Roland BN-20 Printer-Cutter

Are Two Better Than One?

Everyone has opinions, and everyone loves their own opinions. But have you ever heard the saying, "Many times in life there is more than one right way to do things?" Though it is sometimes frustrating, it is often true.

When it comes to creating signage and custom products, there are two schools of thought: It's better to use a combination printer-cutter is one opinion. The other opinion is that it's better to use a separate printer and cutter.

What's your opinion? And are you open to changing it? Let's compare both options and discuss the advantages of using either a combination printer-cutter or separate printers and cutters.  

Option 1: Using a Combination Printer-Cutter

Combining a printer and a cutter into one machine offers several advantages over having separate equipment:

  • Space -  A printer-cutter takes up less space compared to having to use two separate pieces of equipment. This is especially beneficial for small businesses or home offices where space is limited. Powering one piece of equipment is also easier and more convenient.
  • Workflow  - With integrated printer-cutter technology, you streamline your workflow by eliminating the need to transfer printed materials from one machine to another. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors or damage during the transfer process.
  • Cost - While the initial investment in a printer-cutter may be higher than purchasing separate pieces of equipment, you can save money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs, energy consumption, and, again, the need for additional space.
  • Versatility - Printer-cutters are often designed to handle a wide range of materials, including paper, vinyl, fabric, and more. This versatility allows you to expand your product offerings and cater to a broader range of customer needs without investing in multiple machines.
  • Precision and Alignment - Integrated printer-cutters offer precise alignment between printing and cutting processes, ensuring accurate results with minimal waste. This level of precision is especially important for tasks such as creating decals, stickers, and labels.
  • Ease of Use - Having a single piece of equipment for both printing and cutting simplifies the process. It also reduces the learning curve for operators. Many printer-cutters also come with intuitive software that makes it easy to design, print, and cut materials in one seamless workflow.

To sum up, using a combination printer-cutter is a great option for precision printing and cutting, and reduces the footprint required for your equipment. 

SignWarehouise has premier combination printer-cutters available individually or in packages. 


Roland BN-20 Printer-Cutter

Explore the many Roland BN20 Printer-Cutters and packages.


Option 2: Using a Separate Cutter and Printer 

Using separate equipment for printing and cutting vinyl for signage and other products also offers some advantages. A few are:

  • Productivity - Despite the added step of moving media from the printer to the cutter, using two machines in tandem is more productive because you can print and cut simultaneously. With an integrated printer-cutter, you print, then cut. With a printer-cutter combo, you print and cut. The added productivity is why many sign and graphics professionals prefer this option.
  • Specialization - Separate printers and cutters often offer higher performance and specialization because they are specialized. This means you can choose a printer optimized for high-quality printing and a cutter optimized for precision cutting, allowing you to achieve the best results for each process.
  • Customization: Some businesses require specialized cutting techniques or materials that may not be supported by integrated printer-cutter machines. By using separate equipment, you can choose printing and cutting solutions that meet your exact requirements.
  • Flexibility: With separate equipment, you have the flexibility to upgrade or replace either the printer or cutter, based on your evolving needs or technological advancements. This can be advantageous for vinyl sign and other printing projects, where specific requirements can change frequently.
  • Dedicated Functionality: Each piece of equipment can focus solely on its intended function, potentially leading to increased speed and efficiency in production. For example, while one machine is printing, the other can be cutting, maximizing throughput.
  • Maintenance: If one component of the system requires maintenance or repairs, having separate equipment means that the other component can still be used for production. This reduces downtime and ensures continuity in your operations.
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Large Operations: In large-scale operations where volume is high and specialized tasks are common, separate equipment can offer cost-effectiveness. You can invest in heavy-duty, high-volume printers and cutters tailored to your specific production requirements.
  • Backup System: Having separate equipment can serve as a backup system. If one machine fails, you still have the other operational, minimizing the impact on production schedules and deadlines.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, you can scale up your production capacity by adding additional printers or cutters as you need them. This scalability allows you to adapt to changing market demands without overcommitting to one type of equipment.

You have many choices in large format printers to pair with cutters when choosing to use a separate printer cutter. 

Learn more about Mimaki Large-Format Printers

The Vinyl Express Q Series Gen3 54" large format printer from SignWarehouse is a great option for pairing with a cutter.


Overall, using separate sign printers and cutters can offer greater specialization, flexibility, and scalability, making them suitable for businesses with diverse or evolving needs in signage production.

SignWarehouse has a variety of printers and cutters available for you to partner in order to create the combination you want for your business.   

 Learn more about Mimaki Large-Format Printers

Learn more about the many sizes available of vinyl cutters


Now that you have more information, we hope you can make an infired decision about whether a combination printer-cutter or single pieces of equipment will work better for your projects.