Brother Scan and Cut Reviews & Model Comparisons

Cutting machines are simply amazing for small companies or freelance crafters. They can help you create such a variety …

Read moreBrother Scan and Cut Reviews & Model Comparisons

Cutting machines are simply amazing for small companies or freelance crafters. They can help you create such a variety of personalized merchandise for branding and advertising purposes. They can also help you make gifts or work on fun craft projects for leisure or teaching purposes.

Whichever way you cut it (pun intended), a cutting machine is a great thing to have if you’re into crafts, especially given how many of them are affordable and compact enough to be used at home.

But, not all cutting machines are created equal. And, there’s probably no better way to highlight this than with this Brother Scan N Cut review.

 

Brother Scan and Cut Reviews

What is the Brother Scan and Cut (aka Brother ScanNCut)? It’s a line of cutting machines manufactured by Brother which also feature a scanning function alongside the cutting component. This makes them unique and revolutionary in the world of electronic cutting machines.

Who Is This Product For?

The Brother ScanNCut is designed as a one-stop shop for all artists, designers, quilters, and anyone else that might need to do their own branding by creating stickers, cards, etc.

The machine is also a space-saver and time-saver which is why it’s a perfect solution for anyone that doesn’t have the time to switch back and forth from the computer and the cutting machine.

It is also the only vinyl cutting machine that has the functionality of scanning, so if you love drawing your own designs that you wish to scan in and cut out on vinyl or paper, then this is a great option for you.

 

What’s Included?

All Brother ScanNCut machine packages usually contain the following gadgets and accessories:

  • 1x die cutting machine with scanner
  • 2x cutting mats
  • 2x support sheets
  • 2x contact sheets
  • 1x spatula
  • 1x accessories holder
  • 1x manual

Here’s a list of accessories which can be used with the machine but are not usually included in the package:

  • Pens
  • Pen holders
  • Extra mats
  • USB sticks

 

Overview of Features

The Brother ScanNCut machine is loaded with features, and since it’s a dual workstation of sorts, there’s a lot to cover.

1. Cutting Mats

Whatever you’re doing – scanning, cutting, or drawing – you’ll always have to use the cutting mat. The ScanNCut usually comes with two mats. One is 12” x 12” and the other is 12” x 24”.

The mats also come in different types. One is basic and can be used for a variety of applications and one is an adhesive mat. The low tack adhesive model will help you when working with delicate paper or fabrics. Its main use is to help the image stick to the mat and eliminate any air pockets that might interfere with pattern recognition.

2. Scanner

The first function of scan and cut machines is that of pattern recognition. ScanNCut is designed around a 300DPI scanner. This can be used to recognize, scan, and save patterns from fabrics, photos, hand-drawn paper artwork, and various other materials.

While the material is scanned, the machine will create cut lines based on the outlines that are more heavily pronounced. Although the scanner is very accurate, it helps if you highlight outlines better especially when working with soft or faded colors.

The scanner has a couple of modes too. It can be set to scan black & white images or color images. It’s important to note that one of the best things about the scanner is that sometimes the black and white setting is enough even for hand-drawn colored artwork. That speaks volumes about its accuracy.

3. Cutting Options

The secondary function is the cutting function. This scan and cut machine can do three types of cutting.

Line Detection

When using this selection, the machine cuts only along interior lines.

Region Detection

This selection makes the blades follow outside lines as well as any inside lines recognized during the scan or drawn by you using the machine.

Outline Detection

With this setting, you can ensure that the machine only cuts along the outside lines. Nothing inside the outline is touched, even if the lines are recognized during the pattern recognition process.

4. Blades

As already mentioned, the Brother ScanNCut machines can work on a variety of materials. This is possible due to the inclusion of two different blades into the machines’ design.

The regular blade can perform most shallow cuts and it’s ideal to use for stickers and basic cutouts. The secondary blade is a deep cut blade. This is the one you want to use when working with thick materials and sometimes fabrics too.

5. Drawing Function

Along with scanning and cutting, this machine also lets you draw using its touchscreen. It’s not the most amazing feature for the non-artists among us, but it’s certainly useful if you want to correct some outlines, draw new lines, or write certain phrases.

You can also use pens to draw patterns from scratch and then have the machine cut them.

6. Software

Just because the Brother scan and cut machines are designed as standalone machines doesn’t mean that they don’t come with their own software.

The app is called ScanNCut Canvas. It’s a cloud-based program that you can use to import various file formats such as .SVG and .JPG. The app is not exactly easy to use if you don’t know what you’re doing and have no previous experience with tracing.

What’s nice is that there are plenty of designs and fonts readily available. Those provided by Brother are found in .FCM formats. This means that you can transfer them to a USB and then upload them to the ScanNCut.

However, when working on editing and converting other files, you may need to consult some online tutorials. This is not as scary as it seems but it is somewhat time-consuming to a total beginner. Luckily, Brother scan and cut machines are so popular that it’s not hard to find step-by-step tutorials posted by artists, crafters, sewers, and hobbyists.

7. Uploading Images

Brother Scan and Cut machines can be supplied with patterns in two ways. You can scan an image and save it into the machine or you can upload a pattern via an external USB drive.

Note that to upload a pattern, you must first use the Canvas app to trace the pattern and export the file in .FCM format.

8. Ease of Use

The overall ease of use is kind of hard to determine. On one hand, the Brother ScanNCut can do scanning, editing, and cutting. So it’s easy in a way since you don’t need any additional hardware for your crafts.

The interface is also intuitive and the touchscreen will automatically display the available editing options based on what you’re doing.

On the other hand, finding the right settings for each type of material, determining the correct blade depth, and editing patterns using the die cutting machine’s interface all have a certain learning curve.

The manual provides plenty of instructions for each feature, be it complex or basic. And, there are also tutorials that you can follow online which are loaded with tips and tricks on how to get the best results out of your Brother ScanNCut machine.

For some users, the time investment may be associated with a certain degree of difficulty when it comes to learning how the machine works. It’s also worth pointing out that since there is more than one model of the Brother ScanNCut, it’s hard to say definitively how easy or hard it to use all the different machines.

Brother Models Comparisons and Reviews

There are two major ScanNCut machines that you need to be familiar with. The two models are fairly similar but all the minor differences matter in terms of pricing and overall performance.

1. Brother ScanNCut CM100DM Review

This is the basic or entry-level model, also known as ScanNCut DM. It comes with a standard mat and an adhesive mat as well as high tack and iron-on fabric contact sheets, two of each. It has a capacity of 300 objects and a nominal cut size of 12” x 24”.

The machine’s memory comes with plenty of built-in designs too. The total is 600 with 500 of those being for paper and 100 for quilting. Five built-in fonts are also available. Although drawing accessories are not included, you do get a spatula and a touch pen, plus an accessory bag with which to hold them.

>>> Click here to check out more info and prices on the Brother ScanNCut CM100DM

 

2. Brother ScanNCut CM550DX Review

The CM550DX also known as ScanNCut DX is better overall, which you might expect at almost twice the market value. The machine uses the same 1mm and 1.5mm blades. Both standard and low tack adhesive mats are included with the added bonus of a secondary mat.

