Best Cricut alternatives for at-home DIY, crafting, and vinyl cutting

Cricut, the well-known at-home DIY crafting company, has found itself in the middle of some customer turmoil the last few days. Though the company recently released a statement backtracking its announcement that free customers would be limited to 20 file uploads per month, many are still interested in changing out their machines for something that can’t be affected by such change. So, if you’re looking for the best Cricut alternatives, we’ve got you covered down below.

Why would you want to use a crafting machine outside of Cricut?

Essentially, Cricut announced that an update would come to Design Space, its software that runs its cutters, which would limit free users to only 20 file uploads per month. For many, uploading 20 items can be just a single project, let alone a month’s worth of usage.

Cricut Access, its paid subscription, costs $10 per month or $96 to $119 per year, depending on the plan you choose. While there’s a lot included with Access, many customers simply choose to use the free version as there are no limitations on its features, as it should be.

As of now, Cricut has fully walked back the limitation for 20 uploads per month for new and existing users, but there are many who feel that if Cricut could make this decision once, they could make it again. Given that Design Space functions offline, though in a limited capacity, many are searching for a full-featured alternative to the well-known brand.

Silhouette Cameo 4 is the closest competitor…and doesn’t require an internet connection or have monthly subscription fees

It’s no surprise that Silhouette made our list of best Cricut alternatives, as the Cameo 4 is the closest competitor to the Maker. While there are many differences between the two machines, we’ll focus mainly on the similarities here, with the key difference being that there are no monthly subscriptions for using a Silhouette.

Silhouette decided to go the route of standalone software that doesn’t require an active internet connection. Silhouette Studio, as it’s called, is a piece of software that runs on your computer in its entirety, instead of being based on an internet application. Silhouette also chose to trade out a free and monthly subscription option for a free base version of its software and then paid upgrades with one-time fees, something Cricut doesn’t offer.

The base version of Silhouette Studio works great for standard tasks, but one-time fees of $50, $75, or $100 (depending on which tier you choose) give you lifetime access to that version of the software. This ensures that Silhouette can’t limit your access to your machine through a simple software update. Plus, if you opt for the $50 version but later on decide the $75 version is what you need, Silhouette only charges the difference to change your license key.

The Silhouette Cameo 4 is the “strongest machine ever” with 5,000g of force, which is a full 1,000g more than what the Cricut can handle. This cutter comes with new tools like the Kraft and Rotary, which can help tackle projects that use balsa wood, leather, and even chipboard. The Silhouette Cameo 4 also features a built-in roll feeder so you can place a roll in front of the machine and have it feed itself for larger projects.

Brother ScanNCut is a close second

While Silhouette is the obvious choice for those wanting to ditch Cricut and pick up a vinyl cutter, the Brother SacnNCut is a similar machine that comes from a well-known brand. While the ScanNCut doesn’t have quite the namesake in the DIY world, it’s a great choice if you only need to deal with paper, fabric, vinyl, or leather.

The ScanNCut features a built-in scanner so you can transfer printed pages into real projects in seconds. There are 682 built-in designs that include “100 quilting patterns and nine fonts.” Want something more? You can add custom designs and patterns by hooking it up to your computer via USB.

Just keep in mind that the ScanNCut doesn’t have the same pressure abilities that the Silhouette Cameo 4 does, and the software isn’t nearly as robust. However, if you’d feel more comfortable going with Brother as a brand over Silhouette, this is an option that’ll still get the job done.

9to5Toys’ take

While there are many different crafting machines out there, choosing the right one can be difficult. With Cricut having walked back its change, there are plenty of people who will choose to stay with what many consider to be the go-to brand in the crafting world…I know my wife and I still hold onto our Cricut Maker and continue to use it. But, for those who want to change things up and sell their machine, or just scout out the competition and see if the grass is greener on the other side, it’s hard to argue that the Silhouette Cameo 4 doesn’t give the Cricut Maker a run for its money. With its unique features like not requiring a mat for all projects and the ability to mount a roll of vinyl and have it cut from that, plus offering offline one-time purchase software, the Silhouette could be the best choice for you.

So, are you keeping your Cricut? Selling? Picking up a Silhouette? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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