Hello, all. My name is Rick and I am new to vinyl cutting. My wife has a Cricut and it seems like I took over it because of my sudden fascination in the vinyl cutting/business. I now plan to get [way] more serious and want to invest in a more advanced cutter. I am a serious believer in "buying once" instead of purchasing mediocre machines that will just lead me to purchasing "the one I need".
With that said, I have been looking in to Roland and Graphtec, which appear to be leaders in the industry. I was sold on Roland first because, well, its ROLAND, but then I saw many YouTube videos on Graphtec and loved the on-board screen and looked very easy to configure. I should mention that I am in IT and pretty savvy when it comes to computers and menus, but I am all for ease of use.
I recently went to a local supplier and they were recommending the Roland (GS-24) because software was easier to use, and the machine itself had American measurements, unlike Graphtec (CE6000-60 Plus) which uses metric measurements in their system. Not sure how true that is and if that is really an issue, but I made a mental note, nonetheless.
NOTE: The local shop had the Roland on sale for right under $1600 (with stand), and the Graphtec was right under $1800. Maybe they were just trying to push Rolands out due to the sale they had going.
So my questions are below. Please answer all or any of them. Anything helps a newbie like me and will be greatly appreciated:
1.) Which cutting/design software is more intuitive and also has more advanced features between Roland and Graphtec?
2.) Is there a third-party cutting/design software that is being used by people in the industry, instead of the factory-supplied, that will work on both machines? I am not talking about Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator.
3.) Is the metric measurement on the Graphtec really something to be concerned about?
4.) GRAND QUESTION: Which is a better cutter overall (i.e., able to cut more intricate details, on-board screen is easier to use, more reliable)?
I realize that my last question is very vague. If anyone knows of any pros/cons on both, please let me know.
Thanks in advance for your help! I'm eager to see your comments.