Brother Scan and Cut 2 is one of the most popular cutting machines in the artisan community, thanks to its versatile features and intuitive controls that can be operated even by craft-makers who have never handled such hardware before.
If you’re looking to buy a new crafting machine for your business or hobby, you’re probably wondering if Brother Scan and Cut 2 is worth all the hype. But we’re here to hopefully stir you in the right direction.
Before taking out your credit card and purchasing this cutting plotter, keep reading this Brother Scan and Cut 2 review to find out whether or not it’s worth the investment.
What Is Brother Scan and Cut 2?
Brother Scan and Cut 2 is a premium-grade electronic cutting machine that can work with a wide range of materials, including paper (printer, scrapbook, cardstock, tracing, poster board), plastic sheet, foam sheet, and even fabric such as cotton, denim, and flannel.
It comes with some useful features that its competition lacks, like out-of-the-box designs and self-calibration mode, which are ideal for beginners who don’t want to waste time learning how to create designs or how to adjust the machine settings.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 Review
We know how time-consuming and expensive it is to test multiple products in the cutting machine market, so we wanted to spare you that trouble and do it on your behalf.
After countless hours of researching and testing, we can give you our Brother Scan and Cut 2 review, along with the perks and cons, so that you can decide for yourself if this cutting machine is worth the money.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 Specifications
Here are the Brother Scan and Cut 2 technical details:
|Machine dimensions||10.25 x 23 x 10.5 in (26 x 58 x 27 cm)|
|Machine weight||8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)|
|Work area||11.68 x 11.76 in (30 x 30 cm)|
|Scan size||12 x 12 in (30.5 x 30.5 cm)|
|Optional extended work area||11.68 x 23.76 in (30 x 60 cm)|
|Blade depth adjustment||12 levels|
|Cutting force||0.77 lbs (350 g)|
|Cutting speed||5 levels|
|Max. material thickness||0.08 in (2 mm)|
|Supported materials||Fewer than 20|
|Paper||Printer, scrapbook, cardstock, vellum, tracing, poster board|
|Fabric||Thin cotton, flannel, felt|
|Other materials||Magnet sticker or seal|
|Built-in quilt patterns||+140|
|Seam allowance width||7 levels|
|Pattern interval||10 levels|
|Price||View price on Amazon|
Now, let’s take a closer look.
What’s in the Brother Scan and Cut 2 Box?
After buying and unboxing Brother Scan and Cut 2, here’s what you will find in the original package:
- The Brother Scan and Cut 2 machine
- A 12 x 12 in (30.5 x 30.5 cm) cutting mat
- Power cord
- CD operation manual
- A Blade and Pen holder
- 2 Pens
- 1 Spatula
- 1 Stylus
How Does Brother Scan and Cut 2 Work?
Brother Scan and Cut 2 is easy to learn, even if you have never used a cutting machine before. Of course, it has its ups and downs like any other piece of software, but there’s nothing you can’t handle.
Compared to its rivals, Brother Scan and Cut 2 has an LCD touchscreen display, which is just about the size of a smartphone. It has a few buttons on each side for turning the machine on and off, accessing settings, and so on.
You can explore the cutting plotter’s controls using your finger or a stylus pen, in order to draw, cut, and scan patterns, even if you’re a complete rookie.
Also, you can install the dedicated design software program on a Windows PC or Mac (Brother CanvasWorkspace) in order to create, edit and send designs to the machine for printing and cutting. Alternatively, you can use any other image editing program to create designs and send them directly to Brother Scan and Cut 2 from a USB flash drive.
If you’re talented enough, you can freely draw on the touchscreen display using the pen tools. As you can see, there are multiple possibilities when it comes to Brother Scan and Cut 2. And we can assure you that, from this point of view, your options are more limited when using other cutting machines.
Perhaps the most challenging part of working with a cutting machine is learning the ins and outs of various materials. Paper is treated differently from fabric, for example, and you’ll have a harder time learning how to cut fabric correctly by taking into account the material’s thickness. We suggest watching YouTube tutorials so that you can hone your craft and start your artisan business on the right foot.
Size and Materials
Considering the 10.25 x 23 x 10.5 in (26 x 58 x 27 cm) dimensions, you would think that Brother Scan and Cut 2 is heavy. On the contrary, the machine is rather lightweight at 8.6 lbs (3.9 kg), making it easy to change its position in your home if you can’t find a dedicated workspace.
