There’s no denying that Cricut is the market leader for vinyl cutting machines. However, if you want to try something different from another brand, or simply wish to take the less-beaten path, there are Cricut alternatives aplenty. Here are the top three die cutting machines from Cricut’s competitors: the Brother ScanNCut, the Silhouette Cameo 4, and the Sizzix Big Shot.
Cricut Alternatives Comparison
|Model||Brother ScanNCut||Sizzix Big Shot|
|Dimensions||20.9″ x 8.5″ x 6.8||22.4″ x 7.68″ x 6.69″||14.2″ x 12.4″ x 6.6″|
|Weight||12.79 lbs||10 lbs||10.7 lbs|
|Max Cutting Area||12″ x 24″||12″ x 24″||A5|
|Max Material Height||3 mm||3 mm||n/a|
|Cutting Pressure||Up to 1,260 gf||Up to 5,000 gf||n/a|
|Software||Canvas Workspace||Silhouette Studio||None|
|Included Tools||Auto Blade, Pen, Spatula, Stylus, Adhesive Mats||AutoBlade, Cutting Mat||Multipurpose Platform, Cutting Pads, Die Sets, Embossing Folder|
Brother ScanNCut SDX125
Standalone cutting machine with built-in scanner and LCD screen
The Brother ScanNCut SDX125 is a popular Cricut alternative with unique features not found on other cutting machines. Just like its name says, you can scan and cut your own patterns with it, which is particularly great if you like drawing your own designs. Moreover, it has several features that make it an excellent complement for quilting and other fabric-based projects.
Top Features of the Brother ScanNCut SDX125e
First off, the Brother ScanNCut is the only DIY cutting machine that has a 600 dpi scanner built into the device. This lets you turn any scannable image, whether it’s your child’s handwriting or a family photo, into a design that can be drawn or cut expertly by the machine. It comes with more than 682 built-in designs as well, including 100 quilting patterns, so you’ll have plenty of patterns to choose from.
The other noteworthy feature of the ScanNCut is a 5-inch LCD touchscreen that pops out on the top of the machine. This lets you edit designs on the machine itself, so you can cut even without connecting to a computer or mobile device. It also has internal memory where you can save pattern data to cut or retrieve later. For advanced editing, you can install Canvas Workspace on your laptop and use a variety of compatible file types.
As to cutting power, the SDX125 lets you cut up to 3mm-thick materials, such as foam, balsa and thick cardstock, using the included Auto Blade. Other cutting machines typically require a separately-purchased blade to accomplish this. It’s able to auto-detect the thickness of your material and adjust as necessary. Optional accessories and tools expand what it can do by letting you emboss, perforate, foil, etc.
Should You Get The Brother ScanNCut SDX125?
We highly recommend the Brother ScanNCut SDX125 for those who prefer a standalone cutting machine that doesn’t rely on computers or phones for editing. With its touchscreen and scanner, you can draw your design, scan it, and cut it, with only the ScanNCut on your table. Quilters will also find it well-suited for cutting fabrics. Best of all, it’s powerful and quiet, letting you use thin and thick materials with ease.
Silhouette Cameo 4
Fast and powerful cutting machine with maximum versatility
If you’re after a cutting machine more powerful than the best Cricut has to offer, may we present the Silhouette Cameo 4. This desktop crafting machine has a dual motor system that allows it to cut thicker materials faster than other cutting machines. Moreover, it enables mat-less cutting with select materials for convenience and speed.
Top Features of the
Silhouette Cameo 4
Silhouette America packed some serious cutting prowess into the Cameo 4 using a unique dual carriage system. Different motors power each separate carriage, with the second one providing additional downward cutting force that beats the
The included AutoBlade has already been reconfigured to adapt faster to settings changes, and with automated adjustments, it’s able to fine-tune the exact force necessary to cut your selected material. Speaking of which, the
Once done with cutting, you can use the built-in cross-cutter at the bottom of the
Should You Get The
Silhouette Cameo 4?
Another standout feature that makes the
Sizzix Big Shot
Portable roller machine for beginners and experts alike
For something more traditional instead of high-tech, check out the Sizzix Big Shot, a portable die cutting tool that only needs your hands to power. It lets you cut designs using numerous metal dies inserted between pads to keep your material in place. No need for computers, software, or even electricity for this one – you just roll the Sizzix sandwich through and instantly get a perfectly cut shape.
Top Features of the Sizzix Big Shot
The best thing about the Sizzix Big Shot is of course its hand-operated functionality. You don’t have to navigate and learn complex design software, fiddle with connections, or mess around with file formats. Everything is done manually, from inserting your material, selecting the die, and rolling the prepared platform through the machine. For some, this approach feels more like traditional crafting, and your creativity is only really limited by the dies you have.
Thankfully, the complete starter kit for the Sizzix Big Shot has all you need to get right into scrapbooking, quilting, and more. It can cut and emboss a wide variety of materials, including cardstock, tissue, cork, balsa wood, and even craft metal. You can easily expand your toolset with the large library of accessories and implements in Sizzix’s library.
Another advantage of the manual operation of the Big Shot is that it won’t fall prey to malfunctioning components and buggy software that electronic cutting machines can face. It’s purely mechanical, and the machine itself doesn’t do the cutting; it simply applies pressure for the die to cut out the pattern. You’ll be getting a machine that does what it does without worrying about potential costly repairs.
Should You Get The Sizzix Big Shot?
As it’s a manual cutting machine, the Sizzix Big Shot is quite affordable, so it’s great if you want to craft but don’t have the budget to spare for a complicated machine. Beginners will love being able to start their DIY adventures with a traditional die cutter, which is simple to learn but has many possibilities. Even those who already have other cutting machines will enjoy being able to go full manual with a project.
As it’s a manual cutting machine, the Sizzix Big Shot is quite affordable, so it’s great if you want to craft but don’t have the budget to spare for a complicated machine.
The Brother ScanNCut is the only DIY cutting machine that has a 600 dpi scanner built into the device. This lets you turn any scannable image into a design. To boot, it’s powerful and quiet, letting you use thin and thick materials with ease.