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Top 3 Best Vinyl Cutters of 2019

Vinyl cutters are important devices most especially for crafting and designing. If you’re looking for one, then here are the three best options that you could have;

#1. Cricut Maker, Champagne

Cricut Maker, Champagne

Cricut Maker, Champagne.

Weighing about 15 pounds, this vinyl cutter is a versatile cutting machine expanding to different tools for the various paper craft to leather projects. It’s mainly white-polished with atop champagne color cover for easy identification.

Its interface and menu are simple yet still sleek. It presents a power, pause, goes/play, and unload/load button that is conveniently located on the right side portion of the device. On the left side, it has a storage cup to put necessary tools and equipment for crafting such as brushes, cutters, and other tools as well.

It cuts using its powerful blades and pens including a rotary blade and a fine point blade that cuts and marks various materials including fabrics, crepe paper, and felt as well. It does also with cutting mats and balsa though you have to buy separately the knife blade.

The cutting operation is quite easy for this brand. However, it’s kind of messy. You’ll really have to clean it all over most especially when cutting fabrics. Also, size customization is a problem. You could just set sizes based on the preset ones given by the system.

Design Space use as software for cutting various materials needs a bit of assistance. You’ll really have to learn a lot upon use. Though, it appears to be more convenient than the Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, and Silhouette which people utilized during vinyl cutting.

Another problem also with the software is the necessity of internet connection upon use. Nonetheless, you could expect a few lags and crashes when using the app and the software.

The package comes with the Cricut Maker Machine, a rotary blade, a fine point blade, a fine point pen, a two 12 inch by 12-inch cutting mats, and 50 free ready to make projects including 25 sewing patterns.

Pros:
• User-Friendly Interface
• Simple and Sophisticated Design
• Great Cutting Strength
• Material Flexibility

Cons:
• Needs Internet Connection
• Not so Clean Cutting Result

Conclusion: Cricut is a very established company in vinyl cutting. This cutter seems to be excellently built with simple and easy to use design. It’s suitable for use to beginners and small-scale cutting operations. If you’ll be using this for business, then you’ll have to utilize strong and powerful ones.

#2. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle

USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle

USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle.

This cutting master prominently handles large scale operations. It accommodates at most 31 inches cutting width and 96 inches long as well. It features high-quality vinyl rolls, paper application tapes, and magnetic sign blanks that are also incorporated in the bundle.

Looking at the device, it’s completely massive and heavy. It’s mainly purple bodied with pre-attached rollers for quick mobility and transport of the device. Assembly of the device upon purchase is easy. Though, you’ll have to figure it out on your own since the guide manual seems really unreliable.

Its menu interface and controls are direct to the point. Everything is conveniently pressed from play, pause, to reset buttons. There is also a LED display for easy monitoring of the operation.

Its equipped with three fully adjustable pinch rollers and ball-bearing roller media system that ensures cutting various materials efficiently. Exceptions on materials for use on cutting includes laminate, tint, and sand-blast resist.

It cuts efficiently with a force of 350 grams and a speed of 39 inches per second. Just make sure that you’ll align well the vinyl and secure the cartridge for even pressure build up and secure cutting. Also, it’s a bit noisy but bearable after long use.

The purchase includes the software named VinylMaster Cut which is quite a hassle for users. It has a rich yet complicated interface that is hard for a beginner to understand. However, you’ll later deal with it as you’ve used it time after time.

Aside from the vinyl cutter itself, the package includes a CD for video tutorial and software, a USB cable, a power cable, a blade holder, a pen holder, and a 3×45 degree blade.

Pros:
• Easy to Use Interface
• Wide-Range Length Cutting Ability
• Versatile Cutting Operation
• Inexpensive Price

Cons:
• Complicated Software Use
• Quite Noisy

Conclusion: This is a big yet affordable vinyl cutter for use into versatile operations. It’s great for use on small businesses including t-shirt printing. It may be not as strong as to its line of competitors, however, it’s a practical brand for few customers.

#3. Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T Wireless Cutting Machine

Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO

Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T Wireless Cutting Machine

This machine is highly white polished varyingly cut materials from vinyl, paper, and fabric. It weighs about 6 pounds with a slightly rectangular shape and simplistic design for convenient operation. It has an easy to use interface, buttons press lightly as needed.

It does not have an included user guide. That is why you really have to do research on different video tutorials and various blogs to know more about how to use it. It features a dual-carriage multi-tool that accommodates up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long operations. It has an auto-blade that induces deep-cutting performance.

It could cut materials of various thicknesses with 2 mm clearance for use on cutting balsa wood, foam, chipboard, and leather. It includes blade adjustment tools and a vinyl cross cutter than efficiently does the job. Though its quite loud, cutting is superb.

Powered by Pixscan Technology, the cutting machine features a camera capturing and scanning capability for the cutting operation. Unlike other Cameo’s cutting machine, this model enables you to connect through Bluetooth. However, this feature isn’t properly executed and still has flaws.

Silhouette software is definitely not easy to use. But nonetheless, it’s learnable. You could do something after using a lot of times.