When it comes to the type of materials that can be cut by this machine, Brother Scan and Cut 2 doesn’t match competitors like Cricut Maker 3. While Maker 3 can cut more than 300 materials, Brother Scan and Cut 2 is limited to fewer than 20 materials.
Here are some material examples:
- Paper: printer, scrapbook, cardstock, vellum, tracing, poster board
- Fabric: thin cotton, flannel, felt
- Others: magnet sticker or seal
You can’t cut high-density cardstock when using Scan and Cut 2, and you might have trouble when trying to process dense-flocked vinyl, too.
In fact, you shouldn’t try to cut any material thicker than 0.08 in (2 mm) because you risk damaging not only the blade but also the machine.
LCD Touchscreen Display
A key aspect that sets apart Brother Scan and Cut 2 from its rival is the 4.85 in (12.3 cm) LCD touchscreen display, which you can use to seamlessly operate the machine without the help of another computer and software application.
The LCD touchscreen display lets you easily select designs, zoom in, and directly edit the images. For instance, you can use a welding feature to merge shapes, fonts, and freely drawn images.
It’s also possible to resize designs, modify their shapes and position on the material, rotate images, as well as cut out specific parts, and leave out the rest. The machine has more than 1100 predefined designs, 140 quilt patterns, and 15 fonts ready for editing, printing, and cutting.
As the name of the cutting machine suggests, Scan and Cut 2 has a built-in scanner that makes it possible to scan any image, edit it using the LCD touchscreen display, then print and cut it – hassle-free.
The scanner has a high resolution of 600 DPI. To move on the screen and activate settings, you can either use your fingers or pick up the pen included in the Brother Scan and Cut 2 box.
You can scan designs up to 11.7 in (30 cm) wide. It supports the FCM, PHC, PES, and SVG file formats and gives you the possibility to make the background scans lighter or darker. In the Scan-to-Cut mode, the machine can detect designs by outline, region, or thinning line.
How to Use the Brother Scan and Cut 2 Scanner
It’s incredibly easy to use the Brother Scan and Cut 2 scanner. Here’s what you need to do:
- Place a piece of paper on the mat and load it into the machine
- Press the Scan button
- Choose between monochrome and color mode. You can also adjust the number of colors
If you want to get the best scanning results when using Brother Scan and Cut 2, make sure the design and background are in contrast. This will improve the machine’s edge detection feature to create crispier images.
Cutting Force and Size
Brother Scan and Cut 2 has a downward force of 0.77 lbs (350 g), which is more than enough for cutting paper, fabric, and other materials up to 0.08 in (2 mm) thick.
To give you a better idea of what this means in terms of cutting force, Brother Scan and Cut 2 is better than Silhouette Portrait 3 and Cricut Joy but less powerful than Silhouette Cameo 4, Cricut Maker 3, or Cricut Explore Air 2.
When it comes to the cutting size, Brother Scan and Cut 2 comes with a 12 x 12 in (30.5 x 30.5 cm) cutting mat by default, but you can also get the 12 x 24 in (30.5 x 61 cm) version at an affordable price if you need more room for larger designs.
Although it’s possible to make matless cuts using vinyl roll, Brother Scan and Cut 2 can’t create very long designs, unlike rivals Cricut Maker 3 or Silhouette Cameo 4.
There are two types of backings available so that you can cut fabric easier when using a mat: one for cutting applique made from thin fabrics and another for trimming hard fabrics with seam allowances.
Another important aspect that you should know is that Scan and Cut 2 has auto-layout features designed to save space, use scraps as much as possible, and ultimately reduce material waste.
In addition to scanning and cutting, Brother Scan and Cut 2 can draw with a pen holder and various pens. This means that you can add text messages or draw intricate designs on the materials.
Unfortunately, Brother Scan and Cut 2 doesn’t have a Dual-Carriage system, which means that it can’t simultaneously cut and draw. This would have been a really handy feature that you can find in other cutting machines like Cricut Maker 3.
When using Dual-Carriage mode, you don’t have to waste time swapping the blade and pen when trying to cut material and write on it within the same project. It would’ve been a huge time-saver in the long term since you could’ve left the machine unattended while it was busy completing a task.
Instead, you have to set up the blade to cut the material, wait until the operation is complete, then swap the blade with the pen and wait until the design is drawn. It’s a multi-step process that requires your attention.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 has a semi-automatic calibration system set in place, in the sense that it can’t do all of it on its own, but you don’t need to manually adjust the speed, pressure, and depth either.
