Best Vinyl Cutting Machine: Reviews and Comparisons

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

best vinyl cutting machines

In this article, you will find out which vinyl cutter fits your needs.

To save you time, only the best machines were selected for this article. Each one is a great choice for a particular niche.

Look:

You might be a small business, a stay-at-home mom, a hobby crafter, or a bigger commercial entity. Either way, it doesn’t matter, there’s something for you out there.

Let’s get this best vinyl cutter post started.

Here are the best vinyl cutting machines in 2021:

In A Hurry? Here Is Our Top 3 Recommended Vinyl Cutter

It’s the perfect vinyl cutter for those who want to work with multiple materials.

It’s the ultimate beginner friendly and affordable vinyl cutter.

It’s the desktop cutter that can handle bigger projects up to 10 feet long.

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Best Vinyl Cutting Machines of 2021:

PRODUCT DETAILS PRICE 
Editor’s Choicecricut-maker Cricut Maker
  • Easy to use, the learning curve is minimal. The machine and the software are user-friendly.
  • It can cut 300+ materials. It cuts the smallest shapes with perfect precision. Materials like vinyl, paper, fabric, leather, and others are handled with ease.
  • If you want to create vinyl decals, craft stencils, design cards, and more, all this can be done using just the Maker.
  • Design Space is child’s play, it’s so simple that kids can use it for school projects without supervision.
  • Cutting Power: 4000g, Cutting Size: 12″ x 10 feet
Check on Cricut.com
Best for BeginnersCricut Explore Air 2 Cricut Explore Air 2
  • It’s an easy to use cutting machine, which eliminates the painfully slow manual cutting process.
  • The Explore Air 2 does a great job with paper, vinyl, and other materials. The simplest things to create are stickers and cards.
  • Design Space is brain-dead simple to use with a minimal learning curve.
  • Cutting Power: 350g, Cutting Size: 12 x 24 inches
Check on Cricut.com
Best Valuesilhouette cameo 4 Silhouette Cameo 4
  • It’s a fast machine that can handle paper, vinyl, HTV, and other materials with ease.
  • The Cameo 4 is super simple to use, and the demo project gets you up to speed.
  • The Silhouette Studio offers many customization options. Thus, it has a bit of a learning curve; nothing that you can’t handle after a few projects.
  • Cutting Power: 5000g, Cutting Size: 12″ x 10 feet
Best for small businessbrother scanncut sdx125 USCutter MH 34in
  • This vinyl cutter is an excellent beginner’s machine for businesses and home use. It can handle vinyl and paper with ease.
  • It’s extremely easy to use. Minimal setup is required, as it works straight out of the box.
  • You can make your investment back in less than a month, and after that, it’s only profit.
  • Cutting Power: 350g, Cutting Size: 30.5″ x 8 Feet
Best Affordable Choicebrother scanncut sdx125 Silhouette Portrait 3
  • The Portrait 3 is an affordable beginner-friendly portable vinyl cutter, and it’s easy to use.
  • The Auto Blade is a game changer, as it slashes the learning curve and eliminates the guessing game.
  • It comes Bluetooth enabled, and cuts paper, vinyl, cardstock, and many more materials with ease.
  • Cutting Power: 210g, Cutting Size: 8″ x 10 feet
Best with a scannerbrother scanncut sdx125 Brother ScannCut
  • It’s an almost noiseless cutting machine that focuses on true precision.
  • It’s one of the easiest-to-use cutters. Thanks to the revolutionary auto blade, the learning curve is almost inexistent.
  • The built-in scanner is a game changer. You can easily cut printed paper or vinyl with it.
  • Cutting Power: 350g, Cutting Size: 12 x 24 inches

What Will I Learn?

#1. Cricut Maker – Best Vinyl Cutting Machine

cricut maker

Choosing the best vinyl cutting machine was the hardest of them all. Also, note that I said best and not the perfect machine. To my knowledge, the ideal vinyl cutter 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 vinyl cutters, here’s my verdict. The best overall vinyl cutter is the Cricut Maker.

Here are the different points that I took into account. 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 machine’s drawbacks.

Going through and checking all the boxes, I gave the highest mark to the Cricut Maker.

Who’s the Cricut Maker for?

