Best Fabric Cutting Machine – Find The Right Cutter For Your Project
A fabric cutting machine is safer and easier to use than rotary cutters. We selected and reviewed six of the best fabric cutting machine we could find and put together a detailed shopping guide to help you find the perfect fabric cutting machine for all your DIY projects.
Rotary cutters are fine for simple DIY projects, but you can get neater results and prevent accidents by investing in a fabric cutting machine.
Digital machines and manual die cutting machines allow you to cut fabric at a faster pace and will open up new possibilities for your DIY projects. We have reviewed some of the best fabric cutting machines money can buy to help you find the right one.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We have selected and reviewed fabric cutting machines according to five criteria:
- Ease of use. We selected machines that are easy to set up and operate. For digital machines, we looked at whether or not you can easily find more designs or create your patterns.
- Versatility. You will get more use out of your new fabric cutting machine if you can use it to cut different types of fabrics as well as other materials like paper, cardstock, or balsa.
- Dies. We looked at the number of dies included with each machine. We gave higher ratings to the machines compatible with a wide range of dies sold separately.
- Cutting power. A performing machine will last longer since there will be less wear and tear. Ideally, you should be able to cut through several layers of fabric at once to save time.
- Sturdy design. A good fabric cutting machine shouldn’t take up too much space while having a sturdy base to provide safety and durability.
Best Fabric Cutting Machine Comparison Table
These are the six best fabric cutting machines we were able to find. We tried to include a mixture of manual die cutting models and digital machines to give you more options to choose from.
Best Fabric Cutting Machine Reviews
1. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine
We liked this machine because you can use it with a wide range of materials, including paper, fabric, cardstock, felt, foam, leather, and even craft metal. The machine looks easy to use and comes with an extended multipurpose platform to help you prepare the material you want to cut.
The machine is compact and portable. It measures 14 1/4x12 3/8x6 5/8.” The compact design might be limiting if you want to cut large pieces of paper or fabric but is a plus if you have limited storage space.
It comes with two cutting pads. They both measure 6 1/8x 8 7/8.” These dimensions make the machine ideal for scrapbooking projects, quilting, and other small DIY projects.
We recommend this product because Sizzix offers a huge selection of dies compatible with this machine, and shoppers say this fabric cutting machine is compatible with standard dies made by other brands.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
2. AccuQuilt Go! Fabric Cutter Starter Set
This is one of the most performing fabric cutting machine we came across. You can use the AccuQuilt Go! Fabric cutter starter set to cut up to six layers of fabric at once.
This is a product you should consider if you want a portable fabric cutting machine since the machine folds in half and includes a carrying handle.
It measures 17x5x15 ½” once it is unfolded. The cutting mat measures 6x12,” and the machine comes with three dies. You will get two square dies, and a half square die for quilting triangles. The machine is compatible with other dies, including products made by the same brand and other standard dies.
There is a pattern book included to help you find ideas for your next DIY project.
This machine is pricier than other models, but the investment is worth it. You will get accurate results every time and save time on your DIY projects.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
3. Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Home & Hobby Cutting Machine
This is one of the most versatile digital machines we found. The Brother CM350 ScanNCut machine has a built-in LCD screen to help you select cutting settings and operate the machine.
You can use this fabric cutting machine by itself since there are more than 600 pre-programmed cutting patterns to choose from. There are also seven fonts loaded into the machine if you want to cut texts.
You can also connect this digital machine to a PC and use a free web app called ScanNCut Canvas. This app gives you access to a huge library of shapes and patterns and lets you create customized designs.
The machine cuts paper, fabric, vinyl, thin plastic, and cardstock. There is a built-in scanner you can use to scan texts or patterns and load them directly into the fabric cutting machine. You can cut materials with dimensions up to 12x24.”
This digital machine is interesting because of the pre-programmed settings and web app, but shoppers say learning to create unique designs and patterns designs takes time.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4. Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker is a digital fabric cutting machine. You can use it to cut other materials such as paper, vinyl, leather, and even balsa.
Unlike other digital models, the machine doesn’t have a built-in screen. You will have to connect a Smartphone or a table to the docking station located at the top of the machine. This is somewhat of an inconvenient, but at least the machine can charge your mobile device.
You will need to install a companion app to operate this digital cutting machine. The app comes with 50 projects and 25 sewing patterns. You can use this companion app to design customized patterns.
We liked the selection of accessories included with this product. You will get two 12x12” cutting mats, a rotary blade, a fine point blade, and a few pens and scoring tools.
