USCutter Laserpoint II Review
The USCutter Laserpoint II is a great machine for crafters looking for a low-cost alternative to a Roland or Graphtec cutter. It’s great for simple jobs on a large scale, and is ideal for sticker and label makers thanks to its impeccable contour cutting function.
There are some issues: the instructions are awful and USB connections can be dodgy, but there are always solutions to these problems.
The first thing that attracts most people to the USCutter Laserpoint II (available to buy on Amazon) is definitely the price.
This is a cheapvinyl cutting machine — especially considering its size and contour cutting abilities.
Of course, it’s not all roses. A couple of mechanical issues have been reported (although we’re pretty sure we can solve those for you) and the operating manual — when it arrives at all — is a hilariously bad English translation.
We’ll take you through absolutely everything you need to know about the USCutter Laserpoint 2, both good and bad, so you can make the best buying decision for you.
Let’s take it away…
- 1 Who Will Use the USCutter Laserpoint II?
- 2 USCutter Laserpoint 2: Specs
- 3 USCutter Laserpoint II Review
- 4 USCutter Laserpoint II Tutorials
- 5 Where to Buy the USCutter Laserpoint 2
Who Will Use the USCutter Laserpoint II?
You should be aware that this USC laser cut plotter is definitely not for everyone.
First off, it’s a bit of a monster, weighing in at almost 60 lbs. This certainly isn’t a vinyl cutting machine to store on your desktop — this is a behemoth that needs either an entire corner or even a small crafts room.
As such, we would only really recommend it for crafters who have grown out of the usual desktop cutters and need something a little bigger than can create much bigger cuts but isn’t too much more expensive.
Those of us who do a lot of vinyl signage might opt for this machine, for instance.
However, this is not a machine for advanced cutters. While its cutting specs are by no means bad, the USCutter Laserpoint II vinyl cutter certainly can’t compete with the likes of Graphtec and Roland.
If you’re looking for something that will reliably deliver precision cutting time after time — or if you’re operating a small cutting business — we’d suggest that you spend more money and opt for the more premium brands.
This USCutter Laserpoint is better suited to hobbyists than professionals.
On the other side, if you’re a light hobbyist or a crafter that generally sticks to smaller scale designs, we’d suggest that you stick with desktop cutters like the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Silhouette Cameo 4. These can’t offer the same size benefits as the USC laser cutting machine, but they are good for precision cutting and keeping everything contained on a small scale.
USCutter Laserpoint 2: Specs
What Comes in the Box?
- USCutter Laserpoint II machine
- Floor stand
- VinylMaster Cut software
- Blade holder
- 3 x 45° blades
- Pen holder
- USB cable
- 9-pin serial cable
- Power cord
- 1 year warranty
- Free lifetime phone support
What Materials Can it Work With?
This stepper motor vinyl plotter can work with the following materials:
- Standard vinyl
- Heat transfer vinyl
- Craft paper
- Card stock
- Paint mask
USC specify that the machine cannot work with the following:
- Sand blast resist
- Low and high intensity reflective
- Unbacked or unlined media without the use of a carrier sheet
The USCutter Laserpoint II is available in 3 different width sizes:
|Model||Maximum Cutting Width|
Somewhat confusingly, the Amazon listings for each model varies a little from those listed on the USC website.
The 25″ is called the 24″ and the 35″ the 32″. Both list the 50″ as 50″, however.
The design and cut software that comes with the USCutter Laserpoint 2 is the VinylMaster Cut basic edition.
It’s actually a pretty good piece of software that has a basic set of design and edit tools, a trace feature for converting various files into plotting files, an excellent preview function that will instruct on how to correctly load the feed, and the ability to provide contour cutting whether manually by LAPOS (Laser Positioning Sensor) or automatically with ARMS (Automatic Registration Mark Sensor).
There’s also a feature that provides the user with sensitivity control when using the ARMS function — really useful when you’re using different surface materials like glossy or matte.
As is now standard with VinylMaster Cut, you also get to use the spool function, which is great news for people working on big projects with multiple layers of different colors. This function also you to send multiple jobs to the USCutter Laserpoint’s queue and to sort by color.
If you want enhanced editing, lettering and trace tools, we’d recommend you upgrade from the basic edition to one of the three extended programs of VinylMaster Cut.
