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Silhouette Curio is a small but powerful tool for all manner of fine crafts. By giving it an unprecedented range of materials and three different cutting attachments, the Curio gives users more creative freedom than any of its predecessors.
First among these new features is the ability to process metal, a considerable step beyond many similar machines. Even Silhouette’s own past models have had trouble with thick leather or balsa, so metal represents quite the improvement.
Three attachments are included, and ordinary cutting blade and two embossing tools. The machine’s dual carriage can hold most other Silhouette tools as well.
Curio only cuts with two hundred ten grams of force, meaning it may need more than one pass on thicker material. Harder substances like metal or balsa could actually damage the blade.
Like many of their products, the Curio comes with basic access to Silhouette Studio, a proprietary design software provided by the manufacturer. The software kickstarts newcomers with a wide range of idea patterns, but requires a subscription for full access and may be too basic for experienced users.
On top of the new materials that the Curio can handle, there are also several new functions to be had beyond the normal cutting and perhaps embossing. Stippling, etching, debossing, and scoring are all possible, on materials up to five millimeters thick.
As with previous models, the Curio can also hold a writing implement and sketch a design on paper. A silhouette sketching pen is recommended, but neither critical for the artist nor included in the box.
A major drawback for many is the Curio’s limited size ‒ its maximum capacity is eight and a half inches by twelve with an extended cutting mat. There is little space for storage as well, with the side compartments having room for the included tools but no more.
Who’s It For?
Curio will be a hit with those looking to make small decorations on nearly any material they have at hand. Established hobbyists can use the Curio to branch out from traditional paper or fabric and try their ideas on all manner of new media.
Newcomers may also be interested; the Curio is relatively cheap and the smaller size is suitable for beginning projects. Curio’s capabilities make it a possible gateway into a number of hobbies, and the design software is a fine starter tool for a novice.
Curio is not recommended for anyone with a large or commercial purpose in mind, as it has a relatively small cutting size. Similarly, those without a computer or power source should look for a manual cutting machine instead.
What We Like About Silhouette Curio
Curio is by far one of the most diverse machines around, working more techniques on more materials than older machines have provided in the past. A decent price tag makes it a solid choice for small or beginner projects to use in a home or office.
Curio’s smaller dimensions make it easily portable and less of a hassle on a work desk. Backward compatibility with previously released Silhouette tools means that the buyer needn’t replace an entire toolset along with their machine.
Curio can cut deeper than many similar machines, up to five millimeters at one go. A dual carriage makes for faster work and more intricate combinations of different tools.
What We Don’t Like About Silhouette Curio
Like many users, we found the small cutting size a hindrance; even with an extended base, the Curio maxes out at eight and a half inches by twelve.
Silhouette’s software remains questionable as it was with previous models, with several features either limited or nonexistent save for paid accounts. Some models may be packaged with an outdated version of the software that will need an update right out of the box.
Curio has limited wireless capabilities with no Bluetooth and some functions not available over the internet. Weak cutting force and certain tools not included make it hard to get full value without a few small upgrades.
A new Curio will come with all the cables needed to hook up the machine, including power and USB cables, and a copy of Silhouette Studio. Three tools are provided, one cutting tool and two for fine and wide embossing.
Cutting and embossing mats are both included, as well as the machine’s base and removable platforms. Material fasteners, replacement snaps, and three print-and-emboss squares are all in the box as well.
Silhouette packages the Curio with a one-year warranty and a gift card of fifty free images in their online shop. Not included are extra cutting tools or a pen for sketching projects.
Overview Of Features
As mentioned, the Curio is relatively compact, measuring just five and a quarter inches tall and seventeen and a quarter by six and three-quarter inches along the sides. It weighs in at a breezy five and a quarter pounds.
The Curio is a dual carriage and can handle combined operations, but only cuts with two hundred ten grams of force. For any operation but cutting, Curio can go to five millimeters thick; the included cutting blade will only handle two millimeters
Curio requires both a power supply and computer to operate, as well as a subscription to Silhouette Studio. For more complex operations like stippling, the machine will need to be physically connected to a computer; simpler cutting or sketching can be done via Internet.
Curio is great for someone crafting as a hobby, or just getting started. It is budget-friendly at little more than a hundred dollars and can handle endless combinations of materials and operations to get your creativity going.
For larger projects commercial use, buyers might be better advised to look for a more powerful machine suited to their specific needs.