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.
- Beginners receive 50 pre-loaded designs at no additional cost.
- The Cameo has a much-improved user interface in comparison to other die cutting machines available in the market.
- Its size and weight allow for it to be easily portable.
- Setting up the machine is pretty easy
- The Silhouette Cameo is not suitable for cutting the more resilient materials such as leather, balsa wood, and metal.
Cricut Explore Air 2
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.
- It is two times faster than its sibling, the Explore Air.
- It is aesthetically pleasing with a great build.
- The ease of use of this machine makes it perfect for beginners.
- The Explore Air 2s design space app is not available for android users.
- It is noisier than the Explore Air
- Users must buy some accessories such as the deep cut blade separately.
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.
- The Cuttlebug requires little to no maintenance. A simple wipe of any debris from fabric and you are good to go.
- It is highly portable; thus, a user can easily move around with it, thanks to its foldable sides.
- It requires users to purchase a C plate separately to accommodate different die types.
- The thickness of materials that it can handle is limited.
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.
- It is great for beginners who wish to work with layers of fabric as it can effortlessly do so.
- The build of the Platinum is robust which makes it a durable machine that will serve you for a long time.
- Despite its weight and size, the Spellbinders Platinum is quite compact, which can be attributed to its foldable sides that are space savers.
- This machine is much larger and bulkier than most of the conventional die cut machines.
- Users can only cut materials of a certain width.
- It requires quite some effort to move the gears of this machine, which can be quite tedious.
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.
- Users who have this machine do not require a computer
- This machine has a large colored touchscreen which is quite interactive and allows users to select functions.
- It is easy to set up
- This machine is only capable of cutting items up to 2 millimeters deep
Sizzix Big shot
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.
- Users receive a 3-year manufacturer warranty from Sizzix
- It can be used with embossing folders and dies from a few other brands.
- It does not require any maintenance since it does not use oils or lubricants.
- Its cutting power is exceptional.
- It has rubber feet, which ensure that it does not move around when one is working.
- The Sizzix big shot is available in several different colors and has an aesthetically pleasing appearance to boot.
- Its cutting width is extremely limited.
- It occupies a large footprint as its sides are not foldable like some of the other machines discussed in our list above.
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.