If you’re a quilter, you know that having a good fabric cutting machine can make all the difference in your projects. But with so many different machines on the market, it can be hard to know which one is the best for your needs. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best fabric cutting machines for quilting, so you can find the perfect one for your purposes.
Fabric cutting machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but which is the best machine for fabric? This question can be difficult to answer because it depends on your needs as a sewer. However, we will do our best to help you figure out which machine is right for you. So get the sewing machine ready, and keep reading to learn more!
A fabric cutting machine is a device used to cut fabric into accurate shapes and sizes. Using a cutting machine has many benefits, especially for quilters and sewers.
One benefit is that once you are confident using your selected fabric cutter machine, you’ll be able to cut fabric pieces for your quilt much faster than ever before.
Additionally, it can help to save on fabric waste. When cutting fabric manually, it is often difficult to get accurate cuts, which can lead to a whole lot of fabric being wasted. A cutting machine helps prevent this by making accurate cuts quickly and easily.
Another benefit is that a cutting machine can be used on different fabric types. From thin silk to thick denim, a cutting machine can handle all sorts of different fabrics.
Different types of machines are also available, from manual machines to electronic cutters.
No matter your needs, there is sure to be a cutting machine that is perfect for you.
What to look for in a fabric cutting machine
You should consider a few factors before purchasing a fabric cutting machine for quilting. This comprehensive guide will cover what to look for in a fabric cutting machine so you can make the best decision for your needs.
To find the best cutting machines for quilting, it is important to consider the fabrics most often cut. The three main fabrics used in quilting are cotton, wool and flannel.
Each fabric type has unique qualities that make it ideal for certain projects. For example, cotton is a durable fabric that withstands a lot of wear and tear. Wool is a warm fabric that is perfect for winter garments. Flannel is a soft fabric often used for baby blankets and other projects requiring a delicate touch. Personally, I love to use flannelette on the backs of all my quilts. It makes them feel much cosier!
Once the type of fabrics has been considered, it is time to look at the different features offered by different machines. Some machines may have more bells and whistles than others, but ultimately the decision comes down to personal preference.
Some features, however, are worth considering when making a purchase.
- The size of the machine
If you only plan on making small quilts, then a smaller machine may be all you need. However, if you want to tackle larger projects, you will need to get a bigger machine. A smaller machine may be easier to transport from one location to another, but it will have limited cutting capabilities. A larger machine will be able to handle bigger projects but may be more difficult to move around.
- The price
Cutting machines can range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is important to consider how much money you are willing to spend on a machine before making a purchase. Do research before making your final purchase to know that you are getting the best possible deal on the right machine for your needs.
- Ease of use
Another important consideration is how easy the machine is to use and operate. You don’t want something that will be difficult to figure out how to use. It should have clear instructions and be easy enough for even a beginner quilter to understand how it works.
- The warranty
Many companies offer warranties on their products. This is something that should be taken into consideration when purchasing because it will protect your investment in case something goes wrong with the machine.
What are the different types of cutting machines?
The three most popular fabric cutting machines are electronic, die-cutting, and rotary.
Electronic cutters are the most expensive but can make precise cuts.
Die-cutting machines are more expensive but can cut multiple layers of fabric simultaneously.
- Electronic cutting machine
Most fabric electronic cutting machines can cut through various materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and even some types of fabrics. The machines use a blade to cut through the material you’re working with. The blade is controlled by a computer, which allows you to precisely control the cut.
An electronic cutter is the way to go if you need speed and precision. Some features to consider include blade size, speed, and warranty. Blade size is important because it determines how much material you can cut at one time. Speed is important because it determines how fast you can complete a project.
- Manual die cutters
Manual cutters are great for people who have a lot of patience and don’t mind taking their time to make clean cuts. They’re also usually less expensive than electronic cutting machines. On the other hand, electronic cutting machines are much faster and can be more precise, making them a better choice for people who are short on time or want perfect results.
In terms of space, manual cutters are usually smaller and more portable, while electronic cutting machines can take up a lot of space. Ultimately, the best fabric cutter for you is a matter of personal preference. A manual cutter can be a great option if you have the time and patience.
- Electric rotary cutter
An electric rotary fabric cutter is a handheld cutting tool that is used to cut fabric. It is equipped with a sharp blade that can quickly and easily cut through fabric. This type of cutter is very popular among quilters, fabric crafters, and seamstresses. It is a versatile tool that can be used to cut straight or curved lines.
Rotary cutters are a popular type of fabric cutting machine. They are easy to use and can cut a variety of materials.
Whichever type of cutter you choose, get one that fits your specific needs.
Electronic Cutting Machines
1. Cricut Maker 3
The Cricut Maker is one of the best digital cutting machines on the market.
This professional-grade machine will quickly become the most-used creative tool in your home. The Maker 3 has an innovative cutting blade system that lets you cut easily and a rotary blade that effortlessly cuts even the thickest materials.
Create any project from fabric to leather on your phone in the Cricut Design Space software, and then transfer the design to your Cricut Maker machine to complete your project.
