Silhouette Cameo vs. Cricut Maker: What’s Different, What’s Best?

Silhouette and Cricut are big names in the die-cutting industry. Cricut has made headlines recently due to its newest release, the Cricut Maker, while the Silhouette lays claim to the Silhouette Cameo 3. In this article, we will focus on the Silhouette Cameo vs. Cricut Maker to help you determine which machine is best for your crafting purposes.

Before we start talking about which machine is best: Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut, let’s introduce what a cutting machine is to anyone who might be unfamiliar with them.

Modern machines that are used for cutting materials are smart computer-guided cutting machines. Both the Silhouette Cameo and the Cricut cut materials precisely and quickly because they are both smaller versions of a CNC machine. They are by far one of the best tools that a crafter can have these days, and that’s not an exaggeration. Having a cutting machine can be life-changing.

If you’re reading this, you probably know that you want a cutting machine, but you don’t know which cutting machine is best out of the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut. Both of these machines are the two most popular cutting machines on the market today.

Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut: How Do They Compare?

Before we begin talking about what’s different and what’s best between the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut, let’s compare the two models. In this comparison, you’ll get a better idea of how the two machines work, how fast they are in making a project, and more.

Cricut Maker

cricut maker image

 Price  Click here for prices
 Paid & Free Designs Available  Yes
 Rotary Cutting Blade  Yes
 Knife Blade  Yes
 Scoring Tool or Stylus  Yes
 Max Project Size  11.5” x 23.5”
 Color of Machine  Grey/champagne, blue, rose
 Speed  Faster (1:50 minutes for one project)
 Design Software  Very easy to use
 Cutting Force  4000 gf

Pros:

  • Cuts better than the Silhouette Cameo
  • Takes a CB09 style blade, which lasts longer
  • Rotary blade for cutting fabric
  • Can cut wirelessly
  • The cutting force is 4 kilograms, which allows the machine to handle denser and thicker materials
  • Feature dual cartridges
  • Cricut has teamed up with a few sewing pattern companies for their Design Space software

Cons:

  • Internet connection is needed for the Design Space software
  • Design Space is a simplified software. This is a pro and a con because if you want to cut predesigned files, this is great. But if you want more freedom, you might find the software limiting
  • The cut and print area are smaller
  • It’s much heavier than the Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo 3

silhouette cameo 3 image

 Price  Click here for prices
 Paid & Free Designs Available  Yes
 Rotary Cutting Blade  No
 Knife Blade  No
 Scoring Tool or Stylus  No
 Max Project Size  12” x 10’ long
 Color of Machine  Several colors including lavender, teal, pink, mint, black, and white
 Speed  Slower (Takes up to 5:00 minutes for one project)
 Design Software  Harder to use
 Cutting Force  210 gf

Pros:

  • You can cut up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long
  • You can cut without having to use a mat
  • Features a dual cartridge setup, which means you can load two tools at the same time
  • The new auto-adjusting blade lowers user error related to forgetting to reset blade depth on each project
  • The software is more robust
  • Can cut wirelessly
  • The cut and print area is larger than the Cricut

Cons:

  • Silhouette software has a big learning curve
  • Requires you to purchase add-ons to make the most of the features of the software
  • The blades don’t last as long as the Cricut’s
  • It runs much louder than the Cricut machine

Comparison of the Weight and Size of the Machines

To begin, let’s take a look at the size of the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut. The Silhouette Cameo is much lighter and smaller than the Cricut machine, which can be good and bad at the same time. The good is that you can work with the Silhouette Cameo in a smaller space, and it can be more portable due to the lightness of the machine.

The bad is that you might have to use inferior and lighter materials. However, you don’t need to worry about this because both machines are incredibly durable.

If you’re only taking into consideration the weight and size of the machines, then you need to factor in how often you’re moving the cutting machine. If you would move your machine around a bunch, then you should go with the lighter one.

cricut maker cutting machine image

Setting Up the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut

When you first open the box, you’ll notice some big differences in the setup between the Silhouette Cameo and the Cricut. For one thing, the Cricut can be taken out of the box and set up quickly in approximately 10 minutes. It also comes with a starter project with all the materials needed to start it. The setup of the Cricut is fun, simple, and gets you acclimated with making projects on the machine right away.

The Silhouette Cameo is much more difficult to setup. It requires more information than what is really needed to get the machine running. For instance, you have to locate and enter the serial number of the machine. You don’t have to do anything like this for the Cricut.

The Silhouette Cameo doesn’t come with a starter project, nor did it even suggest one. If you are new to cutting machines, you will end up being a bit lost at this point.

When it comes to the setup of the cutting machine, the Cricut machine wins. It’s easy to get started, and you can have your first project done in about 15 minutes.

Other Differences

Below you’ll find a list of some of the other differences between the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut.

  • Cricut offers a nifty built-in shelf where you can put your iPhone, iPad, or other smart device, whereas the Silhouette Cameo doesn’t
  • The Cricut has a heft three Amp power cord that allows you to charge your smart device with the port on the right side while the Cricut machine is turned on. The Silhouette Cameo lacks this feature because they have an output of 1.25 Amps
  • The Cricut can use physical cartridges if you purchase the cartridge adapter and install it. The Silhouette Cameo doesn’t use physical cartridges at all
  • The Cricut also has a larger tool storage capacity. It has two compartments instead of one. The Silhouette Cameo only has one compartment
  • The Cricut weighs about 30 pounds, whereas the Silhouette Cameo weighs in at about 14 pounds
  • The Cricut utilizes physical buttons, while the Silhouette Cameo utilizes a small touchscreen that’s built into the machine for the controls
  • The mats for the Cricut are much thicker and substantial than the mats for the Silhouette Cameo

What’s Similar?

  • Both machines allow you to upload files
  • Both machines have wireless Bluetooth technology, and you can also use USB on both machines if you don’t have Bluetooth
  • Both machines can cut vinyl and paper
  • Both machines come in different colors
  • Both utilize pens, cutting mats, and blades, although it should be noted that they aren’t interchangeable between the machines

Which is Best: Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut

silhouette cameo 3 cutting machine image

When it comes to choosing one between the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut, the winner is the Cricut. This is because the Cricut machine can do more, cuts deeper, can be used with a wider variety of materials, is much easier to set up, much easier to buy and use designs with, is much faster, and is better looking than the Silhouette Cameo.

The thing that gets most users is that it’s so much easier to use than the Silhouette Cameo. What’s the point of having a cutting machine that’s difficult to use? The Cricut machine makes learning how to use the machine easier and does much faster.

Takeaway

The Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut can be a hard choice for all crafters due to the similarity between the two cutting machines. The biggest difference is the ease of use out of the box and the design of the machine. The bottom line is that the Cricut machine is easier to use, both the machine and the software, and can be used with a wider variety of crafting materials.

However, the Silhouette Cameo can be a favorite among other crafters because the software has more features to allow you to create your own designs. Plus, some might prefer the variety of images available for purchase in the Silhouette store over the Cricut store.

The bottom line is that the Cricut is the winner between the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut because it’s better for beginners. Ultimately, the cutting machine that you choose to purchase is up to you and your personal preferences.

Hopefully, this article has helped show you how different the Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut is and has helped you pick out which machine is best for you and your crafting purposes.

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