|Rank||Machine||Cutting force (g)||Cutting size (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Dimensions (Inches)|
|1||Silhouette Portrait 3 Electronic Cutting Tool||210||8X12||3.52||18 x 8 x 9|
|2||Mophorn Vinyl Cutter||500||13.78||59.7||63.19 x 16.54 x 13.07|
|3||USCutter 34-inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter||350||N/A||44||37 x 16 x 13|
|4||Cricut Maker Champagne Machine||4000||12 x 24||10.56||6.99 x 21.18 x 5.93|
|5||Cricut Explore Air 2||400||12 x 24||14||36.83 x 10 x 0.5|
|6||Brother ScanNCut SDX85M||N/A||12 x 24||12.79||24.6 x 11.8 x 11.2|
|7||Gemini Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser||N/A||9 x 12.5||19||14 x 8 x 6.5|
Why should a crafter have a vinyl cutting machine in his home?
This is a question that I often get, and the answer is simple: A crafter should have a vinyl cutting machine in his home if he wants to create decals, stencils, and other crafts.
Vinyl cutting machines can be used as a way for crafters to turn their designs into physical products. They are very easy to use and are a great way for crafters to save money on the cost of purchasing materials. You can design and cut different materials from the comfort of your home.
If you are looking for a vinyl cutting machine specifically for home use, you should choose a lightweight, small-sized machine that should not cost a fortune.
While I focus on my printing business, my wife also started to follow me. She bought 12 different cutters for home use. Here is what she thinks after using each cutter. I have shortlisted the 7 top performers to help you decide quickly.
Vinyl cutters for home use
Silhouette Portrait 3 Electronic Cutting Tool
The winner of our best home vinyl cutter list is Silhouette Portrait 3.
I wanted a small vinyl cutter for my home studio to replace an old Roland Stika, and I needed three features. First, it needed to be compatible with Adobe Illustrator files. Second, it had to be easy to connect to my computer. Finally, I didn’t want anything big or bulky because I have a small space in my home. After some research, I found Portrait 3, and I am glad I did!
The Silhouette Portrait 3 works across all platforms—just plug in a USB cable to load the device. It also has a Bluetooth feature for mobile printing, which it accomplishes beautifully.
The Silhouette Studio software has a free version that can handle all my vector files, but I choose to upgrade to the $40 Illustrator plug-in to speed up my process. Figuring out the whole process only took about 20 minutes.
With the Silhouette Portrait 3, I was able to quickly cut 10 feet of different vinyl decals.
The Cricut software was a pain, giving you constant messages to subscribe or upgrade. You’re also not forced to go through that whole rigamarole with Silhouette.
The Silhouette software does what it should and doesn’t beg for money–until after you’ve already downloaded it.
Here are the main differences between Silhouette and Cricut.
Yes, I’m glad I picked the Silhouette Portrait 3 machine as a vinyl cutting machine for home use. It was much easier to set up than my old version, and the connections were seamless. Plus, it’s very intuitive!
Mophorn Vinyl Cutter Machine 53 Inch
I started off as a Cricut user, but then I realized my needs required a machine to handle bigger sign-cutting jobs. That was when I got myself this machine, and it completely replaced any need of using other machines to cut the 12×24 size.
Mophorn requires some time to set up and get used to, which is the case with any new gadget. The software took quite a while to install on my PC, but it wasn’t a problem. I couldn’t just plug it in on USB without an optical drive. After that, I was able to use the mat cutter with ease.
After fixing my first problem, I found that the thing that cuts the vinyl was off the rails. It made this nasty grinding noise and wouldn’t cut clear lines. After popping it back on the rails, it ended up making everything neat and smooth again.
Initially, I was a little disappointed to learn that this cutter only has no sensor, but it makes up its cutting size compared to others on the market.
The advantages of the Mophorn vinyl cutter are that it’s cheap, operates reliably, sets up relatively easily, is easy to learn, and has a large format so you can work on large projects.
Some people have had bad experiences with Mophorn because it is very loud, lacks sensing technology, and can take up a lot of space if you don’t have a dedicated working room in your house.
