Regardless of whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist embroiderer using the appropriate tools is indispensable for working with perfection. To be precise, having the appropriate sewing machine, needles, scissors, and other relevant accessories enables you to work more efficiently. On the other hand, having ready access to the right tools for the trade allows you to work with ease.
Most importantly working with the right set of tools on a regular basis goes a long way in enabling you to excel in your trade. One crucial that you’ll find extremely handy as an embroiderer is a fabric cutting machine. The best fabric cutting machine will enable you to smoothly cut through a wide variety of fabrics and materials.
The best fabric cutting machines not only let you make the most of your efforts but also help save money and time. Of course you can use scissors or rotary cutters for scissoring through fabrics but the cuts may not be precise. On the other hand, you’re always at risk of injuring yourself while using a rotary cutter or scissor.
However, the noticeable drawbacks of using these cutting tools are that they may be unable to smoothly cut through different fabrics and embroidery surfaces. The best fabric cutting machines will let you quickly slice through a range of materials with precision and in a safe manner.
Which professionals can make the most of a fabric cutting machine?
A variety of sewing and embroidery professionals can use a fabric cutting machine to good advantage. These professionals include embroiderers, crafters, professional designers and artists, quilters, seamsters, and so on and so forth. For instance, crafters can work with a fabric cutter for creating decals, t-shirts, quilts, stickers, appliqués, jewelry, signage, and much more.
You can use a fabric cutter not only for cutting through different fabrics but also foam, felt, vinyl, leather, paper, and various other materials. The best fabric cutting machines come in perfectly handy for creating spectacular artworks for which you don’t have to invest heavily. Professional artists and designers can use electronic or digital fabric cutters for uploading designs and seeing their conceptualizations becoming reality.
What are the different fabric cutting machine types?
You’ll come across basically two distinct fabric cutting machine types-digital fabric cutters and manual fabric cutting machines. An electronic or digital fabric cutter as its name implies requires electricity for operation and driven using cartridge or software. Digital fabric cutting machines feature built-in blades for snipping through fabrics and materials as per your selected or preferred design.
A manual fabric cutter, on the other hand, comes with a steel die-cutting component and a flexible handle for snipping through fabrics. For cutting the fabric or material that perfectly matches the die’s shape, you apply mild pressure for turning the lever. Manually-operated fabric cutters are also referred to as die-cutting machines.
What to look for in a quality fabric cutting machine?
There are some crucial factors that you should take into consideration while you start shopping for the right fabric-cutting machine:-
You’ll first need to decide the type of fabric cutter that’ll best suit your needs before you start looking for a quality product. You’ll find manual and digital fabric cutters-the former is used manually while the latter requires electricity for operation. A digital fabric-cutter does not have any dies but come with integrated blades for cutting the fabric exactly as per your uploaded design.
Alternatively, a manual fabric cutting machine features a die-cutter and a lever for doing the same job.
A premium quality fabric cutter comes with accessories that allow you to slice through a host of materials and fabrics. The more versatile a fabric cutter is the greater will be the variety of materials it’ll be able to cut.
Talking about size, digital fabric cutters tend to be larger and longer than the manual versions. Featuring a slim profile, the digital fabric cutting machines look very much like a digital printer. The manually operated units have a compact profile and tend to be lightweight which makes them quite portable. The size you should choose will invariably depend upon the size of your room and your specific working requirements.
Almost all fabric cutters include accessories that enable you to make the best possible use of the machine. A digital fabric cutting machine comes with proprietary software, readymade designs, and mats, and so on. A manual fabric cutter always includes a die-cutter and starter mats.
You’ll find fabric cutting machines that are remarkably expensive as they come with numerous accessories as well as pocket-friendly models. Make sure you buy a product that offers you good value for money and best possible returns on your investments.
Product Reviews Of The Best Fabric Cutting Machines
The Cricut Maker Fabric Cutter is one of the most advanced cutting machines that you’ll come across in the market. This fabric cutting machine comes equipped with a host of versatile features that makes the unit extremely performance-oriented. For instance, it features a wide range of tools for snip through a variety of materials including paper and fabrics.
That the machine’s seamless rolling and gliding action as the fabric passes via the blade leads to perfect cuts, speaks volumes about its versatility. This Cricut Maker fabric cutter’s blade is sharp enough for deep cuts implying that you can snip up to 2.4mm. You can also make the most of Windows, iOS, and Android compatible apps, 25 distinct sewing patterns and 50 readymade projects.
This fabric cutting machine features a docking station for placing your smartphone or tab when you are using the unit.
- Includes an array of versatile tools: scoring tool, pens, and sharp blades
- Powerful and heavy-duty rotary blade
- X-ACTO style knife blade
- Dual 12” x 12” cutting mats
- Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows compatible design apps
- Docking receptacle for holding cell phone or tab
- USB port for charging smartphone, tab or any other handheld digital device
- Included fifty readymade embroidery projects free of charge
- Easy to use for even a beginner
- Allows you to make the most of your creativity; create balsa models to vinyl decals and everything in between
- The knife blade sold separately is hard to find
- Will not work if you do not use the Cricut Design Space cloud software
The Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine by Cricut is surely the best fabric cutter you can choose for your apparel business. Not only does this Cricut cutting machine smoothly slices through 60 different types of materials but also does it efficiently. The smart and user-friendly control dials enable you to customize settings for working on different materials.
