Best Vinyl Cutter – Review & Guide

Are you a professional or beginner interested in increasing the grade of your work with vinyl cutters, but you have a vague understanding of how they work and what features to consider when purchasing one?

Vinyl cutters are easy to master and use.  Vinyl cutters are computer-controlled machines for cutting out shapes, letters, or designs from sheets of adhesive vinyl materials.

The computer controls the blade, which cuts out the shapes or designs. The primary function of vinyl cutters is mainly to create banners, stickers, and stencils, among other things.

When purchasing a vinyl cutter, it is essential to consider the project it is intended for. Other features to weigh include Its drive motor, tracking capabilities, speed, force, and reliability.

Vinyl Cutter Reviews

CAMM-1 GS-24 Vinyl Cutters

https://www.amazon.com/Roland-GX-24-GS-24-Vinyl-Cutter/dp/B00SNT0Z3W

The CAMM-1 GS-24 vinyl cutters manufactured by Roland-DG Corporation is a higher grade of Vinyl Cutters. It is 2 to 27 ½ inches wide, and as a result, it accepts a broad range of materials.

It has up to 10× overlap, cutting for greater precision. This feature enables the machine to recut dense material up to 10 times, allowing for perfect and accurate results.

The CAMM-1 GS-24’s optical registration system allows for easy contour cutting. It also has up to 350 grams of force for cutting and weeding thick or dense materials.

Another excellent feature is its digital servo motor, which enables the machine to cut at a speed of 500mm per second. It has a curve-smoothing function that allows for accurate cutting irrespective of the speed.

Pros

  • The CAMM-1 GS-24 has an LCD Control Panel that can store cutting information for up to eight jobs.
  • Its blade and carriage holder have been redesign for more precision and reliability.
  • It is capable of cutting a variety of materials, including heat transfers, sandblast, and paint mask.

Cons

  • Incapable of cutting glossy or laminated materials.
  • Its CutStudio Software is incompatible with mac.

Circuit Explore Air 2

https://www.amazon.com/Cricut-Explore-Air-2-Mint/dp/B01GSOMVRG

The Circuit explore air 2 manufactured by Provo Craft & Novelty is capable of cutting patterns and design in just a few moments. It can cut over 100 types of different materials with high accuracy.

The circuit explore has an in-built smart set dial, which includes a list of materials it is capable of cutting. It has over 50,000 designs that become available to you upon its purchase.

The machine comes with a circuit 12-inch × 12 inches light grip adhesive cutting suitable for vinyl projects. It has circuit pens used to make personalized or handwritten cards.

Thanks to its scoring stylus, the circuit explore air 2 can create perfect fold lines for cards and envelopes. It also comes with a blade and pen holder.

Pros

  • it is compatible with smart devices. Allowing you to make a creation on your phone and send it to the machine to print out.
  • It gives its user access to more than 370 fonts.
  • This machine can cut through thin or thick materials.

Cons   

  • It only operates with circuit software.
  • An internet connection is required to use the prescribed Software

MH Series Vinyl Cutters

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01AM8M7ZU/

The MH series vinyl cutters from USCutter can cut standard Vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, craft paper card stock, and paint mask. It comes with adjustable pinch rollers, which allow for a range of materials.

Also, its VinylMaster cut software is designed specifically for creating vinyl signage. The Software is designed with vectorization tools that can cut a wide range of images into vector path designs.

It offers a 34-inch edition capable of cutting up to 31 inches in width. With its dual ball-bearing media roller system, materials can be easily placed on rollers, saving time.

With its spooling function, you can complete various multilayered, projects without regularly substituting the rolls of various colored Vinyl. It can cut only up to 31 inches wide, making it suitable for small businesses.

Pros

  • You are entitled to free lifetime support via phone with the MH team.
  • This Vinyl Cutter Provides for pen and blade holders.
  • Capable of producing a broad range of vinyl lettering.

Cons

  • it is incapable of cutting low and high intensity reflective, tint, laminate, and sandblast resist.
  • Incompatible with MAC computers

Silhouette Cameo 3

https://www.amazon.com/Silhouette-SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T-Wireless-Machine-AutoBlade-Dual-Carriage-Studio/dp/B01I51ME1S

This vinyl cutter is manufactured by Silhouette Cameo 3, and it features a 2mm clearance for cutting more materials. Its pix scan technology feature ensures a precise cut on your material using a camera.

