What’s the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts?

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vinyl cutting machine

Getting the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts will be a great investment for your printing business.

T-shirts are always in style. Everybody owns a t-shirt, and everybody plans on buying at least one more.

You can sell t-shirts with custom graphics and sayings. You can sell team wear. With the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts, you can also add embroidered appliqués to your products.

If you use it well, a vinyl cutting machine pays for itself in a short period of time.

Before You Look for the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts…

A vinyl cutter isn't as complicated as you think.


It works very much like a printer. But instead of having a nozzle that expels ink, it has a blade that cuts the outline of your design on the heat transfer vinyl (HTV). You then weed off the rest of the vinyl and transfer the design to your t-shirt using a heat press.


Of course, there are other things you need to know before buying the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts.


Let’s discuss them one by one.

What’s the cutting depth of the vinyl cutter?

Is a vinyl cutter similar to a die cutter?

How complex is the t-shirt design?

How do I use a vinyl cutter to make t-shirt designs?

What other materials can it cut?

How do I take care of my vinyl cutter?

How We Reviewed

Finding the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts takes a lot of time.


We read a number of user reviews made by hobby crafters and business owners. We also watched plenty of YouTube videos to check out how the different vinyl cutters operated.

10 Best Vinyl Cutting Machines for T-Shirts

There are plenty of vinyl cutters that you can use for your business. Most of them do decent cutting jobs, but only a few are good enough to make it to our list.

1

Cricut Explore Air 2

Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
  • [CREATE MORE] The Cricut Explore Air 2 is your personal DIY cutting machine. It will flawlessly cut over 100+...
  • [ENDLESS PROJECT POSSIBILITIES] The Cricut Explore Air 2 makes it so easy to create a wide arrange of DIY projects....
  • [INCLUDED WITH MACHINE] Each machine includes a Cricut Premium Fine Point Blade and Housing, a Cricut 12 inch x12...

Cricut’s premium cutter doesn’t just cut vinyl. It also cuts more than a hundred types of materials, including cardstock, leather, and poster board.


It can also cut vellum, so if you’re thinking of expanding your offering to include screen-printing with vellum, the Explore Air 2 has you covered.


This machine cuts with professional-level precision. You can input your type of material, and the Smart Set Dial will adjust the blade for the right cutting depth

and pressure.


You also get access to Design Space, Cricut’s user-friendly cutting software that comes with more than 60,000 images to include in your designs.


But the best thing about this cutter? It cuts at least two times faster than most cutting machines. If you’re a growing business with a lot on your plate, the Explore

Air 2 saves you twice as much time as other cutters.

Pros

  • Can cut more than 100 materials
  • Includes Cricut pens for printing fonts
  • Smart Set Dial automatically sets depth and pressure
  • Bluetooth connectivity eliminates wires
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Cuts two times faster

Cons

  • Design Access available only through subscription
  • Not compatible with other cutting software

2

Silhouette Cameo 3-4T

Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T Wireless Cutting Machine -...
  • Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and...
  • Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects. Features Bluetooth technology for...
  • Features a dual-carriage for multi-tool use and a higher 2 mm clearance to cut thicker materials. Is compatible...

If you’re looking for the best vinyl cutter for t-shirts, the Cameo 3-4T may be just the right one for you.


This machine offers a huge cutting space that spans 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. If you’re not one who skimps on your designs, then you need this cutter right now.


It’s perfect for HTV, but it can also cut thicker materials with its 2-millimeter maximum cutting depth. You can use it to cut fabric and leather appliqués and various other items.


The Cameo 3-4T is also compatible with Silhouette’s PixScan technology. You can take a picture of your design with your phone and send it to the Silhouette Studio software for cutting.

Pros

  • Cuts up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long
  • Self-adjusting AutoBlade
  • Has intuitive touchscreen menu
  • Dual-cartridge with sketch pen for printing
  • Connects to Silhouette Studio via Bluetooth
  • Comes with one free month of Silhouette Studio
  • No steep learning curve

Cons

  • Design Access available only through subscription
  • Not compatible with other cutting software

3

Brother CM35OE ScanNCut2

BROTHER CM350E ScanNCut2 with ScanNCut Online Activation Card
  • Stand alone use, create right out of the box, gives you the option not to use your PC or mobile device
  • 4. 85 inch Large, Bright, Touch Screen display; Non glare design
  • 300 DPI built in scanner that will let you Turn your scanned images into unique one of a kind cut designs and...

Are you looking for the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts that doesn’t need to be connected to a computer?


The Brother ScanNCut2 lets you scan your designs, upload them to the machine, and cut.


There’s no need for a separate scanner. The scanner is built into the machine itself.


You can also access Brother’s cloud-based CanvasWorkspace straight from the cutter. It has a 4.85-inch, glare-free touchscreen panel that you can use to set up the cut job. The software also includes more than 600 images you can use for your designs.


