Best Cricut Alternative for Crafters and Designers

by Jane Melcher
Updated on

If you like crafting, there's a high chance you've thought about getting a Cricut machine. Cricut machines can cut a wide range of materials, from vinyl to cardboard to textiles like leather and felt. However, if you are on a tight budget and know what you want, you can consider getting the best Cricut alternative.

This post will examine the top Cricut alternatives and show how they can do all of a Cricut's functions. In this post, we'll examine the top Cricut substitutes and show how they can do all of a Cricut's functions and even a little bit more.

What is Cricut, and Why is it Popular?

Cricut is a widely known cutting machine maker that meets the demands of every crafter. Cricut is the go-to brand for cutting machines because of its dependability and simplicity of use, whether you merely want to cut materials like vinyl and paper with the Cricut Joy or want to cut textiles and matboard with the Cricut Maker.

The best Cricut machines use Bluetooth technology to cut exact forms every time. Once the machine has your design, it will use the machine's blades to cut it out. The cutting pad holds your material in place while the machine takes care of the rest. Consider properly cut lettering, shapes, and other details.

However, if you're new to creating and don't want all of the bells and whistles, Cricut isn't the only cutting-machine manufacturer to consider.

Is There a Better Alternative to Cricut?

You have several options when choosing the top Cricut alternatives. These devices, from companies like Brother and Silhouette, can do all of the functions of a Cricut cutting machine, plus a bit more. Cricut is the most popular brand regarding craft machines, but the others have a lot to offer.

Image Source: brother.ca

These machines, like those from Cricut, can cut paper, cards, vinyl, and fabric, among other things. There is a viable alternative for every Cricut machine. If you're looking for the best Cricut alternative, we looked into all of the cutting machines on the market to identify the ones that are worth your time.

1. Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit 661500 Manual Machine

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit 661500 Manual Die Cutting & Embossing Machine for Arts & Crafts,...
8,545 Reviews
Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit 661500 Manual Die Cutting & Embossing Machine for Arts & Crafts,...
  • MACHINE COMES WITH – A complete starter...
  • DIE CUTTING AND EMBOSSING - This Big Shot is...
  • THE A5 SIZED OPENING - Allows you to create...
  • MULTITUDE OF MATERIALS - Cut and emboss...
  • COMPATIBILITY – The Big Shot is compatible...

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is a budget-friendly alternative to Cricut Maker 3. It comes with an elegant design that you can manual die-cutting, embossing, scrapbooking, paper crafting, cardmaking, quilting, appliqué, and other similar crafts.

With a 6-inch wide opening, the cutting machine can cut material with a width of 8.875 inches and a depth of 0.625 inches. The roller system is made up of a steel core and a heavy-duty outer shell. A regular pair of cutting pads, a platform, a Thinlits Die Set, a Bigz Die, a Textured Impressions embossing folder for 3D textures, and 12 pieces of 6 x 6 in paper sheets are all included in the original package.

Image Source: Sizzix

The Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit is designed for novice crafters and amateurs who need to educate themselves with a die-cutting machine before moving on to more complex devices like the Cricut Maker 3. However, unlike the Cricut Maker 3, the Sizzix Big Shot does not need the use of a computer or mobile device.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a wide range of accessories
  • It has the ability to cut a variety of material

Cons

  • It can't be used with pro and plus die
  • Assembly is a bit complicated

2. Silhouette White Cameo 4 Starter Bundle

Silhouette White Cameo 4 Starter Bundle with 38 Oracal Vinyl Sheets, T-Shirt Vinyl, Transfer Paper,...
2,694 Reviews
Silhouette White Cameo 4 Starter Bundle with 38 Oracal Vinyl Sheets, T-Shirt Vinyl, Transfer Paper,...
  • Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth and...
  • 38 Sheets of Oracal 651 Premium Vinyl - 12" x...
  • 4 Tool Adapters - Allows for use of Cameo 3,...
  • Ultimate Guide to the Cameo 4, Ultimate Guide...
  • Built in Roll Feeder, LED Touch Panel, 5...

The Silhouette Cameo 4 is another Cricut Maker alternative. When it comes to Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut, it's on par with the Cricut Maker 3 in terms of speed, with both being very quick, and, like the Maker 3, the Cameo 4 includes an inLOtegrated roller feeder.

Silhouette Cameo 4 is less expensive and is the strongest of the two machines in terms of downward force, weighing in at 5kg, a full 1kg more than the Cricut Maker.

The cutting machine has new tools, including the Kraft and Rotary, which can handle balsa wood, leather, and chipboard. It can also handle lengthier patterns. The knife blade is able to cut the material up to 3mm thick, which is 0.6mm thicker than the Cricut Maker 3.

