Cricut Alternatives: Find the Best Cutting Machines Like Cricut
Many craft makers use Cricut machines like the Cricut Maker 3 for their projects since they provide unparalleled performance and versatility. You can read all about it in our Cricut Maker 3 review. But not everyone agrees.
If you’re looking for alternatives to Cricut, you’ve come to the right place. We have thoroughly investigated all cutting machines on the market to find the ones that deserve your attention.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the products on this list are better than the Cricut Cutter. It depends on what you’re planning to do with a cutting machine, whether you’re interested in tiny, fun projects to do around the house or are looking for a premium machine for your crafting business.
It also depends on what materials you mostly work with, if you’re willing to explore with new fabric, and how much money you’re willing to invest in a superior cutting machine.
What To Look For In A Cricut Cutter Alternative?
When handpicking the best alternatives to Cricut, we’ve taken into account the following criteria:
- Speed and power. The cutting machine must be able to handle large projects in the fastest amount of time so that you won’t have to lose money when running your small business.
- Easy to use. Nobody wants to waste countless hours reading the instruction manuals on how to set up and use the cutting machine. And nobody wants to turn to tech support either. You should be able to easily set up and use the product right from the start.
- Durability. If you’re going to pay a considerable amount of money for a cutting machine, you don’t want it to break down after a few sessions, so it should be made out of quality materials.
- Performant for commercial use. While there are many hobbyists out there, entrepreneurs are the ones who most require performance in their small businesses.
- Materials. Even if your small business is a niche, you still need a cutting machine capable of handling multiple types of materials to add a bit of variety for your customers.
- Accuracy. If the machine is powerful and fast, it won’t make a difference if it’s not calibrated to deliver the best possible accuracy. Reduce material waste and make more time for yourself by getting a machine that always cuts with precision.
- Price. Anyone will tell you that machines made out of superior quality will always be more expensive than their competition, but that’s not necessarily true. You must also take into account the money you will have to spend on extra cutting tools, mats, materials, and the energy bill.
What Are The Best Cricut Cutting Machine Alternatives?
Without further ado, let’s find out the best alternatives to a Cricut Printer machine.
1. Silhouette Cameo 4
Compared to Cricut Maker 3 that has a downward force of 8.81 pounds (4 kg), Silhouette Cameo 4 is better since it has 11 pounds (5 kg) cutting power. This counts when it comes to handling large projects for your small business.
As far as speed is concerned, the differences aren’t that significant between the two competitors. They’re both very fast when it comes to cutting materials like paper, vinyl, or cardstock. According to their makers, Cricut Maker 3 is two times faster than its predecessors, while Silhouette Cameo 4 is three times faster than the previous models.
Maker 3 supports a wider range of cutting tools, probably because it’s been on the market longer. However, Cameo 4 comes with a few perks that its rival lacks. For example, it has an integrated roller feeder that makes it possible to cut 12 in (30.5 cm) of wide standard size (like Maker 3). Unlike Maker 3, though, Cameo 4 can handle designs up to 10 feet (3 m) long.
Moreover, Cameo 4 can cut material up to 0.11 in (3 mm) thick while Maker 3 can’t get past 3/32 in (2.4 mm) thickness when using the Knife Blade.
When it comes to the software, Cricut Maker 3 has Design Space, which is simple to use, ideal for beginners. Furthermore, it has numerous templates that you can explore and apply to your projects. But it won’t give you too much room to flesh out your ideas. Silhouette Studio is a bit more difficult to master, but it’s also more versatile. And, you won’t need a constant Internet connection when using Silhouette Studio.
In terms of price, Cricut Maker 3 is more expensive since it costs $399.99 while Silhouette Cameo 4 costs $339.99.
- It surpasses Cricut Maker 3 by 2.20 pounds (1000 g) when it comes to the downward force, resulting in a whopping 11 pounds (5000 g). Thanks to this, it can easily cut through material up to 3 mm thick
- It has an integrated roller feeder that lets you work on materials up to 10 feet (3 m) long
- Two times faster than Cricut Maker 3 and three times faster than the previous Silhouette models
- Silhouette Studio can’t export designs unless you purchase the professional version
- Compared to Cameo 3, Cameo 4 has a less efficient dual-tool carriage
- Overall, the machine seems too big
2. Brother ScanNCut SDX125
Brother ScanNCut SDX125 is an awesome alternative to the Cricut Printer for hobbyists and small business craft makers like work-from-home moms, especially sewers and quilters, who choose simplicity above all else.
