Choosing between the two most popular cutting machine brands, Cricut and Silhouette, can be a daunting task.
With so many websites and YouTube videos out there devoted to the hobby, each of them favoring a certain brand, knowing which brand will be best for you and your needs is difficult.
In this article, we’ll cut through the fluff and biases to give you our take on the best die-cutting and embossing brand out there.
Cricut Pros and Cons
Cricut is best known for producing easy-to-use, precise cutting tools. Over the last few years, Cricut has added software to its line of machines which has made many new utilities and functions possible.
Cricut’s quality and level of performance are, quite frankly, unrivaled. When it comes to personal, at-home cutting machines, Cricut is the top of the line.
For example, the cutting force of the Cricut Maker is 4 kg, which is 16 times stronger than the strongest Silhouette model, the Cameo 3, which only provides 250 grams of cutting force.
Cricut’s precision is also unmatched by Silhouette, as Cricut machines tend to provide cleaner, more precise cuts.
When it comes to performance, Cricut is the clear winner.
Cricut is designed to be easy to use for craft cutters of all experience levels.
Even users without any experience at all can get started making precise cuts using the “smart set” option.
Users are given access to a library of over 50,000 online images for use as templates, and you can import your own photos as well.
However, even Cricut’s simple UI is more complicated than the Silhouette interface.
Cricut uses its proprietary Design Space software. This software is available for free and includes options with premium features.
The software is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Design space is easy to use, easy to install, and comes with many options that users love. It can be used online or offline, so it’s convenient for users of all kinds.
While Silhouette’s software is comparable, Cricut’s software is marginally better.
Cricut’s cheapest cutting machine, the Explore One, retails at $149.99.
The most expensive Cricut model, the Maker, goes for $400, which is $100 more than the most expensive model of silhouette, the Cameo 3.
However, Cricut offers a huge line of cutting machines, with products for beginners, as well as those for more experienced, sophisticated crafters.
Cricut has products to suit crafters of all needs and experience levels. Because of the variety of products and prices available, Cricut has a slight advantage in pricing over Silhouette, which has a limited line of products to choose from.
Silhouette Pros and Cons
Silhouette is a quality brand of cutting machines, with many products and options to suit users of all kinds.
While Silhouette has enough power and precision to suit most users, it would be an exaggeration to call it a workhorse.
Silhouette’s strongest model, the Cameo 3, offers only 250 grams of cutting force. Compared to Cricut, which offers 4 kg of cutting force, the Silhouette is much weaker and could result in less clean, precise cuts.
Cricut is the runaway winner when it comes to performance.
When it comes to ease of use, Silhouette is uncompromising. The brand boasts a beginner-level user interface, which means that users of all experience levels will be able to use and navigate the UI with ease.
Silhouette also leverages its Pixscan technology, which allows for accurate cropping around any printed image. Pixscan takes a lot of the difficulty and nuance out of craft cutting, making it easier to use for beginners.
Silhouette provides a linking tool that allows you to send jobs from any device directly to your cutter, making it extremely convenient. It also comes equipped with a cloud feature that lets you sync, design, and store directories for easy access.
Due to their ease of use and various accessibility options, Silhouette machines come out on top of Cricut.
Silhouette cutting machines use Silhouette Studio software. This software comes free with the machines but offers multiple premium features.
Silhouette offers the ability to work online or offline on both Mac and PC, as well as iOS and Android.
However, syncing Silhouette Studio software with Cameo’s Bluetooth system is problematic for some users. This slight inconvenience gives Cricut a marginal edge over Silhouette.
The cheapest in the Silhouette line, the Portrait 2, goes for $199, while its most expensive cutting machine, the Cameo 3, goes for $300.
Unfortunately, while Silhouette offers several modestly priced options, it lacks the variety of options provided by Cricut – at both the high and low ends of the spectrum.
As a result of Silhouette’s lack of options and middle-of-the-road pricing, Cricut comes out ahead.
Cricut is clearly a better choice for cutting machines. While Silhouette products are also high in quality and are very user-friendly, Cricut offers more options, better pricing, better performance, and an overall better user experience.
You won’t go wrong buying a Silhouette machine, but you could do better with Cricut.