Graphtec CE5000 Vinyl Plotter Review – Vinyl Plotters for Entrepreneurs

I wanted to do a review on the Graphtec CE5000-60 vinyl plotter because it has been such a handy tool for my business. Vinyl plotters have many uses and are extremely helpful machines for branding your business.

My first vinyl plotter and why I'd recommend investing in a good quality Graphtec CE5000-60 machine

At Think we use our vinyl plotter to brand vehicles, banners, signs, travel mugs, laptops, windows, garbage cans, doors, products, and many other items. In 2008 I bought my first vinyl plotter ( an MH-721 ) from The MH-721 was a very basic vinyl cutter that works alright for a beginner or someone just planning to cut for their personal use. I did have a few problems with the machine in the few years that I did own the plotter. In addition to the motherboard going out, the machine did not track very straight, was very loud, and froze up in the middle of cutting jobs pretty frequently. USCutter did a great job in servicing the machine's motherboard, but in my opinion the MH-721 isn't the machine to buy if you are looking to use it for a business or long term without all sorts of problems.

You get what you pay for…

In 2011 I decided to get a new, reliable, quiet, and workhorse vinyl plotter. After doing a lot of research on plotters, I narrowed my choices down to the Roland and Graphtec brands. After talking with quite a few sign shops and dealers, they recommended to go with the Graphtec CE5000-60 for its quality, durability, ease of use, and price. At roughly $1800, this machine is a top of the line vinyl plotter that will cut accurately, make or save your business money in the long run, and have very low maintenance costs.

Why I chose the CE5000-60 Vinyl Plotter

I chose the CE5000-60 model because is built to last and cuts very accurately. The machine plots 24″ wide by however long you need to go. I have not ever had to cut anything larger than the 24″ by infinity size and so this plotter is the perfect size for me.

Features I LIKE

  • Quiet – The Vinyl Plotter is quiet and cuts quickly. The Graphtec CE5000-60 can be cutting vinyl in the office and you can talk on a phone without it interrupting you.
  • Hassle Free – I've own the CE5000-60 for a little over a year and have yet to have a single issue with the machine. It cuts flawlessly and is easy to use. Since owning the machine (which I bought brand new), I've only had to change the blade twice.
  • Portability – The Graphtec CE5000-60  quickly released from the stand and can be transported to other places. It is light and easy to put in a vehicle.
  • Durable – The Graphtec CE5000-60 is made of high quality metals, and not a bunch of plastic parts like cheap plotters are made of.
  • Ease of Use – The Graphtec CE5000-60 easily integrates with Adobe Illustrator and does not require you to buy a special cutting program. All Graphtec's come with a free Adobe plug-in called Cutting Master, which is absolutely free and works great.
Features that could be IMPROVED
  • Vinyl Cut off Area – There is a groove in the plotter that can be used as a straight edge to cut off the vinyl after it has been cut. The groove works great, but it would be even better if they inlaid a piece of metal so you can't scrape the plastic.
  • 24″ Cutting Area – The vinyl plotter will safely cut about 22″ by whatever length you need. For me, the 22″ is plenty big for all of the vehicle graphics, window decals, banners, and stickers that I've created. If you need to cut really large ites