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Cricut vs. Silhouette

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Are you ready to buy a cutting machine but aren’t sure which one? Cricut Maker or Silhouette Cameo? Let me help you understand a few things about them both.

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Cricut vs. Silhouette - What I learned after buying both.

How Will You Use Your Cutting Machine?

Cricut vs. Silhouette Project Ideas

First, ask yourself what do you want to do with your cutting machine. If you want to create gifts and cards using files someone else made, the Cricut Maker may be exactly what you want.

But if you are wanting to design or create your own files to use with your cutting machine, then the Silhouette Cameo may be the right cutting machine for you.

The first one I bought was the Cricut Maker and I love it and still use it, but I also have the Silhouette Cameo. They are so similar and yet so different.

Cricut vs. Silhouette: How they are the same.

In many ways the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo are the same.

  • Both the Cricut Maker and Silhouette Cameo cut precisely.
  • Both cutting machines let you upload your own files or use files you buy. But know this, the free Cricut Design Space software allows you to upload SVG cut files, the free Silhouette Studio does not . You would need to either upload DXF files or purchase an upgraded version of Silhouette Studio. I upgraded to the Business Edition.
  • Both the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo have wireless bluetooth technology and both can also use USB.
  • Both the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo can cut paper and vinyl….and so many other materials.
  • Both of these cutting machines come in a variety of colors.
  • Both use their own blades, cutting mats, and pens. They are not interchangeable between the two machines.

Cricut vs. Silhouette: How they are different.

Even though the Cricut Maker and the Silhouette Cameo are both cutting machines, they do have some big differences.

  • The Cricut Maker is about 30 lbs, while the Silhouette Cameo is half the weight at 14 lbs. I am not a fan of how flimsy the Silhouette feels.
  • The Cricut Maker has a built-in shelf for your iPad, iPhone, or other smart device, which the Silhouette Cameo does not.
  • The Cricut Maker has a power cord strong enough that you can charge your iPad, iPhone or other mobile device while the Maker is on. The Silhouette Cameo machines aren’t able to do this.

Cricut Cutting Machine Software

The Cricut software, which is called Cricut Design Space, is fairly easy to learn and use.

You can install the software and find your way around pretty quickly. But….it has limits to what you can do.

Silhouette Cutting Machine Software

The difference between Cricut software and Silhouette software, which is called Silhouette Studio, is night and day.

The Silhouette software is more like Adobe Illustrator or one of the designing programs we all want to master.

I am excited that I can do things in Silhouette software I can’t in Cricut software, but there is a huge learning curve.

So…Cricut vs. Silhouette Software?

It really depends on you. How much time do you want to devote to learning the software? Both of the software programs are good.

But here is something people don’t tell you….you can use the software for either cutting machine without buying the machine.

What advantage would that be? If you can’t create a project in Cricut Design Space, you will probably be able to do it in Silhouette Studio.

You can download your designs from Silhouette Studio to your computer (if you upgrade the software) and then upload your designs to Cricut Design Space to cut or use how you want.

You can’t do it the other way around. Cricut does not allow you, or I haven’t found a way, to save a project on my computer and upload it into Silhouette to cut.

My Advice About Cricut Maker or Silhouette Cameo

I would suggest buying a Cricut machine. Once you learn their software program and want to do more, you can download the Silhouette software for free and use it, but I would suggest upgrading the software to a paid version so you will have more options.

The Cricut machine has more options within the machine than Silhouette does. Cricut has made it so you can change the cutting blades to cut more and use more materials, including some thin wood products. Silhouette Cameo is still very cumbersome when changing blades or even setting a blade to a different depth.

For this reason, I suggest buying the Cricut Maker. It is the machine with the most cutting blade options, it is a heavier duty machine, and it is much easier to learn how to operate.

This blog post doesn’t cover all the specifications of Cricut Maker or Silhouette Cameo, but these are things I found important in my decision. I hope they helped you to make yours.

If you decide to buy the Cricut Maker, here is my post for helping you jump into Cricut Design Space. Cricut Design Space for Beginners – Where to Start.

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