The silhouette cameo 3 is accompanied by a small blade that can be used to cut more than 100 materials up to 12 inches wide. It also features Bluetooth for wireless cutting.

It provides for matless cutting, allowing you to cut materials without making use of a mat. It has a dual-carriage that provides for multi-tool use.

On purchase of this machine, you have access to a silhouette design store, which stores thousands of ready-made designs. Only this silhouette can operate with a self-adjusting blade.

Pros

  • Its software is compatible with both pc and mac.
  • An auto-blade that automatically adjusts itself.
  • Includes two connectivity features: USB and power cable
  • Built-In storage for storing extra accessories.

Cons

  • Incapable of cutting thick materials.
  • Unable to emboss, engrave, and pierce.

Circuit Maker

https://www.amazon.com/Cricut-PC2004195-Maker-Champagne/dp/B072VYPWM4

This circuit maker created by Provo Craft & Novelty comes with a unique rotary blade that cuts through any material without backing material. This blade can cut up to 2.4mm of thick material.

The powerful blades, pens, and scoring tools of the circuit maker can make precise and quick cuts on over 300 materials. Its rotary blade uses both rolling and gliding action, which increases the cutting speed.

It has two tool capacity, which offers you the option to switch back and forth between both tools during operation without stopping. It offers an Adaptive Tool feature, which automatically controls the blade direction.

The circuit maker offers cutting pressure of up to 4 kilograms. In addition to all these amazing features, the cutter gives you access to its circuit design library upon purchase.

 

Pros

  • It is capable of cutting crepe paper and felt.
  • Compatible with a knife blade for cutting thicker materials.
  • Its rotary cutter is capable of making an extra-deep cut on any fabric.

Cons

  • It is inefficient for applications requiring dimensional accuracy
  • To properly use the circuit maker, you must subscribe to the circuit design space

Brother CM350 ScanNcut2 Home & Hobby Vinyl Cutter

https://www.amazon.com/Brother-CM350-Electronic-Scanncut2-Wireless/dp/B014T1CI1E

This vinyl cutter manufactured by Brother International is designed with a 300 DPI built-in scanner. This feature allows you to turn your scanned image and hand-drawn sketches into designs and patterns.

The CM350 is accompanied with a 4.85 inches touchscreen that allows for easy selection of functions. Designs can also be edited on its LCD touchscreen.

With its welding feature, you can combine shapes, fonts and designs directly on the screen. It also has a 12×12 cutting mat that easily cuts designs of all sizes.

A unique feature of the CM350 scanNcut is its wireless network, which allows for several connectivity options. It offers built-in designs and fonts with no required subscription or fees.

Pros

  • Its cloud-based web application created for designing and editing cut data is free for its users.
  • It gives you free access to over 600 designs
  • This vinyl cutter does not need cartridges or dyes.
  • Users are entitled to free technical phone support.

Cons

  • An enclosed design is required for the image to be scanned and cut out.
  • The vinyl cutter cannot scan an item that is not placed on a black background.

GCC Professional Expert II Vinyl Cutter

https://www.amazon.com/GCC-Professional-Expert-Cutter-Creative/dp/B07DX6X6RH

Manufactured by GCC, expert II produces excellent graphics with a cutting speed of 27.8 ips. With a cutting force of 350g and three meters of tracking ability, this machine makes precise cuts to materials.

A significant feature of the expert II is its Automatic Aligning System. This feature detects the registration marks on digital images, thereby ensuring precise and accurate contour cutting.

Its handy grooved cut-off tool permits a finished job to be cut in a straight line, to prevent the wastage of usable materials. The expert II has a voice coil motor that guarantees quality projects.

It includes windows driver that allows sign makers to edit sign from CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator. The expert II has a simple, user-friendly interface that is designed for easy media transferring.

Pros

  • Suitable for cutting vinyl and heat transfers.
  • The expert II comes with stable drums that provide for 3-meter tracking, guaranteeing the production of quality work.
  • It has dual port connectivity: USB and serial ports for quick data transmission.

