Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
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Last updated: December 28, 2020
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If you love crafting, chances are you’ve heard of fabric cutting machines. These fascinating devices are like printers, but for fabric patterns! Electric fabric cutting machines connect to your computer, via USB or wirelessly, and cut different materials precisely in the shape you desire. Crafters everywhere are dying to get their hands on the best fabric cutting machines. We’re here to help you find the best one for you.
After months of reviewing, we’ve decided that the Cricut Maker Machine is the best fabric cutting machine for most people. Our Editor’s Choice model is highly versatile, and, best of all, it comes with fabric samplers. With a state-of-the-art rotary blade, the Cricut Maker Machine is the most cutting-edge technology among fabric cutting machines. We’ve also reviewed six other products, including die fabric cutting machines and fabric cutting machines for quilting, that we think crafters will love.
For the reviews, we examined key features of fabric cutting machines, including type, dimension, weight, and warranty. Depending on your comfort level with technology, you might want a manual or electrical fabric cutting machine. Consider the machine’s size in relation to how much space you have to work. If you want to travel with your machine, weight matters. For extra buyer’s security, consider your device’s warranty. Below, you’ll find a table overview and a detailed review of all seven products. We also prepared a buying guide and FAQ to help make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn about the best fabric cutting machines.
"It is a universal electric cutting machine, that can help not only with fabric but with almost any other material. It comes with fabric samples and ready-to-make projects which can be a great source of inspiration."
"This manual fabric cutter is perfect for those who love quilting because every detail is designed to accommodate their needs. It can cut up to 10 layers of fabric and works equally well with cotton, denim, wool, flannel, fleece, and even leather."
"This is another universal electric cutting machine that can handle paper, vinyl, card stock, and fabric that are up to 12 inches wide. It comes with new self-adjusting cutting blade, which makes working with this cutter sufficiently easier."
"While this machine cuts mostly thinner materials, it has many features that make it stand out. It has automatic self-adjusting blade, and it comes with a touchscreen that allows working without any other devices."
"This lightweight fabric cutting machine that can also be used with other materials is portable and can be carried around easily with no fear of damaging it since its manual mechanism is quite sturdy. With its extended platform compatible with the brand’s product library it can be a great choice for beginners."
"It’s another fabric cutter that is perfect for beginners. It’s user-friendly, includes a getting started guide and has a tool kit. It easily adjusts to different materials and has a large library of designs available."
"This sturdy fabric cutting machine is quite large and can cut bigger shapes, allowing them to work on very different projects, no matter how serious. It’s a bit bulky and heavy, but it’s mostly designed for a stationary work."
The Cricut Maker is a powerful and versatile professional level crafting tool that cuts over 300 different types of material. Because this fabric cutting machine can be equipped with advanced add-on tools, this device can help you realize a myriad of projects. Whether you are looking to cut a thin, sensitive fabric, crafting paper, or thick, tougher materials like basswood, matboard, or leather, the Cricut Maker has your back. This cutting machine for fabrics comes with a rotary blade that handles fabrics without backing, a premium fine point blade, as well as a fine point pen. For denser materials of up to 24 mm in thickness, use the Knife Blade add-on (sold separately).
Cricut Maker can also engrave, score, or deboss materials when used with a specialty tip (sold separately). As part of the package, you get two machine mats, a set of practice materials, as well as 50 ready-to-make project designs, including 25 free sewing patterns. You can add 500+ sewing patterns from top companies to your collection (sold separately). Cricut Maker comes with state-of-the-art software (compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac). The machine is equipped with wireless Bluetooth technology, but it’s also compatible with USB. Overall, it is the best fabric cutting machine for hobby crafters as well as professionals.
What we liked:
Cuts 300+ fabrics
Enhanced functionality with add-on tools
Sample fabrics and 50 ready-to-make projects included
Bluetooth and USB compatible
What could be better:
Helpful accessories like a knife blade are sold separately
The Studio 2 Fabric Cutter is a manual fabric cutting machine with a convenient foldable design. The folding feature makes it easy to store the device at home. The powerful blade moves with ease and can handle up to 10 fabric layers, which increases productivity and makes this an excellent fabric cutting machine for quilting. The device can handle a range of fabrics, including cotton, denim, wool, flannel, fleece, and even leather.
