6 Best Beginner Vinyl Cutter Reviews With Buying Guide – 2021

Best Beginner Vinyl Cutter

Did you know that the value of the arts and crafts sector was 41.6 billion USD in 2020? That is great news for anyone that is an arts and crafts enthusiast or professional.

If you can make decals, gifts packages, custom t-shirts, home decors, and similar items, you have a chance to make money from the comfort of your home. Or you can avoid buying these items and make them for yourself.

Of the art tools I have come across, a vinyl cutter is one extremely useful machine.

With the best beginner vinyl cutter, making little crafts at home or at your small business is a piece of cake. The fantastic thing about such a unit is that it is affordable and space-efficient.

Looking to avoid the junk on the market and get only the finest machine? I will help you choose a model that fits you. best vinyl cutter for beginner.

Let’s get started.



Editor's Rating


Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint

USCutter MH 34in Bundle

Cricut Maker

Cricut Joy Machine

Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth

Our Top 6 Best Beginner Vinyl Cutter Reviews

1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint

In the United States, Cricut is one of the most famous brands among professionals and enthusiasts in the arts and crafts space. A lot of people love the Cricut machines simply because of their versatility, accuracy, and technology.

If you’re looking for the best small vinyl cutter, look no further than the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint. The reasons are obvious why this is the ideal DIY cutting machine.

First off, the flexibility in terms of what you can cut is amazing. The machine is built to handle more than a hundred materials. From vinyl and cardstock to specialty paper and leather, the choices of what you can cut are endless.

With the versatility of this machine, you’re able to complete a broad array of projects. Unlike other machines that restrict you to one or two lines of crafts, this one brings a whole world of possibilities. You could make home décor, greeting cards, and custom stickers, and even design apparel and gifts.

When doing HTV or vinyl projects, you need a cutting mat. Purchasing the Explore Air 2, you needn't worry about getting a mat separately. This device comes with a free mat sized 12 by 12 inches.

The ultimate factor that makes the machine superior is its Design Space software. Compatible with all PCs and mobile devices, the software makes everything super easy. It presents you with more than 50,000 free images that the Cricut machine can cut out.

Design Space also comes with more than 900 patterns. Other than that, it allows you to upload your own designs.

To connect your devices to the cutter, you can use a USB cable or go wireless via Bluetooth.

Highlighted features:

  • Cuts over 100 materials – vinyl, cardstock, HTV, adhesive foils, leather, etc.
  • 12 x 12-inch cutting mat.
  • Compatible with PCs and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
  • Can be connected to devices via USB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth.
  • Come with Design Space software – has over 50,000 printable images.
  • Runs pretty quietly without vibrating.
  • Comes with test materials. 

2. USCutter MH 34in Bundle Vinyl Cutter

Vinyl Cutter USCutter

Are you tired of spending 70 to 100 dollars on vehicle decals? It is time to make your own. You could even make extra and sell to other people for a profit.

If you have some room to spare, the USCutter MH 34in Bundle could be a great pick. Its dimensions are 42 by 16 by 13 inches.

Other than that, it is the best starter vinyl cutter to choose. First of all, because it is affordable. Secondly, because it is able to handle a wide variety of materials and cut both small and large sizes.

The machine works with Windows computers through a USB connection. To operate it, you need to install the VinylMaster Cut software, which allows you to design and edit images and presents you with numerous templates.

A significant advantage of this cutter is that it comes with a stand. You, therefore, don’t have to stress about where to put it. The stand makes it a breeze to load vinyl and monitor the cutting process.

Thanks to the auto-identification feature, cutting is seamless. Once you load the vinyl and hit start on the software, the machine cuts out your design automatically.

Something I adore is the speed with white the designs are cut – up to 39 inches per second. This allows you to complete tasks quickly.

What's more, the cut-outs are accurate, matching the design specified on the software closely.

One of the most attractive factors why people love this machine is the fact that it comes with great accessories. These comprise cables, three spare blades, free vinyl to get you started, installation hardware, and more.

Other items that will be shipped along with the machine include magnetic sign blanks, a roll of TransferRite application tape, and a grid transfer tape.

Highlighted features:

  • Has a stand – no stressing about where to keep it.
  • Quick, accurate cutting – up to 39 inches per second speed.
  • Speed and pressure are adjustable.
  • 5 free rolls of Greenstar vinyl of different colors size 24 x 5 feet.
  • Comes with 3 spare blades.
  • Great accessories – transfer papers, hobby knife, squeegee, etc.
  • Compatible with Windows PCs – uses VinylMaster Cut software.

