The Top 10 Best Die Cutting Machines
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There are hundreds of die cutting machines on the market, but which ones are the best? We’ve pulled out the top ten performers based on hours of research to help you pick out the very best die cutting machine for your needs.
If you’re a crafty individual with a knack for creating cutout designs, then you’ve probably looked into die cutting machines before.
They provide a higher level of accuracy than cutting with scissors, and some are capable of far more than your hands could dream of.
With so many on the market, however, it can be challenging to decide which model would be best suited to your needs.
We’ve weeded through the market to pull out the ten options we feel are the very best, and even included a handy-dandy buying guide to make the process simpler.
What is a Cutting Machine?
A die cutting machine is a device used to cut specific shapes and patterns into materials. They can be used on paper, fabric, or even metal.
Cutout shapes are often used in a variety of DIY projects such as:
- T-shirt design
- Homemade cards
- Stickers and decals
- Magnet designs
- And decorations
They come in two main types. The first is a manual machine that requires you to punch shapes by hand, and the second is an automatic digital version.
Manual variants work similarly to a cookie cutter. You purchase different cutter shapes separately, some of which are designed for specific materials. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, making no two companies’ products look quite the same.
Digital versions work more along the lines of a printer. Designs are sent to the machine from either a computer via software or a cartridge with pre-loaded images. Then, the machine gets to work while you wait for the shapes to be cut.
Also, it’s worth noting that there are digital models that can perform other functions as well.
A digital die cutting machine might be able to draw or emboss on fabric, while others can pierce objects as well. Some are even capable of engravings.
How We Chose Our Ratings
While finding the best die cutting machines on the market, we took careful consideration to put only the most honest and accurate information available.
Our research involved hours of reading testimonials and reviews from customers, picking out the obvious marketing ploys.
We viewed every piece of data on each machine from its capabilities to its functionality, and also considered the reputation of the brand that designed it. All of this information is factored into our rating system to create a well thought out list.
Take a look! We think you’ll find that our hard work shines through all the clutter on the internet.
Die Cutting Machine Product Comparison Table
We were able to find ten excellent models on the market that outperformed their competitors by a mile.
We’ve rated each die cutting machine out of five stars, ordering them from “best of the best” to “worst of the best” for your convenience.
Die Cutting Machine Reviews
1. Circuit Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
The Circuit is a leading brand in the industry, and this is the latest and greatest in terms of digital die cutters.
One of the Explore Air’s main features is its wireless capability. Just set it up in any room of your house and let the built-in Bluetooth technology work its magic. Thanks to thiswireless technology, you can control the device from your PC, iPad, or iPhone.
The Explore Air is capable of everything from .jpg to .dxf and .svg files, making it highly versatile. You can also incorporate existing fonts on your computer into its drawing feature. As of now, this is easily the best die cutting machine on the market.
Rating: 5 out of 5
2. Brother ScanNCut 2 Home and Hobby Cutting Machine
The Brother company has an excellent reputation in the world of office products, which is why their die cutting machine quickly made it towards the top of our list. Utilizing the same technology found in their printers and scanners, Brother created everything you need to make precision cuts.
The device comes with 4.85” touchscreen display, allowing you to quickly customize your designs and operate the machine. There’s even a free cloud-based app that allows you to create new projects, browse a gallery of previous works, and change different features of a design.
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
3. Sizzix Big Shot Cutting and Embossing Machine
This manually operated model is one of the most popular in its class thanks to the consistency of its results. It is capable of handling multiple layers of material at a time, cut thick materials like leather, and coordinates with nine different licensed die brands.
Purchasing one of these models also grants you access to the Sizzix product library, which gives you thousands of embossing and cutting tools to choose from. While they are sold separately, that opens up near endless possibilities for customization and creativity.Rating: 4.7 out of 5
4. Silhouette Cameo 3 Starter Bundle
Heading back into the digital realm, the Cameo 3 starter bundle comes with everything you need to make DIY masterpieces. It plugs into your computer much like a printer would, and features a nifty touch screen panel for smooth operation.
There are multiple tools included ranging from metallic sketch pens to cross cutters and a free month’s subscription to the Silhouette Online Store. You’ll find over 50,000 pre-designed shapes on fonts on their website, but feel free to use the included studio software to create amazing designs of your own.
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
5. Cricut Mini Cutting Machine
Don’t let the small stature of this machine fool you. The Cricut Mini is every bit as powerful as the others in the company’s lineup, capable of cutting through tough materials like foil. This one also comes with Bluetooth technology for a cordless experience.
