Silhouette vs Cricut {The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Machines} 2021

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So you don’t know if you want a Cricut or Silhouette. And you want to make sure the you’re buying the best machine. Or at least one that will do what you want. 

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. The Silhouette Cameo 4.

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.

Price

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. 

Silhouette Cameo 4 cost about $300

Cricut Maker cost about $400

Winner- Silhouette Cameo 4

Silhouette Cameo 4
$299.00

Getting a Silhouette will change your crafting experience. You will be able to make things that look amazing in half the time.

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Cricut Maker 3
$397.00
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    11/29/2021 12:04 am GMT

    Cutting Force

    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. 

    If you only plan to cut vinyl and paper, the cutting force doesn’t matter to 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

    Blades Available

    If you are looking for a machine that has more blade options, you’ll want to get a Cricut Maker. Its been around longer than the Silhouette Cameo 4. The Cricut Maker has 10 different blades.

    1. Fine Point blade 
    2. Deep Point blade 
    3. Bonded Fabric blade
    4. Rotary blade
    5. Knife blade
    6. Quick Swap Perforation blade
    7. Quick Swap Wavy blade
    8. Quick Swap Debossing tip
    9. Quick Swap Engraving tip
    10. 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.

    Winner- Cricut Maker

    Cricut Maker 3
    $397.00
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      What size materials can they cut?

      When you first buy your die cutting machine, you’ll think, “I’m only going to do x,y, and z.” (at least I did) But when you learn about the many things the machine can do, you’ll want to do it all!

      Some of those things require a larger cutting area. 

      A Silhouette Cameo 4 has the ability to cut without a mat. (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 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. (These machines have not been released yet but are scheduled to come out in 2020.)

      A Cricut maker can cut up to 12″x 24″. A much smaller area than the Silhouette. 

      Winner- Silhouette Cameo 4

      Silhouette Cameo 4
      $299.00

      Getting a Silhouette will change your crafting experience. You will be able to make things that look amazing in half the time.

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      11/29/2021 12:02 am GMT

      Software

      Another thing to consider before you purchase your die-cutting machine is the software that comes with your Cricut or Silhouette.

      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

      Silhouette Studio is great software. There from what I’ve read, some Cricut users prefer to use Silhouette Studio with their Cricut.

      You will be able to design lots of files with the software. This can save you money because you won’t need to buy cut files for $3-4 each.

      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.

      You can buy the upgrade on Amazon or Swing Design. The upgrade is so worth it if you choose to go with Silhouette.

      Silhouette Studio Designer Edition Software
      $31.25
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        11/29/2021 12:03 am GMT

        There are even more upgrades you can purchase if you want the software to do more.

        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 design space

        Cricut Design Space is a web-page, so unfortunately, sometime it’ll go down or be slow. Also, you won’t be able to use your Cricut if your internet is down.  Cricut Design Space is now a program that 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.

        Winner- Draw

        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, go with Cricut.

        Silhouette Cameo 4
        $299.00

        Getting a Silhouette will change your crafting experience. You will be able to make things that look amazing in half the time.

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        11/29/2021 12:02 am GMT
        Cricut Maker 3
        $397.00
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          11/29/2021 12:04 am GMT

          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.

          Winner- Draw

          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 buy designs. One design costs $0.99 to $2.50 depending on the complexity of the design. Most designs are only $0.99.

          If you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription, you are able to buy the designs individually. 

          Cricut offers a design library too. But you are only able to buy designs in bundles. So even if you only want one design, you’ll still need to buy the design bundle. These bundles are about $15-$20.

          You can buy a Cricut Access subscription for $9.99 paid monthly or $7.99 paid annually. This gets you access 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)

          Winner- Draw

          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 buy at once.

          Cricut mats cost about $6.60 a mat.

          Silhouette Cameo 4 auto blades cost $12.99 each.

          Cricut Blades cost about $7

          I buy off-brand cutting mats and they are much cheaper. (This will void your warranty on a Silhouette so I wouldn’t recommend getting these within the first year.

          Winner- Cricut.

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          11/29/2021 12:01 am GMT
          Cricut Mat Variety Pack
          $22.35 ($7.45 / Count)
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            Colors Available

            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.

            Winner- Cricut

            Cricut Maker 3
            $397.00
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              Sewing Library

              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.

              Winner- Cricut

              Vinyl Roll Feeder

              silhouette cameo 4 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.

              Winner- Silhouette

              Silhouette Cameo 4
              $299.00

              Getting a Silhouette will change your crafting experience. You will be able to make things that look amazing in half the time.

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              11/29/2021 12:02 am GMT

              Should you get a Silhouette or Cricut?

              Finial score- Cricut-4, Silhouette-4, and 3 draws

              Winner- Tie

              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 better 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.

              Silhouette Cameo 4
              $299.00

              Getting a Silhouette will change your crafting experience. You will be able to make things that look amazing in half the time.

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              11/29/2021 12:02 am GMT
              Cricut Maker 3
              $397.00
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                11/29/2021 12:04 am GMT

                Best Bundles

                Silhouette Cameo 4

                Top Pick
                Silhouette White Cameo 4 Bundle

                This bundle even comes with all the different blades available

                Buy Now
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                Cricut Maker

                Cricut Maker 3 Machine Smart Vinyl & Tools Bundle
                $519.99
                  Buy Now
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                  11/29/2021 12:02 am GMT

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