Image Source: Silhouette America

Another significant distinction is the software. The Silhouette Studio has a higher learning curve than the Cricut, which is incredibly intuitive and simple. However, with this Silhouette machine, there is no requirement for an active internet connection, and there's no monthly membership charge as there is with Cricut Access.

Pros

  • Integrated roller feeder to allow you to work on longer materials
  • Faster than the Cricut machines
  • Cheaper than Cricut maker
  • It can be used on a wide range of materials

Cons

  • The Silhouette studio is a bit difficult to comprehend.

3. Fierton 12"×10" Heat Press Machine

Fierton 12'×10' Heat Press Machine for T Shirts Portable Automatic Easy Heat Press Sublimation...
2,223 Reviews
Fierton 12"×10" Heat Press Machine for T Shirts Portable Automatic Easy Heat Press Sublimation...
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  • 【Safe Anti-Overheating System】Three...
  • 【Suitable for Wide range of use】The Mini...

The Cricut EasyPress 2 is a convenient, portable gadget that works well if you're printing rather than cutting, especially on T-shirts, hoodies, and other big textile products. However, it is costly, and there are less expensive alternatives available.

The Fierton heat press is a cheaper alternative that is lightweight and portable. It works with vinyl and fabrics such as sweatshirts, banners, and T-shirts that are printed using thermal transfer and sublimation paper. You just need to set your chosen time and temperature and then sit back and watch it work in just sixty seconds.

Image Source: Fierton

Furthermore, you can work for a number of hours without becoming too hot since there's a safety mode and an insulated safety foundation. There's also an automated turn-off timer. The iron sits a bit farther away from the surface and takes a little longer to heat up than some of the other Cricut alternatives, but once it's ready, it performs pretty well.

Pros

  • Cheaper than Cricut machines
  • Simple to use
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Includes a safety mode
  • Great performance

Cons

  • It takes longer to heat up

4. USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle

Sale
Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in Bundle - Sign Making Kit w/Design & Cut Software, Supplies, Tools
1,441 Reviews
Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in Bundle - Sign Making Kit w/Design & Cut Software, Supplies, Tools
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If your craft business involves cutting vinyl, the UsCutter MH 34 Inch Vinyl Cutter Plotter is a great alternative to the Cricut. It may be used to create logos, signs, banners, decals, and even heat transfer garments without the need for a mat. Six blades and a weeding tool are included in the original package.

The cutting machine comes in a variety of sizes. It comes with its stand, so you don't have to put it on a desk, and you can easily move it about your office. It also has three pinch rollers that may be adjusted for speed and pressure.

While the Cricut Maker 3 can cut up to 24 inches, the UsCutter MH Vinyl Cutter outperforms it since it can provide from 34 inches at a staggering pace of 39 inches per second.

Image Source: USCutter

In addition, it comes with a high-quality dual ball-bearing media roller mechanism that allows you to place the material directly on top of the rollers rather than rolling the vinyl each time. It's a great time-saving machine and, as a result, a cost-saving option for your business.

Pros

  • Ability to make large designs
  • It has an unparalleled speed
  • Matless cutting
  • Easy to use
  • Cheaper than Cricut maker 3
  • Available in multiple sizes

Cons

  • The software works only on Windows computers
  • Not the best for thicker materials due to poor cutting force

5. Brother ScanNCut SDX125EGY Electronic DIY Cutting Machine

Brother ScanNCut SDX125EGY Electronic DIY Cutting Machine with Scanner, Make Custom Stickers, Vinyl...
1,389 Reviews
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  • SCAN DRAWINGS AND MATERIALS: Brother ScanNCut...
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  • Cuts up to 3 millimeter (0.1 inch);...
  • PERFECT FOR HOBBYISTS AND BUDDING...

Brother is a more recognizable brand name. It is most known for its printers and sewing machines, but it also manufactures cutting machines that are similar to Cricut. For enthusiasts working with paper, card vinyl, and fabric, especially quilters, the ScanNCut SDX125 is one of the best Cricut alternatives.

The scanning feature of the ScanNCut SDX125 sets it apart from other options. It has a scanner integrated into it, so you can turn printed papers into actual projects.

You can transmit SVG files from your computer, but you can also use the LCD touchscreen display and the 682 built-in designs, which include 100 quilting patterns and nine typefaces, to program designs directly on the machine.

Image Source: Brother

Similar to the Silhouette Cameo 4, this cutting machine can cut material up to 3 mm thick, making it superior to the Cricut Maker 3. It features an AutoBlade that recognizes the thickness of the material automatically. On the other hand, this Brother machine is just 29.7cm wide, compared to the Cricut Maker's 33cm.

