If you’re a crafty sort of person, then you might be in the market for a vinyl cutting machines. These machines are super versatile and can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
- Creating silk screens for tee shirts and other projects
- Making stickers
- Cut out shapes for use on signs and other items
These are just a few potential uses for a vinyl cutting machine. If you want a machine of your own, then you’ll need to sort through the available options and pick the machine that best suits your needs.
That can be a time-consuming thing to do – and that’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out of it. We tried out some of the most widely-available vinyl cutting machines and picked our 10 favorites to share with you.
Before we reveal our choices, let’s take a look at some of the key features and components of vinyl cutting machines.
Table of Contents
- 15. Brother ScanNCut CM100DM Home and Hobby Cutting Machine
- 14. Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
- 13. 24-Inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter
- 12. Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE
- 11. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
- 10. 32-inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter
- 9. Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine with Silhouette Starter Vinyl Kit Bundle
- 8. Graphtec CE6000-60 24 Inch Professional Vinyl Cutter
- 7. Silhouette Portrait
- 6. Xyron 624632 Creative Station
- 5. Silhouette America Portrait Cutting Tool with Vinyl Starter Kit for Scrapbooking
- 4. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
- 3. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool
- 2. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle
- 1. 53″ USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter Bundle with Design & Cut Software
What to Look for in a Vinyl Cutting Machine
There are several things you should be aware of before investing in a vinyl cutting machine. Here they are:
- The first consideration is the type of motor the machine has. There are two options:
- Stepper motors move in small steps and are driven by gears. They are reliable but offer less precision than the other option.
- Servo motors are binary and offer a great deal of precision and control. They are also much quieter than stepper motors.
- The next thing to think about is the size of the machine you want. If you plan to do small crafts, then you can probably get by with a basic starter machine of good quality. On the other hand, if you need to make large signs or automotive decals, then you’ll want a large machine that can handle the work.
- We also recommend that you think about the quality of the rollers. A good vinyl cutting machine needs quality rollers that can feed the vinyl through smoothly and deliver good results. You don’t want the machine you buy to jam up while you’re using it.
- You’ll also want to consider the types of vinyl you want to use. Some vinyl is thick and requires a heavy-duty machine to cut. Make sure you know what you need before you buy.
- Finally, you’ll want to consider how much money you’re willing to spend on your vinyl cutting machine. These machines are not inexpensive, but some are much costlier than others. We recommend setting a budget and then investing in the best-quality machine that you can afford.
Best Vinyl Cutting Machines in 2018
Now that you know what to look for in a vinyl cutting machine, here are our picks of the top 15 vinyl cutting machines on the market.
15. Brother ScanNCut CM100DM Home and Hobby Cutting Machine
Our first pick is the Brother ScanNCut CM100DM Home and Hobby Cutting Machine. Here are some of the reasons we chose it:
- Comes with a built-in scanner and more than 600 built-in designs
- LCD touch screen puts editing capabilities at your fingertips
- Converts .SVG files to .FCM files
As you might expect, there are a few potential downsides to consider:
- The resolution on the scanner is not as high as we might look
- This machine is not ideal for use with fabric
- The instructions are complex and require a bit of trial and error to figure out
If you want an affordable machine with a bunch of ready-to-use designs, this is a good starter machine.
14. Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
The #14 pick on our list is the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine. Cricut is a well-known name in the crafts arena, and this is why we chose this product:
- You can upload custom designs or choose from Cricut’s huge library of designs
- Cuts 100 materials including vinyl, cardstock, and even faux leather
- Smart Set dial ensures accurate cuts no matter what material you use
There are a few things that could be better, including:
- You must choose a Cricut subscription to get to the design library
- The Wi-Fi on this machine is temperamental
- Maximum size for cutting is 6.25” by 8”
If you want a small and versatile machine for crafting, you can’t go wrong with this model.
13. 24-Inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter
Coming in at #13 on our list is the 24-Inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter. Here are the reasons we chose it for our list:
- Laser registration allows for precision cutting
- Allows you to adjust force and cutting speed while cutting
- Comes with VinylMaster Cut Software included
Here are a few things we think could be improved:
- The included software is limited – but upgrades are available
- While the quality on this machine is good, it’s probably not versatile enough for professional use
- The price is on the high side for a starter machine
Overall, we like this machine a lot for home use.
12. Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE
For our #12 pick, we chose the Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE. These are some of the reasons we like it:
- Pinch rollers are adjustable to accommodate a variety of materials
- 34” long cutter can handle large and small projects
- Comes with vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, knife, squeegee, and Lifetime phone support
There are a few potential downsides to consider:
- The stand is a bit flimsy and could be sturdier
- The rolling mechanism is not as smooth as it could be
- Best for small craft projects
If you want a starter kit that includes some materials for projects, this is a good product to try.
11. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
Our #11 pick is the Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine. Here’s why we picked it for our list:
- Can cut over 100 materials up to a maximum of a 12” width
- Comes with Silhouette Studio design software and can link to your home computer via Bluetooth
- Dual carriage allows you to use two tools at once
Here are a few things that could be better:
- The documentation included with this software could be better
- The Bluetooth feature is glitchy
- Not compatible with MacBooks
If you use a PC and want a good starter machine, we recommend this one.
10. 32-inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter
The #10 pick on our list is the 32-inch USCutter LaserPoint II Vinyl Cutter. Here are the reasons we chose it:
- 32-inch wide rollers allow for crafting projects large and small
- The LCD screen and included software make design features easy to access
- Accurate enough to cut tiny fonts and meticulous designs
Here are a few things we wish they’d improve:
- This machine is much noisier than we’d like it to be
- The product is a bit difficult to assemble and install
- The included instructions are poorly translated
If you want a large machine for home use – and don’t mind working your way through subpar instructions – then this machine might be the right one for you.
9. Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine with Silhouette Starter Vinyl Kit Bundle
Coming in at the #9 position is the Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine with Silhouette Starter Vinyl Kit Bundle. Here are a few of the main reasons we chose it:
- Comes with a vinyl starter kit that’s perfect for beginners
- Includes two plates, one for cutting and one for embossing
- Includes software and a one-month subscription to the Silhouette design store
There are a few potential cons to consider here, too:
- There are no instructions included in this machine, so you’ll need to find them online
- This isn’t the most accurate machine on the market
- Good only for small projects (maximum size 8.5” by 6”
If you want an affordable machine to get started with vinyl cutting, this is a good machine to being with.
8. Graphtec CE6000-60 24 Inch Professional Vinyl Cutter
We chose the Graphtec CE6000-60 24 Inch Professional Vinyl Cutter as the #8 pick on our list. This is a professional cutter with some seriously impressive capabilities. Here’s why we chose it:
- 24-inch industrial grade machine can handle professional sign-making and other big projects with ease
- Includes Graphtec software, a detailed manual, and professional installation if you want it
- Quiet machine is built for durability and reliability
There are a few potential negatives to consider here:
- This machine is by far the most expensive on our list
- The advanced features make this machine suitable only for professionals
If you own a business that requires you to buy a serious vinyl cutter, this is the best choice on our list for you.
7. Silhouette Portrait
Our #7 pick is the Silhouette Portrait. This is one of the best choices for home crafters who want to cut vinyl:
- The machine is one of the most affordable on our list and fits into most budgets
- Can cut cardstock, vellum, vinyl, and other materials
- Compatible with PCs and Macs
Here are a couple of things that could be better:
- If you have Adobe Illustrator, you’ll have to pay Silhouette an additional rating40 to print from it
- The instructions are very basic and may require some trial and error
If you want to give vinyl cutting a try and have a small budget, this is a very good machine to get started with.
6. Xyron 624632 Creative Station
The #6 pick on our list is the Xyron 624632 Creative Station. Here are the reasons we picked it:
- Small unit is compact enough to fit on any desktop or crafting table
- Fits two cartridges at once (9” and 5”) for versatility
- This is the least expensive model on our list
Here are a few things that we think could be improved:
- The sticker maker has a tendency to lift the top layer of card stock off
- The laminating feature sometimes leaves bubbles
- You’ll have to hold onto the machine while cranking the handle
At its price, this is a good little machine for casual crafters and first-timers.
5. Silhouette America Portrait Cutting Tool with Vinyl Starter Kit for Scrapbooking
Coming in at the #5 spot on our list is the Silhouette America Portrait Cutting Tool with Vinyl Starter Kit for Scrapbooking. This is one of our favorite machines for scrapbooking for these reasons:
- It can cut vinyl, magnetic transfer paper, transparencies, and a host of other materials
- Comes with a vinyl starter kit
- Affordable price is good for hobbyists
Here are a few potential caveats to keep in mind:
- The cutting mechanism can be a bit finicky
- Doesn’t work well with rhinestone starter kit
- The manufacturer says it cuts an 8.5” by 11” area, but it’s actually about an inch smaller all around
This is a good machine for scrapbookers because of its versatility.
4. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
Our #4 pick is the Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine. If you prefer a wireless cutting machine, we like this one because:
- It can cut over 100 materials up to 12” wide
- Features dual blades so you can cut two projects at once
- Comes with Silhouette CAMEO 3, 12-inch Cutting Mat, AutoBlade, Crosscutter, Power cable/USB cable, Silhouette Studio® software (download), 100 exclusive designs (download), 1-month Design Store subscription
We think a couple of things could be better, such as:
- Silhouette’s instructions leave a lot to be desired
- The precision of this machine could be improved
If you’re in the market for a wireless machine that can cut a wide variety of materials, then this is the machine for you.
3. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool
The #3 pick is the Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool. Here are the reasons we chose it:
- This bundle comes with 12 inch cutting mat, cutting blade, 50 exclusive cuttable designs and rating10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store
- The Cameo can handle designs up to 12” wide and up to 10 feet long
- This machine can handle intricate designs with a high degree of accuracy
Here are a couple of things that we think could be better:
- The quality of the mat is not as good as the rest of the machine
- Silhouette doesn’t offer free shipping to Alaska and Hawaii
- This machine is one of the pricier ones on our list
If you want a machine that’s big enough to handle large projects, give this one a try.
2. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle
For our #2 pick, we chose the Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle. These are the reasons we like it:
- Comes with software, templates, and a one-month membership to the Silhouette Design Store
- This machine is very easy and intuitive to use, even for beginners
- Affordable price considering everything you get with it
There are a couple of potential negatives here:
- This machine is a little louder than we’d like
- This is not the right machine if you need to cut heavy materials
Anybody who’s in the market for a vinyl cutting machine to use at home would do well to consider this bundle.
1. 53″ USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter Bundle with Design & Cut Software
And finally, our pick as the top vinyl cutting machine in 2018 is the 53″ USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter Bundle with Design & Cut Software. Here are the reasons it’s our #1 pick:
- Steel-barbed axis allows for high quality cutting of intricate designs
- Inertial rotating blade provides maximum control
- Bundle includes 12 rolls of vinyl, design software, and many other useful items
There isn’t much we don’t like about this machine, but here are two things to keep in mind:
- This is a large machine, so make sure you have a large table or workspace where you can put it
- The machine is a bit noisy when it’s cutting vinyl
Overall, we love this machine and it’s a good choice for serious home hobbyists and professionals. That’s why it’s our top pick.
Vinyl machines aren’t cheap, but the 15 picks on our list come in at a variety of price points so there’s something for everyone. You’re sure to find the machine you’re looking for here!