The Cricut 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 are vinyl, paper, fabrics, cardstock, woodstock, chipboard, and balsa wood.

Now, you probably saw the price tag.

I’m still not sure if, by owning the two Silhouette machines, you would be able to compete with the Cricut Maker. The main problem is that both the Silhouette vinyl cutter has 210g of cutting force, while the Maker has 4000g of cutting force. The cutting area is good (12 inches by 24 inches); the cutting mat has to be in this size.

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

These were my main reasons for putting the 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 if your cutting mat lost stickiness, you can resupply cheaply.

However, this machine is controlled by the Cricut Design Space software. This is where I’ve found the very first drawback. But first, I will focus on the positives of this software.

cricut design space

As previously mentioned, the 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 Cricut Design Studio.

When you start 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 have already learned to use this vinyl cutter.

It’s just like playing a game. Before they throw you in the deep end, there’s a tutorial teaching you how 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 to use it. If your internet is down, the machine is down as well.

With all the great stuff you can do with this vinyl cutter, 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 show, you need to know how the internet coverage is. There’s nothing worse than getting orders upon orders, and having no way to fulfill them because there’s an issue with the internet.

Another negative point 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 certain designs or don’t have the time for it. These people can join the club and get access to the designs for “free.”

All in all, the Cricut Maker deserves its righteous place as the best choice for a vinyl cutting machine. It can handle a big variety of materials from the most delicate to the hardest.

The software is easy to learn and use, but its 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 Review post.

Pros
  • Beautiful, and comes in different colors
  • Can cut 300+ different materials
  • 4000g of cutting force
  • Dual Carry ability
  • Double cutting speed
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Cheap accessories, and 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 (optional purchase)
i highly recommend to check out the official cricut site

*Don’t forget to check the price on both websites as they may be running exclusive discounts.

Hot Tip: In case Cricut Maker is out of stock you can safely go with Cricut Explore Air 2

  • Tried and tested a real workhorse
  • It does everything what the Maker can
  • It’s more affordable than Cricut Maker
  • You can start crafting in matter of days because they are in stock

#2. Cricut Explore Air 2 – Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for Beginners

Cricut Explore Air 2

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

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

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

The significant difference between the Cricut Explore 2 and the Maker is that the Maker has a few more tools and a 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 too tantalizing. For example, I simply can’t do the same thing 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 your electronic cutting machine, and you will be cutting fabric in the morning, and etching a name into the chipboard in the afternoon.

Plus, it’s an affordable machine.

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 vinyl cutter 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 vinyl cutting machines are so retro.

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

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

It was the first machine in the production line that got the 2x speed upgrade. And boy, does this make a difference! When all the vinyl cutters were tested head to head, the Cricut one beat all of them by minutes.

Just think about the time it can save you, and the more projects you can take on if you utilize the 2x speed.

Here’s a warning though: 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.

In addition, the Cricut Explore Air 2 has dual carriage ability. This means that it has two holsters: one for blades, and one 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 has the same flaw as the Maker; its software. You can only use it if you are connected to the internet. Without the internet, you are out of luck.

Besides this (minor or major) inconvenience, the software is great, as 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 truly is the Apple of the vinyl cutting market.

There’s one more thing I didn’t like about the Cricut software: 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, then you have to pay a monthly fee. Even so, this model is way better than what dinosaur companies are doing. Sadly, they are still alive and kicking, so I hope they will change their practices.

Finally, I’ve chosen the Cricut Explore Air 2 as the top cutting machine for beginners because it’s affordable. You can easily learn how to use it. The accessories are the cheapest ones on the market, which means that the cost of ownership is minimal.

It can also cut many different things thanks to its 350g cutting power, and 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, but if you are looking for a more detailed Explore Air 2 review, then check out this post.

Pros
  • Can cut 100+ different materials
  • 350g of cutting force
  • Maximum cutting speed of 39 inches per 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 (optional purchase)
i highly recommend to check out the official cricut site

*Don’t forget to check the price on both websites as they may be running exclusive discounts.

#3. Silhouette Cameo 4 – Best Value Vinyl Cutting Machine

Silhouette Cameo 4

The Silhouette Cameo 4 won the best value vinyl cutting machine award.

