how to choose best die cutting machine

how to choose best die cutting machine

How to Choose the Best Die Cutting Machine

So, let me guess you are finally thinking of splurging on yourself!  And you are wondering about how to choose the Best Die Cutting Machine.  You LOVE crafting; it’s your favorite way to spend your free time! You’re either that mom that’s always impressing the PTA with all her crafty touches, or maybe you’re just the one known in your friend group for having AMAZING DIY skills!  Or your like me, you are short on time and love to craft but need something to help you on your journey!

Whether it’s handmade event invitations, creative scrapbooks, or impressive homemade gifts like customized clothing or blankets, you love working with your hands and you’re good at it, but you’re starting to realize, there’s one tiny problem. It can be pretty time consuming and tiring.

Hand cutting all those papers, stickers(How to print free stickers), stencils, and fabrics, it can be pretty exhausting, and let’s face it, as much as you love it, it can get so tedious and strenuous on your hands! But the last thing you want to do is take a break from your favorite hobby or slow down…so what can you do?

Lucky for you, we’ve got the PERFECT solution! If the above dilemma sounds a lot like your own, it’s probably time for you to invest in a die cutting machine to take the strain of cutting off of you and make more than triple the amount of crafts in the same amount of time. Sounds too good to be true? Well, with a die cutting machine, it’s totally possible and totally fun too!

What is a die cutting machine anyway and what is the best die cutting machine for me? Good questions! Keep on reading below to find out what a die cutting machine is, what types there are, what they’re capable of, and which ones might be right for you. So just sit back, relax, and welcome to the world of die cutting, where you can prepare high quality crafts in a fraction of the time!

What is a die cutting machine?

Simply put, a die cutting machine takes on all the work of cutting (and embossing) so you don’t have to. Whether you need fabric cut in a pattern, paper cut in a specific shape, or need an image or text impression, a die cutting machine is the solution for you! Is your head already spinning with all the endless project possibilities you could make with this kind of machine? Ours is too!

If you’re a paper crafter, say goodbye to hand cutting decorations, tiny scrapbook details, and card patterns. If customizing clothing and accessories is more your thing, fear not! A die cutting machine is capable of cutting vinyl and leather, so that strain on your hands to cut the perfect iron-on or detail is a thing of the past!

If you love to sew and quilt, a die cutting machine will cut your fabric with the accuracy and speed you’ve been dreaming of! And of course, for you stencil transfer crafters out there, a die cutting machine will help you too! Focus less time on cutting out the perfect stencil and more time beautifying your furniture, walls, vases, and more!

How does a die cutting machine work?

Think of it like a printer that uses blades and pressure instead of ink. You simply load in your material on one side, pass it through the die cutting machine, and VOILA! You’ve got a beautifully cut (or embossed) finished product in seconds! Pretty awesome, right?

Of course, there are different types of die cutting machines that do this in different ways, so keep reading to learn more.

Types of Die Cutting Machines

When we talk about die cutting machines, there are two types: manual and electric. While many crafters prefer electric so that they do not have to strain themselves maneuvering cranks, a manual die cutting machine still might be the way to go if you’re more old school and aren’t thrilled with the idea of downloading patterns from the internet and figuring out how to connect your machine to wifi.

Also, when it comes to manual machines, your options for cutting patterns is more limited, as you’ll have to buy the “dies” or shape stencils separately that you want your machine to be able to cut; whereas with electric machines, you have the entire internet at your disposal. If you can find it on the internet, you can cut it with your electric die cutter!

When choosing between a manual or electric machine, it’s also important to have a realistic sense of the time you normally spend crafting.

If you believe you’ll be using your die cutting machine on, say, a weekly basis, you’ll most likely find that a manual machine is just the productivity tool you’ve been looking for; it will make your few crafting hours each week more productive than ever before!

Or, if you find yourself crafting more so on a daily basis, you may quickly tire of a manual machine and wish you’d sprung the extra cash for an electric one. This is because with a manual machine, you may find yourself spending more money on accessories to get the shapes you want and more physical power operating the machine.

Of course, with an electric machine, you’ll also pay a higher price for the convenience…so in more simple terms:

  1. Manual die cutting machines are ideal for crafters who are: recreational; old-school; like the idea of a small, portable machine; looking to spend $100 or less; don’t mind cranking their materials through the machine; don’t want to be bothered with their computer to find and create designs.
  2. Whereas electric die cutting machines are better for crafters who: craft on a regular basis; want infinite crafting possibilities; enjoy digital designing; want cutting or embossing done with a click of a button; are willing to spend $300+.

Keep on reading below to see our die cutting machine recommendations and see how specific electric and manual die cutting machines stack up against one another.

The Top 5 Best Die Cutting Machines

So maybe you’ve got a general idea of which direction you’d like to go in terms of electric vs. manual based on your desired budget and how often you craft, but the question still becomes: which die cutting machine is the best for me?

Don’t worry, we’ve got your covered! Below we’ve laid out the top three electric and top two manual die cutting machine options to make your hobby of crafting MORE enjoyable than ever before!

