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Which Electronic Cutter is Best for Me? A Comparison of 5 Popular Machines

So I'm looking for a personal electronic cutter and honestly finding the whole thing a bit confusing, so to help me (and hopefully some of you all as well) I've created a comparison table so it's easier to see what the differences are!  First what am I looking for specifically, what do I want to do with it?


I'm looking for one machine that can:

  • Cut paper
  • Cut fabric - to make flowers or t-shirt logos
  • Cut Matt board or chipboard to create my own embellishments
  • Cut adhesive backed material so I can create custom stickers
  • Cut plastic so I can create my own stencils (really important)
  • Would be nice to sketch and emboss
  • Fine detail cutting would be an advantage
  • Mac or PC compatible
  • Allows custom designs to be uploaded is a must!

I don't plan on carting it around so weight is not a concern.


These are the models I'm considering...


Klic N Kut MAXX AIR 15"  from Skat Katz  Knkmaxxair-withlogo


In the box:

  • Klick n Kut machine
  • KNK Studio software
  • Laser Alignment
  • 2 Blades (1 Standard material blade, 1 Thick material blade)
  • 1 Blade Holder
  • 1 pen
  • 1 24" Carrier Sheet
  • 1 Can of Krylon Easy Tack spray adhesive.
  • KNK Studio Software.
  • Font and Clipart CD (1100 fonts, 3900pcs of clipart
  • Designer CD



Silhouette CAMEO Silhouette Cameo


In the box:

  • Silhouette Cameo Machine
  • Silhouette Studio® software for Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac® OS X 10.5.8 and higher
  • 51 exclusive cuttable designs
  • Power cable, USB cable
  • 12" cutting mat
  • Cutting blade 
  • $10 Gift Card to buy Silhouette Images
  • Basic Instruction Guide


Silhouette PORTRAIT  Portrait-straight-on

 In the box:

  • Silhouette Portrait machine
  • Silhouette Electronic Cutting Tool with Adjustable Blade: Blade with ratchet cap
  • USB Cable: High-speed 2.0
  • 8-Inch Cutting Mat: 8.9" x 13.5" (22.6 x 34.3 cm)
  • Digital Cutting Files: 50 exclusive cutting designs
  • Download Card: $10 gift card for more digital designs from the Silhouette Online Store
  • Software CD: Silhouette Studio design software for Windows XP and newer and Mac
  • Power Cable: 100-240 volts AC adapter (Power cables are available for US/Canada,Europe, South Africa, Australia, and other regions)
  • Basic Instruction Guide


Brother ScanNCut CM110


 In the box: Brother-snc-hi-res_563_375_c1

  • ScanNCut machine
  • Standard Cut Blade Holder
  • Standard Cut Blade 
  • Deep Cut Blade Holder 
  • Deep Cut Blade 
  • Standard Mats 12" x 12" 
  • Low Tack Adhesive Mat 12" x 12" 
  • Spatula
  • Stylus 
  • 2 High Tack Adhesive Fabric Support Sheets 
  • 2 Iron-On Fabric Appliqué Contact Sheets


Cricut Explore Cricut02 (1)


NB: I've just found out that the online software is available to USA residents ONLY - so since this unit will not work without software, and software can only be used if you re in the USA - this machine is not being sold and will not work in Australia - this seems really DUMB!

In the box:

  • Cricut Explore™ machine
  • German carbide blade
  • Metallic silver pen
  • USB cord and power cord
  • 12" x 12" StandardGrip Cricut® cutting mat
  • Getting started guide
  • Black and jade Cricut® cardstock
  • Silver Cricut® vinyl
  • White Cricut® iron-on
  • 2 Duck Tape® sheets


The following details correct as of as of June 8th 2014 

  Details Software, Compatability & Images Special Features

Klic N Kut MAXX AIR 15"  


weight 35.5lbs
  • 950g of force
  • cuts up to 24" wide (depending on model) & unlimited length

  • cuts:
    matt board
    metal foil
    magnetic sheets
    stamp material
  • KNK Studio software

  • Mac and PC compatible

  • Can use Internet graphics

  • Recognises more file types than any other cutter
  • repeat function
  • laser alignment
  • flatbed table option
  • able to cut tiny detailed images
  • engraving tip option
  • Clean & intricate cuts
  • 3 pinch rollers hold your media during cutting
  • Large, extra thick, gridded mat
  • use marker / pen for written embellishments
  • user forums
  • instruction DVD
  • Bluetooth connectivity (pc only)
  • Blade $14.99 each
  • Mat $19.99 each

Brother ScanNCut CM110


weight 12.8lbs

  • 11.7inch wide scanning and cutting area

  • Cuts:
  • no PC required, use on board display instead

  • Online application ScanNCut Canvas to convert files

  • Large 3.7inch colour LCD touch screen with on-screen editing capabilities such as rotating, welding, resizing and organizing
  • 600 built in designs
  • built-in 300dpi scanner
  • create outline cutting design from sketch or magazine without needing a pc
  • Lifetime Customer Phone/Online Technical Support
  • add pen to create drawn images
  • Background scan option allows use of every last bit of paper
  • Blade $9.99 each
  • Cutting Mat $15.99 each

Silhouette Cameo


 weight 6.5lbs

  • 1/4" wide to large 12" wide and unlimited cutting length
  • Cuts:
    other materials
  • max thickness 0.8mm
  • Silhouette Studio software (Mac / PC)
  • .jpg .gif .bmp .wmf .dxf and .gsd
  • controlled from computer
  • cuts designs created in Silhouette Studio, cuts fonts installed on your computer
  • Silhouette Online Store, thousands of designs. 
  • Need to set pressure and depth to cut
  • can use with or without cutting mat
  • blade can be replaced by a pen for sketches
  • able to cut around designs printed on home printer
  • remove blade to adjust settings for material
  • Cutting mat $14.99 each
  • Blades $12.99 each

Silhouette Portrait


weight 3.5 lbs

  • Cuts:
    transparencies, paper,
    vellum, adhesive vinyl and magnet paper
  • Max thickness 0.8mm
  • cuts to A4 size
  • uses Silhouette Studio software
  • requires extra paid software to use .svg files
  • can cut any font instaled on your computer
  • 50 cuttable designs
  • Need to set pressure and depth to cut
  • optical scanner
  • able to cut around designs printed on home printer
  • remove blade to adjust settings for material
  • Cutting mat $14.99 each
  • Blades $12.99 each

Cricut Explore

18 lbs

  • Cuts:
    rubber for stamps
  • Max up to 1.5mm with deep cut blade
  • Mac and PC - cloud based software
  • Cricut Design Space Software
  • upload .png .gif .svg .bmp .dxf & .jpg
  • 100 free images
  • 50 free project ideas
  • can upload own designs
  • Smart set dial for material selection
  • draws shapes, writes and scores
  • turn dial to adjust for material
  • Wireless with Cricut adapter
  • Cutting Mat 2 for $12.99
  • Blades 2 for $9.99


UPDATE - I got my hands on the Cricut Explore and will let you know how it performs!