It’s the only cutting machine on this list that comes with an integrated scanner and LCD touchscreen display. Plus, it has an AutoBlade that automatically detects the material thickness to calibrate the cutting process.
Just like Silhouette Cameo 4, Brother ScanNCut SDX125 can cut material up to 0.11 in (3 mm) thick, which surpasses the 3/32 in (2.4 mm) thickness limitation when using Cricut Maker 3.
Additionally, Brother ScanNCut SDX125 has 682 built-in designs, including 100 quilt patterns and 9 letter fonts, so that you can quickly edit your designs on the 5 in (12.7 cm) LCD touchscreen display. You can also add a seam allowance in 1/4 in (6.35 mm) increments, which comes in handy for pieces of clothing or quilts that need to be put together.
Similar to Cricut Maker 3 that requires you to design and upload projects using a software application called Design Space, Brother ScanNCut SDX125 comes with its own design program called Brother CanvasWorkspace.
You can use it to easily create, edit and convert images into SVG files that can be sent to the cutting machine for processing. Or, you can skip the software and set up a project right out of the box using just the cutting machine, without an extra computer.
On the downside, while Cricut Maker 3 can handle a maximum material width of 13 in (33 cm), Brother ScanNCut SDX125 stops at 11.7 in (29.7 cm).
When it comes to pricing, Brother ScanNCut SDX125 ties with Cricut Maker 3 at $399.99.
- Cuts material up to 0.11 in (3 mm) thick
- The AutoBlade auto-detects the material’s thickness to calibrate the cutting jobs
- Using a computer to create and upload designs is optional since you can turn to the built-in scanner with the LCD touchscreen for out-of-the-box projects
- The maximum supported length for cutting fabric is 11.7 in (29.7 cm)
- A bit challenging to master
- Extra tools and accessories are pricier than the competition
3. Silhouette Curio
If you’re looking for an alternative cutting machine to the Cricut Printer that can help you improve your crafting business, check out Silhouette Curio. Its design is a bit more serious than Cricut Maker 3, making it look like a regular printer. However, Curio is equipped with a dual carriage, which means that you can use two blades or tools at once in a single cutting session.
Compared to Cricut Maker 3, Silhouette Curio is less versatile since it supports fewer types of jobs. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. On the contrary, this makes Curio an excellent asset for niche crafting businesses that work with materials like paper, cardstock, leather, metal sheets, clay, balsa wood, or chipboard. If you also add the dual carriage feature we mentioned earlier, you can effortlessly multitask to create more elaborate cutting projects in half the time.
Curio supports stippling, which means perforating even-spaced tiny dots of material like metal sheets in order to add meaningful quotes, monograms, names, motivational messages, or simple shapes to your projects. Or, you can use the etching technique to engrave the metal sheet and make the design a bit more durable. For instance, you can create nameplates, dog tags, gift tags, pins, key chains, and even one-of-a-kind business cards.
When playing with Silhouette Curio, you can also use an embossing tool to add creases and create a 3D effect. For example, you can add a touch of class and create an embossed stamp that can be used to seal envelopes with wax. Or, you can design letterpress notecards, elegant wedding invitations, stylish keychains, and tasteful earrings made out of embossed leather.
Using the Cutting or Kraft Blade of Curio, you can cut fabric up to 0.07 (2 mm) thick. However, it’s also possible to load thicker materials like metal or wood up to 0.19 in (5 mm) thick so that you can etch or sketch.
Similar to Silhouette Cameo 4, Curio uses the Silhouette Studio software application, which is bundled with the purchase. It comes with 50 exclusive designs and a 1-month free subscription to Silhouette Design Store.
Unfortunately, Curio’s 0.46 pounds (210 g) cutting force can’t compete with Cricut Maker 3’s 8.81 pounds (4 kg), which makes complete sense given its other restrictions. On the bright side, Silhouette Curio costs only $249.99 (compared to Cricut Maker 3’s $399.99).
- A dual-carriage system allows you to effortlessly perform two tasks at the same time
- Ideal for embossing, stippling, and etching
- Can process harder materials like metal or wood up to 0.19 in (5 mm) thick
- Doesn’t work with softer material
- Doesn’t support Wi-Fi (USB cable only)
4. UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter
UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter is an excellent alternative to Cricut if your crafting business deals with cutting vinyl. You can use it to design logos, signs, banners, decals, and even clothing with heat transfer, all without using a mat. The original box also includes 6 blades and a weeding tool.