Cons

  • Its software is not compatible with mac.
  • It comes with a limited lifetime product support

Graphtec FC8600 Series Vinyl CUTTER

https://www.amazon.com/Graphtec-FC8600-60-GRAPHTEC-Vinyl-Cutter/dp/B00E3C3YEA

The FC8600 series vinyl cutter was manufactured by Graphtec, and it offers digitally controlled drive motors. These motors ensure accurate tracking of up to 50 feet.

This vinyl cutter is mostly used for large businesses. This is owed to the fact that its maximum cutting speed, which is 58 inches per second, encourages high volume production.

It has a cutting force of 600 grams. makes it capable of cutting thick and thin materials alike.  FC8600 series has a Registration Mark Sensor which is used to contour cut materials accurately.

It provides for an adjustable overcut feature that precisely cut corners and edges. The FC8600 permits its users to control the impact of the blade on materials.

Pros

  • This vinyl cutter can handle vinyl heat transfer cutting
  • Its Tungsten Carbide Blade aids accurate cutting.
  • It is capable of cutting through vinyl media to create color and decals without damaging the blades.

Cons 

  • Its Pro Studio Vinyl Cutting Software is only compatible with windows.
  • Only two user configurations

Roland Stika SV-8 Vinyl Cutter

https://www.amazon.com/Roland-Stika-SV-8-Vinyl-Cutter/dp/B001NIRG5A

This vinyl cutter is manufactured by Roland-DG Corporation, and it is capable of cutting up to 6.2 inches wide. It provides for a CutStudio Software that has up to 64 designs available to its users

The Stika SV-8 has a sheet adjuster that allows the machine to handle a wide range of materials. These materials include Vinyl, twill, paint mask, and reflective Vinyl’s.

It is capable of cutting materials that are 8 inches wide. It offers a cutting speed of 16 inches per second, and cutting force is up to 110 grams ensuring excellent and accurate cutting.

Thanks to its Software, you can import vector designs from ESP, JPG, AI files, or BMP. As a result of its size, and features this vinyl cutter is more suitable for domestic use.

Pros

  • It is created with high-quality plastic ensuring its durability.
  • It is portable
  • Capable of cutting out custom designs
  • Able to efficiently cut various materials.

Cons

  • Its cutting area is not wide
  • Its cutting speed is slow.

USCutter 28-inch titan 2 vinyl cutter

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071P9M7CC/

This machine from USCutter has laser registration for accurate contour cutting. its cutting force is up to 750g; as a result, it is capable of cutting materials like Vinyl and intensive reflective materials.

This cutter compromises of 4 pinch-rollers. These four rollers are in close proximity to themselves, which makes cutting small pieces and designs easy. It has an easily accessible control panel for adjusting speed and force.

Titan 2 includes free vectorizing and cutting software. It also offers a spooling function which allows you to complete several multi-colored works without switching between rolls of different colored vinyl

This vinyl cutter is well built from aluminous alloy; it is created to resist wear. In summary, this vinyl cutter is a versatile and durable machine capable of cutting various materials.

Pros

  • Its users have a lifetime of phone support.
  • Its servo motor provides for fast and quiet operation.
  • Constructed with durable aluminum alloy

Cons

  • Absence of Bluetooth
  • It does not support wireless connectivity.

 

Features to Consider When Purchasing a Vinyl Cutter

Purchasing a vinyl cutter can seem like a daunting affair, especially if it is your first time. when choosing a vinyl cutter, it is easy to focus solely on the speed, price, or force.

While these features should not be ignored, a vinyl cutter should not be purchased just based on that but also on the following.

Drive Motor: The drive motor of a vinyl cutter is its engine. There are two types of drive motors: mechanical stepper and digital servo motors.

The mechanical stepper is driven by physical gear, and it moves in small increments. Its cons include loud noise, inaccurate cuts on small graphics.

While the digital servo motors provide for more precise designs on small patterns, it much quieter during operation and you can expect the smooth and accurate movement of the cutting head and drive motor.

It’s Ability to Cut and Perforate Vinyl : A vinyl machine that both cut and perforate vinyl is necessary when selecting a vinyl cutter because it increases efficiency on a job.

Make sure you purchase one that is able to only cut through the face film, liner and adhesive without damaging the platen.

Built-in Media Sensors: Some vinyl machines come with built-in media sensors that control the amount of force the blade uses when it comes in contact with the Vinyl. The sensors also detect a loaded film’s surface.

Adjustable Pinch Rollers: This feature allows you to control the amount of force applied to the media. Moderating the amount of pressure applied increases tracking on dense materials.