Here is why: There are many good companies making vinyl cutters, but Silhouette America has outdone themselves with the brand new Cameo 4.

It’s not just a facelift, as it was with the Cameo 3. They have set a new record in the vinyl-cutting sphere. They have the strongest machine on the market today.

If you want to be versatile and to keep up with the latest trends, then you have to craft from multiple materials. With the cutting force upgrade, you can now work with over 100 materials.

Besides the cutting-force upgrade, they have improved speed as well. Compared to the Cameo 3, the Cameo 4 is three times faster.
Finally, it seems like they managed to make it quieter, so you will hardly notice it while it’s working.

silhouette cameo 4 with roller feeder

Another major improvement is the built-in roll feeder. Before, you had to buy it separately. Guess what? Now, it’s built in, and you don’t have to worry about losing it while you’re on the go.

With the roll feeder, you can take on bigger projects. Here’s why, with this built in the gizmo, you can handle up to 10 feet of vinyl.

They have also fixed the Bluetooth problems, and now you can enjoy a wireless connection wherever you are. Best of all, they have a mobile app, so you don’t have to haul a laptop when you’re on the road. 

And, have you seen the new auto blade?

silhouette cameo 4 auto blade

Many crafters had to learn the hard way to make the right settings. Guess what? With the new improvements, everything is done for you. No more wasted money and time on a fail.

Besides the auto blade, there is also a tool detection enabled. This means the software will know exactly which blade you have inserted, so it warns you if you’re about to make a mistake.

silhouette cameo 4 rotary blade

Now, let me show you the rotary blade. With this, you will be able to cut fabric and leather without wrinkling the material. Many crafters were missing this tool with the previous vinyl cutter machines.

Also, keep in mind that, when you’re using the rotary blade, you have to get the Strong Tact mat, so the fabric sticks just right.

silhouette cameo 4 kraft blade

As for the Kraft blade, it looks like an X-acto knife. You can cut up to 3mm thick materials. With the 5000g of cutting force, you will be able to handle stronger materials.

Before, you had to use the Silhouette Curio for these jobs. Now, everything is integrated into one machine. Keep in mind that the Kraft blade can only be adjusted manually. So, be careful if you get too used to the auto blade.

silhouette cameo 4 punch tool

The punch tool is another great addition to your arsenal. With this nifty blade, you can create weeding points with ease. You will no longer have ruined designs because the weeding failed.

The auto blade comes with the package, but the rest has to be purchased separately.

The final great feature of the Silhouette Cameo 4 is the cross cutter. This means you can easily cut the vinyl down to size, saving you both time and material.

silhouette cameo 4 cross cutter

Finally, the Silhouette Cameo 4 is complete. They didn’t just do another facelift. The company went to the drawing board and redid everything. Now we, crafters, can create designs out of this world.

The last time I’ve checked, the stocks for this machine were limited. So if you feel like the Cameo 4 is the right choice for you, take action now.

Pros
  • The most versatile vinyl cutter ever made. With 5000g of cutting force, it can cut up to 3mm thick.
  • Its built-in roller feeder, which allows you to handle big projects up to 10 feet long.
  • Its blade detection system, which avoids messing up projects.
Cons
  • The loading and unloading arrows are reversed.
  • If you want to export designs, you have to upgrade from the standard license.

Click here for reviews and latest price

#4. USCutter MH Series – Best Vinyl Cutter for Small Business

USCutter MH Series

Do you want to start a new business using a vinyl cutter? 

This is why I’ve created this section. 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 comes in different sizes, but 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. But if you are looking for a better quality machine, then be prepared to spend a lot 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 businesses. 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 may need to cut up your design. And if you have a bulk order, then delivery might take longer.

This is where large scale vinyl cutter come into play. This size is perfect for larger projects, like to create decals for cars, or if you are multiplying stickers. The vinyl cutter can do it faster than any other desktop vinyl cutting machine.

What you need to know about the 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 in the industry. Stepper motors have two limitations, however.

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

There’s another 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?

Plus, the only way to install the software is through a CD-ROM. These are all technical issues. So if you can feather them, then you will do 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 ever exceed 100g. You probably need more force if you are using a much thicker or harder material, however.

