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.
LT Crafts Blog is a website that offers a number of great ideas about art projects. If you love art, this is the website for you. It offers content that ranges from easy to difficult projects. You will be able to get ideas especially if you are an art teacher. We offer content that ranges from pre-schoolers to adults who are looking to improve their woodworking and basic welding skills.
Most DIY users require cutting machines that are loaded with special features and various functions as this will enable them to make their projects quite easy to handle. Besides, cutting machines also help save money as they reduce cutting and designing errors as well as several trips to an establishment with one.
However, given the high demand for cutting machines, there are plenty of brands out there that continue to make cutting machines with distinctive features and higher specs. While there are loads of cutting machines out there, the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo 3 are two cutting machines that are favored by a lot of arts and craft makers.
In order to help you decide between the two, let’s look at some of the qualities that each machine boasts of and what makes them loveable.
FYI, for more varieties of the Cricut, you can check our full breakdown of the Best Cricut Machines…
The Cricut Maker is a great cutting machine that enables users to cut different kinds of materials with a lot of agility and accuracy. It doesn’t matter whether you are handling a paper, leather, balsa or even vinyl material. All that matters is that your Cricut Maker is able to handle more than 100 different types of material hence giving you the ability to achieve whatever it is that you desire with your craft and designs.
This Cricut Maker machine saves on space especially for those who don’t have the luxury of large empty spaces that can be utilized and is also portable. Because it is space-saving, your work table won’t have to look messy as you can also work on your designs wirelessly and send them to your machine via the Bluetooth wireless technology.
Having the Bluetooth wireless technology feature means you get to enjoy creating your own loved designs from your smartphone or tablet and then easily pairing your machine up with your device and you are ready to cut. In addition, the machine has the Cricut Design Space software which lets you upload your preferred images and fonts and is available for all Android, iOS, Mac and Windows users.
This Cricut Maker machine also happens to have a slot for your smartphone or tablet which makes it really convenient for when you’re using designs from your mobile devices. Besides, you can also make use of the USB port available to charge your device, so you don’t have to move around the room looking for a power source constantly.
While all these shiny features give it an enormous advantage, it doesn’t come without its own flaws. This Cricut Maker isn’t suitable for arts and craft makers who make long designs given that it has a maximum cutting size of 11.5 by 23.5-inches. Users who make long designs can, therefore, struggle in achieving what they want and are better off finding a machine with a larger cutting space as this is geared towards artists who make compact designs.
Besides the cutting size, the cut sizes for this machine are also limited especially when using the Print and Cut function. For those using Google Chrome as their web browser, 5.5-inches is the maximum width and 8-inches maximum height. For Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox users, maximum width and height in inches is 6 by 8.5 respectively while iOS app users get 6.5-inches as the maximum width and 9-inches as the maximum height.
What we love about the Silhouette machine is that it is your best bet when it comes to a DIY machine. With this, you are able to cut more than 100 different types of materials like fabrics, vinyl, cardstock paper and more with a width of 12-inches and 10 feet long. This is, therefore, a good machine for those looking to create longer designs like signages.
In addition, you also get to use your own designs just like the Cricut Maker allows you to, given that the Silhouette Cameo 3 also comes with the wireless Bluetooth technology and the Silhouette Studio design software. Whatever device you are using, you can be rest assured that your designs will come to life just as you want them using this machine.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is also compatible with Print and Cut technology as well as PixScan. Wondering what that means to your craftsmanship? Well, it means that you can easily capture your desired image using your scanner or smartphone, import it and then turn the image into a cut life. Another feature that makes this machine loveable even for beginners is that it comes with a guide.
The guide is meant to help you avoid mistakes whether you are a beginner or a professional as it has a touchscreen menu that comes integrated with speakers and auto blade setting hence you don’t have to be troubled about how to use the machine’s function. The machine has a matless cutting capability. This is to say that you won’t need to utilize a cutting mat for vinyl cutting and heat transfer. It also has a 2mm clearance that helps you create deep cuts even when you are cutting through thicker materials.
Just like the Cricut Maker, the Silhouette Cameo 3 also has its own flaws. To start with, the Silhouette Cameo 3 is very slow and not as accurate as you’d want it especially when you are using the dual carriage feature. The dual carriage’s cutting is somewhat weak limiting you from cutting complex designs unlike with the Cricut Maker.
