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If you are eager to buy a vinyl cutter for crafting for the first time, or you want to replace your old one, this article is for you. Don’t just breeze into the market and pick any brand without checking it out. If you get a good machine that will serve your purposes, there are certain things you must check in any brand you see. Don’t feel down now thinking it’s such a hard task. I am going to aide your search with the important details that are necessary for a good choice.
How to Choose a Vinyl Cutter for Crafting
The first thing you have to do is to determine the types of cutters we have, the purpose of purchasing a vinyl cutter and the features you must see on a good brand.
Types of vinyl cutters
Many cutters are available in the market today, and each of them has unique features. Sometimes, many crafters prefer to buy Cricut or Silhouette machine, but there are other types too. Let’s check them briefly.
1. Silhouette machine
These types of are suitable for those people who love to manipulate few things in their projects. It makes use of a design studio software which you can manipulate a little to accommodate your project needs. Another unique feature of this type of vinyl cutter is tracing capacity. You can use this machine to trace and then cut the images in your computer.
2. Cricut machines
These machines are easy to use and also operates quietly. The software it uses is simple whereby you can cut the font size which you have on your computer and can replicate projects from any file you purchase. The design software is easy when you want to learn it but doesn’t allow for many manipulations when you are working on a personal project.
3. Brother ScanNCut
This type of vinyl cutter has a built-in scanner, and with it, you can scan images and cut without connecting it to the computer. As a result, you can cut shapes and edit very easily too.
4. Sizzix eclips2 machine
These types of cutters are easy to use, and you can use their software without issues. This machine cuts cardstock, paper, and vellum perfectly but has some limitations when you want to manipulate it.
Now that you have seen the various types of cutters available, the next thing you will do is to determine your reason or need for the cutter. Are you going to use it for commercial purposes or is it for your personal use? Let’s do a little differentiation
1. Commercial cutters
If you want to buy a machine that you will use for your commercial purposes, that means it must be able to cut intricate designs and handle large jobs. These cutters can cut large designs that you have in many materials and not just vinyl only. They are usually large physically and more expensive, but they can handle complex and multiple jobs at the same time.
2. Individual craft cutting
For your crafting projects, you will get a vinyl cutter that will fit snugly on your desktop. These machines are easy to use and also affordable. They can only handle small projects easily but will take it one at a time.
When you have determined the category of vinyl cutter you need, then look out for the following features in any machine.
1. Cutting Width
Vinyl cutters come in different cutting size capabilities. Some are 6-inch cutters while there are larger ones that can cut up to 64-inches. If you are cutting vinyl as a hobby, you can pick the machine that can cut from 9-12 inches. This size will surely serve your needs.
If on the other hand, you are someone who engages in full-scale marketing of crafts it T-shirts, you will need a sizeable vinyl cutter. Also, if you are into a full-time signage business, you will need something that will match the demands of your business.
However, there are two things I want you to bear in mind. The first one is that the quality of a machine is not based on how large it is and, media size and cutting size are not the same things.
For instance, if you are aiming for precision, you will not go for a machine that can cut larger papers and think it will give you what you want. Don’t forget that these types of machines do not make use of digital servo but uses a stepper motor which makes them wrong for you.
Also, when you see a machine that is Cutter YXZ 24 inches, don’t think they are telling you about the maximum cutting size. That number represents the number of sheets you can feed into the machine at a time.
This feature is another thing you have to look out for when buying a vinyl cutter for crafting. If you want the best quality in a cutting machine, go for the expensive ones. When it comes to these machines, what you pay for is what you get.
If you are aiming at those machines that can handle complex and intricate designs, be ready to add some extra dollars to your budget. They will give you a clean and precise cut on any material with their standard blades.
Hey! Don’t forget that small machines are for home use while larger ones are for commercial purposes. Those small and affordable machines may not handle “large,” but they can do “small” perfectly.
3. The software
As a hobbyist or a commercial vinyl expert, you need software to design easily right? Before you pick any machine, check the design software to see if it is something you can manipulate as you wish or if it will serve your design needs.
Most vinyl cutter comes with software that is not so useful, but many people go for Adobe Illustrator. Although there are others like VinylMaster Cut, Cricut Design Space, and Sure Cuts A Lot, Adobe is still a great one to use.
4. Wireless Capability
Do you know that some of the vinyl cutting machines can now work with Bluetooth? Imagine that you can relax in your bedroom and design with your iPad then send to your craft cutter in the sitting room. What an ideal situation. You can enjoy it if that’s what you want. Just check some of the machines that are Bluetooth enabled.
5. Automatic Settings.
Another feature that is present in the cutters of today is automatic settings that allow them to adjust their settings to fit any material you want to cut. Amazing right? Lookout for machines like that if you so wish. They are available too.
For running a vinyl cutting business, you will need some other crafting tools, heat press machines and craft papers. So when you are actually planning for a complete vinyl business plan, get all of them. Before buying and getting into the suitable heat press machine, go throught this article from Tshirt Professional Website.
I am sure that you can now go to your local store and pick a vinyl cutting machine with ease. Since you have known the types and can determine what you want the machine for, you can go and check out other features for a successful purchase.
Always bear in mind that the main thing that will influence your choice of the machine to use is your purpose. Being a commercial or personal use will determine other features you have to consider when you want to be sure on how to choose a vinyl cutter for crafting.
Name: Alex John
Bio: Alex John is a prominent blogger in crafting and DIY industries. He has built his personal blog https://tshirtprofessional.com/ where he shares tips, techniques and case studies of running successful home based small businesses.