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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the newest cutting machine and now I’m comparing the Cricut vs. Silhouette to figure out which cutting machine is the best for me.
Hopefully, in this post I can help you choose between the Cameo 4 & Maker. Both are amazing machines.
I’m not one to try and sell someone on something they don’t want. But, I am always looking for the best products for making my crafts.
I mean, why would I waste money on something that doesn’t do exactly what I need to do with the best precision and the most ease?! Nope.
So, I have gotten this fantastic opportunity to check out both the Silhouette Cameo 4 (the Silhouette Cameo) and the Cricut Maker.
I decided to share that with you and help you figure out which cutting machine to buy (if that’s what you’re planning–if you’re not planning to buy a cutting machine, this is going to be informative, but I’m not sure why you’re here…LOL!).
Now, let’s get comparing.
Silhouette vs. Cricut | Comparing The Cameo 4 & Maker
I adore cutting machines. Let’s be super clear. I could literally spend all day making new projects with different angles and crazy fun ideas.
Unfortunately for me, real-life noses its way in–but I’m fighting that. You’ll see. Ha!
Seriously, there’s a whole lot of cutting going on my house. And I spend a lot of time giving my cutting machines a workout.
I probably spend at least 40-50 hours a week cutting, weeding, transferring and developing cut designs, if not more. So, I know what I’m talking about.
And I’ve been as excited for the release date of the Silhouette 4 as I was about getting the Cricut Maker.
But which cutting machine is the best? Let’s get to it.
Silhouette Cameo 4 vs Cricut Maker – Which Cutting Machine Is the Best?
Both the Silhouette Cameo 4 and the Cricut Maker can wide range of materials. And when I say a variety of materials, I’m serious.
The Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo 4, unlike older machines, can cut over 300 types of materials from paper to thicker materials like fabric, felt and even wood.
We’ll get more into that later, but, needless to say, there’s a lot of things the Cricut Maker can cut and the Silhouette Cameo 4, too.
Both the Silhouette 4 and the Maker have the ability to be used via USB cable and Bluetooth, so you can print and cut super easily using a computer or a tablet (even if the tablet doesn’t accept USB.
So you don’t even have to be corded, which is a great plus to me.
And, both the Cricut and the Silhouette have online sites where you can access designs to make your digital crafts, modify your own designs and send the files to the cutting machine easily.
The Cricut Design Space requires the internet to be able to print, while the Silhouette Studio does not.
Another thing, too, is that the Cricut just has 3 buttons–Design Space walks you through everything else; while the Silhouette 4 has a touch panel that allows you to make adjustments to the machine, as opposed to on the computer.
So, see? There are some significant differences! Now, let’s break it down a little more…
What Cutting Machines Use SVGs?
Both the Cricut Design Space and the Silhouette Studio use SVG files to cut. So, the full suite of Cricut machines (including the Maker and the Cricut Explore Air, all of them), and the Silhouette Cameo line take those SVG files and turn them into precise cutting lines perfect for sewing patterns, cut and emboss projects like cards, and vinyl lettering or designs.
If you need some inspiration or free SVGs to use on your cutting machine of choice, you can check out my library here.
What Can the Cricut Maker Cut?
As I mentioned before, the Cricut Maker cuts over 300 different materials, and here’s a brief list:
- Balsa Wood (or Bass Wood)
- Craft Foam
- Poster Board
With a downward cutting force of 4kg, this means that it’s a breeze for the Cricut Maker to cut materials up to 2.4mm thick.
Additionally, the Cricut Maker is limited to a cutting size of 12-inches wide by 24-inches long.
What Blades Does the Cricut Maker Use?
- Rotary Blade | They offer a rotary blade that will cut through fabric that is unbonded. That means you don’t need a stabilizer as the Explore machines require.
- Scoring Wheel | This is a nice upgrade from the Scoring Stylus. Saves time and offers a clean line.
- Knife Blade | You can use this to cut thicker leather and even items like balsa wood, which is incredible for crafting.
