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Silhouette vs. Cricut: Which One Is Better and Why?

cameo silhouette or cricut maker

Today, most of the files in modern web browsers support SVG files. The SVG files are based on vector graphics that is why it is used for vector-graphics diagrams. SVG images are used to create logos and icons as these images are scalable and are resolution-independent. These do not look blurry or jagged when zoomed in on any device. 

If you are a professional designer or novice, you may have come across two terms for SVG cut files, one is Silhouette cut, and another is Cricut cut. These two cutting machines are ruling the market. 

But which one is better? How to use these cutting machines? If you have these questions before coming to this page, then you are in the right spot. First, we will explain in detail the basics and the difference between these cut machines.

What Is a Die-Cut Machine?

Firstly, have a glance at what is a die-cut machine and what can you make with it? The die-cut machine is like your home printer. Plug it in with the MAC or PC and make cuts in crafting materials. 

For example, using Silhouette or Cricut machines, you can cut materials like cardstock, vinyl, and paper. 

You can create T-shirt designs, home décor signs, designer cups, party staples, paper crafts, and much more with cut machines!

Cricut

Difference In Software

As you have understood the cutting machine, you have to know about the cutting software. This software helps in creating an SVG circuit cut or silhouette design

Cricut Software: Design Space

Cricut’s free software is Design Space. It is a web-based software, and now it is also available offline. This program allows you to create circuits designs with downloaded SVG images with or without the internet. Here is an article to describe how to create a design in Design Space. 

Design Space allows importing .jpg images and converting them to .svg images. In addition, you can use them to make logos and icons if you already have images by customizing the fonts.

The images and fonts are available in the software by investing a few dollars per month. By investing in a monthly plan, you can access the files only available for Access Members. There are many .svg files on the internet that can be opened in Design Space to make it an SVG cut file. Here is an affiliate link you must check on Design Space

Silhouette Software: Silhouette Studio

Silhouette Studio software can be downloaded on your computer; use it offline or online. It is excellent if you have a weak internet connection where you work with your creative thoughts. This is different from Cricut’s Design Space; Silhouette Studio offers a wider variety of designing features. The scope of creativity is enormous; make your SVG image from scratch. Moreover, you can use any font you like and download it in the Silhouette Studio. 

It has a free version in which you can work and save the files in the propriety as .studio files, but if you are looking to save the files as .svg, you have to go for the paid version. 

You can either purchase the files in the Silhouette studio or buy a subscription to access all the files whenever you want. Here is a silhouette tutorial

Verdict

If you are looking to cut SVG files or open them, Cricut software is easier to use. While, if you are looking for designing options that also allow you to cut the files, then go for Silhouette studio. Moreover, if you have bought images from Silhouette studio, you can own and keep them even after canceling the subscription.

Design Of Silhouette Vs. Cricut

The Silhouette Cameo and Cricut Explorer cutting machines are similar in design and weight. The machines look-alike a printer and has a compact design. It can fit in any place; keep it on your shelf or desk.

The Cricut has storage space on the top left of the machine and has enough space underneath. So, you can keep markers, blades, and all other tools. On the other hand, Silhouette has storage options too. The older models didn’t have it, but the new models come with enough storage space.

Cricut Explore Vs. Silhouette Cameo

Here is a table that explains which type of material Silhouette vs. circuit cutting machines can cut. This table explains the test results of Cricut Explore and Silhouette Cameo in different materials. Here are the strength test results, which you can check. 

Cricut Cutting Machine Silhouette Cameo
Material Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Material Test 1 Test 2 Test 3
Foam Passed Failed Passed Foam Failed Failed Failed
Cork Passed Failed Passed Cork Passed Passed Passed
Leather Passed Passed Passed Leather Failed Failed Failed
Chipboard Passed Passed Passed Chipboard Failed Failed Failed
Aluminum Passed Passed Passed Aluminum Failed Failed Failed
Magnet Sheet Passed Passed Passed Magnet Sheet Failed Failed Failed

 


Cricut Maker

Like any other machine, it’s not just about the skills the machine offers, but it is also essential to have sharp tools. Cricut Maker is the most advanced Cricut cutting machine. It was released in 2017 and wore the crown of the best Cricut cutting machine on the market. 

The essence of the cutting machine is not only technicality but also the crafting tools. So, let’s take a look at the tools. Cricut Maker has added an Adaptive Tool System. This ensures sharp cuts with gentle and controlled pressure. It enables you to control the angle of your cuts. There are new custom tools that only work with Cricut Maker. The tools are:

  • Rotary Blade
  • Wavy Blade
  • Single and double Scoring blade
  • Perforation blade
  • Knife blade

Cutting delicate materials like Silk, Satin, or hard materials like balsa wood, leather is easier to cut with Cricut Maker. I mean, this sounds like you can do the same work with hands, then why do you need a cutting machine? 

