Brother Scan and Cut 2 Review – An Overhyped Stamping Tool?

The Brother Scan and Cut 2 gets reviewed. You will find out the good, the bad, and the ugly…

 

As you probably know by now, I’m a harsh critique and this time it won’t be any different Brother Scan and Cut 2 will get what it deserves. I won’t sugar coat stuff, and I will tell you how it is. There are no perfect machines, only perfect reviews.

For some the Brother Scan n Cut, 2 will be a great fit. And for some, it would be a disastrous investment. That’s why you’re here; to know if it’s for you or not. I would do a disservice if I followed in the footstep of so-called “pros” who hype up products just to get a commission.

Not me. This scan & cut machine has flaws, and you will learn everything there’s to know.

At a first glimpse, it looks like it can do two things well. These are drawing on paper and cutting paper and vinyl. The price is exaggerated for only two options, don’t you think? What about the competition like Cricut Explore Air and Silhouette Cameo? You will learn everything about it by reading to the end.

All this and more will be revealed.

First, I will give you the bird’s eye view of the Brother Cut and Scan machine. After that, I will dive deep into the feature so you will get the reassurance if this machine is right for you. Last but not least, I will talk about the negatives.

For future reference, when I mention Brother ScannCut, I’m referring to the second version. The first one might’ve been discontinued, but some models are still laying around on eBay and such.

Let’s get this Brother Scan and Cut review started!

 

Brother Scan and Cut 2 Brief Overview

 

Brother Scan n Cut
Size10.25 x 23 x 10.5 inches
Weight8.6 pounds
Cutting FeatureYes
Drawing FeatureYes
Transform Images to DesignBuilt in Scanner
Cutting force350g
Cutting Size12 x 12 inches (additional 24 inch add-on available)
Dual-CarriageNo
Max Material Thickness2mm
Computer NeededNo
Edit Images on ScreenYes
Number of materials<20
Noise LevelNoisy
Accessory Costs$$$
Recommended Retail Price$499.99

When you’re opening up the box, you will be greeted with a small and light machine. And the first thing that pops out is the LCD screen.

It has the size of a smartphone. The touch screen has been increased by 30% from the first generation Brother die cutter.

Brother Scanncut Larger Touch Screen

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Machine

 

The Look and Feel of Brother Scan and Cut 2

It’s so light that you can easily carry with you wherever you go. This means fairs and trade-shows are less of a nuisance.

The Brother Scan and Cut machine can draw and cut. Of course, it can scan as well hence the name. I will get into bigger details about the scanning aspects of it because it’s one of the main selling points.

All you have to do is insert either a pen or a cutter, and you are off to the races. It cuts and draws flawlessly.

It is advertised as a one-stop-shop machine. You can create custom drawings then scan them and cut them with ease. Best of all, you don’t need another device to manage it. No device means no connection issues, cords, or extra power outlets. Do you see what I mean by one-stop-shop?

 

How to Use the Built in Scanner

You can use a device but you don’t have to. Everything can be managed through the Brother Scan n Cut machine’s LCD. You can navigate the screen either by your fingers or the designer pen included with it.

Brothers Scan and Cut machine bolster with a 300dpi built-in scanner.

Simply place your paper on the mat and feed it to the machine. Hit scan and everything else will be done for you. You have two choices for scanning monochrome and color.

Hot Tip: whatever you’re scanning, make sure you are using strong contrast between the background and the pattern. If you don’t, you might have some trouble getting the scanning part right.

Now, when you are scanning in color, you can increase the number of colors used by the machine to get the most accurate scan possible.

There’s some learning curve for the scanning process, and you will have to retry a couple of times with complex designs.

 

Cutting Force

The cutting force of the Brother Scan and the Cut machine is a whopping 350g. Most die cutting machines are in the 210-250g range. It might seem a bit of overkill. Brother’s machine is 50% stronger than the competition though there’s the Cricut Maker which is on a different playing field all together with its 4000g cutting power. (More info on Cricut Maker Review visit the link)

As for the cutting size, it’s 12 X 12 inches, and this is what you get by default. Now you can upgrade to a bigger cutting mat 12 X 24 inches for a small price. Only buy this if you know that you will be working on bigger projects. If you don’t know here’s the thing Brother accessories tend to be expensive.

Brother Scanncut Long Cutting Mat

 

Dual Carriage

Here’s one feature that I dearly miss from Brother Scan n Cut which is the Dual-Carriage. If you don’t know what Dual-Carriage means, I will tell you. It means that the cutting machine can use two tools at the same time. It’s a godsend on big projects because it saves you a lot of time.

You can program the machine to do 2 jobs at the same time. Thus you don’t need to babysit freeing you up to do different things. Secondly, it reduces human error.

Though Brother only has one tool that it can holster. This means that you either cut or draw. Maybe in a future addition, they will add the Dual-Carriage feature.

The 2mm clearance seems to be the industry standard. Though this doesn’t mean it will cut 2mm deep. It means that you can work with materials which are that thick. There are different machines that can handle up to 5mm thick materials though they have been built with other purposes then drawing and cutting paper.