The support sheets also come in pairs like the DM. Both machines are capable of a 400% zoom and the difference in clarity is virtually nonexistent. The same screen and scan size are available for both machines and there’s no difference in readable object capacity or cut size.

The advantage of the DX is file compatibility and preloaded designs. You could say that the difference in price is in more internal memory and intellectual property. Unlike the DM, the DX can be fed PES and PHC files, not just .SVG file formats.

This model also comes with 140 built-in quilt designs and 762 built-in regular paper and fabric designs. This puts the total at 902 designs, 302 more than what the CM100DM model comes with. The same five built-in fonts are found in both machines.

Last but not least, the CM550DX includes a pen holder, two erasable pen sets, a six-color pen set, along with the standard accessories.

 

3. Brother ScanNCut 2 Review

Since the first Brother scan and cut review and the product’s upward trajectory, the company has released more than a few models. Eventually, the entire line was upgraded to the Brother ScanNCut2 series which features multiple models worth checking out.

If you want an upgrade from the first line of scan and cut machines, or if you’re looking for something slightly more advanced, the ScanNCut CM350 or CM650 models may be of interest to you.

Both machines can pretty much do anything that older ScanNCut models can do. The scanners are slightly improved and the compatibility with 6 color pen sets has been drastically improved for the CM650 model.

The Brother CM350 ScanNCut2 happens to be the most popular of all the Brother ScanNCut models. One thing that makes any Brother ScanNCut2 die cutting machine even more appealing: the wireless functionality. The original Canvas software had to be used on a separate computer or tablet as it is cloud-based.

Because of that, uploading an image onto the machine was a multi-step process and required an external USB drive. With ScanNCut2 machines, you don’t have to worry about all that.

The machines can establish a wireless connection to a PC, tablet, or iPad. This means that you can immediately send files to the machine and you don’t have to leave the room to do so every time.

You can also scan images directly to the system with the built-in 300 DPI scanner.

The Brother ScanNCut2 CM350 can cut a maximum width of 11.5″, which is all that is needed for most hobbyist crafters. It has a large 4.85” LCD touch screen to enable easy operation.  The larger screen which is roughly 30% bigger than on the original ScanNCut models. This certainly helps when trying to edit intricate patterns. The DX models also come with middle tack adhesive mats instead of low tack adhesive mats which help a lot with pattern recognition.

The machine includes over 600 designs, including 100 quilt patterns and 7 lettering fonts. It also has the ability to read SVG data files.

The good thing about the ScanNCut2 line is that there are budget-friendly entry-level models and up to expensive ones suitable for demanding crafters. However, whether or not you need to upgrade from the original ScanNCut to the newer versions is up to you.

It’s also worth pointing out that machines in the Brother ScanNCut2 series are quieter. It’s not way quieter but for some people it may be worth paying the extra buck.

You can also see how the CM350 compares to the Brother ScanNCut DC2000 and the Brother ScanNCut 650W by clicking on this PDF link here.

>>> Click here to check out more info and prices on the Brother ScanNCut CM350

 

Important Note about Models

Brother is a global manufacturer based in Japan. Therefore, you may find different model names for various regions around the globe. What’s sold in the US markets may be identical in features and performance to something sold in the UK, Europe, or Australia, but they may not have the same name.

This is also true for Brother ScanNCut2 die cutting machines. All Brother products are based on its main regional offices. If you’re in Mexico or Canada, for example, your Brother products would be supplied by Brother USA.

 

How to Use the Brother Cutting Machine

The Brother ScanNCut doesn’t need a computer or any other gadget with an operating system in order to function. Using the machine is pretty straightforward as its user interface and control panel have everything you need to configure for various materials.

There are three main steps to using the Brother ScanNCut:

1. Scanning

This step involves scanning the pattern into the machine and saving it, either in the machine’s memory or in its software. Choose black and white mode or color mode depending on what image you have on paper.

Stick the material to the mat and feed it into the machine. It’s best to hold the picture until the top edge reaches the machine.

2. Editing

After scanning an image, you can then do quite a bit of editing directly from the machine’s touchscreen interface. You can remove unclear patterns, choose the width and length of the cut, choose the size of the line, and much more.

3. Cutting

Cutting is what you make the machine do after the image has been scanned and after you’re satisfied with the edits you’ve performed.

4. Extra Useful Tips

Sometimes you may need to do some prepping before operating it. For example, if you want to work with fabrics you have to prepare the material first. The recommended adjustments involve starching and ironing the fabric until flat.

You should then apply the sheet to the standard mat. Press down against the fabric to remove any air pockets so that the ScanNCut sensors don’t make any errors in calculations. If it’s the first time working with a piece of fabric, a test run is not a bad idea either.

This would allow you to see if the blade speed and blade depth settings are what you need or if they require further adjustments.

When placing a piece of paper on the mat, it’s a good idea to keep it centered. The ScanNCut machine seems to do a much better job of recognizing patterns when the paper is centered. Other machines might favor off-centered positions.

You usually discover the sweet spot after doing some trial runs. But with the ScanNCut, “X” marks the spot.

Choosing the black and white pattern recognition usually speeds up the scanning process. But you might want to avoid doing this for colored artwork or photos that have too many faded colors and faded outlines.

When sticking a piece of paper on the mat, it’s best to do it slowly. After adhering the bottom edge, hold the top of the edge with one hand and then gently press the paper onto the mat from the bottom up. You can use a roller for this or you can use a ruler, since it’s likely long enough to cover the width of the paper. Doing this eliminates air pockets.

 

Conclusion

Any Brother Scan and Cut machine is going to be an amazing addition to your workshop. Whether you work with vinyl, paper, or fabrics, having two machines built into one will save you space, money, and a lot of time.

What’s even better about the original ScanNCut series is the fact that you have a model suitable for any type of activity. You can get the entry-level machine to continue your hobby or you can get the more advanced model to scale up your production and start entering the commercial scene.

The original ScanNCut machines are just as revolutionary today as they were at introduction. And, although some people have since upgraded to various models in the ScanNCut2 series, don’t feel pressured until you’re ready. Maybe you’ve saved enough money from lower business taxes or something?

The Silhouette Cameo 4 Review & Detailed Guide

Why is there so much hype for the Silhouette Cameo 4? Why should you consider buying it? Silhouette is …

Read moreThe Silhouette Cameo 4 Review & Detailed Guide

Why is there so much hype for the Silhouette Cameo 4? Why should you consider buying it?

Silhouette is a renowned brand that provides dedicated vinyl cutters for crafters. Ever since Cameo 3 was introduced three years ago, people have been waiting for their next product. And we are so excited to announce that the new Silhouette machine, the Cameo 4 is available RIGHT NOW, but they have only released a limited number of machines. You can choose between white, pink and black and you can grab a Silhouette Cameo 4 bundle as well!

Meanwhile, Silhouette’s biggest competitor, Cricut, has released two products – the Explore Air 2 in 2016 and the Maker in 2017.

Although Silhouette took considerable time to come out with its next product release, according to industry insights, it will be worth the wait. So we had to take a look at everything the Silhouette Cameo 4 has to offer.

Purchase the Cameo 4 Here

BLACK FRIDAY! Bookmark the Silhouette Black Friday 2019 sales page!