Secondly, because it’s only available in white, you have no color designs to pick from when it comes to this cutting machine. However, this is a non-issue given it has a compact and sleek design that is simple and will work for just anyone that isn’t picky about the color choice.
Another downfall is that the Silhouette Studio software is quite difficult to use for beginners because it has a steep learning curve that is suitable for advanced artists.
When it comes to both machines, you get to enjoy the use of wireless Bluetooth technology as well as their own individual software system. Also, they are both portable and easy to use which makes your job much easier when you are using both machines. With both machine, you also enjoy the ability to cut through different kinds of materials and have a small design that is space-saving.
That said, if you want a machine with exceptional accuracy, fast performance, and a lot more convenience, then the Cricut Maker is the best cutting machine for you. If on the other end, you’re more keen on creating large designs, then the Silhouette Cameo 3 should be what you get. In the end, the choice is yours.
Do you have vinyl, paper, sticker paper, craft foams or faux leather that you wish to cut and use for decorating your space? Typically, you would probably settle on using a pair of scissors or other similarly small tools. These tools work. However, you may have to be ready to spend what appears like an eternity to do all the cutting. The result is that you may finish the work, but nothing guarantees the quality precision cuts you crave. Cricut machines are a perfect alternative!
What can you use the Cricut machine for? How beneficial is this machine to you?
To anybody who prioritizes precision cutting, nothing does a better job of this than Cricut machines. The machines are quite cool. They are ideal for making fun signs. Cricut machines have also demonstrated their effectiveness in making party decorations. In this regard, they save you the ton of money and time that would have been spent moving around looking for a store where you can buy decorations. Feel free to use it for making amazing buntings!
As earlier stated, Cricut machines are capable of cutting faux leather. For that reason, you should not shy away from buying faux leather in case you wish to use it for making various items to give away to friends and loved ones. Therefore, sit behind your desk, switch the laptop on, design the kind of bracelets you would like to give out, and send them to the Cricut machine to not only print but also cut them precisely to your taste.
Mugs, cups, and tumblers deserve some love too. You can give them much-needed love with awesome decorations. Where do you get the decorations? Simple, select the material, design and cut everything with the Cricut machine. This way, your home or office would be full of lively and sparkly mugs, cups and tumblers. What is more, you could always give some of these items out to your loved ones.
Cricut machines can be excellent tools for creating artwork for your car windows too. In this case, you can use them for designing and crafting vinyl stickers. These stickers would make your car look awesome. More significantly, the stickers would offer you an excellent tool for advertising the services that your firm provides. For this reason, invest in these types of machines if you want to excel in advertising via your cars.
Let’s assume that you run a business and want to show appreciation to some of your most loyal customers. In such a case, you would probably think about rewarding or recognizing them with customized handmade cards, right? The Cricut machine would then be a necessity to help you produce amazing cards. What is more, the level of precision cutting involved would give you more confidence to send the cuts out to the target audience.
Therefore, with all these uses, feel free to place your order for the best Cricut machine today.
Are you inexperienced in using a Cricut? Then you are in the right place. Here, you will learn everything about one of the most powerful precision-cutting machines. With this machine, you can cut through any material that would be difficult or cumbersome to cut using a pair of scissors. Cricut enables you to cut faster and more precisely. What is more, the fact that it is easy to use makes the machine even more appealing to users of all cadres!
Below are tips to help you use Cricut, as a beginner.
What do you get when buying Cricut?
As you would mostly discover by visiting the official Cricut website, you can get different items with this machine depending on the package you select. That simply means that you should not expect to get the same items that somebody who paid more than you did. For more money, you get more items. The opposite holds true when you go for a less costly package. That is just how Cricut operates. Nevertheless, the most common items you get for settling on the basic package are:
• Storage bag
• Cricut machine (such as the Cricut Maker or similar)
• Power cord
• USB cable
• Getting started manual
• Silver Pen
• Standard grip cutting mats
While you will not get the all you will ever need with a basic package, you will get enough items to help you get started. A starter set is a great place to start your journey into the world of precision cutting. Why? It offers you more accessories that will prove beneficial to you. In addition to the above, the starter set also exposes you to other incredibly useful stuff that makes your work easier. This stuff includes the following:
• Extra mats
• Tools craft basic set (spatula, scraper, scissors, and tweezers among others)
• Additional blades (such as the Knife blade)
• HP instant ink subscription
• Essential tool kit
• Scoring stylus
Since you now know what to expect with your Cricut do not forget to read the manual or instructions that come with it. Some users can try their luck and get the machine working without reading the instructions. However, skipping the instructions can make it unnecessarily difficult to operate the machine. You are better off familiarizing yourself with the machine by going through the instructions. This way, you will know its parts and features and how to operate it quickly.