The ScanNCut2 can cut any material up to 2 millimeters thick. It’s perfect for HTV for t-shirts, mugs, bags, and other items.

Pros

  • Standalone vinyl cutter doesn’t need a computer
  • Can cut 12 inches by 24 inches
  • Lets you scan images into cut designs
  • Includes access to CanvasWorkspace

Cons

  • Hard to use for beginners
  • Needs manual blade adjustment

4

USCutter 28-Inch Vinyl Cutter Value Sign Making Bundle

28-inch Vinyl Cutter Value Sign Making Bundle with Design and Cut...
  • TRUSTED PERFORMANCE. Number 1 selling vinyl cutter in the country for 10 years. 28.3 inches feed width. 24.8 inches...
  • START A HOME-BASED BUSINESS. Make graphics for your community, or bring your signage production needs in-house....
  • VERSATILE AND DURABLE. 3 fully adjustable pinch-rollers. Adjustable speed and pressure. Superior ball-bearing dual...

The 28-Inch Vinyl Cutter from USCutter is specifically geared for cutting all types of vinyl.


It’s perfect for cutting HTV for t-shirts, but it can also cut thicker rolls for signage. It’s also versatile enough to cut other materials, such as card stock, craft paper, and paint mask.


The cutter can cut up to 24 inches long. If you need a plotter, you can switch out the blade with a sketch pen for printing.


It also comes with a spooling function that lets you send multiple cutting jobs with different colors without having to switch between rolls of vinyl.


If you purchase a bundle, you’ll also get access to VinylMaster Cut, rolls of vinyl for your first cutting job, and a set of tools.

Pros

  • Standalone vinyl cutter doesn’t need a computer
  • Can cut 12 inches by 24 inches
  • Can cut up to 24-inch designs
  • Has pen adapter for printing
  • Easily cuts designs with multiple colors

Cons

  • Not compatible with Mac
  • VinylMaster Cut not as intuitive

5

Graphtec PLUS CE6000-60 20 Inch Professional Vinyl Cutter

Is your t-shirt business growing faster than your current vinyl cutter can keep up with? Perhaps it’s time to invest in something bigger?


The Graphtec Plus CE-6000-60 is the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts if you constantly need to churn out design after design every day.


This industrial-grade cutting machine is a workhorse. It’ll help you drastically improve your efficiency and increase your production, all the while reducing wasted vinyl because of its huge cutting width of 48 inches.


The standard blade can cut up to a whopping 25 millimeters and cut with outstanding precision.


It also comes with a pen adapter, which works with Staedtler’s Lumocolor Pens.

If you buy the bundle, you also get a 60-feet roll of vinyl to start with.

Pros

  • Industrial-grade vinyl cutter with ultra-precise cuts
  • Can cut up to 25 millimeters
  • Comes with pen adapter
  • Has its own floor stand
  • Includes license to Pro Studio

Cons

  • Software not Mac-compatible
  • Has a steep learning curve

6

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker, Champagne
  • [CREATE MORE] Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make everything from paper crafts, iron ons, and vinyl decals...
  • [ENDLESS PROJECT POSSIBILITIES] Expandable suite of tools. With its powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool, Cricut...
  • [NEW ROTARY BLADE FOR FABRICS] With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric...

If you’re not a fan of the Explore Air 2, Cricut offers plenty of other options.


Another model you can look into is the Cricut Maker.


This sleek yet sturdy cutting machine can cut HTV for your t-shirts. It can also work with more than 500 materials from delicate paper to chipboard. That’s more than the Explore Air 2 can do.


It’s specially designed for cutting fabric of all lengths. If you’re upgrading your t-shirts with embroidered appliqués that’s very popular on team wear, the Cricut Maker is what you need.


It has a rotary blade that glides and rolls along the fabric to cut it cleanly without tearing or fraying. For other materials, it has a knife blade that works like an X-ACTO knife so it can cut through thick materials like balsa wood or foamboard.


Like other Cricut machines, the Maker is connected to Design Space.

Pros

  • Cuts more than 500 types of material
  • Rotary blade cuts through fabric cleanly
  • Great for adding fabric appliqués
  • Knife blade cuts through thick materials
  • Cuts two times faster than most cutting machines

Cons

  • Design Space is only available via a subscription
  • Not compatible with any other software

7

Silhouette Portrait 2

Silhouette Portrait 2
  • Silhouette Portrait 2 with Bluetooth and Autoblade
  • Cuts a variety of materials including: cardstock, fabric, heat transfer material, transparencies, paper, vellum,...
  • Mac and PC compatible software included

If you’re just starting out, the Silhouette Portrait 2 is a great investment.


This lightweight, low-profile cutter is the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts if you’re looking for something that offers great value for your money.


It’s not as high-end as other items on this list, but it can cut through more than a hundred materials just the same. That includes HTV, paper, fabric, cardstock, magnet paper, and more. With a 2-millimeter blade, it can even cut balsa wood.


