Ginger Snap Crafts: Cricut Maker vs. Silhouette Cameo 3

Cricut Maker vs. Silhouette Cameo 3

This post is brought to you by Cricut. Affiliate links are used for your convenience. All opinions are mine. :)

I also hope you’ve been following along with my Cricut Question Series. :) If not, you can find question 1 here & question 2 here & question 3 here & question 4 here & question 5 here & question 6 here & question 7 here & question 8 here & question 9 here & question 10 here & question 11 here. Whew! ha! Today we are going to tackle question #12. :)

Just a little history on my cutting machine obsession. Yes, it’s an obsession for me! haha! ;) I firmly believe with the right tools you can do & create anything! I’m not the most creative or the most crafty person, but with my Silhouette and most recently, with my Cricut, I have created & can create amazing things. Annnnnd I know you can, too! Deciding which machine to purchase is a huge decision. These machines aren’t cheap! It really depends on what you what to make. Do you want to cut mostly vinyl? Fabric? Or are you a paper crafter? Taking all of this into account will help you decide which machine you feel would fit your needs the best. Today I am going to share my completely honest opinions are two amazing machines the Silhouette Cameo 3 and the brand new, Cricut Maker. Yes, they are BOTH amazing with their own pros and cons.

Cricut Maker vs. SilhouetteCameo #CricutMaker #SilhouetteCameo

As you might of guessed, our final question is: How is the Cricut different from other cutting machines?

Cricut Question Series at GingerSnapCrafts.com  How is the Cricut different from other cutting machines

Basically the only other personal cutting machines that are comparable to the Cricut line of machines are the Silhouette cutting machines. The newest model is the Silhouette Cameo 3.

Silhouette Cameo 3

I bought my very first Silhouette machine in 2010 (about a year before I started blogging!), and it was a basic little machine called the Silhouette SD. Back then I did a lot of research & chose the Silhouette over Cricut because of two things ~ with the Silhouette I could cut any font on my computer & I didn’t need to use or buy cartridges to use with my machine. (Thankfully, since then, Cricut has added both of those features for all of their machines as well. You can use any font with the Cricut & you do not need cartridges anymore. Yay!)

As soon as the Silhouette Cameo came out in 2011, I ordered that one as well. You can read why I’m glad I bought my Silhouette here. All those reasons are still valid. Annnd for a good read you can see what my then 2 year old did to my brand new Cameo here. ;) I will always be indebted to Silhouette’s Customer Service for the help in that situation! :) I worked with Silhouette professionally for several years starting in late 2012, and I enjoyed my time with them. I have purchased almost all my Silhouette machines myself though. I still own an original Silhouette Cameo, a Silhouette Portrait, Silhouette Mint & a Silhouette Cameo 3. Silhouette did send me a Curio to try out a few years ago. You can see that post here. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Curio though! That was one of my last sponsored post I did with Silhouette.

Alright, let’s get to the pros of the Silhouette Cameo. :)

Silhouette Cameo Pros

  • The Silhouette Studio software is much more powerful & has more design options than Cricut Design Space. Both programs are free to use &/or download. Before buying either machine I’d recommend trying out the software to see which one you are most comfortable with. I love the tracing, erasing & the welding options in Silhouette Studio. You can find some of those options in Cricut Design Space as well.
  • Silhouette Studio is a stand alone software program. You do not need an internet connection to use your machine. If internet is spotty or unreliable in your area, this could be a game changer.
  • You can cut any font on your computer.
  • With a Silhouette (any machine) you have the option to cut up to 10 feet long. If you are a vinyl fanatic like me, this is a huge plus. ;) TIP: When you cut vinyl, you do NOT need to use a cutting mat. This feature is great for making giant signs like this and this.
  • This is a totally personal reason (I’m a Mormon!). I do love that Silhouette has tons of LDS clipart in their Silhouette Design Store. They also have thousands of other designs as well!
  • You can buy a commercial use license on select designs in the Silhouette Design Store.
  • The customizable touch screen monitor on the machine is a nice feature. 
  • The Silhouette Cameo 3 has a dual carriage for two tools.
  • This machine is very affordable. Right now you can find them from $200 to $299.  

cameo 2

cameo 3
Silhouette Cameo Cons

  • The Silhouette Cameo 3 does not have as much cutting force at the Cricut Maker. You can not cut fabric (without backing) or thicker materials (wood, thick leather, ect.).
  • The Silhouette Cameo 3 is bulky little machine. ;) It takes up more space & appears to be more clunky. It’s not as sleek as the new Cricut Maker. 
  • The storage compartment slides out from in front of the machine. It took me a while to find it. ;) It is smaller and not as easy to get to as the one on the Maker.  
  • The Silhouette Cameo 3 can use a self adjusting blade. I’ve used it a few times, but the results were kind of iffy. My vinyl cut too deep. I usually just use a regular blade.
  • A pro to this machine is that you can cut to up to 10 feet long. Buuuut many times my vinyl has gone a little wonky & gotten off track when I have done this. I always joke that I have to keep my eye on it! If I’m watching it cut, it’s totally fine, but if I turn my back it goes crazy! haha! It’s kind of like my kiddos! haha! That’s a lot of vinyl to waste if it does mess up, too! A roll feeder might help with this problem. I haven’t tried that yet though.

cameo 4

TIP: I use washi tape to keep my cords organized, so I know which cord goes with which machine. My Cameo 3’s power cord has that same color washi tape on it! It can get confusing, if I don’t do that! :)

Silhouette

Now let’s get to the Cricut Maker! :)

cricut maker

I introduced you to the Cricut Maker here. You can see my first project with my Cricut Maker right here.

