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Silhouette CAMEO vs Cricut: Which Is Best For You?! (Honest Pros and Cons from the Pros!)

I get asked a decent amount about the differences between the Silhouette vs Circut.  I'm always kinda like, "I can talk to you all day (every day) about Silhouette, but, um, I hear that the Circut Explore does this but..."

Silhouette Cameo, Cricut, Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut, Silhouette vs Cricut

Let's just be real here for a second: I.don't.know.enough.  I may know the Silhouette machines like I know my kids' bad habits, but I don't know a darn thing about the Cricut machines other than what people tell me.  That's not very useful for someone who's trying to answer the question: "Should I buy a Silhouette or Cricut?"

While I have absolutely no doubt I could give you a 100% honest answer about the pros (powerful software, works offline, cuts up to 10') and cons of Silhouette (lacking customer support, some accessories and supplies are poor-ish quality), that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about major differences between the Silhouette CAMEO and the Cricut... and who better to ask than those who have both machines?


So, armed with a series of questions, I turned to a few of my fellow bloggers, who craft with both the Silhouette CAMEO and the Cricut Explore to help you decide which is best for you.


Many of their responses actually shocked me particularly because all four of the bloggers I interviewed, were given their Cricut machines from Cricut.  Some of them have or have had working relationships with Cricut which is not uncommon between bloggers and brands.  Only one, however, has ever had a working relationship with Silhouette America (and it's not me, FYI).  Keep this in mind as you read through their responses.  My hope is that with their side by side comparisons you can decide which die cut machine is best for you: Cricut Explore or Silhouette CAMEO.

Our amazing bloggers are (please follow and support them!):

Lindsay | Frenchie - Facebook - Instagram

How long have you been a Cricut user?

Mandy: 2 Years, but not much of a user
Jessica: 2 years
Rebecca:  4 Years
Lindsay:  10 years

How did you get your Cricut? 

Mandy: It was given to me by Cricut.
Jessica: It was given to me by Cricut.
Rebecca: It was given to me by Cricut.
Lindsay: It was given to me by Cricut.

As a blogger and influencer, what is your affiliation or relationship with Cricut? 

Mandy: Posted projects using the machine.

Jessica: I am an affiliate blogger for Cricut. I also do sponsored and non-sponsored posts for Cricut.

Rebecca: Contracted work, and work when I want with the brand.
Lindsay: Affiliate and a promoter.

About how often do you use your Cricut?

Mandy: Hardly ever.
Jessica: Weekly
Rebecca: Hardly ever.
Lindsay: 1-2 times a month, unless it's the holidays.

How would you describe the learning curve for new Circut users? 

Mandy: If you are just selecting a file and cutting it, the learning curve isn't high - I would recommend it to people who would only do that sort of thing (no designing), it would be a good option for them.
 
Jessica: Pretty simple.

Rebecca: Machine and set up is easy to use right out of the box. Software takes a little time to learn, but is fairly easy.

Lindsay: Software can be a bit tricky.

What do you like most about your Cricut? 

Mandy: The actual machine is awesome! I love it's cutting capabilities and I like the actual machine over the Silhouette machine.

Jessica: It cuts anything.

Rebecca: The smart blade and the ability to cut so many material types.

Lindsay: The quality of the cut.

Can you design your own designs in the Cricut software?

Mandy: Yes, but I tried and struggled with it and I would consider myself pretty tech-savvy.

Jessica: Yes

Rebecca: Yes

Lindsay: Yes. You can take multiple shapes and morph them into one. You can also upload jpegs and svg. 

After initially purchasing the machine, what are other expenses that will be incurred by a crafter who owns and uses a Circut?

Mandy: Same as silhouette - purchase cut files individually, materials to cut, new mats and blades, etc.

Jessica: Design Space/art, and products to be cut (vinyl, iron on, paper), mats and blades

Rebecca: Design Space images are available on a monthly payment plan. You can also expect to purchase vinyl, transfer paper, any additional mats or tools you may need, etc...

Lindsay: New blades, mats, pens and scrapbook supplies.

If you could change one thing about your Cricut or the design software what would it be? 

Mandy: The design software, starting with making it NOT web-based. I don't have an amazing Internet connection, so web-based software is a big negative for me.  I struggle with Cricut design software in designing and manipulating my designs. The design software is a negative for the Cricut machine.