You can see a full comparison breakdown of their features in this handy guide.
The worst thing about VinylMaster Cut is — horror of horrors — it’s not compatible with Macs.
When will these software companies move into the 21st Century?!
USC have tried to get around this by offering Mac buyers a copy of Sure Cuts A Lot Pro when they buy the machine direct from their website.
This is all well and good, but unfortunately SCALPro isn’t compatible with the ARMS function of the laser vinyl cutter, so you’ll be stuck with just manual contour cutting.
If you buy the USC laser cutting machine elsewhere, there’s no option to receive SCALPro instead of VinylMaster Cut so Mac users will need to go direct to USC.
USCutter Laserpoint II Review
As you’d probably expect for a machine that promises a lot for a relatively low point, there are a plethora of pros and cons to buying the USCutter Laserpoint 2.
Let’s take a look.
Delivers Good Cuts on a Large Scale
The most important and obvious pro to this laser vinyl cutting is undoubtedly the fact that it can deliver reasonable quality cuts on a much larger scale than a comparative machine in this price range.
Yes, it can’t offer the same incredible precision and reliability as a Roland or a Graphtec, but it works well, especially on simple design jobs.
Its cutting is more accurate than the USCutter MH, SC or TC series can offer, due to the fact that it’s equipped with a high-precision steel barbed axis and an inertial rotating blade holder.
Its Great for Stickers and Labels
If you want a plotter that can contour cut without having to spend a fortune, the USCutter Laserpoint II is well worth considering.
For those not in the know, contour cutting is when a vinyl cutter cuts the outline around a graphic image, rather than cutting all the vectors within the image.
It does this with the help of laserpoint technology.
For automatic contour cutting, all you need to do is to select the laser registration feature in VinylMaster Cut. This will put registration marks around your image, providing it’s within the size limits, and will then automatically cut around the image according to those registration cuts.
If you’re a Mac user using SCALPro, you’ll need to select manual contour cutting, which is marginally trickier. With this, you’ll need to use the laser positioning sensor to align your own registration marks around the image, ensuring that the cutter cuts perfectly around the graphic.
You Can Adjust Cutting Force and Speed Yourself
Another upgrade with the USCutter Laserpoint II vinyl cutter is the fact that a new pressure dial on the right hand side of the machine allows you to adjust the degree of cutting force you exert on whatever material you’re working with.
This can take a little time for beginners to get used to so make sure that you make good use of the ‘testing’ function to ensure that you don’t waste too much vinyl.
USC do advise that the more force exerted with the machine, the shorter the lifespan of the laser vinyl cutter, so make sure that you use it appropriately.
The ‘Copy Last Job’ Feature
We love any feature or tool that’s designed to make vinyl cutting more efficient for us.
The ‘copy last job’ feature is exactly that — it allows up to 99 copies of the same design while the machine is on.
This is an underrated feature which will likely be highly valued by anyone doing repetitive work and large single jobs.
The ‘Spool’ Function
In the same vein as the positive above, we love the efficiency of the spool function.
You’ll need to select Spool within VinylMaster Cut, and this will allow you to send multiple jobs to the laser vinyl cutter’s queue and to sort by color.
Anyone indulging in projects that boast multiple layers of different colors will find these function to be a valuable time saver.
Great Customer Service
We should stress that this positive is known by word of mouth as opposed to our own experience.
USC offer lifetime phone support when you buy the USCutter Laserpoint 2, even though the warranty for the machine is only good for a year.
Fellow users told us that they reached the USC team quickly and easily when they needed an issue troubleshooting and the team were often able to solve it or at least offer some helpful advice.
In an age where most manufacturers lose interest in the consumer as soon as they’ve shipped the product, good customer service should be celebrated when it does come around.
Other Things We Love:
- The LCD screen is clear and well-lit, thanks to the new blue and yellow backlight
- The Emergency Stop/Start button allows you to pause and resume projects easily
- The cut speed is fast
- It’s cheap compared to other laser vinyl cutters of this size
As you might expect with a machine at this low price point, there are a few issues to be aware of before you buy. None of these are likely to be deal-breakers, but they may make you stop and think before you whip out your credit card.
Not Great on Corners and Fine Details
The most obvious negative to the USCutter Laserpoint II is the fact that its precision cutting can’t compete with the premium brands.