Moreover, you are likely to retrace your steps easily if it does not work by following instructions.
The first step is to set Cricut up. To do that, you have to understand its features. More importantly, you need a deep appreciation of what each part or feature does. After all, each one has a specific role. As you will discover from your Cricut Explore Air 2, your precision-cutting machine will most likely have seven parts. These seven parts are:
• Button for opening lid
• Smart set dial
• Power on/off
• Dual cartridge
• Accessory cup
• Accessory drawers (2)
• Cartridge port
The second issue to tackle as you learn how to use Cricut is that of space. Where do you intend to set it up? Now that you’ve ordered and received it, the most important issue to contemplate is its location in your home or office. The two critical factors to remember when thinking about its location are access to power and flat surface. Use an extension cable if the socket is a bit far from the place you have chosen for the machine. You should also set it up next to the computer you intend to design from!
Now that everything is set up, you have to learn how to use the Design Space. First, download the app which you get here! Thereafter, install it in your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. While doing this, confirm that the machine is plugged into a source of power. In addition to that, enable Bluetooth on the device you intend to use for designing the stuff to cut with Cricut.
Pair your gadget’s Bluetooth with that of the Cricut. The name to look out for is CricutAIR. Enter 0000 as the passcode if prompted to do so. However, where it’s difficult for you to enable Bluetooth or pair the two items, you can take a different approach. Here, get the USB cable that came together with the Cricut. Then connect it from the machine to your phone or computer. This way, the two machines would communicate easily with each other.
Being a beginner, you’ll probably kick off your ‘career’ with the “Enjoy Card” Project. Don’t worry about where to find this project. You only have to check the machine since that’s where it is. The project welcomes you gently into the world of precision cutting. More importantly, it offers you more insights into the different ways of using Cricut. What is more, Design Space will prompt you to embark on this project thus saving you the hassle of looking for it.
What do you need for this project?
a) Follow the step-by-step instructions
b) Use the appropriate tools, features, and accessories
The project has a simple objective. It seeks to fill you with confidence to take on more jobs or projects. That will happen the moment you finish this project and are happy with the results. Within no time, you would be moving upwards to the more difficult projects. Strive to complete this first one since it will open the door for you to more exciting tasks. The Enjoy Card Project is the key that opens the world of precision cutting to you.
Changing the Blade
The first time you buy a Cricut, you will notice that it comes with a pre-installed blade. That should be a big relief to you since it means you don’t have to worry about installing it. However, the blade will get blunt with repeated use thus calling for the need to replace it with a new one. For this reason, it’s vital for you to know how to replace blades on this highly impressive precision cutter.
To change the blade, you would have to access the cartridge. As you will notice, this part of the machine has two sections; namely, A and B. A refers to the accessory cartridge. B refers to the blade housing. A comes pre-installed with the machine and has an adaptor too. B is the area of interest for anyone interested in changing the Cricut blade. First, however, you would have to remove the blade housing before doing anything else.
After removing the housing, the next task involves opening the gray clamp B. Next, pull housing right out of the cartridge. As you pull the cartridge out, watch out for the thin plunger that is located directly over the housing. Push the plunger inward while removing the small blade you encounter carefully. If you do this right, you will notice the blade being released right under the housing. Once it is out, dispose of it safely.
Since the dulled blade is now out, you are ready to replace it with a new one. First, though, you have to remove the green cover that protects the new blade. After that, insert the new blade into the housing’s shaft. Again, you will notice that the blade locks itself automatically in this part of the machine if you do it correctly. Feel free to drop the housing right back into the B section of the cartridge. Finish everything by closing the gray clamp.
The mats are essential to successful precision cutting. You need them for holding the materials in place. Without the mats, you will struggle to cut through the entire material. For this reason, the mat needs more attention from you. Take good care of it since you now realize that it could determine how your entire cutting project goes. Failing to grant them the care they richly deserve would mean opening the door to a great deal of mess.
What is more, a test cut that involves the mat is highly recommended.
Otherwise, you end up damaging a perfect mat by setting the cut excessively high.
