How to choose a Scan N Cut to buy… this is a BIG question if you are thinking about buying a Brother Scan N Cut. Feeling a little overwhelmed? This post will look at a number of models to help you choose a Scan N Cut to buy, guiding you through the minefield.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I may earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
It is a minefield choosing
The very first minefield that you might come across is the choice of Scan N Cut models. Now, you would think this part is pretty easy however, each country has Scan N Cut models with slightly different names.
My belief is this is so Brother can manage which models are in what country. The main difference will obviously be the power as countries have different voltages and power points.
TIP: If you can look through the Compare options some sites have or locate a Comparison Chart you are in luck as they are fabulous and will assist you in making your choice. I have included one in the USA section.
Tip to help you clarify what you need
I recommend before you start that you write down a list of things that you really need (or what you think you might need to make projects), then the things you might like. Also, set your budget as this will be a big thing determining how to choose which Scan N Cut to buy.
Two main Scan N Cut model types
And…. two popular types. The CM models and the DX models. The big difference between these is the auto blade. The CM models you manually adjust the blade and the DX models have an auto depth selection blade. For some people, this is a game-changer so worth considering.
Note: Brother are slowly phasing the CM range out.
Brother also produce a cutting machine called the Design and Cut. This is usually a cheaper model and as far as I can see does not scan…. let me know if this isn’t correct. The ability to scan is one of the Scan N Cut’s key features. I would choose a Scan N Cut over a Design N Cut.
Another point to keep in mind is that the DX model is Brother’s latest flagship model and the CM range may possibly be nearing the end of production.
NOTE: the manually adjusted blade is still very easy to manage and once you get used to your machine you won’t even think about it. Don’t let it scare you.
Also, be aware that the mats are not interchangeable between the two types of machines. When purchasing new mats you need to be sure to purchase the correct one for your machine.
Must have features
The next step in how to choose which model of Scan N Cut to buy is to look at the features.
Well, this is my ‘must-have’ feature. Yours may differ and that is perfectly ok. This is why there are so many models to choose from, so you can have your ‘must-haves’
I also love the Scanning feature of the Scan N Cut. This is often a decider for choosing a Scan N Cut over other brands. All CM and DX models have the scanning feature. Different models may have a higher scanning resolution or will scan 12″x24″ mat instead of a 12″x12″. While this is nice, I personally don’t think that the additional scanning options are a ‘must-have’. Your budget and what you are planning to make may put it on YOUR ‘must-have’ list 🙂
Not as important as you think
When I was first purchasing my machine I did exactly what I am telling you to do… made a list of what I thought was necessary. My list included comparing how many fonts and how many designs or shapes built into the machine. I WAS WRONG!
This is actually not important at all UNLESS you plan to never use a PC or other device with your Scan N Cut. There are so many designs, free files, and free fonts available that you don’t really need to have them built into the machine. Once again, this does depend on your personal needs or wants.
A prime example, if you are a Disney fan you may absolutely adore the Disney SDX model so you can utilize all their trademarked designs. Don’t forget, you can purchase Disney designs separately too.
Brother has provided two versions of Canvas Workspace to enable you to design your own projects AND they also give you heaps of free projects via Canvas. Designing your own projects is so much fun!
Where to buy
One other thing to consider is that some models are only available through a dealership and others through places like Amazon and various craft stores. If you need any personalized attention then consider a dealership as they will often offer classes.
Having said that, there is a LOT of help out there in facebook groups, YouTube and general information searching.
Let us break the models into countries to make it a little easier for you.
Buying a Scan N Cut in the USA
The models that we will look at in the USA include:
- Scan N Cut SDX125 and SDX125e (auto blade)
- Scan N Cut SDX225 (auto blade)
- CM350 and CM35e (manually set blade)
The CM350 and CM350e are designed the same. The only difference is the CM350e includes the wireless activation card and the CM350 does not. You will have to pay extra for the wireless card.
