10 Best Vinyl Cutter Reviews and Buying Guide 2020
If you're a home crafter or business owner looking to set up a vinyl craft business, then you'll need to invest in the best vinyl cutting machine.
You want a quality machine that's easy to use, delivers precision cuts (even for intricate designs), meets your unique needs, and lasts long.
Unfortunately, finding the perfect machine can be mind-boggling, given the vast number of vinyl cutters we have witnessed on the market today.
To help narrow down your options for easy selection, we'll review some of the most popular vinyl cutters in this guide.
We'll also offer you crucial tips on how to choose the right vinyl cutter for your needs.
Why You Might Need One?
From making stickers to decals, the vinyl cutter machines enjoy an extensive application in different custom projects.
But do you really need one?
Let's take a quick at some of the key reasons why you'd want to invest in a vinyl cutter today…
Our Best Vinyl Cutter Reviews:
1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
If you're looking for the best home vinyl cutter for your personal DIY projects, this Cricut Explore Air 2 is an excellent option. For starters, Cricut is one of the most popular names in the vinyl cutting machines industry for their top-notch and reliable products.
One of the main reasons why hobbyist crafters swear by this machine is its ability to cut pretty much everything! The manufacturer states that it can cut over 100 different types of materials, including vinyl, iron-on, faux leather, adhesive foil, htv vinyl, cardstock, specialty paper, poster board, among others.
Another cool thing about this machine is the speed at which it cuts your projects. This is made possible by the fact that it comes with Fast Mode, which will come in handy when you have a huge pile of DIY projects at hand.
Even better, it comes armed with a premium fine point blade, which precisely cuts through your design for superior tracking…and excellent quality cutouts!
You'll also be pleased to note that this until features integrated Design Space Software, which is amazingly easy to use and lets you come up with your own designs. And if you're too busy to create your own, you can choose from dozens of pre-made designs.
Because this cutting machine comes with integrated Bluetooth technology, it's 100% wireless…so you'll enjoy cord-free connections to your computer, tablets, smartphones, and more.
When you order this cutting machine, you'll also get cutting and a bunch of materials for conducting a run test and practicing. It also presents you with two compartments for holding all your crafting accessories, a cup holder like area for stashing your pens/tools, and a magnetic strip for holding spare blades.
2. Firbon A4 Paper Cutter
For all your papercrafts, scrapbooking, card making, and crafts and hobbies needs, this Firbon A4 Paper Cutter is your surest bet. The cutter is highly affordable, and you can use it for home, office, or school.
The cutter comes engineered to smoothly and accurately cut through A3, A4, and A5 papers, cards, photos, laminated stuff, and more.
It boasts of a professional guillotine which delivers a clean cut along the printed line, with no dragging! Replacing the blade when it gets blunt is also easy and quick.
For even better accuracy, the cutter boasts of a 45 to 90-degree angle measuring plate and centimeter/inch scale. This helps ensure you trim the angle and length you want for your project accurately—leading to impressive results.
The cutter has a maximum cutting capacity of up to 12 paper sheets at a go, so you can rely on it to make your work faster. However, we recommend you to consider cutting a little lesser than the recommended max. cut to help prolong the blades' life.
Because the paper cutter features a lightweight and portable design, carrying it with you to any place is incredibly easy and convenient. Keep in mind that this cutter ONLY works when you press the blades, ensuring the safety of your little kids and pets.
3. Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
Looking for the best commercial vinyl cutter? If yes, this Cricut Explore Air is a wise option. This machine comes as an upgrade, enhanced version of the previous Circuit Explore models. And it allows you to cut and write up to 2x faster than all its predecessor—making it the ideal unit for handling your small business projects.
One of the key things about this machine is its ability to cut over 100 materials. In other words, it's German carbide premium blade will easily and smoothly cut almost everything, including vinyl, cardstock, iron-on, plasterboard, fabric, leather, and so much more.
What's more, it boasts of double tool holder design, where it enables you to cut and write in a single step. That is, you can cut a card and then write your personalized message exactly where you want. Or you can cut a box and score fold lines in only one step.
Creating your own designs on the go has never been easier, thanks to the FREE access you gain to the Cricut Design Software when you purchase this cutting machine. You can select from 3000plus ready-to-make projects or make quick cuts from their extensive library, making your work even easier.
To make this machine incredibly easy and quick for you to operate, the manufacturer has included a smart set dial which you simply turn to obtain the perfect cut settings for any material you want.
Since this machine comes embedded with Bluetooth technology, it's 100% wireless, so you don't have to deal with unnecessary cords.