 

The Silhouette Cameo 4 Review Guide

Silhouette Cameo 4 Cutting Machine

We have subdivided all the exciting news and information into five categories. Without further ado, here are all the details you need to know about the brand new Silhouette Cameo 4.

Price and Availability

The Silhouette’s Cameo 4 is available right now. Important to note though that there will only be a VERY limited number of preorder releases on both the Cameo 4 cutter, as well as the cutter bundles. So you gotta be quick!

The company recently convened their annual summit, wherein they announced this news. If industry reports are accurate, a limited number of the product will be made available for pre-orders before its commercial release.

You will be pleased to know that Silhouette has launched the Cameo 4 at a very attractive price range. Efficient vinyl cutters from reputed brands cost a few hundred dollars on average. The base price of the product has been fixed at $299, whereas Cameo 4 bundles will cost slightly more – around $329.

If you want to grab one of the first Cameo 4’s to be sold, you can now purchase the white, black or pink Cameo 4 online at Swing Design.

 

Cameo 4 Features

Review of Silhouette Cameo 4

To achieve high sales volumes, a product needs to have top-notch features that coincide with what its target customers want. Silhouette’s Cameo 4 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the Cameo 3.

Looking at these features, we are convinced that Silhouette paid heed to the feedback on its previous products because it has everything that Silhouette customers wanted. It features an array of best-in-industry features that should give it a competitive edge over the existing competition.

Let’s take a look at all the fantastic features of Cameo 4.

1. Size Options

So excited that Silhouette has decided to release the new cutting machine in 3 handy sizes. You will be able to buy it in the traditional 12″ size, as well as a new 15″ and 20″ machine – yay!! The 12″ cutter will be released first in September (hopefully) and the larger cutters might only be released towards the end of the year.

So we have focused on the 12″ cutter for the sake of this review seeing as it will be released first.

2. Increased Downward Force

If you have tried to cut thick materials with your vinyl cutter, you know it can be a struggle. That’s where the downward force of a vinyl cutting machine plays a crucial role. The stronger the downward force, the easier it will be to cut through thicker materials.

Silhouette’s Cameo 3 came up short in this department, with a downward force of mere 210 g/s. The most common complaint from users was about its inability to cut thick materials. But Silhouette has learned from their mistake and packed a massive 5kg of downward force in the Cameo 4.

To give you a clearer perspective, that is more than any other non-industrial vinyl cutter. The current frontrunners in the industry have a downward force of 4kg. Cameo 4 will be almost as powerful as an industrial vinyl cutter.

If you have to work with thick materials like leather, craft foam, balsa wood, mat board, and so on, the exceptionally high downward force of Cameo 4 makes it the perfect vinyl cutter for you. It looks like Silhouette is planning to overtake all its competitors with their next product.

3. Better Speed And Acceleration

One of the essential aspects of a vinyl cutting machine is its pace. You do not want to work with a device that takes a lot of time, especially if you have to complete bulk projects. Silhouette claims that Cameo 4 will be three times as fast as its predecessor, the Cameo 3.

If you own a vinyl cutting business, you can reap the benefits of immense time savings by using a machine that can cut very quickly. When it comes to how fast a vinyl cutter can be, there are two attributes – speed and acceleration. The cutting speed refers to cuts in a straight line while cutting acceleration refers to cuts in a corner or multiple directions.

Cameo 4 features high speed and acceleration, making it a valuable acquisition to crafters for all kinds of vinyl cutting projects.

4. Single Tap Auto Blade

Crafters all over the globe applauded Silhouette for the Auto Blade function incorporated in the Cameo 3 machine. It allows for automatic blade adjustment to various materials, ensuring a hassle-free and seamless vinyl cutting experience.

With the Cameo 4, the feature has been retained and going by the looks of it, possibly upgraded. Cameo 4 has a “Single Tap Auto Blade” feature – which sounds like more intuitive and faster automatic blade adjustment.

5. Fresh Tools

The downward force, speed, and acceleration are three of the most vital features of a vinyl cutter. There are other tools that Silhouette has incorporated in the Cameo 4 to make it a one-stop solution for vinyl crafters. Here are the two new tools you will find in the Cameo 4:

  • Silhouette Rotary Blade
  • Silhouette Kraft Blade

These tools will most likely be used to cut fabric and thick materials. The new tools are designed specifically for Cameo 4 and will not be compatible with older Silhouette products.

We are incredibly excited about the automatic tool detection feature that will adjust the machine automatically depending on the tool in the cartridge. Irrespective of whether you load a sketch pen, auto blade, or a blade, you will not have to change any settings in the Silhouette Studio.

6. Other features

Silhouette has gone all out with the Cameo 4 and included some other high-quality features.

  • Dual motor system to provide maximum power.
  • Weeding tool for precise markings.
  • Best-in-industry, backlit touch panel.
  • Built-in pull-out roll feeder.
  • Built-in cross cutter.
  • Retractable cover.
  • Large tool carriage housing with tool adapter.
  • Gear-driven tool carriage that accommodates different blades.
  • Built-in vinyl trimmer.
  • Ratchet adjustment tool.

These features make Cameo 4 an all-in-one stop for all kinds of vinyl craft. We have to wait for the machine to be available to assess how useful each of these features is. Going by the looks of it, Cameo 4 seems to be the best non-industrial vinyl cutting machine in recent times.

 

Product Design and Look

Silhouette Cameo 4 Review

The Cameo 4 will feature a “not-so-sleek” design – it kinda looks a bit old-school to me. But the look is all due to the increased force. You will be able to buy this elegant machine in three colors – black, white, and pink. Silhouette has maintained the design template of its earlier products and kept similar aesthetics on the Cameo 4.

silhouette-cameo-4-latest Silhouette Machine

Only a few photographs of the Cameo 4 prototype were taken at the recent annual summit of Silhouette. It has a somewhat industrial look and appears to be significantly sturdier and bigger than Cameo 3.

We would have preferred a sleeker design, but maybe it would not be possible to incorporate such a tremendous downward force in a small machine.

 

Cameo 4 Versus Cameo 3

One of the best ways to assess the pros and cons of Cameo 4 is to compare it with Cameo 3. On juxtaposing Cameo 3 with Cameo 4, this is what we ascertained:

  • Cameo 4 has a downward cutting force of 5 kg, which is much more than Cameo 3’s downward cutting force of 210 grams. Cameo 4 has a massive improvement in terms of the thickness of materials it can cut.
  • Cameo 4 comes loaded with a cutting speed that is thrice as fast as Cameo 3. The cutting acceleration is about twice as fast as well, which means any project you undertake using the Cameo 4 will be completed in about least half the time that it would take to do it using Cameo 3.
  • Cameo 4 has a more substantial, redesigned tool carriage housing. Cameo 3 tools can still be used with Cameo 4 using the included tool adapter. You cannot use Cameo 4 tools like the new Rotary Blade and Auto Blade in older products, including Cameo 3.
  • Cameo 4 has an advanced, ergonomic design. It features a back-lit touch panel instead of Cameo 3’s touch screen. The lid or cover in Cameo 4 is retractable, unlike the hinge-close cover of Cameo 3.
  • One of the key distinctions is the price. Cameo 3 costs $199 for the base machine and $229 to $269 for bundles. Cameo 4 will cost $299 for the base machine and about $329 for the bundles.
  • Cameo 4 has new blades – Rotary and Kraft. It will most likely provide more versatility than the Cameo 3.
  • Cameo 4 will be much easier to use than Cameo 3, owing to the automatic tool detection and the single tap auto blade functions.
  • Cameo 4 will be more user-friendly, and you will not have to spend much time to alter settings in the Silhouette Studio.
  • The pull-out roll feeder incorporated in the Cameo 4 allows one-handed adjustment. Silhouette has improved the quality of the rollers as well.

