Vinyl cutting machines have made a massive comeback in the last few years. Long gone are the days when cutting vinyl required gigantic machines, entire production facilities, and trained technicians who knew how to operate such an operation.
Nowadays, the vinyl cutting machines can fit into a small room and be used as an accessory – something like a larger printer. If you’re looking for a decent vinyl cutter, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the best models on the market for 2021.
1. Silhouette Cameo 3 Wireless Cutting Machine
Silhouette America is one of those brands that know what their clients want. Cameo 3 is a wireless unit designed to fit the needs of a budget user who’s looking to get into vinyl cutting. This model features decent specs and good hardware that allow you to tackle a whole array of different materials, projects, and designs.
Where Cameo 3 stands out from the crowd is the dual-carriage system, which allows it to carry two different tools at the same time. You can run a blade and a pen concurrently. Cameo 3 comes with a decent software suite that also hides a few interesting features. The Print and Cut mode allows you to draw out the design, print it, and then feed it into the cutter.
The thing we like the most about this entry-level cutter is the fact that it leaves a few upgrade paths open. Namely, Silhouette offers a Deep Cut Blade for this rig, which allows Cameo 3 to cut materials that are up to 2 millimeters thick. In other words, you can expand the cutter as you expand your knowledge.
- A great model for beginners and those on a budget
- Can be fitted with a Deep Cut blade
- Comes with good software support
- It’s not meant for business use
2. Circut Explore Air 2
Now that we’ve covered the best entry-level cutter, let’s talk about a model that has taken the industry by surprise. Circut Explore Air 2 has proven to be one of the most versatile cutters you can get at the moment. Industry experts over at thebestvinylcutters.com note that Circut has completely dominated several market segments with this model alone.
What makes Explore Air 2 so special is the combination of hardware and software that you get for a very reasonable price. Circut has fitted this model with a carbide premium blade that’s made in Germany. It’s a precision tool that can take on all kinds of materials. Whether you’re into cutting vellum, leather, various fabrics, or even certain types of wood, Explore Air 2 has you covered.
Additionally, the cutter comes with a number of design templates you can download from Circut’s website. The only real downside to this rig is the fact that it needs to be connected to the internet if you want to take advantage of all those designs.
- One of the best all-around choices on the market
- Reasonably priced considering its specs and features
- Reliable performance
- Quality blades and long-lasting hardware
- Some features require a constant internet connection
3. Silhouette Portrait 2
Vinyl cutters are no longer stuck in the realm of stationary machines. There are many portable models available these days, models such as the Silhouette Portrait 2. Despite the fact that this cutter is quite small and somewhat limited in what it can do, you can still use it to make most of the things you could with a full-sized unit.
That being said, you will be making some sacrifices. For one, you’re limited to 8-inch sheets of material. If you’re looking for a machine to create awesome decals, this is it. Anything more than that will require a larger unit. Interestingly enough, Silhouette also offers Deep Cut Blade for this model, which makes it rather capable considering its size.
You’re also getting the same software package with Portrait 2’s bigger brothers. However, you also get 50 exclusive designs and a limited subscription to Silhouette’s Design Store.
- Fully portable
- Can be fitted with Deep Cut Blades
- Features exclusive designs
- Limited to 8 inches wide designs
Choosing the Right Cutter
With so many options on the market and an abundance of information, searching for the right rig and manufacturing equipment can become overwhelming. It might be helpful to know exactly how deep into vinyl cutting you’re thinking of going, as that information will tell you exactly which models to look for.
Any cutter from this shortlist will get the job done. We’ve picked three of the most popular models on the market, but also 3 models that are addressing different user profiles. All you have to do is pick the one that works for you!