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Silhouette Portrait vs Cameo

Silhouette Portrait vs. Cameo: Which One Should You Buy?

Silhouette is one of the most influential brands out there. If you are an avid user of this brand, you might feel overwhelmed while trying to choose the best option among them.

Are you trying to find out if there is any difference between the Silhouette Portrait and the Silhouette Cameo?

In this post, we are going to help you compare these two machines based on the following factors:

  • Cutting materials they can handle
  • Maximum cutting size
  • Accessories

We will start with the Silhouette Cameo.

Silhouette Cameo

The Silhouette Cameo was first launched in October 2011. Since its introduction in the market, it has given many artists the freedom of designing what they love. The fantastic features of the Silhouette Cameo have made it as popular as it is since its introduction.

Let’s have a look at some of them.

Cutting Materials

Silhouette Portrait vs. Cameo

Are you a desktop craft cutter? The Silhouette Cameo is all you need.

With the capability of cutting more than 100 materials, it allows you to come up with various designs you love.

You can freely use materials like foil, vinyl, paper, or cardstock with the Silhouette Cameo.

Maximum Cutting Size

Cutting size should be a concern of yours when purchasing a cutting machine. The Silhouette Cameo has an increased cutting size compared to other devices like Explore Air 2.

It can, therefore, cut up to 12 inches in width and a length of 10 feet. If you have a large signage project, it would be the best fit.


The Silhouette Cameo comes with a cutting machine, a 12-inch cutting mat, USB and power cable, studio software, cross cutter, 100 free digital design stores, and an Auto-blade cutting blade.

Wireless Connectivity

You can connect your Silhouette Cameo with other devices. Its Bluetooth technology helps you to perform various operations wirelessly.

Dual Carriage

Cameo 3 has double carriages that most users love using. With this feature, craft cutting has become more efficient than it was before.

It also has a push locking mechanism, which is a significant improvement compared to the previous Silhouette versions.


We loved what we saw after unboxing the Cameo 3 from its package. As a craft model, you will like how this cutter looks beautiful on desktops.


  • Has an excellent maximum cutting size
  • Auto-Blade technology is a big win
  • Can cut about 100 different materials
  • Has a doubled cutting clearance
  • Easy to set up making it great for beginners


  • It cannot cut very thick materials like metal and leather

In a nutshell, the Silhouette Cameo is a polished cutter that works best, especially when cutting vinyl. One of the additions that make it better from other versions is the dual carriages and AutoBlade.

Silhouette Portrait

In 2012, the Silhouette Portrait was launched in the market and became a bestselling cutter. While it has some similar functionality to that of the Cameo, the cutting size tends to be smaller.

It is meant for beginners who mostly use vinyl. It is user-friendly and excellent for card making. This is a small machine that you can use to make your stickers.

Despite being small, it has a fantastic tool for cutting stickers.

Below are some distinctive features of the Silhouette Portrait.

Maximum Cutting Size

Silhouette Portrait vs. Cameo

There’s no doubt that the Silhouette Portrait is a versatile machine. While it is small in size, it can cut 100 materials just like Silhouette Cameo.

With such versatility, you can enjoy using it to cut materials like fabric, vinyl, paper, rhinestone template, chipboard, and paper, among others.

You can experiment with various materials, and you will be amazed by the results.

Cutting Size

Unfortunately, the Silhouette Portrait isn’t able to handle very lengthy projects. It has a maximum cutting size of 8 x 12 inches and a length of 10 feet in case you use lined media.

However, if you have small projects with simple designs, it will offer you excellent results.


Just like the Silhouette Cameo, the Silhouette Portrait comes with different accessories in the box. These is a USB cable, power cable, adjustable blade, basic instruction guide, 8” cutting matt, 50 unique free cutting designs, and a Silhouette portrait machine.

PixScan technology

The PixScan technology is just like the print and cuts feature. The difference is that in PixScan, images are put on a special mat.

You can then take a picture with your smartphone or camera from the mat. You are supposed to upload that image to the Design software so that you can cut it.


  • Easy to use, that is from setting up, installing, and cutting. You can also master how to use its tools like photoshop easily.
  • It is versatile making it possible to cut various materials
  • It is compatible with both PC and MAC
  • It’s light in weight
  • It’s affordable


  • Not great for large sizes
  • It’s not great for commercial grade cutters

The Silhouette Portrait is suitable for those who do not have a lot of crafts to do. The difference between the Silhouette Portrait vs. Silhouette Cameo is in its size.

The Cameo is much larger than the Portrait. Cameo can also work without a computer. However, both of them have the same cutting force.

Silhouette Portrait vs Cameo Conclusion

From the above comparison, we found that the Silhouette Cameo wins. Its versatility and maximum cutting size make it great to use.

Whether you have a small or large project, you can use the Silhouette Cameo.

Both the Silhouette Cameo and Silhouette Portrait are great to use. They can cut the same number of materials and have the same cutting force of 210 grams. They can also share the same amount of files. But the Silhouette Cameo stands out because it can handle lengthy projects.

If you are not into lengthy projects, we recommend the Silhouette Portrait. However, if you feel that you want something that you can use for both large and small projects, choose the Silhouette Cameo.

James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.