Instead, you can operate the LCD touchscreen display using your finger or the stylus to press a few buttons. It’s so simple that a kid could do it.
How to Calibrate Brother Scan and Cut 2
Here’s how you can seamlessly adjust the Brother Scan and Cut 2 calibration settings:
- Press the tool button to access the settings screen
- Go to the last option called Scanning/Cutting Position Adjustment and select it
- Since the carriage and mat will move to the default position, make sure you’re not touching the carriage
- Set up the blade holder in the machine, along with a mat with a sheet of white paper attached
- Then, press the Start/Stop button and wait
- You will be asked to mark a couple of fixed positions (left and right)
- Save the new settings once the calibration is complete
We previously mentioned that Brother Scan and Cut 2 comes with out-of-the-box designs so that you can print and cut patterns without turning to a specialized software application. But this is also an option brought to the table by Scan and Cut 2, which comes in the form of Brother CanvasWorkspace.
Brother CanvasWorkspace is the proprietary design software application that all cutting machines from Brother use in order to create, edit, convert and transfer data to and from the machine. You can download it on Windows and Mac. Unfortunately, Android and iOS are not supported.
How to use Brother CanvasWorkspace:
- Download Brother CanvasWorkspace to your Windows or Mac PC
- Install the program
- Set up an account and log in
- Edit your designs in the dedicated workspace
- Connect your PC to the cutting machine using a USB cable or wireless connection
- Send data to the cutting machine
Brother CanvasWorkspace has more features than Cricut’s Design Space, which means that you have more room to unleash your creativity. At the same time, this makes the program a bit difficult to master if you’re not an experienced graphic designer.
If you don’t want to waste too much time on it, you can just stick to using the out-of-the-box designs without a computer and software.
On the other hand, if you are a skilled graphic designer, you should know that you won’t be able to do much with CanvasWorkspace since it doesn’t have advanced settings. You still need to get a subscription to a premium image editing application like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
If you plan on using CanvasWorkspace to create, edit and send your designs to Scan and Cut 2, you can connect your computer to the cutting machine using a wireless Internet connection. The only requirement is for both machines to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
It’s great because you don’t have to clutter your desk and get your workspace tangled with too many wires. However, the machine also has a USB slot that you can use to either directly upload USB flash drives with designs to the cutting machine or connect your desktop or laptop using a USB cable.
Many craft-makers are work-from-home moms and dads who have steady jobs. Most of them only have time during the evening, at night, or on the weekend for their second job or hobby. So it’s preferable to find a cutting machine that won’t wake up the neighbors or kids.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 is one of the quietest cutting plotters we have tested. It’s not 100% quiet, which is impossible considering how complex the machine is and how many moving parts it has.
On the bright side, Scan and Cut 2 surpasses Cricut Maker 3 and Silhouette Curio. So you won’t risk disturbing others when working outside of rest hours.
Expensive Machine and Accessories
Brother Scan and Cut 2 is one of the most expensive cutting machines you will find in the industry. But the price of its accessories is even more shocking. And some of them are necessary, too. According to some craft-makers, the Brother mats lose their stickiness faster than normal, so they must be regularly replaced.
When taking into account the cost of a single mat, this could quickly become a problem unless your crafting business can sustain it. Overall, buying and maintaining Scan and Cut 2 is pricier than getting Cricut Maker 3 or Silhouette Cameo 4, for example, which certainly doesn’t bode well with many people.
For instance, Scan and Cut 2 can emboss and deboss with a special embossing tool that you have to purchase separately, along with embossing metal sheets.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 Pros
Brother Scan and Cut 2 is an awesome cutting machine for beginners who don’t want to necessarily use a computer and a software application to print and cut patterns when they can use out-of-the-box designs. It comes with more than +1100 built-in designs, 140 quilt patterns, and 15 fonts.
There’s a user-friendly LCD touchscreen display that you can operate with your finger or a stylus, which provides on-screen editing options, like rotating, resizing, or combining shapes together.
You can cut paper, fabric, and other materials which are up to 0.08 in (2 mm) thick using an adjustable blade that can be easily calibrated by pressing a few buttons – it’s so easy that a kid can do it.
If you want to use a design program to create and edit patterns, you can turn to Brother CanvasWorkspace since you will receive a free copy of this application as soon as you purchase Scan and Cut 2.
