Cricut is not for you? Here are some alternatives

Let’s face it Cricut is not for everyone. It has strong points and weaknesses and many bugs.

Maybe it has called quits on you. No problem, I’ve created this post just for you.

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I know how hard it is to find the perfect electric cutting machine. Besides all the features to check out, there are so many to choose from. This is why I’ve created this Cricut alternatives post. I’ve handpicked the very best that the industry has to offer.

There are four contenders as Cricut competitors. Here’s the quick list: Silhouette Cameo 4; Brother ScanNCut SDX125; Silhouette Curio, UsCutter MH 28.

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It wasn’t an easy choice to make. The only true competitor for the Cricut Maker is the Silhouette Cameo 4. The rest of the machines are particularly good at something where the Maker is mediocre. For example, the Brother machine has a built in scanner.

This means that you can easily cut and multiply custom drawings. There’s no need to fiddle around with a phone and upload and what not. Or there’s the USCutter MH 28 vinyl cutter. This machine only handles vinyl. It’s fast and precise, and best of all, you won’t need a mat with this baby.

Let’s see which Cricut Alternative is the right choice for you.

 

Silhouette Cameo 4 – The Best Alternative Overall for the Cricut Maker

It’s the strongest vinyl cutter on the market today.

Cricut Maker was the reigning champion for many years. Now Silhouette came out with the Cameo 4 and took the title.

The maker used to be the strongest cutting machine with 4000g of force. Now the Cameo 4 has outdone it by having 5000g of cutting power. No matter your project, the Cameo will be good enough.

With the new Cameo, you get some extra bonuses. First of all, there’s a built in roller feeder. While the Cricut is limited to 24” with the Cameo, you can work up to 20 feet. This means that you can take on bigger projects where the profits are higher.

On the back, there’s a cross cutter with the Cameo. This will help you easily cut down the excess material and minimizing losses.

Sadly the Silhouette Cameo 4 isn’t perfect either. First of all, they messed up the loading and unloading. It’s the other way around. Also, the accessories are higher priced than the Maker. We shouldn’t forget that the design software has a steep learning curve.

This is the major difference between the Maker and Cameo. While the Cricut Design Space is great for beginners, it’s pretty basic. The Silhouette software is a bit more difficult to learn, and it allows you to do way more.

There were two major improvements between the Cameo 3 and 4. The Cameo 4 is faster, and it’s not that loud as the earlier version.

Overall the Silhouette Cameo 4 is the best alternative for the Cricut Maker. It’s slightly cheaper, and it can do the same thing. It’s good to keep in mind that they have top-notch support, which can help you if you ever get stuck.

With the Cameo 4, you’re getting access to over 100+ materials. You can work with the thinnest to the toughest only by changing the blades. Now the Cameo has dedicated blades for fabric and thicker materials.

If you’re looking to expand your craft, the Silhouette Cameo 4 is the right choice. Lately, the stocks were running low, so make sure you get it as soon as possible.

Pros:

The most versatile vinyl cutter ever made with 5000g, it can cut up to 3mm thick.

Built in roller feeder which allows handling big projects up to 10 feet long

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.

 

Brother ScanNCut SDX125 – Best Choice if you’re doing cards, custom drawings

With the built in scanner, you can easily cut custom drawings for cards.

The Brother ScanNCut SDX125 is a great alternative for specialized crafters. If you’re bored of the same old stock images and designs, then Brother can help you out.

You see, this machine has a built in scanner. This will allow you to cut and multiply custom shapes and drawings. The other day a fellow crafter asked me which one I would recommend for custom card creations.

The choice was evident. Brother is the best choice. With the Maker, it’s a lot harder. You have to take a photo, then upload it into the software and fiddle around a lot. With the Brother, it is simple. You place your design on the mat. You let it run the scanning process, and you’re done.

I loved the new facelift what the Brother ScanNCut SDX125 got. It’s not just another vinyl cutter. It’s the quietest one on the market today. It’s so quiet that you can safely work in the night without waking anyone.

Many crafter moms only have time in the night after they have put down their little ones. The Brother machine is perfect for this.

A few things that I didn’t like about the machine were that the accessories are the priciest on the market. You will have to hike your prices accordingly, so you’re left with some profits. It only has one carriage. With the maker, you can work with two tools at the same time. So the process might be slower if you have to draw and cut at the same time. Not to mention you have to be close by to switch tools.

With the Brother, you’ll be getting the Auto Blade. This is a huge time and money saver. You don’t have to worry about wasting material because of incorrect depth settings. This is a biggie for many crafters.

As you can see, the Brother ScanNCut SDX125 is a great alternative for the Maker if you want something quiet and custom designs.

A few weeks back, Brother was out of stock. At the moment, they seem to fix the issue; however, don’t risk it. Get it right now if you feel that this is the right choice for your needs.

Pros:

Thanks to the built in scanner, you can cut custom stamps and drawings.

It’s super quiet so you can work during the night and it won’t bother anyone.

The Auto blade adjusts settings, so no more ruined material and mat.

Cons:

There’s a steep learning curve to get started.

Accessories prices are the highest compared to any other brand.

 

Silhouette Curio – Affordable alternative for heavy-duty stuff

When you want to stipple and etch on a budget, this is the best choice.

If you want to cut thicker and stronger materials or stipple, score, deboss on a budget, this is the best alternative for it.

The Silhouette Curio is a nifty little thing that can do almost anything. The emphasis is on the word almost. It can’t cut vinyl or paper. This might’ve been a cash grab from Silhouette. Anyways what it does, it does it well.

