We live in a world where machines do most of the work for us. We have invented and constructed devices for almost any imaginable task. I am pretty sure that one they machines will take over the planet from us. But, as of now, I am happy for all of the convenience machines can offer. I use a machine for cutting fabrics regularly. Long gone are days when I used a rotary cutter or scissors. If you are into sewing, quilting, and clothes making, and don’t have a fabric cutting machine it is time to get one.
- 1 Is It Necessary to Have a Fabric Cutter
- 2 Manual vs Digital Fabric Cutters
Is It Necessary to Have a Fabric Cutter
A straight answer to this question is no. It is not vital to have one. After all, generations were sewing and quilting without it. And it costs money. So, we can live without it, there’s no doubt. However, there are many reasons why you should have one of these machines. Whenever someone invents a new device, there are people who will say that we were just fine without it. But, you can’t stop the progress. Machines are not designed to make us feel awkward but to make our life or craft easier. Once we get used to it, it is almost impossible to go back. The tasks we used to do routinely now look much harder, and we wonder how could we ever do them and not get stressed and annoyed.
It is the same story for any technology. When one thinks of the fabric cutting machine, saving time is the first thing that crosses one’s mind. But, the advantages of these machines are many. Speed, precision, and versatility allow you to finish your projects quicker with more professional results.
With all these perks cutting fabric becomes easy and fun. Cutting fabric like a pro will bring you joy, and you will have more time to focus on design and to be more creative.
Manual vs Digital Fabric Cutters
There are two types of fabric cutting machines: manual and digital. While both types are useful which one is better for you depends on your skills, preferences, desires, and budget. Both types have some advantages and disadvantages.
Manual fabric cutters are much cheaper, for starters. They are very easy to use as you don’t have to change cutting mats. This probably makes them a better choice for beginners. Manual cutters can cut through multiple layers of fabric. On the other hand, they are not as precise as digital cutters. Don’t get me wrong here, these machines cut with precision. It is just that digital machines offer absolutely perfect precision. Manual cutters also require some manual work like operating a lever or handle to do the cutting.
Digital fabric cutting machines can work on many different materials. Generally speaking, digital fabric cutters offer much more possibilities. With digital cutters, you can customize and change designs and sizes on the fly. These machines do the job by themselves. All you have to do is put in the settings. Actually, one man can operate several of these at once. The major downside to digital cutting machines is the price. Also, it can cut only one layer at a time. More possibilities require more time to figure it all out.
At the end of the day, I would say that manual fabric cutters are great, and digital ones are even better but more expensive. Better choice depends on your needs.
In this review, I will show you some of the best models of fabric cutting machines. Each user has unique needs considering price, performance, versatility, size, ease of use, etc. So, the ultimate choice is yours.
Lightweight, affordable, and easy to use, it is a perfect choice for beginners.
AccuQuilt GO! Baby is a manual fabric cutter. This cutting machine is a little beast. It provides fast and precise cuts. Since it weighs just 8 pounds, it is easy to carry around. It can cut through multiple layers while maintaining speed and accuracy. The small size comes handy to move it back and forth, but it is a limiting factor when it comes to performance. Because of it, this machine can’t use bigger size dies.
All things considered, it is a great budget model for beginners. It won’t do miracles, but it will deliver consistently.
Portable and affordable, yet versatile fabric cutter.
This is one of the most popular models. And it is easy to see why. It has a low price but provides great variety. While this device performs its basic task of cutting with ease and precision, it can also emboss. This manual cutter can work on different materials such as paper, thin foil, and of course, fabric. It allows you to take on different projects such as invitations, cards, scrapbooks and so on. Sizzix Big Shot comes with an adjustable platform to extend your working area if needed. It comes with a 3-year warranty as well.
The ultimate precision that won’t cost you an arm and leg.
Silhouette Portrait is a digital wireless fabric cutting machine. This device can cut a wide variety of materials. The list of materials includes fabric, cardstock, vellum, paper, magnet paper and many more. It comes with 50 digital designs. Furthermore, you can import designs via Bluetooth or USB port. It has software compatible with both Mac and PC. 12” x 12” cutting mat is large enough for most of your projects. Auto Blade set up is particularly convenient.
So, this device offers a lot, especially considering its reasonable price. All these additions are great, but the best part is yet to come. This fabric cutter cuts with fantastic precision, and that is the primary function.
An excellent all-around fabric cutting machine.
We are approaching tech miracles. This device does almost all work for you. It can cut an astonishing 100 different materials. The high clearance allows cutting thick materials. It has a dual carriage system to perform two tasks simultaneously. With the Silhouette CAMEO, you can cut without cutting mat.
This provides a possibility to cut fabric up to 12” wide, and up to 10 feet long. With this machine, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the blade. Auto Blade system will do it for you. As for customizing, possibilities are almost limitless. Silhouette Studio software allows maximum creativity. So, if you want to spend a bit more you will love this machine. By the way, it looks as well as it performs. You can check out the full Silhouette Cameo 4 review and learn more about it.
High-tech fabric cutter with a wide variety of tools and possibilities.
This machine elevates the cutting to another level. It comes with many different tools to accommodate any project. Powerful blades, pens and scoring tool make cutting a breeze. Of course, USB connectivity allows you to import countless designs. You can even simplify sewing and quilting projects. You just have to choose digital patterns and Cricut Maker will cut and mark all the pieces. Then you just have to sew them together. Apart from software abilities, I am mighty impressed with a new Rotary Blade. It allows you to cut through almost any fabric without backing.
Powerhorse for serious quilters.
After a couple of digital models, this is an electric fabric cutter. Technically, it is a manual cutter, but it has an electric motor. It is a very fast, accurate and powerful machine. Moreover, it is pretty simple and easy to use. It is a bit bigger than most of the fabric cutters and a bit heavier. Depending on the fabric it can cut through up to 6 layers at once. Cutting mat is 14” wide. This machine has an option to cut two 6” fabrics at the same time. It comes with 6 creative patterns.
Most advanced digital fabric cutter.
Cricut Explore Air looks good, cuts perfectly and your grandma can figure it out in no time. Even though it has many options and features, Cut Smart technology makes it easy for everyone to use. It has embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting. Dual carriage system allows you to cut and write or cut and score in one step. While smart technologies stand out, this machine cuts with perfect precision. Also, it can cut over 60 different materials. You can upload an unlimited number of images, either from Cricut Image Library or your own images.