I’m happy that I decided to get this best personal vinyl cutter because it saves me a lot of money in the long run, and I don’t need to invest hundreds of thousands into a printer-plotter system. Plus, it’s almost absurd how easy it is used for any level of user.
USCutter 34-inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter
Initially purchased to use to cut appliqués for my machine embroidery and HTV for quick turnaround of seasonal items. When it arrived, and I realized its full potential, WOW!
Since January, we’ve done holiday-themed shirts, invitations for an upcoming wedding, paper cards, and signs. It is really a crafter’s paradise!
My first complaint is that the legs of the crossbar are flimsy, and it can be difficult to find a driver compatible with your PC. You may have to mess around with the settings depending on how you plan to use it.
This home vinyl cutter works 90% of the time, which means it’s good. I would recommend not leaving it plugged in if not in use, as it may burn out over time. You should have the fan checked too, just to make sure that it’s up and running.
You can buy a USCUTTER and Heat press combo to save some bucks.
I like this cutter plotter because it is easy to fix. There are no complex mechanisms to take apart and get at the problem. Additionally, it cuts in a wide range of materials such as Vinyl, Flock, Cardboard & and more! The customer service from USCutter has been a great help too!
Cricut Maker Champagne Machine
I love the Cricut Maker. It’s got lots of possible uses, and I highly recommend getting one. The instructions could have been done with a bit more detail, though.
It was a bit disappointing that there are barely any free fonts and images in the design space. But, if you have some knowledge of free fonts and vector programs, you can work around this fairly easily.
Over time, YouTube tutorials solved my problems, and I learned some skills. I also spent a bunch of money on tools like blades, curing bricks, and other stuff. Getting the right tools was expensive, but they were necessary to start.
It is small, compact, easy to use, and easy to carry. It doesn’t produce much waste, and mats will be easier to reuse.
I had a really positive experience with our Cricut maker, producing holiday-themed T-shirts, Save the Dates for an upcoming wedding, paper cards, and signage.
I just used this for home stuff, but I am LOVING it! It’s really quick and makes things look more professional, like a project that I need to do last minute.
Cricut Explore Air 2
I’ve had my Cricut Explore for a while now, and I absolutely like it. After some trial and error, I finally figured out how to use it properly, and now it’s one of the most important tools in my business.
It was a steep learning curve, but now I’m hooked, and I don’t regret it.
The Cricut’s downside is that you can’t set different cutting strengths on the same project as on the Silhouette. You have to go back and adjust your settings before performing a different cut strength, which can be time-consuming.
So, I would suggest buying a paper cutter if you care about efficiency. They’re noisy, and some people complain about them, but that doesn’t bother me. The program is also hard to figure out, but other than that, it’s good.
It looks great on your desk and comes in lots of fashionable colors. Keep in mind that it’s bigger than it seems, so make sure you have plenty of room for it. It also comes with a matching light grip mat (blue). This is perfect for creating and placing stickers!
The Cricut Tools Set does not come with any accessories—just the mat!
The Cricut design space is good if you want the basic designs or have your own designs.
Overall, I really like Cricut Explore because it is lightweight, dependable, and sleek. However, the accessories and software subscriptions are expensive.
Brother ScanNCut SDX85M
Setting up the SDX85M was easy and really fast. I’m excited to have found a cutting machine that’s perfect for not only cutting but also for stamping my images on cards as soon as I’ve taken them.
I really loved my Cricut Maker, but I have to go through many steps to get it set up. It’s fine if you do a batch at once, but personally, there are too many steps involved with the scanning process. If it doesn’t work the first time, what’s the point?
The Brother ScanNCut will let you get a ton of products done for your Etsy store with very little work on your end. Just stamp the pattern on and cut it out, avoiding the need for scanning anything that wasn’t already printed and editing it in Design Space.
The LCD touch panel on top of this best vinyl cutting machine for personal use is adjustable to suit your needs, and it’s also easy to grip. It wobbles when you touch it, but that doesn’t affect the performance of this versatile cutting machine.
This machine is surprisingly light and can be moved quickly from place to place. It has a nice quality feel that I think will work with all projects, from sewing clubs to scout meetings to schools.
Gemini Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser
Gemini Cutter was delivered in perfect condition and was easy to assemble. Read the instructions all the way through before starting & be sure that you know where your cutting plates are.