Pros:
• User-Friendly Menu and Display
• Flexible Cutting Capability
• Great Exterior Design

Cons:
• Software is Complicated

Conclusion: Overall, it’s versatile with highly efficient cutting operation. Though, it ain’t literally quite strongly ‘wireless’ as it claims to be. The software also is learnable and a bit complicated as they say. One way or another, it’s still something to look forward to.

How to Cut Vinyl Using a Vinyl Cutter for Beginners

Here is a simple guide on how to cut vinyl with the use of a vinyl cutter for beginners. If you are new to cutting vinyl and you have a vinyl cutter like a Cricut or a Silhouette then this guide with many step-by-step tutorial videos is for you. Let’s start cutting now!

Vinyl Cutter for Beginners

Vinyl Cutter for Beginners

1. Create Artwork for Vinyl Cutting

Create Artwork for Vinyl Cutting

Create Artwork for Vinyl Cutting

All keyboard fonts are considered vinyl cutter ready vector art (VCRVA or VCVA). All text on all the Windows or Mac fonts can be typed directly into a vinyl cutting program. You can also draw shapes and prepare vector art for vinyl cutting machine using various programs like InkScape, Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. The simpler the design, the better.


How to Create Artwork for Vinyl Cutting – Adobe Illustrator Edition

2. Purchase Fonts or Artwork Online

Vector Magic software

Vector Magic software

Aside from fonts already in the Windows or Mac operating system, you can purchase additional Vinyl Cutter Ready Vector Art such as the Mega Vector Art Collection. Software called Vector Magic can perform auto-vectorizing and cleanup to get a good image ready for vinyl cutting.


Vector Magic Desktop Edition Review | Bitmap to Vector Conversion Software

3. Using a Vinyl Cutting Program or App

SignCut Pro Vinyl Cutter Software

SignCut Pro Vinyl Cutter Software

Once you have created artwork in a program such as Illustrator, Corel Draw or InkScape, you will have to import into a vinyl cutter program. The most commonly used is Flexi Starter 10 and SignCut. These will help you lay out the artwork on your vinyl, create weeding lines, create a weeding frame or box, let you make copies in rows and columns, scale and rotate and more. When you are satisfied with the results, you can send your image to the vinyl cutter.


CT cutter & Flexi 10 Print & Cut

4. Connecting Your Vinyl Cutter

Connecting Your Vinyl Cutters

Connecting Your Vinyl Cutters

Different vinyl cutters will have various methods to connect to your computer. Most vinyl cutters are compatible with PC’s and not Macs. So if you are a Mac user then there may be limited options for you. Make sure that your cutter is in the online mode to start loading your file.


Setup and Installation of the MH Series Vinyl Cutter

5. Load the Material Into Your Vinyl Cutter

Load the Material Into Your Vinyl Cutter

Load the Material Into Your Vinyl Cutter

Load the vinyl material into a vinyl cutter. Feed the vinyl under the pinch rollers and on top of the roller bar. Release the rollers to hold the vinyl in place.


Load Vinyl Cutter with Material

6. Setting Up Your Blade & Pen Carriage

Set Up Your Blade

Set Up Your Blade

Choose and set up set up your blade. Blades have an angle of 20° to 60° or so and the larger the blade angle, the sharper the blade, however, the faster the blade will dull. As a rule, 45° blades are durable and sharp and 60° blades are sharper and are widely used.

There are two parameters that need to be set to for good cutting: blade depth relative to the carriage and the other is a pressure which is set by the cutter. Set blade tip height by peeling off the vinyl and exposing the backing. Place the blade holder in the down position. Fasten the blade position making the tip of the blade slightly penetrating the top surface of the vinyl backing. After this, set the pressure. Adjust by trial and error using a sample text you can send to the cutter. The correct pressure setting is when you are penetrating the vinyl backing but not going through it.


Setting Up Your Blade & Pen Carriage

7. Weed the Text for Vinyl Cutter

Weed the Text for Vinyl Cutter

Weed the Text for Vinyl Cutter

Weed all the text you have cut. Since every vinyl has its own optimized setting, the one that weeds the best and only leaves a slight impression on the vinyl backing is the optimized setting for the vinyl.


Vinyl cutting – Weeding a Very Small Detailed Design

8. Remove Your Cut Vinyl

Release the rollers and pull your vinyl forward. Use rolling scissors to remove your vinyl from the base roll.

9. Weed Your Vinyl

Weeding is removing material that you don’t want in your graphics. Use a weeding pick to carefully pull up and remove the portions of vinyl that you don’t want. This is a time consuming and delicate process so y you must not hurry.

10. Apply Transfer Tape

Transfer tape is similar to masking tape. Use a semi-transparent transfer tape to apply your graphics. Transfer tape comes in many widths. You can lay multiple strips to cover your image completely. Use a tool like a squeegee with a felt sleeve to rub the transfer tape on the vinyl to make sure that it completely adheres to the surface.

11. Prepare Your Target Surface

The surface where the vinyl is to be applied should be prepared by cleaning with rubbing alcohol to remove grease, oil, and dirt.

12. Apply Your Graphics

Peel the transfer tape. Use a squeegee to transfer tape to the decal. Take this and apply to the target surface. Use your squeegee to smooth out your decal on your target surface to remove all air bubbles.

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