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

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

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

Finally, my biggest problem with this vinyl cutter was that it only has a 90-day warranty. That’s like, unheard of. I’ve tested the machine, and I had no problems whatsoever. Also, the manufacturer said that these vinyl cutters don’t do so well in high statically electricity areas. For that, the SC series is much better suited.

But you get what you pay for. If you are serious about starting to use a vinyl cutting machine, this could be your stepping stone. The investment is minimal compared to the ones that are truly industrial. Plus, you can learn how to operate the vinyl cutter in a matter of hours, which 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, and low cost of ownership
Cons
  • You have to pay to use to design software
  • Only 90-day WARRANTY!
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Doesn’t do well in high static electricity environments

Click here for reviews and latest price

#5. Silhouette Portrait 3 – Best Affordable Vinyl Cutting Machine

Silhouette Portrait 2 home vinyl cutter machine

One of the most frequent questions I receive is, which the best vinyl cutter for home use? Dear readers, it is the Silhouette Portrait 3.

The best way to characterize this machine is by saying it’s a small, light and effective vinyl cutting machine. It’s a perfect machine for beginners who want to do crafting as a hobby. Besides all these features, it’s extremely affordable.

The Silhouette Portrait 3 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 though. First of all, the cutting surface is smaller than the other desktop printers (8 inches X 11 inches). If you are planning to do heat transfer for T-shirt gigs, this vinyl cutter 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.

Then, the cutting force is quite decent, with 210g. This means that you will easily cut paper and vinyl. In most cases, you won’t need more than 100g of pressure.

However, it only has one holster, which means that you can only do one job at a time. On the other hand, the older Silhouette brother, the Cameo 3, has a dual carriage, which means you can draw and cut at the same time.

Why did I choose this vinyl cutting 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. A small investment for getting started.

silhouette portrait machine

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

Buying this vinyl cutter will get you access to its PixScan Technology. This means that once you have photographed your design with a smartphone, you can upload it in the Silhouette Design Studio (Silhouette Studio Software). 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, light, and straight to the point. What you can cut with it is paper and vinyl. So, for home ideas, it’s simply perfect. And don’t forget the almost free price!

Finally, 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 no matter what. 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 vinyl cutter machine. If you want to see how Portrait compares to other machines, check this post.

Pros
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Cheap, and a great starter machine
  • Auto blade feature
  • Fairly priced accessories
  • 210g of cutting force
Cons
  • Small cutting surface 8X11 inches
  • You can have only one tool
  • No wireless connectivity
  • For a small machine its noisy

Click here for reviews and latest price

#6. Brother Scan and Cut 2 – Best Cutting Machine with a Scanner

Brother Scan and Cut 2 - top paper cutter

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

Either way, the Brother Scan and Cut 2 is the best paper/vinyl cutting machine. 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. They went a step further than most vinyl cutting 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 nearby. Just tap the LCD screen, and you will be finishing jobs in no time.

The thing is that the LCD is kind of sticking out like a sore thumb. I get it, it’s nice, and big, and colorful, but it should’ve been integrated into the vinyl cutter. Some kind of covers 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.

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

Other vinyl cutters went for 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 onto the editing software. As you can see, that takes precious time.

The other feature I love from Brother is its cutting force. Other vinyl cutters are staying consistent and only have a cutting force of 210g, but the Brother Scanncut 2 has a cutting force of 350 grams.

Plus, paper comes in different shapes and thicknesses. With the 350 grams cutting force, you will be able to create wonderful designs out of cardstock. Just make sure you obey the clearance levels.

The Brother machines cut well overall, but it’s a bit too noisy for my liking. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to do about that. When I’m using this vinyl cutting machine, I try to work when I’m not likely to bother anybody.

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

At the beginning, I’ve mentioned that this is a premium product. The premium pricing is transferred in the accessories. Brother has by far 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 vinyl cutter 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, you will always have a sharp blade if a different project comes up.

Finally, the Brother Scan and Cut serves best those 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. Plus, it has a great cutting force, so paper is easy to cut.

Want to read the original Brother Scan And Cut Review? Click on the link.