Pros

  • Great for thicker materials
  • A reputable brand
  • Comes with a built-in scanner
  • Reliable LCD panel for direct editing
  • Features Auto
  • Blade to detect the material thickness

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than the Cricut Explore Air 2

6. Silhouette America, Silhouette Mint Custom Printer (White)

Silhouette America, Silhouette Mint Custom Printer (White)
1,276 Reviews
Silhouette America, Silhouette Mint Custom Printer (White)
  • Silhouette Mint Custom Stamp Maker. Power...
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  • 4 ink bottles in black, red, blue, and...
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Ink and paint stamping will be digitalized thanks to the Silhouette Mint. It does the task quite effectively. The device is compact and nicely configured; it may be carried in hand or transported in a bag to a friend's home. The benefit of using digital ink stamps to make designs for bags, shirts, and cards is that they are consistent.

Image Source: Silhouette America

The Silhouette Mint uses the prepared sheets you feed it to heat the design and produce raised 3D designs using thermal technology. The thermal inks from Silhouette may be used to color them before being imprinted with unique patterns onto clothing. The Mint offers more than 50 free themes and is simple and friendly.

The Silhouette Mint's capabilities are limited since it isn't a cutting device. With the benefit that you don't require a cutter, like the Silhouette Portrait 3, to make the designs, it is more akin to a heat press machine, maybe the size of a Cricut EasyPress Mini.

Pros

  • Easy to create unique stamps
  • Great for customization of ink prints and bags
  • Excellent consistency
  • Comes with over 5o free templates
  • Suitable for thermal ink stamps

Cons

  • The uses are limited

7. Crafter's Companion - Gemini - Die Cutting and Embossing Machine

Crafter's Companion - Gemini - Die Cutting and Embossing Machine Large Platform (9 x 12.5 Inches)
875 Reviews
Crafter's Companion - Gemini - Die Cutting and Embossing Machine Large Platform (9 x 12.5 Inches)
  • Faster & Quieter: Die cuts and embosses...
  • Many Uses: Use for intricate dies,...
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The Crafter's Companion Gemini Die Cutting and Embossing Machine comes into play if you really want an automated cutter without paying the high price of a Cricut gadget. The dimensions of this little, very portable electronic cutter are almost similar to that of the Cricut Joy, although it is much less expensive.

Cutting plates feed automatically, much like a laminator, so it does the job for you. Additionally, there is a reverse button, which is useful in case of an emergency. This cutting machine can easily cut through even the thickest card material and is compatible with a wide variety of dies.

Image Source: GeminiJets

It can cut material up to A4 width and has a broader cutting breadth than the Sizzix Big Shot. It is also compact enough to comfortably fit in a desk corner. The plates on all die cutters will ultimately need to be replaced, but that can be done quickly and cheaply.

Pros

  • It is a fully automatic
  • Compact and simple to store
  • Affordable
  • Great for cutting and embossing
  • Wider cutting width

Cons

  • Can cause warped die-cutting plates

8. Silhouette America Curio Crafting Printer

Silhouette America Curio Crafting Printer, 10, White
633 Reviews
Silhouette America Curio Crafting Printer, 10, White
  • The Curio is taking giant leaps forward with...
  • With Curio, you can now cut thicker material....
  • It's all driven by powerful Silhouette Studio...

This is ideal if you wish to cut tougher and more durable fabrics on a tight budget. Silhouette Curio is a handy small device that can accomplish practically anything that Cricut machines can do. Furthermore, the cost of a Cricut Maker is double that of Curio. As a result, working with the Curio might save you lots of money.

However, this Curio cutting machine is smaller than other Cricut alternatives. It only has a width limit of 8.5 inches but still does a great job of producing incredible designs. Despite the fact that it is designed to handle materials up to 5mm thick, the 210g cutting power would require extra effort to cut through tougher materials.

Image Source: Silhouette America

It is faster and louder than the Maker. However, certain compromises must be made when you're on a tight budget. The Curio may also make a wonderful first machine for beginners. The Silhouette Curio is also reasonably priced and one of the decent electronic cutting machines if you work on tougher materials.

Pros

  • It features a dual carriage that allows you to easily get two tasks.
  • Ideal for tougher materials
  • Easy to create customized tags
  • Affordable alternative
  • Great for embossing, stippling, and etching

Cons

  • Lacks wireless connection
  • It is only best for harder materials

9. Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine

Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo, Mini Die Cut Machine, 3 1/8' feeding slot for 3'...
626 Reviews
Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo, Mini Die Cut Machine, 3 1/8" feeding slot for 3"...
  • 3 1/8" Feeding Slot, EXTRA AREA makes a big...
  • The suction cup will stick firmly on smooth...
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed, no-risk...

Looking for a small die-cutting and embossing machine combo? The Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine weighs just 3.1 pounds, making it a perfect option for crafters who are getting started in the world of cardstock, embossing, and paper. The 3 1/8 inches feeding hole of the Bira Craft allows it to process 3 inches of paper.