It’s at its best when it’s put to work on simple jobs. Complex details, sharp corners and lengthy runs will need a cutter equipped with a servo motor, as opposed to the stepper motor in this model.
There is a solution that can help improve the sharpness of your corners which we found to work reasonably well.
Woody’s Time recommend that you tighten the bearings in the head of the machine to tighten up those corners. He advises to remove the screw, washers and inner bearing then tighten the jamb nut up against the outer bearing before reassembling the line again.
This isn’t a cure-all solution, but it certainly improved things marginally for us.
USB Connection Issues
An issue that routinely pops up again and again in cutting forums about the USCutter Laserpoint II is the fact that sometimes your computer simply won’t recognize the plotter when you plug it in using the USB wire.
Thankfully, there is an easy product solution to this frustration: you’ll need to switch over to connecting your computer and plotter with a serial cable.
Some people have also bought keyspan adapters, which allows you to connect devices with a 9-pin serial port (like the USCutter Laserpoint 2) to a USB Type A port in your computer or laptop.
It’s annoying to have to buy an extra product simply to get the laser vinyl cutter to do its job, but we’ve found it a necessary one.
Using a keyspan adapter or serial connection also seems to avoid the issue of the cutter stopping before it completely finishes a job too.
The World’s Most Confusing User Manual
When you order your USC laser cutting machine online, you’ll likely be blindsided that it turns up, in pieces, without even a mention of any instructions.
Thankfully, a full user manual, set-up and construction guides are all available here, including downloads for the USB drivers too.
The bad news is that the user manual has been translated from Chinese, and the guys at USC obviously didn’t feel like springing for the best translator. The result is… an incredibly confusing user manual.
Here’s a quick taster for everyone who loves a faulty translation:
Place the machine on a horizontal table (as opposed to a vertical one?), adjust the height of the machine pillars to make it stable. Do keep enough room in front and behind of the machine. And prevent from laying it in a place of quack, strong electromagnetic disturbance or thick dirt powder.
Did you get that? Keep the cutter away from any quack.
Reported Issue with Blade not Lifting
We’ve seen a couple of reports of buyers finding that their Laserpoint 2 works fine until they attempt to get it to cut blocks of text and the blade never lifts between the text, inaccurately cutting the vinyl.
Reported solutions include making sure that you’ve got the very latest software upgrade downloaded and ensuring that the blade holder isn’t catching on the plastic housing because it’s been overtightened.
Other Areas for Improvement
- It works very loud
- You have to ground the machine before using it as it can otherwise be disrupted by static electricity
- VinylMaster Cut isn’t compatible with Mac
Overall Verdict on USCutter Laserpoint II
We would recommend the USCutter Laserpoint II to people looking for a low price cutter that’s good for stickers, labels and simple projects on a large scale, but don’t require anything too precisely technical.
It’s certainly a compromise laser vinyl cutter: it offers much more space to create than a desktop cutter and doesn’t carry the same high price tag as some of the more industrial cutters on the market.
It’s positioned somewhere between a hobbyist cutter and a commercial machine.
Mac users will need to take on board that they will only be able to use the manual contour cutting function, and that they will need to purchase SCALPro separately if they buy the machine on Amazon.
UPDATE: How Does It Fare In 2019?
We feel much the same about the Laserpoint II in 2019 as we did back years ago — this is an impressive machine considering its size and rock-bottom price.
We don’t love the fact that it’s not compatible with Macs, but obviously PC users shouldn’t be too bothered by this.
If you’re looking for a cheap, large vinyl cutter, it’s hard to go wrong with the Laserpoint II.
USCutter Laserpoint II Tutorials
As the instructions for the USC laser cut machine are so shoddy, your best bet to get to grips with it are via YouTube tutorials.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Where to Buy the USCutter Laserpoint 2
The USCutter website stocks all three models of the Laserpoint II: the 25, 35 and 50 inch.
We’d recommend Mac users buy the laser vinyl cutter direct from the manufacturer’s website as this way you’ll get a free copy of SCALPro included.
And, of course, you can buy on Amazon, where again all three sizes are available.
Will you be buying it?
Or would you like to see the best alternatives instead? Visit our Best Of guide for a comparison of the best-rated vinyl cutters. Also, don’t forget to visit our Reviews portal for analysis of the top machines.