About a year after I stopped working with Silhouette, I was approached by Cricut. Of course, I had been curious about the Cricut ever since they launched their new Cricut Explore Air line a few years ago. I was intrigued because now you would be able to cut any font on your computer, and they had gotten away from those expensive cartridges. I shared my first Cricut post here in early 2016. As soon as I started using this machine, I could tell that we were going to be great friends! ;) Annnnnd then just recently, I was able to attend the Cricut Mountain Makeathon in Salt Lake City. When they unveiled the Cricut Maker, I knew this machine was going to be a game changer! Eek! Especially for all of you fabric lovers & DIY crafters out there. It is ah-mazing!

Alright, let’s get to some of the pros of the all new Cricut Maker.

Cricut Maker Pros

  • The huge number of materials the Maker can cut will blow you away. I love the ease of setting my machine to cut. With the Cameo 3, you’ll end up doing a lot of test cuts & in the process you’ll waste material which can be a pain. With the Cricut Maker all I have to do is simply click on the type of material I’m cutting & then send the project to my machine. The Maker does the rest. I don’t have to adjust a blade or turn a dial. It’s just click & cut. I love that!  
  • The all new rotary blade is game changer. Before the Maker, you would have to use some sort of backing material & even then it was hard to cut fabric. Not anymore! The rotary blade does an amazing job cutting any type of fabric, even felt! 
  • You can cut wood!!! The brand new knife blade has not come out quite yet. Buuuut I am so excited that I will be able to cut wood with my Maker!  
  • The software is simple & basic. It is easy to figure out for the most part & is very used friendly. The set up is easy!
  • I love the Make It Now projects that you can find in Cricut Design Space. You simply select a project & send it your machine. Easy peasy! It’s already pre-sized and ready to go. You can see an example of a Make It Now project here.  
  • You can cut any font on your computer. 
  • I love the sleek new design of the Maker with the extra features like the iPad holder, storage, padded blade cup & charging station.
  • The Cricut Make is heavy (a lot heavier than the Cameo 3), & appears to be well made.  
  • It has a dual blade carriage with an adaptive tool system. 
  • I love Cricut accessories. They have a wide range of material that can be used with your Cricut machines from fabric, pens, faux suede, paper, metallic vinyl & more. (TIP: Their mats, tools & consumables can all be used with a Silhouette as well.)

cricut 2

cricut

cricut maker

Cricut Maker Cons

  • The Cricut Maker can not cut longer than 24 inches. This is not a deal breaker for me. You can always piece the sign together like I did here. Buuuuuut that would be a super awesome feature. ;)
  • I’m not a fan of an internet based software. I would much rather have Cricut Design Space as a stand alone software. I would also love more designing capabilities in the software. If Silhouette Studio worked on my Cricut that would be fabulous. ha! ;)
  • The Cricut Maker retails for $399. It’s worth every penny, but not everyone can afford quite that much for a crafting machine. I’m sure over time the price will go down! Maybe Black Friday???? ;)

cricut maker cutting felt

I took a few side by side pictures so you could compare. The Cameo 3 is a little deeper, & it’s hinged lid is huge. I prefer that smaller, sleeker one on the Cricut Maker. Annnnnd can you see the pretty design on the lid? I love the little details. :)

cutting machines

cricut silhouette

Alright, I know that was a lot of information! This was a loooooooooooooonnnnggg post. ha! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! I will try to answer them the best that I can. The short version is that I love both of these machines. I have used my Silhouette machines for over 7 years, and I have used a Cricut machine for the past two years. I’m not an expert by any means, buuuuut I do have a little bit of experience with both machines. I plan on keeping alllllll of them. #crafthoarder ;) I’ll use my Silhouette Cameo 3 when cutting longer vinyl signs, & when I need to do a quick project I always grab my Silhouette Portrait. It’s small and easy to get out. When I’m cutting fabric (or wood!!!) I’ll grab my Maker. If I’m cutting other materials like faux leather, heat transfer vinyl or paper I’ll use my Explore Air 2. :) Which would you chose the Maker or the Cameo 3? I know the Silhouette vs. Cricut debate is a huge one in the crafting world. I’d love to hear your opinions as well! :)

To find out more about the other machines by Cricut click the picture below.

Cricut Question Series How Do the Cricut Machines Work

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