 

Navigating the Touchscreen LCD

This is the major selling point for Brother Cut n Scan. Every operation can be easily done on the LCD screen. You don’t necessarily need a computer or any device to manage it. As I mentioned earlier, it’s light to carry, and you need just one power outlet, and you’re in business. No wires are running left and right or computer updates slowing you down.

You power the machine up and take orders and get paid. It’s simple as that.

Thanks to the big LCD screen, you can easily manipulate objects and options on the screen. You can use your pen or your finger to do it. The truth is that this approach works ok, but sometimes it takes time for the machine to process commands. Plus there are some accuracy issues as well.

Brother Scanncut Screen Manupilation Through a Pen

There’s a Brother Scan and Cut software called Canvas Workspace. This will help you a lot if you want to work on a computer.

To my knowledge, the Brother Scan and Cut machine can only work with a handful of materials. My best guess would be less than 20.

Here’s an interesting subject to touch base on which is the noise level. Spoiler alert it’s noisy. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like Silhouette machines which are loud. (If you are looking for something different here’s the Silhouette Curio Review) It’s just simply noisy. So be very careful if you want to work during the night you might bother people with the noise.

The Brother Scan n Cut brags with over 600+ preloaded designs and fonts. You will be provided with an activation card which will help you get access to it. It sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It is until you look under the hood. Most of the patterns are basic. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to have them, but you won’t win an artistic award if that’s what you’re aiming for. Make sure you check the package for the activation card if not contact the seller.

Brother Scanncut Design Templates

 

Outrageous Accessory Pricing

Now here’s the real pain point of the Brother machine. The accessories costs are sky high. It’s like daylight robbery. These accessories cost 3x more than Cricut.

Plus several crafters complained that the mats lose stickiness fast. This means you need to buy those mats frequently adding to the company’s bottom line. I just couldn’t leave this out from my Brother Scan and Cut 2 Review.

And the machine’s price tag is on the upper side. There isn’t a more expensive machine in this category than Brother’s.

 

Cutting Speed Detailed

Last but not least, I want to touch on speed. It’s not the fastest one on the market. There was a comparison done between Cricut and Brother with a complex design. Brother lost by a minute and then some.

Brother’s cutting machines is a good one if you’re into stamping. If you don’t mind shelling out a premium price, then go for it. If you do; then choose a machine that fits into your budget.

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty part.

 

What are the negatives for the Brother Scan and Cut 2 machine?

 

First of all, there’s a steep learning curve to master the machine. File transfer is clunky, and it takes way too much time for my comfort.

Then the scanner isn’t that accurate. You get a bunch of hits but mostly misses. This means you lose valuable time on trying to rescan pages. There are occasions when you have to physically move the object you want to scan for a better angle.

When the machine works as advertised then it’s amazing. Rest of the time, you need to spend a lot of time to work out the kinks.

 

How much does it cost to own and operate?

 

Too much, that’s what I say. First of all, you are paying a premium price for it. Then the accessories are priced into the stratosphere. I bet this is where they are making their money. If your mat loses its stickiness well, you need to buy another overpriced one.

The differences in pricing are huge. For example, accessories for the Cricut machines cost three times less than Brother’s. Your pocket will feel the difference.

It’s not required to connect with a device, so they didn’t include a USB cable. I wonder if that saving has paid off for them?

Last but not list the Brother Machine is loud.

 

Final Conclusions

 

Well, that’s about it for the Brother Scan And Cut review. You have probably seen and read different Brother Scan n Cut reviews, but this is the only one that highlights its major flaws.

For me, it seems that it’s a premium priced product. There are cheaper ones out there (like Cricut Explore Air, Silhouette Cameo) but without a fancy touch screen. Certainly, it doesn’t conjure up the palm pilot days. If you are using the included pen, then you will feel being back in time in that era.

Brother Scanncut in all its beauty

This concludes my Brother Scan and Cut Review. If you have questions and suggestions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Do you want to know more about Brother and their machines here’s a great roundup link.

 

Frequent questions from our readers (FAQ):

 

Can you use Cricut vinyl with brother scan and cut?
Yes Cricut has created their very own premium vinyl. Since it’s a vinyl it’s compatible with the Brother Scan and cut.
What does the scan and cut do?
The scan and cut does exactly what the name suggests. You can add your own design and the built in scanner digitizes it. After that you can create duplicates with ease.
How much does a vinyl cutter cost?
The price range is big. From a few hundred dollars to a few thousand you can find vinyl cutting machines. Before you get to the budget part make sure you nail down what kind of vinyl projects will you be doing. There’s no need to buy some top of the line machine breaking your budget when you don’t even use it for the fullest.

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Brother Scan and Cut 2 Reviewed – An Overhyped Stamping Tool?

Today we review the Brother Scan and Cut 2 cutting machine. You will find out the good, the bad, and the ugly and if it's worth the money.

Editor's Rating:
4.4
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…