It is safe to say that Cameo 3 stands nowhere close to Cameo 4. Silhouette has exponentially improved their last product.

However, it is important to point out that the Cameo 3 is still a brilliant cutter and right now you can pick it up for a lovely cheap price. Click here to grab a lovely cheap Silhouette Cameo 3 cutter.

 

Cameo 4 Versus Cricut Maker

We often compare multiple products before choosing one – be it clothes, gadgets, and so on. So why not compare two vinyl cutting machines from different brands? At present, the vinyl cutter industry is being dominated by the Cricut Maker. So how does the upcoming Cameo 4 stack up against its main rival?

  • Cricut Maker has a downward cutting force of 4 kg/s, which is pretty impressive. Cameo 4 has raised the benchmark by incorporating a massive 5 kg/s downward cutting force. Anything that the Cricut Maker can cut, so can the Cameo 4, and more. A greater downward force equates to a more powerful machine.
  • Cricut Maker features a maximum cutting area that is 12 inches wide and 24 inches long. Cameo 4 has a maximum cutting area measuring 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. That is five times bigger!
  • Cricut Maker takes the win when it comes to the tools. It offers a broader range of useful tools including the Fine Point Blade, Knife Blade, Rotary Blade, Deep Point Blade, and Scoring Wheel. Cameo 4 offers the Kraft Blade, Rotary Blade, and Single Tap Auto Blade. Silhouette may release additional tools for Cameo 4 to even the odds, but they are tipped in Cricut Maker’s favor currently.
  • Cricut Maker demands a hefty price of $399, one of the highest for non-industrial vinyl cutters. Cameo 4 comes at a more affordable price of $299. The difference of $100 is not insignificant and certainly makes Cameo 4 very attractive.

Based on these differences, it is evident that Cameo 4 has a slight edge over Cricut Maker. Although Cricut Maker has more tools that offer greater versatility, Cameo 4 is more reasonable, has greater download force, and a larger maximum cutting area.

You can also see how the Cameo 4 compares against some of the best vinyl cutters here.

 

Final Verdict

The Silhouette Cameo 4 undoubtedly packs a serious punch – more power, speed, and cutting area at a moderate price. The new tools and features certainly make it seem like an optimal product for vinyl crafters all over the world.

With about four to five months left for the official release of the Cameo 4, it is essential that you understand its pros and cons to assess better if it is worth buying. Do not just believe the hype, use all the details we have summarized to conclude if Cameo 4 will be as good as they say.

If you choose to buy the Cameo 4, we recommend you to buy a Silhouette Cameo 4 bundle for many additional benefits you will not get in the base machine. Some of the perks of purchasing a bundle are:

  • 1-year warranty.
  • Lifetime customer support.
  • Hundred exclusive designs.
  • Additional hundred bonus designs.

Purchase the Cameo 4 Here

Cricut Maker Review: Is the New Cutting Maker Worth It??

A new Cricut machine is out! The Cricut Maker is 10x stronger and more precise than its predecessor the Explore …

Read moreCricut Maker Review: Is the New Cutting Maker Worth It??

A new Cricut machine is out! The Cricut Maker is 10x stronger and more precise than its predecessor the Explore Air 2. Talk about an impressive upgrade!

But is the Cricut Maker worth it?? It is pretty expensive after all!

 

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING SOON! See the Cricut Maker Black Friday 2019 sales page for all the best deals!

 

This Cricut Vinyl Cutter is so incredibly versatile! It can cut even more material than the Explore.

IS THE CRICUT MAKER WORTH IT_ Cricut Maker Review

It has a uses a Rotary Blade that can cut sewing patterns for those wishing to work with fabric. This blade can be used on fabric without risk of tearing or fraying.

For those who wish to cut really thick material, the Knife Blade can slice through material of up to 2.4mm thick!!  WOAH!!

Add in some truly clever features such as the Adaptive Tool System that automatically controls the blade direction and cutting pressure for you!  So easy, so simple!

AMAZON BESTSELLER: The Maker is on Amazon’s bestseller cutting machine list. Check where it is ranking here.

No wonder why everybody loves this cutter so much! Can’t wait to share this Cricut Maker review with you!

Watch the short Maker Overview of the top features in this video below!

 

Cricut Maker Review Rating

  • User Experience
  • Cutting Specs
  • Materials Supported
  • Software
  • Value For Money
4.7

Our Verdict

The Maker is a truly unprecedented cutting machine.

Its stand out feature is its ability to work with fabric without the need for backing, as such as this machine is perfect for sewing enthusiasts.

We love its ability to offer clean precision cuts from the thinnest of silks to thicker material such as balsa wood. It offers 4kg worth of force and cut up to 2.4mm thick material (if you choose to purchase the knife blade additional).

We are really impressed with this new cutter and we have been wow’ed by its plethora of features on offer!

Pros:

The cutter can slice through over 100+ materials! From thin fabric to thick balsa wood. It is lightning fast and offers beautiful precision cutting.

We love the adaptive tool system that automatically calculates your force according to the material you are using and we are so happy to see an extension on the ready-to-go projects that include some beautiful sewing patterns to cut out.

This machine truly is revolutionary and comes at a truly affordable price tag.

Cons:

The cutting area is 12″ x 24″, whilst a decent size, we would love to see a bigger cutting space. We are annoyed that the knife blade isn’t included in the box and we would love to see a move away from the old Design Space software

 

 

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Cricut Maker Features & Specs

The Maker is an electronic cutting machine but it is also a fabulous fabric cutter.

It comes included with software that will help you to create images that can then be drawn and cut out via the vinyl cutter on your choice of over 100+ materials.

Just imagine the potential of those Cricut Projects that you can whip up!

The key features of this cutter machine are that it has the ability to cut fabric (using the rotary blade) as well as thicker materials of up to 2.4mm in thickness (using the knife blade).

Click here if you want to get an idea of what sort of fabric projects you can make with the Maker. We also have some inspiration of some felt fabric projects you can make with the maker here, and here is a list of the types of projects you can make beyond fabric.

Below you will find our detailed review.  I will outline the top features, specs, the pros, and cons of the Cricut Maker Cutting Machine.

I will also give you suggestions of who this Cricut vinyl cutter would be perfect for; in order for you to help figure out if this machine is the right match for you!

 

IS THE CRICUT MAKER CURRENTLY ON SALE? Check our Cricut Sale page to find any special deals on the Maker. 

 

Six of the Top Maker Features

The Maker offers a few upgrades and nifty features that will make it easy for even beginner crafters to use this machine. As I’m sure you are aware, the Maker is the newest Cricut on the market and boy did they release a fabulous cutter! Here are some of the top features of the Maker:

 

1. Rotary Blade

One of the main new exciting features of the Cricut Maker is its revolutionary ability to handle fabric really well.

