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There are loads of cool things you can do with a vinyl cutter. You can modify and personalise clothes, t-shirts, and bags, you can make all sorts of custom-designed signs, stickers, and banners, you can use them in greeting card making…the possibilities are endless!
We’ve had a good look at what vinyl cutters are out there on the market today, and we’ve handpicked our Top 5 to show you. Their reviews will be coming up shortly. After that, we’ve got a handy buying guide for you which goes through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
And we’ll top that off with some answers to your most frequently asked questions.
This article will concentrate on vinyl cutters for home use, but we’ve also included a more commercial vinyl cutter in our Top 5, in case you were thinking of investing in one for a home business.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Vinyl Cutter – Comparison Table
Best Vinyl Cutter – Reviews
Best Vinyl Cutter – Buyer’s Guide
Vinyl cutters are rarely cheap, and it’s for this reason that you should be particular about which vinyl cutter and ensure that you invest in the one which best suits your needs. We’ll run through a few things you might want to think about before you buy it.
It sounds obvious, but if you need a vinyl cutter, make sure you get a vinyl cutter. There are many cutting machines on the market today which can cut through a great many things, but not necessarily vinyl.
If you’re in the market to buy a vinyl cutter purely for use as an arts and crafts hobby at home, then what you should look for in a vinyl cutter is versatility. The more that your vinyl cutter can do, the more fun you can have with it.
If however you want to invest in a vinyl cutter because you want to make professional signs, adverts, or banners, then other aspects of your vinyl cutter become more important, such as cutting size and accuracy. You may decide you need a vinyl cutter and plotter rather than just a vinyl cutter per se.
You should also consider whether you need a vinyl cutter that is also a plotter. While a vinyl cutter will cut vinyl, a vinyl cutter plotter can also print over the vinyl.
There are some great vinyl cutter brands out on the market today, and although the Cricut brand is the best known, it’s actually really hard to say which brand is actually the best overall.
We do recommend going with a branded product however. The more well established the brand, the better the availability of parts if the machine is ever in need of repair, or if you need new blades.
Dimensions and Cutting Size
If your vinyl cutter is for professional use, for making banners for example, you will likely prefer a machine with a large cutting size. Inevitably with large cutting size comes large dimensions.
However if you just want a vinyl cutter for making stickers or making iron-motifs to customise clothes, then cutting size and dimensions becomes less important, particularly if space is at a premium.
Software and Compatibility
Many vinyl cutters come with their own specialised software and with cloud storage to store your designs. Sometimes the software is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, other times the machines use more professional design software aimed at those who know their graphic design. This is something worth looking into.
If you already have specific software in mind that you want to use, please ensure that it’s compatible with your vinyl cutter before you buy it.
Sometimes a vinyl cutter can have Bluetooth connectivity so you can hook it up to an app on a mobile device rather than to a PC or Mac. That’s something else to think about.
Even when you’re using a vinyl cutter just for fun, you want to have precise cuts. If you don’t it’s hardly worth your while. That’s where the cutting force comes in, as it determines not just what materials you can cut with it, but also, how precise the cutting will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best vinyl cutter for t-shirts?
If you’re looking for a vinyl cutter to add iron-on vinyl to t-shirts, we can happily recommend our Number 1 pick, the Graphtec GB Ltd Silhouette Curio, our Number 3 pick, the Cricut Maker-Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine, and our Number 5 pick, the Cricut Joy Cutting and Writing Machine.
What machine do I need to make vinyl decals?
All of the vinyl cutters in our Top 5 picks can be used to make vinyl decals.
What is the best free vinyl cutting software?
There’s some great vinyl cutting software out there, and better yet you can download some great vinyl cutting software free of charge. Our personal favourite, and a big favourite amongst many crafters is Inkscape. It features a suite of flexible drawing tools and a powerful text tool too. You can run it on Windows or on a Mac, and it has broad file format compatibility. Why not check out the online tutorials and see what you think?
How long do vinyl cutter blades last?
How long a vinyl cutter blade lasts for will very much depend on how much use it gets. It also depends on what materials are being cut most frequently, it depends on what brand your using, and it depends on whether it’s a rotary blade, a fine point blade, or some other blade or tool.
So basically there’s no easy answer to that one. However, you can be assured that the blades that come with the vinyl cutters in our Top 5 picks all have a decent lifespan, and better yet, some of them come with spare blades. If you buy from a well-established brand, the blades are more readily available.
What is the best cheap vinyl cutter?
The most affordable vinyl cutter in our Top 5 picks, is our Number 5, the Cricut Joy Cutting and Writing Machine. It may be small but it’s really good.