9 Excellent Fabric Cutting Machines For Quilting

As quilters, we’ve all experienced hand cramps and the ever daunting task of hand-cutting pieces for our next quilt project. 

Or maybe you’ve had a near disaster with a rotary cutter blade by cutting yourself or your table.

Did you know that there are now machines out on the market that will cut fabric for you?

I’ve read countless fabric cutting machine reviews and have found nine of the best fabric cutting machines on the market today to help you make the best decision for buying your own.

AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutteramazon button
Sizzix Big Shot Plusamazon button
Cricut Makeramazon button
Silhouette Cameo 4amazon button
Bira Craft Die Cutting and Embossing Machineamazon button
Brother ScanNCut SDX125E Cutting Machineamazon button
Sizzix Big Shot Proamazon button
Cricut Explore Air 2amazon button
Gemini Multi-Media Cutting Machineamazon button

What Is A Fabric Cutting Machine for Quilting?

So, what exactly is a fabric cutting machine? Obviously, it’s a machine that cuts fabric, but I want to look into the different types of machines available and why a quilter would want to purchase a cutting machine for fabric.

There are two types of cutting machines: manual and digital/electronic.

Manual: These machines will use die-cuts to cut out your pieces. They also have a lever that you turn to move the fabric through the machine. It’s basically like a big hole punch.

Manual cutters most likely last longer since they don’t have many moving components in the machine. But for each shape you cut out, you will need to purchase a die-cut for it.

Digital/Electronic: Unlike the manual machine, the digital variety doesn’t have die-cuts for cutting out your fabric. Instead, the digital version uses software to input the shapes you want to cut. 

It also has a sharp blade that cuts the fabric as it moves through the machine, which the machine handles, so you don’t need to turn any levers or wheels.

Think of it as a printer that uses a blade instead of ink. These machines are great since you can use virtually any shape imaginable, but they may require more maintenance than a manual one since it’s an electronic machine.

You may need to switch out the blade and purchase images to use in the software.

What to Look for in the Best Fabric Cutting Machine

Hunting online for a fabric cutter machine can be a little overwhelming, but it should be much easier to navigate your search results with this list of useful features.

  • Price: The machine’s cost is at the top of everyone’s list when they start looking for a new crafting tool. I would recommend setting a budget and then going shopping, but don’t forget that this will be an investment, not just a dust collector.
  • Accessories: Most fabric cutter machines have a few accessories that come in the box with the machine. If there are is a specific kit you want, keep an eye open for the accessories list.
  • Warranty: A warranty either from the store, the manufacturer, or both will give you peace of mind when making a larger purchase.
  • Is it made explicitly for fabric? You want to make sure the machine will work for your specific needs.
  • Can it be used for your other crafty adventures? Say you want to try your hand at card making or scrapbooking, it would be great to have a machine you could use for multiple different crafts.
  • Ease of Use: Are you tech-savvy, or do you know someone who can help you set up your digital machine? This question is something to consider when you purchase, though many of these companies have easy-to-follow YouTube videos and instructions to help you get your machine up and running quickly.

9 Best Fabric Cutting Machines for Quilters

1. AccuQuilt GO Fabric Cutter

The AccuQuilt Go Fabric Cutter is a fantastic option for any quilter. It’s even got “quilt” right in the name! This brand is a manual type machine, so you will need to use dies and use a lever to work the fabric through the machine.

A great feature of this machine is that you can fold it and move it around easily. It is also only 15 pounds. This machine can reduce your cutting time by 90% and save your hands and arms from feeling sore.

Pros

  • Cuts through up to six layers of fabric
  • Made specifically for cutting fabric
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Lots of dies available to use with this machine

Cons

  • Expensive, especially when you need to start purchasing more dies
  • You do need to replace dies after about 100-200 cuts of six layers of fabric
  • Meant only for fabric.

2. Sizzix Big Shot Plus

The Sizzix Big Shot Plus is another popular manual machine for quilters. It is a sturdy, well-made cutting machine and uses various dies to create all kinds of crafts, not just fabric crafts.

The largest material you can move through the machine is 9”, giving you a vast range of pieces you can create. It is also an embossing machine that allows so much you can do with this option.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Wide opening for larger pieces
  • Great reviews online
  • Can be used for a wide variety of crafts

Cons

  • Need to purchase dies separately
  • Can be difficult to figure out at first

3. Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the first digital cutting machine we’re going to be looking at. The Cricut cutting machines are some of the most recognizable cutting machines on the market right now and are very popular in various crafting areas.

The Maker is a beast in the cutting machine world, cutting through 300+ different materials from thin, delicate fabric like silk to thick leather and vinyl. The price is a bit high, but if you keep in mind how many different ways you can use it, it really would be an excellent investment for a serial crafter.