The Rotary Blade (one of the 6 blades that work with the Cricut Maker) has been designed to cut through virtually any fabric; without the need for backing, spray starch or Terial Magic.

This nifty blade can handle a wide variety of material from stiff denim to fine silk.

It can cut straight lines, right angles or curves and deliver fabric cuts without tearing or snagging.

2. Knife Blade

Cricut Maker Machine Reviews - Knife Blade

If you love working with thicker material, you might want to look into investing in the new cool Knife Blade (Grab the Knife Blade here).

This blade can cut extra deep and ensures precision cutting up to 2.4mm (3/32″).

This means that you can now create clean precision cuts on thick material such as leather and balsa wood.

This feature truly takes this personal vinyl cutting machine up to the same levels as some of the more expensive professional machines.

 

3. Adaptable Tool System

For those who loved the smart dial on the Cricut Explore Air 2, you might be sad to know that the dial has disappeared.

However, we are in love with the Adaptable Tool System and think it is the best feature yet. It adjusts the direction of the blade as well as the pressure to match the material you’re using.

No more setting the dial to the material you are using, this machine is so bloody clever that it can work with the grain of balsa, the warp, and weft of fabric and the specifications of other materials to preserve the crispness of the lines.

Incredible isn’t it!!

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4.  Two Tool Capacity

The Maker allows you to keep two tools locked and loaded at once.

It means that you can easily switch between your favorite tools and simply makes life so much easier.

You can choose between a pen tool to create phrases; a washable fabric pen to use for your sewing patterns and a calligraphy pen.

You might also enjoy the scoring stylus for all those folded paper crafts.

 

5. Sewing Pattern Library

Cricut Maker Review

As you know, a big feature of this cutting machine is its ability to cut fabric.

To make this feature even more pronounced, Cricut has teamed up with Simplicity patterns and Riley Blake Designs to bring you ready-to-make projects that come free with the Cricut Maker.

This truly simplifies sewing and quilting projects and will save you loads of time; plus it takes away the boring job of hand cutting your panels for your projects.

Simply choose a digital sewing pattern, and let the Cricut Maker cut and mark all the pieces – you just sew them together!  So easy!

Cricut Maker Soft Toys

 

Unique Pens

Want to work with some unique pens? This machine can make coloring pages, write beautiful card sentiments and prepare decor items.

Use the Fine Point Pen for your lettering or to draw acid-free, water-based drawings.

Use the Washable Fabric Pens to make some markings on your sewing patterns.

Or try out the Calligraphy pen for some fancy writing.

____________________

 

Cricut Maker Specifications

In the Box

  • Cricut Maker machine
  • Rotary Blade & Drive Housing
  • Premium Fine Point Blade & Housing
  • Fine Point Pen
  • FabricGrip Mat 12″x12″
  • LightGrip Mat 12″x12″
  • Welcome book
  • USB cable & Power adapter
  • Cricut Access free trial membership (See if you should grab a Cricut Access Membership here)
  • 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns
  • Materials for your first project


 

Cricut Maker Size

The Cricut Maker dimensions and weight are as follows:

  • Size: 22.6″ x 7.1″ x 6.2″
  • Cricut Maker Weight: approximately 24 lbs

 

What can the Cricut Maker Cut?

Cricut Maker Organizer

This new Cricut Maker is a great machine for those who wish to work with a wide range of materials.

It has the ability to cut over 100 materials; from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal, foam, and fabric (including silk, chiffon, denim, and canvas). Find a full list of the materials it can cut here.

A top difference between the Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2 is that the Maker can handle fabric & thicker materials really well (although you will need to purchase the Knife Blade additionally for thicker materials)!

 

Cricut Maker Cutting Size

The Cricut Maker max cut size is 12″ wide x 24″ long. This is a pretty standard size for a personal vinyl cutting machine and will be sufficient for most craft enthusiasts.

It comes with two cutting mats; a FabricGrip Mat 12″ x 12″ and LightGrip Mat 12″ x 12′.

If you are after a larger cutting surface, we recommend you have a look at either the Cameo 3 Silhouette (12″ x 120″) or the US Cutter MH 871 MK2 (31″ x 96″).

 

What Material Thickness can the Cricut Maker Cut?

We love the flexibility of the cutting thickness of the Maker.

The Cricut Maker has a cutting force of up to 4kg.

If you purchase the additional knife blade, this nifty machine can cut materials up to 2.4 mm thick. This extra-deep blade slices through heavier materials like balsa wood and matboard! 

 

Warranty & Support

Your Cricut Machine comes with a 1-year warranty.  You will also have access to their Help Centre, their ‘How-To’ tutorials as well as videos on how to set up the Cricut craft cutter properly.

 

Cricut Maker Colors

Cricut Maker Machine Colors

The Cricut Maker is available in three beautiful and elegant colors.

Choose from one of the following colors:

  • Cricut Maker Champagne
  • Cricut Maker Blue
  • Cricut Maker Rose

 

Cricut Vinyl Cutter Machine Comparison Chart

Cricut has created this super handy chart to outline the difference between the Cricut die cutting machines. (Please click on the image to open it in a larger size)

Cricut Vinyl Cutter Machine Comparison Chart

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Cricut Maker Pros and Cons

Below you will find our Maker Cricut machine review; focusing on the pros and cons of this machine together with information on who this machine would be perfect for.

 

Pros

Twice as Fast

We love that the Fast Mode enables you to cut and/or write up to 2x faster without losing precision.

Intricate Precision Cuts

This is the machine for you if you are after super intricate designs. Simply switch the Maker to precision mode (which is a bit slower than fast mode) and it will deliver superior intricate cuts!

Ability to Cut 100+ Materials

This machine’s remarkable ability to handle over 100 materials is definitely impressive! It is also our top choice machine when it comes to working with thicker materials and fabrics.

Docking Station

The docking station is a really great addition. Simply dock your tablet or phone right onto the Maker. It even has a USB port for phone and tablet charging. Perfect for when you are watching video tutorials!

Of course, because the machine has wireless functionality, you can also create your design on the comfy couch and simply send it to the machine when you are ready.

It is Great for Fabrics

One of the biggest selling points about this machine is that it is our recommended vinyl cutter for fabric. Cricut has really fine-tuned this feature and we love that it can create superior cuts from sewing patterns.

It is, in fact, the only hobbyist vinyl cutter that we would recommend for fabric as the other machines such as the Cameo 3 and Explore Air 2 struggle to produce a clean cut.

Ready-Made and Personalized Projects

This cutter is flexible in how you wish to attack your projects.

For those that love to stick to easy ready-to-go projects, you can make use of the 50 free projects and 25 sewing patterns that come with the Cricut Maker.

And for those who are more proficient and love to do their own thing, you will be happy to know that you can use your own images and fonts, using a variety of different file formats. Simply migrate designs from Photoshop, Illustrator or other programs.

 

Cons

You Need to Purchase the Knife Blade

I really have a pet peeve with companies who advertise that a machine can do something, only to realize that in order to do it you have to spend more money!

