Cutting Machine Reviews
Picking the best option for your money…
Picking the best option for your money…
Need to find the best Cricut, Sillouhette or other cutting machine? You’ve come to the right place. We provide a full and deep dive into the best cutting machines on the market today, so you can make the correct choice, at the right price, for your craft and DIY needs.
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The popularity of die cutting has increased over the years as the different companies have managed to transform how the craft is undertaken with their impressive die cutting machine. Beginners who are just getting into crafting no longer have to slave for hours on end as there are several different models of die cutting machines which have been designed to simplify the process for them. The die cut machines available in the market open up an entirely new world of possibilities, providing users with the versatility needed to create beautiful and intricate designs. But regardless of the machines being an essential tool for crafters, picking out the one that suits your needs as a user can still be challenging. So, if you are contemplating getting started on your die cutting journey, we have compiled a list of some of the best manual and electronic die cutting machines for beginners to help you make that crucial decision.
The Silhouette Cameo can easily be termed as one of the most beginner-friendly die cutting machines available in the market. Its popularity is because its set up is pretty easy and straightforward, given that it does not use cartridges. The Cameo, which is available in four different colors, features a higher 2 mm clearance that enables users to cut thicker materials. It also has a dual-carriage that facilitates the use of multiple tools at a go, compatibility with PixScan, Print & Cut technology, compatibility with the self-adjusting AutoBlade, and a 12-inch cutting mat. This machine is also capable of cutting through several materials, including fabric, paper, vinyl, cardstock, and many more.
Beginners who may be completely unfamiliar with how to operate the machine can use the Cameo 3’s colored touchscreen interface that will simplify the process for them.
Bragging twice the speeds of the Explore Air, the Explore Air 2 is a machine that gives die cutting users the ability to design and create from anywhere as well as upload personal images that they would wish to work with or choose from the vast library of Cricut’s pre-made projects and designs. It features two tool holder storage compartments, smart set dial technology, German carbide premium blade, Bluetooth technology. For this machine, Cricut provides over 50 design projects and over 100 images that users can use for free alongside the “getting started guide”. The Explore Air 2 is extremely versatile and can cut several different materials such as fabric, metals, paper, leather, vinyl, foam and cardstock, but users should bear in mind that the harder materials such as metals may require a deep cut blade.
The Cricut Cuttlebug is a manual die cutting machine that is capable of cutting and embossing a variety of materials including thin leather, tissue paper, acetate ribbon, and foils. This die cutting machine is one that beginners can carry around with them and use it to whenever they feel the need. However, this machine, albeit little has some insane cutting power unlike some of its competitors that struggle with cutting tough materials such as chipboard, or even thin metals and wood. The Cricut Cuttlebug can cut materials that are 1/8 inches thick, doing so with such amazing stability. It as a perfect machine for beginners because it does not have any complexities to it, which means they will have an easy time using it.
With foldable sides that make it easy to transport the machine, the Platinum is a manual die cutting machine from Spellbinders. It brags excellent construction consisting of solid steel bearings on the inside and a durable plastic on the outside. From balsa wood, wool, craft metal, chipboard to leather, this machine can cut over 40 different materials with so much ease. One key advantage of the Spellbinders Platinum machine would be its 8.5” platform which gives users quite a bit of space to work on.
The Brother CM350 is not your regular die cutting machine as it does not have cartridges or dies. It is quite literally the beginners’ machine as it comes equipped with a full starter kit, which makes it possible to use with or without a computer. The users can use the display screen to edit their patterns and creations. I was pleasantly surprised by this machine and how hassle-free and easy it was to use it and set up. Featuring specs such as an inbuilt scanner, 12 x 12 cutting mat, Bluetooth technology, German carbide premium blade, an LED screen which is operated using a stylus pen and over 700 designs and 40 quilt patterns it is the ultimate beginners’ device. Finally, it is also quite versatile and capable of managing several materials.
Beginners can use the Sizzix Big shot with a wide variety of materials including chipboard, metallic foil, vellum, foam, magnet, leather, craft aluminum, felt, fabric, cardstock, and many more. It is one of the most dependable machines that one could opt for packing a 6-inch wide mouth that facilitates the embossing and cutting. Its crafting area is generously large, giving space to users who would like to work on large projects as well as extra-large dies. This machine has a small construction, which makes it easy to port but do not be deceived by its size. This machine packs an insane cutting power. My personal favorite thing about the Big shot has to be its ease of use as because a user is only required to put the material at the machine’s mouth and then follow instructions from there.