Other worthy features you'll enjoy from this commercial-grade cutting machine include integrated storage components, compatibility with all Cricut cartridges, and ability to upload your own images. All the essential accessories, including cutting mat, card stoke and pen sample, etc. are included in the box.
4. Silhouette Portrait 2
For all your DIY home projects, try this product from Silhouette, another reputable brand in the vinyl cutting machines world. As the manufacturer puts it, this is one of their most compact machines…meaning it'll easily fit on your desk without taking up all the available space.
But don't judge the unit by its little size, though. It's a pretty powerful cutting machine that will easily cut through a variety of materials such as fabric, cardstock, heat transfer material, paper vellum, transparencies, adhesive vinyl, and magnetic paper. This simply means that it'll let you work on a variety of projects, including cutting stickers, making beautiful gifts/decorations for your loved ones, and more.
Note that the unit presents you with the AutoBlade function. This is a pretty nice feature to have in a vinyl cutter as it automatically adjusts the blade pressure to the type of material you want to cut, for smoother, more accurate cut results.
Like our previous model up there, this small guy also presents you with built-in Bluetooth technology. This helps eliminate the hassle of connecting wires when you want to import/export your designs and files.
And yes, this machine also comes armed with the Silhouette Studio Designer to help you create own your designs from scratch or choose from their 300plus pre-made ones. And unlike the Cricut machines, this software doesn't require any internet connection to work.
Overall, this is a tiny cutting machine but quite powerful. It has excellent cutting abilities and other top-end features to help you come up with DIY masterpieces. This machine is also one of the most portable units on our vinyl cutting machines reviews. It's easy to pack up and transport to any place.
5. Silhouette CAMEO-3-4T Wireless Cutting Machine
Halfway our vinyl cutter machine reviews, we've got yet another amazing cutting machine from the Silhouette, the big name. We recommend this unit for those looking for the best vinyl cutter for shirts. As an upgraded version of previous Cameos, it has the same capabilities as its predecessors, plus some added features.
Like all the other Cameos and, generally, any unit featured on vinyl cutters reviews, this unit lets you cut a wider variety of materials—measuring up to 12 inches thick and 10ft long—including cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and more.
One of the enhancements you'll enjoy in this machine is the double tool holder, which enables it to accommodate up to 2 tools (a blade and cutter) at once to allow you to cut and write in a single step, making your projects go faster.
It also features Bluetooth technology for wireless connection. Using this wireless technology, your Cameo 3 can easily receive cut jobs from other devices than your computer. Get those pesky cords out of the way with this cutting machine!
Remember, this machine comes with a full-color LCD touchscreen, which lets you hassle-freely load your media as well as access all your machine settings. The screen even has mini-tutorials to help you if you get stuck. The included sounds will help you easily navigate the screen.
Oh! Don't forget that Cameo 3 is the only unit that's compatible with the Silhouette's Autoblade, the self-adjusting blade. With the included storage compartments, you'll have a safe place for storing your extra blades, pens, tools, and other items.
6. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle
If you're looking for the best vinyl cutter for small business or your home business, this USCutter will fit your needs. However, keep in mind that this isn't your average desktop cutting machine …you'll to ensure you have enough space to comfortably accommodate it.
The cutter has excellent cutting capabilities, with up to 34 inches feed width and 30 inches cut width. This makes it the ideal unit for vinyl cutting and signage use in your small startup. You can trust this machine to reliably cut paper, standard vinyl, cardstock, paint mask, craft paper, and heat transfer vinyl.
We like that this unit comes with built-in Vinyl Master Cut software which allows you to easily produce logos, lettering, pin tripping, and other design related work. It comes armed with a variety of tools for curves, objects, and text. Not to forget, it features built-in vectorization tools that work with all the major image formats.
If you're a beginner with no knowledge of vinyl cutters, you might be wondering if you'll be able to operate this machine. The truth is, it's incredibly easy to use…you can easily assemble it in under 30 minutes right out of the box (you only need a screwdriver). The software, too, is entry-level and pretty easy to navigate. If you get stuck, you can always check your user manual or watch the USCutter tutorial on YouTube.
The manufacturer promises you a lifetime, 100% FRE lifetime support. Previous users of this unit agree that the support is nice and professional and will help you solve any issue you experience with your machine.
7. Brother ScannCut2 Electronic Cutting Machine
This is a 100% standalone unit! It's one of a kind electronic cutting machine, designed using advanced, cutting edge technology that's synonymous with the Brother brand.
The truly innovative model boasts of its place as the world's first cutting machine to feature a built-n scanner. And before you start wondering what this is, it's the bread and butter of this machine. It simply lets you scan your cherished photos, handmade drawings and sketches, magazine clippings, etc., and turn them into unique cutting designs.