3. Cricut Maker Champagne

Cricut Maker

Are you fascinated with vinyl, paper, and markers? Then you might want to check out the Cricut Maker. For someone that's just getting started, this is the ideal vinyl cutter to choose.

The first thing folks love about this baby is the freedom it gives. With it, you can make anything from sewing project vinyl decals and iron on to leather crafts.

As such, you can use the machine for a broad range of tasks such as party accessories to gifts and decorations for customers. 

The thing that brings all this versatility is the assortment of tools that can be used with this gadget. You can connect blades, pens, and scoring tools to handle varying projects.

Aside from that, the machine is compatible with not only vinyl and htv but also other materials including fabrics and cardstock.

The blade, with its gliding and rolling action, is able to slice its way through almost any fabric out there. This is great news for all you out there who love decorating clothing and shoes.

The Cricut Maker comes with an app for both Android and ios as well as Mac and Windows. Loaded with over 50 project templates, the app makes the journey stress-free especially for those that are just starting out.

When it comes to the capability of this machine to do cutting and writing, perfection is the word for it. The machine does really quality work.

Highlighted features:

  • Does cutting and writing.
  • Comes with multiple design tools – pens, blades, scoring tools.
  • Gliding, a rolling blade that cuts through any fabric.
  • Easy-to-use design tool compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
  • 5.5-inch maximum cutting width.

4. Cricut Joy Vinyl Cutting Machine

Love to cut dies on the go? What you need is a small, lightweight vinyl cutting machine such as the Cricut Joy. This unit weighs in at about 5 pounds, which makes it a perfect choice for the traveler.

This little device is the ultimate die cutting machine with regard to versatility. For those who want to cut, write, or create labels, it will do.

The Cricut Joy comes with a downloadable app, which you can install on your phone, computer, or tablet. Called Design Space, the app allows you to create your own designs or use the dozens of free images that are ready for printing.

Or, you can take things to the next level by using Cricut Access, a subscription service that offers you over 100,000 images that you can print with the Cricut Joy.

One unique thing about this unit is that it is the smallest digital die cutter out there. But don’t let its tiny size fool you. The device packs a punch with regard to all the things it can accomplish. Firstly, it makes cuts of up to 10 feet long on a continuous module. The widest it can cut is up to 6.5 inches.

For years, users of Cricut machines have been asking for a device that can cut without needing a mat. Guess what? It is finally here, and it is the Cricut Joy. With its line of smart materials like vinyl, htv, and transfer tape, which have a thicker backing, the machine makes matless cutting possible.

That is so time-saving and convenient.

A cool thing about this unit is that it measures your material before you even start printing. It then lets you know if the material is enough for the design you want to print.

In case you place the material in a crooked manner, the machine has a feature that straightens it up to make sure the cuts are perfect. Isn’t that cool?

For anyone looking for the best vinyl cutter for beginners in terms of portability, the Cricut Joy is the machine to get.

Highlighted features:

  • Small and lightweight – a perfect pick for portability.
  • Cuts up to 6.5 inches wide and 10 feet long.
  • Versatile – for cutting, and drawing, and making labels.
  • Ideal for matless cutting.
  • Comes with a fine point blade and pen.
  • Uses the Design Space software that is compatible with all devices.

5. Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutter

If modern tech features are essential to you when choosing a die cutter, then the Silhouette Cameo 4 is a device you got to check out.

One of the amazing aspects of it is the ability to print wirelessly. Yep, you can connect it to your phone, tablet, or computer wirelessly via Bluetooth.

When it comes to convenience, it doesn’t get any better than what this product provides. Let me ask – have you ever wished you could print directly from your vinyl rolls without having to undo the rolls manually?

I tell you what? The Cameo 4 comes with a roll feeder, which allows you to htv and vinyl directly from a roll. This is so amazing, saving lots of time and effort.

With many die cutting machines out there, changing the tool, for instance from the blade to the pen, takes plenty of time. You have to adjust the settings on the software to match the new tool.

Things are quite different with the Cameo 4. In that regard, the machine comes with a smart sensor that detects the tool and makes the changes in settings automatically.

As you may already know, hobbyist die cutters are not very good at cutting thick materials. Often, the downforce is not sufficient to produce quality prints.

