An in-depth brother ScanNCut review: Read before you buy

Angie Renner
Published by 
Angie Renner
Last updated: 
December 18, 2023

For crafters, it can take a lot of work to set up a die cutter to get the exact patterns and images you want. For those who work with variable designs that aren't quite part of the standard, it can be a time-consuming process to make sure your components are ready to go. The original Brother ScanNCut die-cutter took away that issue by allowing you to scan your images directly into the die cutter and go from there.

What Does the Brother ScanNCut Do?

What Can ScanNCut Do Image

The Brother ScanNCut Deluxe is a cutting machine that allows you to draw, scan, and cut various designs and patterns on materials such as leather, fabric, paper, plastic, and vinyl.

Types of Brother ScanNCut Cutting Machines

There are three types of Brother ScanNCut machines: SDX125e, SDX225 Innov-is Edition, and the SDX230D Disney Innov edition


Brother ScanNCut2 Scaning

The scanning feature is easily the biggest draw to the ScanNCut series, and the ScanNCut delivers when it comes to performance. It lets you scan almost any design or image, detecting and creating cut lines. Once it's picked up the picture, you can make any necessary adjustments to what areas you need cut out and let it take care of the rest.

You have three primary scanning modes:

  • Outline detection, which allows you to cut around the outside of a shape
  • Region detection, which makes cuts both inside and outside lines
  • Line detection, which only cuts lines inside the design

Gray-scale scanning is best for most images, and line detection mode is only available for the gray-scale setting. However, color recognition works great for when you're trying to cut around specific colors. The ScanNCut lets you select the number of colors, too, making for more accurate cuts.

Blades and Mats

The Brother ScanNCut comes with a German carbide blade that provides a fantastic quality of cut, no matter what type of project you're doing. The turn dial makes it easy to adjust the blade depth to what your project requires. While it's a great blade, it isn't quite suited for working with thicker materials, like metal and wood.

Blades Mats

The size of your mat depends on the model you chose, with the CM300 having the larger mat size. The included mats let you switch out the type to fit best the material you're using. With the low-tack mat, you don't have to worry about delicate fabrics and papers ripping and pulling while the ScanNCut works with them.

Touch Screen Display


The ScanNCut boasts a much bigger screen than its predecessor, with the display measuring in at 4.85". The high-quality image makes it easy to see what's going on. What's also great is that the screen allows you to handle a lot of selection and edits of your project, including:

  • Welding shapes and fonts
  • Changing size and location
  • Add margins around shapes
  • Manipulating fonts
  • Rotating and mirroring images

In effect, you can efficiently operate the ScanNCut straight from the touchscreen without even needing to connect to a computer. Because of this feature, you can use this die cutter in any situation, which is excellent for those who like to craft on the go.


As if the fully functional touch screen wasn't enough to keep away the shackle that is connecting your die cutter to the computer, the ScanNCut goes one more level and has full wireless capabilities. You can access your computer to download and upload designs straight to the machine and let it do the rest. You can also use the included software to make even more detailed tweaks to your pictures.

The wireless connectivity also extends to tablets and phones. Better yet, the necessary software is handheld compatible. If you happen to create your design on your phone, you can send it straight to the ScanNCut without needing any extra transfers.


There is a tiny bit of a learning curve when it comes to scanning, cutting, and drawing, however, the ScanNCut is relatively easy to use and learn. If you follow the included instruction pack, you can even start cutting designs right out of the box.

You can design files through the machine, a tablet, or computer. If you use another program for designing, you'll need to convert it into one that the ScanNCut can read. Thankfully, it's capable of handling SVG files, which saves the trouble of difficult conversions. You can naturally also scan in your designs as well.

Once you settle on your design, you just set up the ScanNCut with the necessary cutting depth based on your materials, and everything is set to go. If you routinely work with fabrics, it can be best to keep a log about what settings work best with different material types and thicknesses so that you get the most out of your machine.

The combination of accuracy and ease of use make for a satisfying die-cutter across the board.

ScanNCut Pros and Cons at a Glance


  • Built-in scanning
  • Multi-device and wireless support
  • Precision Cuts
  • Free software with no need for subscriptions


  • Limited cutting space for larger projects, even with the CM650W
  • Software is basic
  • Somewhat more expensive than other die cutters

Public Perception

The original ScanNCut faced mixed reviews upon its release. It's safe to say that the ScanNCut2 does a lot to improve upon that, and responses are positive across the board. Crafters love the ScanNCut2's capability to scan, cut, and draw without being stuck to your computer. The wireless capabilities work well with tablets, too, give a lot of flexibility for crafting anywhere.

The thriving online community also says a lot about how users feel about this product. Crafts connect to share ideas and features, and both paper and fabric crafters have found great uses for the ScanNCut's vast array of features.

What We Think

As Brother probably intended, we love the ScanNCut's scanning capabilities. When it comes down to it, the inclusion of the scanner is likely going to be your deciding factor when opting for the ScanNCut2 over other die cutters. The ability to make custom designs and have them neatly cut out without any fuss is fantastic, especially since you can do it without connecting to the computer.

The freedom from wires is also a nice touch with the wi-fi capabilities and large screen for working directly on the ScanNCut. The high level of flexibility also makes this product appealing, especially for those who focus on paper and fabric designs.

If you like to work with harder materials, like metals and woods, you'll likely be much happier with a different die-cutter. However, if you work with thinner materials and handmade patterns, then purchase the ScanNCut.

We recommend the SDX900 because of the more accessible price. Unless you need all the accessories that come with the SDX900, it's better to purchase what you need so that you get your money's worth. However, if you need a more extensive project space than 12" x 12", the SDX900 will serve your needs better.

No matter which model you choose, you're getting an excellent and flexible die cutter for all sorts of crafting projects.

Facts about the Brother ScanNCut

  1. The Brother ScanNCut is a personal cutting machine that can be used for a variety of purposes, from scrapbooking to quilting to home décor.
  2. It can cut paper, fabric, vinyl, and other materials with ease, and has a built-in scanner for scanning and cutting images and shapes.
  3. The machine is compact and portable, making it easy to take with you on the go.
  4. It comes with a variety of built-in templates and designs, or you can create your own with the included software.
  5. The Brother ScanNCut is compatible with a variety of materials, including paper, fabric, vinyl, and other materials.
  6. It has a maximum cutting width of 12 inches and a maximum cutting length of 24 inches.
  7. It can cut up to 100 different materials, including paper, fabric, vinyl, and other materials.
  8. The Brother ScanNCut comes with a one-year warranty.
  9. The Brother ScanNCut was first introduced in 2011.
  10. Since its launch, over 1 million units have been sold worldwide.
  11. It is the #1 selling cutting machine in the US and Japan.
  12. The machine can cut up to 3mm thick material.
  13. It has a built-in scanner that can scan and cut images.
  14. It has a color LCD touch screen for easy navigation.
  15. It comes with 300 built-in designs and 6 fonts.
  16. It has a maximum cutting area of 12" x 24".
  17. It has a built-in USB port for easy connectivity.
  18. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does the Brother ScanNCut work? The Brother ScanNCut is a cutting machine that can be used to cut a variety of materials. It can be used to cut paper, fabric, vinyl, and more. The machine comes with a built-in scanner, so it can scan a design and then cut it out. The machine can also be connected to a computer so that it can be used to cut out designs that are created in a design program.
  2. How do you clean the Brother ScanNCut? To clean the Brother ScanNCut, first unplug it from the power source. Next, use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away any dust or debris from the exterior of the machine. Be careful not to press too hard or use any harsh chemicals or cleaners, as this could damage the machine.