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Get Crafty with the Best Die-Cutting Machines

Doing your own professional craft projects has never been easier or more fun thanks to digital die-cutting machines. The market may be dominated by Cricut, and the brand makes some of our favorite picks. But there are other brands that are well worth considering, and even within Cricut’s offerings, there’s a lot of variety.

What to Consider Before Buying a Die-Cut Machine

Die-cut machines can be used on paper, vinyl, fabric, felt, fondant, and a long list of other items, with a seemingly endless array of ways that the machine can help you be creative. With the ability to personalize shirts, jackets, and onesies, create wall art, make projects for kids, turn paper into stunning installments, and enable users to become master quilters, the ways in which a die-cutting machine can turn you into a DIY master are exciting. When shopping for a die-cut machine, you should consider the kinds of projects you’re going to be taking on, as well as what your budget can accommodate. Plus, it’s also worth considering the amount of space you have to work in.

What We Looked for When Choosing the Best Die-Cut Machines

We looked for die-cut machines that can fit a variety of budgets and needs, whether you’re looking to make professional products you can sell or you want to make unique gifts for friends and family. We looked at different models from top brands, including Cricut, Brother and Silhouette, and picked out the ones that would suit different needs.

Want to find the best die-cutting machine that works for you? We’ve selected a few favorites below.

  

1. Cricut Maker

BEST OVERALL 

Choose from hundreds of patterns, cut your pieces and sew everything together with the Cricut Maker, which works with just about any material from fabric to paper to chipboard. A rotary blade can easily cut through material, while a fine point blade acts as an X-Acto knife and cuts heavy-duty material. The Cricut Maker has several convenient built-in additions, like a docking slot that charges and holds your tablet or phone while you work and materials for your first project to get you started.

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2. Brother ScanNCut

BEST UPGRADE

Brother is one of the top brands for printers, and the brand is also also a great option if you’re in the market for a die-cut machine. The unit is aptly named the ScanNCut, because it can scan and be used for die-cutting. That makes it even easier to complete your projects and do more with just one machine. Plus, this unit comes with accessories so you can more easily get started. Included are a standard tack mat, pen, touch pen, spatula, accessory pouch, patterns, and a variety of other accessories.

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3. Cricut Joy Machine

BEST BUDGET

If you’re just starting out on your DIY journey, then consider this economical and compact version of the full-sized Cricut machine. The Cricut Joy can be used for small, quick projects. It can be used without a cutting mat for more convenient operation. Plus, the app allows you to upload and choose from designs. And since it’s about the size of a loaf of bread, you’ll be able to store it in even the smallest crafting spaces.

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4. Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool

BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY

Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, this compact yet powerful die-cutting machine is a must-have for all the DIYers out there. It has the ability to cut, write and score tons of different materials and is easy enough for beginners to use, but can handle the demands of an expert crafter.

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5. Cricut EasyPress

BEST HEAT PRESS 

While it isn’t a die-cut machine, the EasyPress is worth considering for a variety of craft projects. It has a 9-inch x 9-inch ceramic-coated heat plate that presses your iron-on project in 60 seconds or less. The temperature and time can be adjusted based on the material and size of the vinyl. The EasyPress distributes heat evenly, making it an upgrade over a household iron.

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1. Cricut Maker

Choose from hundreds of patterns, cut your pieces and sew everything together with this option, which works with just about any material from fabric to paper to chipboard. A rotary blade can easily cut through material, while a fine point blade acts as an X-Acto knife and cuts heavy-duty material. This option has several convenient built-in additions, like a docking slot that charges and holds your tablet or phone while you work and materials for your first project to get you started.

Pros: Works with a wide variety of materials. Access to hundreds of digital patterns to quickly and easily get started.

Cons: Some options may be more economical for beginners.

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2. Brother ScanNCut

This is one of the top brands for printers, and the brand is also also a great option if you’re in the market for a die-cut machine. The unit is aptly named the ScanNCut, because it can scan and be used for die-cutting. That makes it even easier to complete your projects and do more with just one machine. Plus, this unit comes with accessories so you can more easily get started. Included are a standard tack mat, pen, touch pen, spatula, accessory pouch, patterns, and a variety of other accessories.

Pros: Can be used for scanning and cutting. Includes a variety of accessories.

Cons: There can be something of a learning curve.

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3. Cricut Joy Machine

If you’re just starting out on your DIY journey, then consider this economical and compact version of the full-sized Cricut machine. This machine can be used for small, quick projects. It can be used without a cutting mat for more convenient operation. Plus, the app allows you to upload and choose from designs. And since it’s about the size of a loaf of bread, you’ll be able to store it in even the smallest crafting spaces.

Pros: Compact size. Good beginner option. Convenient to use.

Cons: A larger option, like the Cricut Maker, will likely be better suited for a bigger project.

 

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4. Silhouette Portrait 2 Electronic Cutting Tool

Featuring Bluetooth connectivity, this compact yet powerful die-cutting machine is a must-have for all the DIYers out there. It has the ability to cut, write and score tons of different materials and is easy enough for beginners to use, but can handle the demands of an expert crafter.

Pros: Using your own images or one from the large library of pre-made designs and projects. Wireless cutting is available by connecting to Bluetooth.

Cons: Requires a bit of a learning curve to get a handle on the software.

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5. Cricut EasyPress

This machine has a 9-inch x 9-inch ceramic-coated heat plate that presses your iron-on project in 60 seconds or less. The temperature and time can be adjusted based on the material and size of the vinyl. This option distributes heat evenly, making it an upgrade over a household iron.

Pros: Convenient and easy for any fabric. Easy to use and comes with built-in safety features.

Cons: Not as powerful as other options. Not a true die-cut machine, but rather more of a miniature heat press.

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