The 7 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines of 2017

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Best Vinyl Cutter for Home
Best Vinyl Cutter Kit/Bundle
Best 34 Inch Vinyl Cutting Machine
Best Die/Vinyl Cutting Machine for Small Business
Best Small Vinyl Cutter

Top Die/Vinyl Cutting Machines Reviews

It’s hard to pick a quality vinyl cutter if you are a beginner when it comes to these machines. To make your dreams come true, you have to look for a professional plotter that delivers reliable quality. You need to avoid certain bad equipment decisions because they usually lead to frustration and failure. In particular, a mistake I’ve seen people new to vinyl cutters do is buying while only taking into account the speed, force, and price of a machine. That is not the best strategy as you can easily find yourself in a situation where you have the meanest and toughest machine you can buy but when put to actual practical use in a professional sign shop, for example, it’s just not able to meet any reasonable cutting standards.

To make this challenging decision you have to take a look at some other factors and look beyond speed, force, and price (if your budget permits). Some thoughtful considerations of your goals and particular needs have to be made. For example, try to think about how complex and intricate your graphics will be. Determine the way you’re managing your media, how thin and how thick. Further on, anticipate the possibility that you will have to contour cut printed images or make perforated decals. Last but not least, always look for companies known to offer excellent customer support so, in the event of any technical difficulties you might experience along the way you will be provided with all the help you need. The better you understand these the easier it will be to make a successful purchase of a vinyl cutter. Below I’ve assembled the best and most popular vinyl cutting machines based on their particular strong points when used with a certain goal in mind to simplify the process of deciding which one suits you the most.

Best Vinyl Cutter for Home

1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Cutting Machine

The Utah-based company of home die-cutting machines intended for DIY projects Cricut is now offering their newest model with some impressive features that will definitely appeal to scrapbooking enthusiasts. One aspect that stands out the most is the promise to cut and write up to double the speed of the older Cricut Explore models.

Because time is a valuable commodity, Cricut implemented a Fast mode to boost the performance of this cutter considerably. Besides quickness, the Explore Air 2 boasts the ability to cut pretty much anything from vinyl, cardstock, and iron-on all the way to much thicker materials like leather. If you’re the kind of person who appreciates details in their crafts, you won’t be disappointed by the Air 2’s ability to cut the finest details with flawless precision. There is the possibility of using Cricut Pens for handwritten projects and thanks to over 370 fonts you can create that perfect customized look in no-time. If that’s not enough you can even use your own fonts stored in a computer for free.

Another important feature that might catch your attention is the Smart Set dial for always finding the best settings related to your project. In case you love designing beautiful artwork this vinyl cutter is up to the task. Designing is possible on multiple devices, on a computer, iPad, or iPhone owing it to Cricut’s dedication to the most flexible user experience. The Design Space software is free, amazingly easy-to-use and cloud-based to cover all your storage needs. There are endless pre-made choices and of course, the option to upload and modify your own designs.

With so much to offer, the only downside I can think of is the price of the Air 2 which is slightly bigger than what some of the DIY fans of this kind of technology are willing to spend. But if you choose to take the next step in your designing hobby, the Cricut Air 2 is absolutely a best-buy.

Specifications list:

  •    Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  •    Smart Set® dial for easy material settings
  •    Cut 100+ materials from vellum to leather
  •    Double tool holder
  •    Fast Mode
  •    Cut Smart® technology
  •    Integrated storage compartments
  •    Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf)

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Best Vinyl Cutter Bundle

2. Silhouette Cameo II Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle

To start off with something more geared towards beginners, I wholeheartedly recommend getting one of this from Silhouette. It does a spectacular job for any of you who just stumbled upon the mysterious art of cutting allowing you to create many projects immediately. The Cameo II is designed for personal use and cuts materials measuring up to 12 in wide and 10 ft long with a silent motor.

Besides the machine, the Cameo II, this kit provides pretty much all the required necessities including:

  •    Easy to use software (compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 and Mac OS)
  •    A handy instruction guide
  •    51 exclusive cuttable designs
  •    Vinyl trimmer blade
  •    Black cutting blade
  •    12 x 12 cutting mat
  •    USB & power cable

But if that’s not enough, they also offer 4 sheets of premium vinyl in multiple colors (black, white, dark pink, leaf green) and 10 ft of premium transfer paper and the possibility to download 10 vinyl designs thanks to an exclusive download card. Silhouette packed a lot of value for the price.

To facilitate the navigation, there is a stylish touchscreen with a decent responsiveness that’s a cinch to use. Striving for reliable performance, the Cameo II gives great cut quality and is impressively lightweight. Something you will definitely love is the ease to peel the paper off the cutting mat leaving almost no residue after use. The machine not only works efficiently but adequately cleans at the same time. One small drawback I can think of is the loudness which is not as reduced as what I was expecting considering that the motor is supposedly a silent one.  All in all, this vinyl cutting machine works very well and considering all the goodies included in this kit, you are going to have a great DIY experience if you purchase it.

