Every vinyl cutter we’ve reviewed in the past has come with it’s own software. Unfortunately, the manufacturer software is usually pretty limited and lacks features of the commercial software that’s available.
Fortunately, there are numerous vinyl cutting software tools on the market that you can choose from. It’s important to pick the software that will meet your needs, if you’re designing stickers you may have very different needs than someone cutting out car decals or wraps.
The ideal software for you will greatly depend on the cutting machine that you are using, your experience and your budget.
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of five best vinyl cutting software programs.
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Best Vinyl Cutter Under $300
Easy Cut Studio is one of our favorite vinyl cutting software. Specifically, we love its interface, which is designed to enable you to directly draw images on your cutting mat. It has a powerful suite of drawing tools and lets you work with layers.
If you have a Brother vinyl cutter and need to use FCM files, Easy Cut Studio can quickly convert your images from SVG so you can easily cut using your Brother vinyl cutter or plotter.
Easy Cut Studio works with all of the major plotter/cutter manufacturers. It allows you to import and export your designs easily and you can even use the software to create your own drawings and designs right inside the software.
EasyCutStudio also comes with a library of vector images you can use for your projects.
Additionally, this software supports vectorization, thus making it the best in the industry. Lastly, it operates on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Sure Cuts A Lot is an easy and user-friendly cutting software that can support fonts combination, importing your own shapes, cut lines, or even drawing your own.
This software assures its users a great deal of functionality as featured in Photoshop and other Adobe editing tools. Developers behind this tool went over and beyond to provide easy to use guidelines, masking, and magnetic snapping.
SCAL supports both TrueType and OpenType fonts. Secondly, if you have existing images that are not in vector form, you can choose to make use of the auto-tracing tools to convert them into cut images. Simply put, this is the perfect software for designing and drawing signs.
There are two versions of SureCutsALot. The standard version and a Pro version. The Pro version allows additional import file formats, a cut by color feature, assigning cuts to layers as well as several more advanced features.
Just like Easy Cut Studio, this software works with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
CorelDraw is a professional level design application but it can also be used to cut on your vinyl cutter. But, there are some things you need to know first. You do have to have a driver for your cutter installed and it must be compatible with CorelDraw.
Designs in CorelDraw are vectors by default so you don’t have any additional steps to convert your files before you cut.
The software comes with an album of quality illustrations and images, training videos, and a few design templates that you will find to be very helpful.
Just like the other two applications above, this software works with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Corel Draw is the most expensive tool on this list but it’s also doing double duty. It’s a powerful industry quality design application that can also be used to cut on your plotter/cutter. It’s main benefit over adobe Illustrator being that it’s a one time cost rather than a subscription.
This software continues to grow in terms of popularity, especially because it offers the best value for money in the current market. The application comes at a cheap cost compared to other software programs in the market. Additionally, it offers a few payment options for you to choose from: this list includes pay at the end of every month, club membership options, and subscriptions. The club membership options are available for high levels like VinylMaster Pro and VinylMaster DSR.
Moreover, apart from its fair pricing points, VinylMaster is designed to handle all kinds of projects, including banners, signs, shapes, decals, logos, posters, and lettering.
The software supports close to 500printers and cutters, so it will surely work with yours.
Just like the other applications mentioned above, VinylMaster also supports vector-based artwork.
Lastly, the software tool presents you with a wide set of design tools and features, and it allows you to lay out your artwork and designs before sending it to your cutter or plotter.
If you hope to get a feel of what top-notch vinyl cutting software can do without spending money, then Inkscape is here for you. Unfortunately, using Inkscape will involve a two step process.
First you create your vector graphics in Inkscape. Then you need to export or save an .SVG file. Then you’ll have to import that svg into the vinyl cutting software that came with your cutter.
The good part is that you can use the advanced tools in Inkscape to create your graphics. The bad part is that it’s a two step process.
Realistically, unless you’re creating a really simple graphic you’ll probably want to use a two step process anyway. Graphic design software like Inkscape or even Adobe Illustrator are much more powerful and easier to use for creating graphics.
Just like in Easy Cut Studio, Inkscape’s main vector graphics format is the Scalable Vector Graphics. However, you can import and export many other different formats if you wish.
Inkscape is designed to render vector shapes like polygons, arcs, rectangles, text, stars, 3D boxes, and spirals. You can also fill these objects with patterns and colors. The shapes, moreover, can be manipulated with transformations, such as rotating, scaling, moving, and skewing.
That sums up our review of the top 5 vinyl cutting software applications. We’d usually make a pick for the top choice but this time I think it depends too much on what you need and what you experience is. If you need advanced design tools or if you’re doing simple or complex designs. If you’re looking for an inexpensive vinyl cutter to start your business check out our article on the 5 best vinyl cutters under $300 (Prices subject to change).
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