The cutting machine is available in multiple dimensions, but we think that the 28 in (71.12 cm) model works best. It comes with its own stand so that you don’t have to place it on a desk, which makes it easy to move it around in your workspace.
UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter comes with 3 pinch rollers that you can customize when it comes to speed and pressure. Plus, it has a quality dual ball-bearing media roller system so that you can put the material on top of the rollers instead of rolling the vinyl each time. It’s an excellent time-saving and, ultimately, cost-saving solution for your business. And, if you want to plot instead of cut material, you can add the pen adapter.
While Cricut Maker 3 can cut material with a size up to 12 x 24 in (30.4 x 60.9 cm), UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter surpasses it since it can deliver from 28 in (as the name suggests, or 71.12 cm) to several feet at an incredible speed of 39 in (99 cm) per second. However, compared to Maker’s 8.81 pounds (4 kg), the MH’s cutting force is only 0.77 pounds (350 g). It’s enough for soft fabric like vinyl and paper but, obviously, it can’t be used for harder materials.
The proprietary software application is called VinylMaster Cut, which you can use to design vinyl signage, such as lettering and pinstriping. It features various drawing tools for text, curves, and shapes. However, the original box of UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter includes only the basic version of VinylMaster Cut. Furthermore, the application only works with Windows computers (Mac is not supported).
Since the UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter can cut 28 in (71.12 cm) wide material, this means that you need a bigger space to accommodate the cutting machine. It costs $362.99, which is slightly less than Cricut Maker 3’s $399.99.
- Matless vinyl cutting
- Unparalleled speed of 39 in (99 cm) per second
- Create large designs of 28 in (71.12 cm) or more
- Poor cutting force of 0.77 pounds (350 g), which means you can’t use it to cut hard materials
- The proprietary software application isn’t compatible with Mac
- Some customers reported having issues with blade calibration
5. Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit
With a clean and sleek look, Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is a budget-friendly alternative to Cricut Maker 3. You can use it for your small crafting business if you’re pursuing manual die-cutting, embossing, scrapbooking, paper crafting, cardmaking, quilting, appliqué, and other similar activities.
The elegant grey-and-white machine has a 6-in (15.24 cm, A5) wide opening to cut a wide range of materials, including paper, tissue, cardstock, vellum, felt, cork, leather, balsa wood, matboard, polyfoam, self-adhesive rubber, sheet magnet, sponge, static cling vinyl, and thin craft material. It can cut material that’s 8.875 in (22.5 cm) wide and 0.625 in (1.6 cm) deep. It’s obviously not as powerful as Cricut Maker 3, but still enough for crafting enthusiasts.
The roller system has a steel core, which is wrapped in a heavy-duty outer casing. In the original box, you can find a standard pair of cutting pads, a platform, a Thinlits Die Set, a Bigz Die, a Textured Impressions embossing folder for 3D textures, and 12 pieces of 6 x 6 in (15.24 x 15.24 cm) cardstock sheets.
You can choose from numerous designs from the Sizzix library to find inspiration and come up with breathtaking project ideas. Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is specifically made for amateur crafters and beginners who need to get familiarized with a die-cutting machine before diving into more elaborate products like Cricut Maker 3.
Unfortunately, its instructions are not intuitive, despite the fact that it has rookies in mind. To get it properly installed without wasting too much time, you should get in touch with someone who has already installed the Sizzix Big Shot. Or, you can watch step-by-step videos on YouTube. Another downside is that you can’t use the Pro and Plus die tools.
Once you get past the installation phase, though, you shouldn’t have any additional problems when operating the machine since it’s quite easy to use. Furthermore, unlike Cricut Maker 3, you don’t need to plug a computer or mobile device into the Sizzix Big Shot. After getting accustomed to all elements included in the Starter Kit, you can purchase extra accessories to expand your horizons when using this die-cutting machine.
While Cricut Maker 3 is priced at $399.99, the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit costs only $119.76. And you can find regular discounts, too (currently goes for $143.99).
- Great die-cutting machine for beginners
- Can cut a wide range of materials
- Pretty cheap
- Assembly instructions are not intuitive
- Can’t use the Pro and Plus dies
6. Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo
Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo is a tiny die-cutting machine that weighs only 3.1 pounds (1.4 kg). It’s an awesome choice for hobbyists who are just beginning to discover the world of crafting with paper, cardstock, and embossing.