Make the most of the Cricut Image library that archives fonts, projects, and more than 50,000 illustrations. Use this machine for snipping through fabrics, poster boards, iron-on, vinyl, cardstock, and paper, and numerous other materials.
- Dual carriage for cutting/scoring or cutting/writing at one go
- Built-in storage compartment
- Integrated Bluetooth compatibility for digital cutting
- Free iPad app and Cricut design space software
- Smart dial for convenient material setting
- Snip through more than 60 materials starting from leather to vellum
- Free uploading of designs in various formats (.dxf, gif, .bmp, .png, .svg, and jpg.)
- Built-in Bluetooth for wireless cutting
- Including a scraping tool in the package would’ve augmented its versatility
- Printed illustrations are fuzzy with the Print-then-Cut’s maximum image resolution of 72dpi
The SIZZIX 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine is a manually operated gadget that comes equipped with some very useful features. This fabric cutter not only lets you cut out a wide variety of shapes as your needs but also imparts your designs an embossed impression. This shape cutting machines exploits a steel core roller system for letting you embellish an assortment of materials and fabrics.
You also make the best possible use of 6-inch plastic die-cutter, adaptable broad platform, and dual cutting pads. The Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine from SIZZIX is supremely portable enabling you to carry it easily and comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Ergonomically designed handle for smooth roller action
- Heavy-duty carry handle
- Steel core roller system
- Hard-wearing outer casing
- 6” wide opening
- Both professionals and hobbyists can use this embossing and die-cutting machine with ease
- Embosses and die-cuts a wide range of materials up to 6” wide
- Included intuitive Extended Multipurpose Platform and two standard cutting pads compatible with embossing tools and dies of other brands
- Solid construction for lasting performance
- 3-year limited warranty
- Crank handle screw is flimsy and could come loose occasionally
- Cutting thicker fabrics and materials calls for putting extra pressure
The USP of the Brother CM350 SCANNCUT 2 fabric cutting machine is its integrated 300 DPI scanner. This advanced built-in scanner comes to your aid when you need to scan and edit your customized or standardized designs. Other resourceful features that you can make good use of include a large anti-glare 4.85” LCD touch-screen and an 11.7” wide scanning field.
You can connect the Brother CM350 straightaway with your workstation or through a Wi-Fi network. The CM350 ScanNCut2 comes with a host of built-in features that lets you work with remarkable ease and also frees you from the need to use dyes or ink cartridges. The embedded scanner lets you scan nearly everything and anything-from treasured family snapshots to sketches-and thereafter create personalized silhouettes suitable for your DIY projects.
- Prominent colored touch screen
- Built-in 300 DPI scanner
- Compatible with a host of connectivity options
- Design editing directly on the LCD touch screen
- Broad cutting and scanning area
- Allows you to cut through multiple materials as per your requirement and preference
- Touch-screen display is 30% larger than previous models
- Comes with built-in 300 DPI scanner
- Includes 631 built-in designs including 7 lettering fonts and 100 quilt blueprints
- Capable of reading SVG data files
- You can snip only single-ply fabrics at a time
- It’ll take inordinately long to master using the unit, especially if you’re a beginner
The Silhouette Cameo 4 Plus slices through a host of materials and fabrics with precision and speed making this fabric cutter a workhorse. The Cameo 4 Plus is one of the best fabric cutters ideal for large patterns and is also very aesthetically appealing. This fabric cutting machine features a dual carriage enabling you to cut fabrics in two different manners.
The powerful cutting force of the Cameo 4 Plus makes it easy for you to snip through leather, felt, wool, and other thick materials. A tool adaptor included in the package comes in handy for making use of blades supplied with older models. You’ll simply enjoy slicing through a host of fabrics and materials, thanks to the ergonomically designed rotary blades and new Kraft.
- Punch tool, rotary blade, auto blade, and Kraft blade for better efficiency
- Blade material: Tungsten carbide, stainless steel, sintered tungsten alloy
- Embedded crosscutter for cutting thicker materials
- Bluetooth connectivity for wireless trimming
- Print-and-Cut functionality facilitates cutting through printed designs
- Ultra-smart dual carriage uses sensor technology facilitates detection of tool type
- Capable of accommodating materials of thickness up to 15” for making accurate cuts
- Superior Kraft and rotary blades exploits tangential technology for precision cutting of thicker fabrics
- Single-tap resetting for automatic adjustment of the blade setting
- You’ll need to buy the rotary and craft blades separately
- Does not include a user’s handbook or manual
For this ‘five best fabric cutting machines’ review, we selected products from reputed manufacturers including Cricut, Brother, and Sizzix. After carefully assessing the features of each product, we found that the Cricut Explore Air to be the best amongst the lot. On the other hand, the Cricut Maker stood out as the most high-tech fabric cutter owing to its across-the-board digital compatibility.