The Studio 2 Fabric Cutter is also an excellent fabric die cutting machine. With its durable steel rollerblade, it can withstand years of die cuts without breaking. The dies created with this device can be used over and over without sharpening, supplying hundreds of uses. Create hundreds of different shapes, including circles, flowers, hexagons, strips, rag quilt shapes, and so much more. This heavy-duty hand-operated fabric cutting machine is built to last you for many years; you never need to worry about lubrication because all bearings are sealed. Because of its tough design, the Studio 2 Fabric Cutter can tackle the workload of a quilt shop, a fabric or craft retail store, but it’s also an excellent choice for prolific and seasoned hobby quilters.
The Silhouette CAMEO is a flexible electric fabric cutting machine that handles a range of materials, such as paper, fabric, vinyl, or card stock. This device offers one of the largest cutting spaces among fabric cutting machines, as it has the ability to cut certain materials such as vinyl without a mat. It can tackle materials up to 12 inches in width and 10 feet in length. The Silhouette Cameo uses a dual carriage that makes it not only compatible with different tools but eases the process of switching them out. The dual carriage’s markings tell you exactly where each tool belongs, whether you are using a sketch pen or a blade. It also allows additional clearance of 2 mm for cutting thicker fabrics.
This fabric cutting machine comes with a new self-adjusting cutting blade called AutoBlade, which eases the process of preparing the cut. With convenient additional storage space inside the machine itself, all tools and features are safely kept in one place. The product includes the versatile Silhouette Studio design software, which offers digital tools to create and design countless projects. You can work on a computer, phone, or tablet. The Silhouette Cameo can be operated wirelessly via Bluetooth or plugged into a computer via USB.
What we liked:
Switches easily between tools using a dual carriage
The Brother SDX125E Electronic Cutting Machine is an efficient model for hobby crafters who are looking for clean results. This fabric cutting machine stands out because of its in-built scanner technology ScanNCut DC, which allows you to cut materials like foam or felt without frayed edges. The Brother SDX125E uses an automatic blade that detects a material’s thickness and adjusts itself for a sharp-cut edge. This cutter does not require a computer or another device as it comes with a 5-inch touchscreen, where you can get creative and make or edit your design.
Choose from a collection of 682 editable built-in designs, featuring quilt patterns, letter fonts, and themed SVG files. Both sewers and quilters will appreciate the ability to choose seam allowances in quarter-inch increments, which makes it easy to assemble clothes, quilts, and other craft projects. The product is compatible with wireless internet and gives you access to BrotherCanvas Workspace from your preferred device, whether you are working from a computer, phone, or tablet. You can send files directly from the virtual design space to the machine. The high-end technology of the SDX125E makes it one of the best cutting machines for fabric on the market.
What we liked:
Automatic self-adjusting blade
Hundreds of built-in designs
Wireless network ready
What could be better:
Only cuts thinner materials (up to 0.1-inch or 3 mm)
The portable Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit can cut as well as emboss a variety of materials, including tissue, paper, cardstock, cork, felt, and balsa wood. This manual model is one of the best fabric die cutting machines on the market. Hobby crafters can use the device to make unique invitations, greeting cards, clothes, home décor, quilts, and more. It is compatible with Sizzix’s entire product library and can be used together with other devices, including dies and embossing tools made by other brands. These features make the Sizzix Big Shot it a highly flexible tool among cutting machines for fabric.
The product comes with an extended multipurpose platform and a set of standard cutting pads. Finally, there are some sample dies and cardstock sheets included in the package, so you can start crafting right away. At only 7.5 lbs., you can bring this lightweight machine wherever you go, whether you are meeting your crafting guild at the local fabric store or you’re bringing it to school or work. Especially suited for beginners, the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is easy to operate and can be expanded with different add-ons that extend its capabilities.
What we liked:
Lightweight and portable
Compatible with entire Sizzix library
What could be better:
Small: at 6-inch wide, not suited for larger projects
The easy-to-use Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine is an excellent option if you’re just getting started with fabric cutting. The product comes with a handy getting-started guide that provides users with all the information and ideas they need to work with the device and spark their creativity. The Bluetooth feature makes wireless cutting possible, so you can spread out and create in a cord-free environment. With a dual carriage available, this fabric cutting machine can conduct several processes simultaneously, for example, cutting and writing or cutting and scoring.
This device cuts over 60 different types of fabric, from delicate vellum to thick leather. The Smart Set dial allows you to adjust settings for different materials easily. Compatible with many different file formats such as .svg, .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .dfx, you can upload your own images for free. Alternatively, you can choose from a vast library of 3000+ compatible images. You also get free access to the Cricut Design Space software online; an iPad app is also available. With integrated storage compartments, this fabric cutting machine offers plenty of space to keep tools and add-ons close by and safe. The Cricut Explore Air is compatible with all Cricut cartridges.