In other words, the built-in scanner will save you from the expense of expensive software, price cartridge, or computer while making your craftwork even easier.
What's more, it presents you with a variety of built0in designs, fonts, and quilt patterns to help extend your creativity limits.
Remember, you'll be accessing all your machine ScanNCut settings on the large LCD touchscreen, …and you can even perform editing work for your images on this screen, including doing background scans, welding, resizing, and rotating your designs. Again, this eliminates the need to use a computer or external software to make edits.
The fact that this standalone unit supports wireless connections means you can send or receive files from various designs without connecting any wires. If you're done with tripping over cables in your workspace every day, this is a true relief for you.
And if you wish to transfer files from the machine via USB cable, then you can it via the included USB port.
On top of it all, the ScanNCut offers you an incredibly large scanning and cutting area to enable you to ahssle0-freely design and cut a wide range of designs with varying sizes. It comes with included 12 by 12-inch cutting mat for your own convenience.
8. VEVOR Vinyl Cutter 28 Inch Plotter Machine
As we edge closer to our list of top vinyl cutter reviews, we have another fantastic vinyl cutter. This is another best vinyl cutter for small business. You can use for creating various signs, advertisement, automotive decoration, line drawing, fashion design, supplementary for heat transfer, and more.
The 28-inc vinyl cutter machine of two fully adjustable pinch-rollers which allow you to cut a wide range of materials with the ultimate precision. It also features a Roland compatible blade holder, which will enable you to use it with the most economical blades available.
What's more, it allows you to adjust its cutting force(pressure) and speed to suit your preferences.
Many users love the machine's humanized design, which makes it quite easy to operate. For instance, it comes with a backlight LCD screen plus large control panel buttons to make it incredibly easy to operate. Not to forget the emergency start/stop button for easy restarting or stopping of this machine.
With the digital readout, you can rest assured that this machine will achieve accurate and precise settings for all your projects. And this assures you of quality results…and happy, satisfied clients!
9. Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60 24 Inch Professional Vinyl Cutter
The Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60 takes the crown for the best professional vinyl cutter. It features an industrial-grade build quality and comes optimized for reliable performance—just what you need for your busy signage making business!
The secret to this cutter's reliable performance lies in the digital servo motor it armed with. This type of motor simply translates the software commands into 1s and 0s, resulting in smoother, more precise cutting results for smaller as well as larger characters. Not to forget that the motor doesn't produce noise during operation, for quieter working experience.
The pro vinyl cutter provides you with a fairly big 3.7-inch user-friendly LCD control panel. This lets you hassle-freely configure various unit settings—including 8 pre-set conditions plus advanced features such as the downforce offset, tangential control mode, pen up speed, blade wear monitoring, and more.
Couple this user-friendly LCD display with the integrated 25-pin RS-232C serial port or high-speed control interface, and managing your cutting jobs becomes simpler than ever before.
Keep in mind that this unit delivers up to 400 grams of cutting force and up to 35 inches per second, which further qualifies it as a top industrial-grade vinyl cutter.
We also find it amazing that this unit presents you with the latest Automatic Registration Mark Sensing (ARMS), which grants you unmatched media plotting and accuracy via the 4-point instead of old 3-point registration. Moreover, this system offers you an automatic paneling function, which excellently serves your longer-length cutting and tracking requirements.
Since the pen carriage can hold both the plotting pen plus blade simultaneously, this unit enables you to switch between cutting and plotting operations easily.
When you purchase this professional grade vinyl cutter, you'll get these items in the package: Graphtec studio software, Graphtec's ARMS system, rear media roll rack (with new media brake) cutting master plug-in, and floor stands.
10. MantisTol 9" Pro Vinyl Flooring Cutter
Our final spot on the top vinyl cutters reviews goes to the ManisTol 9-inch Pro vinyl cutting machine. If your work revolves around vinyl flooring, then this heavy-duty machine has been specially designed to help you do a clean job that will leave your clients satisfied.
The reasonably priced vinyl flooring cutter will allow you to easily cut through WPC, LVP, LVT, PVC, VCT, and vinyl plank floorings. However, the manufacturer states that it might not do an excellent job for SPC (rigid core flooring) engineered floors, laminate, and hard plank.
The professional cutter is unlike any other you have used before. It operates quietly, doesn't require any electricity, and delivers clean and dust-free cuts.
Using this machine is quite easy for you. You'll appreciate how the manufacturer places the handle of this cuter at the center of the blade, which makes the device user-friendlier to operate…unlike the models which come with the handle placed off to one side.
Even better, it comes with a clearly marked measuring guide to help you obtain straight cuts or angle cuts, say when installing flooring on a wall or corner.