Pros
  • The look and feel radiates premium
  • Can do jobs only using LCD (no device required)
  • Built-in scanner
  • Above average cutting force of 350 grams
  • Buying upgrades, the cutting surface can be increased to 12 inches X 24 inches
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Accessories costs are higher than those of competitors
  • Can only work with a handful of materials
  • Noisy

Click here for reviews and latest price

#7. Roland GX-24 – Best Commercial Vinyl Cutter

Roland GX-24 vinyl cutter

Let’s imagine the perfect scenario. You are serious about getting into the vinyl cutting business, which means that you have set aside some money to get the ball rolling. For people in your case, I’ve selected the best commercial vinyl cutter, the Roland GX-24. (I’ve skipped the Roland GS-24 because that’s an older version).

As you may 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 of most people. And let me tell you these commercial vinyl cutting machines aren’t cheap!

But before we get to the price, let’s see what this machine has to offer. First, 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 a shock.

These industrial and commercial grade machines are like from another era. First, 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 meet most customers’ needs.

Then, it has an optical eye. This is truly great if you have to multiply stickers or decals. With 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 vinyl cutter 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 scissors, it would’ve probably taken me a weekend or more. With desktop vinyl cutters, it would’ve taken me 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 quiet. 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 its silence. Plus, this vinyl cutting machine has a great cutting force of 350 grams. This is more than enough to cut any vinyl and paper. Most of the time, you will only be using 100g of force to cut materials.

Finally, I kept the best feature for last. With the Rolland GX-24 series, you are getting a three-year warranty. This is amazing! The industry’s standard is just one year (and on cheaper products, it’s even less). This means that the vinyl cutter 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. As I mentioned at 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 for a full month. I’m working as a hobbyist, so I don’t have the space to put the vinyl cutter machine. It is meant for commercial use and small businesses.

Secondly, I couldn’t fully use it. Finally, the Roland GS-24 has similar specs to the GX version.

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

Pros
  • Fast and quiet machine
  • 3-year warranty
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Has an optical eye
  • 350g of cutting force
  • Maximum cutting speed of 20 inches per second
Cons
  • You have to pay to use the design software
  • Old-school last century software
  • No wireless connectivity
  • It gets extremely expensive to maintain and fix if you’re outside of US

Click here for reviews and latest price

#8. Graphtec CE6000 – Best Professional Vinyl Cutter

Graphtec CE6000 top professional cutter

What’s the best professional vinyl cutter? 

This wasn’t easy to determine. You see, there are many top-of-the-line vinyl cutters. Also, I was seeking a cutter that won’t break the budget for a smaller company.

So, here is my top choice for professional vinyl cutting: the Graphtec CE6000.

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

After my tests, I was blown away. Full disclosure time:  obviously, it has flaws; it isn’t the perfect vinyl cutting machine either. But 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 from wasting vinyl.

One of the big issues with these professional machines, however, 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 both vinyl and money. 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 getting 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, which comes from the motors they use.

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

One of the main features that I’ve fallen in love with was the ARMS system. You need to add contour lines to the edges of the document. Those lines are detected by the vinyl cutter 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 of this vinyl cutter is the Tangential EmulationTangerine what? This is some kind of term from math class. What this feature does is make curved designs smoother and cleaner. This vinyl cutter machine had by far the sharpest circles and oval-shaped designs.

When I tested the machine, I 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 one is the lack of material basket. Why doesn’t it come included in the package?

Overall, it’s a user-friendly device, but it’s meant for professionals who have demanding workloads. As you will see, the vinyl cutter 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 vinyl cutter was that it’s too old-school for me. Installing software from a CD when I don’t have a CD-ROM was quite a pain, for example.

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 vinyl cutter is well-rounded. It can cut fast and quietly, which is the most important feature for me. Plus, it has many great techs built-in, so that you can make clean and accurate cuts.

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 of 350 grams
  • Fast with its cutting speed of 35 inches per second
  • Vacuum suction so the material doesn’t slip
Cons
  • You should consider the price if it isn’t for heavy duty
  • No wireless options
  • Old-school software that you have to pay for
  • Not for beginners

Click here for reviews and latest price

#9. Cricut Maker – Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts

Cricut Maker - best overall vinyl cutter machine

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 if you didn’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 2. 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 simultaneously.

This is why I’ve chosen the Cricut Maker as the top vinyl cutter 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, which means that it can cut faster than other vinyl cutters.

