If you're reading this you might be preparing to start a t-shirt printing business. If you are, you know that a vinyl cutter machine is essential to start making your products. But, you can't just grab any vinyl cutting machine off the shelf. You need one that is sturdy, long-lasting, and capable of handling every one of your orders.
A vinyl cutting machine is a significant investment. This is why you want to make sure you are getting the right one. For you, this might include compactness, being easy to use, or even look nice in your work area.
It can be overwhelming to choose a vinyl cutting machine that can support your business. We're prepared to recommend you several machines that will meet your needs.
If you are on the market for the best vinyl cutters for t-shirts around, read on to learn more about the pros and cons of the most popular vinyl cutter machines on the market right now!
Let's Get Familiar With Vinyl Cutting Machines
Vinyl cutting machines are computer-controlled. The computer tells the small blades inside the machine exactly where to cut the sheet of vinyl. This process produces your letters, shapes, and designs. After cutting a sheet of HTV vinyl, you then use a heat press to create your final product on a cotton t-shirt.
These machines are, on average, the size of a computer printer. They can range in price from less than 200 dollars to over 1000 dollars!
Tips for Choosing the Right Machine for You
Choosing the right vinyl cutting machine can be a daunting task. Each machine caters to a different kind of t-shirt maker. Are you a professional or a beginner? Do you have tens of orders coming in every day or hundreds?
First, you should consider the purpose of your vinyl cutting machine. Why do you need one? You may be fulfilling several orders of the same type of design or a designer trying lots of new styles. Before you buy you should have an idea of how you plan to use your machine.
Next, have an idea of what kind of material you would like to cut. Many vinyl cutting machines cut more than just vinyl. Some cut fabric, leather, paper, and more. If you decide you need a vinyl cutting machine that cuts vinyl and other materials your list of prospective machines will be impacted.
Then, decide what your budget will be. Doing so will likely narrow down your options to a manageable level. From here you can decide which specs are the most important to you. Most people want a vinyl cutting machine that will create the most return on their purchase.
Now let's get into the top five vinyl cutters for shirts.
1. Cricut Explore Air 2
These days Cricut is a household name. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is easy to use, reliable, and a favorite among entry-level hobbyists and seasoned professionals.
With this machine, you can upload your designs from your phone (or any other device) for free. You can also choose to subscribe to Cricut's software. When you do you will have access to over 100,000 unique fonts and designs.
It's wireless! You can print from anywhere in your home, and unlike some other vinyl cutting machines, you don't have to keep it near your PC or Mac.
One of the best features of the Cricut Explore Air 2 is its smart dial. The smart dial is a piece of new technology that automatically adjusts the Cricut's blade depth based on the material it's cutting. You will always receive high-quality results after peeling because of the precision of this device.
This vinyl cutter also cuts a range of materials. This includes HTV vinyl for t-shirts. To help you with your projects a cutting mat, cutting blade, and more are included!
Another great feature of this vinyl cutting machine is its speed. This is one of the fastest vinyl cutters on the market today.
- Uses Bluetooth instead of wires
- Small and compact
- Cuts several types of materials
- Upload your designs for free
- Some features must be bought separately
2. USCutter MH 34 Vinyl Cutter Bundle
The USCutter MH 34 is one of the leading vinyl cutter machines around the world. It's known for its high-level software, cutting power, and great price.
The greatest perk of this machine is that it comes with a complete vinyl cutting bundle. If you buy this you receive vinyl rolls, transfer tape, magnetic blanks, and more.
This long-lasting vinyl cutting machine features three adjustable pinch rollers and a Roland compatible blade holder which gives you the ability to use many economic blades. It also has adjustable speed and pressure.
If you plan on doing projects that involve vinyl lettering or pin-striping, this could be the machine for you. Just be sure to make some room for it in your workspace.
- Free software and other additional features
- Great speed and cutting force
- Reasonable price
- Requires a large space
- Struggles to cut intricate details
3. Silhouette Portrait 2
If you are new to vinyl cutting machines the Silhouette Portrait 2 might be your best option. It is one of the cheaper vinyl cutters on the market now and is popular among entry-level crafters.
The machine is small and compact making it perfectly portable if you plan to travel with your vinyl cutter.
The Portrait 2 is easy to use and has great design and cutting software. It boasts a variety of ready-made patterns and fonts. This could be the perfect little machine for your home t-shirt design business.
Another great aspect of this machine is that it is compatible with Mac and PC. A lot of other vinyl cutters are unable to claim this, so if that is important to you this might be a candidate for you.
- Reasonable price
- Great for beginners
- Free designs and fonts
- Slows down when making intricate cuts
- Does not come with "getting started" guidelines
4. Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutter
Why consider the Roland GS-24 Vinyl Cutting Machine?
For starters, it has incredible precision cutting up to a resolution of .0005 inches on any design size. It provides accurate and quality vinyl cutting up to a speed of 20 inches per second.
This machine can create great quality work at the fraction of a speed compared to other vinyl cutters on the market today. If you value professional quality this might be for you.
It also has a great cutting width of 22.9 inches, allowing you to use it for extra-large designs. This is supported by its easy-to-use LCD panel where you can customize your settings.
Even more, it comes with CutStudio software that lets you upload almost any kind of file type, and it enables you to adjust your images in several ways.
Unfortunately, its cutting power is not super. This model provides 350 grams of blade power. It is better than some other vinyl cutting machines, but it's not the best in terms of cutting force.
- Works with a range of materials
- Good cutting speed
- Easy-to-use user interface with LCD panel
- Not compatible with all devices
- Basic software
- More expensive
5. Silhouette Cameo 3
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is user-friendly, reasonably priced, and uses advanced design software.
One of the main draws of the Cameo 3 is its PixScan compatibility. This means you can scan an image or design of your choosing and the machine will do the rest. This is great if you aren't a seasoned designer.
This cutter is also fast and versatile. It can cut a range of materials at a surprisingly quick speed. Its dual cartridges allow for it to simultaneously draw and cut your design without stopping the machine. Even better, it has high accuracy when cutting so your design always comes out perfect.
Additionally, this vinyl cutting machine features a full-color TouchScreen to make your life easier. And P.S. it's BlueTooth!
- Works with a range of materials
- PixScan compatible
- Reasonably priced
- High-speed/ high-accuracy
- Smaller cutting surface
What Are You Waiting For?
Deciding which vinyl cutting machine to buy might have just gotten easier. Whether you are an entry-level crafter finding your footing or a long-time designer starting your at-home t-shirt making business you're going to need one of these machines.
Quality vinyl cutters are in great supply, and we are all encouraging you to take the next step to start your business printing and selling your t-shirt designs from home.
As you embark on your t-shirt making journey, be sure to browse our site to find all kinds of quality blank t-shirts to display your designs made with your vinyl cutting machine.