Silhouette Cameo 4 versus Cricut Maker
Which machine is better? The Cricut Maker versus the Silhouette Cameo 4. Everything you need to know to decide which one is best for you. Plus, I give my honest review and opinion of both machines. Follow me as I unbox the Silhouette Cameo 4 and compare it to the Cricut Maker! Two awesome machines are put head to head! I share all the details and more on these two machines!
If you have been crafting a while, or are just looking into getting your first craft cutting machine then you will want to check out this review before buying! The number one question I am asked is which machine is better to get! Or which one should the consumer buy?
And spoiler alert, I’ve always said it depends on the user. However, does it? Let’s decide.
And since I have both machines, and I do use both pretty frequently I was delighted to do so.
As a person who crafts daily with usually a craft cutting machine, I do have a preference for a particular brand and software capabilities when it comes to creating.
Silhouette Cameo Versus Cricut Maker
In the video below I go into detail exactly what the similarities are and what the differences are for both machines. Take a look.
Choosing a Preference
What Did You Think? Is one better in your mind over the other?
And while both machines, for the most part, cut paper and vinyl materials almost always seamlessly, I do find that for me one is a preferred choice over the other.
So how did I make this preference?
How do you decide for yourself which is better? That is the number question asked by crafters, consumers and customers alike.
My answer… it is always the same, it depends on YOU! YOUR PREFERENCES, your prior knowledge of paper crafting, or lack thereof if that’s your case.
I believe anyone can learn anything if they put their mind to it.
And, I believe you can learn difficult software versus a harder one. Everything has its challenges. And yes, sometimes a majority believes one is better than another according to their preferred method of doing something.
Comparing The Silhouette Cameo 4 To The Cricut Maker
For true comparison’s sake, I created a list for each brand with the characteristics and features of both machines. The comparison is listed based on features for choosing between for buying purposes.
Both machines have an auto blade function which is for the main purposes of both machines, cutting.
Both cut at a 12 inch wide cutting space as of right now. And for purposes of measuring the overall size of the machines, they come in fractions of each other.
Both offer a Bluetooth capability which is an amazing feature to have if you have ever used it. One less cord to deal with can be game-changing.
Both machines also offer rotary blades which are the pizza cutter round rolling blades that cut fabric.
Both machines also offer a variety of additional or different blades for different kinds of cuts. For example a deep knife blade or Kraft blade for deep cutting projects such as balsa wood.
And both brands offer a software that can be downloaded to your computer.
While some might find the differences to be minuscule, it could be one of these specific differences that sway you to one machine over the other.
Just like relationships, love, and careers… one tiny thing could be YOUR deal-breaker of one versus another.
So let’s take a look at the two a little closer.
The Silhouette Cameo 4:
The all-new Silhouette Cameo 4 weighs 10lbs. This is 4 pounds lighter than its competitor. Given it’s lighter weight, it actually has a higher downward force of 5 kg vs the Maker’s 4kg. This means more force when cutting producing towards a more quality cut.
But does that ultimately really matter?
(Let’s take a pause and just further contemplate the weight of these machines. Heavier doesn’t always mean “heavy-duty” or a “workhorse” and a lighter weighted machine doesn’t always mean cheap materials or poorly made. Yet, sometimes the weight and feel possibly triggers in your brain one of these perceptions creating an unfair deal breaker).
The Silhouette Cameo 4’s smart blade system allows for different blades as mentioned before. Most tools are used in the left cartridge, and each tool is used one at time. You cannot do two things at once like cut and sketch. But you can cut and then sketch. Or sketch and then cut.
The Cameo 4 also provides blade adaptors to allow you to use tools or blades from previous models, the 1, 2, and 3 versions so that if you are upgrading keeping those tools can still be used.
The speed from the Cameo 4 is upgraded from the 3 version by three times which allows for greater productivity and function.
Which leads to me to productivity. The Silhouette Cameo 4 and the Silhouette Studio software have productivity in mind. The Cameo 4 has a built-in roll feeder so that the user can load an entire roll of vinyl product and keep cutting project after project as long as its the same color or material.
So, if you are making the same design over and over, this saves time by not having to load and unload mats. And with the roll feeder, no mat is required. Time and money is saved here.
The Cameo 4 also has a built-in cutter out the back of the machine so that you can cut after each cut the material on a roll. Pretty nifty, right?!
As I mentioned in the video the software allows you to send a design to the machine to be cut, and then flip over to a new design screen while it’s still cutting the first. This is not a new feature of the Silhouette Software or Cameo 4, but it is worth mentioning for anyone new to the craft machine world.
It’s also one of my favorite features because again, this saves me time. It definitely does not matter to everyone, but I rather enjoy having 2 or 10 projects open, ready to cut to make the making process go faster.
