A rotary cutter may be cheap and convenient, but the second you cut your finger with one, you’ll regret not buying a fabric cutting machine.
We’ve heard horror stories of fingers being badly injured from rotary cutters.
Cutting machines are safer – and they cut down on cutting time significantly.
But which machine is the best? The answer will depend on your needs. We’ve rounded up some of the top models on the market to help you find the right one for you.
The 5 Best Fabric Die Cutting Machines
Our top five picks come from two of the top brands in the industry: Sizzix and AccuQuilt.
1. Sizzix Big Shot
Lightweight and portable, the Big Shot is both a shape cutter and an embosser, and can work with a range of materials – including paper (and fabric, of course).
On top of cutting quilt pieces, you can use this machine to create invitations, cards, home décor, scrapbook pages, art and so much more.
The machine comes with a large multipurpose platform and two standard cutting pads.
The Big Shot is compatible with the entire Sizzix product library (except for Pro).
- Cuts with precision accuracy
- Easy to use
- Portable and lightweight
- Doesn’t require electricity to run
- Compatible with all products in the Sizzix library (except for Pro)
- Works with a variety of materials, from fabric to paper
- Requires a learning curve
Have some practice material on hand to learn how to use the Big Shot. While not incredibly difficult to use, there is a slight learning curve when cutting with this machine.
Otherwise, you’ll love the lightweight design and extreme versatility this model offers.
2. Sizzix Big Shot Pro
The Big Shot Pro from Sizzix is the big brother to the original model. The Big Shot Pro is compatible with every Ellison and Sizzix design, and its heavy-duty construction makes this model a great option for professionals.
Made with industrial materials, this cutter features a 13” opening for materials, and can work with a variety of materials, including cardstock, paper, foam, fabric and more.
This model comes with a cutting pad, crease pad, an adapter pad, and 0.10mm mylar shims to get you started.
The Big Shot Pro is the ideal choice for serious quilters. The larger bed allows you to work with larger materials, and you can cut virtually anything with this machine (it’s highly versatile).
- Makes precision, sharp cuts
- Highly durable, yet portable
- Larger bed is ideal for fabric cutting
- Compatible with every design from Sizzix and Ellison
The Big Shot Pro is heavier than the original model, but it’s heavy-duty construction also makes it more durable than its predecessor.
The heavier weight is a small price to pay for this professional-grade machine that can work with virtually every material you can think imagine.
3. AccuQuilt Go Baby
The Go Baby can cut multiple layers of fabric 90% faster than a manual rotary cutter or scissors – and with razor-sharp precision.
Like other fabric cutters, this model uses a crank handle to cut, so there’s no need for batteries or electricity. And the comfortable handle grip keeps hands out of the way when cutting.
This model is compatible with 60% of Go dies.
The Go Baby features an easy-to-lift carrying handle, so you can bring it with you to retreats, classes, quilting bees and wherever else you want to quilt.
Backed by a one-year warranty, you can be sure that your purchase is protected.
- Easy to use
- Precision cuts
- Designed for use with fabrics
- Compatible with most Go dies
- Cutting multiple layers can be tricky
The Go Baby has a little trouble cutting more than three layers of fabric at one time. For most quilters, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue, and thinner fabrics seem to be easier to work with in layers.
The lightweight, high portability of this model makes it a great choice for quilters of all levels. You can see our full review of the Go Baby here.
4. AccuQuilt Go
Like the Go Baby, this cutter is easily portable, and allows you to make cuts 90% faster than scissors or with a rotary tool. Take this cutter with you to quilting retreats, quilting bees, guild meetings, classes, or wherever else you please.
With the AccuQuilt Go, you can cut up to six layers of fabric at one time, and the unique design of this machine minimizes arm strain.
The Go comes with the Value Die, 6” x 12” cutting mat, a 20-page pattern booklet, and a die pick.
- Makes precision cuts every time
- Can cut up to six layers of fabric at once
- Lightweight (15 pounds)
- Easy to use
- Comes with the Go Value Die
- Easily portable
- Not enough dies included
The only real drawback with this machine is that it only comes with the Go Value Die, which means you have to purchase other dies separately.
With that said, the accuracy, portability, versatility and easy use this machine offers makes it one of the top fabric cutting machines for quilting.
5. AccuQuilt Studio
For serious and professional quilters, the AccuQuilt Studio is the right choice. This heavy-duty fabric cutter features a foldable design and the ability to cut through 10 layers of fabric at once.
The Studio model is best suited for fabric craft stores and quilt shops – or serious hobbyists with larger budgets. With this model, you can use over 500 Go and Studio dies, so the possibilities are endless.
Included with the Studio (aside from the cutter itself) is a die tray (15-1/4” x 19-5/8”) and a large cutting plastic (14-1/2” x 18”).
While large in size, this fabric cutter is surprisingly lightweight at just 32 pounds. And its foldable design makes it easy to store this model in between uses.
The Studio can cut up to 10 layers of cotton at once. Even when working with thick fabrics like leather and denim, you can cut up to two layers at one time.
- Professional-grade cutting machine
- Easy to use
- Precision, quick cutting
- Can cut up to 10 layers at once
- Folds up for easy storage in between use
- Compatible with over 500 dies in the Studio and Go collection
The only downside with this machine is the cost, but you’re purchasing a commercial-grade cutter that can withstand the heavy demands of quilt shops and fabric stores.
Whether you’re a pro or a serious hobbyist, you won’t be disappointed by the quality and durability of this model.