The best care you can give the mats is to wipe them down using non-alcoholic baby wipes. Water wipes would also serve you just as well. Wipe using these items after each cut. As you do this regularly, you will be helping the mats to remain cleaner much longer. Other than that, you would also be ensuring that the mats remain sticky for a longer duration. On top of all of that, cleaning the mats makes them last longer too.
As stated above, a test cut is essential before determining whether the mats are effective for the job you have planned to do using Cricut. A test cut helps you to know whether you have everything in place for the project. Moreover, the test cut saves you some of the costly losses you stand to incur if you go straight into cutting the material. More significantly, you only need a few seconds to perform the test cut. In essence, a test cut:
• Determines whether extra cuts will be required
• Determines whether the pressure from Cricut can cut right into the mats
Cricut is capable of cutting diverse types of materials. However, it’s worth noting that different models of this machine exist in the market. Each model has specific capabilities. For example, you will find that one model has no problem cutting specific types of materials compared to another one. Therefore, select your Cricut based on the types of materials you wish to cut now and in the coming days. Nevertheless, you can cut the following materials with Cricut:
• Paper such as poster board, vellum, cardstock and standard
• Vinyl such as chalkboard, dry erase, premium and standards
• Iron-on such as Heat Transfer Vinyl, which is also known as HTV
• Craft materials such as glitter paper, craft foam, and washi tape
• Upcycled materials such as aluminum cans, cereal boxes, and chipboards
• Fabric such as canvas, burlap, polyester, denim and felt
• Plastic such as silicone, window acetate, and stencil
• Thick stuff such as magnetic materials, leather, and balsa wood
As shown above, Cricut is capable of cutting through all types of fabric. However, always be ready and on the lookout for a bit of disappointment. Why? Because the machine cuts some fabric better than it does others. One day it could be cutting a specific type of fabric cleanly only to create a mess the following day. In such instances, what you need to use to protect your fabric is heat and bond.
Heat and bond make the fabric stronger and thicker thus able to handle the pressure and force that Cricut bears down on it. Bond the fabric to something that makes it resistant to tears. On top of that, you could always attach the fabric to a bit of interfacing. Remember, you’re doing all this to protect the fabric and save yourself some money in the process. Failing to do this could mean spending more money on new fabric to replace those you already damaged.
Lastly, keep the machine clean and neat at all times. This way, you are guaranteed the sort of machine that will not disappoint you. Instead, it will perform optimally at all times. At times, you may be required to clean the machine during the cutting session, especially when debris seem to be gathering massively thus preventing Cricut from functioning, as it should. If that doesn’t happen, limit yourself to cleaning it after each cutting. Schedule the cleaning sessions.
Therefore, enjoy using your Cricut now that you know more about it.
Finding a top-quality vinyl cutting machine can be a hard task. The task is even more arduous for first-time buyers. However, it’s not a hopeless case even though there are hundreds of vinyl cutters readily available in the market. Choosing the wrong vinyl cutter will not only set you back a hundred couple dollars and cause you grief afterward, but it can also be frustrating especially if it is for a business venture.
So, if you want to have nothing but the best and professional looking work, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best vinyl cutting machine in the market. To choose this, ensure that you consider both speed and readability. Why? Because getting a bad machine will result in a low-quality work that will leave you embittered.
With that, we have reviewed some of the best vinyl cutting machines that you can get in the market today. We’ve also added some friendly considerations when it comes to the pros and cons regarding each machine.
Since its launch in 2015, the Circuit Explore Air 2 has had amazing reviews from owners thanks to the nice build as well as great cutting speeds.
The Cricut Maker is another perfect vinyl cutting machine that you can find in the market. This is the best machine if you are looking for something that will give you freedom and flexibility as you work on your projects.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 cutting machine comes packed with powerful tools and software to ensure that you get the best when working on your projects.
This Brother CM350 cutting machine comes with some great features that make it rank among the best vinyl cutting machines that you can get.
If you want to have a successful production line, the first step is to ensure you get nothing but the best vinyl cutting machine. A good vinyl cutting machine will make your cutting work easier only leaving you to worry about the designs that you need to custom-make. Remember, to get the best; you have to choose a machine that is practical and can let you cut a wide range of materials especially if your work isn’t limited to using just one type of material.
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 […]
The Cricut Air 2 is a die cutting machine that a lot of crafters will admit being a life-saver for those who love to craft and are in the market for a reliable machine that can meet their needs. This is one of Cricut’s bestselling machines, given that it is simple in design but very […]
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 […]