When you’re an avid DIY enthusiast, one of the single biggest time saps is the time spent cutting tough or awkward objects. Textiles, plastics, card, wood… It’s all far too awkward for standard home equipment. But most of us can’t afford to get professional equipment at home. However, using my paper guillotine the other day, I got wondering. Surely there is something similar for the vinyl and plastic sheets I use in my DIY projects? And there is!
- 1 Top 5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
- 1.1 1. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform, White/Gray
- 1.2 2. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine – AutoBlade – Dual Carriage – Silhouette Studio Software
- 1.3 3. Silhouette Portrait
- 1.4 4. Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE – Sign Making Kit w/Design & Cut Software, Supplies, Tools
- 1.5 5. Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
- 2 Vinyl Cutting Machine Buying Guide
- 3 The Best Vinyl Cutting Machine
Top 5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines
1. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform, White/Gray
This is a very reasonably priced cutting machine that is highly versatile. It cuts many different types of materials, from paper to textiles, including vinyl and flexible plastics. It is a small cutting machine, at only 14.25-12.37-6.62 inches. This makes it very portable, but it still has a reasonable cutting area. It does not come with many cutting or embossing tools included, but is compatible with their whole product range. Standard cutting pads and the adjustable platform are included. It is very simple to use, and efficient at cutting different materials in a measured and effective way.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
- Cuts all sorts of materials.
- Compatible with many different tools.
- Pads and platform included.
- Easy to use.
- Good cutting area.
- Not many tools included.
2. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine – AutoBlade – Dual Carriage – Silhouette Studio Software
This product is a higher price for the market. It also cuts a wide variety of materials, and only up to 12 inches wide. However it is pretty advanced. It has its own unique software to help you create projects. It has a wireless cutting feature. This cutting machine can handle much thicker materials than many other cutters, and has an auto-adjusting blade. The auto-cutter has been reported to malfunction, so if it cuts your mat or doesn’t cut through your item, you will need to contact your manufacturer.
Our Rating: (3.9 / 5)
- Comes with design software.
- Wireless feature.
- Handles thick materials.
- Comes with mats.
- Auto-adjusting cutter.
- Only cuts up to 12 inches.
3. Silhouette Portrait
Again, a lower priced product. It cuts most materials easily, including magnetic vinyl and other materials that some cutters struggle with. It comes with its full software and fifty embossing designs too. The cutting area is stupidly limited, at only 8×12” with a cutting mat. However it is a surprisingly powerful little tool, handling thick and tough materials easily. The software is very efficient, and it cuts wonderful designs based on your own drawings with minimal effort.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Cuts most materials.
- Very powerful, handles thick and tough materials well.
- Efficient software.
- Very limited cutting area.
4. Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE – Sign Making Kit w/Design & Cut Software, Supplies, Tools
This is by far a more expensive product, but if you have many big jobs, it may be the only way to get them done. The pinch rollers are fully adjustable. The cutting area is absolutely huge. And it is completely compatible with cheaper blades, though I’d rather not use them. It comes with vinyl rolls, a mix of transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, a hobby knife, and squeegee. You get lifetime support via phone or email support too. The software is simple and easy to install and use.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- Great tool for all purposes.
- Cuts large pieces.
- Many accessories.
- Easy software.
- Fully adjustable.
- Lifetime support.
5. Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
Another more expensive item. This one cuts a variety of materials too: over 100. It cuts very thick materials, including leather. The software is incredibly simple to use, and you can even load your own images if you are not confident in your design skills with their software. It has a smart set feature that cuts at the correct pressure and depth for any material you log, making it an amazing all-round tool. This is available through the dial, so you don’t need to fiddle too much for a great result. It can be used wirelessly thanks to its bluetooth functions.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Cuts over 100 materials.
- Good cutting range.
- Cuts thick materials.
- Simple, flexible software.
- Smart set dial.
- Wireless cutting.
Vinyl Cutting Machine Buying Guide
When choosing a vinyl cutting machine, you need to really think about what you’re going to be making. Some more expensive options may have more features, but are you really going to use them? If you are looking for one to cut a variety of materials, it may not be as good on some of them. And one that cuts deeply and efficiently may not cut such a wide range of materials.
You also need to consider the software. If you are not a technologically skilled person, you may want one that can print from images you can make or source somewhere else. Learning to design on new programs can be difficult, after all.
Finally, make sure that all the attachments are considered. Some cutters include some attachments, but in most cases you will need to buy. Check which ones are available from the company, as well as whether it is compatible with other brands. This will make your life much easier than if you have to send it back, or shop around for the tools you need.
The Best Vinyl Cutting Machine
It’s god to be the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine. It may be a little more expensive, but it is still an economical choice. It has excellent software, and cuts almost anything you could want it to. The wireless feature makes it easy to use, and the smart set dial means you know you’re getting an accurate cut. For what you get, the price is worth it.