- Basic Perforation Blade | Creates perfect tear-offs and easy peel-aways using paper, cardstock, acetate, poster board, and more
- Wavy Blade | Quickly create a fun wavy edge on a variety of popular materials.
- Fine Debossing Tip | Customize projects with crisp, detailed debossed designs – no folders necessary (buh bye Cricut Cuttlebug)
- Engraving Tip | Engrave unique and permanent designs on a variety of materials.
Because this is an expandable suite of tools, they often come up with new, fun blades to add–expanding what you can cut and how.
What Can the Silhouette Cameo 4 Cut?
As I mentioned before, the Silhouette 4 cuts over 300 different materials, and here’s a brief list:
- Balsa Wood (or Bass Wood)
- Craft Foam
- Poster Board
With a downward cutting force of 5kg, the Silhouette Cameo 4 can cut materials of up to 3mm thick material.
Additionally, the Silhouette Cameo 4 (base model) will be limited to 12-inches by 10-foot long cuts, while the Silhouette Cameo 4 Plus will allow 15-inch by 10-foot long cuts, and the Silhouette Cameo Pro will allow cuts of up to 20-inches by 10-foot long. Pre-orders will probably be allowed for the Plus and Pro soon, while the base model is being released this month!
One thing about Silhouette 4 that I feel is important to think about is the ability that it has to cut without a cutting pad.
Yeah, that’s right, padless cutting. I haven’t had a chance to try that yet, but I will. You can believe it.
The other thing is the cutting speed. If you have one of the older Silhouette machines, you know that they’re always improving the speed the machines can cut.
Cameo 4 is no different. It’s significantly faster than previous Silhouette cutters and that’s fantastic.
What Blades Does the Silhouette Cameo 4 Use?
- Rotary Blade | They offer a rotary blade that will cut through fabric that is unbonded. That means you don’t need a stabilizer as the older Silhouette Cameo machines require.
- Deep Cut Blade | This blade is hand-adjusted for depth and can cut things like craft foam up to 2mm thick.
- Knife Blade | You can use this to cut thicker leather and even items like balsa wood, which is, as I said before, incredible for crafting.
- Punch Blade | Marks your vinyl or heat transfer showing you which sections to remove, to help cut down on the time you need to weed.
That’s quite a few, fewer blades than the Cricut Maker cuts, but as the Silhouette Cameo 4 is just being released, it’s possible they’ll put out more in this expandable suite of tools after the machine has been on the market for a while.
What Do Cutting Machines Cost?
Cricut Maker: $370 and you can buy one here
Silhouette Cameo 4: $299 and you can buy one here (that price is for the base model–the Plus and Pro are going to be $399 and $499, supposedly)
In addition to the cost of the base machines, you’ll also want to add a couple of blades to your tool chest, trust me. So, look at the pricing on those before you make your final decision.
So, Which Cutting Machine is Best?
Well, the Cricut is, presumably, more versatile, because of the wider variety of blades.
But the variety of materials that the Silhouette cuts could genuinely be much wider, given that the downward pressure it can exert is substantially more.
And the Cricut is at a higher price point. You could probably buy the Silhouette 4 AND all the extra blades you might want and still end-up cheaper than the Cricut Maker. But that’s not all.
The Silhouette Cameo 4 has a wider cut area. I know that might not seem like a big deal to you now.
But if you are in the middle of making a banner for your kid’s school function and it needs to be 8 feet long–and your Cricut only cuts something 24-inches long…well, that’s a lot of splicing you might be looking at.
But, on the other hand, the full Cricut Design Space is free while the Silhouette Studio has only limited capabilities with their free level–and several paid levels that get you access to other features.
So, really, there are pros and cons to both machines.
Clearly they’re both better than the Sizzix Big Shot (unless you really like die-cutting, LOL!), but no one can say “oh, this one is clearly the winner”. You’ll have to decide what’s going to work best for you.
If you found this cutting machine comparison helpful, be sure to pin it. You’ll want to come back and make sure before you make your purchase.