Pros and cons between latest silhouette and cricut machines

I’m contemplating purchasing a cutting machine. I’ve got some videos saved to watch to see the differences between silhouette and cricut to decide which way to go. we bought the original (or maybe second?) silhouette back in 2011, which is now very outdated. my mother in law is still trying to use it, but i want something more current with more options. i saw that there were groups for each of the machines, but i figured in those groups i’d get more pros for that brand versus the other. i’d really like as non biased as possible. thanks for any input.



Hello, I think this decision is based on what you already know. If you know more about a silhouette stick with that brand. I have been told that the cameo 4 and Cricut maker are pretty much the same just different names. They both do pretty much the same thing. Cricut i know you have to use design space for your projects. so if you have never owned a cricut it will be another learning experience.

thanks. i never did much with the silhouette, so its going to be a learning curve either way. silhouette has its own “design space” program that is online based, as well as free designs. i was thinking of going with the cricut so that we would have both programs. i’m really wanting something wifi based so i don’t have to be connected physically, if either of them have that option.

Cricut is now on desktop so it is wifi and computer you dont have to have wifi to use it any more unless you are using cricut templates

what i mean is do i have to have my computer connected to it, or does it work with wife like a printer does? thanks for your replies.

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Cricut is actually able to be connected via bluetooth, wifi, or cable.


Great question!

I have a Cricut E.Air 2 and I love it. It’s fine for our needs.

I design SVGs in Adobe Illustrator and just use Design Space to run things through the machine. But my husband uses Design Space for everything.

I hear that the Silhouette design software is better than Design space. You may need to take that into consideration.


I’m going to be upgrading from my Cricut Explore Air 2, so this post caught my eye. After doing a brief amount of reading, I’m sold on the Silhouette Cameo 4. I’ll include a couple of the links I looked at that compared the two machines.

This blog post on broke down the two machines very clearly, comparing cutting force, assortment of tools, even price! I was not aware that the Cricut Maker is almost $100 more than the Cameo 4.

Then I saw something about Pixscan. After some more googling, I found a page on describing what it is and how to use it. Holy cow, did this break my brain! This alone is almost enough to make me switch, and I love my Cricut!

Finally, it definitely is a personal choice, and I can’t tell you what will work best for you. However, I can tell you that I will be shifting over to the Cameo… I’m sold!


I love the versatility of the Silhouette Business Edition software over Design Space and the Cameo over the Cricut. However, I use them both. I like the fact that you pay only a one time fee for Business Edition and can use it for Cricut as well.

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Cricut has free stuff in its design space, and anything you upload (bought , found or self designed, photos etc) is free too. Desktop app and ipad app yuo can also work offline now. And it has an android app. Cricut connect by bluetooth or a cord (not for phone/ ipad w the cord obv).

I don’t know much about other brands currently, as last time I did lots of research was years ago, and I chose Cricut. I had it up and running in a few minutes which was fab as they weren’t well known over here at the time and I had never had any sort of even manual cutting machine at the time. It didn’t take me long to start a 2nd Cricut-based business alongside my original art one.

A close friend in art recently spent hours talking/ watching me with Cricut, but got a different brand, think it was Silhouette or Brother, I can check. She returned it within 3 days fuming that she was being charged for uploading her own original designs, and now loves her Cricut.

I prefer Cricut as a brand/ company, I work in an industry that sells several machine types and Cricut stand out against the others. Aside from the machine and what they can do (and I like their look better too), they seem much more contactable, (their CEO pops onto social media groups etc all the time!) test stuff to death, nice staff and really seem to be a lovely brand all round, things they do/ give away etc always seem ahead of the others. Plus I love all their products, the infusible ink is one of my fave things to use on coasters etc, brilliant idea and you don’t need a sublimation printer etc.

I mainly design my own stuff just using the free bits on Cricut Design Space or from sketches/ photos I upload for free, so hadn’t paid for Cricut Access until this year. Now I pay mainly as I do a lot of lessons/ workshops etc w Cricut and as many new owners use their free Access trial it made sense to have it. I do love all the extra images / fonts it gives me!

