4 Cricut Alternatives 【Best Cheap Cutting Machines 2021】

  The fact that Cricut vinyl cutting machines are the best ones in the market is true to a greater extent, but they aren’t good at everything and might be a bit too expensive for many people. 

To counter some of its shortcomings, you might want to try a different cutter. Therefore, we are listing plenty of Cricut alternatives that you can look at

Some of the Cricut alternatives include Sizzix, Silhouette, Brother, and Bira. So, depending upon the designs you want and the ease of use of the machine, you have plenty of options.

Cricut Alternative 2021:

Following is the list of the most popular Cricut alternative:

ProductRatingPrice
Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit10 [Editor's Pick] Check Price
Bira Craft Die Cutting Machine9 Check Price
Gemini Go Embossing Machine8 Check Price
Silhouette Portrait 39.5 Check Price

You can also check out Best Vinyl Restorer if you’re into that! Along with Silhouette Alternative

1.Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit 661500 Manual Die Cutting and Embossing machine:

Why We Love It:

  • Complete kit for beginners
  • Die-cut your designs and emboss them through this vinyl cutter.
  • Wide compatibility with the Sizzix library
  • Have limitless possibilities in designing.

PROSCONS
✅Cheap vinyl cutter for starters❌Instructions are not detailed
✅Easy for you to create your designs

Whether you need ideas or instructions, this small vinyl cutters machine will do it all for you.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, this Sizzix big shot is the best cheap vinyl cutter for starters.

Therefore, you will have the option of die-cutting and embossing the designs. Furthermore, this machine will make it easy for you to create your designs without much effort.

What it includes:  

Multipurpose Platform (658992), 1 Pair of Standard Cutting Pads (655093), 1 Thinlits Die Set, 1 Bigz Die, 1 Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, 1 Instruction Booklet, (12) 6″ x 6″ Cardstock Sheets

Construction

Solid Core Steel Rollers, Unibody Cast Roller Housing, Solid Steel Gears, ABS Plastic Exterior

Packaged Weight

10.70 lb.

Machine Weight

7.50 lb.

Machine Dimensions

14 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ x 6 5/8″

This tool is designed for beginners. That is why you will have to give some simple instructions to the machine and you will have your design. It will be done in a span of minutes, so no more delays.

Drawbacks for Sizzix:

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit review

Despite the fact that the machine is designed for beginners, the instructions are not detailed.
Therefore, you will have to make some effort for that and look for videos. This is in case you are using it for the first time. Apart from the instruction manual, the cutter is quite easy to use and operate. You get broad compatibility through this Cricut alternative.

It is a manual die-cutting tool, but you can use it comfortably. The cutting and die system is compatible with all of the designs available in the Sizzix library. You cannot use the Pro and Plus die and that’s the only drawback here. Furthermore, the range of materials that you can cut through this machine also has a variety. Therefore, the use of this budget Cricut is not at all limited. You can work on paper, balsa wood, cork, tissues, and also cardstock. So whether you want to make cards or work on your scrapbook, it will be possible to do it all.

If you are not careful and haven’t explored the process beyond what is presented in the instruction manual, be ready to have some surprises.

So why should you buy it?

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit set details

Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit set details

In our opinion, Sizzix Big Shot is one of the Cricut-like machines which are relatively easy to deal with. You won’t have to spend too much on it.
Therefore, the budget point is also in its favor. Furthermore, you can die-cut and emboss designs in a range of materials. Thus, you can use it for multiple purposes. All of these points cover the few drawbacks that it has. So, it is a yes from us, especially if you are using it for the first time.

Secondly, with this machine, you don’t have to connect your die-cutting and embossing machine with a programmed device such as a computer or mobile. Yes, no technical skill is required here.
Craft size is just perfect. This die-cutting machine can tackle up to six-inch wide paper. The A5 size compatible with it makes most of the standard die-cutting project a reality.

The starter kit is best for starting this craft. You get all the necessary dies, platforms, and paper sheets to begin the process. If you are looking to learn this process or if you want to gift it to a newbie, know that it’s perfect. As you dive deeper into it, you will want more accessories. These include versatile paper sheets, varied cutting pads, platforms, and dies. The best thing is there is always room to grow with an extensive library of Sizzix.

Although you wouldn’t find complete and actionable information on the website or seller page of this product, its knowledge base is extensive. You can learn the process, which is fairly straightforward to follow, on the web easily. Thinking about its embossing feature? The kit comes packed with a Textured Impression embossing folder. These 3D textures make embossing as easy as 1-2-3.
A variety of materials go into this machine. You can use felt, plain paper, tissue, cork, cardstock, and balsa wood.