Die cutting machines are either manual or electronic, and depending on your budget as a beginner, you are certainly going to find something. However, this does not give you the freedom to blindly pick whatever machine you come across without considering whether it will serve your purpose. When choosing a die cutting machine, it is essential that you select the one that will serve most of your needs and is easy to use. Hopefully, you have spotted something in the list above that will help you make the right choice when you finally come around to choosing a machine for yourself.
A day in the life of crafters and DIYers typically involves cutting, scoring, creating intricate designs from fabric and materials of all kinds, and putting them together to produce breathtaking artworks and crafts. Working with fabric demands that the best equipment capable of handling the delicacy of the material is used. A die cut machine is one such equipment that can be used to cut and manage the fabric. There are different kinds of die cut machines namely manual die cut and digital die cut machine so how does one go about picking the best in a market that is overly saturated with various brands and models of die cut machines? It is often said that a craftsman is only as good as their tools and to help you make the decision on which die cut machine you should invest in if you are working solely with fabric, we have created a comprehensive list of what we consider to be the best of the best in the market.
The Explore air is a digital cutting machine capable of cutting over sixty different materials with a hold capacity of between 1-1/4 to 11-½ inches. This machine which brags embedded Bluetooth technology and a dual carriage is extremely easy to use. It also allows users to upload their images for customized designs. With this machine, cutting fabric is quite straight forward and precise thanks to the Cut smart precision cutting and the cut smart technology which lets users set the exacts mode they would like to use.
Users looking for a tool that is fast and precise when cutting fabric should look no further than the AccuQuilt Go cutting system. This system which allows them to cut fabrics 90-times faster than if they were using a pair of scissors or rotary blade. Weighing at 15 pounds, this die cutting machine is easy to use and offers performance unlike no other. It brags foldable sides that make it highly portable and easy to store. A quick look at the design of the machine reveals that it was created with crafters in mind as users do not have to strain their arms while working. Additionally, it can accommodate dies up to 10-inch x 24-inch.
The Sizzix Big shot is a manual die cut machine that not only cuts but also embosses fabric. Weight at 44 pounds, it is impossible to ignore the Big Shot Pro with its generous 24 1/4 by 15 by 7 ½ inch dimensions. It is the ideal tool for the crafter who wants it all as it features a 13″ opening that facilitates the uses of Pro and Plus-sized dies. Upon purchasing the machine, users receive one big shot pro machine, a premium crease pad, a regular sliding tray, two mylar shims, one standard adapter pad, a regular cutting pad, and a die pick. I personally like this machine because it does not move around when working, which is a challenge I experienced when using lightweight machines.
The Cricut Cuttlebug is a sought-after die-cutting and embossing machine. Its popularity has to do with its ingenious build. Both the side handle and the sides of the machine can be easily dismantled and reassembled when necessary, which make it easy to port. The Cuttlebug is capable of cutting more than just fabric as it can handle other materials such as chipboard, foam, felt cardstock, and even tissue paper. The package of the Cricut Cuttlebug includes 6 x 8 A plate, a 6 x 8 rubber embossing mat, and two 6 x 8 B plates.
The Cricut Maker is a revered digital die cutting machine that allows users to not only use but upload their personal fonts and images for free. The Maker is equipped with an advanced rotary blade technology that facilitates precise cuts by making the gliding and rolling action of the machine perfect. This machine is awe-inspiring because of its feature set, as well as the projects, patterns, and designs that users have access to thanks to the design software that accompanies it. When working with the machine, users can choose to connect to it via USB connection or Bluetooth when they want to work remotely.
The Cameo is one of the sleekest electronic die cutting machines on the market capable of cutting several materials, including fabric, paper, vinyl, and many more. This machine is one of the best as it can manage fabric up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. It is equipped with a bunch of handy features such as a handy on-unit cross cutter, an inbuilt accessory compartment, and a responsive touchscreen. It includes a 12” cutting mat, 100 preloaded designs and a cutting blade which cuts precisely around images and designs.
When choosing a die cut machine that you can use with fabric, several variables come into play. Some of these variables include;
The type of machine, i.e., digital or manual which is dependent on a user’s preference.
