Every quilter, designer, and decorator knows the importance of owning a fabric cutting machine.
Although some may choose to use scissors, some fabrics are just too tough to be cut this way. As for rotary cutters, it’s just way too easy to get injured while using them.
Additionally, there is a precision offered by fabric cutting machines that are not offered by other means of cutting. This kind of precision is especially important when quilting. Eventually, every professional crafter needs a cutting machine for fabric.
Not only will it save you a lot of time but it will also save you from unnecessary injuries.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the best fabric cutting machine for quilting. First of all, you have to decide if you want a manual machine, an electric one or an electronic one.
Each type comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Here we outline several examples of each type of fabric cutting machine, each with its major highlights in below fabric cutting machine reviews.
Quick Guide To Best Fabric Cutting Machines
|Product||Functions||Our Rating||Our Review|
|Best Manual Fabric Cutting Machines|
|AccuQuilt GO! Starter Set||Fabric cutting||4.6/5||Review|
|Sizzix Big Shot Pro||Die cut, emboss||4.5/5||Review|
|Best Electric Fabric Cutting Machines|
|Accuquilt GO! Big Fabric Cutter||Fabric cutting||4.6/5||Review|
|Reliable 1500FR Octagonal Knife||Fabric cutting||4.5/5||Review|
|Best Electronic Cutting Machines For Fabric|
|Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2||Scan & cut||4.7/5||Review|
|Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine||Print & cut, write, score||4.6/5||Review|
Best Manual Fabric Cutting Machines
As the name suggests, these fabric cutting machines are completely manual.
The main advantage of these machines is that you don’t need any electricity or even batteries to use them. This makes them highly suitable for people who don’t want to incur extra electrical costs.
They also have lower purchase prices as compared to their electric and electronic counterparts.
The main disadvantage would be that using this type of machine may deem strenuous since you will constantly be using your hands.
They may also be slower than their electric and electronic counterparts. However, if you don’t mind the extra work that comes with them, they are very efficient fabric cutting machines.
Here are some of the best manual fabric cutting machines.
#1 – AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter Starter Set
Unlike some other brands, AccuQuilt cutters are usually made specifically for sewing and quilting.
This starter set is generally a quilter’s dream come true. This set usually contains the AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter, some die, a cutting mat, a pattern book, a die pick and a quick start guide.
- Fast and accurate cutting
- It’s easy to use
- Portable and easy to carry
- It comes with unlimited design options
- Limited dies included in the set
- It does not accept other types of dies
The cutter is highly portable, weighing in at 15 pounds. Its dimensions are 17 by 5 by 15.5 inches, making it highly convenient.
It also has an easy-to-use design that reduces arm and hand strain.
Additionally, this AccuQuilt GO! cutter has a built in carrying case and cuts fabrics 90% faster than scissors or rotary tools.
The icing on the cake, however, is that it can cut up to 6 layers of fabric at a time making it extremely efficient. This kind of accuracy is remarkable.
The major drawback to this product is that it only comes with Go Value Die. This forces you to buy other dies separately.
#2 – Sizzix 660550 Big Shot Pro Cutting/Embossing Machine
This Sizzix fabric cutter is a classic manual die cutting machine. Every quilter I know has used a Sizzix machine at least once in their craft.
This cutter is especially suited to quilting. It weighs 40.5 pounds and has measurements of 24 by 21.6 by 8 inches.
- It accepts a variety of dies
- It is compatible with every design from Sizzix and Ellison
- Improved fabric cutting due to large bed
- It is heavy
This fabric die cutter is heavy set than most. This is because it is made from industrial materials.
It has a 13 inches opening and accepts all types of materials ranging from foam to cardstock.
It comes with 0.10 mm mylar shims, a cutting pad, a crease pad and an adapter pad. It has a 3-year warranty.
The Sizziz Big Shot Pro cutting/embossing machine is adaptable in that it can use a large variety of dies including AccuQuilt Studio dies. Custom dies are also available for this machine.
This cutter is also highly accurate and can cut up to 8 layers of fabric at a time. This helps you save time that you could use to come up with new designs.
The Sizzix Cutting Machine is known for its precise and sharp cuts.
The only plausible drawback to this cutter is its heavy nature which makes it difficult to carry from place to place.
See also: How to Choose The Best Quilting Machine?
Best Electric Fabric Cutting Machines
These cutting machines use electricity which makes them less strenuous to use than the manual ones.
Although electric fabric cutting machines are more expensive than the manual ones, they tend to be faster and generally more efficient.
Their major disadvantage is that they cannot be used in places which experience frequent power outages.
Also, they are not as durable as the manual one. This is because it is easier for an electric fabric cutter to burn out than for a manual cutter to get spoilt.
Although there are many types of electric fabric cutters, here are a couple of the best.
#1 – Accuquilt GO! Big Fabric Cutter
The AccuQuilt GO! Big Fabric Cutter is considered by many as the best electric cutting machine for fabric.
It is highly suitable for people who love quilting from the comfort of their homes. This electric fabric cutting machine can be easily stored because it folds easily.
- It is easy to store
- It can cut two 6 inch dies at the same time
- It has built in safety features
- It is heavy
- Not suitable for thin dies
It’s currently the biggest system that AccuQuilt has ever made, accepting dies of up to 14 inches wide. It comes with a built in handle for easier movability.
This Accuquilt GO! electric fabric cutter comes with GO! Flying Geese Die, a cutting mat and 6 creative patterns to get you started.
It has built in safety features and coordinates well with GO fabric cutter tote and die bag.
Additionally, you can use two 6 inch dies at the same time when using this machine.
The major drawback to this cutter is its heaviness. This makes it hard to carry it around.
Another drawback is that it is not suitable for cutting very thin die. When dealing with a thin die the cut will not go completely through the material.
