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Looking for the best Cricut alternative?Then you’ve come to the right place.Cricut is the leader in craft machines for cutting paper, card, vinyl, fabric and more.In fact, it’s become the Apple of the crafting world – a quick glance at the design of its own website reveals that it’s a comparison the company even makes itself.Like Apple products, however, Cricut machines aren’t cheap, and in addition to the cost of the machine itself, you can subscribe to Cricut Access if you want full access to Design Space, the software that runs its cutters.
For many uses, there are alternatives to Cricut.Several brands make Cricut-like machines that do at least some of the things Cricut’s own equipment can do—and in some cases more.Cricut now has a wide variety of devices, from its flagship Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3 to the more affordable Cricut Explore Air 2 and Explore 3 (yes, Cricut’s naming strategy is as unfathomable as Apple’s) to more niche devices such as Easy Press 2 and Cricut Mug Press.Check out all of the Cricut options with our best Cricut machines guide and be sure to pair them with Cricut’s best laptops.Make sure you also check out our guide to the best Cricut accessories.
In this article, we’ll examine the best Cricut alternatives and weigh the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one to choose.Alternatively, if you need embossing equipment, see our guide to the best embossing machines, or if you need ultra-precision cutting, check out our guide to laser cutters.
The best alternative to Cricut Maker is Silhouette Cameo 4.There are many similarities between the two machines.In terms of speed, it is on par with the Cricut Maker 3, both are very fast, and like the Maker 3, the Cameo 4 has an integrated roller feeder.But the Silhouette Cameo 4, despite being cheaper, is actually the stronger of the two machines in terms of downforce, at 5kg, a full 1kg more than the Cricut Maker.
Rollers can handle longer designs, and the cutter has new tools like Kraft and Rotary to handle balsa, leather and even particleboard.It can cut materials up to 3mm (0.11″) thick with a blade, which is 0.6mm taller than the Maker 3.Another big difference is the software.Cricut’s is intuitive and easy to use, though perhaps overly simplistic, while Silhouette Studio has a steeper learning curve.
That said, we love the fact that Silhouette opts for standalone software to run on your computer.This means there are no monthly subscription fees like Cricut Access and no active internet connection is required.All in all, this is the best Cricut alternative for a wide range of professional and personal projects.
For many, Brother will be a more familiar brand name.It’s best known for its printers and sewing machines, but it also makes Cricut-like cutting machines.Its ScanNCut SDX125 is a great alternative to Cricut for hobbyists working with paper, card vinyl and fabrics, especially quilters.
What sets ScanNCut SDX125 apart from other alternatives is the scanning part.It has a built-in scanner so you can transfer the printed pages to the actual project.You can send SVG files from your computer or program your designs directly on the machine using the LCD touchscreen display and its 682 built-in designs, including 100 quilting patterns and 9 fonts.
Like the Silhouette Cameo 4, it can handle materials up to 3 mm) thick, outperforming the Cricut Maker 3.It has AutoBlade that automatically detects material thickness.However, in terms of width, the SDX125E is limited to 29.7 cm (11.7 inches) compared to the Cricut Maker’s 33 cm (13 inches).Another downside is that it’s actually more expensive than the Cricut Explore Air 2.Note that the Brother ScanNCut SDX125E is sold in the US, see below if you are in Europe.
If you’re in Europe, you may be scratching your head wondering why you can’t find the Brother ScanNCut SDX125E anywhere.In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, Brother has the SDX900, which is very similar in size and features.Like the ScanNCut SDX125, it is an excellent alternative to Cricut for enthusiasts working with a variety of materials.
Likewise, with a built-in scanner, LCD touchscreen, and 682 built-in designs, it outperforms the Cricut Maker 3 and can handle materials up to 3mm thick.However, it is expensive.If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you might prefer the Cricut Explore Air 2, unless you really need to cut thicker material.
If you’re willing to do some arm work, you can get a lot cheaper.Cricut’s cutters are automatic digital machines that you can program from your laptop, but there’s a lot to be said for manual die cutters, especially the fact that they don’t require a computer or even a power supply.The elegant off-white Sizzix Big Shot has a 15.24 cm (A5) wide opening and can cut a variety of materials, from paper, tissue and cardstock to felt, cork, leather, balsa, foam, magnet sheet, electrostatic cling vinyl Wait.
The steel core of the drum system is wrapped in a heavy-duty shell, and it can handle materials up to 22.5 cm wide and 1.6 cm thick.For amateur craftsmen who are just starting out with die cutting, we certainly recommend starting with this before moving on to more technically advanced options like the Cricut machine.Assembly instructions aren’t the clearest – we recommend watching the many tutorials on YouTube.There is also a Pro and Plus version for those who need to cut to a larger size.
If you really want an automatic cutter without the price tag of a Cricut device, go for the Gemini step by step.This compact, highly portable electronic cutter is the closest in size to the Cricut Joy, but less expensive.It does the work for you, the cutting boards are fed automatically like a laminator.There’s also a reverse button, which can come in handy in an emergency.
It’s compatible with many dies and will cut even the thickest card stock without issue.It also offers a wider cutting width than the Sizzix Big Shot, and can cut material up to A4 width, while still fitting easily in the corner of a table.Like all die cutters, these boards will eventually need to be replaced, but this is fairly easy and cheap.
If you’re printing rather than cutting, especially on T-shirts, sweatshirts, or other sizable textiles, the Cricut’s EasyPress 2 is a handy portable device that’s perfect for.However, it’s expensive, and there are cheaper options than getting the job done.Fierton heat presses are lightweight and portable for use with vinyl and textiles such as sweatshirts, banners and t-shirts using heat transfer and sublimation paper.
It’s very easy to use.Just set your preferred time and temperature and watch it do its job in 60 seconds.With a safety mode and an insulated safety base, you can work for hours without getting too hot.There’s also an auto-off time to help if you forget.The iron sits a little further away from the surface and takes a little longer to heat up than some options, but once it’s ready, it does the job well.
Cricut has its own cup press, but it’s quite expensive for a device that limits you to a very specific size cup (Cricut recommends you use its own).For a cheaper price, you might want to consider the O Bosstop mug press.While it may not be as pretty as the Cricut Mug Press, it’s still light and portable enough to allow you to customize mugs at craft fairs or other events, and it heats up quickly and evenly.Its cup size is more flexible than Cricut’s device, and it is very easy to install and use.
Cricut’s BrightPad is a great lightbox for tracing on paper or fabric or for weeding vinyl, but it’s quite expensive.There are much cheaper light boxes on the market.Many of them have lower brightness, which may not be enough if you’re using thicker paper or fabric, but this super cheap Amazon bestseller offers an impressive 4,000 lux of LED lighting, on par with Cricut’s own light boxes.It also has adjustable brightness and a smart memory function that recalls the last brightness level you used.Powered by USB, it’s a slim and lightweight device.The only downside is that it does get hot pretty quickly.See our guide to the best lightboxes for more Cricut BrightPad alternatives at different price points.
Joe is a general freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq.He’s responsible for uploading our product reviews to the site and keeping track of the best creative devices from monitors to office supplies.A writer, translator, he also works as a project manager for a design and branding agency in London and Buenos Aires.
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Post time: Feb-25-2022