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Most websites do a comparison of the Cricut Maker vs the Silhouette Cameo 3. But I’m going to do a comparison between the Cricut Maker and the most recent model of the Silhouette machines. The Silhouette Cameo 4.
Both provide precision cuts and will save a lot of time on your paper crafts or other crafts.
For those of you who hate reading, here is an infographic comparing the Silhouette Cameo 4 and the Cricut Maker. I go into detail below to help you decide on which new machine to get.
Price is a huge factor. When you purchase one of these machines. You’ll probably be spending the most money you’ve ever spent on a crafting product. But it will be worth it. I promise.
You will appreciate the ease of cutting intricate designs at the press of a button.
Silhouette Cameo 4 cost about $300
Cricut Maker cost about $400
Winner- Silhouette Cameo 4
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Before the Silhouette Cameo 4 came out, Cricut would’ve won easily. A Cricut Maker has a cutting force of 4000 grams and the old Silhouette Cameo 3 only had a cutting force of 210 grams.
But now the tables have turned. The new Cameo 4 has a cutting force of 5000 grams. 1000 grams more than the Cricut Maker. So now the Silhouette machine can cut through tougher materials.
If you only plan to cut vinyl and paper, the cutting force doesn’t matter too much. But if you plan on moving onto balsa wood, leather, and other thicker, harder to cut materials, you’re going to need more cutting force.
Winner- Silhouette Cameo 4
If you are looking for a machine that has more blade options, you’ll want to get a Cricut Maker. It’s been around longer than the Silhouette Cameo 4. The Cricut Maker has 10 different blades with an adaptive tool system.
The amount of blads is probably the main difference between them.
The Cricut has:
- Fine Point blade
- Deep Point blade
- Bonded Fabric blade
- Rotary blade
- Knife blade
- Quick Swap Perforation blade
- Quick Swap Wavy blade
- Quick Swap Debossing tip
- Quick Swap Engraving tip
- Quick Swap Scoring Wheel tips
Find out about the different blades here.
The Silhouette Cameo 4 currently has 3 blades-
1. One tap Autoblade– This is your main blade. It’ll automatically choose how much of the blade is showing. No need to manually adjust the blade.
2 Rotary blade– Used for cutting fabric and crepe paper.
3. Kraft Blade– Used for cutting thicker materials like leather, craft foam, and balsa wood
Silhouettes don’t have as many blade options as Cricut but they can always come out with more in the future.
Make sure you always have extra blades on hand. They do get dull and will need to be replaced.
Winner- Cricut Maker
What size materials can they cut?
When you first
Some of those things require a larger cutting area.
A Silhouette Cameo 4 has the ability to do matless cutting. (A mat is a sticky sheet of plastic that you place the material you’re cutting on) You can cut paper and vinyl without a cutting mat with a Silhouette.
When you are cutting without a mat, you can cut things that are 12 inches x 10 feet. When cutting with a mat, you can cut up to 12″ x 24″.
You can also upgrade to a 15″ cutting width with the Silhouette Cameo Plus or 20″ cutting width with the Silhouette Cameo Pro.
A Cricut maker can cut up to 12″x 24″. A much smaller area than the Silhouette.
Winner- Silhouette Cameo 4
Another thing to consider before you purchase your die-cutting machine is the software that comes with your Cricut or Silhouette and its ease of use.
Silhouette software (called Silhouette Studio) is a program that you download onto your computer. You don’t have to have WiFi to use it.
Silhouette Studio Software is great software. From what I’ve read, some Cricut users prefer to use Silhouette Studio with their Cricut machines.
You will be able to design lots of files with the software. This can save you money because you won’t need to
If you are looking to do a lot of your own designs or customize other people’s designs, go with a Silhouette.
The only downside of the software is that you’ll need to upgrade your software to Designer Edition to be able to import SVG files. Most of the files you get online will be SVG files.
There are even more upgrades you can purchase if you want the software to do more and I currently have business edition so I can export as SVG files.
There are no upgrades to the free software
If you are not very tech-savvy and you just want to use designs other people have created, Cricut Design Space is for you. It isn’t great for making your own designs. But it is very user-friendly.
Cricut software in the past needed an internet connection but it is now a program you install on your computer so it will not have the issues of being web-based.
You can also upload SVG into the Cricut Design Space without having to purchase an upgrade.
Another plus for Cricut Design Space is that you can use your tablet or phone to connect to your Cricut. You are unable to do this with Silhouette Studio.
