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I am often asked about how I make my crafts and what tools I use to make them. The main question always being, “what did you use to cut your designs?”. In this comparison, I will tell you about each cutting machine, share about the design capabilities and features, discuss design software and tools and blades. I will also tell you which machine I personally use.
Let’s start with the basics…
What is a Silhouette Cameo?
The Silhouette Cameo is a table top machine that uses a small blade to cut over 100 types of materials, like paper, vinyl, fabric up to 12 inches wide. The Silhouette Cameo can be used with a cutting mat, which holds your medium and loads it into the machine, or it can be used without a cutting mat. Cutting without a cutting mat is ideal for very long images. The brand Silhouette has many different types of crafting, cutting machines.
What is a Cricut?
The Cricut Maker is a cutting machine that allows designs to be cut on various types of materials, like paper, cardstock, and vinyl. There are even Cricut machines that have the capability of cutting thin wood, leather, fabric and more. The brand Cricut has many different types of crafting, cutting machines.
Wireless Cutting Capabilities
Both the Silhouette Cameo and Cricut use a wireless, bluetooth connection to send the cut files to the machine. No more cords needed!
Silhouette has a downloadable design software program that you can use on your computer called Silhouette Studio. I love that this program can be used without the internet! The design features are endless. You can import your own images, fonts and designs and the software is easy. I definitely suggest watching a few getting started videos on YouTube at the beginning. Silhouette Studio has a store where there are thousands of pre-made designs for purchase at a very affordable price (usually under $1). Silhouette offers an upgraded design program called Silhouette Studio Designer Edition. The Designer Edition allows enables more customized design capabilities! (I personally do not have the Designer Edition, as I find the Silhouette Studio completely adequate for my designing needs and desires).
Cricut Design Space
Cricut machines come with Design Space, a free, easy-to-learn design software. Design Space is cloud-based and can be accessed from phones or computers at any time. Design Space also has a “work-offline” feature so you can keep creating even when you do not have internet! Cricut has a library full of images, fonts and ready-to-make projects.
What Materials Can You Cut?
With the Silhouette Cameo you can cut these materials:
- heat transfer vinyl
With the Cricut you can cut these materials:
- heat transfer vinyl
- some woods and more
Cutting Blades and Tools
There are many different blades that can be purchased for the Silhouette Cameo, that give many varying design capabilities.
- AutoBlade: is used for most cutting purposes. The machine automatically adjusts the blade knife for you based off of your cut settings in the Silhouette Studio program.
- Rotary Blade: allows you to cut fabric materials like cotton fabric, felt, leather, and more.
- Kraft Blade for Cameo 4 can cut materials like acetate, craft foam, and burlap.
- Punch Tool punches holes in the spaces you need to weed vinyl or heat transfer, making weeding faster and easier.
There are many different blades available for the Cricut Maker:
- Premium Fine-Point Blade: recommended for use with paper, cardstock, poster board, vinyl, iron-on, and other thin to medium weight materials
- Deep Point Blade: recommended for intricate cuts on thicker materials. Magnet, chipboard, stamp material, thick cardstock, stiffened felt, foam sheets, cardboard, and some fabrics
- Bonded-Fabric Blade: recommended for more intricate cuts on bonded fabrics or fabrics with an iron-on backer
- Rotary Blade: recommended for use with fabrics and other soft, delicate, or less-dense materials. Tissue paper and cork.
- Knife Blade: recommended for use with thicker materials. Balsa wood, mat board, and chipboard.
- Scoring Wheel & Double Scoring Wheel: makes a deep, single score line — perfect for uncoated, light materials, including crepe paper, light cardstock, and even acetate.
- Debossing Tip: creates detailed depressions
- Engraving Tip: inscribes decorative flourishes and embellishments, monograms, personalized text, and more on a variety of materials.
- Perforation Blade: creates evenly spaced perforation lines allowing for clean, even tearing without the need to fold beforehand
- Wavy Blade: add a fun wavy decorative edge to any design.
- Foil Transfer Tool: used with Foil Transfer Sheets to add a foil effect to projects
Which Machine Do I Use?
Since 2010, I have personally owned various models of the Silhouette Cameo and used it for the majority of my crafting. I was first introduced to the Silhouette Cameo by other bloggers were who sharing their creations.
The design capabilities Silhouette offered were amazing and very advanced! At this particular time, Cricut used cartridges for their designs that were purchased separately. On the flip side, Silhouette, had an entire design software program that allowed you to design anything you wanted and could cut it.
Over the years, both the Silhouette and Cricut machines and their software programs, have become more competitive with each other. As a result, both brands of machines are pretty comparable and can do very similar things.
I have many friends with the Cricut and they love it! Personally, I’ve not used a Cricut before, so this makes me the odd man out choosing to use the Silhouette. Choosing which cutting machine to use is definitely a user preference decision! Truth be told, after learning about all of the different materials Cricut can cut, it is very intriguing! …there may be a Cricut purchase in my near future!