What Is The Difference Between a Vinyl Cutter And Plotter?

By InkTek Printcare Nig Ltd

A vinyl cutting machine lets you cut your desired designs from vinyl materials using a computer-controlled blade while a plotter enables you to draw pictures on a paper with a pen.

The two machines are basically the same, and this can make you feel confused about the usage or application of either of them.

In the following post, we’ll delve into more details on how the two machines differ in terms of operation, application, and more.


  1. Table of content
  2. Vinyl cutter
    1. How much does a vinyl cutter cost?
    2. Uses of vinyl cutters
  3. Vinyl plotter
  4. How much does vinyl cutting plotter cost
  5. Uses of Vinyl Cutting Plotter
  6. Final Verdict

Vinyl cutter

Vinyl cutter
Vinyl cutter

As we have just mentioned above, a vinyl cutter uses a computer controlled blade to cut your desired shapes and letters out of vinyl material. In other words, the machine trims vinyl into your preferred designs.

A typical vinyl cutting machine receives the instructions from a computer or cartridge to enable it to cut unique designs from vinyl and other similar materials.

It works just like the desktop printer in the sense that you’ll see w slider running over the vinyl material…but instead of printing on the paper, it makes cuts out of it.

When the cutting process is complete, you can then remove the material form the cutter, peel the design off the sheet, and use it for your project, whether it’s scrapbooking, sewing, card making, sign making, etc.

As you might have discovered in the vinyl cutting machines reviews, some vinyl cutters come as a complete set (including various design cartridges plus the cutter itself). Some models can complete with everything and can work as standalone models, while others require you to connect them to a computer.

You’ll need to plug in your cutting machine as well as the cartridge for it to start cutting your design from your preferred material. The types of designs you work on using a cutting machine is restricted by the cartridge or the card used to send instructions into the machine.

How much does a vinyl cutter cost?

How much does a vinyl cutter cost?
How much does a vinyl cutter cost?

These machines are quite affordable. Whether you’re looking for vinyl cutting machine for home use or your small sign-making business, you’ll find a model within your budget.

You can find an excellent cutter for home use for around N190,000 to N400,000. A commercial model for your small business will cost you a bit more, from N190,000 to N400,000 or more. Needless to mention, the more advanced features a cutter comes with (e.g., built-in scanner), the more it’ll cost you

Uses of vinyl cutters

Because vinyl cutters are capable of cutting a wide range of materials, including vellum, trimming paper, card stock, and vinyl, the number of projects you can successfully accomplish with them only gets bigger.

You can use them to create signs/letters, stickers, banners, car decals, scrapbooks, card making, and more.

You can even use your vinyl cutter to customize your t-shirts with your desired artwork, graphics, quotes, etc. for this job, however, you’ll also need to use the best heat press to transfer the design to the garment. 

Simply put, a vinyl cutting machine will help you accomplish all your home or small business art and craft projects.

Vinyl plotter

A vinyl plotter, also referred to as a vinyl cutter or vinyl printer cutter combo, refers to a piece of computer gear that uses a pen to draw your design or artwork on a paper. It enables you to turn your product prototype into a workable template or pattern.

You can rely on them to cut out vinyl sign lettering as well as other images—enabling you to make a wide range of things, including billboards, bumper stickers, and others.

It’s important to note that these machines come in various sizes, from big to small models.

Some more streamlined vinyl plotter models let you connect them to the computer. Such models are usually affordable and are ideal for making displays, signs, posters, wall lettering, etc., in various institutions such as schools, churches, clubs, homes, and even small businesses.

You can also easily find commercial grade vinyl cutter plotters. As you can easily guess, these models are pretty BIG and can be used to cut lettering soo big that it letters the entire wall of a big building or a huge billboard. Commercial plotters usually cut immediately (and accurately) and let you make simple adjustments to improve spacing.

How much does a vinyl cutter plotter cost?

The cost of these machines varies from model to model, depending on the size as well as the features it comes with. A low-end 24-inch plotter will cost you around $1000 to $2000, while a 36-inch plotter will cost you about $2,500 to $10,000.