Secondly, it has the lowest accessories cost on the market, which 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 master. You will be up to speed in no time. But here’s an inconvenient truth about the software; it has hidden fees. The good news is that these fees are optional.

The membership program will give you access to designs and fonts that other people have done in the past. But 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. However, this negative is counterbalanced by many positives. For example, you can access the software from any device, since it’s web browser-based.

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

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

As I mentioned before, there’s also a 2x speed option. But there’s a drawback to 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.

Finally, the Cricut Maker has the strongest cutting power on the market with 4000g of cutting force. The nearest competitor is Brother and Cricut Explore, with 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 cutter 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 upselling the customer. If the customer bought a T-shirt with a unique design, maybe you can sell them a car decal. If they don’t have a car, maybe you can ask if they would like a decal for their 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 vinyl cutter, 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.

Pros
  • Beautiful and comes in different colors
  • Can cut 100+ materials
  • 4000g of cutting force
  • Dual Carry ability
  • Double cutting speed
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Cheap accessories, and low cost of ownership
Cons
  • Design software online only, doesn’t work offline
  • Gets loud when on 2x speed
  • Additional tools are purchased separately (knife blade, fabric cutter)
  • Hidden fees when you use the software (optional purchase)
i highly recommend to check out the official cricut site

*Don’t forget to check the price on both websites as they may be running exclusive discounts.

Hot Tip: In case Cricut Maker is out of stock you can safely go with Cricut Explore Air 2

  • Tried and tested a real workhorse
  • It does everything what the Maker can
  • It’s more affordable than Cricut Maker
  • You can start crafting in matter of days because they are in stock

Conclusions for the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines

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

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

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

Here’s a bit of recap so you don’t have to scroll all the way to the top:

Here are the best vinyl cutters in 2021:

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

Happy Crafting!

Cricut Maker, Champagne
9,831 Reviews
Cricut Maker, Champagne
  • CREATE MORE: Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make everything from paper crafts, iron ons, and vinyl decals to sewing projects, leather crafts, and balsa models
  • ENDLESS PROJECT POSSIBILITIES: Expandable suite of tools. With its powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool, Cricut Maker grows with you as you learn each new craft
  • NEW ROTARY BLADE FOR FABRICS: With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric quickly and accurately – without backing material
Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12x12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software - Blue Pattern Edition
775 Reviews
Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12x12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software - Blue Pattern Edition
  • The Silhouette Cameo 4 -Blue Pattern Edition is the evolution in desktop cutting. Conveniently stored in the machine's compact pull-out drawer is a new built in roll feeder for quickly cutting vinyl and heat transfer material directly from a roll. On the back of the Cameo 4 You will find a built in cross cutter allowing for a clean straight edge cut on your vinyl roll for your next project.
  • The Cameo unique dual carriage allows for tool Type detection. The machine's ultra-smart system uses tool sensor technology that detects what tool you are using which then triggers the silhouette Studio software to adjust cut settings automatically.
  • The Cameo 4 stands apart from previous models with the new dual motor system, which allows you to cut in two distinct ways. Carriage one provides the Cameo 4 with unparalleled speed. It is operated from a solenoid motor that gives makers smooth and intricate cuts. Cameo 4 can cut or sketch up to 3x faster than previous models without sacrificing accuracy. Carriage two is operated by an entirely different style of motor that allows for unprecedented power.

Top Vinyl Cutters Buying Guide

I bet this isn’t the first best vinyl cutters buying guide you’re reading. Many crafters have made posts about this. So, let’s get to the thick of things.

First, you need to decide on what you will use the vinyl cutter for: is it for commercial use or home use? With vinyl cutters for home use, you can save money. When you choose a vinyl cutter machine, it allows you to create home décor elements. Over the past few years, we have seen a rise within the wireless cutting machine sector. The beauty of these wireless cutting machines is that it allows you to create home décor elements without tangling into wires. When you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to get a vinyl starter kit. It has all the supplies, like vinyl rolls, magnetic blanks, quality vinyl, and german carbide premium blade that you might need.