Think, you have to complete an order in a week and cut 100s of material with precision. Is it possible? The cutting machine helps as a helping hand to make an exact cut as the SVG image you have designed.

Pros:

  • Custom tools open a vast arena of crafting opportunities and can only be done in Cricut Maker.
  • If you know about older modes of Cricut maker, you have known the speed it offers. The new updated models cut Vinyl and paper at 2x speed.
  • You can use Sewing Pattern Library instead of making patterns on fabric and investing time to cut them with your hands. You can do both the work at the same time with Cricut Maker.
  • Cricut Maker supports the iOS app, and this means you can sit near the machine and have a close look at the cuts of the design you are making.

Cons:

  • This is an expensive machine.
  • This may seem simple to use, but Design Space software with this is limited.

Silhouette Cameo 4

Silhouette Cameo 4 has changed the way everyone looked at the Silhouette cutting machine. Silhouette Cameo 4 has increased cutting force, better angles, and has higher cutting speed than any other Silhouette cut machines in the past.

Silhouette Cameo 4 has a cutting power of more than 5 Kg with 20x cutting force. The Silhouette primarily works on Vinyl cut and has a built-in roll feeder and crosscutter. The roll feeder is big enough to hold 140feet long roll. 

Pros:

  • The redesigned tool carriage of the Silhouette cutting machine offers fast and accurate cutting.
  • Built-in Vinyl roll-feeder.
  • Sleek design and touch interface, which becomes invisible when the system is turned off.
  • Cost-friendly.

Cons:

  • The Silhouette Cameo 4 does not support older Silhouette tools.
  • The basic version does not allow importing free SVG files.

#1 Ease of Use:

While comparing both the machines, Cricut is easier to set up and easier to load the material correctly. In addition, the Cricut explores cuts way faster than other circuit cutting machines. You can do a bundle of cuts in a day.

In comparison, we found Silhouette a little tough as the instruction in the manual were not clear.

#2 Price Comparison

As you have learned about the pros and cons of both Cricut Maker and Silhouette Cameo, you have understood which one is expensive and which one is not. But pricing is not only about the first purchase. It is essential to know which item is better for ownership. 

As you know, blades do get dull; mats lose stickiness with time and these needs replacement. CricutMaker has the cheapest accessories and is easier to replace; while Silhouette Cameo has a normal range, it is not cheap but too expensive to make you go bankrupt. So, if you won Brother Scan or Cut machine, let me warn you, the accessory costs are expensive. 

If you are just a beginner and looking for an initial pricing comparison, Cricut cut machines are more expensive than Silhouette cut machines. The difference in cost has a reflection on the materials you can unlock. With a Cricut cut machine, you get a load of advantages, and it has sharp blades that can cut hard and soft material with ease. 

Moreover, if you have a circuit cut machine, you don’t need to look for additional machines. Thus, it is better to own Cricut Maker than Silhouette Cameo.

Silhouette Cameo 4 Vs. Cricut Maker

Pros: Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker cutting machine has an integrated build. The built is made especially for crafters. The users spend more time searching for inspiration on iPhones and iPads rather than on computers. That’s why it has a USB cord, so you can connect the iPad to charge when required.

The circuit maker has an additional storage solution with an improved tool drawer. In addition, the outer cased of the machine is highlighted with polished metal. 

Cutting Quality: Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker has a different kinds of materials, and it has an Adaptive Tool System which makes clear cut at 10x speed. It claims to make 300+ cuts on different types of materials. 

The Maker excels in cutting materials like fabrics and leather, but it certainly fails in sewing projects. It takes a lot of time. In smaller projects, it takes a lot of time and makes loud noises.

Pros: Silhouette Cameo 4

Silhouette Cameo 4 has incremental improvement from its previous versions. The difference between Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines is, Silhouette continually works to improve while Cricut does not change like Silhouette. 

For example, silhouette Cameo 4 has replaced the storage drawer with a built-in roll feeder and the retractable lid. 

Cutting Quality: Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo 4 has better blades, and the machines are better. Silhouette Cameo has a faster cut and can apply more force. The cutting force has gone from 210gf to 5000gf. The machine has 25x speed compared to its previous version, Silhouette Cameo 3. 

The speed is tripled, they can make straight cuts at 3x speed, and in curves, it has 2x speed from its previous version. In addition, the Rotatory blade, Kraft blade, and Auto 2 Blade are entirely redesigned. 