Jessica: I would make it faster

Rebecca: The software! It's not that great. If there were simple features like slice, or the ability to erase part of an image that would be awesome. It doesn't compare to Silhouette software at all! Silhouette wins this category hands down. Cricut Design Space is internet based software, which means that it limits when people can create...it should be a downloaded program to the computer like Silhouette. It always needs firmware updates, which often times can be troublesome since it can freeze or take a while to do. It also can't cut any length over 24", and always needs a mat to cut. Such a pain.

Lindsay: To make it more like Adobe Illustrator like Silhouettes software is.

What features do you wish the Cricut had that it doesn't?

Mandy: Better software that is easier for the every-day person to manipulate.

Jessica: Offline designing

Rebecca: Touch screen, cutting longer than 24", and the use of no mat.

Lindsay: To be able to cut larger shapes and overlap the shape

How would you describe the quality of Circut's customer support and customer service? 

Mandy: n/a

Jessica: Amazing

Rebecca: For me it's excellent since I work with them directly, but I've heard from readers it's terrible or long wait times. There is actually a Facebook group called "Cricut Lovers Guide to Design Space" (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CricutLoversGuide/) that I belong to and recommend to all my readers when they have questions I can't answer. This group is large and very knowledgeable, and always willing to help quickly.

Lindsay: Awesome

If you only own a Cricut, would you recommend it to a friend? 

Mandy: Depends on the person - I would recommend a Cricut to a person who would want to simply select a file and cut it out, who wouldn't be doing any design manipulation. I would recommend the Silhouette to a person who is wanting to create and design within the software.

Jessica: Yes

Rebecca: It depends, If the person is looking for longer cutting capabilities and easier software I would recommend the Silhouette hands down. If they are looking for an easy to use machine right out of the box with minimal image manipulation then Cricut is the way to go.

Lindsay: Yes

Have you ever used a Silhouette machine?


Mandy: Yes, I own one.
Jessica: Yes, I own one. My Silhouette is an older machine.
Rebecca: Yes, I own one.
Lindsay: Yes, I own one.

As a blogger and influencer, what is your affiliation to Silhouette America?

Mandy:  Currently none.
Jessica: None
Rebecca: Currently none
Lindsay: Nothing

For those who own both a Silhouette and a Cricut what are the biggest differences you see between the two die cutters?  

Mandy: Hands down, the software

Jessica: The Cricut cuts better

Rebecca: Software, cutting length capability, and the ability to cut many different kinds of materials.

Lindsay: The blade on the Cricut is much sharper and you're able to get a much more quality cut.

If you also own a Silhouette, what Cricut feature do you wish the Silhouette machines/software could perform?

Mandy:  The Cricut machine is better at cutting a broader range of materials, such as balsa wood.

Jessica: The Cricut cuts better than my old Silhouette

Rebecca: Smart cut blade, not having to adjust a blade by hand each time.*

Linsday: A spinning blade.*

In what ways does the Circut outperform the Silhouette?

Mandy: Cutting variety of materials.

Jessica: Cutting

Rebecca: Smart cut blade *

Lindsay: The cut quality is far superior and the ability to have the smart dial.

* Silhouette has since announced the release of the Silhouette Auto Blade which will auto-adjust depending on the material selected by the user in Silhouette Studio.

In what ways does the Silhouette outperform the Cricut?

Mandy: Software program.

Jessica: The old design software was better, and had less cartoon-y art

Rebecca: Software, cutting length capability, touch screen.

Lindsay: The software.

If you own both machines, which would you recommend to a friend? Why?

Mandy: Silhouette for sure, if they're planning on trying to create their own designs or manipulate designs they find in store or online.

Jessica: Cricut, it cuts better.

Rebecca: Silhouette for cutting length and software. Cricut for precision cutting and ease of use.

Lindsay: Cricut. You can get a smoother cut out of any product you are cutting. 

So I think the major takeaways here are that Cricut Explore provides a better cut and can cut thicker materials, while Silhouette's software program, the ability to work offline, and the 10' cutting capability is superior to the same features on the Cricut.

If you are a current Silhouette or Cricut owner, are you still confident you make the right decision? If you are in the market for a die cutter, which machine are you now leaning towards and why? Leave a comment to weigh in! 

And a very special thanks to the bloggers who helped share their knowledge on the Cricut and the Silhouette CAMEO. Please show these ladies support and follow their blogs and their social media channels! 
Lindsay | Frenchie - Facebook - Instagram

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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