Older Cricut models came with the smart set dial and Bluetooth connectivity. Cricut also comes with a wide range of materials it can handle, even balsa wood. Also, you can use the cut blade holder to keep everything tidy. The cut blade holder is a hidden compartment with these vinyl-cutting machines. This precision cutting machine allows you to cut 5 inches wide in all directions. Small businesses and home use crafters love the German carbide premium blade because of its durability. The smart set dial configures the settings for a variety of materials, and thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity, you can bypass the USB cable. However, there’s no compatible software, only the one that is provided by Cricut. The ease of use is shown with the contour cut. What Cricut does best is print cut vinyl at the same time.

The cutting size ranges from a few inches to feet. These vinyl cutters are great because of their ability to cut a wide range of materials, from heat transfer tape to vinyl rolls, to fabric and chip wood. The cutting area is around 12x12inches, but can be extended to 10 feet if you get a feed roller. When you buy a silhouette machine, it also comes with Silhouette Studio Software (design space). Without the studio software, you can’t control the cutter.

The Silhouette vinyl cutter can cut a variety of materials, and also works wirelessly. It’s an excellent choice for home use. Don’t forget about the blade holder, where you can store your precision cutting blades.

The Silhouette Design Store allows you to purchase custom designs. Now, if you want the most bang for your buck, get a subscription for the Silhouette Design Store. If you’re looking to print and cut thick materials, you have found the best vinyl cutter . Did you know that you can print and cut thick materials like balsa wood?

Let’s talk about Graphtec and Roland for a second. They have the biggest cutting area thanks to the digital servo motors. They specialize in materials like vinyl. With the high speed, it still manages to make precise cuts and works well with magnetic blanks. It allows you to create contour cut. Sadly these don’t support wireless cutting. Precise cuts work well with a wide range of materials including glitter paper, heat transfer paper, vinyl rolls. These digital servo motors of the top of the line.

What you need to know about digital servo is that they are quiet and fast and they perform no matter the cutting area. Best of all you don’t need any type of cutting mat. Did I mention the ease of use? It’s a plug and play vinyl cutter. There’s software to manage this machine and it’s called vinylmaster cut software. Sadly the vinyl master cut software isn’t free. These vinyl cutting machines also come with many features though I miss the blade holder space. Different materials can be easily cut.

Cricut Explore 2 machine cutter also works with a wide range of materials including heat transfer vinyl and magnetic blanks. Frankly, it’s one of the best choices for vinyl cutters on the market. The cutting width is quite decent. One of the best features is the dual carriage. This machine also does precise cutting for the perfect vinyl job. And this machine can cut thicker materials as well. The Explore 2 machine cutter also comes equipped with everything you need. One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a cutter is the cutting width and if it also comes with perfect vinyl cutting capabilities. Which vinyl cutting machine comes with cut materials? A wide range of different materials can be cut.

Frequently asked questions from our readers (FAQ):

Which is better vinyl cutter the Cricut or the Silhouette?

This comes down to 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 3 is good at cutting paper and vinyl. The accessories are priced at an 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.

What is the best Silhouette vinyl cutting 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 vinyl cutter 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 the 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 has set aside a budget than Roland and Graphtec is the top option for you.

Is the Silhouette Studio free to use?

Yes, the Silhouette Studio is free to use you will get it with a CD or you can download it from the net. You will need to manually update the Silhouette Studio to get the latest version.

Is the VinylMaster cut software free to use?

No, the VinylMaster Cut software is a paid software. They are stuck in the last century.

How good is the Cricut design space software?

The design space software for the vinyl cutting machines is super easy to use. This has the smallest learning curve from all the cutters on the market. With the design space software, you’re not just controlling Cricut maker but all the other Cricut vinyl cutters. Plus this machine can cut and draw at the same time. This vinyl cutter also does the precise cutting.

Do the Cricut Maker vinyl cutting machines are easy to use?

Yes, it’s one of the top vinyl cutters to choose from because they are so easy to use. Now I won’t lie to you there’s a small learning curve but this is way, way smaller than the rest. Thus it’s easy to use.  The cutting width is good 12×24 inches. And it cuts a wide range of stuff also comes with free software. It’s a great choice for the perfect vinyl projects.

Does this vinyl cutter come with cut materials?

Yes, this vinyl cutter usually comes with demo cut materials. If there isn’t and you won’t cut materials then go for a bundle package.