If you tell me this machine can cut up to 2.4mm then include the blade to do so!!  *Rant Over*

Limitations on your Cutting Size

The maximum cutting area of the Explore machines is 12″ wide by 24″ long. As this machine is a halfway stepping stone between hobbyist and professional vinyl cutters, we really would have loved to see a larger cutting space.

It is still a really decent cutting length, but it would have been nice to have a larger area altogether.

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Our Verdict

So back to our question – is Cricut Maker worth it?

Whilst the Maker is more pricey in comparison to other machines, the Maker Cricut Machine is without a doubt one of the best vinyl cutters for both fabrics as well as for thicker material.

We love that this machine is so versatile that it can handle material from the gossamer-thin fabrics and tissue paper to balsa wood & leather.

This machine excels in offering top-notch features and specs. With lightning-fast precision cutting capabilities, its reasonable price tag as well as its promise to fit with all past, present and future Cricut tools, you know that this machine will last you for many years to come!

We are head-over-heels in love with this cutter and we know you will love it too.

You can click here to find the current best deals. You can always typically save a lot of money by grabbing one of the popular Cricut Maker Bundle Deals.

And we have also listed some great tools and accessories that go well with the machine down below. If you are after some great bundle deals to save you money, please scroll down to our deals and accessories below!

You can read through all the positive Cricut Maker reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Cricut Maker Bundle Deals & Cricut Tools

Find below a selection of tools, supplies, and bundles that are worthwhile to invest in.

 

Cricut Essentials Small Collection for Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker Essentials Tool Collection set is a great accompaniment to the Maker machine.  It features the perfect variety of blades, mat, and sewing tools.

>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

 –

Best Cricut Maker Bundle

Save money by purchasing this popular Cricut Maker Beginner Bundle Deal.

BUNDLE INCLUDES:
-Brand New Cricut Maker machine
-Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
-Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing
-Fine Point Pen
-FabricGrip Mat 12×12 in.
-LightGrip Mat 12×12 in.
-Welcome book
-USB cable & Power adapter
-Cricut Access free trial membership
-50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns from Cricut’s website
-Materials for your first project
-5 piece Cricut Metallic Pen Set (gold, silver, copper, blue and violet)
-Cricut Tool Kit (Spatula, Scraper, Scissors, Sharp Hook Tool and Needle Point Tweezers)
-4 Sheets Glitter Heat Transfers (colors may vary)
-12 exclusive heat transfer vinyl designs & project inspiration & technique book (digital)
-8 sheets vinyl, 2 sheets transfer paper (colors may vary)
-12 exclusive vinyl designs with project inspiration & technique book (digital)
-Help for DIY Vinyl Projects: A digital book that will walk you through several different way to use vinyl. (digital)
-Cricut: A Getting Started Guide is an electronic format e-book perfect for any beginner Cricut user

>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

 –

Cricut Tools Craft Basic Set

Grab all the handy tools in one handy set!  Includes the following tools: Scissors with protective blade cover; Tweezers; Weeder; Scraper; and Spatula.

>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON NOW!

 

Over to You:

  • Did you find our Cricut Maker machine review helpful?
  • Will you be purchasing a Cricut Maker vinyl cutting machine?
  • In your opinion, is the Cricut Maker worth the money?

Our Detailed US Cutter MH 871 MK2 34″ Bundle Review

The USCutter MH Series Vinyl Cutter is a popular vinyl decal printing machine for those who love to work with signage …

Read moreOur Detailed US Cutter MH 871 MK2 34″ Bundle Review

The USCutter MH Series Vinyl Cutter is a popular vinyl decal printing machine for those who love to work with signage in a small business environment.  

 

Click here to check current prices for the USCutter MH 34″ Bundle 

Wondering whether the USCutter MH 34″ Bundle is for you? Hopefully, our USCutter Vinyl Cutter Review will help answer that question for you.

 

USCutter 34″ Vinyl Cutter Bundle Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this great electronic commercial-grade cutting machine.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4

Summary

The Cutting Plotter MH871 MK2 is a really well-priced semi-commercial cutter. With this machine, you can start up a signage business for an incredibly low investment.  Important to remember though that this cutter is best for simple designs. Once you start offering more intricate designs, we highly recommend that you upgrade the machine.

Pros:

Delivers quality cuts on simple designs. 3 Blades are included. FREE Lifetime Phone Support. Great price. Includes VinylMaster Cut. Has a large cutting surface.

Cons:

Only suitable for PC users. Noisy. The machine struggles with more complex intricate designs. The cutter can’t do contour cuts

 

Review of the USCutter MH 34″ Bundle

The USCutter vinyl plotters are fabulous machines for those who are chasing a starter commercial machine for their small business. We do prefer the Graphtec over the USCutters, but if you can’t reach the higher price tag of the Graphtec cutters, then the USCutters are a great place to start and this bundle will make it even easier to start making those profits!

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our detailed buyers guide about the best vinyl machine.

 

Feature Summary

The US Cutter MH 871 MK2 is another popular machine that straddles the line between being a personal machine and a small businesses vinyl making machine.  

What we love most about the MKH 871 vinyl cutter machine is how cheap it is.  It is only a small investment to start-up your own small business if you decide to purchase this cutter. 

This cutter can handle t-shirt work, decals, as well as signage. It has a lovely and large workspace and can cut up to 31″ x 8 feet long.

Included in the Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in bundle deal you will receive vinyl rolls, transfer tapes, magnetic blanks, a knife, squeegee, chart, access to the USCutter forum and lifetime phone support.

 

Specs

Blade Types: Standard blade compatible
Command sets: DM-PL HP/GL automatic identification
Motor Type: Stepper
Speed: 39 in/s
Force: 350 g
Maximum Cut Width: 30.63 in
Max Cutting Length: 96 in  (8 feet)
Max Pressure: 350 g
Max Speed: 39 in/s
Contour Cutting: No
OS Compatibility: Windows
Size: 28 in

 

So What Comes in the Box?

  • 1x 34″ USCutter MH Series Vinyl Cutter Plotter with Stand
  • 1x VinylMaster Cut – Design & Cut Software
  • 5x rolls Greenstar vinyl, each 24″ x 5 ft. Colors: Black, White, Real Red, Green, Canary Yellow (Please read note below)
  • 2x sheets 12″ x 24″ magnetic blanks
  • 1x TransferRite Ultra Clear 1310G (Grid)Application Transfer Tape – 6″ x 10yd
  • 1x TransferRite Ultra 592U Paper Application Tape, High Tack – 6″ x 10yd
  • 3x Vinyl Cutting Blades
  • 1x Hobby knife
  • 1x Squeegee

 

What can it Cut?

This model can cut all standard vinyl, heat transfer vinyl, paper, craft paper, cardstock & paint mask.

 

The Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Delivers quality cuts on simple designs
  • 3 Blades are included
  • FREE Lifetime Phone Support
  • Incredibly cheap price for the bundle deal
  • Works with VinylMaster Cut and other popular software (like Sure Cuts Alot, Flexi, SignBlaser and SignCut Productivity Pro)
  • Has a large cutting surface

CONS:

  • Compatible with PC only
  • The stepper motor is a bit noisy
  • The machine struggles with more complex intricate designs
  • The cutter can’t do contour cuts

 

Verdict

The Cutting Plotter MH871 MK2 are really affordable semi-commercial cutters.