Drawbacks

As we have gone over and over about the good aspects of these cutting machines, to understand the usability, it is time to look at the drawbacks and shortcomings of both these products.

Drawbacks Of Cricut Maker

The software is the machine’s soul; firstly, let’s look at the drawback of its software. The negative aspect of Cricut Maker’s software is it works only with access to the internet. This means if you have a poor connection to the internet, you can’t use or access the machine. 

The offline version, which is available in iOS, does not have that much capability, and it does not do justice to the Cricut Maker. For instance, if your workspace is away from the city and you have loads of orders but are too poor a connection, having a cutting machine would create a problem instead of solving one.

The Drawback of Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo 4 has an integrated machine, and it resolves the issue of owning two different cutting machines, but the older versions are full of drawbacks. 

Silhouette Cameo 3 has come up with a new machine, Silhouette Curio; this is an additional machine to enhance the speed of Silhouette Cameo 3. If you buy this, the overall cost of Silhouette surpasses Cricut Maker. 

Moreover, you can’t get an SVG cut file with the free version. Instead, you need to pay for Business Edition, and then you can cut an SVG file.

A glance: Silhouette vs Cricut

Name Silhouette Cameo 4 Cricut Maker
Bluetooth YES YES
Cutting Force Upto 5000gf Upto 4000gf
Cutting speed 12in.x60ft 12in.x 24in.
Software Silhouette Cut Studio Design Space

 

Which Should You Choose and Why?

After analysis of every type of circuit machine and Silhouette cut machine, the question is which one should you buy?

I would pick Silhouette Cameo 4 as it is way better than circuit maker. The first advantage is the speed; while working on the deadline, you need a finer cut with better speed. Silhouette Cameo 4 provides that. Next, the software has both offline and online versions and can be used with no internet connection. 

Cricut Design Space has a bunch of issues after few designs. Moreover, it does not have accuracy in cuts that leads to wastage of materials. 

Pick Cricut Maker If:

  • You are a beginner who is learning and does not require accuracy.
  • You are professional and use Adobe Illustrator for importing design.

Pick Silhouette Cameo 4 If:

  • You are working with Vinyl and cut Vinyl.
  • You want better software.
  • Need faster cuts. 

Silhouette Cameo 4 Pro: The Newest Cutting Machine from Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo 4 Pro is the latest Silhouette cutting machine, which has given tough competition to Cricut Maker’s prowess. It has better built-in cutting power and cutting speed. In addition, it has numerous other features.

#1 Bigger Size

Cameo 4 Pro is bigger. The 24” size gives the users the benefit of cutting it n standard size. The other Silhouette Cameo has a 20-inch size, which means for Vinyl cut, the user has to trim 4 inches from the material.

The roller bar of the Cameo Pro 4 is more powerful and can accommodate heavier and wider materials.

#2 Speed and Force

Silhouette Cameo Pro has advanced speed and force. It can cut 3xfaster than Silhouette Cameo 3, and it has 20x more downgrade power. This means the knife blade is sharper and has the power to make more precise cuts in both hard and soft material. 

The smart tool carriage has smart settings, and it can auto-detect the tool in the carriage and automatically changes the cut settings in Silhouette Studio. Unfortunately, the carriage tool detecting sensation and setting change feature only come in the Pro version of Silhouette Cameo.

Silhouette Cameo Pro Cons

Just like anything Silhouette Cameo, 4 Pro comes with some drawbacks. 

#1 Only One Adapter

Unlike Silhouette Cameo 4, it does not have different adapters and blades. It has only a blue sketch pen adapter. It does not come with a ratchet adapter, deep cut blade, and 2mm Kraft blade in white. This is because Silhouette Cameo is bringing few other modes that have these features. 

#2 Two Carriage

One of the biggest disadvantages of using Silhouette Cameo 4 Pro is it has two different motors to run two carriages. The tools can’t be interchanged. This means you have put the blades, sketch, foil, and pen in each carriage to make them work in Silhouette Studio.

#3 Size of The Machine

One of the biggest pros of this machine is the big size of the cutting machine. But it is considered as a con also. The machine has 24″ cutting space, and the entire build of the machine is 34.5″. This is a desktop cutter, but it takes a lot of space on the table so, you will be left with too little space to create designs.

Conclusion

In this article, we have differentiated both cutting machines with the help of tables and listing pros and cons. So, use your creativity and create any design and build a business with these easy-to-use cutting tools. The Cricut vs. Silhouette is a debate that is going for a long time. I hope with this article, you can decide which one is better.