The size and portability are also crucial variables that go hand in hand simply because you do not want to opt for a small die cut machine if you know you will be working on large projects and vice versa. Also depending on if you would prefer to work remotely, you must get a machine that facilitates this preference.
Accessories play a significant role when purchasing a die cut machine as some machines are equipped with some accessories that others lack. Everyone should consider beginning with a machine that has a starter kit so they can have all the essentials to get to work.
There are several other crucial variables such as ease of use, cost, and versatility, which may vary depending on a crafters experience or ability. We hope that you found something from the list of die cut machines mentioned above or that the list at least gave you an idea of where to start looking when choosing a die cut machine.
If you’re a scrapbooker or a crafter, a Cricut machine is a must-have for you. Cricut machines mean you don’t have to rely on hand cutting shapes that can be a bit exhausting, they enable you to make stunning shapes and decorations by utilizing cartridges that come with pre-downloaded designs.
When thinking about buying a Cricut machine, there are various factors that you need to consider before choosing one. For starters, the ability to cut through different types of materials, wireless capability, software, ease of setup and use, cutting speed, choosing graphics and fonts as well as compactness. If these are not considered, you might end up with Cricut machine that doesn’t get the job done.
That said, we’ve gone through some of the best Cricut machines that you can purchase in the market today. Read on to find your pick!
The Cricut Maker is by far one of the best Cricut machines that you can get in the market. This Cricut maker is powerful, dependable as well as wireless-enabled.
If you are looking for a machine to use for your light-duty commercial jobs, then the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the perfect choice for you. This machine has been highly ranked as the fastest Cricut machine available in the market and boasts of amazing power.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is a perfect choice for those looking to make customized crafts using iron-ons. This machine is not only easy to transport and use, but it’s also easy to store.
This machine is different from most of the other machines in our review as it can be used without power or a computer and can also be used offline.
As mentioned, a Cricut machine is an essential equipment for a crafter or a scrapbooker. When looking to purchase one, it’s important to consider things such as the cutting speed. Cutting speed is especially important as not all machines have a similar cutting speed. Some are fast while some are average. Besides, the faster machines also tend to be more costly.
Another factor to consider is the pressure adjustment and automatic depth. This is essentially important given that you will be cutting different types of materials and paper. While some machines have an automatic adjuster and can ensure that you are using the right blade for your cutting, some don’t, and you will have to do it yourself manually.
If a wireless machine is important for you, consider choosing one that has wireless connectivity such as Bluetooth to allow for easy transfer of designs from your phone to your machine. Also, decide whether you want your machine to have writing and scoring features as machines with these features tend to come at a higher price. At the end of the day, find something that works perfectly for you.
As a final thought, if you are using cricut print-and-cut, you should consider some of these best printers for Cricut.
The entry of Cricut Knife Blade in the market is a game-changer for many reasons, changing the world of precision cutting. With it, users probably have to alter designing, crafting and creation skills. The Knife Blade, which entered the market in 2017 together with Cricut Maker and Rotary Blade, was officially launched in 2018. The number of users who wish to know more about the blade has been increasing since then. This article looks at its uses. It also delves into a few tips that should help you to use the blade more effectively as part of your precision cutting tools.
What can it cut?
To understand Cricut Knife Blade requires a deeper appreciation of its capabilities. First, you’re probably wondering if it’s even necessary when the Deep Cut Blade seems to have been doing a good job, thus far. Well, the truth is Deep Cut Blade has its share of inadequacies. For this reason, it was paramount for Cricut Knife Blade to come into the scene. Its main attraction is the ability to cut much thicker materials. Here, we’re talking about materials with a thickness of around 3/32 inches. Such materials are impossible to cut with the previous types of blades. In this category, you will find the following types of materials:
a) Thick chipboard
b) Thick leather
c) Balsa wood
f) Kraft foam
Generally, Cricut machines are efficient and boost productivity. For this reason, it’s normal to find users who use them whenever there is a need for completing projects fast and efficiently. However, Cricut Knife Blade isn’t for those kinds of projects. Why? You’re dealing with thicker materials here. Obviously, you would need more effort to cut through such materials. For example, you would require numerous passes to cut through thicker materials successfully. It wouldn’t be abnormal to have to wait for an hour or more for the Knife Blade to finish making a single cut. Therefore, don’t turn to this tool for your last minute heavyweight projects.
