What’s the Best Fabric Die Cutting Machine? Our Top 7 Picks
A rotary cutter may be cheap and convenient, but if you are a serious crafter you will remember the day you caved in and bought a fabric cutting machine.
They greatly reduce the amount of time you spend cutting and frees up your mind for more adventurous designs and ideas.
We absolutely love these machines, but which machine is the best? There are quite a few models to choose from so it really 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 7 Best Fabric Die Cutting Machines
Our top five picks come from two of the top brands in the industry: Sizzix and AccuQuilt.
We have tested all of the models below and are happy with the performance of each one. These machines will save you a ton of time and money.
1. Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit
Sizzix includes two aqua cutting plates, which allow you to use any chemically etched wafer-thin dies from the company (up to 2-1/2″ wide). This includes Thinlits, Framelits and Triplits.
You can also use Sizzlits Decorative Strips, and Small and Medium Sizzlits with this machine. But you’ll need to purchase the clear cutting pads separately.
The kit also includes 2 Thinlits dies, 6 Framelits dies, 7 Stamps and 2 Textured Impressions Embossing Folders.
The great thing about the Sidekick Starter is that it’s lightweight and easily portable. The machine weighs just two pounds and it’s only 4-3/4″ tall.
Along with its compact size, this die cutter has a special vacuum seal that keeps it firmly in place when working on smooth surfaces.
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Includes cutting plates that make the machine compatible with most Sizzix dies
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
- Comes with lots of accessories
The Sidekick’s small size can be a pro or a con, depending on your needs. You might find that the small size of the plates won’t work with your quilting style.
Otherwise, the Sidekick Starter Kit is a great option those who are just getting started or want a more compact machine.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. AccuQuilt Go Baby
Weighing just eight pounds, the AccuQuilt Go Baby is the on-the-go fabric cutter every quilter needs. Unlike the Sizzix models, AccuQuilt cutters are designed specifically for quilting and sewing.
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.
5. AccuQuilt Go!
If you’re looking for a fabric cutter that can cut large pieces of fabric, the AccuQuilt Go may be the right choice for you. The Go is the Go Baby’s big brother.
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. You can read our full Accuquilt Go review here.
6. AccuQuilt Ready. Set. GO!
The AccuQuilt Ready. Set. GO! is truly the ultimate cutting system, and it’s designed especially for quilters. If you’re new to die cutting, this package may be a great option for you. It includes everything you need to get started with fabric cutting, including:
- Qube 8″ Mix & Match Block
- The fabric cutting machine
- Strip Cutter 2-1/2″
- Two cutting mats: 10″ x 24″ and 6″ x 6″
- Die pick
- Qube book written by Eleanor burns
- More than 70 free patterns
AccuQuilt’s die cutting machine is 90% faster than scissors or rotary cutters, and it’s safer, too. With this machine, you can accurately cut up to 6 layers of fabric. Having the ability to cut multiple layers of fabric at once will save you a lot of time when working on new projects.
I like that this system offers virtually unlimited design options using the GO! Qube Mix & Match block dies. Here’s what the Mix & Match set includes:
- Square: 2-1/2″
- Square: 4-1/2″
- Quarter square triangle: 4″
- Half square triangle: 2″
- Half square triangle: 4″
- Parallelogram 45 degrees: 2-3/4″ x 3-1/2″
- Square on point: 3-1/4″
- Rectangle: 2-1/2″x 4-1/2″
On top of everything else, AccuQuilt includes a free book and more than 70 patterns. There’s even a self-contained storage system to keep everything in place.
The AccuQuilt Ready. Set. GO! truly does give you everything you need to start cutting fabric right out of the box. And all of those free patterns will keep you working on new projects for months (or years) to come.
- Includes everything you need to start cutting fabric
- Virtually unlimited design options
- Free patterns included
- Can cut up to six layers of fabric at a time
- May not be ideal for experienced users
If you already have a set of dies, you may find that you have no need for such a big die cutting kit.
For most quilters, this is the ultimate package for getting started with die cutting and is worth every penny.
7. Cricut Cuttlebug
And you can work with a variety of materials, including acetate ribbon, foil, tissue paper and leather. If you’re into paper crafting, this is a great machine to have on hand.
The Cuttlebug comes with a few accessories, including an A2 embossing folder, two metal dies, two 6×8 B plates, one 6×8 A plate and a 6×8 rubber embossing mat.
I like that this machine is compatible with leading cutting dies and embossing folders. This compatibility makes this machine very versatile.
Like the Sizzix Sidekick, this machine is lightweight and compact for easy use on-the-go. It also has a convenient collapsible handle as well as a fold-and-store profile.
Suction cups on the bottom of the machine keep it securely in place when using it on a smooth surface. There’s no need to worry about the Cuttlebug sliding around when you’re trying to use it.
- Compact and portable
- Comes with a bonus A2 embossing folder
- Can work with a variety of materials
- Compatible with leading embossing folders and cutting dies
- May not work with all fabrics
Cricut says this machine works with thin leather, which means it may not work with all fabrics. If you plan to work with thicker fabrics or you want to cut several layers of fabric at once, you may want to try a more heavy-duty machine.