I honestly prefer to use Adobe Illustrator for my design software and use Silhouette Connect. It saves me time because I don’t have to export SVG files to Silhouette Studio to cut but I get the power of Illustrator.
It really depends on what you want and need. If you would like to make your own designs, go with Silhouette. If you want to use your phone or tablet and only need to do basic things and want to use your mobile devices, go with Cricut.
Speed of Cutting
Cut speed is how fast the machine can cut something out. The Silhouette Cameo 4 can cut 3 times faster than the previous version. So now, cut times will be about the same whether you get a Cricut or Silhouette.
Available files to cut
Both Silhouette and Cricut have a library of files that you can purchase from. This is great for when you’re just getting started.
The cost for a Silhouette Design Store subscription ranges from $4.99 for $10 of credits, to $29.99 a month for $250 in credits. You then use these credits to
If you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription, you are able to
Cricut offers a design library too. But you are only able to
- over 400 fonts,
- Unlimited use of 100,000 cut-ready images.
- 10% savings on all product purchases on cricut.com, including machines, accessories, materials, and more – including sale items!1
- 10% savings on premium licensed fonts, images, and ready‑to‑make projects from brands like Disney, Sanrio, Simplicity, and Anna Griffin2
- Priority Member Care Line (50% less wait time)
It really depends on your needs. If you plan on buying a subscription, Cricut has the better deal. If you only want one design at a time, Silhouette would be better.
Cost of mats and blades
Blades and mats are a necessity of owning a Silhouette or Cricut. Before I bought one, I didn’t think about the cost of replacing them.
Silhouette mats cost $9.50 a mat to $12 a mat depending on how many you
Cricut mats cost about $6.60 a mat.
Silhouette Cameo 4 auto blades cost $12.99 each.
Cricut Blades cost about $7
An important feature both machines have a duel carriage. This means that you can have two different tools loaded in at once. So you can cut and draw without having to change out your tool. It speeds up your project because you don’t have to change out your tool in the middle of a cut increasing your cutting speed.
Both machines can be used with Bluetooth if you are using a computer far from your cutting machine.
But I know if you are using your Silhouette for drawing, it is best to use a wired connection.
Bluetooth can only send so much data at a time and the cut will stop for a couple of seconds while the Silhouette processes. This will leave the pen down on the paper leaving a larger dot of ink than if it had kept drawing.
Wired connections do not have short pauses during the cutting process.
You’re a crafter so you probably love color. Color isn’t the biggest factor when buying your Cricut or Silhouette but it’s something to consider.
Cricut currently has 6 different colors for the Cricut Maker. They even have fun gender reveal-themed ones.
Silhouette only has 3 for the Cameo 4: white, black, and pink.
Cricut also comes with a sewing library full of sewing projects you can cut out with your Cricut Maker. If you are a seamstress, Cricut would be better for you.
Vinyl Roll Feeder
Silhouette Cameo 4 comes with a built-in vinyl roll feeder. This lets you cut large rolls of vinyl with ease. So if you plan on cutting large vinyl decals, a Silhouette would be better for you.
I love using the vinyl roll feeder when cutting vinyl. It makes the cutting process much faster because I don’t have to cut the vinyl down to size. It is also great for cutting very long cutouts like a growth chart.
The Silhouette also has a cross cutter built in to use with the vinyl roll feeder. When the machine is done cutting, you can tell it to feed out the back.
You can then use the cutting tool to slide across the vinyl to cut it like one of these paper trimmers.
This provides a perfectly straight cut on the edge of the vinyl making it easier to cut later.
Both of these machines make quite a bit of noise.
You should definitely take noise level into consideration if you work late at night.
Your husband will not be happy if he is trying to sleep in the next room over.
Both the Cameo 3 and the Explorer are noticeably quieter than the Maker and Cameo 4.
Should you get a Silhouette or Cricut?
Finial score- Cricut-4, Silhouette-5, and 3 draws
Winner- Tie even though the numbers don’t say so.
Both Cricuts and Silhouettes are a great crafting investment. They will take your crafting to a level you never knew you could reach.
But which is better? It really depends on your needs and wants. If you’ll be using lots of designs created by other people, and you need to cut lots of different materials, Cricut will be a better option for you. It comes with more blade options and the software is more beginner-friendly. It also has a better subscription for pre-made cutting files.
Silhouette is better for those who would want to do more of their own file creation. The software has a lot to offer but it does have a small learning curve. Silhouettes also have a larger cut area than a Cricut.
They are both great machines though! Whichever you choose, it’ll be a good choice.