Paper dulls the blade much faster than vinyl does. If you don’t have a sharp blade, then it can mess your design up.

When you want to show off your crafting skills, a premium product is the only solution

I always recommend having two separate blades if you are cutting vinyl and paper. By using a blade on paper, only you will always have a sharp blade if a different project comes up.

The Brother Scan and Cut serves best those people who like to show off their machine. Since it’s not required to have a computer connected to it all the time it’s easy to transport. The built-in scanner will help you scan and cut (duplicate) custom designs. It has a great cutting force so paper is easy to cut. These are the reason why I’ve chosen the Brother Scan and cut as the best paper/vinyl cutter. Do you want to see the original Brother Scan And Cut Review? Visit the link.

Pros
  • The look and feel radiates premium
  • Can do jobs only using the LCD (no device required)
  • Built in scanner
  • Above average cutting force 350g
  • Buying upgrades the cutting surface can be increased to 12X24 inches
Cons
  • It’s expensive
  • Accessories costs are higher than other competitors/li>
  • It can only work with a handful of materials
  • It’s noisy

 

Graphtec CE6000 – Best Professional Vinyl Cutter

What’s the best Professional Vinyl Cutter? This wasn’t that easy to determine. You see, there are many tops of the line machines. Also, I was seeking a cutter that won’t break the budget for a smaller company.

So here is my top pick as the best professional vinyl cutter: Graphtec CE6000.

It’s the best machine if you want to achieve pro-level detail and speed. I’ve tested this machine for a full month. It’s a pleasure to work with. I didn’t buy it because I’m a hobbyist. I don’t have the workload to justify purchasing this vinyl cutter.

After my tests, I’ve been blown away. Ok, full disclosure time. It has flaws, and this one isn’t the perfect machine either. My biggest takeaway was that it is user-friendly. This is achieved by helping users avoid mistakes. For example, it has different error messages, to prevent you wasting vinyl.

One of the big issues with these professional machines is that the vinyl ends up crooked no matter how perfectly you have aligned it. For this problem, Graphtec has a solution. Before you start the cutting process, it checks the edges and the material.

Even so, it’s not a bad idea to double-check. If you end up with a crooked job, you have lost vinyl and money at the same time.

So here’s the trick to get the perfect alignment. After you have aligned the vinyl feed through the material and check to see after a few feet if it starts to get crooked. If not, then you are in great shape.

After using desktop vinyl cutters for so long, it was quite a surprise working with the Graphtec machine. There was only a whisper type of sound coming from the cutter. This was a surprise to me because usually, desktop machines are quite loud. This comes from the motors they use.

Stepper motors are the most common ones and the cheapest as well. So no wonder cheaper products use them. With the Graphtec is different. Only top quality materials are used.

One of the main features that I’ve fallen in love was the ARMS system. You need to add contour lines to the edges of the document. Those lines are detected by the machine so it will easily triangulate the objects you want to cut.

This will make bulk work faster. Forget using scissors because that takes ages.

Another great feature that this machine has is the Tangential Emulation. Tangerine what? This is some kind of term from math class. What this feature does is it makes curved designs smoother and cleaner. By far this machine had the sharpest circles and oval-shaped designs.

When I’ve tested the machine, I’ve added 64 stickers on a sheet and hit cut. Wow simply wow how fast the job was done.

Now this machine isn’t all peaches and rainbows. It has several flaws. The biggest thing that I was missing was the material basket. Why doesn’t it come included in the package?

It’s a user-friendly device, but it’s meant for the professionals who have demanding workloads. As you will see, the machine is quite pricy. You don’t want to have a huge sunken cost as soon as you start your business.

My biggest grievance with this machine was that it’s too old school for me. Like installing software from a CD when I don’t have a CD-ROM was quite a pain. Also, I had to pay for the design software. Who does that nowadays? Correct this was a business practice in the 20th century.

The built in error detection system will save you a lot of money by not letting you waste vinyl

As you can see, the machine is well rounded. It can cut fast and quiet; this is the most important feature for me. Plus it has many great techs built-in so that you can make clean and accurate cuts.

This is the reason why I’ve chosen the Graphtec CE6000 as the best professional vinyl cutter. More info can be read on this Graphtec Review.

Pros
  • Built in error detection
  • Tangential Emulation for sharper corners
  • ARMS system for fast and easy sticker duplication
  • Cutting force 350g
  • It’s fast 35 inches / second
  • Vacuum suction so the material doesn’t slip
Cons
  • Considering the price it isn’t heavy duty/li>
  • No wireless options/li>
  • Old school paid software
  • It’s not for beginners

 

Cricut Maker – Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts

The T-shirt business is a hard business to get into. Just imagine getting a bulk order. You would have to work days and nights just finished it if you don’t have the right tools.

If you are contemplating getting into this business, the best resource to buy is a good heat press. You can use any commercial-grade or even the Cricut Easy Press. This is your most important acquisition after this the vinyl cutter can be bought.