The Sizzix Die Big Shot Pro is a manual fabric die cutting machine that is ideal for crafters with big plans: with a 13-inch sized opening and an ergonomic handle, it easily cuts larger shapes from materials like cardstock, leather, or fabric, and is compatible with Pro and Plus-sized dies. Moreover, the Sizzix Big Shot Pro makes it easy to use die designs that feature 3D nets or score lines for folding. The device can cut and emboss various materials up to 12 inches wide and 14 inches long.
Like most Sizzix products, it is compatible with the entire library of the company, making it a smart investment if you’re planning on expanding your tool collection or already have one or more of their machines at home. The product comes with one Big Shot Pro Machine, a sliding tray, and two types of pads. You can access Sizzix’s large product library and choose dies from thousands of designs, including basic shapes, lettering, intricate forms, and more. The steel rollers and tray of this fabric cutting machine are made from tough, industrial-strength materials, ensuring that it will last you for a long time. Upon request, you can get a 3-year limited warranty if you want extra buyer’s security.
What we liked:
Large opening: suitable for wider designs
Compatible with Sizzix products
Large library of designs available
What could be better:
Large, hard to move
Things to Сonsider
Whether you’re a quilter, designer, or crafter, fabric cutting machines are amazing contraptions that will make your life a million times easier. Not only do they save you the time you would otherwise spend cutting up fabrics and dies manually, but they can also inspire you to come up with new design ideas you might otherwise not have even dreamed of. We put together a buying guide to help you find the perfect product for your craft. The best fabric cutting machines not only save you time and money but enhance your creativity and spark your inspiration.
How can a fabric cutting machine make your life easier?
Fabric cutting machines are true game-changers in the crafting world. These devices are similar to printers in that they manipulate a material according to your specifications. Usually, you stack up your material on a machine-specific pad or mat and feed it into the machine, where a blade cuts the material into the shape you have designed or chosen from a library of designs. Aside from cutting materials, many machines, like the Silhouette CAMEO Cutting Machine and the Cricut Maker, can use a sketch pen to draw on the material as well. Both machines also have dual carriages, which means they can carry out two processes, like writing and cutting, at the same time.
The fabric cutting machines we discuss here essentially fall into two categories: manual and electric. Electric fabric cutting machines, such as the Brother SDX125E or the Silhouette CAMEO Cutting Machine, receive the design information from a computer or another electronic device. Many newer devices, like the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Explore Air, are compatible with smartphones or tablets and can be operated using an app. The Brother SDX125E can even be used as a stand-alone machine because it comes with its own 5-inch touchscreen! Electric fabric cutting machines give you countless options when it comes to creating your project. You can design shapes in the app or on the computer, or you can download existing patterns from online libraries. Many fabric cutting machines, such as the Cricut Maker or the Brother SDX125E, give you access to project designs either with the purchase of the product itself or as an add-on service.
The manual models typically use the so-called dies for cutting. Die cutting machines essentially allow you to mass-produce a cut-out shape or design of your choice. This means you can make the same design as many times as you want, without using a stencil, a knife, or scissors. Some machines, like the powerful AccuQuilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter, can easily cut through thick materials like leather and handle up to 10 layers of fabric. If you’re a quilter, the AccuQuilt Studio 2 is an ideal choice for you. Other fabric die cutting machines, like the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit and the Sizzix Big Shot Pro, are excellent for cutting card stock and other crafting materials. If you want to make intricate wedding invitations or place cards, these machines streamline the process and make it easy to create beautiful designs in no time.
Features to consider before you buy a fabric cutting machine
When you buy a fabric cutting machine, there are several aspects you need to consider. The most notable features to look out for are type, weight, dimensions, and warranty.
Should you buy a manual or an electric fabric cutting machine? That largely depends on your comfort level with technology, as well as the kind of device you have available. If you love high-tech devices and have access to a computer or a smart device, the Cricut Maker, the Cricut Explore Air, or the Silhouette CAMEO Cutting Machine might be the best fabric cutting machines for you. In case you do not have access to a compatible device, the Brother SDX125E might be an option for you: while you can hook this device up to your computer, it has a flat-screen and can also be used as a stand-alone device.
If you have worked with manual machines all your life, you may not want an electric wireless machine that requires you to use an app or a computer.
