Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut (2020): Which Cutting Machine Offers More?

When it comes to craft cutting machines, Cricut is definitely the brand to beat. It’s exactly what Brother aims to achieve when they released the ScanNCut DX, which introduces many new features designed to make crafting easier. Take a look at the side-by-side review of the Brother ScanNCut SDX125e and the Cricut Maker below.

Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut Maker Comparison Chart

ModelBrother ScanNCut SDX125eCricut Maker
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Width20.9″21.2″
Depth8.5″7”
Height6.8″5.9”
Weight12.79 lbs9 lbs
Max Cutting Area12″ x 24″12″ x 24″
Max Material Height3 mm2.4 mm
Cutting PressureUp to 1,260 gfUp to 4,000 gf
Included ToolsAuto Blade, Pen, Spatula, Stylus, Adhesive MatsRotary Blade, Fine Point Blade, Fine Point Pen, Machine Mats
SoftwareCanvasWorkspaceDesign Space
Auto Blade DetectionYesNo
Scan and PrintYesNo
On-Screen EditingYesNo
ConnectivityWi-FiBluetooth
Colors16

Design and Size

Both cutting machines look great and solidly-built.

Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut Maker Design
The Brother ScanNCut SDX125e (left) has an LCD display while the Cricut Maker (right) has a tablet holder.

Design-wise, there’s not very many notable differences between the Brother ScanNCut DX and the Cricut Maker. The former does look more like a traditional inkjet printer though, so maybe Cricut has a tiny edge in the looks department. Of course, the easiest difference to spot is the 5″ LCD touchscreen display of the ScanNCut, which allows users to operate the machine without a computer or mobile device.

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Aside from that, both are quiet even when cutting, which indicates some solid construction and engineering, although the ScanNCut DX is a tad quieter. Brother also added a storage compartment underneath the tray after feedback from earlier versions of the ScanNCut, while the Cricut Maker has storage area at the top left side of the machine. It might not be a big deal but these go a long way towards keeping all their extra tools and accessories in one accessible place.

Cutting Power

The Cricut Maker has a lot more cutting power than the Brother ScanNCut DX.

Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut Maker Cutting Power
The Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System can hold two tools at once.

For a long time since its release, the Cricut Maker has been uncontested in its cutting power. It offers a downward force of up to 4,000 grams of force, enabling the machine to cut through most materials like butter. Well, while there may be a couple of new die cutting machines that outmatch Cricut in this department, Brother isn’t one of them, as their latest ScanNCut DX is only capable of up to 1,260 grams of force.

Still, it’s plenty enough to cut numerous materials such as paper, vinyl, fabric, balsa wood, foam and more. The Brother ScanNCut DX can cut up to a depth of 3mm compared to the Cricut Maker’s 2.4mm, which isn’t much unless you’re working with these thicker materials. However, note that the Cricut Maker needs a separate Knife Blade to reach that limit, while the ScanNCut can achieve it with its included Auto Blade.

Ease of Use

The Brother ScanNCut DX can be easier to operate than the Cricut Maker.

Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut Maker Ease of Use
You can edit designs with the Brother ScanNCut DX on the fly using its LCD touchscreen interface.

Being able to use the Brother ScanNCut SDX125e on its own is definitely a plus in portability and accessibility. No need to connect it to a computer or mobile device since you can simply use the included stylus to select and edit designs on the LCD screen. Of course, it’s still able to connect wirelessly if you prefer operating it on a PC or laptop or when you’re working on more complex designs.

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There are 682 built-in designs in the ScanNCut DX, which includes 100 quilting patterns and 9 lettering fonts. Quilters will appreciate the optional seam allowance feature which makes piecing cuts together much easier. In addition, perhaps the biggest new innovation on the Brother ScanNCut DX is its Blade Sensor Technology. Its Auto Blade automatically detects the thickness of the material being used so you don’t need to make selections or adjustments beforehand.

In contrast, the Cricut Maker only has 50 ready-to-make projects along with 25 sewing patterns. There are a lot more digital patterns available online, but they require a subscription to access. You also have to navigate the brand’s Design Space software, which can be amazing or limiting depending on your personal crafting experience.

Other Features

The Brother ScanNCut DX can scan hand-drawn designs but the Cricut Maker has better material availability and wider tool selection.

Brother Scan and Cut vs Cricut Maker Features
It’s much easier to find what you need in Cricut’s extensive inventory of tools and materials.

First of all, we need to mention the Brother ScanNCut DX’s namesake feature: the ability to scan your own hand-drawn designs and using them as your cut file. It’s fantastic for personalizing gifts and other items, especially since it sports scans of up to 900 dpi compared to the 300 dpi of previous generations.

However, as a dedicated crafting brand, Cricut definitely has the upper hand in providing hobbyists everything they might need for their projects. You can shop from a wider selection of additional tools such as pens, markers, iron-on sheets, self-healing mats and more, to a huge inventory of materials such as felt, faux leather, vinyl, cardstock, transfer sheets, etc. It’s also much easier and faster to get these delivered to your doorstep from Cricut, while you might need to wait awhile from Brother, which can kind of dampen your enthusiasm for crafting in the meantime.

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Verdict

The Cricut Maker can offer a better crafting experience than the Brother ScanNCut DX.

Brother ScanNCut SDX125e

Cricut Maker

Despite the Brother ScanNCut DX looking much better on paper, we’ll have to recommend the Cricut Maker for those who are serious in pursuing their crafting adventure. It provides tried-and-tested cutting precision and power, and is especially great at welcoming new and intermediate hobbyists with its expansive design software. Moreover, you’ll receive better support in completing your projects since tools, materials and help are more readily available.

Nevertheless, the Brother ScanNCut SDX125e is an impressive cutting machine. It’s loaded with features that the Cricut Maker has no counterpart to, such as its scanner and LCD interface. You’ll also find a lot more free designs to get you started. Really the biggest hurdle is Brother’s sluggishness in providing machine-specific supplies and accessories, so if you can source materials and tools for future projects in a more reliable manner (perhaps via Amazon), the Brother ScanNCut DX will be a great buy.

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.