The Portrait 2 works with PixScan and Silhouette Studio, both user-friendly technologies that anyone can quickly learn how to use.


The only downside is this little cutter can only cut up to 8 inches in width. It’s not much of a problem, especially if you have small to medium designs.


But if you have huge designs, this may not be the best cutter for you.

Pros

  • Comes with self-adjusting auto-blade
  • Cuts more than a hundred materials
  • Great for adding fabric appliqués
  • Bluetooth connectivity eliminates wires
  • Connects with Silhouette Studio
  • PixScan-compatible

Cons

  • Cuts only up to 8 inches in width

8

Brother SDX125E Cutting Machine

Brother SDX125E Electronic Cutting Machine, Scanner, Grey and Blue
  • SCAN YOUR DRAWING AND MATERIAL: ScanNCut is the only cutting machine series with a builtin scanner; With ScanNCut...
  • NO MATERIAL SELECTION REQUIRED: auto blade detects the thickness of material, no blade adjustment or material...
  • CUTS UP TO 3 MM (0.1 in) THICKNESS: the Brother Home Electronic Cutting Machine effortlessly cuts materials such...

Here’s another Brother on the list. Like the ScanNCut2, the SDX125E comes with its own scanner. It can scan anything from handwriting, children’s drawings, and original artwork and send it to the machine for cutting.


It also includes a 5-inch touchscreen display that lets you edit your design right on the machine — no need for a computer.


The SDX125E can cut up to 3 millimeters to give you an almost endless list of materials you can cut with it. You can use it to cut embroidered patches and puffy foam for appliqués. The machine detects what material you’re using, and the blade adjusts accordingly.


If you’re new to cutting machines, this one even comes with a simple test project to get you familiar with it.

Pros

  • Blade sensor technology auto-adjusts to the material
  • Cuts up to 3-millimeter materials without fraying
  • Built-in scanner and touchscreen image editor
  • Whisper-quiet
  • Easy to learn
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless cutting
  • Comes with Canvas Workspace cutting software

Cons

  • Users have not made a note of any as of yet

9

Silhouette Cameo 3

Silhouette Cameo 3 White Bluetooth Starter Bundle with 26-12" x 12"...
  • This Premier Bundle is Fully Endorsed by Silhouette! Brand New Silhouette Cameo 3 with Bluetooth, Touchscreen and...
  • 26 Sheets of Permanent Oracal Vinyl - 12 Inch x 12 Inch Each (Many other sellers don't put the size and ship...
  • Autoblade - Auto Adjust Blade to Match Cut Job Material, 12 Inch x 12 Inch Cutting Mat, Vinyl Trimmer, Ratchet...

The Silhouette Cameo 3 can cut HTV up to 12 inches wide.


Depending on the package you get, you’ll also receive 24 sheets of vinyl transfer paper so you can get started printing on your t-shirts.


The automatically adjusting blade will calibrate its own depth and pressure settings after you enter the material. It’s a useful feature, especially for beginners who have a hard time finding the right setting for HTV.


This vinyl cutter also includes 24 sketch pens for printing fonts and letters.


As with all Silhouette cutters, the Cameo 3 links to Silhouette Studio software with access to thousands of images.

Pros

  • Cuts more than 100 materials
  • Automatically adjusting blade
  • Includes 24 assorted sketch pens for printing
  • Responsive touchscreen interface
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless cutting
  • Precise and reliable cuts

Cons

  • Silhouette Studio needs a subscription

10

Vevor Vinyl Cutter

VEVOR Vinyl Cutter 34 Inch Plotter Machine Signmaster Software Sign...
  • PRODUCT SIZE- 34 inch vinyl cutter with maximum paper feed of 870mm (34 inch). Maximum cutting width: 760mm (30...
  • ADJUSTABLE SPEED- Plotter machine cutter pressure: 10-500g. Cutting speed: 10-800mm per second. Both adjustable
  • EMERGENCY STOP- Backlight LCD display for easier handling the working process of sign cutting machine. Emergency...

If you’re after something that cuts like a professional but don’t have a pro budget to go with it, the Vevor 34-inch cutter is the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts.


Whether you’re cutting lightweight HTV or something heavier like foam appliques, this cutter can do it for you.


It has a backlit LCD display and an emergency stop button in case you need to redo the cut.


This machine comes with Signmaster for editing your images before cutting.

Pros

  • Huge cutting width of 30 inches
  • Cuts different thicknesses of material from paper to metal
  • Adjustable cutting speed and pressure
  • Has pen adapter for printing
  • Comes with Signmaster software
  • Cuts like a professional

Cons

  • Not compatible with Mac

What’s the Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for T-Shirts?

The answer to that question depends on you.


What are your needs? What are your preferences? Do you have a budget you need to work around?


What vinyl cutter seems to be calling out to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image Source: Pexels.com

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