The software is included with your purchase, and the company offers a free iPhone/iPad app to help you create unique designs. While it isn’t as advanced as the Explore Air, this is still an excellent option for anyone looking for a quality digital die cutter.Rating: 3.3 out of 5
6. Sizzix Vagabond 2 Cutting Machine
The vagabond is unique because of its style. Inspired by Tim Holtz, it looks like a briefcase complete with locks and a portable handle. Eye-catching as it may be, its ability to handle both small and large dies comes in handy. Plus, it doubles as an embossing tool.
You also have access to the thousands of Sizzix components, all capable of integrating into this device. Best of all, the Vagabond 2 is hand crank free. Directly hook it up to your computer and start printing cuts!
Rating: 4 out of 5
7. Cricut Cuttlebug Machine
Affordable and cute as a button, the Cricut Cuttlebug is everything you need rolled into a tiny package. This manual machine is capable of accepting a wide variety of dies, including many you most likely own already.
Furthermore, the Cuttlebug is also one of the most portable die cutting machines on the market. It weighs in at a little over five pounds and features an ergonomic handle for easy carrying. Aside from cutting, this device can also emboss.
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
8. Sizzix eClips2 Starter Kit
This is the flagship Sizzix die cutting machine.
The eClips2 is the latest version of this device, and it features incredible precision in a uniquely compact design. You will need to plug this model into the computer to send it designs, but everything you need is included in the kit.
Additionally, your purchase comes with the eCal lite cutting software download, two blades, a cutting mat, and a blade holder. Capable of cutting over 100 different materials, this is one versatile machine. It’s easy to see why so many have chosen to buy this product.Rating: 3.8 out of 5
9. Fiskars Fuse Creativity System Starter Set
Fiskars isn’t winning any popularity contests, but we believe that this particular model has been overlooked one too many times. It features a unique design that folds up into its own carrying case and can cut through tough as nails materials including lighter metals.
It features a storage compartment for accessories, plates, and dies to keep things organized. However, one of its most unique features is its ability to handle plate sizes of up to twelve inches wide. It might be a manual, but it sure can get the job done.
Rating: 4 out of 5
10. Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting machine
The Grand Calibur is Spellbinder’s upgraded cutting and embossing machine. Featuring a two-pass process, it makes quick work of paper to deliver the designs you need in a hurry.
You’ll find that this machine is compatible with all sorts of dies, and it even comes with some nifty plate accessories.Rating: 4 out of 5
With all of the excellent options above, how can you decide which die cutting machine is the right one for you? There are a number of aspects to consider. But the first is whether you would prefer a manual or digital device.
By Hand or Computer?
If you don’t mind manually making cuts, then you can easily save cost by purchasing a model with a hand crank.
Additionally, you might want to consider a digital option if you prefer convenience or plan on making a lot of cuts at one time. Digital options also allow you to design your own cuts instead of using pre-cut dies, so that should weigh in on your decision.
How Much Does It Cost?
The next aspect to consider is cost.
Heavy duty machines can cost up to $1,000 or more, so you’ll need to find an option that falls within your budget.If you are a professional artist or require a die cutting machine for business, then you will probably need a higher-end device. Otherwise, pick something that has the features you need at an affordable price range.
What Will You Use It For?
It is also important to consider whatprojectsyou will use your machine for.
Accordingly, heavier duty devices are capable of cutting a more extensive range of materials, including thicker options like leather and metal. If you are primarily working with paper or fabric, then you do not necessarily need something with stronger cutting capabilities.
You should also consider whether cutting is the only action you want the machine to do.
Will you need it to emboss, draw, or sync up with designs you’ve created on an app? Make sure that the die cutter you choose is capable of meeting your craft requirements.
Ease of Use
You may also want to take your die cutter on the go. While several are small enough to be portable, they might weigh up to 25 pounds. If you plan on traveling, look for a lighter option with a decent handle and case.
Additionally, if you plan on working in a small space, then you might require a more petite device to accommodate your surroundings. Furthermore, always look for the dimensions before making a buying decision to ensure it will fit into your work-space.
Final Thoughts on the Best Die Cut Machine
Now you know which models are the best performers on the market and what to look for in a die cutting machine. Hopefully, choosing the right one for your crafting needs will be easier. Equally important, these machines can take your crafts to the next level and then some.
This die cut machine review aims to offer the machines that are available on the market today. While this is not an exhaustive list, as we are aware that there are many more machines out there, we are confident about the list that we made.
The die cutting machine comparison we made here is meant to give you an idea of what is out there and what we’ve found to be some of the best types of cutters. It is important to note that there is a wide range of brands and types of die-cut machine in the market today and while they accomplish the same basic task, they also have their own style and way of doing things. The best die cut machine for you may not be the same for some and that’s alright.