I’ve used the shim from our metal die-cut machine, and the intricate die cuts just came out beautifully! I am so pleased with the machine; it cuts reliably and rips through 3 layers of card stock like a champ. It’s also easy to use.
This die-cutter is really easy to use. They cut pressure-sensitive dies so smoothly, and I don’t have to run things through the machine multiple times and flip the plates around anymore.
I have a few complaints about the magnetic platform. It breaks really easily, mostly because it’s made of less durable plastic. It also can be a little flimsy at times.
This Gemini Jr. electric die-cutting and embossing machine is fantastic! It saves time and is a worry-free device with no more hand cranks to worry about. The only downside I can identify is the amount of pressure it applies. I got 2 Sizzix Chrome Precision Plates to use as top and bottom plates, which fixed all of my plate problems.
Home vinyl cutter Buying guide
There are many benefits to getting the best vinyl cutter for home use. One of those benefits is that it makes a great hobby. If you get a vinyl cutter and make your own vinyl decals, you can use them in many ways. You can make gift ideas, decorations for your house, or even just for yourself.
If you are on the hunt for a personal vinyl cutter, don’t forget to take these factors into consideration before buying one:
Light on pocket
Price is always the first consideration when buying something. Indeed, we are all limited by a certain budget. Buying an inexpensive vinyl cutter can help us save more on the cost of the machine, which can be used for other purposes.
There are many things that need to be considered when buying a vinyl cutter, but one of the most important is the size. Smaller vinyl cutters are perfect for light home use, while larger ones are designed for professional use.
There are a couple of reasons to choose a lightweight vinyl cutter for home use. The first is that these machines are much cheaper than their professional counterparts, making them more accessible to those new to the world of vinyl cutting. Secondly, they are much less bulky and can be placed just about anywhere in your home.
Multiple material support
The ability to cut different materials with a vinyl cutter is more than just an added convenience. It should work with thin and thick cardstock, vinyl, paper, fabric, faux leather, and other softer materials. Moreover, you should be able to cut thicker natural materials like balsa wood. So that you don’t miss any of your DIY projects.
Which cutting machine is the top choice for vinyl?
There is a broad selection of cutting machines catered specifically to vinyl available, but narrowing it down to the top choice requires consideration of a variety of factors. Such factors can include an assessment of material width, robustness of the machine, functionality for home or commercial use, and so on. My personal experience and widespread consensus in the field acknowledge that the Cricut series machines are some of the best you can get, but note that the maximum material width on their devices is about 13 inches. While suitable for home projects, larger, more commercial jobs may require a more robust machine. It’s crucial to match your device with your goals to get the best results. Always remember there’s no one-size-fits-all in crafting – selecting the best cutter largely depends on your specific needs.
In a comparison of Silhouette and Cricut, which comes out on top?
When comparing Silhouette and Cricut, it largely boils down to their software performance and compatibility. From my years of experience working with these machines, I’ve found that Cricut’s Design Space software tends to have a more user-friendly interface for PC users, making it a great asset for those less tech-savvy. In contrast, Silhouette Studio tends to perform better with iOS devices, proving an edge for Mac and Apple users. However, the simplicity of Design Space’s options affords a flexibility that maximizes creative freedom, a benefit its competitor does not quite match. Yet, it’s important to know that each software has its strengths and weaknesses, and seemingly small differences in user interface and compatibility can make a huge impact on your crafting experience. It’s always a good idea to try them out before you commit to a device.
How does a vinyl cutter differ from a vinyl plotter?
Though they may seem similar, vinyl cutters and vinyl plotters serve different functions in the world of vinyl craftsmanship. Both machines can cut vinyl, but vinyl plotters go a step further by also allowing you to print on the vinyl. For example, you might use a vinyl plotter to print a design onto a vinyl banner or car wrap before cutting it into the desired shape. As a professional in the field for many years, I’ve found that this added printing functionality can take your crafts to the next level. However, remember that a vinyl cutter will still suffice for simple cut-out designs. Knowing the difference can help decide which one better suits your crafting needs, budget, and workspace.
I’ve been in the printing business for 25 years. I love to share my experiences and knowledge.