This is a great option for DIY enthusiasts who want an affordable way to experiment the potential of a decent quality vinyl cutter. With a price tag below $140, this vinyl cutter will not hit your pocket too hard. It lacks the extra features found on premium cutters, but it can still cut almost any standard thickness vinyl sheet.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Great value for money
For a price tag below $140, you're getting a fully functional vinyl cutter. Even though this machine does not have the ‘fancy’ features more premium cutters have, such as tangential emulation or overcut, it still can cut any standard vinyl sheet.
Pro Ideal for sign cutting
The maximum cutting length of this machine is quite impressive: 120” in total. Therefore, the effective cutting area of this vinyl cutter is 8” x 120”. You can easily cut medium-sized signs with this amount of workspace available.
Pro Clear and simple software
Silhouette Studio is the software this machine works with. No special skills are required to work with it. Even a new user will easily produce his/her first cut within 10-30 minutes. All the buttons and tabs are easy to find and use.
Pro Capable of contour cutting
This machine has got a registration mark system, being able to detect printed registration marks with the aid of a camera, mounted near the toolhead. This feature allows you to cut multi-colored stickers and heat transfers.
Pro Affordable blades
Silhouette offers very affordable blade replacement options. For under $8, you can buy a new replacement blade with a cartridge. The blade (and its cartridge) is a consumable part that needs to be frequently replaced.
Pro Multiple designs are available online
You do not have to be an artist to work with this machine. You can easily buy artwork from the Silhouette design store. The prices are more than affordable: the majority of the shapes are priced between 50 cents and 3 dollars and several free shapes are also available. All the purchased forms are imported to your shape library automatically.
Pro Very portable
Due to its compact size (16.25” x 5.6” x 4.5”) and light weight (3.5 lbs), this machine is a perfect solution for those who need a portable vinyl cutter.
Con Can only handle standard vinyl
Attempt to cut extra thick or extra thin vinyl will jam this cutter. It has neither the precision nor the power required to handle these thicknesses.
Con Works only with bitmap files
The Silhouette Studio can only import bitmap files (.gif, .tif, .jpg, .png and a few others). Unfortunately, there is no way of importing proprietary files from Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw.
Con Spare mechanical parts are hard to find
Silhouette does not provide spare mechanical parts (like rollers, belts, motors, or gears) via their online store. Therefore, it is very complicated to find any functional spare parts for this machine.
Con Not the most reliable option
If you need a cutter for a business, maybe it's not the best idea to rely completely on this machine, since it is not a professional grade unit. Cheap vinyl cutters are well known for sudden breakages.
Con Poorly built
This vinyl cutter feels very cheap, it is very noticeable that the manufacturer sacrificed build quality to lower the machine's price. The body of the machine is very fragile, users need to be very careful not to drop it.