Check Price on Amazon

Read more: Cricut Expression 2 Review & best cricut machine

2. Bira Craft Die Cutting & Embossing Machine Combo:

Why We Love It:

  • The feeding slot of this cheap vinyl plotter is 3 1/8 inches
  • Compact size that makes it convenient to use
  • Suction cups that will provide a firm grip.
  • Option of die designing and design embossing.
  • Easy to carry

PROSCONS
✅Can print ceramic and casual material with excellency❌Check the size before buying
✅Use variable heat settings depending on printing material❌Bit pricy
✅Has an automatic feature of shutting off
✅The base is isolated

Handling a paper and card cutting machine has never been easier. And it’s not only cards that it can handle, but you can also cut different other materials too. You can make cards for your dear ones and can also work on your scrapbook. Moreover, you can create small patterns to decorate things.
This Bira craft machine is having a small and compact design with an extremely lightweight. Therefore, it won’t take much storage space. Additionally, you can easily carry it around.

Bira Craft Specs:

Type: Cutter & embosser
Cutter type: Die-cut and Fabric cut
Compatible material: Viny, paper, leather, fabric, plastic, metal(only magnetic)
Brand: Bira Craft

What it includes:  

Bira Craft Die CuttingSo if you have a project at school, you can carry the machine with you. Not only you but also your friends can make use of it.
In addition to the ease of use, this best budget vinyl cutter can be called a budget Cricut because of its embossing feature. Not only you can die-cut the designs but also can emboss your favorite designs on materials.
So if you want to give a try to the manual cutting machine, this will be the best choice. It is not expensive at all. That is why you can take the risk without thinking again.

The package includes everything to get started with the craft. Here are all individual items:

  • Cutting and embossing machine,
  • Embossing folder,
  • Cutting mat,
  • Standard platform,
  • Steel ruled die,
  • Adapter,
  • Cutting dies (eight pieces),
  • 6 by 6 inches cardstock sheets (eight sheets),
  • Instructional manual
  • It’s compact and lightweight. Talk about ease of use and user-friendliness.

Price to Value:

Furthermore, the budget perspective of this vinyl cutting machine cheap is on the plus side.
It is a budget vinyl cutter. You don’t have to empty out your wallets and pockets to buy them. Being the cheap vinyl cutter for sale, it offers great performance and is a handy machine. Machines like Cricut are difficult to manage because of their complex work.
Beginners often find it difficult to operate.

Mostly it is because of the fact that they can cause some serious damage. Therefore, if you are taking a startup and need something to practice first, this will do the job.

Why should you buy it?

Bira Craft complete kit

Bira Craft complete kit

It is a mini machine for die cutting and embossment of designs. In our opinion, it is suitable for beginners and for people who want to work on light projects. Because it won’t be able to manage a range of materials. So if your work is related to cards and papers and that’s enough for you, you can give it a try.
On the other hand, if you take major designing projects and need a variety of designs you might get disappointed.
This vinyl cutting machine cheap cannot work on a range of materials. Therefore, you need to be careful in that aspect too.

For starters, this machine is compact and portable. If you want to use it in your project at school, you can take it with you without worrying about weight and carrying difficulties.
The machine offers easy height adjustment. You can adjust the space to suit the material you are inserting into it. Now, you are free of confusion that may accompany combining different mats in Cricut and Sizzix kits. Not to mention, the use of this machine is easy. That’s why it’s a starter kit, right?

If you want to accentuate its performance, you have plenty of room to do that without worrying about costs and compatibility. The machine allows users to use dies from all leading brands. Plus, you can use embossing folders of your choice. Ergonomics is a prominent feature. A crank handle with an easy yet soft grip is the highlight of efficiency from this die-cutting machine. But that’s not all. The suction cup included in the device makes sure that your pattern holds firmly in place without slipping.

A beginner-friendly manual starts the learning process. If you want, you can foster the learning process using videos on its YouTube channel.
It’s a manual machine. You don’t have to connect it with external devices to get started. All you need to start die-cutting and embossing is included in the kit.

