The Silhouette CAMEO goes head-to-head with the Cricut Expression
Both the Cricut Expression and the Silhouette CAMEO are electronic cutters, but they’re not interchangeable.
The Silhouette CAMEO and Cricut Expression are fairly similar in size of machine and amount of room the machines need to make cuts (allowing for the paper and mats to slide through the machines.) Both are portable, though the CAMEO has a slightly smaller footprint and is almost 15 pounds lighter.
The Cricut is a cartridge-based system and is a little more “plug-n-play.” You don’t need a computer; you just plug in your cartridge and go to town! If you want better scaling features, welding and a host of other options, you’ll need the Gypsy, Design Studio (stored on your computer) or Cricut Craft Room (available online.) You will also need to own the cartridges you intend to use images from, even though the software will allow you to see all available images that Cricut has.
Silhouette’s updated Silhouette Studio design software is much more intuitive than past versions, making it easier to sit down and start cutting right away. The Silhouette Studio is required on your computer for importing images and manipulating them. To create your own, you’ll need software such as PhotoShop. Silhouette Studio is much more user friendly in its newest version, and it’s free. You can actually download it before you buy your machine.
Both machines will cut a variety of material, from paper to vinyl to fabric. Cricut has off and on success with cutting the more intricate designs that the Silhouette CAMEO seems to do flawlessly, everytime. Replacement pieces, such as mats and blades, tend to be more expensive with the Silhouette.
The Cricut, being cartridge-based, is more expensive to own overall. Cricut doesn’t support third party software or images. You can share the cartridges, so long as you cut straight off your machine; cartridges that have been registered on another Gypsy will not load to your own. The Silhouette CAMEO and its cartridge-less system does have a slightly higher base machine cost, but you’re able to choose from over 19,000 images (more are added every week) at Silhouette Online without being locked into a whole set you may only want one or two pieces from.
You’ll find a free image at Silhouette Online, as well as thousands of free images and fonts on the web that you can download to use. Silhouette does support 3rd party software like Sure Cuts a Lot. If you’re handy in creating your own images you can import and cut your own designs. Silhouette Online offers subscriptions for multiple downloads a month, or you can pay and download per image; there’s a price-point and option to suit your work style. There’s no limit to what you can create.
Of course, we think the Silhouette CAMEO is superior to the Cricut due to the virtually limitless design options available. Buy your Silhouette CAMEO today — and we’re sure you’ll agree!