Best Vinyl Cutter – Buyer’s Guide of the Best Vinyl Cutting Machines 2018

Best vinyl cutter – Cutters review & buying guide
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How to Choose the Appropriate Vinyl Cutter?

Vinyl cutter (or vinyl plotter) is a good investment both for your business and home. Cutting plotters are used for outdoor advertising, photographic printing, maps and blueprints manufacture. Reliable printing and cutting model will help you to create quality product which will please you, your colleagues and your family.

When purchasing vinyl cutter one should analyze existing models currently available in the market and investigate all related pros and cons.

What One Should Know About Vinyl Cutters?

To choose best vinyl cutter one should carefully consider the following parameters:

  • Cutting width. Usually cutting width is limited to 12 inches. It’s quite enough for home usage: to cut sticky films, thermo films, photo paper, magnetic vinyl, design cardboard and other materials.
  • Optical positioning. Optical positioning implies that cutter has optical sensor (eye) which recognizes special marks printed on the material to be cut. In this case it is possible to perform precise contour cutting of the image previously printed using any printer.
  • Cutting accuracy. If one needs to cut small parts he or she should use the cutter with high cutting accuracy. This feature significantly increases its cost.
  • Cutting speed. Important characteristic if you deal with a large circulation of products. It is essential that your cutter would preserve quality at maximum speed. If there is no emergency-type job it is better to choose cutter having lower speed which will reduce the cost.
  • Drawing element. Drawing element is used to draw blueprints, models, diagrams, and patterns. It is inserted instead of the blade. One can use water based markers and ballpoint pens as a drawing element. In some cases plotter carriage can hold both tools — cutting and drawing.

Another important parameter is the cutting force of the blade. The higher the pressure the thicker the material the cutter will be able to cut.

Thus, whatever plotter you choose it is better to consider goals and volumes a device will deal with. If you are going to handle small volumes don’t buy costly device as it won’t implement all its functions. But when dealing with large volumes the choice of a cutter should be made elaborately.

Top-5 of the Best Vinyl Cutters (for Home and for Beginners)

  • Marker Vinyl Bundle.
  • Brother ScanNCut CM100DM1 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine.
  • Brother ScanNCut2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Deep Blade Bundle.
  • CAMEO 3 Vinyl Bundle.
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Bundle.

Best Vinyl Cutters — Table of Key Features and Specifications

Picture Product name Main characteristics Price on Amazon
Marker Vinyl Bundle Marker Vinyl Bundle Includes 5 specialty weeding tools, including Fine Tweezers, hook Tweezers, Weeder, piercing tool, and hook Weeder. Check Price
Brother ScanNCut CM100DM1 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Brother ScanNCut CM100DM1 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Large, color LCD touch screen display with on-screen editing capabilities such as rotating, welding, resizing and organizing. 11.7 inch wide scanning and cutting area to accommodate large projects.

Additional accessories include: 1 Middle Tack Mat, 1 Sample Pack of Iron-On Glitter Sheets 8.5×11 inch (4 sheets total, multiple colors), 1 Standard Blade.

Check Price
Brother ScanNCut2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Deep Blade Bundle Brother ScanNCut2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Deep Blade Bundle 4.85″ LCD touch screen display, 30% larger than before!

Specially designed blade was made to cut thick materials like felt, denim and even leather.

Check Price
CAMEO 3 Vinyl Bundle CAMEO 3 Vinyl Bundle Includes: cameo 3, Basic and bright vinyl Packs, 12×6′ transfer tape, hook, scrapper, grey dust cover and cameo pixscan mat.

Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.

Check Price

1. Marker Vinyl Bundle

Features

  • Good at paper, cloth, leather, and corkwood cutting. Also used for vinyl decals.
  • Mac OS compatible software.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi available.
  • Base kit includes blades, black pencil, substrate of different colors, tweezers of several types.
  • Maximum cutting size claimed by the manufacturer is 12*12 in, but the cutter is able to handle 12*24 in material.
  • Project storage is possible via account on manufacturer’s website.

If you decided to purchase this device it is recommended to buy additional tool kit. And if you are going to use the cutter for hot printing possibly you will need hot press.

Before you start to use the cutter it will be useful to see some videos on Youtube to know certain principles of the work with the different types of the material.

Pros

  • Easy to use even for those user who are not skilled in employment of such devices.
  • Especially good for cloth cutting. Besides cutting predetermined patterns using different kinds of cloth (cotton, silk, jeans) it can make inscriptions.
  • High cutting speed.
  • Data may be stored both on the mobile device and using USB memory.

Cons

  • Computer software is not consistent in operation.
  • Sometimes cut patterns mismatch set parameters.
  • Manufacturer claims that the device does not deckle cloth edges. But some users complain that often edges appear irregular.
  • Doesn’t support vector files.
  • Size inconsistency — possible discrepancies between programmed and ready product.
  • No clear user manual and settings instruction.