Cat x

It all depends what you want to do and how comfortable you are with graphics software. I have a Cricut Explore Air because most of my customers use Cricut cutters and I got a good deal on it when Cricut was closing Craft Room (its previous software). At the time I got my Explore Air, the Maker only had the Rotary Blade and Knife Blade available in its separate-purchase adaptive tool set.

Coming from Corel Draw and Illustrator, I found Design Space very easy to learn and too simplistic for my needs (primarily because it has trouble handling non-Western alphabets and it doesn’t have vector drawing tools). Conversely, many of my customers find Design Space a steep learning curve - particularly because they are not familiar with graphic design programs.

If I were buying from scratch at that time with money less of an object, I’d have probably gone with a Silhouette Cameo because it will cut directly from a roll and its software includes vector design tools.

Today, it’s a bit more of a question.

The Maker has more Adaptive Tools available: not just the Rotary Blade and the Knife Tool, but also the Scoring Wheel, Double Scoring Wheel, Engraving Tool, Debossing Tool, Perforating Wheel, and Wavy Cut Wheel (all separate purchases). Because of the things I’m cutting and working with, I could use most of these tools.

The Maker does NOT have a rhinestone setting tool, but I’m not doing rhinestone work. (The Cameo does.) The Maker does NOT cut directly from a roll and can’t cut longer than 24". (The Cameo can.)

The Cameo still has the better free software IMO, but as long as I’m on the computer, I can design in Illustrator/Photoshop/Fireworks or Inkscape and import my work to (Cricut) Design Space. That said, if I design or compose in Design Space (which I occasionally do), I can save - but cannot export - my designs. If I had a license for (Silhouette) Design Studio’s Business Edition, I could design and export from the same program.

So… it depends on what you want to do, how comfortable you are designing in Illustrator, etc.


thank you to everyone for your input. its very helpful. sounds like i may be leaning in the direction of silhouette. i appreciate it!

Laynie, thanks for your thoughts regarding the two brands - I have a first generation Cricut and planned to just get an Explore Air, but now I think I’ll do some more research…

Glad we could help!

Research is never a bad thing. I was talking to my husband about the main points (for me).

  • Cutting force: the Maker has 4,000 grams of cutting force; the Cameo 4 has 5,000 grams of cutting force

  • Cutting thickness: the Maker can cut materials up to 2.4" thick; the Cameo 4 can cut materials up to 3" thick

  • Machine Price: the Maker costs $399; the Cameo 4 costs $299

Also, the Cameo 4 blades/tools are significantly less expensive than the Maker blades/tools, and the Cameo 4 comes with the housings for the other tools

Finally, I’m not terribly interested in the Maker’s wavy blade. I do wish the Cameo 4 had scoring wheels, but I’ve figured out how to do beautiful embossing with my Explore Air 2. I don’t really need the scoring wheels.

Man, writing this all out really made me absolutely certain that I want the Cameo. There’s nothing wrong with the Maker, I’m just very clear about what I do and don’t want. :slight_smile:

Sorry for yet another enormous post… my husband says my superpower is exposition. That’s right, if I were a superhero I would be…



…I’ll see myself out. :roll_eyes:


Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. I keep going back and forth about getting a Silhouette so I have one of each kind. The information is helpful :smile:

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You’re welcome! :grin:

Damn! Why did I read this post? I was perfectly happy with my OLD Silhouette Cameo 2 (YEP, it’s old…like me!)

Now I’m wanting to get the Cameo 4 just because I read this damn post! I can’t wait to go back to work so I can start saving up for it! Time to hit YouTube and start lusting after my new toy!

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lol. sorry. had to be asked. i’m looking forward to getting the silhouette cameo 4.

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I’m sorry… :innocent:

If you save a bit longer, you can get the new 20" Cameo when it comes out!

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