The Bira Craft comes with a 3 1/8 in (7.93 cm) feeding slot so that it can process 3 in (7.62 cm) of paper. The cutting process is performed manually since you have to press down a lever after the suction cup gets attached to a smooth surface. Then, you just need to release the lever.
Besides the tiny cutting machine, the box contains a plate, a cutting plate, an embossing plate, a rubber pad, a 2D embossing folder, 7 cutting dies, and 8 pieces of random colors. It might not sound like much, but the Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo delivers pretty impressive results. Furthermore, a lot of customers reported that it has great customer service. It costs only $39.99.
- Tiny, lightweight, and portable
- A generous starter kit when considering the very low price
- Many people reported excellent customer service
- Can’t be used for large projects
Other Cutting Machines Like Cricut Printer
The Cricut Cutter has its fair share of competitors in the cutting machine industry. But we still think it is better than its rivals in most aspects. The only one that comes close to Cricut Maker 3 is Silhouette Cameo 4.
It’s the strongest machine on this list, thanks to a whopping 11 pounds (5000 g) of downward force. Furthermore, Silhouette Cameo 4 has a built-in roller feeder that lets you cut material up to 12 in (30.5 cm) wide and up to 0.11 in (3 mm) thick. It costs $299.99.
On the other hand, Brother ScanNCut SDX125 doesn’t exclusively depend on special software operated on a computer since it has a built-in scanner to design projects on the fly. Moreover, it features AutoBlade, which identifies the thickness to calibrate the cutting operation automatically. It costs $399.99 (just like Cricut Maker 3).
Silhouette Curio has a dual-carriage system that makes it possible to multitask by simultaneously using two blades or tools in the same cutting project. And, you can use it to cut more difficult materials like metal or wood up to 0.19 (5 mm) thick. It costs $249.99.
The UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter can perform vinyl cutting projects without a mat at a whopping speed of 39 in (99 cm) per second. Plus, you can use it to design large projects of 28 in (71.12 cm) or more. It costs $362.99.
If you’re a beginner or wish to introduce someone to the world of crafting, you can turn to the Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit. It’s a budget-friendly cutting machine that works with paper, tissue, cardstock, vellum, felt, cork, leather, balsa wood, matboard, polyfoam, self-adhesive rubber, and other materials. The full price $179.99, but you can find discounts often.
Finally, the name Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo is a mouthful when considering how tiny the die-cutting machine is. Ideal for crafting beginners, it weighs only 3.1 pounds (1.4 kg), making it lightweight and portable. And it’s only $39.99.
FAQ: Learn More About Cutting Machines Like Cricut
What other cutting machine is like a Cricut?
If you’re looking for cutting machines similar to the Cricut Printer, you should check out Silhouette Cameo 4, Brother ScanNCut SDX125, Silhouette Curio, UsCutter MH 28 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter, Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit, and Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo.
What are machines like Cricut but cheaper?
If you prefer a smaller die-cutting machine than Cricut but which delivers results that you won’t be disappointed with, we suggest giving a shot to the Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo. While Cricut Maker 3 costs $399.99, this machine is only $39.99.
What’s a good paper cutter machine like Cricut?
An awesome paper cutter machine like Cricut at an affordable price is Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit, which you can purchase for $143.99.
Is the Silhouette Cameo better than Cricut?
Some believe that Silhouette Cameo is better than Cricut, yes. It’s certainly more powerful than Cricut Maker 3, thanks to its 11 pounds (5000 g) downward force. Plus, it comes with an integrated roller feeder that can make cuts up to 12 in (30.5 cm) wide and up to 0.11 in (3 mm) thick. It’s a bit cheaper, too.
Conclusion: What’s The Best Cricut Alternative?
Taking everything into account, we can’t really say if any of Cricut’s competitors are better than the Maker 3. It depends on what you plan to do with the machine, what materials you mostly work with, and how much you are willing to invest in not only the machine but also any extra accessories and tools you might need later.
For instance, you can design out-of-the-box projects with Brother ScanNCut SDX125 since you don’t need a special software application running on a computer (although one is available for this purpose). However, the cutting force of Silhouette Cameo 4 is the most impressive on this list, which means that you will be able to cut thicker materials in a shorter amount of time.
Whatever choice you end up making, we’re sure you’ll have a lot of things to say about it after playing with your new cutting machine and testing its features. When that happens, make sure to come back to this page and tell us all about your experience in the comment section below.