2. Brother ScanNCut CM100DM1 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine

Features

  • Embedded scanner resolution: 300 dpi.
  • Autonomous mode of operation. No need of the connection with any external device. More than 600 embedded design variants.
  • Equipped with touch LCD monitor allowing image edit: 360° of the image rotation, image size control, etc.
  • Scan and cut width of 12 in.
  • May be used for cloth cutting.
  • Delivered with the additional tool kit: 1 standard blade, adhesive substrate, package of samples with sparkling stickers of different colors.

This plotter doesn’t support Wi-Fi but has USB port for image download.

Pros

  • Initially one can draw the picture on the paper to ensure its accuracy and then to cut it on the required material.
  • Good usability, no requirement for the connection with other media.
  • Space economy.
  • Good both for cloth and hard paper cutting.

Cons

  • Sophisticated software setting.
  • Medium quality substrate.
  • Cutting quality sometimes is not as high as desired.

3. Brother ScanNCut2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine Deep Blade Bundle

Features

  • Touch LCD display 4.85 in.
  • Embedded scanner having 300 dpi resolution and RGB (red, green, blue) recognition capability.
  • Supports Wi-Fi, PC connection and autonomous operation mode.
  • Equipped with special blade intended for dense materials such as felt, jeans, and leather.
  • Base accessories kit is provided with the cutter: standard blade and holder, substrate (12*12 in), 2 pencils (black and red), spatula, writing needle, CD containing user manual.

To start using this cutter one should just unpack and connect it to power supply source. There is no need in any additional activation and settings. The plotter provides the capability of cutting some ready images.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Cuts thin metals (foil) as well.
  • Accurate contour cutting even in case of small pictures.
  • Both autonomous and computer controlled modes of operation which provides diversity of designs.

Cons

  • Fast standard blade outwear (able to cut 100 paper envelopes).
  • Material often slips from the substrate.
  • Periodical settings failure.

4. CAMEO 3 Vinyl Bundle

Features

  • The cutter may be connected to PC, mobile devices both using USB cable and via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • Materials which can be used include paper, cardboard, cloth, and vinyl film. The plotter has 2 mm clearance allowing cutting thicker materials.
  • Maximum material size: 12 in wide and 10 feet long.
  • Base accessory tool kit includes colored vinyl film package, 12*6 in stencil tape, crotchet, scraper, protective cover for the device, and substrate for printing.
  • Double carriage for printing and cutting.

Convenient element of this plotter is the special section for tools storage which allows accommodating fittings and base tool kit accessories.

Pros

  • Appropriate for cutting various materials (vinyl, paper, cardboard, cloth etc.)
  • User friendly touch screen menu.
  • At plotter registration the system offers $25 bonus to purchase accessories.
  • Convenient fittings for blades.
  • Possible usage of the substrates of other manufacturers.

Cons

  • Cutting is not always accurate.
  • Bluetooth connection operation is erroneous when running with Mac OS.
  • Noisy operation of the device.
  • The substrate fixes material not reliably enough.

Features

  • Handles more than 100 types of material.
  • Possible connection with PC and mobile devices.
  • Double carriage for printing and cutting.
  • User images handling (in different formats).
  • Embedded sections for accessory tools storage.
  • Embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Base accessory kit includes more than 100 complete free of charge images and projects which may be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, 5 packages of color pencils for plotter, office kit, 8 vinyl sheets and 2 stencils, 4 glazed paper sheets for thermal transfer printing.

There is no hard copy of user manual. It is sent to user electronically at purchase of the device. Besides online customer may review some information regarding design.

Pros

  • Good base kit including high quality materials.
  • Easy to install and use.
  • Elegant design.
  • Accurately adjusted blade.
  • Infinite choice of the images for cutting.
  • In case of difficulties customer support will immediately and clearly help to solve the problem.

Cons

  • Not the friendliest user interface.
  • As soon as base kit images and project ideas are over one will need to buy additional subscription.
  • Slow mobile application.

What Else One Should Take into Account Buying Vinyl Cutter?

After we have reviewed all aforesaid models and user feedback we can make a conclusion that base kit provided for customer with the cutter is the very important point. It will help to try all capabilities of the device and will save some funds on materials.

Besides one should also pay attention to the option of handling the materials of other manufacturers. This option extends plotter capabilities and allows to use cheaper materials if needed.

Winner

What is the Best Vinyl Cutter Machine?

The best model among other vinyl cutters is Cricut Explore Air 2. This plotter is the most versatile and allows handling various materials. At that the plotter guarantees qualitative cutting, has extended base kit and due to the double carriage it also allows printing and cutting.

Another pleasant thing is that Cricut Explore Air 2 is cheaper than similar models of the other manufacturers.