If you are looking for more versatility and the ability to draw or cut your own designs, consider buying a digital die cutting machine. Many of these hook up to a computer, where designs can be custom made using software.
Use this die cutting machine comparison guide to compare the best die cut machines.
Digital Die Cutting Machine Guide
Overview & Features
The Silhouette Cameo 4 is the strongest machine on this list, being able to cut using 5000 grams of force. It has dual carriage heads that can use the standard blades, rotary blade, Kraft blade, and sketch pens. It has all the features of the previous Cameo machines and more. It cuts up to 3x faster and comes with a built-in feed roller and cross cutter making large projects much easier to make.
The Cricut Maker die cut machine is one of the more specialized machines on the market. In addition to having dual carriage heads, it has the Adaptive Tool System. The Adaptive Tool System automatically adjusts the cutting pressure and rotates the cutting blade for precise cuts. The rotary and knife blade make sewing easier, and you can cut through leather with 10x more force compared to the previous Cricut Explore machines.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a very popular machine that can cut and draw 0.25” to 23.5” wide. It has dual carriage heads so you can cut and draw in one pass. It's one of the easier machines to use, and it's more powerful and precise than the Silhouette Cameo. The Smart Dial automatically adjusts blade speed and pressure based on the selected material. It uses the online Cricut Design Space, so an internet connection is always required to cut. It does support Cartridges, but they must be connected to your online account.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is similar to the Cameo 2. The Cameo 3 has all the features of the previous model and more. Some of these improvements include dual carriages, Bluetooth technology, additional storage, and the Autoblade. The Autoblade is a blade that automatically adjusts itself to the material being cut.
The Silhouette Curio is the "swiss army knife" companion tool to the Silhouette Cameo. It can not only cut and draw, but emboss, etch, score, and stipple. It can deep cut, but cutting is limited to 8.5" by 12". It also has 210 grams of force and using the Silhouette Software where users can create custom designs.
The Silhouette Portrait 2 is very similar to the Silhouette Portrait 1. Some added features include the Autoblade for automatically adjusting blade adjustment and a deepcut blade for cutting materials up to 2mm thick.
The Brother ScanNCut is the first die cut machine with a built-in scanner. Users can scan in hand drawn designs, magazine cutouts, and pictures, and turn them into cutting designs. It does require a computer, and comes with built-in memory. It's full color touch screen allows users to manipulate designs before cutting.
The Pazzles Inspiration Vue is less popular than the Silhouette Cameo and Cricut Explore, but it does come with some advantages that makes it worth a look. Most notable, the Pazzles Vue has 1000 grams of cutting force, making it one of the strongest die cut machines. Another mention is the wide variety of tools available for the machine, allowing you to draw, engrave, pierce, emboss, and distress. You can even cut edible materials such as fondant, gumpaste, and cookie dough for custom designed pastries using the Pazzles Pastry Tools.