In this review of the Brother Scan and Cut 2, we’ll take a look at all the features, the types of projects and work you can do with it, and we’ll compare it to the Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines.
I think one of the biggest questions people have, is should you get a Cricut, a Scan and Cut, or a Silhouette? I hope this article will help you to decide!
What Comes With The Brother Scan N Cut 2?
When you purchase the Brother Scan N Cut 2 machine on Amazon, you will receive:
A standard 12 x 12 cutting mat
A standard blade holder and standard blade
A pen holder and 2 pens (this is not the same as the universal pen holder listed in the accessories section below)
A spatula for helping to safely lift your cuts off the mat
An instruction manual
A built-in scanner
But you have got to also check out the amazing Brother Scan N Cut 2 Bundles on Swing Design. There are too many different options to list here, but I’m sure there is one tailored to your needs.
Please see the list of further accessories (which you can purchase separately) below. These additions will allow you to get more out of your machine, but you certainly do not need to buy anything further if it is outside of your budget.
Scan N Cut 2 Features
Here are some of the cutter’s features, we’ll delve more deeply into many of them below:
A color 4.85 inch LCD touch screen and stylus
A wireless activation card activates a wireless feature (costs extra)
600 designs and 7 fonts pre-loaded into the unit
Access to Scan N Cut Canvas – Brother’s software for this personal cutting machine
You can score lines (primarily a function for the card makers)
This machine can hold pens and draw whatever you input
It can hold various colors of felt, etc.
It can emboss (with the added purchase of the embossing kit)
Precision cutting blade can move around the smallest of details
The machine comes with a 12 x 12 inch mat
Increase the cutting area with the purchase of the larger 12 x 24 inch mat
The Touch Screen
The low glare LCD display sits on top of the machine. It comes with a stylus which is very necessary because of the often small and delicate maneuvers you need to make on the screen to organize your cuts – it makes it a lot easier.
Many of the touch functions that appear on the screen are pictures. These pictures can be tricky to interpret sometimes! The operation manual is important to help you learn what each ‘button’ on the screen does.
Create a free account with unlimited storage which serves a number of purposes:
Designing and preparing files for cut
Converting files to the appropriate cutting format
For saving all your work
This machine takes .FCM files for cutting. You can convert other types, such as JPEG or .SVG files, in the Canvas program.
You can see the latest developments video below.
Surprise surprise, the Scan N Cut has a scanner! It is a 300 300 DPI scanner, which means it produces smaller files which are easier to work with compared with a 600 DPI scanner, for example.
The scanner is useful because it helps prevent waste of materials. You can lay down small pieces of vinyl or fabric (or whatever) onto the mat, put it through the scanner which will pick it up, and you can then cut small designs into what were scraps.
See further benefits in this video.
With the added purchase of an Embossing Kit you are able to begin embossing. This enables you to do both line embossing and region embossing.
The kit comes with:
A special 12 x 9.5 inch embossing mat
2 embossing tools – 3.5 mm and 3 mm
An embossing tool holder
Two 7.9 x 6.1 metal sheets – one brass metal and the other silver metal
One 12 x 12 template sheet (for region embossing)
A scanning support sheet
And an activation code for access to patterns in Scan N Cut Canvas
Brother Scan and Cut Vs Silhouette & Cricut
Looking for a:
Hobby cutting machine,
Personal die cutting machine or
Best cheap vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts?
You’ve asked this question: Should I get the Scan N Cut, a Silhouette or a Cricut?
You might be surprised to hear that many people who long wanted a Silhouette or Cricut, have wound up buying a Scan N Cut after doing their research.
The Scan N Cut really does compare well with these other brands in terms of performance, looks and features. And many would say it does better than these other machines.
I think what sets it apart is that you can use it as a stand alone machine. You do not actually need a computer to start using it. With the scanner in built into the machine, it can find your material (vinyl, etc) and you can then do the rest from the touch screen display.
Average Jane shares why she prefers the Scan N Cut in the video below.
There isn’t the same community around the Brother machines. Cricut in particular, and Silhouette also, have huge fan bases with Facebook support groups, meet-ups, and they have a real buzz around them. I haven’t felt the same thing in Scan And Cut circles.
Little things, like needing an activation card, is a con of the Brother Scan And Cut 2.
The real benefit of this machine is for those that would use the scanner as well. That is a unique feature that many will enjoy. This machine is perhaps also better for doing Rhinestones.
Types of transfers you can make with the Scan N Cut:
Rhinestone transfers (with a rhinestone kit)
Many varieties of heat transfer vinyl (flocked, glitter, foil, etc.)
Printed heat transfers on transfer paper (inkjet, sublimation, etc.)
Many things are best learned by watching someone else do it first – creating rhinestone transfers are one of these things! The following video shows Brother’s ‘Scan N Cut ambassador’, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, using the Brother software to design a transfer. She goes on to make and then press the transfer onto fabric as an example.
The Rhinestone Starter Kit can be purchased on Amazon. You are also able to purchase the machine as a bundle with a rhinestone trial kit here. You can make wonderful designs with these Rhinestone kits, though it can take a bit of practice getting it down to a fine art.
Heat Transfer Vinyl
This plotter from Brother can make great HTV transfers for pressing. Here are a couple of online tutorials to give you an idea of what’s involved:
Cut around many transfers on a page with this machine. This is quite handy because you could print a page of logos, for example, and then scan it into the machine. The machine will then be able to cut precisely around all your logos, minimizing the wastage of your transfer paper.
Scan N Cut Blades
Here is a little info about Brother Scan and Cut 2 blades:
The Standard Cut Blade Replacement – when you buy the machine it will come with one standard cut blade and blade holder already. When your blade becomes blunt through use you will need to replace it.
The Deep Cut Blade – this blade is designed to cut thicker, harder materials such as felt, denim and leather. You also need to purchase the Deep Blade Holder if you want to use this blade.
Described as a craft cutting machine, this is great for the home crafter. Women are the target audience – and in particular, women who love scrap-booking and card making.
The Brother Scan N Cut wasn’t designed as a professional cutting machine for large scale t-shirt production. That being said, this machine will serve you well if you are just starting out or if this is a side hustle.
Buy the Brother Scan N Cut if:
You love experimenting with different materials; cutting vinyls, fabrics, cardstock, etc. If you think you’ll have multiple uses for it then I would go ahead. I would choose something else if you were only looking for a vinyl cutter.
You are looking for a machine that can keep the children busy for hours on end – especially good for homeschoolers who might like to start a small craft business.
You’re looking for an amazing Christmas or birthday present – what a gift!
With this machine you will be able to:
Make amazing presents for your friends and family
Make transfers to press onto baby onesies or kids clothes
Produce high quality cards (that you might be able to sell!)
Make wedding place settings
Make favor boxes
The options are endless really!
Scan N Cut Online Activation Card
The Scan N Cut Activation Card allows you to connect your machine to your wireless network, and is often included with the purchase of your machine (double check with each retailer).
If the machine you want does not include the card, you are still able to use the machine, just without the wireless feature. It comes preloaded with over 600 designs, plus you can scan your own designs or upload them to the machine from a USB drive.
I think that the Brother Scan N Cut 2 is a fantastic machine for the right person. I think it is the perfect machine for the part-time t-shirt maker, card maker or lover of crafts.
The ability to easily draw, scan and cut your own designs is really cool. I imagine letting my kids sketch some pictures and then turning their drawings into t-shirts transfers – how cool would that be?!
We hope this article has helped you to choose which cutting machine is right for you.