What is the best vinyl cutter to buy?

It depends on what you will use the vinyl cutter for. Overall the best vinyl cutter for the money is the Cricut Maker.

What is the best vinyl cutter for beginners?

The best vinyl cutter for beginners is the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Which is the best vinyl cutter for home use?

In our opinion, the Silhouette Portrait is the best home vinyl cutter.

What can a vinyl cutter machine do?

Vinyl cutters are mainly used to make signs, banners, and advertisements.

Which vinyl cutter machine is the best?

Cricut Maker is the best overall vinyl cutter.

Which vinyl cutter should I buy?

Please read the article to find the right one for you.

What vinyl cutter is compatible with mac?

There are many vinyl cutters that are compatible with Mac. Some of these are UScutter Titan, Cricut Maker, Silhouette Cameo, Silhouette Curio.

Can a vinyl cutter make stickers?

Yes, most vinyl cutters can make stickers.

Can a vinyl cutter cut leather?

There are a few vinyl cutters that can cut leather, one of these is the Cricut Maker.

Do vinyl cutters work with CorelDraw?

Yes, most vinyl cutters are working properly with CorelDraw.

What is the best brand vinyl cutters?

It entirely depends on what you will use the vinyl cutter for.

Are the best vinyl cutting machines easy to use?

The majority of the vinyl cutters are very user friendly.

Are vinyl cutters worth it?

Vinyl cutters are definitely fun to use if you like crafting.

Which cutting machine is best for cutter for vinyl and paper?

On the list above there are many cutting machines that can do a great job as a cutter for vinyl and paper. If you want an affordable cutting machine then you can go with the cricut explore air 2. As you know the cricut explore air 2 is an older generation which is still going strong. If you’re on the go you can try the Cricut Joy.

Which is the best Cricut machine for vinyl (Cricut vinyl machine)?

The best Cricut machine for vinyl (Cricut vinyl machine) is the cricut explore air 2. It’s affordable and it has been battle tested for many years. Another great choice if you have a small space to work is the Cricut Joy. You can check out my cricut joy review over here. Also if you want to know which is the best Cricut machine I have created a detailed post for that.

Are you looking for vinyl cutter reviews?

You have found the perfect site for the best vinyl cutter reviews. I have covered many cutting machines in the past check them out. Also if you’re tired of Cricut I’ve just released my Cricut alternatives post. Most of them are wireless cutting machines.

Which is the best Cricut vinyl cutter?

Cricut has released a number of great vinyl cutters over the years so it’s quite hard to choose the best Cricut vinyl cutter out of the blue. Sadly the Cricut maker has been out of stock for so long so your best alternative for Cricut vinyl cutter is the Cricut explore air 2. If you want to do cards and smaller things there’s the Cricut joy.

Which is the best cutter for vinyl?

The Cricut Maker is the best cutter for vinyl.

Which is the best Cricut machine for shirts?

The best Cricut machine for shirts is the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Which Cricut is best for cutting vinyl?

The best Cricut for cutting vinyl is the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Which are the best vinyl cutters for the money?

The best vinyl cutters for the money are the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo 4.

What is the best machine to cut vinyl?

The best machine to cut vinyl is the Cricut Maker.

Which are the best vinyl cutters for home use?

The best vinyl cutters for home use are the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker.

What is the best machine for cutting vinyl?

The best machine for cutting vinyl is the Cricut Maker.

What is the best silhouette machine?

The best silhouette machine is the Silhouette Cameo 4.

What is the best die cutting machine for beginners?

The best die cutting machine for beginners is the Cricut Maker.

What is the best commercial vinyl cutter?

The best commercial vinyl cutting machine is the Roland GX-24.

What is the best Cricut bundle?

I’ve wrote a detailed post about the top Cricut bundles money you can get.

Which vinyl cutting machine is best?

The best vinyl cutting machine is the Cricut Maker.

How much does a vinyl cutter cost?

A vinyl cutter can cost from $150 up to $2000. It depends on what you need the machine for.

Which is the best cutter for vinyl?

The best cutter for vinyl is the Cricut Maker.

Which brands make the best cutting machines for vinyl?

Cricut and Silhouette are the best brands.

Last Updated on January 21, 2021 by Emily