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Silhouette CAMEO 4 vs CAMEO 3: 8 (More) Subtle But Important Differences

When the Silhouette CAMEO 4 was first announced in May 2019 we took a side by side look at Silhouette CAMEO 3 vs CAMEO 4.  Most of the differences I initially pointed out focused on the power of the machine like cutting speed, force, and the ability to cut much thicker - and therefore more - materials.

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Now that pre-orders have started and I have a Silhouette CAMEO 4 in my hands and am using it like a crafter in my craft room, rather than staring at it in a conference center, I'm noticing some additional differences between the old and new CAMEO machines.

Before we get to those, here's a quick reminder of the major difference between the Silhouette CAMEO 3 and 4.

Silhouette CAMEO 3 vs Silhouette CAMEO 4 Comparison of Major Features

Feature CAMEO 3 CAMEO 4
Downward Force 500g 5000g (5kg)
Cutting Speed
3x faster
Bluetooth Yes Yes, increased range
Autoblade Original Auto Blade Auto Blade 2
(single tap)
Rotary Blade No Yes
Kraft Blade CAMEO 3 Kraft Blade (New) CAMEO 4 Kraft Blade
Punch Tool No Yes
Cutting Dimensions 12" x 10' 12" x 10'
Price $199 base $299 base
Roll Feeder Attachment Built in

Rollers
Teeth & Grip Single hand adjustable
Cover Hinge Retractable
Dual Tool Carriage Yes, single motor Yes, dual independent gear driven motors
Availability Current Fall 2019
Clearance 2mm 3mm
Machine Controls Control Panel Touch Panel
Auto Tool Detection No Yes




8 More Subtle Differences Between the CAMEO 3 and CAMEO 4

1. Built in Roll Feeder

The Silhouette CAMEO 4 has a built in roll feeder as opposed to the older model Silhouette machines which required a special attachment to be purchased.

The roll feeder for the Silhouette CAMEO 3, 2, 1 and Portrait machines hooked under the front of the cutting machine when in use.

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The roll feeder on the CAMEO 4 slides out and unfolds from the center front of the new Silhouette CAMEO.  It's certainly convenient and saves a lot of space from having to store a rather large and odd-shaped accessory like the CAMEO 3 roll feeder.

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2. No Tool Drawer

Because of the Silhouette CAMEO 4's built in roll feeder, there is no longer a tool storage drawer. The CAMEO 3 has a small drawer that pulled out from the base of the machine where crafting tools could be stored.

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3. No Mat Supports

The built in Roll Feeder on the CAMEO 4 also means that mat supports, which were also available from the slide out drawer on the CAMEO 3, didn't make it on the CAMEO 4.

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The fold out arms for the mat support on the Silhouette CAMEO 3 are helpful for keeping the cutting mat horizontal while cutting, but unfortunately they're not available on the CAMEO 4.

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4. Limited Blade Storage

Another nice-to-have storage spot on the older Silhouette CAMEO machines was the blade storage. 

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The CAMEO 4 has just one spot to store a single blade on the left side of the machine.

5.  Right Roller Adjustment Improvements

The locking and unlocking mechanism on the right roller on the CAMEO 4 has been greatly improved allowing you to use a single hand to move the right roller very easily. This is a huge improvement over the grip, twist, and pull your hair out method on the Silhouette CAMEO 3 and 2.

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On the CAMEO 4 simply flip the lever down and use one finger to press the lock button on the right roller while sliding it to the next step of grooves.

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6. No USB Flash Drive Port on Silhouette CAMEO 4

There were a surprising number of questions about whether the CAMEO 4 has a USB port for a USB flash drive. Turns out, it does not.

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The USB port for flash drives on the CAMEO 3 is found by the power button and allows users to plug in a portable USB drive and cut directly from it, as opposed to being connected directly to a computer.

7. Tool 1 and Tool 2 Carriages are Different 

Like the CAMEO 3, the CAMEO 4 has a dual tool carriage. Unlike the older machine, however, the Silhouette CAMEO 3's two tool carriages are different from each other. On the CAMEO 3, the two tool carriages were driven by the same type of motor which meant tools could be used in either/both tool carriages (with the exception of the Autoblade which had to be exclusively placed in the red/left carriage).

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On the CAMEO 4, the two carriages are driven by different types of motors. Carriage 1 (left tool carriage) is designs for speed and accuracy while Carriage 2 (right tool carriage) specializes in force.

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Only certain tools can be used in each carriage. For example, the Autoblade, ratchet blade, sketch pen, Premium blade and Deep Cut blade (along with all third party tools like the Foil Quill) can only go in Carriage 1. Carriage 2 is reserved for the Punch Tool, Kraft Blade and Rotary Blade.

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Keep in mind, the Punch Tool, Kraft Blade and Rotary Blade are not included with the Silhouette CAMEO 4 and must be purchased separately - this means unless you add them on at the time of purchase, you will only be able to use the left carriage 1 out of the box, despite having a dual carriage Silhouette machine.