Maybe you have to share a computer, or you do not have access to a device that is compatible with the software. Whatever your reason, some people prefer to work with the manual fabric die cutting machines, and that is perfectly okay. If you are into quilting, and a manual machine is what you are looking for, consider the AccuQuilt Studio 2. If you lean more towards the crafting side of things and love die cutting, the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit and the Sizzix Big Shot Pro are an excellent choice.
If you plan to work from home or out of a studio, and you do not plan to travel much with your fabric cutting machine, weight may not be your main concern. In that case, there is no reason you shouldn’t invest in a sturdy, heavy-duty machine like the AccuQuilt Studio 2 that is built to last.
However, if you like to travel with your crafts, if your part of a quilting guild or crafter’s club, or if you are planning to bring your device in for a school project, a lightweight device might be best suited for you.
Just like weight, dimensions play a role in regards to your workspace.
Before purchasing a cutting machine for fabric, ask yourself: where am I going to set up my workspace?
However, you also need to ask yourself what kinds of projects you will be making. After all, a bigger machine can handle bigger projects. If you are planning on making long flowy skirts or large posters, and you have a crafting room to yourself, you should consider a larger model like the Sizzix Big Shot Pro, which takes up 24 x 21.6 x 8 inches, or the Cricut Maker at 25.8 x 13 x 16 inches. If space is an issue, the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit offers a smaller option.
Getting a warranty can provide the consumer with an extra layer of security. Only the AccuQuilt Studio 2 comes with a 3-year limited warranty by default. However, most manufacturers will offer a warranty for their fabric cutting machine upon request. For example, you can obtain a 3-year limited warranty for the Brother SDX125E; the same is true for the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit and the Sizzix Big Shot Pro. If a warranty is important to you, contact the manufacturer for more information.
No, especially not if you buy the right machine. How easy or difficult it is to use may depend on your previous experience and comfort level with technology. Generally, electric fabric cutting machines are more complex and can, therefore, be more challenging to use. However, the best fabric cutting machines will come with a comprehensive user guide and plenty of support. Among electric models, the Cricut Explore Air is a great option for beginners. A model like the Silhouette CAMEO Cutting Machine offers more options, but it is more suited for users with a bit of experience. Manual fabric cutting machines for dies are generally easier to use, as the process is always the same: you stack the die, material, and mat, and run it through the machine. The Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is a great option for beginners.
It is unlikely, especially with an excellent quality machine like the ones we have introduced here, but yes, it is possible to hurt yourself. Therefore, it is important that you read the safety instruction on your fabric cutting machine thoroughly before you use it. However, consider this: doing the same work with scissors, shears, or other handheld tools can lead to long-term problems like carpal tunnel or repetitive stress injuries. By using a fabric cutting machine, you are avoiding these issues and are relieving the stress of the joints in your hands and wrists. In a sense, by buying a fabric cutting machine, you are investing in your health long-term.
Of course, they can! Most of the seven machines we have introduced here can handle many different materials. The Cricut Maker can tackle over 300 materials, with a thickness of up to 1 inch / 24 mm, including basswood, matboard, or leather. A model like the Brother SDX125E can work with materials like foam or felt and provide a perfectly clean cut without frayed edges. The Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit handles everything from delicate materials like tissue and paper to tougher surfaces like cork and balsa wood. Before buying a fabric cutting machine, think about what kinds of materials you are going to work with. We are sure there is a model out there that matches your crafting preferences.
We have shown you seven of the best fabric cutting machines on the market, and each is an excellent choice. However, we believe that our Editor’s Choice, the Cricut Maker, is truly the best. Highly versatile, this machine meets the needs of quilters, crafters, designers, sewers, and artists alike. With its powerful rotary blade, the Cricut Maker cuts over three hundred types of fabric, from thin and delicate to heavy-duty. Operate this machine comfortably from your computer, phone, or tablet while accessing a database of countless designs. Our second favorite model is the AccuQuilt Studio 2. It is by far the best manual die cutting machine for fabric and makes every quilter’s dreams come true. Able to cut through up to ten layers of fabric, this powerful machine is excellent for prolific quilters and even fabric shop owners. Our third choice is the Silhouette CAMEO Cutting Machine, clearly one of the best fabric cutting machines on the market. Its innovative AutoBlade technology means that you never have to worry about manually adjusting your blade. With so many choices for top products, we hope you’ll be able to choose the fabric cutting machine that’s best for you. Happy crafting!