  1. Cricut Maker (Electric Die Cutting Machine)

Price: around $350
Rating: 4.5 stars
Our Overall Thoughts: The Cricut Maker is truly the jack of all trades. Whether you’re hoping to cut fabric, vinyl, paper, leather, or even balsa wood, this machine has got you covered! If you are comfortable navigating your phone or computer, this die cutting machine is truly the one for you as it comes with FREE designer applications, so the only limit to your crafting is your own imagination!

It even has it’s own USB charging port for your phone or tablet, so this die cutting machine is truly THE crafting machine of 2020. When you look at how Amazon stacks it up against Cricut’s other models, you can tell that the Cricut Maker really has no limitations in terms of what materials it can cut and how fast it can cut them.

Unlike other machines that almost demand you buy more accessories; the majority of crafters find that that Cricut Maker is their one-stop-crafting-shop for all their crafting needs!

  1. Silhouette White Cameo 4 (Electric Die Cutting Machine)
    Price: $340
    Rating: 4.5 StarsOur Overall Thoughts: While you can buy the Silhouette die cutter alone without the starter bundle, we love the bundle we’ve linked above (it includes the machine AND materials for less money than just the Cricut Maker alone!). If you’re a crafter just starting out and are too overwhelmed by all the materials you might have to buy or what your crafting niche might be, the Silhouette White Cameo 4 is a great die cutter!Not only does this purchase come with multiple blades and and crafting materials, but with every Silhouette purchase, you are guaranteed lifetime high quality customer service and a one year warranty. This feature will come as a great comfort to someone who’s a little intimidated to introduce a die cutting machine into their crafting hobby and want the security of being able to call someone for help when they need it.This bundle also includes one month free access to online instructional classes and guides, another great reason why someone who is new to die cutting should invest in this Silhouette machine bundle!
  2. Brother SDX125E Electronic Cutting Machine (Electric Die Cutting Machine)

Price: $400
Rating: 4 Stars

Our Overall Thoughts: This Brother Die Cutting Machine is truly one of a kind. With an LCD screen that allows you to edit your patterns right before cutting, the customizable options are endless!

Additionally, this isn’t just a die cutter, but also a scanner! What does that mean? You can actually scan your own hand drawn masterpieces and cut them out precisely again and again! A truly great option for the crafter who really likes her finished products to have a one of a kind personal touch.

Additionally, you only need one blade, no matter what material you’re cutting. This is an awesome hi-tech feature that Brother offers, so you can rest easy knowing that whatever material you load into this device, the blade will sense its thickness to ensure it will be cut properly without any damage to your machine or materials.

4. Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting and Embossing Machine (Manual Die Cutting Machine)

Price: $82
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Our Overall Thoughts: Now that we’ve moved onto manual die cutters, you can definitely see a drop in price, which may appeal to you if your budget is low but still are looking to add convenience to your crafting hobby! If you click on the link above you’ll see unlike the first three electronic options, the Cuttlebug has a crank that you’ll need to maneuver to cut or emboss your material.

Obviously this is SO much easier than cutting with a scissor or box cutter knife by hand, but also requires more physical effort than a completely electric machine. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the Cuttlebug is still a GREAT machine! It’s not as heavy as the electric machines and doesn’t require electricity, meaning it’s super portable and the perfect solution if you’re a crafter who has crafting needs on the go like school fundraisers and craft markets.

You’ll also be able to emboss and cut thinner materials such as paper, tissue paper, foil, ribbon, and thin leathers. (If you’re looking to cut thick materials like foams or fabrics, it’s possible, you’ll just need to purchase thicker dies.) The Cuttlebug linked above will come with two dies but is also compatible with dies from other companies, so you’re not just locked in to Cricut’s die options.

Many crafters highly rate the Cuttlebug because it doesn’t take up a lot of space and is perfect for those quick crafting sessions when you’re not looking for a long set up or clean up time!

5. Spellbinders PE-100 Platinum Cutting and Embossing Machine (Manual Die Cutting Machine)
Price: $93
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Our Overall Thoughts: Another manual die cutting machine option, the Spellbinder boasts the ability of being able to cut up to eight layers of material at once! Definitely a positive feature for the crafter looking for productivity and speed in a manual die cutter! Also portable and compact like the Cuttlebug, this Spellbinders model has a 1 year warranty and actually comes in two sizes (listed above is the 6″ size, but you can also invest in the regular “Platinum” model to achieve projects up to 8.5″ wide).

Overall, the reason to get a Platinum machine over the Cuttlebug is if you’re looking for more power and versatility. Being able to cut through 40 different materials, including wallpaper, cork, and balsa wood, this is THE manual die cutter option for the crafter who likes to explore various different materials and likes a machine that packs a punch!

Thanks for sticking with us to learn more about die cutters and the best die cutting machines of 2020. We love that you’ve chosen crafting as your hobby and we’re happy to offer you our best advice so that your time crafting can be even more carefree and enjoyable!

We hope you found our Best Die Cutting Machine reviews helpful and we encourage you to keep on crafting, no matter what! Pursuing hobbies in your free time is proven to reduce stress and improve your overall mood, so however you craft, keep on crafting and checking back in with us regularly for more tips and tricks.

Crafting Out!


Below is a Pinterest Friendly Photo so you can pin it to your Crafting Boards with ease!