This is because the thickness of the die is what helps the machine come up with the necessary pressure to make the cut.
Needless to say, if you need to cut a thin die, you will need to find a way to compensate for the missing thickness.
This machine does not go on automatically when plugged in. You will need to press the green power button for it to come on.
#2 – Reliable 1500FR Octagonal Knife Cloth Cutting Machine, 4-Inch
This electric rotary fabric cutter is manufactured by an Ontario based company called Reliable.
Reliable was founded in 1955 and is known for applying emerging, cut throat technology to manufacture steamers and sewing machines among other products.
The Reliable 1500FR octagonal knife cloth cutting machine is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 8.2 pounds and having measurements of measurements of 11.3 by 5 by 10 inches. It also has a thin blade plate.
- It is lightweight
- Its blade is self-sharpening
- It is versatile
- It is less suitable for heavy fabrics
Its octagonal blade is 4-inch thick and can cut from a ply of fabric to 1 inch of fabric. This blade gives a better cutting edge and gives you better control of the machine.
This cloth cutting machine has a powerful 110-volt electric motor, and its blade automatically sharpens itself.
Additionally, its blade can cut through a variety of materials. Not only does it cut through fabric, but it also cuts through plastics.
It also has a carbide tipped counter blade. The combination of this carbide tipped carbide blade, and octagonal blade keeps the fabric steady and prevents it from jamming.
This cloth cutting machine also has front and rear knife guards for safety purposes.
It is mostly suitable for light to medium weight fabrics. You will be glad to know that this machine comes with a motor brush, stone, grease, blade key and extra blade.
It also comes with a one year warranty.
The main drawback of this Reliable machine is that it is not suitable for heavy fabrics.
This machine should often be washed to avoid getting lubricant all over the fabric being cut.
Try it out. You may actually love it!
Best Electronic Fabric Cutting Machines
Electronic or digital cutting machines not only use electricity but also come with user-friendly digital features like wireless connection, touch screen monitors, scanning systems and built in designs.
Their main advantage is that they simplify operations like creating and customizing of designs. However, they are usually more expensive than the manual ones.
Here are some of the best electronic fabric cutting machines.
#1 – Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 Home & Hobby Cutting Machine
This Brother scan and cut machine is lightweight, weighing in at only 10.4 pounds and having measurements of 10.1 by 22.8 by10.6 inches.
Brother is widely known for its cutting edge technological innovation. Needless to say, this particular product of theirs does not disappoint.
- Wireless network connectivity
- Can be connected to a PC
- No need for cartridges and dies
- Steep learning curve
- Only one ply of fabric is cut at a time
Consisting of German blades and a unique Japanese design, this machine is mostly used for cutting shapes for fabrics.
It comes with a 4.85-inch LCD screen. This represents a 30% increase from the screen size of the original version.
This cutter also comes with wireless connectivity and PC adaptability making it very convenient.
This Brother cutting machine requires neither cartridges nor dies. It is a scan and cut machine that allows you to scan any drawings or patterns you want and customize pattern designs for yourself.
It comes with a 300 DPI scanner for specifically for this purpose. This scanning system comes with RGB recognition. There is also a web application to help out with this process.
This digital cutting machine also comes with in built designs and 7 fonts. This removes the need for you to pay for any subscriptions while enabling you to come up with unique personal designs.
Although you can decide to hook this machine to your computer, it can also stand alone without the computer.
With this Brother CM350 cutting machine, you also get saved from the cost of buying new art files, giving you the chance of utilizing the art files you already have.
Unfortunately, this machine also comes with several draw backs.
One of them is that it can only allow you to cut one strip of fabric at a time. To make matters worse, each strip can’t be thicker than 12 inches.
Additionally, before cutting, you always need to prepare the fabric using starch and paper mats. It is also highly unfortunate that the sticky mats are not sticky enough. They, therefore, don’t hold the fabric properly. This forces you to use more than one sticky mat.
The biggest drawback, however, is that it takes time to get the hang of using this fabric shape cutter.
Make sure you read the manual that comes with the machine. This will help you learn faster and avoid unnecessary mistakes.
#2 – Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
Weighing in at only 16 pounds, this Cricut digital cutting machine is known for its enhanced precision cuts.
It is programmed to make cuts of the appropriate depth and pressure depending on the type of material being cut.
It’s known to be the best Cricut machine to date.
- Precise cuts
- Able to cut over a 100 materials
- You get to make designs from anywhere
- It’s not able to cut fabric thicker than 12 inches wide
Faux leather, specialty paper, poster board and adhesive foils are some of the over a hundred materials that can be cut by this Cricut fabric cutter.
This cutter also has embedded Bluetooth to facilitate wireless cutting. This is very convenient.
It also gives you access to Cricut’s design software called Design Space. This software enables you to make designs from any location.
This cutter also gives you the option of either uploading your own designs or choosing one from its library.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 allows you to create designs from your computer, tablet or Android using the Circuit Design App.
It also comes with a dual clamp that holds a blade and another accessory such as a pen. This allows you to multitask effectively. This arrangement allows you to cut and write up to two times faster.
The major drawback to this machine is that it is not able to cut fabrics of thicker than 12 inches.
See also: Best Quilting Machine Comparison Chart
I’ve been trying out all fabric cutting machines above, and Brother CM350 ScanNCut 2 is the machine I love so much.
This is the hands down winner for me. My reasons for loving it are numerous. For one, the cutting edge technology blew my mind.
Secondly, the precision and accuracy are worth dying for. This machine can cut the most intricate patterns with minimal effort.
This machine is truly one of a kind. As much as it takes some time to get the hang of using this cutter, it is definitely worth the trouble.
How about you? Which machine do you think is the best fabric cutting machine?