Specifications list for the Cameo II:

  •    Steel Spring Rollers
  •    Crosscutter
  •    Guide Marks
  •    USB Drive Port
  •    Storage Compartment
  •    Sleep Mode

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3. Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine

It doesn’t too often happen to stumble upon such a reliable, performant and high-quality machine like the Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine. Designed to cut from the basic DIY crafts all the way up to more complex projects, this vinyl cutter has a great potential to satisfy your needs.

The most striking feature of the Explorer is the wireless capabilities. It permits wireless cutting through the embedded Bluetooth technology.  You no longer have to mess around with unnecessary cords and your workspace will look less cluttered. Cutting is now basically possible through many devices connected to the machine, like a PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad from which you can send the projects. One bonus feature is the syncing across all these devices as apps are cloud-based.

Intended for home use, the Cricut Explorer will boost the creative potential of its user to incredible levels. Making all kinds of decorations, invitations or favors has never been easier. Add your personal touch to a wedding gift or some fancy embellishments to your most memorable photos. With more than 50.000 images, projects and fonts present in the Cricut Image Library, the possibilities are endless.

Cutting can be done on a variety of materials such as paper, adhesive vinyl and even tougher ones like leather. To simplify the creative process, the machine possesses dual carriage which turns procedures like cutting and scoring or cutting and writing in just one step. Having to remember complicated materials settings can easily become annoying but thanks to Explorer’s Smart Set dial you can now get just the right cut on virtually every material out there.

On the basis of all these powerful features, I am more than excited to recommend this high-quality product. It cuts precisely and efficiently and there are no complaints on its performance, especially when cutting vinyl this machine works flawlessly.

Specifications list:

  •    Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  •    Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step
  •    Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf)
  •    Cut materials from vellum to leather
  •    Electronic cutting machine with Smart Set dial for easy material settings
  •    Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
  •    Integrated storage compartments

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Best Small Vinyl Cutting Machine

4. Silhouette Portrait

Smaller than a Cameo but offering great flexibility and decent performance, the Portrait from Silhouette is a very good cutting machine suited for all your creative endeavors. The material selection is very wide, it uses paper, vinyl, cardstock, fabric, chipboard and much more. In fact, it can cut over 100 materials, an impressive feat indeed.

It’s said that good things come in small packages and the Portrait lives up to that credo. Scoring high on portability, the machine weighs only 3.5 pounds and measures just 16.25 inches. Despite the small size, its abilities are mighty. The use of ease is perfect for a home scrapbooker more or less experimented in this craft. The cutting process is pretty straightforward as you just connect the machine to your PC or Mac through the provided USB cable and begin your work. With the included design software you can do a bunch of stuff like download shapes from the online store, cut a font on your PC or draw some artistic designs.

If you are looking to make a very balanced investment than the Silhouette Portrait is very fitting being lightweight, simple to use, flexible and offering excellent quality for your everyday crafting needs.

Specifications list:

  •    Maximum Cutting Area: 8″ x 12″ with a cutting mat, and 8″ x 10′ a lined media
  •    Maximum Media Thickness: 31.5 mils
  •    Maximum Cutting Force: 210 gf
  •    Compatible Media Types: Vinyl, heat transfer material, cardstock, photo paper, copy paper, rhinestone template material, fabric, and more
  •    Interface: USB 2.0 high-speed
  •    Unit Dimensions: 16.25″ x 5.6″ x 4.5″
  •    Unit Weight: 3.5 lbs

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Best 34 inch Vinyl Cutting Machine

5. USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE – Sign Making Kit w/ Design & Cut Software, Supplies + Tools

Entry-level enthusiasts with slightly bigger budgets will appreciate this model coming from USCutter complete with all the supplies and tools and the necessary software to get you started as fast as possible. This one is the 34in variant, the most balanced between the other options, of 14in, 28in and 50in respectively.

The USCutter MH-Series are considered among the best value vinyl cutters on the market and there are plenty of reasons for that. It can use a very flexible range of materials owing it to its three fully adjustable pinch-rollers. With a dual ball-bearing media roller system, instead of feeding the material through roll each time, it allows for it to be placed on top of rollers. This translates to considerable time savings. There is also a Roland compatible blade holder that can help you save money by providing access to the most economical blades. If you take into account the lack of laser, the performance of this cutter is decent though it may reach its limits with some very intricate decals.

One aspect where this vinyl cutter shines is the user experience. To simplify your task when assembling, the kit has all the tools and instructions you will need. Thanks to the dedicated vinyl cutting software called VinylMaster Cut which was specifically created for making vinyl signage, you are going to have a professional experience. It comes with a comprehensive suite of text, curve and object tools to aid you in producing a wide range of vinyl lettering, pinstriping, and other signage. One of the most powerful software for vinyl cutting, the VinylMaster Cut has built in vectorization tools and will turn with ease a large variety of images into cuttable vector path designs. With so many worthy features, this vinyl machine is a strong recommendation for those who want almost professional quality for an entry-level price.