Not being able to use the machine without a phone or tablet is a downside, but this is one of the best digital fabric cutting machine if you want to get precise results and cut a variety of materials.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
5. Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
Your material can have a width of up to 12”. The machine uses Bluetooth technology to connect to a computer, phone, or tablet.
You will need to run the Silhouette Studio design software to make your patterns or access a library of DIY projects.
We liked the dual-carriage feature. You can have two cutting tools loaded in the machine at once and easily switch between them instead of having to attach a different blade. This feature will help you save time when working on complex projects.
The machine comes with a cutting mat, an AutoBlade attachment, vinyl cross cutter attachment, blade adjustment tool, hook tool, scraper tool, spatula tool, and a few sketch pens. There are more than 100 designs pre-programmed into the machine.
You will also get a one-month subscription to the Silhouette design store to download more designs. You can decide if the subscription is worth keeping after a month or work with the designs pre-programmed into the machine.
This is an interesting machine because of the design software and accessories included, but shoppers say that there is a steep learning curve for making unique patterns with the software.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
6. Cricut 2003782 Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
We liked this fabric cutting machine because it comes with everything you need to cut fabric and to create embossing effects. It comes with two dies and an embossing folder. You can purchase more dies and embossing folders separately.
The two cutting plates and embossing folder have dimensions of 6x8.” The dimensions of the machine itself are 13x11x6.5.” There is a handle so you can easily transport the machine.
We thought this machine was a good buy because it is compact, portable, and more affordable than other similar machines. You will get precise results when cutting paper or fabric. And this could be an excellent choice for someone who is new to DIY projects.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
What To Look For When Comparing Fabric Cutting Machines
The best fabric cutting machine depends on the kind of DIY projects you like to work on. Here are a few tips to help you compare cutting machines.
The Size Of The Machine
A larger design means you will need more space for storing your fabric cutting machine. On the other hand, a smaller machine will be more portable and easier to store.
A smaller machine makes sense if you plan on using it occasionally. And plan on working on smaller projects such as quilting squares and scrap-booking pages. If you want to work on projects that require larger pieces, investing in a larger machine is worth it.
A foldable machine is an interesting compromise. You will be able to cut wider pieces of fabric. And will need less storage space once the machine is folded.
However, you should think about investing in a more performing machine so you can cut a wider range of materials. Some machines can cut thicker materials such as vinyl, thin plastic sheets, denim, felt, corduroy, and more.
A more performing cutting machine will also allow you to cut several layers of fabric at once. This is a feature that will help you save time, especially if you need to make several quilting pieces.
Make sure you can easily adjust settings such as the blade height to get precise results with different materials.
Manual, Digital, Or Electric?
Digital fabric cutting machines tend to be pricier, but you can do more with these models. A digital machine will come with pre-programmed templates and designs you can use for cutting fabric and paper. Most digital models give you the possibility to download additional templates. Or to create your designs on a computer or tablet.
The downside of a digital cutting machine is that you can only cut one layer at a time. Setup takes longer, and you will probably have to do a few tests. For you to find the right blade setting when using a new design.
Manual fabric cutting machines are more affordable and easier to use. All you have to do is insert the die you want to use. And then operate a lever or handle to cut your fabric.
You can cut several layers of fabric at once. And can use more templates and designs if you are ready to invest in additional dies.
A digital model would make sense if you want to create personalized designs. Otherwise, a manual machine will probably make more sense due to its lower price tag and ease of use.
If you want all the benefits of a manual machine without having to operate a lever to cut fabric. Then look into getting an electric model. An electric cutting machine works just like a manual one. Except that it uses electrical power to cut fabric or paper.
If you are thinking about getting a manual fabric cutting machine, take the time to look at the dies included with the machine. Most machines come with a few dies so you can create different shapes and work with different sizes.
If possible, get a machine from a well-known brand that offers a large selection of dies. And accessories you can purchase separately. You might not have any use for these dies at the moment. However it will be nice to be able to use your machine for a wider range of DIY projects in the future.
Alternatively, you can shop for a machine that is compatible with standard die sizes. You will be able to use it with dies you already own, or borrow dies from your friends. And shop for dies and accessories made by different brands.
Dies aren’t a big issue if you want to use your machine to make simple shapes such as quilting squares and triangles, but having more dies to choose from can be interesting if you want to get creative.
Finally, the six fabric cutting machines listed above are options you should consider. If you are in the market for a new machine. Otherwise, keep these tips in mind to compare different products. And find the best cutting machine for your DIY projects.