The Cricut Maker is almost double the price of Curio. If you want to work with balsa wood and chipboard, you can get a great deal working with the Curio.

Keep in mind that the Curio is smaller than the rest (Cameo and Maker). The maximum width is just 8.5 inches. Still, you can create some amazing designs with it.

I feel that the 210g of cutting force is a bit shy. Even though it can handle materials 5mm thick, the 210g won’t be enough with stronger materials. I mean, 5mm balsa wood won’t be cut though you can etch it.

Compared to the Maker, it’s louder and slower. Still, when you’re on a budget, some compromises have to be made. Also, the Curio can be a great starter machine for beginners.

What I personally love about the Curio is that you can create custom dog tags with it. In most cases, people whack it with a hammer, and that’s not precise. With the Curio, you can cut the dog tag’s shape out from foam. Then you place the dog tag and etch it. It’s that simple. The foam has to be done only once.

If you’re working in this field (working with tougher materials), then the Silhouette Curio will be a great and affordable alternative.

At the time of this writing, there were only a handful of machines in stock. So pull the trigger fast, or you will be left without one.

 

Pros:

These machines are ideal for Embossing, Stippling, and working with tougher materials.

It has a dual carriage, which means that you can get two tasks done with ease.

You can create customized dog tags with ease.

Cons:

It can only work with harder material. You can’t cut paper and vinyl.

There’s no wireless connection, so you have a dangling cord.

 

UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter – Best alternative for vinyl cutting

A series vinyl cutter that can handle bigger volumes of work

If you’re tired of using mats and want to do the matless vinyl cutting, then the UsCutter MH 28 machine will be ideal. The MH not only supports matless cutting it also allows us to work with feet of material, not inches.

As we all know, the big bucks are in the large designs. The thing is, the Cricut Maker‘s biggest cutting size is 12 inches by 24 inches. With this MH series, you’re getting 28 inches to several feet. These vinyl plotters are quick. I mean 39 inches/second.

This electric cutter is not just for vinyl. It can handle paper as well. The machine has a cutting force of 350g, which is more than enough for vinyl and paper.

Here’s a helpful tip. Use different blades for paper and vinyl. Paper tends to dull out the blades faster. You don’t want to end up with a dull blade right before a major project.

The truth is that this MH series cutter is old. The software is old, and everything else is ancient. Still, it’s affordable and does a great job with vinyl.

There’s one major drawback with the machine. It only has a 90-day warranty. A dog chew toy typically has a longer warranty. Many crafters have been using it for years, and nothing happened. The only thing that had to be replaced was the blade.

You need some room with this machine. Since it cut 28” wide, makes sure there’s more than enough space for it.

For bigger vinyl projects, it’s the perfect alternative against the Cricut Maker. The price is quite reasonable. Industrial grade vinyl cutters come with 3-5x multipliers. It’s a great machine to start working with.

If you feel that this is the perfect alternative for you, then take action. For some reason, the stocks are low, so you might end up without one if you are on the fence for too long.

Pros:

It’s a great started machine for anyone on a budget.

It’s one of the fastest vinyl cutters on the market top speed reaching 39 inches /second.

It comes with matless coming, so you won’t be losing money replacing them.

Cons:

It only has only a 90-day warranty.

There are some problems with blade calibration.

 

Cricut Competitors

As you can see, Cricut has several competitors. The only 1-on-1 competition is the Silhouette Cameo 4. This machine can match everything that the Maker can do and then some.

Your name what the Cricut can do; there’s a competitor out there that can make it better. With the Cameo 4, the Maker’s reign of being the strongest machines has ended. Now the Cameo 4 is the strongest machine with 5000g of cutting power.

Not only that, the Cameo comes with a built in roll feeder so you can work on bigger projects up to 20 feet long. The Cricut Maker is limited to 12 x 24 inches. Finally, Silhouette came out with some specialty blades. Now you can easily cut fabrics with the rotary blade. Also, there’s the Kraft blade for tougher materials.

Another Cricut Maker competitor would be the Brother ScanNCut SDX125. The Cricut tries to be the one that fits all shapes and sizes. The Brother, on the other hand, is a specialty cutter. It has a built scanner, so if you’re creating your own shapes and designs, you can easily cut it and multiply it.

The big plus for the Brother cutter is that it’s quiet. This means you will be able to work through the night without disturbing anybody. This is a major selling point for many moms. They can only work when the house is quiet, and this only happens during the night.

So if you value a quiet machine and you’re into custom designs, the Brother ScanNCut SDX125 is a worthy competitor for Cricut.

The final big competitor comes from those who want to work with vinyl. The UsCutter MH 28 can outdo the Maker. First of all, there are no mats. This means that your operational costs will be lower. Plus, you won’t waste time trying to perfectly stick the vinyl to the mat.

This machine is bigger, like 28 inches wide, so you will need some space for it. We should keep in mind that it’s lightning-fast 39 inches/second is no small feat.

As you can see, the market is filled with great competitors. Now it’s your turn to choose. Depending on the work you’ll be doing, you have great alternatives.

 

Conclusions for Cricut Alternatives

We have reached the end of this article. I hope by now you know which the best alternative is for you.

If you know what you want to work with, then the choice is a lot easier. If you’re just testing the waters, then it’s better to go with a starter machine. If you love the craft, then you can upgrade to a specialty machine.

Suppose you happen to have questions or tips, comment below. See you next time.

Until then…

Happy Crafting!

Last Updated on November 9, 2020 by Emily

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…