Do not start using Cricut Knife Blade to cut whatever you want. The first issue to clarify is the thickness of the material you wish to cut. In this regard, ensure that the material has a thickness of 3/4” and above. Anything less than that could present an unwelcome problem to the Knife Blade.
What is more, the material you intend to cut should have a width that’s similar to that of a pencil. Otherwise, you would end up shredding the material to pieces considering how sharp and powerful the Knife Blade is. the best way to go about it is first to test it on a small portion of the material first. If satisfied, you can proceed with the whole thing.
As you may already know, the Cricut Knife Blade exercises remarkable force on the material the moment you command it to start cutting. To put this into context, it applies a force that is ten times more than what you could get from Cricut Explore. For this reason, you need to tape or hold the material down and in place firmly to prevent it from moving around. If it moves a lot, you could have a cumbersome cutting session, which would then result in unprecise and inaccurate cuts. In this circumstance, a stickier adhesive wouldn’t be a good solution since it could peel the material’s top layer off. Taping is the best solution!
During each cut, the material produces plenty of debris. As powerful as the Knife Blade is, it cannot work with all the debris gathered along its path! The debris needs constant removal though. Otherwise, it would prevent the Cricut Knife Blade from proceeding to cut. For this reason, failure to clear the debris could stop the Knife Blade from cutting your material; hence the need for removing and clearing all of it. Does this mean you should remove the mat or tape to clear the debris? No! To do this, you only need canned air. Get a blower and use it to blow all that debris away before pressing C one more time to proceed with the cutting.
As earlier stated, Cricut Knife Blade operates more powerfully compared to all the previous models. Essentially, what this means is it requires more passes, which are often pre-programmed, to cut the material in question. However, at times you might need to add one extra pass. Usually, this happens when the cut is done.
Additionally, this happens when the need for confirming and finishing the cut arises, especially when the pre-programmed passes failed to complete the job. As you do this, it’s good to note that you don’t have to remove the mat. Just press “Go” to set the additional pass in motion.
Lastly, it’s important to know what to do once you finish cutting the materials. The first task is to remove the mat from the machine immediately you’re through. Secondly, the tape that you used for holding the material firmly in place should also go. Three, do not forget to review all the cuts, as a way of ensuring that they are all complete. It is possible to find a few pieces that the Cricut Knife Blade has been unable to cut cleanly and completely, as it should. Upon this discovery, you would need to take a few measures. First, turn the materials over before cutting the unfinished sections lightly with a craft knife.
In summary, the Cricut Knife Blade is a must-have for anybody interested in precision cutting. With it, you will never struggle to cut any material regardless of how thick it is! Therefore, go ahead with your project with all the confidence you can muster since the Knife Blade will not disappoint you. Before proceeding, it would be great to remind you that the Knife Blade is not a choice fit for your last-minute precision-cutting projects considering that it takes upwards of one hour to finish a single job. Moreover, the materials it cuts are quite costly; hence, the need for proper planning to avoid rushing through the job.
Do you have Balsa wood that you would like to cut precisely and use for creating decorations for your home or office walls? If that’s the case, you would require a good piece of equipment for that. In this case, you are likely to struggle to find a much better tool than the Cricut Knife Blade. To use it well, though, requires a bit of skill. Fortunately, you can teach yourself to do just that, as you will see below.
Before learning to do that, let’s start with a bit of education regarding Balsa wood first.
One, it is a type of hardwood that weighs almost nothing. More crucially, balsa wood’s strength-to-weight ratio is quite high. What this means is, the wood is surprisingly strong despite its weight. For this reason, balsa wood is one of the best materials for model-building and other similar crafts. Nevertheless, it has a few drawbacks too. For example, it breaks and brittles rather too easily for comfort and is capable of bending. Additionally, it is too expensive!
Now that your understanding of balsa wood is above what most people know, the next objective is to look at its relationship with Cricut Knife Blade extension to your friendly neighborhood Cricut machine. How do you use this type of blade to cut such hardwood? How fast is the blade capable of cutting balsa wood? Consider these questions when deciding whether this Knife Blade is the ideal cutter for the hardwood. In addition to that, remember that balsa wood is hard to find hence the need for using it well.
Get some tips here to help you in cutting balsa wood with Cricut Knife Blade.
