Digital die-cutting became a famous method among paper crafters, scrapbookers, and card makers. These machines add flexibility to the process and open up new possibilities.
Die-cut machines are quite useful. They help users in cutting out perfect shapes, designs, and fonts. Not everybody can cut out good-looking letters with regular scissors.
While these machines look complicated and a bit intimidating at the first glance, you will enjoy using them once you start using one. The die-cut machine you choose can even become one of your top crafting tools.
If you’re looking to buy one today, the market will offer you so many choices that it can be very difficult to find the right one for your needs. While there are too many die-cutting machines in the market, there are some that are truly the best. This list will give you 10 of the best die-cutting machines for this year.
#1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
Cricut Explore Air 2 is highly popular among amateur and experienced crafters alike. You can connect it to your tablet, smartphone, or PC via Bluetooth. The machine works well with iOS or Android and Mac or Windows devices. You can continue working on your designs while you are offline.
This die-cutting machine is versatile and comes with a special feature called Smart Set Dial which senses the material subject for cutting. It can cut, score, and write on more than 100 different materials such as vinyl, cardstock, cork, and glitter paper. You can create designs either using the provided draw designs or your templates. You can also check out our guide for the best vinyl cutting machines.
Conclusion: Cricut Explore Air 2 is easy and very convenient to use. It gives you the freedom to use your designs. It is versatile enough that you can use it with different devices.
Can work on over 100 materials
Smart Set Dial
#2. Gemini GEMJR-M-USA Twin-Function Cutter
The GEMJR-M-USA is a twin-function die-cutting machine that can die-cut and emboss. It comes with a tiny footprint and is a good choice if you’re running out of space. This machine is lightweight, so it’s easy to carry if you’re taking craft classes.
In spite of the size, this die-cutting machine is more powerful compared to its competitors. It can amazingly work with the metal dies. It will let you get better cuts on your preferred designs. You can use it for heavyweight materials like leather, foil, cardstock, vinyl, multiple fabric sheets, and many more.
Conclusion: The GEMJR-M-USA is a compelling choice mainly because it has two functions. It looks great and easy to use.
Portable and compact
Silent operation mode
Offers higher pressure for improved cutting experience
The plates may warp with regular use
Expensive replacement shims
The power button not illuminating
#3. Cricut Maker (Champagne)
The Cricut Maker is an elegant die cutting machine. It can handle a variety of materials, ranging from heavy materials to delicate fabrics. Hence, you can use this machine for matboard, leather, or balsa wood.
This die-cutting machine features a rotary cutter which can effectively cut the fabrics and a knife blade that works on heavier materials. Cricut Maker also comes with a washable cloth pen cartridge that traces the pattern fitting lining directly on the textile.
You can use this machine along with your tablet, PC, or smartphone via a wireless connection. The given software will let you access thousands of sewing patterns and designs so that you can also make your templates. Inside the package, you will find a mat that measures 12 x 12 inches. You can also use it with a bigger mat measuring 12 x 24 inches.
Conclusion: The Cricut Maker is one of the few die-cutting machines with a sophisticated design. Its versatility and capability to handle a range of materials are making it more compelling.
Bad design space software
#4. Sizzix Sidekick Manual Die Cutting and Embossing Machine
Sizzix Sidekick is an excellent alternative to Big Shot. It includes a variety of accessories to help you begin. It comes with 2 aqua slicing plates that will let you use the wafer-thin chemically-etched dies from Sizzix. It includes Framelits, Triplets, and Thinlits.
You can use the Sizzlits Decorative Straps, and the small or medium Sizzlits together with this die cutting machine. However, you need to buy separately the clear cutting pads. Sizzix Sidekick also comes with two Thinlits dies, 6 Framelits dies, 2 surfaced Impressions Embossing Folders, and 7 stamps.
The best thing about Sizzix Sidekick is its lightness and portability. The unit weighs only 2 lbs. and is 4 ¾ inches tall. Besides, this die cutting machine comes with a special vacuum seal which keeps the machine in place while working on a smooth surface.
Conclusion: Sizzix Sidekick is a lightweight and compact die-cutting machine that comes with interesting features, making it a good choice for everyone.
Portable and lightweight
Comes with cutting plates
With a 3-year warranty
Comes with more accessories
Not good for quilting
#5. Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2
The Sizzix Vagabond 2 is a multifunctional die-cutting machine that can do both embossing and cutting. The machine looks like a suitcase which serves as a storage box as well. It comes with an easy-grip handle for convenient transportation.
This die-cutting machine comes with metallic gears and a motor that offers powerful cutting operations. It’s strong enough to manage different thick materials. With its built-in mechanism, it is less susceptible to overloading and breakage.
Conclusion: The Sizzix Vagabond 2 guarantees smooth operation. It comes equipped with a special protective feature to prevent overload and motor jams.
Unique vintage look
Guarantees great cutting results
Works with dense materials
Small cutting plate
Extended plates and magnet excluded in the package
#6. Silhouette America Portrait 2
This die-cutting machine is one of the most affordable units in this list. Its power is a bit limited, so it can work only with vinyl, craft foam, and other thin materials. Its auto-adjusting AutoBlade can’t manage heavy-duty materials such as leather and balsa wood.