Area feature: Also known as pre-feed, it has the capabilities of advancing the amount of media you need, cutting down on time and money. This feature can be found in the control panels of intermediate and advanced vinyl cutters.

Project Size: A vinyl cutter should be selected based on the size of the project. In other words, some vinyl cutters are more appropriate for large-scale projects and others for small-scale projects.

How to Maintain a Vinyl Cutter?

Like most machines, there is a need to take certain measures in ensuring a vinyl cutter is well maintained. This is to prevent the wearing out of the machine and increase its lifespan.

Cleaning Your Cutter: It is necessary to clean the wheels as it has the tendency to accumulate amounts of adhesive. A paper towel and rubbing alcohol can be used to remove any debris.

Also, after a while, the grit rollers can pick up pieces of paper and other forms of debris. The grit rollers can be cleaned using a small wire brush to brush the grit rollers lightly.

Your vinyl cutter should be wiped daily; this is to prevent dust build-up. Ensure that the tooltip is also cleaned out because the build-up of Debris can restrict the movement of the blade.

Where to place your Vinyl cutter? Make sure your machine is placed where there is little or no dust. Also, your cutter should not be placed in the path of direct sunlight and should be placed on a firm and leveled surface.

Regular Inspection: The blade holder should be routinely checked for any debris. The presence of dust and dirt can prevent the blade from effectively swiveling while cutting.

The blade itself should be regularly checked for any chip. A chipped blade can prevent the cutting of even edges. If a fault is found, such a blade should be replaced.

Advantages of Using a Vinyl Cutter

Vinyl cutters offer more than an easy and cost-effective way of creating your own posters or signages. Despite the level of your skill, a vinyl cutter can make all the difference to your project.

There are various benefits that can be attained for owning such a machine. They include;

Quality of the project: The vinyl cutter blade precisely cuts your design into vinyl or other materials. This feature only capable with a vinyl cutter enhances the quality of your project

Its versatile feature: Not only can a vinyl cutter be used to execute a broad range of projects from creating posters to stickers and decals. It can also cut the outline of designs on a variety of materials like fabric and tint.

Storage: A vinyl machine is normally connected to a computer, which can store projects. These Past designs are preserved in the memory of a vinyl cutter computer and are available to you for reuse.

A laser pointing device: This feature allows the vinyl cutter to contour cut. The laser pointing device cuts away the extra material, leaving you with only what is needed for the design.

This feature also provides for accurate cutting, increasing the over-all outcome of your work.

FAQs

How does a vinyl cutter work? Irrespective of the fact that are different brands of the vinyl cutter with different features, they all operate in a general way.

The vinyl cutter is connected to a computer, and it is that computer that directs the knife or blade on where to cut. The blade then cuts a precise outline of the design onto a material or vinyl.

What are the tools needed for vinyl cutting? There are various additional tools needed when operating a vinyl cutter machine. They include materials like Vinyl, transfer tape, additional fluid, weeding hook, straight pins, and application fluid for transfers.

What can I use a vinyl cutter to make? As a crafter you can use a vinyl cutter to make the following; 3D objects, stickers, and label, t-shirt transfers, cards, banners, signage, Vinyl and decals

Do I need to have my vinyl cutter machine blade replaced? Replacing your vinyl cutter blade is of grave importance. This is because a worn-out blade can lead to inaccurate or Imperfect cuts. Your blade should be examined frequently and changed if any fault is present.

Is transfer tape needed for vinyl cutting? Transfer tape is needed on an adhesive vinyl in other to move the Vinyl from its backing to the desired location.

What are the files used for vinyl cutting? The files used must be vector files. That is file saved in the Encapsulated PostScript format or Adobe Illustrator format. PDF files can only be used if all text has been converted to an outline.

The link below provides a visual aid explaining the general functions of a vinyl cutter.

Conclusion

Therefore, if you’re interested in designing stickers or banners, a vinyl cutter will be a useful addition to your workshop. As can be seen above, a great vinyl cutter is a collection of several features and considerations.

These features have been examined for you in our buying guide.  This is to help you make a wise decision when picking out a vinyl cutter.

Don’t hesitate to write in the comments section about your experience with a vinyl cutter. Hearing your questions and thoughts will give me an insight into how I can be of more service.

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