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5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018: Compare Classic And Latest Model

Vinyl cutting machines are a useful tool for a variety of projects. Whether it’s custom T-shirt design or professional business signs, vinyl cutters can offer a simple and affordable customization and decoration alternative for small business owners and hobbyists alike.

Tips on how to choose the best vinyl cutting machine for your needs

There are a few things to keep in mind in order to find the best vinyl cutting machine for your needs. Consider the following:

  • Ensure your vinyl cutting machine is compatible with your computer’s operating system. (Most should be for PC and Mac; Linux users may need to check with the manufacturer.)
  • Verify that the vinyl cutting machine you choose can handle the materials you intend to work with. (Most vinyl cutting machines can handle more than vinyl; however, some can’t, so always try to be sure what you’re getting before purchase.)
  • Look for extra capabilities like drawing—especially if you’ll be using your vinyl cutter for artistic purposes.
  • Some vinyl cutters may give you a free trial or free downloads of premade images; if you’re not super artistic, this sort of service may help you make the most out of your vinyl cutting machine, though by no means is it necessary.

Vinyl cutting machines are a useful tool for a variety of projects. Whether it’s custom T-shirt design or professional business signs, vinyl cutters can offer a simple and affordable customization and decoration alternative for small business owners and hobbyists alike.

Vinyl Cutter Reviews And Comparison Chart 2018

Here are the top 5 vinyl cutter reviews and comparison chart 2018 (Here will insert comparison chart)

Silhouette Cameo II Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle

Introduction: The Silhouette Cameo II is a vinyl cutting machine with advanced capabilities like fabric cutting and pen drawing.

5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018 - Silhouette Cameo II Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter Kit Bundle

What to like:

  • Comes with Silhouette Printer Studio Software for Windows and Mac
  • 51 Cuttable designs
  • Free month Silhouette Store trial
  • Great for crafting, DIY and small businesses
  • Sketch feature; ability to replace blade with pen
  • Compatible with multiple materials like cardstock and fabric in addition to vinyl
  • Download card allows you to download ten vinyl designs
  • USB cable included
  • 4 sheets of vinyl included: leaf green, dark pink, black and white
  • 10 feet of premium transfer paper included
  • PixScan compatible
  • Free idea booklet
  • Instruction guide
  • Instructional DVD

What to consider:

  • While you can download the necessary software on the Silhouette website, those who don’t have a CD drive won’t be able to access the free designs.

Key features of the Silhouette Cameo II Electronic Cutting Machine Vinyl Starter

PC and Mac compatible
The Silhouette Cameo II works for both PC and Mac by connecting to your computer via a USB cable—much like a traditional ink printer.

Cuts multiple materials
The Cameo II isn’t just limited to vinyl; it can cut fabric, paper and more. Its capacity is 12 inches wide and 10 feet long, so it can be used to make signs, banners and more.

Sketch feature
One of the unique features of the Silhouette Cameo II is that the cutting blade can be exchanged for a pen to enable sketching. Since vinyl cutters work with vector images, the sketching feature can reproduce artwork, calligraphy and signatures with high precision.

Free month of Silhouette Store
The Cameo II comes with a free month’s trial of access to the Silhouette Store, where you can download premade images to use with your vinyl cutter. While this feature isn’t required, it might be useful to beginners to see what the Cameo II is capable of, and it’s a nice freebie.

Click Here To View 1336+ Buyer Reviews

VerdictThe Silhouette Cameo II provides a versatile vinyl cutting experience with plenty of extra features to spark your creativity.

Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE

Introduction: The MH Vinyl Cutter from USCutter comes with VinylMaster Cut’s Design & Cut software as well as starter materials like vinyl rolls and hobby knives to allow you to hit the ground running with vinyl cutting.

5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018 - Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE

What to like:

  • Lifetime phone support
  • Hobby knife included
  • Squeegee included
  • Comes with five vinyl rolls, magnetic blanks, transfer tapes
  • VinylMaster Cut software
  • Large capacity
  • Perfect for sign creation

What to consider:

  • Though USCutter’s Vinyl Cutter MH is thoroughly compatible with PCs, it’s doesn’t support Mac.
  • The instructions could be better.

Key features of the Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE

VinylMaster Cut Design & Cut software
The VinylMaster Cut Design & Cut software is a powerful design tool that allows you to create custom signs to be printed with your vinyl cutter. It comes with multiple curve, object and text options pre-included. You can also edit all of the above plus draw your own designs to get the right aesthetic you’re going for.

The MH Vinyl Cutter comes supported on its own stand, which allows you to do larger vinyl cutting projects with greater ease.