But not when you’re using this Silhouette cutter. What makes it special is that it comes with extra downforce as well as a new rotary cutter. That way, it is able to cut thicker materials without compromising quality.

Highlighted features:

  • Automatic tool-type detection – makes settings adjustments automatically.
  • Cuts three times faster than previous models.
  • Additional downforce and a new rotary cutter for heavier materials.
  • Uses tungsten carbide blade for seamless, accurate cutting.
  • Comes with Silhouette Studio software – has 2100 free designs.
  • Allows wireless printing via Bluetooth.

6. Brother ScanNCut SDX85 Electronic DIY Cutting Machine

The final device on our list of the finest die cutting machines is the Brother ScanNCut SDX85. This machine comes with several amazing features that you’ll love.

First, there’s the 3.47-inch LCD touchscreen. This allows you to cut designs without needing an external device such as a computer or a mobile phone. How does that work?

It is made possible by the second incredible feature – the built-in scanner. Yes, the Brother machine comes with a scanner, which detects images and transforms them into files. Just load your image and the machine will sense it and create a file that you can use to make cuts.

Another way that you can create device is by attaching a flash disk. Thankfully, there’s the screen, which allows you to edit your images as you like before printing.

For those who like to use their tablet, smartphone, or PC to create designs, the cutter is a great choice. You can connect your devices via USB or go wireless via Bluetooth.

The unit is compatible with the downloadable Brother CanvasWorkspace app, which also presents you with dozens of free project templates.

There’s a wide range of materials that you can cut with the Brother ScanNCut SDX85. These include paper, foam, felt, vinyl, balsa wood, and virtually anything else provided it is not more than 3 mm thick.

Want to know what the really cool part is? You need not struggle with adjusting the pressure settings every time to match the thickness of the material. The machine does it for you automatically.

Highlighted features:

  • 3.47-inch LCD touchscreen.
  • Comes with 251 ready-to-use designs.
  • Wireless capability.
  • Unique scan feature that captures drawings and transforms them into files.
  • Automatic blade adjustment according to material thickness.
  • Cuts up to 3mm thick materials.
  • Versatile – cuts a wide range of materials such as vinyl, felt, paper, fabric, etc.

Beginner Vinyl Cutters Comparison Chart



Cutting sizes (length x width)

Number of materials compatible

Compatible devices

Connectivity types

Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint


12 x 12inches

100+, including vinyl, cardstock, leather, and more

Computer, tablet or mobile phone, all OS


USCutter MH 34in Bundle


8 feet x 30.63 inches

10+, including Vinyl, Heat Transfer Vinyl, Paper, etc.

Windows computer


Cricut Maker


12 x 5.5 inches

100+, including vinyl, balsa wood, cardstock, leather, and more

Computer, tablet or mobile phone, all OS


Cricut Joy Machine


10 feet x 6.5 inches

50+, including vinyl, cardstock, HTV, iron-on, and label vinyl, etc.

Computer, tablet or mobile phone, all OS


Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth


24 x 12 inches

50+, including cardstock, HTV, vinyl, etc.

Computer, tablet or mobile phone, all OS


Brother ScanNCut SDX85


24 x 12 inches

50+, including vinyl, felt, paper, fabric, etc.

Computer, tablet or mobile phone, all OS


Beginner Vinyl Cutter Buying Guide

If you love creating your own crafts, you might be thinking of getting your own vinyl cutter. Luckily, these days, manufacturers have made it so easy to obtain a model meant for the DIYer.

With all the small-sized and portable models on the market, is now possible to have a practical and space-efficient die cutter for home use.

However, getting the right vinyl cutter is not as easy as simply walking to a store and buying whatever unit they have. To get the machine that suits you, there are a number of factors you got to consider.

Here are the top factors to consider when searching for the right vinyl cutter.

Vinyl Cutter buying guide

Cutting Precision

What sort of designs are you planning to cut? Large shapes with a basic outline or more intricate ones? This is a question you need to think about before purchasing a vinyl cutter.

Most of the small desktop cutters like the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 cut intricate details with excellent precision, though the designs have to be small. Conversely, larger stand-alone units like the USCutter MH 34in cannot cut with high precision, though they can cut larger sizes.


Speed is not usually a critical consideration, but if you’re a business person, it might be a factor you want to consider. Some machines are not very fast, while some are so efficient that they cut at a rate of more than 30 inches per second.