Just as we said in the case of cutters, a plotter with more advanced features such as an integrated scanner will cost you more.

Uses of vinyl plotters

These machines are the surest bet for printing larger signs, banners, posters, floor plans, blueprints, and other similar projects.

They find extensive usage in engineering projects and the apparel industry.

With their wide-format production, they also make the perfect solution for window tinting and car wrapping.

Final Verdict

A vinyl cutter is a computer controlled machine that cuts letters and shapes out of vinyl material. This is unlike the vinyl plotter, which prints on the surface of a material instead of cutting it.

The varying working principles is the biggest difference between these two. And this is the reason why they have different uses and applications.

Both machines also vary in terms of cost, with the plotter printers staying high up on the price ladder.

If you’re looking for a machine for an affordable machine for handling your or small business crafting needs, go for a vinyl cutter.


What is a vinyl cutter plotter?

A vinyl cutter plotter is a computer-controlled machine that can cut out shapes and letters from sheets of vinyl. This makes it perfect for creating signs, decals, or other graphics. You can also use a vinyl cutter plotter to create stencils for painting.

Vinyl cutter plotters come in a variety of sizes, but they all work in basically the same way. First, you’ll need to create your design using vector graphics software like Adobe Illustrator. Once your design is complete, you’ll send it to the vinyl cutter plotter using a USB connection or memory card.

The vinyl cutter plotter will then read your design and begin cutting it out of the vinyl sheet. You can use the vinyl cutter plotter to cut out one piece at a time, or you can use it to create multiples of the same design.

After the vinyl cutter plotter has finished cutting out your design, you’ll need to remove the excess vinyl from around the edges. This is called weeding. Once you’ve weeded your design, you can apply it to whatever surface you’re working with.

Vinyl cutter plotters are an easy and convenient way to create professional-looking graphics without having to hire a professional. If you’re looking for a machine that can help you take your business or craft projects to the next level, a vinyl cutter plotter is a great option to consider.

Can a plotter print on vinyl?

Yes, a plotter can print on vinyl. This is because plotters use inkjet or thermal printing technology, which is able to print on a variety of materials. Vinyl is a popular choice for printing because it is durable and has a high-quality finish. Plotters can print on vinyl in either a glossy or matte finish, depending on your preference.

Do vinyl cutters also print?

As you may know, vinyl cutters are machines that are used to create custom decals, stickers, and other types of graphics. But what you may not know is that some vinyl cutters also have the ability to print. This means that they can create full-color prints onto a variety of different materials.

So, if you’re looking for a machine that can do both cutting and printing, then a vinyl cutter with printing capabilities may be a good option for you. Just keep in mind that not all vinyl cutters are created equal. Some are better at cutting than others, and some are better at printing than others. So, make sure to do your research before making your final purchase decision.

What can a plotter be used for?

Plotters are traditionally used for creating large format prints, such as blueprints or posters. However, modern plotters can also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as engraving, sign making, and even fabric cutting. Basically, if you need to cut or print something that is too large for a standard printer, a plotter can probably do the job.

Can a plotter be used as a printer?

Most plotters on the market today are designed to be used as printers, and many of them can even print in color. However, there are a few plotters that are designed specifically for use as plotters, and these may not have the ability to print. If you’re not sure whether or not your plotter can print, check the manufacturer’s website or contact customer support.

What is the difference between vinyl cutter and Cricut?

Vinyl cutters and Cricut machines are both popular choices for those looking to get into the world of crafting and design. But what’s the difference between the two?

Vinyl cutters are designed for use with vinyl sheets, which can be used to create stickers, decals, and other designs. Cricut machines, on the other hand, are designed for use with a variety of materials, including paper, cardboard, fabric, and even metal.

So, if you’re looking to create simple designs or want the flexibility to work with a variety of materials, a Cricut machine may be the better option for you. However, if you’re primarily interested in creating designs with vinyl sheets, a vinyl cutter will be the better choice.

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