Brother Scan And Cut 2 CM350 Review

The Brother Scan And Cut machine – should you get one? 


This machine has a set of features which set it apart from Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines. There is also the newer Scan N Cut DX to consider as well.


Let’s take a good look at the Brother Scan N Cut 2 to determine which machine is best for you!


Brother Scan And Cut 2

brother scan and cut 2 review


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.


Scan N Cut Canvas Design Software


Scan N Cut Canvas is Brother’s free software for use with the cutting machine.


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.



The Scanner


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.



I think a couple of cons of the Brother Scan and Cut 2 over the Cricut or Silhouette cutting machines include:

  • 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.


Personally, while I think it’s a great machine, my preference is for Cricut cutting machines.


Make Heat Transfers For T-Shirts


The Brother Scan N Cut machine can be used to make heat transfers!


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.)


Rhinestone Transfers


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:

  • Siser have a post, How to Cut Siser HTV in the Brother Scan N Cut, which takes you step by step through the process if you are new to the machine and new to vinyl transfers.
  • CleverDog Designs have a long tutorial on using HTV in this machine. Putting the speed on YouTube up to 1.5x is a great way to get through all these videos!



Transfer Paper


Use the Brother with iron-on transfer paper.


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.


There is also a Universal Pen Holder that will hold pens with a diameter of 9.6 – 11.4 mm. You can purchase Brother’s own 6 Color Pen Set or use your own.


This Machine Is Best For…


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!)
  • Etch plaques
  • 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.


Scan N Cut 2 Project Ideas Resources


Heat transfer vinyl onto a tote bag.



A vinyl sticker transfer project.



There are dozens and dozens of project ideas on the Brother Scan N Cut Project page.


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.



(Please note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy here.)


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