For a hobbyist or a DIYer, it is better to focus on accuracy than speed. A machine that takes its time but cuts accurately is more desirable.

Noise Level

Imagine cutting dies when your spouse or kids are trying to catch some sleep. Will the machine run quietly or will it vibrate and make noise, waking them?

If you're getting a unit for use at your business premises, the noise level might not be very important. However, it is a major consideration for those getting a vinyl cutter for home use.

Usually, the smart, portable desktop models like Cricut Explore Air 2 are whisper-quiet. Bigger models, on the other hand, are typically loud.

Sort Of Media You Look To Cut

While vinyl is the material that this article is centered on, it is not the only one that you might be looking to cut. Maybe you have projects that need leather, cardstock, htv, leather, and other material. In that case, you got to have a versatile machine.

Before you purchase a vinyl cutter, be sure to consider the kind of materials it can cut. The wider the range of thicknesses the unit can handle, the more the materials it can cut.

Moreover, a machine that comes with different sorts of cutters, such as blades, pens, spooling features, and more, is capable of handling more types of projects.

Cutting Size

Cutting size is one of the crucial factors to mull over before getting a vinyl cutting unit. Before purchasing your machine, check the dimensions that it can handle in terms of length and width.

With regard to cutting size, machines have varying capacities. Some can only handle a few inches in length and width, like 10 by 6.5, while others can cut materials that are as big as 10 feet long continuously.

Most of the desktop models cut materials sized 12 by 12 inches, which is usually sufficient for home needs. Devices like the Cricut Explore Air 2 fall in that category.

If you want a machine that can handle larger sizes, you may need to get a larger unit. For instance, the stand-alone USCutter MH34 cuts up to 30.63 inches wide and 8 feet long.

Connection Compatibility

Primarily, digital vinyl cutters are designed to be used with an external device like a computer or a smartphone.

Before purchasing a cutter, first, find out the sort of devices you can connect. Versatility is important – wouldn't you be happier with a machine that you can connect with any device, no matter the operating system? Yes, some machines are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. A good example is the Cricut Maker.

On the other hand, some machines are only compatible with certain operating systems – for instance, only windows. An example is the USCutter MH 34in.


Using a vinyl cutter, you don’t just need the machine. You will require accessories like vinyl, blades, transfer tape, a squeegee, and a USB cable (if you’re going to use a wire connection).

Now, imagine if your cutter comes with all the accessories. That would mean you'll be able to start printing right away. It will save time and reduce the cost of the first few projects as you'll not have to purchase these items separately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Vinyl Cutting Machine?

If you’re a professional or hobbyist in the arts and crafts niche, then you will definitely find a vinyl cutter useful. Some of the crafts where a vinyl cutting machine comes in handy include t-shirt printing, decal making, and gift crafting.

What Is The Work Of A DIY Vinyl Machine?

A vinyl cutter is a machine that cuts vinyl. The DIY models usually look like desktop printers and are typically placed on a workbench. These machines contain a motor-operated blade that cuts varying shapes out of sheets of vinyl. Normally, to cut, they utilize a command sent from software in a PC or mobile device.

Is A Vinyl Cutter Different From A Vinyl Plotter?

While a vinyl cutter cuts designs from vinyl using a blade, a plotter is a pen-like gear that draws designs on vinyl and other materials. Rather than getting each of these machines separately, you could purchase a vinyl cutting unit that comes with blades and pens as accessories.

Can I Use A Vinyl Cutter To Cut Other Materials Apart From Vinyl?

A high-quality vinyl machine doesn’t cut only vinyl. It also cuts other materials, including cardstock, balsa wood, felt, paper, adhesive foil, and more.

Final words

When it comes to customizing t-shirts and other apparel, one machine that truly comes in handy is the vinyl cutter. This tool makes cutting and transferring vinyl shapes to garments a cinch.

What is amazing about a vinyl cutter is that it is not just for customizing clothes. Anyone in the arts and crafts sector doing decals, home decorations, gift packages, and fabric designing, and more, can benefit from this versatile machine.

If you’ve made up your mind to get the best beginner vinyl cutter, be sure to consider the factors we talked about in the buying guide. Crucially, look at the machine’s cutting size and the materials it can handle. Ensure it can handle the material sizes you have in mind. Don’t forget to mull over the technology as well – wireless printing, compatible devices, etc.

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