There’s a good reason why the Cricut Maker is one of the best option machines on the market. It cuts over 300 different materials, making light work of intricate cuts. It’s a versatile machine. And to ensure you are up and running in no time, there’s a huge online presence of other users to assist you with any question you may have.
Crafted with precision in mind, the Cricut Maker 3 makes even the most intricate projects a breeze. From craft projects to decorating projects, this high-powered machine offers a simple and creative way to enjoy your favorite hobbies.Check prices here!
2. Silhouette Cameo
The Silhouette Cameo 4 is a digital cutting machine that allows people to create their own unique products and designs. A Cameo is a versatile machine because it can cut fabric, saving you time when cutting quilt pieces. If you’re someone who does other crafts besides quilting, you’ll love it even more, because this machine cuts over 100 different materials.
The design space for a Cameo is Silhouette Studio. With this software, you can create amazing home decor pieces and personalize gifts in minutes. There’s something for everyone, and you can even download free designs from the Silhouette Library, customize your own designs in Silhouette Studio, or simply start with blank pages and explore the creative possibilities.
The Silhouette Cameo has various features that make it a great choice for those who want to create their own products using Silhouette Studio. With the flexibility to cut so many materials, the Cameo is the perfect machine for quilting.Check prices here!
3. Brother ScanNCut SDX125E
If you are looking for a way to take your quilting and sewing projects to the next level, then you need to check out the Brother ScanNCut. This electronic cutting machine can cut fabric with ease and accuracy, making it a must-have tool for any serious quilter or sewer.
The Brother ScanNCut has 682 built-in designs and more than 100 quilting patterns and fonts, so you can craft your own custom projects, whether simple or intricate. Plus, it has a USB port for importing designs from your computer.
The Brother ScanNCut DX auto blade and auto blade holder use advanced technology to automatically detect the thickness of the material with no blade adjustment or material selection required.
The machine can cut through multiple layers of fabric at once, so you can quilt or sew with confidence, knowing that your cuts will be precise and accurate. In addition to cutting fabric, the Brother ScanNCut can also be used to cut paper, vinyl, and other materials.
The Brother SDX125E is the best cutting machine for paper piecing quilt blocks as it can cut both the template and the fabric, saving you much time!
4. Sizzix Big Shot Express
This machine is for lovers of die-cutting, but with less effort! If you’ve been crafting for a while, you’ll probably have a lot of different dies in your stash because once upon a time, you could only get manual die-cutting machines. Now you can use those same dies in an electronic machine!
The Big Shot is great for delicate fabrics as the fabric is sandwiched in place with the dies. This machine uses the standard 6″ base plate and sandwich system for which the standard Big Shot is famous.
Unlike the other machines, the Big Shot can also be used easily as an embossing machine if you have the correct folders. The ease of use of this machine makes it a great option.
The Sizzix Big Shot Express is a fantastic option if you want the ease of an electronic machine and you've already got loads of dies. While you can't design your own cut file, this may still suit your needs really well.Check prices here!
5. Cricut Explore Air
The Cricut Explore Air is a top-of-the-line cutting machine perfect for any crafting project. It can easily cut through various materials, including paper, vinyl, and bonded fabric. The machine also has a built-in Bluetooth connection, so you can quickly transfer your designs to the device for cutting.
With a Cricut Explore Air, you can easily cut over 100 different types of materials, but most importantly, for quilting, bonded fabric.
Bonded fabric means you must back your fabric to stabilise it before cutting it. This is because the Explore Air uses a fine point blade to cut. This is great if you are cutting designs for applique-type quilting.
6. Silhouette Portrait
Like the Cameo, the Silhouette Portrait is a decent machine that allows you to create quilting projects without much manual cutting. The Portrait is smaller than the Cameo, so it doesn’t take up as much space.
The cutting mat is only 8″ wide, so consider it when comparing the Portrait to the Cameo. However, the Portrait can only cut bonded fabric, similar to the Cricut Explore Air. This is because the machine uses a knife blade, not a rotary blade.
7. Brother ScanNCut SDX85S
The Brother ScanNCut SDX85S is similar to the SDX125E, however, it doesn’t come with as many inbuilt designs or free patterns. The LCD screen is also smaller, but the trade-off comes with the price. This machine is cheaper than the SDX125E, so if you are ok with the reduction in designs and the screen, this machine may suit your needs.
The DSX85S also has the same advanced features of automatic material sensors so you don’t need to tell the machine what type of material you are cutting. The cutting mat is 12″ x 12″, so you can cut large blocks that suit your project’s needs.
This electric fabric cutter will be a handy addition to your quilting process. It's great for both applique and blocks alike. It is a more reasonable price than the SDX125E, but with similar functionality.Check prices here!
8. Gemini Junior Twin-Function Cutter & Embosser
The Gemini Junior has unique features as a fabric cutter. It uses dies to cut fabric, giving you clean, perfect cuts every time. While you may not be able to design your own shapes to cut, using dies is convenient if you already have a large stash.