You can connect your desktop, laptop, or tablet to the cutting machine by joining the same Wi-Fi network or by using a USB cable. Or, you can use the same USB port to upload designs ready for printing and cutting straight from a flash drive (no software required).
The noise levels are surprisingly low, so you shouldn’t have any problems with your sleeping kids or neighbors when trying to get some work done in the evening, at night, or during the weekends. This allows you to set up a flexible crafting schedule.
Brother Scan and Cut 2 Cons
Brother Scan and Cut 2 can cut fewer than 20 materials, which doesn’t give you too many possibilities when it comes to expanding a crafting business. To compare, Silhouette Cameo can cut through 0.12 in (3 mm) thick material, while Scan and Cut 2 can’t get past 0.08 in (2 mm).
Although it’s equipped with tools to cut and draw on the designs, it doesn’t support a Dual-Carriage system, which means that it can’t cut and draw at the same time. It’s quite a drawback when you have to handle many customer orders that require both drawing and cutting within the same project because you need more time to handle both tasks separately.
The integrated scanner is an excellent addition to Brother’s list of features, but it could be improved. Although it handles monochrome designs flawlessly, it could definitely use some refining when it comes to scanning colored patterns without too much contrast.
And, since you can’t preview the results, scanning a colored design with low contrast will always be a gamble because you might be satisfied with the results. Repeating this process several times until you get it right can end up costing your time and money spent on wasted materials.
We’ve noticed that the LCD touchscreen display doesn’t respond to commands promptly – it takes a while to process information, whether you’re trying to adjust a setting or just to open a menu. This happens whether you’re using your fingers or the stylus.
Brother CanvasWorkspace is not a full-featured graphic editing tool, so you can’t use it to create and design patterns from the ground up. You still have to invest in a third-party image editing tool like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Corel Draw, which can become expensive if your business is not that profitable yet.
Speaking of costs, Brother Scan and Cut 2 and its accessories are quite expensive. On top of that, some people complained about its mats, saying that they quickly lose their stickiness and must often be replaced. If you’re not prepared, this cutting machine could end up being financially overwhelming.
FAQ: Learn More about Brother Scan and Cut 2
What does Brother Scan and Cut 2 come with?
When unboxing the Brother Scan and Cut 2 package, you will find the cutting machine, a 12 x 12 in (30.5 x 30.5 cm) cutting mat, power cord, CD operation manual, a Blade and Pen holder, 2 Pens, 1 Spatula, and 1 Stylus. If you need additional mats, pens, blades, or other accessories, you have to purchase them separately.
Can Brother Scan and Cut 2 cut wood?
Unfortunately, wood isn’t currently displayed on the list of supported materials that are officially supported by Brother Scan and Cut 2. However, some artisans had luck when experimenting with this material, such as wood veneer. But you’re on your own here since it’s a trial-and-error process, and you risk dulling the blade or even damaging the machine. It’s not covered by the warranty.
Can you cut acrylic with Scan and Cut?
Just like wood, acrylic is not officially listed as a type of material supported by Brother Scan and Cut 2. But some people managed to engrave acrylic ornaments and create custom stamps with acrylic paint.
Does Brother Scan and Cut 2 use SVG files?
Yes, you can send designs with the SVG file format to Brother Scan and Cut 2 for printing and cutting designs. To do this, you can save SVG files to a USB flash drive, plug the disk into the machine, and immediately print it. Or, you can create a SVG file using Brother CanvasWorkspace or another image editing tool and then upload it to Scan and Cut 2 using a Wi-Fi connection.
Which is better, Cricut or Brother?
For example, if you wish to sustain a craft-making business that works with multiple materials, Cricut Maker 3 is better in the long term.
On the other hand, if you prefer more intuitive controls, out-of-the-box designs, and the ability to scan and print designs from a USB flash drive, you can’t go wrong with Brother Scan and Cut 2.
Final Thoughts: Is Brother Scan and Cut 2 Worth the Money?
Considering how expensive is not only the Brother Scan and Cut 2 machine but also its accessories, you have to seriously take into account all its advantages and disadvantages when deciding whether or not it’s worth the initial and maintenance costs.
If you’re looking for straightforward image editing features, designs ready for printing, easy calibration settings, and controls over a touchscreen display, then you might be pleasantly surprised by what Brother Scan and Cut 2 has to offer. It’s an excellent choice for scrapbookers.
Once you’re done playing with this cutting machine, make sure to return to this page and leave us your own Brother Scan and Cut 2 review in the comment section below.