Check Price on Amazon

3. Gemini Go Embossing and Die Cutting Machine:

Why We Love It:

  • Convenient to be used at outdoor locations
  • Work on paper, cards, and even the fabric materials
  • Blades are sharp and also put just the right pressure to give you a crisp and fine cut every time.
  • Compatibility with most of the metal dies
  • Finely cut design in just some seconds

PROSCONS
✅work on cardstocks❌runs on batteries
✅get a fine and crisp cut
✅the metal and plastic shims make the cuts perfectly

The most promising thing that you will see in this cheap stencil cutter is its powerful pressure. Because of the higher pressure, the blades firmly rest on the material needed to be cut. Thus, the final result would be fine and you will get some crisp cuts.
If in case the pressure is not right, the sheet would get several markings of the failed cuts. Therefore, it is a great thing to have in the vinyl cutter cheap.

What it includes:  

Gemini Go Embossing and Die Cutting Machine review

And it’s not only the pressure that is worth mentioning.
This Cricut alternative works perfectly fine with a number of different materials. You can work on cardstocks, foils, vinyl, leathers, and a number of different fabric layers. Thus, you can work on any material you want. This option makes it easy for you to work on different projects.

What you will get in the box:

  • Gemini GO machine
  • Magnetic Shim
  • Plastic Shim
  • 2x Clear Cutting Plates
  • Metal Cutting Plate
  • Rubber Embossing Mat

Therefore, it is especially good for students in arts and design. It is ready to use a vinyl cutter cheap machine. Gemini Go provides you with 2 clear-cutting plates for ease of work. In addition to this, you will also get metal cutting plates, magnetic and plastic shim. Furthermore, you will also get the rubber embossing mat. So, what’s more, would you want to?

Everything will be provided for you in the package so that you never stop.

Machine Dimensions:

The Gemini machine measures: 4.44in x 6.37in x 7.71in & the plates size is: 3″ x 6″

The size and design of this die-cutting and Embossing machine are quite compact. You can easily carry it around anywhere you want.
So if you have to work on a joint project, you can take it along with you to your school. It weighs around 6 pounds. Therefore, you won’t even feel a burden by having it in your hands or bag. Take it conveniently anywhere you want.

Drawback of Gemini Go Embossing Machine

If you want to use it outside of the USA, you are buying the wrong product. Because of its voltage settings, it is only suitable for USA circuitry.

To elongate the life of its plates, you have to flip them often. Otherwise, you will notice them bending quickly.

Its plates are huge. So, if your project needs large-size cuttings, go for it. In case all you want is to create standard greeting cards, you should check out other more feasible options.

You can try some of the Best Fonts for Cricut

Why should you buy it?

Gemini Go Embossing and Die Cutting Machine things to make

Gemini Go Embossing things to make

There are a lot of reasons for you to buy this Gemini Go. It is the best cutting machine for you. You can die-cut the designs and get a fine and crisp cut.
The 3D embossing folders let you make the designs of your choice. Furthermore, the metal and plastic shims make the cuts perfectly fine and never affect the die cuts.

The brand behind this product is trusted and respected among customers. It specializes in paper cutting and is giving a miniature of its best features in the form of Gmini Go Embossing machine. Portability is a prominent plus point of this machine. You can choose to work on your craft at home, in your workshop, or at school without having to worry about carrying it around.
Its precision is dependable. Again, its trustable brand is the culprit behind high quality and performance.

The package is complete. All the parts that you need to start your craft and take it to completion are included in this package. The machine is standalone and doesn’t need input from a digital device. So, you keep all the control on its manual operations.

Check Price on Amazon

Read more about best cricut maker bundle

4. Silhouette Portrait 3 Electronic Cutting Tool:

Why We Love It:

  • Connect this silhouette portrait 3 with Bluetooth Devices
  •  Can cut magnet paper
  • Lightweight and easy to use the device
  • Used in classrooms and for small craft studios

PROSCONS
✅Cut a variety of different materials❌Expensive
✅won’t take much of the space
✅Bluetooth connectivity

The most prominent feature that you will get to see in this Silhouette portrait 3 is that you can work on 100 different materials. So if you are a DIY hardcore fan or you need to work with designing masterpieces, you should give it a try. It is one of the other machines like Cricut. Therefore, you get to enjoy a lot of different features and functions.

Silhouette Portrait 3 Specs:

  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Cutting Width: 8″
  • Cutting Force: 210 gf
  • Cutting Length: 12″ with mat
  • Cutting Depth: 2mm

The size and construct of this Silhouette Portrait 3 are quite compact. That is what makes it a compact die-cut and embossing machine. It won’t take much of the space. Therefore, you can store it on the shelf or in a box. There won’t be much trouble in handling it. Furthermore, even if you want to take it to anywhere you want, you can take it.