For easy cutting experience, the unit comes equipped with a 2.2mm thick tungsten steel super-sharp blade. A 600 Grit oilstone comes with the package to help you keep the blade sharp.
And yes, this cutting machine is easy to carry around to any place where you've found a vinyl flooring job!
Overall, if you want to make your job of installing WPC/LVP/LVT/PVC/VCT/vinyl plank flooring easier and more impressive than ever before, get yourself this professional cutting machine today. It's pretty easy to use, makes smooth and clean dust-free cuts, operates freely, and doesn't require any electricity. It's worth every penny!
Vinyl Cutting Machine Buying Guide
As you have noticed in our vinyl cutter reviews above, a good quality vinyl cutting machine is a sizeable investment that requires you to spend a good amount of cash.
With this in mind, you'd want to make sure you choose your machine wisely to ensure it meets your unique needs and requirements.
Here are some key considerations to help you choose right:
What type of materials do you wish to cut?
One highly important consideration to make when looking for the perfect vinyl cutter is what materials you plan to cut.
From our top-rated products above, you can easily notice that different units have varying lists of materials they can cut.
Manufacturers are always generous with the types of materials their machines can cut, so you should be able to check through the list and see if the machine will live up to your cutting needs or not.
That said, most units will have no issues cutting common materials such as vinyl, papers, fabric, and cardboard.
If you're planning to cut other materials like metal, plastic, leather, balsa wood, etc., then you should make sure you get a machine that can do the job.
Cutting force and depth
Do you want to obtain cuts precise vinyl cuts? If yes, then you should pay attention to the cutting force of the machine you want to buy.
Not just the cutting precision, the cutting pressure also dictates the types of materials you can cut with your machine.
That said, a force of 210 gf can easily cut through a depth of 1mm.
The maximum cutting capability for most top-rated vinyl cutters around 2mm. We suggest that you go for units with this cutting depth as they help you easily cut thicker papers.
Check the unit's connectivity
You should also check the connectivity options that come with that new cutting machine before you order it.
Some models come with Bluetooth wireless connectivity options, which lets you easily connect them with all the compatible devices without the hassle of cables.
Other models don't have any connectivity options.
Cloud storage support is also a desirable feature to have in your vinyl cutter.
While still at it, some models connect with both Mac and PC while others connect to either of these. Still, some models connect with specific operation system versions. So, make sure you check the compatibility of your new machine as well.
Ease of use
You should look at how easy to use the machine you plan to buy.
The ease of use will mainly depend on the intended user of the new cutting machine.
For absolute beginners with no prior knowledge of these machines, look for a mode, that features a simplified design, automated functions, and user-friendly control panel.
Other tasks, such as replacing the blades and cartridges, should also be pretty easy for you.
A model that comes with easy to navigate software (with pre-made designs) will make the cutting machine even easier to use.
For experienced users, you can look for a less-friendly, more complex model. You just need to ensure it has clear instructions on how to operate, just in case you get stuck along the way.
Other considerations include:
Best Vinyl Cutter Machine Brands In The Market:
To make your selection even easier, we'll narrow down your options on some of the best brands whose products stand from the rest for reliable quality and performance.
These brands include:
This is an American-based manufacturer (based in Utah, to be specific). Though it has been in the business for only a few years (founded in October 2009), it has caused ripples in the vinyl cutting industry with its top-of-the-line products.
Some of their most popular products include the Silhouette Portrait, Silhouette CAMEO, Silhouette Curio, and Silhouette Mint.
Even better, they let you use their state-of-the-art software, Silhouette Studio and Min Studio, to enhance your creativity and improve the quality of your designs.
If you're a DIY enthusiast, you'll be awed by their Silhouette Design Store, which provides you 100,000plus designs to take your creativity to the next level!
Having been launched in 2005, this is also a relatively new brand. Nevertheless, it has exhibited its expertise in the industry by producing high-quality vinyl cutting solutions for various users incredibly low costs.
They have divergent products designed to meet the needs of various groups, including DIYers, small business owners, and established businesses.
Apart from cutting machines, this manufacturer also takes pride in the production of top-quality vinyl, design software, and application tools—all geared towards changing your vinyl cutting experience.
If you're looking for a quality vinyl cutter for your small business or home, then Cricut will offer you some of the most amazing deals.
The brand boasts of a line of top-notch cutting machines that can work on a wide range of materials, including vinyl, vellum, chipboard, fabric, and felt.
Different Cricuts also come customized with varying last of features and functions to help you choose a unit that fits the requirements of the specific crafts you're working on.