Pros

  • Access to Cricut’s ever-growing library of designs
  • Easy to learn Software to design your own cut-outs
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials and fabrics
  • Able to cut designs up to 11 ½” wide 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A bit bulky at 23.7lbs

4. Silhouette Cameo 4

The Silhouette Cameo 4 is a lovely option for quilters who also like to dabble in other crafts. Like the Cricut Maker, this machine is digital and electronic. You can use it to cut through several different materials such as fabric, paper, vinyl, and even craft foam.

It has a beautiful sleek design and will work great for your crafting and look great on your shelf. It is also lightweight at only 13.2 lbs, so it’ll be easy to take to your friend’s home for a quilting party.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Cuts a wide variety of materials and fabrics
  • Able to cut designs up to 11 ½” wide
  • Over 100,000 designs in the Silhouette Design Store
  • Tool Type Detection- The machine holds two tools at a time. When the machine detects what tool you are using, it will adjust the cut settings automatically

Cons

  • Expensive, though cheaper than the Cricut Maker
  • Have to pay for designs from the Silhouette Design Store

5. Bira Craft Die Cutting and Embossing Machine

The Bira Craft Die Cutting and Embossing Machine is another fantastic option if you are looking for a manual cutting machine. A fantastic feature of this machine is that you can use dies from other machines and companies. You can adjust the machine to the height of the die-cut to fit various sizes, which is a huge bonus.

It is also foldable, so you can fold up the sides and store it since it has such a small footprint, and isn’t it just adorable? I saw it referred to as “the best-kept secret” multiple times, and I can see why.

Pros

  • Foldable and portable
  • Able to use any other brand dies
  • Ability to adjust the pressure of the machine for the height of the dies
  • 9” opening for larger pieces
  • Can be used for paper crafting and other hobbies

Cons

  • Need to purchase dies separately

6. Brother ScanNCut SDX125E Cutting Machine

Brother is a well-known and trusted name in the crafting community, so when they came out with their cutting machines, we had to know they would be an excellent option for quilters.

It is the only cutting machine on the market right now that has a scanner. So you can scan a drawing or image, and it will convert it into a cut file that you can then cut your fabric from.

Pros

  • 682 built-in designs + 100 quilt patterns built-in
  • It doubles as a scanner
  • 5” Touchscreen LCD display
  • Automatically adjusts to the material thickness
  • Can be used for many different crafts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires a bit of a learning curve to use it

7. Sizzix Big Shot Pro

The Big Shot Pro is Sizzix’s industrial strength cutting machine. This manual machine has the largest opening out of all on the list today at 13” wide. This choice is an excellent option for quilters, especially if you create large applique pieces or cut large blocks. 

You can use virtually any size die in this machine, and it can cut through up to 8 layers of fabric.  You can also use it for a wide variety of crafting hobbies, not just quilting.

Pros

  • Cuts through 8 layers of fabric
  • 13” wide opening for large pieces
  • Heavy-duty well-made machine
  • Can be used for lots of different projects

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Additional cost for dies and accessories

8. Cricut Explore Air 2

It’s no secret the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a best seller online, and for a good reason. It is lower in price than the other Cricut machine in this list, the Cricut Maker, but can still get the job done just as well. This machine can cut through fabric, paper, vinyl, faux leather, and the list goes on to over 100 different materials.

You also get access to Cricut’s massive library of images, or if you prefer to design your own images, you can do so and then upload them as an SVG file.

Pros

  • Can cut through over 100 different materials
  • Access to a large library of designs
  • Use for lots of other crafts

Cons

  • Still a little pricey
  • To cut fabric, you will need to get special mats and blades

9. Gemini Multi-Media Cutting Machine

As its name suggests, you can use the Gemini Multi-Media Cutting Machine with several different materials and various crafts. It is a sort of hybrid machine that uses dies and is run by electricity. 

The Gemini is compatible with most dies and embossing folders and has an easy to use pause, resume, and reverse feature when running your materials through the machine. It also has a large platform area so that you could use multiple dies at the same time.

Pros

  • Quiet and easy to use
  • Pause, resume, and reverse features
  • Can be used for several different hobbies

Cons

  • Need to purchase dies for each shape
  • Heavy for a manual machine- 19lbs

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I hope getting a better in-depth look at these machines will help you search for the right machine for you. Like most purchases, you have to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what will work best for your specific needs as a crafter.

I think it’s pretty clear that these machines are here to stay in the crafting community, and it’s great they can help cut fabric to make our quilting projects a bit easier. 


About the author: 
Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she's not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.

Want an upgrade or a new fabric cutting machine for your quilting projects? Check out our review on 9 of the best cutting machines of all time.

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