Image Source: Bira Craft

The package also includes a plate, a cutting plate, an embossing plate, a rubber pad, a 2D embossing folder, seven cutting dies, and eight pieces of undetermined colors. It produces some fairly stunning results, despite its modest appearance. In addition, a lot of clients said the customer service is excellent.

Pros

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Great customer service
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Fairly stunning results

Cons

  • Not the best for large projects

10. O Bosstop Tumbler Heat Press Transfer Printing Machine

Tumbler Heat Press Sublimation Cup Mug Heat Press Transfer Printing Machine for Coffee Mugs Cups...
224 Reviews
Tumbler Heat Press Sublimation Cup Mug Heat Press Transfer Printing Machine for Coffee Mugs Cups...
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  • 【User-friendly Design】- Mug Press Easy to...
  • 【Strong and Sturdy】- 5mm thickness of...

A suitable alternative for the Cricut Mug Press is the O Bosstop Mug Printing Machine, which allows you to manually change the size of the heating cylinder to fit the size of the mug you're printing on.

The O Bosstop Mug Printing Machine warms up quickly and evenly. While the machine may not be as attractive as the Cricut Mug Press, it is still light and portable enough to let you personalize mugs and hand them out at craft fairs or other gatherings. It is simpler to install and operate than the Cricut gadget and has a wider range of cup sizes.

Image Source: O Bosstop

It's crucial to remember that this device is more manual and isn't as user-friendly and accessible as the Cricut Mug Press. In contrast to Cricut's press-and-go design, you must experiment with the heat settings here in order to get the right results.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Cheaper alternative to Cricut Mug Press
  • Simpler to install
  • Flexible on mug size

Cons

  • Not user friendly

Things to Consider Before Choosing the Best Cricut Alternative

1. Ease of Use

You don't want to spend numerous hours trying to figure out how to set up and use a cutting machine. Nobody likes to constantly contact technical support, either. You should be able to set up and use the product without difficulty straight away.

2. Skills

Image Source: silhouette101.com

There are beginner-friendly Cricut alternatives, including the Sizzix Big Shot cutting machine. Other Cricut alternatives, like the Silhouette Portrait, offer more functionality than Cricut machines but are still less expensive.

3. Power and Accuracy

The cutting machine must be capable of handling enormous tasks in the shortest period of time to save on costs. However, it doesn't matter how strong or quick the equipment is.

If it is inaccurate, you might not be able to offer the highest possible precision. Reduce material waste and save up time by investing in a machine that cuts precisely every time.

4. Material and Durability

If you only need to cut cardboard, paper, and iron-ons, there's no need to invest in a more expensive machine that can also cut heavier textiles. However, if you're using a Cricut machine for sewing tasks or costume creation, you'll want to get Cricut alternatives that can cut through felt or leather.

Image Source: grimaldigavin.com

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on cutting machines, then you want to ensure that it is built from high-quality materials. As a result, the machine should be able to withstand heavy use when the need arises.

5. Price

People tend to believe that high-quality devices are usually more costly than their competitors, but this is not always the case. You must also include the cost of additional cutting tools, mats, supplies, and electricity bills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Cricut Alternatives

1. Is there a cheaper alternative to the Cricut?

Yes, there are several cheaper Cricut alternatives that you can consider. For example, the Silhouette Portrait 3 comes at a decent price, and you can do much more than Cricut machines.

2. Is Silhouette better than Cricut?

Yes, some people feel that the Silhouette Cameo is superior to the Cricut. Thanks to its 11-pound downward force, it's much more powerful than Cricut Maker 3. It also has a built-in roller feeder that can create cuts up to 12 inches broad and 0.11 inches thick. It's also a little less expensive.

3. Should I buy Cricut or Cameo?

The most recent Cameo model can handle materials that are 25% thicker (3 mm compared to Cricut's 2.4 mm) and has 25% greater cutting power (5000g vs. 4000g).

4. Is the Silhouette Cameo 3 better than Cricut?

Cricut Maker is the clear winner. This is because it is a lot quicker, simpler to set up, looks amazing, does more, cuts deeper, and is easier to get and create designs. Ideally, the Cricut machine is stronger, studier, and performs better than Silhouette Cameo 3.

5. What is the difference between the Silhouette and Cricut?

The major differences come in the software. Both Cricut and Silhouette have online sites that you can access your designs as well as use to make your digital crafts.

6. What is the best alternative for the Cricut joy die cutting machine?

The best feature of this die-cutting machine is that a cutting mat is not required for operation, making it simple to use. The silhouette portrait 3 die cut machine would be the best substitute. However, a cutting mat must be purchased.

Features Image Source: brother.ca

About the author

Jane Melcher

Jane is a stay-at-home small business mom. She makes more than her husband selling her creations on Etsy.

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