Specifications list:

  •    Two fully adjustable pinch-rollers allow you to use a flexible range of materials.
  •    Vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, knife, squeegee, Lifetime phone support.
  •    Roland compatible blade holder gives you access to the most economical blades available.
  •    Superior ball-bearing dual roller media roller system.
  •    34 inch MH vinyl Cutter with stand plus Design and Cut software

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6. Silhouette CAMEO 3

The Cameo 3 by Silhouette is the next installment in the vinyl cutting machines series after the Cameo 2. There is only good news for any DIY enthusiast as this machine has all the great features of the old model with some new additions that make out of this vinyl cutter a worthy upgrade. Technology keeps advancing at an accelerated pace with every industry struggling to fulfill the constant demand for improvements and as such the vinyl cutting industry is no exception.

One of the most eye-catching features of this new model is the Bluetooth receiver which allows you to send your crafts wirelessly without fussing around with cables. This also eliminates the need to be constantly connected to a computer. Thanks to a broad range of materials supported by this machine like vinyl, paper, fabric and much more, there is always enough flexibility for your crafting projects. Finding the perfect design is not an easy task but Silhouette will lend a hand with ready-made ones from their store and give you the option to customize it your way by using the free software Silhouette Studio.

Hardware-wise there have been some modifications to make the cutting process smoother. The blade holders have been redesigned to contain a sliding mechanism. There is an AutoBlade system through which the machine sets the correct blade depth for you and to be able to do more at once, there is a dual-carriage technology which allows you to use two tools simultaneously. You can easily mix and match from a wide selection of blades and pens. For cutting more thicker materials there is a 2mm clearance that permits deeper cuts than ever. An interesting feature of the Cameo 3 called PixScan can become handy if you ever plan to turn an imported image captured with your smartphone into a cut file.

If you are in the market for a solid quality vinyl cutter, it’s hard to beat the Cameo 3 in terms of reliability, versatility, and flexibility to create those awesome custom projects you’ve been dreaming about.

Specifications list:

  •    Maximum Cutting Area 12 in. x 24 in. with a cutting mat
  •    Maximum Media Thickness 78.75 mm
  •    Maximum Cutting Force 210 gf
  •    USB Port for reading and cutting saved files directly
  •    Compatible Media Types: Vinyl, heat transfer material, cardstock, photo paper, copy paper, rhinestone template material, fabric, and more
  •    Interface USB 2.0 high speed
  •    Unit Dimensions 22.5 in. x 6 in. x 8.5 in.
  •    Unit Weight 8 lbs 15 oz

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Best Die/Vinyl Cutter for Small Business

7. 28-inch USCutter TITAN 2 Vinyl Cutter/Plotter with Stand, Basket and Design and Cut Software

If you are a more casual hobbyist when it comes to vinyl cutters but decide that you’d like to make an upgrade to something more professional then you can’t go wrong with a plotter from USCutter’s TITAN Series. They offer great value for the price suiting your needs perfectly.

When it comes to vinyl cutting, one essential aspect of a machine is to cut a multitude of materials and the Titan 2 has all it takes to deal with adhesive vinyl, hard paperboard, mask material, window film, sandblast stencil and many others. That’s great, but let’s look more closely at what you will find under the hood of this 28in model. The frame of the machine is made out of sturdy aluminum as are all the metal moving parts. For precise contour cutting, there is a four-wheeled carriage equipped with laser assisted alignment. Excellent quality pinch rollers and grit rollers are provided for the most accurate tracking and the Titan 2 also features a super silent, reliable servo motor to cut the thickest materials you might use quickly and with perfect accuracy.

It’s completely understandable that you might feel slightly overwhelmed when it comes to manipulating this kind of machine correctly. But you can rest assured, USCutter comes to your aid with a very intuitive software that acts as a reliable guide and features a very simple-to-use interface for all your designing needs. To offer you more control, the Titan 2 has a large LCD display along with a control panel to adjust the speed and cutting pressure to your liking. Packed together with a floor stand and a catch basket, this vinyl cutter has all the latest technology for your small business or just to satisfy some more demanding creative projects of a DIY crafts enthusiast. All in all, this machine strikes a powerful balance between quality and price and for that reason I highly recommend it.

Specifications list:

  •    Laser registration for contour cutting function
  •    Carriage with 4 wheels
  •    Aluminum alloy construction, precision ABS sides
  •    All metal moving parts
  •    Mac & PC compatible USB and RS-232 connection
  •    Large LCD display & control panel
  •    Plug and Play
  •    Cuts adhesive vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, cardstock, paint mask stencil, laminate, sandblast mask, low & high intensive reflective material
  •    Servo motor for quiet and accurate performance

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