5 Best Vinyl cutters to start your Side Hustle


So you want to start a side hustle and increase your income. Having a vinyl cutting machine will surly be of use. Whether it be a t-shirt business or a decal business the possibilities are endless. But what vinyl cutter do you choose.

Finding a high-quality vinyl cutter isn’t easy especially if you’ve never used one before. What are the things you should look for when making a decision. To find the best vinyl cutter I’ve used the same steps I took when purchasing mine whilst looking at the extra things I didn’t know I needed to consider.

I’ve personally used some of them for many years now and believe this has been one of the best investments to have in my arsenal.

If you are looking to purchase a vinyl cutter to start a t-shirt business then go look at our post on The 10 Best Heat Press Machines To Start A Side Hustle this will complete your set to extra income.

Top 5 Vinyl cutter 2020

Each of the vinyl cutters on our list have been checked based on the following factors, cutting force and size, machine dimensions, connection, and warranty. We also look at the software features and their limitations but mostly the ability to increase the quality of your products and in a time that’s profitable.

There are quite a few on the market from home hobbyist to professional vinyl cutter machines. We’ll include the ones that will be use when starting up.

For those in a hurry here is the quick list.

Silhouette Cameo 4 (Our Choice)
Cricut Maker (Most Innovative)
Silhouette Cameo 3 (Best For A Small Business)
Cricut explore air 2 (Best For Home Use)
Brother CM350E 2 Scan&Cut (Best scan and cut)

1. Silhouette Cameo 4

Silhouette has finally released their answer to the Cricut Maker and it been well worth the wait.

This vinyl cutter offers 20x more cutting power than the previous model which anybody that has used the Cameo 3 will know how important this is. However, the most exciting feature for me is the increased speed. I’ve spent many hours in the past cutting out vinyl on large decal orders and would only wish they’d be even a few seconds fast to increase productivity. The Silhouette Cameo 4 increases the speed by 3X on straight cut and up to 2x on corners/curves.

The Cameo 4 comes with a built-in roll feeder this stops the need for cutting mats and do repeat cuts of the same design.

Features

  • Cutting force: 210g up to 5kg
  • Cutting size: 12″ x 120″ (15″ x 120″ for the Plus,  20″ x 120″ for the Pro models)
  • Dimensions: 24.8″ x 10.3″ x 8.8″
  • Software: Silhouette studio
  • OS: Window, macOS, IOS, Android

Special Features

Comes fitted with a roll feeder and a cross cutter. Now uses a rotary blade so much better too cut fabric and added cutting force. A large improvement to is predecessor.

PROS

  • New built-in cross cutter & vinyl roll feeder.
  • Easy to use touch interface.
  • Auto tool detection.
  • Cheaper than the Cricut Maker and perfect for a startup.

CONS

  • It’s quite noisy
  • The basic Silhouette Studio doesn’t support SVG
  • USB input has been removed, so if you load designs via a USB drive, then this won’t work.

2. Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is a very close second and the only reason it’s not first is the Cricut Design Space is online based only. If your internet connection is weighted down with the rest of the family watching the latest trend on TikTok then you’ll probably struggle. However, if you don’t have this problem then choose this vinyl cutting machine to kick start your side hustle.

There’s a large and engaging community surrounding the Cricut brand with plenty of pre-built project on the design space. Some free and some cost a tiny fee. You can get set up super quick and start the ground running.

Cricut has been on top of the home vinyl cutting machines for some time. Because of its ease of use tons of features its ability to create a superior product. 

Features

  • Cutting force: up to 4 kg
  • Cutting size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Dimensions: 23 x 7 x 6 inches
  • Software: Cricut Design Space
  • OS: Windows, macOS, IOS, Android

Special Features

Comes with its world-class tool set that’s innovative and will make you live so much easier.

PROS

  • Quality and precise of cuts.
  • Rotary blade for deeper cuts.
  • More tools and more materials.