Portrait 2 is an excellent choice for novices and hobbyists who would like to create some crafts at home. This machine has a smart feature called PixScan Technology that lets you take photos using your cell phone and get them printed.
Also, this die-cutting machine has Studio Designer Software that is quick in creating designs. You can use it together with your computer. You can download unlimited designs from Silhouette’s online store.
Conclusion: Portrait 2 is a portable die-cutting machine that comes with smart and easy-to-use features. Anyone will appreciate the unit for having those functions.
Works great with light and thin materials
With free access to Studio Designer Software
Lightweight and portable
Easy and quick to set up
Can’t emboss the materials
Limited cutting power
#7. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Machine
Big Shot is a very popular die cutting machine. It is one of the most reviewed machines online due to several reasons. First of all, the machine is very stylish and ideal for embossing. It has a roller-type construction that is extremely simple. It even comes with 2 cutting pads and an extended platform.
This platform is lighter and thinner than the standard manual machines. It makes the machine portable and compact. Also, the platform comes with useful diagrams for quick guidelines when inserting the “sandwich” to the device. The rollers of this die cutting machine are made of sturdy gears and steel.
The platform is also multipurpose and can handle dies from other brands. That feature is making this machine universal. You can use it for dies measuring 6” wide. This die-cutting machine can handle fabric, paper, foam, and other crafting materials that scissors can tackle. You can use it as well for decorating scrapbook pages, making invitations, and quilting.
Conclusion: Big Shot is a great die cutting machine. It is efficient, durable, and lightweight that made it suitable for those who travel often.
Easy to use
Works with dies from other brands
Handles different materials
Durable and lightweight
Stylish and sleek design
Limited working capability
Weak screw for the crank
#8. Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
Cricut Cuttlebug is a famous die cutting machine just like the Big Shot. It is an affordably priced machine known for its versatility. It can accommodate a wide array of dies.
Cricut Cuttlebug has a plate size measuring 6 x 8 inches. The machine is portable enough as it weighs 6 lbs. Its crank handle will pop in and out while the unit folds up properly.
The starter kit has a user manual, the unit, a spacer plate, a flower embossing flower, and a pair of cutting plates. This die-cutting machine is compatible with mostly each die that measures 1/8 inch in thickness.
Conclusion: Cricut Cuttlebug is a nice die-cutting machine that you can use as well for embossing. It is versatile enough that it can work on most dies.
Portable and lightweight
#9. Brother CM350 Electronic Cutting Machine
Brother CM350 is a nice product from one of the most reliable brands of die-cutting machines – Brother. This machine works as a cutter and a scanner, enabling you to make your designs by using the art you found from other sources. It will give you countless design possibilities. You will get more than 500 built-in templates for the designs.
You can use this machine in two ways. One is connecting it wirelessly to your tablet or PC using the Brother cloud-based software. The other option is to use the machine’s touchscreen to make and edit designs directly.
Brother CM350 can cut bigger sizes, as much as 12 x 24 inches. You can also use it for quilting textiles.
Conclusion: Brother CM350 is truly a good die cutting machine as it comes with pleasing features. It is also easy to use, making it a good choice for both beginners and advanced users.
Excellent scanning capability
With a big touchscreen display
Can cut materials of up to 24 inches wide
• Flimsy and sticky cutting mat
• Needs a learning curve when working
It is a versatile die-cutting machine that combines the abilities of an embossing and a die cutting machine. It comes with a sleek design crafted in white. Deep within, it has a powerful engine that guarantees smooth and noiseless operation. You can use it for various materials, such as metal, cardstock, vinyl, plastic, rubber, and many more.
Also, the machine ensures fast operation and strong cutting even on the most intricate dies. You can use it even for dies from other brands. Check the top panel to see 3 buttons for resume, pause, and reverse cutting operations. The machine accommodates a big platform that can hold larger and wider materials.
Conclusion: This die cutting machine is versatile, efficient, and powerful. It has those features that a good one can offer.
Fast and noiseless operation
Powerful and capable engine
Can accommodate most dies
Ideal for both die-cutting and embossing
The plates might warp
These die-cutting machines offer the best features that can suit the needs of everyone, whether new or experienced users.
Whatever model you choose, you will never go wrong with these die-cutting machines. They are all easy to use, versatile, durable, and reasonably priced.
Each model has something nice and unique to offer. However, all of them stand from other less known die-cutting machines in the market today.
Look for the unit equipped with features that match your needs and preferences. Choose a die cutting machine that can offer the best value for your money.
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- #1. Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
- #2. Gemini GEMJR-M-USA Twin-Function Cutter
- #3. Cricut Maker (Champagne)
- #4. Sizzix Sidekick Manual Die Cutting and Embossing Machine
- #5. Sizzix Tim Holtz Vagabond 2
- #6. Silhouette America Portrait 2
- #7. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Machine
- #8. Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
- #9. Brother CM350 Electronic Cutting Machine
- #10. Gemini