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6 Best Cutting Machines for Paper, Fabric & Metal Reviewed in 2020 (UK & US)

Last updated on 3rd July 2018 by Paul

Quick Comparison

Product reviews

After spending more than 24 hours on testing 15 different cutting machines, we managed to create a list of the 6 best cutting machines for your DIY projects. The Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine headlines our list due to its expandable set of sharp blades that allow you to cut through hundreds of different materials and make precise, clean cuts every single time.

Another cutting machine worth mentioning is the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine. It offers wireless cutting via Bluetooth which allows you to effortlessly make accurate cuts and can also cut through several different materials like leather, card stock, and many more.

We created a comparison table below to help you decide on which of the best cutting machines to pick up. Check it out.

  1. 1
    94%
    94%

    Cricut Maker - Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine

    The Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine sits on our list as the best electronic cutting machine and for good reason. This craft cutting machine can make any of your DIY projects come to life with its expandable set of blades that are both powerful and precise.

    The rotary blade cuts through fabrics easily and the knife blade is sharp enough to cut through mat boards and balsa without any problems, making it one of the most capable fabric cutting machines as well.

    You can virtually cut through hundreds of different materials like leather with such accuracy that even the most intricate designs can be achieved flawlessly.

    It’s the perfect machine for the DIY enthusiast who wants to take their creativity to the next level. The 12 x 12” working space is plenty enough for large projects and the rate it cuts is absolutely quick. Without a doubt the Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine is our number one pick for the best cutting machine you can buy.

    The Good
    • Can cut hundreds of different materials
    • Powerful and accurate set of blades
    • Large working area
    The Bad
    • Android app only works in the U.S.
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  2. 2
    94%
    94%

    Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Review

    True to its name, the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine is another solid offering that makes precise cuts and features a convenient wireless cutting feature thanks to Bluetooth.

    You can score and cut your desired patterns and just like the Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine, the blades are sharp and powerful enough to cut through a variety of different materials like vellum, leather, and a whole lot more.

    There’s a built-in Fast mode to speed up the cutting process and it does the job quite well, making intricate and fine cuts at a very quick pace.

    A smart set dial feature is also onboard to help you configure the correct settings for a variety of different projects.

    We do notice that it’s inconsistent when it comes to cutting fabric as it tends to leave soft tears on the edges but if you’re looking to use it for paper and cardstock, you will not be disappointed.

     

    The Good
    • Wireless cutting feature via Bluetooth
    • Sharp, powerful blades
    • Built-in Fast mode to speed up cutting process
    The Bad
    • Inconsistent when it comes to fabric cutting
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  3. 3
    88%
    88%

    Gemini Global Version Machine Review

    The Gemini Global is a good craft cutting machine that offers a reasonably large 9 x 12.5” working space. We tried cutting multiple dies during our tests and it came out fantastic.

    The machine is sleek and low-profile in design and provides enough space for edge-to-edge cutting of A4 sized papers.

    It can even cut through fabric which is quite impressive and the results are crisp and clean. Intricate cuts come out very detailed and accurate.

    One feature that we liked is you can pause or rewind during cutting which can come quite handy if you want to take out the plates and change it.

    Upon purchase you will also receive a 3D embossing folder, 3 papercraft die sets, and a mixed media die set so you can start your DIY projects immediately.

    If you want a simple, functional cutting machine that produces accurate cuts, the Gemini Global Version Machine is a good choice.

     

    The Good
    • Sleek, low-profile design
    • Edge-to-edge cutting of A4
    • Pause and rewind feature
    The Bad
    • Plates warp easily
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  4. 4
    85%
    85%

    White/Gray UK Version FT MLH Big Shot Starter Kit

    The Sizzix White/Gray UK Version FT MLH Big Shot Starter Kit is one of the best die cutting machines that come in a full kit for you to get up and running right away with your DIY projects.

    It’s the perfect machine for card-making and paper projects because of its consistency and ability to produce clean, crisp cuts.

    The crank action is very smooth and stable so you won’t have any trouble cutting through cardstock and vinyl. You can even cut small fabrics if you’re into quilting.

    The design is also light and portable, meaning you can craft your DIY projects anywhere you go with this capable machine. We’re happy to report that embossing is also clean and detailed during our testing.

    Beginners and advanced enthusiasts will appreciate this whole kit that comes with a set of dies, a 5.5 x 6” paper pad and an included cotton fabric.

     

    The Good
    • Comes in a complete kit
    • Can cut through small fabrics
    • Smooth crank action
    The Bad
    • Cutting plate deforms after a few uses
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  5. 5
    85%
    85%

    Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine

    The Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine is a capable manual paper cutting machine that features a wide cutting platform of 8 ½ inches which is larger than the Sizzix White/Gray UK Version FT MLH Big Shot Starter Kit.

    What we liked most about this machine is that it’s versatile enough to be compatible with a variety of different dies meaning you’ll have plenty of options to choose from aside from the Spellbinders dies.

    The cuts this machine produced on cardstock and paper were excellent and consistent and the large workspace area allows for cutting multiple dies.