CONS

  • Cricut design suite is online bases meaning slow internet connections causes problems.
  • Knife blade sold separately.

3. Silhouette Cameo 3

Best For A Small Business

Silhouette Cameo 3

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Silhouette Cameo 3 Vinyl Cutter

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is the model I personally use and have done for many years. The reason for me choosing the Cameo over the Cricut is the software. Even through the Cricut design space is a feature rich piece of kit its web based and for anyone with a poor internet connection or other family members connected to your Wi-Fi. This can be problematic.

The silhouette Cameo 3 does come with its problems though. Cutting force is much less than the Cricut Maker and doesn’t support a rotary blade having said that this was the one I choose before the Cricut Maker and silhouettes 4 was released. Managing to make a successful online decal business.

If you don’t have the startup budget to purchase one of the first two on the list. By all means by this you won’t be disappointed.

Features

  • Cutting force: 210 grams
  • Cutting size: 12 inches x 10 feet
  • Dimensions: 23 x 7 x 6 inches
  • Software: Silhouette Studio
  • OS: Windows, macOS, IOS, Android

Special Features

Comes complete with a Silhouette Auto Blade which saves manually resetting Also, the Design store has over 100,000 pre-built designs.

PROS

  • Auto blade adjustment
  • Silhouette studio software
  • Roll feeder and cross cutter (sold separately)
  • Two blade holders

CONS

  • Cutting force isn’t has powerful to cut thicker materials.
  • The basic silhouette studio doesn’t support SVG

Even though I don’t seem to paint this in the best picture it’s absolutely perfect as a starter machine. I personally use it and will continue to do so.

4. Cricut explore air 2

In my opinion this is the nicest looking cutter on the market. Especially in gold it’s to die for. It packs a ton of feature. That will be a major help in kick starting your business. 

The Cricut explore air 2 is also super quick which when you’re starting doesn’t mean much. But if you’ve got large decals with small cuts it can take forever on other machines.

This is probably the best vinyl cutter for home use however with a larger budget you can get the  models from Cricut or Silhouette

But don’t let that deter you this truly is an a amazing machine. And worth anybody’s money.

Features

  • Cutting force: 400 grams
  • Cutting size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Dimensions: 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Software: Cricut Design Space
  • OS: Windows, macOS, IOS, Android

PROS

  • It’s pack full of feature.
  • Comes with a ton or items in the box.
  • Double tool holder for cutting, writing and scoring all in one step.

CONS

  • A bit noisy

5. Brother CM350E 2 Cutting Machine with Scanner

Best scan and cut

Brother CM350E 2 Cutting Machine with Scanner (Scan n Cut)

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Brother Scan n Cut

The Brother CM350E 2 Cutting Machine is the most unique one on the list with the ability to scan a picture and cut it out directly from the cutter itself all without the use of a computer. This makes it ideal for children and creative play. It first vinyl cutter that came to my attention when I spent 2 hours+ watching an infomercial, I was mesmerized.

You can edit the scan via a cloud base app making it truly versatile.

Features

  • Cutting force: not specified.
  • Cutting size: 12 x 24 inches
  • Dimensions: 10 x 23 x 11 inches
  • Software: ScanNCutCanvas
  • OS: Standalone touch screen, also can connect to the cloud based app

Special Features

The Brothers touch screen allow you to cut without the use of a PC.

You can scan a picture your children have drawn and cut the vinyl to match. Great for family fun times.

PROS

  • Can be used without computer.
  • Perfect for the family.

CONS

  • Not as many features as the other machines.

Conclusion

Even though my list seems contradictory at times that’s because all these machines are truly amazing whichever one you decide to go for you won’t be disappointed. The potential is only limited by your imagination and determination to succeed.

There are a few vinyl cutters that I have left of the list that should have been mentioned. But this list is based on lowest, ease of use vinyl cutter for a startup side hustle.

Did we miss something off, Please let us know in the comments.


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