TIP: Don’t be mislead if a model has DX after the model number eg CM550DX This is STILL a CM model. The DX models ALL have DX BEFORE the model number.
The above is a snapshot from the US Brother site of a Comparison Chart. Follow the link to review the difference between these two models in full. Note, you will need to scroll to the bottom of the page.
The biggest difference to consider between these two machines is that the SDX225 will accept PES files. This is huge if you are an embroiderer and have a Brother embroidery machine.
If not…meh! There is nothing between the two that you will not either be able to purchase separately or really really need. The SDX225 will scan 24″ as well as cut and it has a vinyl roll feeder in the package. Both of these are nice to have.
If you are considering either of these models, review the Comparison Chart. and check at least three places for pricing. There can be quite a difference in pricing between retailers.
New line up for 2021
With more new models on the horizon it is hard to keep up. Viewing the models below, the only one I would caution about is the SDX85 which has a ridiculously small screen which would drive me nuts after using my CM900 and DX2300D.
Having said that, my advice is to purchase the model that you can afford. Scan N Cut machines are great fun and while you think you are only going to be making “X”… you will find you end up making so much more than you planned.
SDX230D to SDX230DX ??
The SDX230DX is a new Limited Edition of the Disney machine recently released in the US and is replacing the SDX230D.
Brother continually release slight variations of models which makes it very very confusing.
Both of these versions have the Disney picture on it and the main difference between the two cutting machines is additional designs included in the SDX230DX.
The SDX230D was the original limited edition promotion with the Disney designs inbuilt. It was priced at $799 USD (RRP) with some bonuses. The bonuses included pens and some tools in bag, a Rhinestone starter set, the Roll Feeder, a carry bag in some instances, and a few other bits and pieces.
The SDX230DX is marked “new” on the Brother website and is the replacement promotion, and, as I mentioned earlier, has a handful of additional designs. The RRP is higher with the website stating $1199 USD.
In my opinion, the SDX230D for the lower price would be a great buy however it may be getting short in supply. I have the Australian version of the Disney and really love it.
Here are the US links to see more of what is included.
The next country in the how to choose your Scan N Cut to buy is…da da… the UK.
Models in the UK include:
Remember, the difference between the CM models and the DX models is the auto blade. The CM models you manually adjust the blade and the DX models have an auto depth selection blade.
The Q after the model number is for quilting which has features designed to assist quilters. If this is you, it may be the one that you investigate.
As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorite features is wifi. Unfortunately, the CM300 does not have this feature. If this is something that isn’t on your must-have list then the CM300 is fine and will do most things that you ask of it.
Depending on what price you can purchase them for and there isn’t a huge difference, then I would choose the CM900 over the CM300 as it is mid-range and good value for money. If budget is not an issue, then the DX range are strong contenders. (remember, these are Brother’s latest models)
Australian choices of Scan N Cut machines
Here are the models on the Aussie Brother site.
- DC 300 (Design and Cut)
Also available is the CM700 from Echidna Sewing.
I purchased my CM900 from them and have been very happy with the purchase. This is no longer advertised by Echidna Sewing and is no longer available.
I purchased the SDX2200D early 2020 and have enjoyed using it so much. It is a great little machine and I certainly have no regrets. While I have retained my CM900 and use it when I am doing a lot of cutting (loved this machine), I find that I head to the SDX2200D as my first choice these days. It is so quiet and a delight to use.
You will find a number of tutorials on using both the CM and the DX throughout my website. Remember to have a look around.
I will add more to this post when I get a chance. Hopefully what I have provided has provided some guidance on how to choose a Scan N Cut to buy. I remember how much I researched to work out which model I would purchase.
It is about finding the features that you need and the budget that you have. Hopefully the two match. (If you are anything like me, I always end up spending more than I intended to )
Anyway, for now…
While you are here, don’t forget to check out my other posts. There are heaps of helpful information in them.
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