To use the machine, you simply sandwich your fabric and die together and insert it into the Gemini. The Gemini applies pressure and cuts the fabric.
The best part is that the Gemini can also be used for embossing folders. This makes the machine versatile if you want to use it for other crafts.
The Gemini can be used in two different ways, cutting and embossing. If you aren't interested in other crafts, then you only need to know that it cuts fabric perfectly with the use of dies!Check prices here!
Manual Cutting Machines
As a crafter, you may feel digital machines are complicated, expensive, and possibly not worth the trouble and noise! Luckily for you, I have listed below several manual fabric cutter machines that can help with your quilting.
9. Sizzix Big Shot Plus
The Big Shot Plus is one of the crafters’ most popular manual machines and has been for a long time. It has an ergonomic handle to wind your sandwich through and create exact cuts using cutting dies.
What’s better about the Big Shot Plus is that it’s bigger! It now has a 9″ opening, perfect for your larger-sized dies. It comes with everything you need (no dies though) to get started.
If you want an even bigger Big Shot, make sure you check out the Sizzix Big Shot Pro. It’s even bigger than this one!
The humble Big Shot, but better! With the ability to cut a wide range of materials, this machine is one of the best cutting tools on the market because it is simple and convenient to use.Check prices here!
10. Spellbinders Platinum Cut & Emboss Machine
The Spellbinders Platinum machine is an excellent alternative to the Big Shot. It is smaller, with only a 6″ opening. However, this means that the overall size takes up less space.
The hand crank on the Platinum is smooth and easy to use. The best part is that you can use all your existing Sizzix dies in this machine, so there’s no need to purchase different branded ones.
The Platinum has a string steel core which means you can even cut balsa wood. It comes with all the plates you will need to get started cutting immediately.
11. Bira Craft Die Cutter
The Bira Craft die cutter is a convenient machine that folds up to save on space. The difference with the Bira is that you can adjust the base plate height instead of trying to work out the perfect sandwich combination for your die.
The crank handle can be removed for easy storage to make the Bira even more compact. The Bira does come in different sizes, but for quilting, you probably want this larger-sized machine.
The Bira uses all the normal branded dies, so you don’t need to worry about having the right die for your needs.
Compact and space-saving, the Bira die cutting machine is a great tool to have in the draft room. It folds up to save space, yet has a generous 9" opening. This is a great die cutter machine.Check prices here!
12. Sizzix Big Shot Foldaway
The Sizzix brand is the leader in manual die-cutting machines. The Foldaway is no exception. This machine is very compact, with only a 6″ opening, but its size makes it very portable.
This machine takes all the different die brands; just ensure your sandwich is correct for the die you are using.
If you need a die cutting machine that you can transport easily, the Big Shot Foldaway is perfect. The compact size means it is lighter and easier to transport. Perfect if you want to catch up with friends to make quilts together.Check prices here!
Electric Rotary Cutters
I’ll admit, the next lot of cutters look a bit scary! But with a little practice, they can make light work of your cutting. You can cut multiple fabric layers at once with these cutters.
One of the things I love to hate about quilting is the cutting! I find it so tedious and I end up with aches and pains in weird places. If you’re like me, then keep reading to learn more about the best rotary cutters for your needs.
13. Hercules 5-Speed Cordless Electric Rotary Cutter
The Hercules cordless cutter will cut your fabric with ease. The machine comes with a rechargeable battery and a spare, so you can cut through so much fabric!
The rotary cutting machines are great for cutting straight lines and curves. If you have a lot of straight cuts to make, I would recommend a cutter like this.
As this cutter has a base plate, you can use it without the need for a cutting mat, which is great news for those of us who make long straight cuts.
14. Baoshishan Electric Fabric Rotary Cutter
The Baoshishan cutter is another nifty tool. Unlike the Hercules above, this cutter has a cord. This cutter has a circular blade and can also cut numerous layers of fabric in one go, making it convenient if you have folded cotton you want to make into strips.
The electric rotary cutters make cutting easier and less painful! The cutter has rollers on the bottom, allowing for a smooth cut. This cutter is suitable for a range of fabrics too.
15. CGoldenwall Electric Rotary Fabric Cutter
Ok, so this one doesn’t have the ergonomic handle that the other rotary cutters have, but it’s still a great cutter! This one can cut multiple layers of fabric too, up to 1″ thick.
It has a stable copper motor which means it is more reliable but unfortunately slightly heavier.
From table runners to king-sized quilts, cutting fabric can take lots of time! If there’s a way to make this part of quilting easier, then I’m all for it.
I love the fact that there are so many different types of cutting machines available to choose from. Being a mixed-crafter, I would go for one I could use for quilting and my paper crafts.
But at the same time, I love making quick and easy strip-style quilts, so an electric rotary cutter will be on my Christmas wish list this year!
I hope the above cutting machine reviews have helped you choose the right cutter for your needs.
If you have any further questions, ask below in the comments!