The Silhouette software also has tiered editions where you can purchase upgrades to the software for additional capability if it is something you need.
For instance, the business edition allows you to run multiple machines at once, cutting the same design. Small craft business owners may like or even need this feature because they cut once and have 10 projects complete versus cutting ten times back to back.
But you can think even bigger with this. If you have 10 machines and cut 10 times, you now end up with 100 products completed. This is awesome if you need to build inventory up for say an Etsy shop.
The Cricut Maker:
The Cricut Maker is a pretty awesome machine. It weighs 14 pounds, which is 4lbs heavier than the Cameo 4, And, the downward force on this machine is 4kg, just one 1kg less than the competitor. The Cricut Maker also packs a rotary blade within the box standard along with the regular blade, which is is a plus.
The Cricut Maker offers a variety of tools and blades. One of which is the embossing and debossing blades and tools. Cricut has this built into the Maker machine. While the Silhouette America brand does offer this through separate machines, the Maker allows this capability in one.
Cricut also sells its own separate embossing machines specific to embossing. And since Embossing is a whole craft category on its own, I can not give a true pro on con on this one. I have only done less than a handful of embossing projects with other embossing equipment. So, I’d rather defer to a debossing expert crafter for the review of this feature.
One thing I truly love about the Cricut that it is known for since the beginning is the thickness of their mats. They are sturdy. And, I love the “feed dogs” (sewing term) or guides that the Cricut brand has for loading mats.
To me this is a feature because I feel like I cannot miss the mark or point of precision. There’s no slide to the left or the right. However, with Silhouette, you can adjust left to right, and this is primarily for project and mat sizing. So it is hard to point it out as either a flaw or feature function.
As far as preferences go, I know it is hard to know which is your preference without first experiencing using one machine over the other. That is why I try to explain little quirks or things here that may help you decide. My recommendation for this is to truly try out someone else’s machine first before you buy one. And preferably, try out each brand.
Overall both machines are pretty awesome and do amazing things when you look at the capabilities of the machines, and the history of how crafting has evolved in just a few short years.
Choosing a front runner end all – be all machine that takes the cake in the crafting world without putting personal preference is rather difficult. Both machines do not fail to meet expectations and so any flaws noted or found are minimal and still regard to personal preference.
My Personal Opinion
For a long time, I didn’t give my personal opinion, because my first opinion is that it matters to you. But after at least a year of people still asking me which one to get EVEN after I give my first response of “it depends on your preferences, they still just want to know my personal preference.
And if you have read or seen my prior videos on this topic I don’t give a clear answer even after stating my history and use with both machines.
However, if you must know, it is this machine that I’ve gone to first most recently. This is my opinion though even after learning Silhouette second to Cricut. The software aligns with my brain. While not perfect I’m sure, it is just easier for me to resonate with.
This isn’t the case for some people. Some prefer and resonate to Cricut. And I find it very rare that most people have truly given both a chance.
Once you learn something one way, it is very hard to tell your brain a different way to do something. It is almost like cell phones. Androids versus ios operating systems. Most people prefer a preference.
I have and love the features of both crafting machines. And if I could, I’d build a whole new one with all my favorite things from both.
But with that aside, I just purely love the fact that when I send a project to be cut in the Silhouette software, I can watch my design cut, OR I can click over to and start a new project as mentioned above. Multiple projects can be created while it is cutting the first.
Cricut’s software just doesn’t let you do that. You are stuck watching that first design cut out before starting a new project.
This can be a time suck or not depending on the person. If you are anything like me, all time is precious, and when I’m crafting I’m typically running two or more projects at once. You make prefer to take your time and do one thing at a time.
I’m just that girl, so making more things in less time is invaluable to me. Therefore, Silhouette will win when it involves time.
And yes, I do love my Cricut Maker, the projects in the library are so beautiful, and the fact that I also have lots of Cricut friends makes it even more enjoyable. I truly love helping and crafting with them.
And when people still ask me which one to tell them to get, I will probably still answer it depends. It’s a personal decision.
Kind of like a household coffee maker… do you have a Ninja, Keurig, or a Mr. Coffee brand coffee maker in your kitchen?
You do have to take it out of the box though and play with it to get better at it.
Just download the files (SVG file types) and save in a folder on your computer or in your machine’s software library.
Lastly, I am creating a Craft Cutting Community that is for Cricut and Silhouette users alike. regardless of your machine, you can learn how to use it. I will be offering a FREE Craft Cutting course that is designed to help you choose, set up, and start using the basic function of your craft machine.
You can also be invited to upgrade the course to the Craft Cutting Masterclass where I break down different software, cuts, tools, mats, and project types of both the Cricut Maker and Silhouette Cameo 4.