What it includes:

  • Bluetooth enabled Sillhouette Portrait 2 with Autoblade
  • USB cable,
  • Power cable,
  • Bluetooth adapter
  • 50 designs

Machine Dimensions:

Size of  Silhouette Portrait 3:  16.2″ x 5.5″ x 4.4″

It is PixScan compatible and therefore, you can cut different printed materials. In addition to this, this portrait 2 also provides you with the ability to register the materials. With the 2 mm clearance offered by this die-cut machine, you can have clear and fine cuts.

 

Through the software processing and Bluetooth connectivity, you can have easy to use machine. You won’t find it difficult to operate as it cuts through the materials wirelessly. Despite being a tiny die-cut and embossing machine, it is quite a powerful machine.

Drawbacks of Sillhouette Portrait

The first thing you will notice about this Cricut alternative even before buying it is its price. It’s costlier than most of its competitors. Don’t be discouraged. The high price tag defines the higher value users get from this machine.

It has limited width when compared to the other product from the same company. Although it shouldn’t be a huge turn-off, some people would demand more from the price tag it carries.

It’s difficult to operate. Some people would find this feature its advantage rather than a disadvantage as it would only take paper (or vinyl) when it’s aligned properly. It ensures precision. However for others, it is a headache to try several times to get your project cut.

You wouldn’t find it easy to learn. With so many skills involved in setting it up, connecting, and feeding designs, it’s easy to get confused at first. However, with practice, it should become easier.

Read more: Best Cricut Explore Air 2 Bundle

Why should you buy it?

Silhouette Portrait 3 test review

If you want to look for a powerful die-cut machine that is easy to manage, you should give it a try. Silhouette has been a strong market competitor in terms of its performance and work. You can easily cut different designs through its software. Furthermore, it is Bluetooth compatible and thus you can cut the designs wirelessly. It is not that cheap as compared to the others, but it is definitely worth trying.

If you are looking for a solution to cut vinyl, you wouldn’t get many options in the market. But Silhouette Portrait and other products will cover you in this need.

Bigger cut size. If you take Cricut as a direct competitor, you will be amazed at the size you will be able to cut through this beast. The size is an astonishing 8 inches!

You have to add some more software to jump on print and cut the model of working. So, you can ditch those long hours separately printing and cutting your labels and stickers.
Once you have gotten past the steep learning curve, you will find the machine and its software quite user-friendly. You can also connect it with Adobe Illustrator to cut and print any design you want.

Let’s not forget to emphasize that the machine uses designs from software. You don’t have to rely on the ready-made dies to define your designs. Rather, to turn your imagination into a reality, only the sky is the limit.

Considering its price and learning requirements, this product isn’t suited to beginners or budding craftsmen. You have to have already proved your passion to actually invest a fortune in getting this beast.

Compatible Software:

Silhouette Portrait 3 Sample software design

The best one so far is Silhouette Studio

Check Price on Amazon

Conclusion:

You can easily find manual and digital die-cutting machines in the market. What you choose is based on your preferences and choices.
You can either go with a manual one that gives you more room for designing. Or you can choose a digital die cutting machine to make your work easier.
All of this is based upon your use and need.

FAQs:

We have provided you with the best Cricut alternatives that you can try. But you might have some queries in your mind. Therefore, we are providing you with some of the frequently asked questions that most people ask for.

What products are made using die cutting?

You can create different designs and work on different art projects through die-cutting. For example, you can create everyday items like a tissue box and a cereal box. Moreover, you can also make special preparations for the gift cards and also create stickers.

Can you emboss without a machine?

Yes, it is very much possible to emboss without using any machine. But machines make your life easier. You can die-cut the designs and also emboss them on different materials too.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Cricut?

Considering different features, there are a lot of alternatives to Cricut. Although you might have to compromise on some of the features, the performance is still worthy. For instance, the Sizzix Big Shot. It is quite well performing in terms of cutting and embossing designs. Moreover, it is quite affordable and cheaper than the Cricut.

What are some of the best Cricut alternatives?

The best Cricut alternative includes the Sizzix Big Shot, Silhouette Portrait 2, Gemini Go, and Bira. You can have varying features in all of them with a varied price tag too. So go for the one that suits your budget.

Is Silhouette Portrait 3 better than Cricut?

The silhouette is a strong competitor to the Cricut, but it is not a cheap vinyl cutter printer. You can enjoy wireless working in this die-cut and embossing machine. Furthermore, the design library is too large. Therefore, you can enjoy working in designing projects. Despite being powerful in performance, it is lightweight and a compact machine.
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