Multiple material support
Aside of vinyl, the MH cutter can also cut magnetic blanks, card stock and more, thanks to the ball bearing dual roller system. Its blade holder is Roland compatible, allowing for easy blade replacement as well.

Vinyl included
This bundle comes with five rolls of 24 inch by 5 feet Greenstar Vinyl in black, white, canary yellow, red and green. However, the manufacturer notes that sometimes you may get a different assortment of colors per availability.

Click Here To View 366+ Buyer Reviews

Verdict: The MH Vinyl Cutter by US Cutter is large capacity enough to be an asset to sign makers and business owners, and the included software is nice.

Silhouette Cameo 3 Bluetooth Starter Bundle

Introduction: The Silhouette Cameo 3 builds upon the features of previous Cameo models by adding modern features like Bluetooth compatibility.

5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018 - Silhouette Cameo 3 Bluetooth Starter Bundle

What to like:

  • Manufacturer’s warranty
  • PixScan compatible
  • Cuts material up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long
  • Sketch feature with 24 assorted sketch pens included
  • Comes with 12-inch by 12-inch cutting mat
  • Comes with the following tools: Scraper Tool, Hook Tool, Spatula Tool, Vinyl Trimmer, and Ratchet Adjustment Tool
  • 12 inch by 6 feet premium transfer tape roll included
  • 24 sheets of Permanent Oracal 651 Vinyl (assorted colors)
  • 24 sketch pens (assorted colors)
  • 110V-240V power compatibility

What to consider:

  • You may need an additional fabric stabilizer to cut fabric, though this can easily be ordered online and is likely worth the investment for best results.

Key features of the Silhouette Cameo 3

Studio Software
Silhouette’s Studio Software is both Mac and Windows compatible. You can use it to create custom designs for your Cameo 3 to cut out or sketch. Designs can be transferred directly via USB connection or you can save designs to a thumb drive and plug it directly into the Cameo 3.

Multiple material compatible
While the Cameo 3 is a vinyl cutter, it can cut a multitude of other materials as well, including fabric, felt, thin sheets of wood, paper, heat transfer and more. The included vinyl cutting knife can do all the work, though some may wish to have dedicated knives for each material type, since some materials may dull a knife quicker than others.

Updated features
The Cameo 3 features modern amenities like built-in Bluetooth capability and touchscreen compatibility.

Detailed instructions
Getting the hang of vinyl cutting can be a challenge for some; the Cameo 3 comes with a full set of instructions created by Silhouette School. Additionally, there are also Cameo 3 online instructional classes for further assistance.

Included designs
The Cameo 3 comes with 100 exclusive designs as well as one month of free access to the Silhouette Store, where you can download premade designs.

Click Here To View 136+ Buyer Reviews

Verdict: The Cameo 3 gives new vinyl cutters everything they need to get started while building on the capabilities of previous models by including modern technologies.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

Introduction: The Cricut Explore Air 2 builds upon its predecessors with the additional of Bluetooth support and faster cutting.

5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018 - Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

What to like:

  • Cuts over 100 materials
  • 30,000+ project and design ideas
  • Faster cutting
  • Bluetooth capable
  • Import designs from computer, tablet and smartphone
  • One-click cutting and writing
  • Precision cutting

What to consider:

  • While people are pretty pleased with the Explore Air 2 itself, some didn’t receive the additional tools and vinyl in their bundle purchase. This is more a vendor problem than an issue with the vinyl cutter, but worth mentioning.

Key features of the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

Multiple material compatible
The Cricut Explore Air 2 boasts the ability to cut over 100 materials, including vinyl, fabric, poster board and other common material types.

Design on any device
You can design projects on your computer, smartphone or tablet and import them to Cricut Explore Air 2’s software.

Bluetooth compatibility
The Explore Air 2 is Bluetooth compatible, so being hardwired to your computer is no longer necessary.

Faster cutting
The Explore Air 2 cuts materials markedly faster than its predecessors.

Click Here To View 552+ Buyer Reviews

Verdict: Faster cutting and wireless Bluetooth compatibility make the Explore Air 2 a worthy successor of past incarnations.

USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter

Introduction: The SC Series vinyl cutter from USCutter features Roland compatible blades and VinylMaster Cut software to facilitate professional vinyl cutting results.

5 Best Vinyl Cutting Machine 2018 - USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter

What to like:

  • One-year warranty
  • Lifetime phone support
  • Digital force and speed adjustable
  • Auto memory for blade force and speed
  • Backlight LCD
  • USB compatible
  • Internal RAM allows for 99 copies
  • 3 Roland compatible blades
  • Pen adaptor
  • VinylMaster Cut software included

What to consider:

  • This model doesn’t come with the stand included, however that doesn’t alter the vinyl cutter’s capabilities—it would just be nice to have.
  • This particular vinyl cutter isn’t compatible with Mac, though USCutter does have Mac alternatives at their website.