The brand also boasts of Cricut Design Space, an easy to use software that helps you extend your imagination and creativity when working on your home crafting projects.
This is the go-to brand for professional, industrial-grade vinyl cutting machines.
Graphtec was established way back in 1949 In Japan, making it one of the oldest manufacturers in the oldest.
As they say, old is gold…and we easily see how this old brand has packed up decades of experience and expertise to provide you with some of the most reliable, high-quality roll-feed vinyl cutters for your established business.
The Graphtec FC9000 Pro Series is one of their most popular units among professionals. It delivers a staggering 600 grams of force and an incredible cutting speed of 58-46 inches per second.
What's more, they equip their machines with ARMS (Advanced Registration Mark Sensor) system, a pretty powerful tool that lets you enjoy 100% worry-free contour cutting.
Brother is also a popular name in the vinyl cutting world.
The manufacturer boasts of a variety of vinyl cutting machines for hobbyists as well as small businesses.
They take pride in the production of the first-ever vinyl cutter with a built-in scanner—the Brother ScanNCut—a 100% standalone machine that meets the needs of both DIYers and small business vinyl cutting solutions.
Other than vinyl cutters, they also offer you an extensive variety of quality cutting tools including vinyl, pattern collections, pens, blades, mats, to name but a few.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is a vinyl cutter the same as a plotter?
Not really. A vinyl cutter is solely designed for drawing/cutting vinyl materials for signs, stickers, shirts, etc.
A plotter, on the other hand, is used for sign making. It involves using pens to draw on a paper like maps. It's ideal for making bumper stickers, billboards, etc.
2. Do vinyl cutters need any maintenance?
Generally, these machines don't require a lot of maintenance. Depending on the environment you them in and the materials you cut, however, you might need to clean the cartridge. This should be after working on a given number of projects.
To clean the cartridge, you simply remove it from the blade and clean the space between the blade and cartridge nose. Make sure you remove all the dust in this space as it can easily clog your machine and make it less effective.
You'd also want to clean the mat with soap and water or alcohol and bleach-free wipes.
You might also consider the internal parts of your machine once in a while, say semi-annually. Use a low power blower for this job, and avoid using any liquids.
3. Do vinyl cutters print as well?
No. vinyl cutters are solely meant for making signs, advertisements, and banners.
You simply feed the machine with the image/design you want to print, and then it uses its blades to cut your design into vinyl or any other material of your choice.
4. How long do the vinyl cutter blades last?
The blades of a typical vinyl cutter are designed to last for a lengthy period of time before requiring any replacement.
The duration can range from months to years, depending on the manufacturer.
That said, it's worth noting that the lifespan of your cutting machine blade will also depend on a number of factors—like the frequency of use, the type of blade you're using, and the materials you're working on, and how you install it on your machine.
Generally, cutting coarser, thicker material will shorten the lifespan of your blade.
Extending your blade in the holder beyond the recommended width makes it dull faster and last for a shorter period of time.
Pro TIP: How do you know it's time to replace your blades? If you notice that your machine is producing poor cuts and weeding out your vinyl is getting harder, even after you clean the blades and re-install them correctly, then it's time to invest in new blades.
5. How much does a vinyl cutter cost?
The vinyl cutting machines don't come with a fixed cost.
Instead, how much you spend on a given model varies from model depending on the quality, manufacturer, and cutting performance/abilities.
Just as with any other product(s) out there, you get what you pay for in the case of these cutting machines.
This simply means that as you climb high up the price ladder, you'll some of highest-quality cutting machines with industrial-grade qua qualities and ability to make intricate designs
But this is not to say that units on the lower price end aren't any good.
You can easily find the best vinyl cutter under $300 that performs reliably and can handle your DIY personal crafts or small business vinyl cutting needs.
7. Do I really need a Bluetooth-enabled cutting machine?
It’s NOT a must that the vinyl cutter you buy comes integrated with the Bluetooth wireless technology. But the benefits it offers you might compel you to get a wireless cutting machine.
For instance, a wireless cutting machine enables you to work on the design on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, from the comfort of your sofa, and then send the complete to the machine for cutting.
What’s more, this type of machine eliminates the hassle of connecting wires and possibly tripping over them, makings things easier around your workspace.
Choosing the best vinyl cutting machine can be an overwhelming experience. This is because the market is saturated with varies and varieties of these machines, with different lists of features, functions, and qualities.
If you want to find your way through these multiple units and easily find a model that meets your specific vinyl cutting needs, just follow the key considerations we have outlined in our buying guide above.
With our list of some of the best vinyl cutting machines presently available at the market today, finding the perfect cutting machine for your home, small business, or established business just got easier!