The first thing to note is the balsa wood has to be of a specific size to go under the Knife Blade. For ease of work, you should limit the wood to pencil’s width. Anything smaller than this could prove problematic. Why? Cricut Knife Blade is mighty and strong. It’s capable of destroying the expensive balsa wood if it’s smaller than the width of any pencil. Remember, balsa wood can split along its grain quite easily.
You will notice that balsa wood usually comes in small sizes, especially in terms of length. All the same, you may find Yothers that are quite long. These should not worry you a bit. Instead, take your craft knife and use it to cut these longer pieces. The process is quite simple. You only have to use a ruler to draw a straight line on the wood before snapping it into two or more pieces. Using the longer pieces could jeopardize your entire project.
Before you start cutting balsa wood using Cricut Knife Blade, you should make sure that the wood is in place. Taping it down usually works effectively. However, you can use brayers first to adhere it on the mat before taping it. Holding it down is good to prevent the wood from moving all over the place and messing your project. Once again, this is for your own good since the wood is one of the most expensive.
Design Space is one of your most important tools. It guides you into cutting balsa wood properly, efficiently, safely and precisely. What is more, it saves you from wasting the costly material too. Therefore, it is wise to mirror your image on the Design Space first. This way, you guarantee yourself a final project that has clean cuts all through, especially on the most important side – the front!
Additionally, it would be advisable to keep removing the smaller pieces from the machine. This step is critical the moment some of the pieces start popping or falling out. You can keep the larger pieces in place, but the focus should be on the smaller wood. Failing to remove them could be detrimental to your work. Typically, such pieces could shift a bit thus ruining the entire project and leading to a waste of time and money.
In roughly one hour, the Cricut Knife Blade and Cricut Maker will have finished cutting the balsa wood. Therefore, it would be great to remove the finished products from the machine. However, check your work before doing that. The goal of double-checking is to make sure that the Knife Blade cut the wood cleanly all through. This activity doesn’t mean that the Knife Blade does a lousy job. No, it does an excellent job, but there’s no harm in rechecking and confirming!
Assuming that you checked and confirmed that one or two pieces remain uncut, Cricut Design Space allows you to add one more pass. Take advantage of this feature to finish the entire project. Nevertheless, avoid wasting your passes. If Cricut Knife Blade has cut the majority of the balsa wood except for 1-2 small corners and parts, you would have no reason for adding that one extra pass. If all looks good, feel free to:
• Remove the mat
• Release the project
• Use a craft knife for cutting the bits that weren’t cut cleanly all through
Each stage of the cutting process is crucial for many reasons. Skipping any step could cause you a bit of distress. An example of these critical steps is the removal of the cut balsa wood. It’s important to learn how to remove it correctly. In this case, your options would involve bending the mat away. Do not attempt to pull the wood away from the mat straight up as this could cause it to break. Remember, balsa wood breaks and splits easily because of its brittle nature.
In summary, Cricut Knife Blade is the most effective tool for cutting balsa wood. It’s easy to see why Cricut waited a while before releasing this product into the market. You’ll hardly need to replace the blade since it’s sturdy and robust. Again, remember to be careful while cutting the wood. Otherwise, you would damage the wood, which as we established, is one of the costliest and rarest types of hardwood.
Any crafter or DIYers will agree with me when I say that Cricut has single-handedly changed the way crafts are done, and it is by far the best crafting tool. Most people contemplating whether to purchase a Cricut machine often find themselves torn between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 as these […]
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If you are looking for a die cut machine that is handy and overly dependable, then look no further than with the award-winning Sizzix Big shot. There are two types of Sizzix Big Shot machines, i.e., the foldaway and the die cutting machine. For this review, we shall be discussing the die cutting Sizzix Bigshot. […]
Anyone looking for a small but versatile cutting machine that they can use for their crafts and DIYs should look no further than the Silhouette Portrait 2. An improved iteration of the original Portrait, the Portrait 2 is often referred to as the younger sibling to the Portrait 3 and shares similar features with the […]
What is a Silhouette Curio? A silhouette curio is a light-duty machine which at its core is designed for cutting purposes, but it also has the ability to perform several different tasks such as engraving, debossing, embossing, drawing, piercing, and welding. Even though this silhouette curio is marketed as an accompanying machine for other […]