Key features of the USCutter SC Series Vinyl Cutter

Roland compatible features
The two 45-degree blades and one 60-degree blade are Roland compatible as is the ink pen adaptor, which makes replacements easy to find when the time comes.

VinylMaster Cut Design & Cut Software
VinylMaster Cut allows you to edit images, create designs, contour cut, and features vectorization tools and spool function.

Pen adaptor
The pen adaptor is Roland compatible and allows you to execute sketch functions with your vinyl cutter.

Internal RAM
The machine’s internal RAM allows you to automatically copy the last job. (Good for up to 99 copies.)

Click Here To View Buyer Reviews

The SC Series Vinyl Cutter from USCutter offers significantly updated features over previous models, such as contour cutting via laser alignment; the results are professional and consistent.

The benefits of buying a vinyl cutting machine

The biggest benefit you get from buying a vinyl cutting machine is the ability to make a variety of custom projects. One of the more popular uses for vinyl cutting machines today is to use vector images created by the vinyl cutter as a mask for silkscreen printing T-shirts and other apparel.

Because you can use a vinyl cutting machine to create a mask of your original artwork, it’s a great way to showcase your artistic talent for the world to see—and to create an awesomely cool T-shirt that no one else in the world has. (Heat transfer techniques, though more labor intensive, can also be used with certain types of vinyl to create original clothing as well.)

A lot of small custom signage businesses use vinyl cutters as a cost-effective way to create custom signs for their clientele. Vinyl cutting machines allow great flexibility in terms of design, so people can offer their customers unique designs that no one else has.

Custom signage businesses aren’t the only small businesses that benefit from having their own vinyl cutting machine; for instance, car lots often use vinyl to mark the price on vehicles for sale, because it will stick to the car’s surface without marking it.

Vinyl labels and price tags are great in general for any product that, for whatever reason, can’t hold up to be labeled with a traditional sticker, because it protects the integrity of the product. (For instance, stickers might rip off paint and other surface coatings.)

Vinyl cutting machines are also fun to use around the home, dorm or office. You can use them to create a chore chart, labels denoting what item belongs to which person, as well as name tags for bedrooms and more.

Essentially, a vinyl cutter comes in handy for anything that needs to be labeled in a home or workspace, so visitors can know which jar is full of cookies and which jar is full of coffee grounds.

One of the more creative uses of a vinyl cutting machine is car customization. People have been known to use vinyl cutters to add striping to their cars as well as fun/humorous designs like shadows of handprints or slogans.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to buying a vinyl cutting machine is the creativity that it both facilitates and breeds. Those who own vinyl cutters often find new uses for them all the time. Many view them as a new art media, and indeed, you can use them to put your artwork and designs anywhere, from furniture to your bedroom wall.

Since vinyl cutters can cut vinyl of many different types (metallic, glow in the dark, etc.) plus other similarly thick materials (like poster board), they’re actually a very useful tool for artistic expression.

What to look for when buying a vinyl cutting machine

The most important thing to look for in a vinyl cutting machine is that it’s compatible with your operating system. Typically, the better vinyl cutting machines work for both Mac and PC, but it’s always good to check, since modern vinyl cutters usually work via USB computer connection.

On that same token, ensure that your computer can run any necessary software. (Some software may be optional; again, always check to be sure.)

Another thing to look at is the types of material your vinyl cutting machine can cut. Can it only cut vinyl or is it able to cut fabric, cardstock, etc.? Make sure the vinyl cutter’s capabilities meet your needs.

For instance, if you know you would like to work with fabric, be sure that the vinyl cutter you choose can also cut fabric.

While the above are the basic functions to look out for in a vinyl cutting machine, there are other extras that can make things easier or more fun.

Some vinyl cutting machines can have their cutting blade switched out with a pen to create sketches. This is a great way to replicate your artwork.

Also, check out whether the machine you’re looking at comes with any idea guides or other advanced materials that go beyond the basic functions of the machine and teach you more advanced techniques. While this isn’t required, it will help you reach your machine’s full potential.

Finally, some vinyl cutter machines may give you access (either via free trial or special code) to premade designs online. While this isn’t a must-have or requirement by any means, it’s just something to take note of, in case the idea of that sounds appealing.

Overall verdict

While each of these vinyl cutting machines had a lot to offer, a clear winner quickly emerged: The Silhouette Cameo II. While it’s not the newest model, it’s definitely the most consistent in terms of results and quality, and it offers a broad range of features to facilitate your creativity, which is why it easily wins the title of best vinyl cutting machine.

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