You can setup two or more vinyl cutters at the same time, but you can’t operate two heat presses at the same time.

This is why I’ve chosen the Cricut Maker as the best vinyl cutting machine for T-shirts.

Spend the big bucks on the heat press. And after your initial sales, you can invest in a bigger or the same vinyl cutter to get the jobs done faster.

Why is the Cricut Maker the perfect fit for this job?

It’s quite simple it has a 2x speed upgrade. This means that it can cut faster than other vinyl cutters.

Secondly, it has the lowest accessories cost on the market. This means the cost of ownership is low. By spending less on the accessories, you are left with more profits.

Who doesn’t like this type of math?

Cricut Design Space is easy to learn. You will be up to speed in no time. Here’s an inconvenient truth about the software. It has hidden fees. The good news is that you don’t have to pay them if you don’t want to.

There’s a membership program which gives you access to designs and fonts that other people have done. If you know how to create designs, you don’t have to pay.

My biggest problem with the Cricut was and still is the software. It’s online only. This means that if the internet goes down, you can’t operate your machine. This negative is counterbalanced with many positives. For example you can access the software from any device since it’s web browser based.

Cricut Maker with the Cricut EasyPress its an unbeatable pair in the T-shirt making business!

You don’t have to worry about updates because it is done in the background. Plus the first tutorial will set you up for success.

As I mentioned before there’s a 2x speed option. There’s a drawback for this high speed. By using the fast-cut option, you will be sacrificing the low noise. When you’re working in bulk that’s a sacrifice you have to take.

The Cricut Maker has the strongest machine on the market today. By strong, I mean it has the highest cutting force, which is 4000g. The nearest competitor is Brother and Cricut Explore, which has 350g.

With the 4000g cutting force, you will be able to cut anything with ease. Let it be heat transfer vinyl or paper. This was one of the reasons why I’ve chosen the Cricut as the best vinyl cutting machine for T-shirts.

With that big cutting force, it’s a versatile machine. Let’s say you have sold a T-shirt now you can make more profit by up selling the customer. If the customer bought a T-shirt with a unique design, maybe you can sell him a car decal. If he doesn’t have a car, maybe you can ask if he would like a decal for his phone or laptop. That’s how you make the big bucks by stacking small and easy jobs one over the other.

If you want to make a bit of extra, you can always offer to apply the decals. That’s another source of income. Initially, you can do it for free if you want to learn how to apply it properly.

The Cricut Maker is a versatile machine, and it can add more to your bottom line. The operational costs are low, so you are left with more money at the end of the day. This is the reason why I’ve picked the Cricut Maker as the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts.

Pros
  • Beautiful and comes in different colors
  • Can cut over 100+ materials
  • 4000g of cutting force
  • Dual Carry ability
  • Double cutting Speed
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Cheap accessories low cost of ownership
Cons
  • Design software online only, doesn’t work offline
  • It gets loud when on 2x speed
  • Additional tools are purchased separately (knife blade, fabric cutter)
  • Hidden fees when you use the software (purchase not necessary)

 

Conclusions

I’ve tried and tested many vinyl cutters. Even so, it was difficult to choose the best machine for certain categories. Don’t forget to check back periodically because I’ll be updating this article as new machines come out.

I hope that you have found this article interesting. I also hope that by reading it helped you make up your mind. Depending on which end of the market you’re currently located, there’s the right machine for you.

Remember this dear reader there’s no such thing as the perfect machine because all of them have flaws. Read these reviews and see if any of those flaws is a deal-breaker. If not, then go ahead and start crafting.

If you have any observations or recommendations, let me know. You can comment below or email me.

 

Happy Crafting!

 

Frequent questions from our readers (FAQ):

 

Which is better the Cricut or the Silhouette?
This comes down on what you’re using it on. Cricut has a lot of versatility and it has the cheapest accessories thus the cost of ownership is low. Silhouette Cameo is good at cutting paper and vinyl. The accessories are priced at the average level. If you want to limit yourself to paper and vinyl then Silhouette would be your best option plus it’s cheaper as well. If you want to use
What is the best Silhouette machine to buy?
At the moment Silhouette Cameo 3 is the best machine to buy. Cameo 4 has just been released still waiting for my machine to arrive. If it’s better I will update it.
What machine do you use to make vinyl decals?
This depends on what size you are looking to make. If you are interested in small sized decals then desktop sized machine will be your best option. Cricut Maker or even Explore Air 2 is a good choice. If you are looking to create large decals than you need a bigger machine so if you are looking for an entry level machine I recommend the USCutter MH series. If you want something that’s durable and have set aside a budget than Roland and Graphtec is the best option for you.

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Emily Weathers
Emily Weathers

Hi, Emily Weathers ex-corporate drone, full-time crafter and mother of three running this site. My passion is crafting, and I'm an early adopter. I'm testing many machines, so you don't have to. Since I get to play with these devices, why not write reviews for them? It's the reason for the site's existence, so you make the right choices and avoid money pits. If you want to know more…