    Cranking out the handle doesn’t need a lot of force and is stable enough even when cutting through multiple layers.

    We do notice that the build quality isn’t up to par with most of the cutting machines on this list, especially the handle so do be careful when using it.

    Embossing can be quite difficult as well since the handle became quite stiff when we tried to use it.

    The Good
    • Wide cutting platform of 8 ½ inches
    • Compatible with a variety of different dies
    • Clean and precise cuts
    The Bad
    • Subpar build quality
    • Struggles to emboss properly
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  6. 6
    72%
    72%

    Amethyst Die Cutting And Embossing Machine Review

    The Sweet Dixie Amethyst Die Cutting And Embossing Machine is the smallest cutting machine on our list which makes it perfect for small DIY projects.

    The dimensions are very small and the cutting area is only 6.2 x 3” so you’ll be quite limited in space when working with your crafts.

    The size is perfect though for personalizing and accessorizing. Don’t let its size fool you because it’s still a capable cutting machine that produces clean, detailed cuts in even the most intricate designs.

    If you have a larger machine, this makes a perfect compliment for working on the little details on your projects since it’s very compact and you can take it absolutely anywhere.

    For those looking to start their die cutting journey, this is a great start that will allow you to work on small, creative pieces before venturing into bigger DIY projects.

    The Good
    • Small and compact
    • Makes clean precise cuts for its size
    The Bad
    • Size means you’ll be limited to creating small designs
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

Side-by-side

Cricut Maker - Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine

  • Can cut hundreds of different materials
  • Powerful and accurate set of blades
  • Large working area
Check price  on amazon

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Review

  • Wireless cutting feature via Bluetooth
  • Sharp, powerful blades
  • Built-in Fast mode to speed up cutting process
Check price  on amazon

Gemini Global Version Machine Review

  • Sleek, low-profile design
  • Edge-to-edge cutting of A4
  • Pause and rewind feature
Check price  on amazon

White/Gray UK Version FT MLH Big Shot Starter Kit

  • Comes in a complete kit
  • Can cut through small fabrics
  • Smooth crank action
Check price  on amazon

Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine

  • Wide cutting platform of 8 ½ inches
  • Compatible with a variety of different dies
  • Clean and precise cuts
Check price  on amazon

Amethyst Die Cutting And Embossing Machine Review

  • Small and compact
  • Makes clean precise cuts for its size
Check price  on amazon

Frequently asked questions

What is a die cutting machine?

A die cutting machine is a tool that’s used for cutting intricate designs and details on a variety of different materials like paper, leather, fabric, cardstock, and many more.

These machines are perfect for DIY projects like cardmaking, quilting, and other arts and crafts like scrapbooking and decoupage.

What are the different types of die cutting machines?

There are two distinct types of die cutting machines; electric and manual.

Below we’ll discuss how each type of machine works to find out their advantages.

Electric cutting machines are generally bigger and more capable than manual cutting machines. They operate at much faster rates and can cut hundreds of different materials with proficiency and accuracy.

Electric cutting machines are also more versatile when it comes to overall functionality since they can cut, write, and score multiple designs on the material you’re working on.

 

Manual cutting machines require you to turn a handle in order to cut the design on your chosen material.

One advantage of manual cutting machines over electric cutting machines is that you can take it anywhere and create your own DIY projects anytime since it doesn’t require electricity to operate.

What should I look for when choosing a die cutting machine?

Die cutting machines come in all shapes and sizes so before you head out to buy one for yourself, here are some important factors to consider to make sure you get the correct machine.

Size. Choose a die cutting machine that will allow you to comfortably use it on your workspace.

Do you need a machine with a large cutting surface? Or do you want a small, portable cutting machine that you can take anywhere?

Weigh in your options and make a decision from there.

 

Type. Depending on the type of projects you wanna work with, you can either choose between an electric and a manual machine.

If you plan on creating large DIY projects with a variety of different materials, an electric machine is your best bet since it operates faster and will allow you to cut more pieces in a short time.

If you value portability and simplicity, a manual cutting machine will work just as well as an electric machine and since it doesn’t require any power to operate, you can use it anytime you want.

 

Cost. Heavy duty printing and cutting machines especially the electric ones will set you back around £300 and up because they come with more features and are more efficient at cutting.

Manual cutting machines usually cost around £100 so consider your budget and buy the best equipment you can afford.

What’s the best die cutting machine? Why is it the best?

When it comes to the best cutting machines, we have two recommendations for both electronic and manual options.

First off is the Cricut Maker – Ultimate Smart Cutting Machine. It’s really the ultimate cutting machine in terms of functionality because it comes with a set of different blades that are sharp enough to cut through almost any material you use on your crafting projects.

Whether it be for fabrics, leather, vellum, or paper, expect fine, accurate cuts no matter how intricate the details are.

The second one goes to the Sizzix White/Gray UK Version FT MLH Big Shot Starter Kit. If you want a portable cutting machine that makes precise cuts, this kit is for you.

It comes with all the essentials you need to start with your DIY projects immediately and is also capable of embossing clear details with the materials you’re using.

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