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.
Product Comparison Table
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?
The cutting depth refers to the thickness of the material the machine can cut. The blade you use and your pressure settings determine the cutting depth.
The best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts can cut anywhere from 1 to 2 millimeters. A vinyl cutter with a 2-millimeter depth can cut through thicker material, such as cardstock and leather.
This is more than enough cutting depth if you’re working with HTV. HTV is different from the vinyl used for signs and decals. Many cutters, however, can cut HTV and other types of vinyl.
Is a vinyl cutter similar to a die cutter?
Vinyl cutters are different from die cutters. Some of them can cut the same material, but vinyl cutters are obviously much better at cutting vinyl.
If you’re looking for die cutters, check out our best die cutting machine reviews.
Some vinyl cutting machines can also be used as printers. You can switch the blade for a sketch pen that can be used to print on your vinyl.
A good vinyl cutter with a printing option can print anywhere with a resolution of 100 to 600 dots per inch.
How complex is the t-shirt design?
When you’re looking for the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts, you want something that can provide precise, accurate cutting.
Some of the most sought after vinyl cutters can cut designs less than a quarter-inch in size with ease.
At the same time, they should have no problems cutting large designs that span the front and back of your t-shirts.
How do I use a vinyl cutter to make t-shirt designs?
It’s important to use the right type of vinyl for t-shirts.
HTV for t-shirts is different from other types of vinyl. It’s thinner, lighter, and has an adhesive backing which you peel off after pressing.
To use a cutter for t-shirts, start by choosing or uploading your design on the machine’s cutting software. Select the size, orientation, and borders of your design, then load the HTV.
Choose the cutting depth of your machine. If you go all out to find the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts, you’ll find that the cutter will do this automatically.
You can then send your design to cut. Printing only takes a few seconds. Once it’s done, use the mini spatula that typically comes with the cutter to pick up your design.
What other materials can it cut?
When you’re shopping for the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts, look for one that can cut more materials than vinyl.
Good brands can also make room for other materials, such as cardstock, vellum, or fabric.
It’s a great way to expand your offering by allowing you to add other designs, such as fabric patches or leather appliqués.
How do I take care of my vinyl cutter?
It’s easy to maintain a vinyl cutter. If you use it regularly, you can get away with cleaning it every five to six months.
To clean a vinyl cutter, take out the blade from the cartridge and use a blow-dryer on cool setting to remove dust that may have accumulated. Blow-dry the rest of the cutter too.
Use soap and water to clean the cutting mat. You can also opt for alcohol or bleach-free wipes. A lint roller can also help remove bits of material stuck to the mat.
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.
Cricut Explore Air 2
- [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
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.
Silhouette Cameo 3-4T
- 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.
Brother CM35OE ScanNCut2
- CREATE RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX: The CM350E electronic cutting machine gives you the option to work directly on your...
- SCAN DRAWINGS: The 300dpi built in scanner allows you to scan your drawing to convert it to a one-of-a-kind cut...
- STUNNING DIY PROJECTS: Craft with 631 built-in designs, including 100 quilt designs and 7 lettering fonts. Add your...
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.
USCutter 28-Inch Vinyl Cutter Value Sign Making Bundle
- 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.
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.
- [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.
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.
Brother SDX125E Cutting Machine
- SCAN DRAWINGS AND MATERIALS: Brother ScanNCut is the only cutting machine series with a built-in scanner. Scan your...
- STUNNING DIY PROJECTS: Craft with 682 built-in designs including 100 quilting patterns and 9 fonts. Add custom...
- NO MATERIAL SELECTION REQUIRED The included ScanNCut DX auto blade and auto blade holder uses true automatic...
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.
Silhouette Cameo 3
- Silhouette Cameo 3 with Bluetooth, Touchscreen and Manufacture's Warranty. No Internet Connection Required, No Need...
- 26 Sheets of Permanent Oracal Vinyl - 12 Inch x 12 Inch Each, 1 Roll 12 Inch x 6 Feet of Premium Transfer Tape,...
- 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.
Vevor Vinyl Cutter
- 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.
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