Cricut vs Silhouette: Which Is Better?

Anyone who has been crafting for a while has heard about the age old competition between Cricut and Silhouette machines.

While some crafters swear by Cricut machines, others are die-hard fans of Silhouette. As such, we decided to finally put this argument to rest and objectively compare these two brands for ourselves.

Cricut vs Silhouette: Which Is Better?

Although both Silhouette and Cricut produce high quality cutting machines, there are very tangible differences between their machines.

But before we get to the differences, we have to talk about the major similarities between the machines produced by these brands.

First of all, machines from both these brands allow you to accurately and precisely cut cardstock and even vinyl. More importantly, both brands allow you to import your own designs into their software.

When it comes to the differences between these two brands, we will need more than just a few sentences to fully expound.

So sit back and relax as we go into a detailed description of the differences between these two brands of machines.

Cricut vs Silhouette: What Are The Differences?

 Cricut MakerSilhouette Cameo
Cricut MachinesSilhouette Machines
Cutting powerMore cutting powerLess cutting power
Materials100+ materials100+ materials
Design software
Cricut Design Space (web-based)Silhouette Studio (desktop software)
Storage spaceMore spaceLess space
Dual CarriageYesYes
Read Cricut machine reviewsRead Silhouette machine reviews

1 – Machine Power And The Number Of Materials It Can Cut

Right off the bat, anyone who has used machines from these two brands will tell you that there is a huge difference between their cutting power and the materials they can cut.

Difference between Cricut and Silhouette
Cricut machines can cut through thicker materials

Although both these brands produce machines that can cut through a variety of machines, Cricut machines generally have more cutting power than Silhouette machines. Therefore, they can easily cut through tougher materials. This is especially true for the Cricut Maker that is substantially more powerful than previous Cricut models.

This is farther aided by the fact that Cricut machines feature a powerful deep cut blade and a rotary blade that makes it easy to cut heavy materials without the need for any backing material.

It is also worth noting that these blades are highly durable. As such, if your work involves constantly dealing with tough materials, you are better off with a Cricut machine.

2 – Design Software

As mentioned before, both Silhouette and Cricut machines come with design software; the Silhouette Studio and the Cricut Design Space respectively.

One of the major difference between these two kinds of software is the fact that the latter is web based while the former is not. As such, you can only cut using the Cricut Design Space when you have internet access.

Which is better Cricut or Silhouette
Silhouette machines feature Silhouette Studio software

On the other hand, the Silhouette Studio has significantly more features than the Design Space. This makes it much more technical and difficult to use for first time users.

It is however important to note that both these brands of machines come with telephone support that allows you to seek help when you are stuck.

Alternatively, you can create designs in third party software like Sure Cuts a Lot 4 (SCAL) and import them to your machine software.

Interestingly, such third party software is compatible with both the Design Space and Studio yet you will first need to upgrade your Studio software first in order to import designs.

3 – Price

Although the machines from each of these brands have fairly similar prices, Silhouette machines are generally a little more expensive than their Cricut counterparts.

Silhouette Portrait is the most inexpensive Silhouette machine
Silhouette Portrait is the most inexpensive Silhouette machine

The only exception to this rule is the Cricut Maker that is far more expensive than all the other machines. This is however not surprising since it is much more powerful and much more diverse than the other cutting machines.

It is also evident that the price of these machines increases with every new version of the machine. This is because every time Silhouette or Cricut releases a new machine, it comes with more features and capabilities than the previous model.

4 – Design, Tool Storage And Accessories

Even from just looking at Cricut and Silhouette machines, it is evident that these two brands come with different designs.

While machines from these two brands are usually similar in weight and size, Cricut machines usually come with much more storage space than Silhouette ones.

Cricut vs Silhouette machine comparison
Cricut machines come with more storage space

It is also worth noting that the latest models of these machines actually offer dual carriage and wireless cutting.

Some of the common accessories that come with both Silhouette and Cricut machines include deep cutting blades. It is also important to note that both Silhouette and Cricut machines work without cartridges. However, Cricut machines can use them.

Learn more: Best Die Cutting Machines For Beginners

Cricut Maker vs Silhouette Cameo 3

In order to draw a better comparison between Cricut and Silhouette machines it would be best to compare their latest models; the Cricut Maker and the Sihouette Cameo 3. This way, you can easily get a clear picture of what Silhouette and Cricut can offer.

 Cricut MakerSilhouette Cameo
Cricut MakerSilhouette Cameo
Cutting mat size12x12 inch12x12 inch
Cutting force350 grams210 grams
Materials100+ materials100+ materials
Design software
Cricut Design Space (web-based)Silhouette Studio (desktop software)
Cut thick materials✓ (Knife Blade)
Dual carriage
Print and Cut
Autoblade
Matless cutting capability
Bluetooth
Tool holder
LCD touchscreen
Free designs50 free ready-to-make projects100 free designs
See price at AmazonSee price at Amazon

With 350 grams of cutting force, the Cricut Maker is much more powerful than the Silhouette Cameo 3 (210 grams), making it possible for it to effortlessly cut through tough materials.

Cricut Maker vs Silhouette Cameo 3
Cricut Maker features a rotary blade for thicker materials

It also features a rotary blade with rolling and gliding actions that make it perfect for making cuts without using any backing material.

On the other hand, the Silhouette Cameo 3 comes with unique PixScan technology that allows you to take a picture of a design using your phone and then send it to your machine.

Another unique feature of this machine is Scan and Cut that allows you to print out designs using your printer and let the Cameo cut them out for you.

Silhouette Cameo 3 Limited Black Edition
Silhouette Cameo 3 Limited Black Edition

However, the coolest feature of the Cameo 3 machine is probably its Autoblade that automatically adjusts its length depending on which material you are cutting. People who have design experience will also love that this machine’s design software lets you create your own designs from scratch.

The fact that the Cricut Maker comes with 50 free templates and even lets you upload designs in your own handwriting is pretty cool too. It is however significantly heavier than the Cameo and isn’t suitable for working on the go.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the choice between Cricut and Silhouette machines is majorly driven by the user’s personal needs.

Due to the Cricut Maker’s powerful nature, it is best suited for users looking for something that can handle regular large amounts of work. The fact that this machine is very easy to use also makes it popular among beginners.

On the other hand, the technicality of the Silhouette Cameo 3 makes it a favorite among professionals. This group of crafters will also love that this machine lets you create designs from scratch.

Cricut vs Silhouette: Which Is Better?
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