Why do you need a vinyl cutter?
If you’re planning on taking a project with a variety of different materials, then investing in a vinyl cutter might be in your best interest. These projects, including creating signs or complex designs that involve cutting material, can be done on a quicker basis if you invest in a vinyl cutter.
If you find yourself in the professional business of larger numbers, you might want to look for more of a commercial model—however, if you just need one for personal projects, we would recommend any of the cutters from up above, which are more of a personalized machine. These cutters, like the Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool, are generally quite small—even weighing as little as three pounds, like the one here!
If you consider yourself a beginner in crafting, this tool is easy to learn, use, and implement into your best projects. This can help if you’re looking for an initial investment but aren’t exactly too sure about the commitment to the hobby—and spending a ton of money upfront if you don’t even enjoy doing it!
Features to consider before you buy a vinyl cutter
Before you commit to a certain brand or product—even if it’s featured here on our guide, you’ll want to inform yourself about the various features that should be considered in relation to the type of cutter you’re going to be buying! If you’re going to be investing in a commercial vinyl cutter, consider these features:
- The ability to cut large designs: this feature is crucial since most of your clients will be working at a bigger size.
- The ability to dish out complex designs: a fault-free output is extremely important to help you snag and keep demanding clients. The more creative a machine is—and precise—the better.
- The ability to go through multiple jobs at once: as the list of your clientele grows, you’ll want a machine that can handle the bulk work—but be able to do it correctly.
If you’re thinking of investing in a personal vinyl cutter, make sure that it is:
- Compact in size: for hobbyists who don’t need to complete massive projects all at once, the compact size, like the 14-pound Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine, helps you tackle any project from your desktop.
- Simple and easy to learn: if you’re willing to take the plunge and invest as a beginner, making sure it’s easy to use can help ease through that learning curve.
- Within your budget: this isn’t limited to just our Best Value Pick, the Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool. If you do enough research, you should be able to pick out a vinyl cutter within your price range with all the qualities you may need.
- Operates as quietly as possible: especially if you plan on working from home, you wouldn’t want your hobby to bother others!
Some other additional features that might spark your interest are:
- Wireless capability: just like the Cricut Explore Air 2, having a vinyl cutter that is Bluetooth enabled can help ease that transition between your creativity and physical product.
- Automatic settings: instead of having to mess with settings and pray you’re right, some of these vinyl cutters give you the access to push-of-the-button automatic settings for blade pressure, different materials, and digital designs. For example, you can choose from 50 exclusive digital designs with the Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool.
- Software: depending on the type of vinyl cutter you’re getting, it may or may not be compatible with your computer or software program. This is especially important to check out before you commit to the purchase. For example, if you have a Mac computer, the USCutter Craft Vinyl Cutter should be crossed off of your list as it’s not Mac-compatible.
All the vinyl cutters on our guide today are going to be electric cutters, which make them very simple to use and can help lessen that learning curve if you’re just getting started. However, if you do like the traditional design, you can go with a manual cutter, which might be a bit more difficult to learn how to use but can be an interesting investment if you like to stick with the original way to do things.
Unless you’re planning on having a commercial cutter and don’t mind the 41 pounds of weight of the VEVOR Vinyl Cutter, the compatibility and transportability of the vinyl cutter can be compromised by the weight if you don’t pay attention. The lightest vinyl cutter we have on this guide is the Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool, which weighs only 3.5 pounds.
If you plan on using your vinyl cutter on a specific table or storing it in closet space, you’ll need to make sure you know the dimension range of the cutter to see if it fits or not.
We would recommend measuring your working space before buying and committing.
Electric vinyl cutters usually come with their own software and, while some of them, like the Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool, is compatible with all popular computer operating systems, some may not work with Mac OS. Though it’s not relevant for manual cutters, because they don’t need a computer to work.
When you plan to purchase an electric vinyl cutter, don’t forget to check if it’s compatible with your computer’s operating system, because otherwise, it won’t work.
Since these machines can be prone to malfunctioning, you’ll want the longest warranty available, which is generally going to be around a year but can be checked with the manufacturer.