It also means you will need to do things such as sketch and cut and foil and cut like you would on a single carriage machine like the  CAMEO 2. This requires swapping the tool out of the tool carriage between each pass rather utilizing both carriages and signing actions and tools to each carriage.

8. Tool Locks Redesigned

Aside from the rollers, the tool locks on the CAMEO 2 and CAMEO 3 were a huge source of user frustration. The CAMEO 3 locks was designed in a way that allowed the blade to only be partially inserted into the tool carriage, but still locked in.

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This caused a lot of cutting issues for Silhouette CAMEO beginners, specifically, who could not understand why their blade was either not cutting at all or cutting too deep.

But on the Silhouette CAMEO 4 the lock can not be pressed in unless the tool or tool adapter is completely and correctly in the correct carriage. Can I get an AMEN!

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Trying to figure out if you need or want both Silhouette CAMEO 3 and CAMEO 4? Check out this Silhouette School blog post.

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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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11 comments

  1. You showed a chart that stated the Silhouette 4 could cut "paper" up to 3mm thick. I've researched the inch equivalent of 3mm and have learned this is the thickness of a US penny. Even knowing that, I am confused because the chipboard I use is measured by "points." My question: Is 50pt chipboard thicker than 3mm? Thanks.

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  2. 3mm is roughly 1/8 (.125) inch, or about 2 pennies thick. A point in cardstock terms is a thousandth of an inch, so 50 point chipboard is .050 inches.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Take the inches equivilent (pt divided by 1000) and multiply by 25.4. So your 50 point chipboard is .050 inches times 25.4 = 1.27mm or a bit less than your 3mm.

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  4. I would like to use the cameo 4 for a classroom project. Do you know if it will cut cardboard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supposed to up to 3mm (about 1/8") thick. So would depend on the thickness of your cardboard.

      Delete
  5. I'm really rather disappointed in the Cameo 4. I was expecting great things and I think overall it will eventually deliver but at the minute we have a machine which is a series of extras which don't seem to go together, so I'm holding off buying it and keeping to my 3.
    1. I don't cut vinyl so a built in roller is no good to me - I'd much prefer a tool drawer. If I ever do decide to cut vinyl I'll decide if I want one or not. I wish Silhouette would give us the option. They've shown it's possible to have a fold away roller so why not the option to have either a drawer or the roller?
    2. Tool storage space - you given us extra blades (coming soon) so why not storage for all three?
    3. What exactly is the Kraft blade? Written like that it suggests that it'll cut kraft cardstock, very misleading - how does it differ from a deep cut blade?
    4. Having to change out the pen and blade to do write and cut is going back not forward - not a function I use much so no big deal but it does seem strange that that the dual tool carriage was a big selling point with the 3 allowing multi tasking which is important and time saving if crafting is your business. Certainly with an autoblade scoring and making different cuts in the same project is easy , but if I want to foil and cut I now have to change over the pen/blade manually.
    Many things are easy to get around I know - we're crafters and nothing if not inventive!! However I feel at the minute that the hype about it being able to cut thicker materials, 5kgs of force etc isn't getting anyone anywhere because you can't use it as the tools are out yet! Will wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm an original cameo owner, and it has been working fine for me. I figured, time for an update, let's wait for the 4!! But as excited as I was...the fact that I can't use the dual cartridge (I use the blade and sketch pens A LOT!) at once, is making me think: eh, just stick with my oldie (but goodie) machine.

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  6. Reading back on that I wrote I should clarify that when I said tool drawer what I really meant was tool drawer with mat supports! Nothing is worse than a droopy mat, especially if you have your machine near the edge of the table to allow enough space behind for the mat to come out while cutting! Whatever I do I'll not give up my 3 so the 4 would be bought as a companion machine; with Studio Busines edtion I can cut simultaneously on both machines ie. take advantage of the different properties; so am slowly putting the pennies away and waiting to see what the first generation machines deliver!!!

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  7. I have a Silhouette Cameo 2 and have been so frustrated when having to make roller adjustments. For me, not having to wrestle with those rollers is a plus that outweighs some of the negatives of the Silhouette Cameo 4 changes. I'm also looking forward to not having to manually change the cutting blade depth. Talk about needing storage for tools, when you have one little tool to move the blade from say a 2 to a 4, I could never find it when I needed it, so tool storage would have been nice.

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  8. I have an old Silhouette SD portrait, and I am looking to upgrade. Right now I use mine for paper cutting and vinyl cutting - is it going to be better for me to upgrade to the Cameo 4 - or should I go with the Cameo 3? I am worried that the 4 has too many bangs a whistles that I just won't use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really up to you. The second tool carriage on the CAMEO 4 is only for the specialty tools: rotary blade, punch tool and 3mm kraft blade. The CAMEO 3 is about to be discontinued so I would get one soon if you decide on that machine.

      Delete

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