With this machine, you can start up a signage business for an incredibly low investment.  Important to remember though that this cutter is best for simple designs. Once you start offering more intricate designs, we highly recommend that you upgrade the machine.

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the USCutter Vinyl Cutter MH 34in Bundle from Amazon

USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter Review

The USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter is a top choice as a commercial machine in small businesses.   The Titan 3 …

Read moreUSCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter Review

The USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter is a top choice as a commercial machine in small businesses.  

The Titan 3 cutter is brilliant for businesses that wish to work with applications such as signage, decals, lettering, and pinstriping.

This machine can whip up logos, modify signs, make custom text, create and draw shapes and edit images.  

It is a great buy for your starting machine in a commercial space.

Click here to check current prices for the USCutter Titan 3

Wondering whether the USCutter Titan3 Cutter is for you? Hopefully, our USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter Review will help answer that question for you.

 

USCutter Titan 3 Vinyl Cutter Review Rating

Find below our review rating of this great electronic commercial-grade cutting machine.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
4

Summary

The USCutter Titan 3 is a commercial machine that is perfect for small business use. The plotter can withstand rigorous daily use. Standout features include the optical eye for accurate and precise contour cutting, and its ability to handle intricate designs. At an affordable price-tag, this truly is a handy machine to have in your office or store!

Pros:

Vacuum hold down for extra grip. Accurate automatic contour cutting. LCD Screen that is easy to use and read. The digital readout makes for accurate and precise settings. 3 TITAN blades included. FREE Lifetime Phone Support.

Cons:

No manual is included. Doesn’t work well outside of the US.

 

Review of the Titan 3 Plotter

The USCutter vinyl plotters are fabulous machines for those who are chasing a starter commercial machine for their small business. We do prefer the Graphtec over the USCutters, but if you can’t reach the higher price tag of the Graphtec cutters, then the USCutters are a great place to start.

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our detailed vinyl machine buyers guide.

 

Feature Summary

  • The Titan Vinyl Plotter uses ARMS (automatic registration mark sensor) for fast and accurate contour cutting. 
  • Uses an ultra-durable low-noise servo motor.
  • We love that you have total control over the speed and cutting force. This means that you can cut all sorts of material from adhesive vinyl, window film, hard paperboard, sandblast stencil, mask material and much more. 
  • The cutter has a very easy-to-use LCD interface.
  • The machine is perfect for daily rigorous use. It has an aluminum frame and uses metal parts.
  • I can apply a maximum pressure of 750 g.
  • It has a max speed of 37 in/s
  • It has 3 pinch rollers.
  • The machine includes Sure Cuts a Lot PRO (Mac) or VinylMaster Cut for PC users.

 

So What Comes in the Box?

  • 28″ USCutter TITAN 3 Professional Sign Vinyl Cutter w/ARMS Contour Cut
  • Stand & Material Basket
  • Software: Sure Cuts a Lot PRO (Mac) or VinylMaster Cut (PC)

 

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

It comes in three brilliant sizes!  The 15″ Titan 3 Desktop Cutter, the 28″ Titan Vinyl Cutter and the 68″ Vinyl Cutter for those who wish to work on a large scale basis.

This specific model is the 28″ model, which means that the cutter can cut up to 24″ in width and up to 300″ in length. It has a feed width of up to 28″.

 

The Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Vacuum hold down for extra grip 
  • Accurate automatic contour cutting 
  • LCD Screen that is easy to use and read
  • The digital readout makes for accurate and precise settings
  • 3 TITAN blades included
  • FREE Lifetime Phone Support

CONS:

  • Tricky to set up as they don’t include a manual
  • Problems with trying to use the machine outside of USA

 

Verdict

The Titan 3 is a professional commercial machine that has been created to withstand rigorous daily use. We love some of the advanced features, such as the optical eye for accurate and precise contour cutting. The cutter can handle intricate designs, this truly is a handy machine to have in your office or store!

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Titan 3 28″ Plotter from Amazon

Silhouette Curio Review | A Top-Quality Specialty Vinyl Cutter Machine

Looking for a cutting machine that can go above and beyond the simple act of cutting? Then the Silhouette Curio is …

Read moreSilhouette Curio Review | A Top-Quality Specialty Vinyl Cutter Machine

Looking for a cutting machine that can go above and beyond the simple act of cutting? Then the Silhouette Curio is for you! 

Silhouette Curio reviews

This nifty machine, can cut, emboss, deboss, etch, sketch and stipple!  It is also the perfect choice for those who wish to work with thicker materials (up to 2mm in height).

Click here to check current prices for the Silhouette Curio Machine

Wondering whether the Curio Cutter is for you? Hopefully, our Silhouette Curio Review will help answer that question for you.

BLACK FRIDAY! Bookmark the Silhouette Black Friday sales page!

 

Silhouette Curio Review Rating

Find below our review rating of the Curio cutting machine.

  • Features
  • Quality
  • Cutting Specs
  • User Experience
  • Value
3.4

Summary

The Curio Silhouette Machine is best suited for crafters who are after either a specialty machine or who are after a companion machine to their current vinyl cutter.  The Curio cutter is best suited to those who want to go beyond cutting and drawing and wants to get creative with techniques such as sketching, embossing, debossing, etching and stippling.

Pros:

It can cut, sketch, emboss, deboss, etch and stipple. It can cut material up to 2mm thick. Speedy dual carriage

Cons:

Cutting space is on the small. Steep learning curve. Further ongoing costs after initial purchase of machine.

Review of the Silhouette Curio

The Curio Silhouette has specifically been designed to fill in the gaps that are lacking in the larger machines.

This is the machine for you if you specifically want a machine that does embossing, cutting, stippling and etching on a smaller 8.5″ x 6″ base.

If you do want to compare this machine against other machines, you might like to visit our detailed guide to the best vinyl cutter machine.

 

Feature Summary

Silhouette Curio Review

The machine is still very much loved by the crafting community due to the fact that it has so many unique capabilities.  We also love that the Curio comes with software that actually contains over 70,000 ready-made designs (which you can purchase for an additional cost).

Click to read more about Silhouette Curio vs Cameo 3 machines or simply watch this short Silhouette Curio video below.

 

The Plotter Curio Silhouette Machine is best suited for crafters who are after either a specialty machine or who are after a companion machine to their current vinyl cutter.  The Curio cutter is best suited to those who want to go beyond cutting and drawing.  

 

So What Comes in the Box?

Here is what is included in the box:

  • Silhouette Curio Machine
  • Silhouette Studio® Software
  • Basic Instruction Guide
    Regular Base (8.5″ x 6″ )
  • Embossing Mat (8.5″ x 6″ )
  • Cutting Mat (8.5″ x 6″ )
  • Cutting Blade
  • Fine Embossing Tool
  • Wide Embossing Tool
  • Power Cord/USB Cord
  • Free 1-mo Design Store Basic Subscription
  • 50 Exclusive Designs

What are the Cutting Dimensions?

In comparison to other similar machines, the Curio has a really small and limiting cutting base. Whilst most machines measure out at 12 x 12″, this machine only give you a small 8.5″ x 6″ base. This is of course due to the fact that it has been designed to work on smaller scale projects, however many crafters might find this size limiting.

The Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The Curio has the ability to cut, sketch, emboss, deboss, etch and stipple
  • We love how fabulous this machine is when it comes to thicker material 
  • Speedy dual carriage

Cons:

  • Cutting space is on the small size in comparison to other similar machines
  • Steep learning curve to figure out how the machine works
  • You will need to purchase additional supplies: the extra large tray (8.5″ x 12″), the deep cut blade, the stippling, and etching tool as well as the designs on the software.

 

Verdict

We absolutely love the Curio Cutting Machine as a companion to our favorite hobbyist vinyl cutter, the Cameo 3. It is a fabulous embossing machine, you can see how it compares against other machines on our embossing machine comparison chart here.

The machine has a lot to offer that other machines simply can’t do, such as the ability to emboss, deboss, stipple and etch on thicker materials such as metal. Imagine all the incredible projects you can finish off with this machine!

It is however not our choice when it comes to vinyl cutting machines, so best to invest in both a vinyl cutter and Curio.

You can also purchase a Silhouette Curio bundle if you wish to save loads of money and grab some essential supplies and tools as well.

You can read through all the positive reviews on Amazon here, or simply click the button below to grab your cutter now.

Click here to purchase the Curio from Amazon

Silhouette Portrait 2 Review – Is it Worth the Upgrade?

The Silhouette Portrait 2 was released mid-November last year.  Essentially it is the same great machine that we are …

Read moreSilhouette Portrait 2 Review – Is it Worth the Upgrade?

The Silhouette Portrait 2 was released mid-November last year.  Essentially it is the same great machine that we are used to seeing in the Portrait, but it comes with two main upgrades: the AutoBlade and deep-cut blade compatibility!

The new Silhouette Portrait 2’s new features bring it up to date and more in line with the very popular Cameo 3 Vinyl Cutter.  The main difference is that the Portrait 2 is a smaller and more portable, and as a result, it can only cut material up to 8″ in width.

For a lot of home crafters, this cutting space is more than enough, and it comes at a much more affordable price tag in comparison to the Cameo 3.  But let’s get into the details as I share my favorite and not so favorite features with you in our Silhouette Portrait 2 review.

>> Click here to read the Amazon reviews

BLACK FRIDAY! Bookmark the Silhouette Black Friday 2019 sales page!

 

Silhouette Portrait 2 Review Rating

4.2
  • User Experience
  • Cutting Specs
  • Ease of Use
  • Software
  • Value For Money
4.2

Summary

We love the nifty upgrades on the Portrait 2. Essentially the Portrait 2 is aimed at beginner craft cutters. It is a compact, light machine that comes at a truly brilliant price tag. If you are happy with the 8″ cutting width that the Portrait 2 offers, you might be better off purchasing this machine in comparison to its more expensive competitor – the Cameo 3.

Pros:

Love that the upgrade includes an AutoBlade. The machine also has Bluetooth compatibility, PixScan compatibility and a nice 2mm clearance (when you purchase the additional blade). It can handle 100+ materials which is brilliant. It is light and portable and comes at a great price.

Cons:

The cutting force is on the weaker side at 210 grams. You are also pretty limited with the 8″ width cutting size. The software requires a bit of a learning expedition.

_____________________

 

Our Silhouette Portrait 2 Review

Find below our personal opinions about the new Silhouette Portrait 2, but before you do, why not watch the short Silhouette Portrait 2 Overview video to see how the machine operates.

The Silhouette Portrait 2 might look very similar to the first Portrait, but it also sports a few brand new nifty features. Ultimately the Portrait 2 is still focused on beginners crafters, and as such you will find that it might not be as good as the Cameo 3, but it does come at a lower and more affordable price tag for those who want to get into the die-cutting and vinyl cutting craft. I love that it is a cheap desktop vinyl cutter.

 

Silhouette Portrait 2 Specifications

So what exactly do you get for this lovely price tag?  Here is a list of the items you will find in your box!

In the Box

  • Silhouette Portrait 2 electronic cutting machine
  • Silhouette Studio software
  • 50 exclusive cuttable designs
  • Power cable & USB cable
  • 8-inch cutting mat
  • Autoblade
  • 1 month free subscription to Silhouette Design Store
  • Bluetooth adapter

 

Specs:

  • 8″ x 12″cutting area with mat
  • Cut up to 10 feet with a lined media
  • 210 grams of cutting force
  • 2mm cutting depth with the deep-cut blade
  • Autoblade compatibility
  • PixScan™ technology compatibility – create designs from pictures
  • Print and Cut functionality
  • Drawing with pen or colored pen capabilities
  • Software included in machine: Silhouette Studio Designer

 

What can Silhouette Portrait 2 Cut?

This new Silhouette Portrait 2 is a great machine for those who wish to work with a wide range of materials.  It has the ability to cut over 100+ materials; from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal & foam.  With the additional purchase of the Deep Cut Blade, the machine can handle any material that is up to 2mm in thickness. The cutting force is at 210 grams, which so it might not be the best machine if you wish to work with a material such as balsawood.

 

Silhouette Portrait 2 Cutting Size

The maximum cutting size of the Silhouette Portrait 2 is 8″ x 10 feet.  This is a great size for personal home crafting projects.  What we love about the machine is that it is compatible with the Silhouette Roll Feeder, which means that you can cut straight from a roll of vinyl without a mat to accommodate some larger project ideas.

>>> Grab your Silhouette Roll Feeder from Amazon

If you are after a larger cutting surface, we recommend you have a look at either the Cameo 3 Silhouette (12″ x 120″) or the US Cutter MH 871 MK2 (31″ x 96″).

>>> Check out our die cutting machine comparison guide to see how the Portrait 2 stacks up against other machines.

_________________________

 

6 of the Best Silhouette Portrait 2 Features

Below you will find a list of all the top features of the Silhouette Portrait 2.  You will quickly notice that there have been some great upgrades made to the original Portrait and it is now just that step closer to its competitor the Cameo 3 Vinyl Cutter.

1. Bluetooth Compatible

With advanced technology all around us these days, I don’t see how vinyl cutters can’t offer Bluetooth, so it great to see that this little machine can receive cuts to the Portrait from your choice of laptop, smartphone or tablet.  No wires necessary!  YES!

 

2. Autoblade

We love autoblade functionality on a vinyl cutter and for us, it is pretty much essential.  It makes life so much easier when the machine can do all the calculations and calibrations for you!  The autoblade can automatically work out the best blade depths and pressure for the type of material that you are working with!  So clever!

 

3. Compatible with Deep Cut Blade & 2mm Clearance

If you wish to cutter thicker material, you will be stoked to know that the Portrait 2 can now cut up to 2mm thick material!  You will need to use the Deep Cut Blade which you will need to purchase additional, but depending on the style of your craft, this might just be worth the added cost!

>>>>  Grab your Deep Cut Blade from Amazon

 

4. Built-in Optical Scanner

The built-in scanner is great for those who love designing their own cuts.  The optical scanner will allow you to make custom cutouts with the Print & Cut feature.  Nifty!

 

5. Compatible with PixScan

Just like the Cameo 3, the Silhouette Portrait 2 can use PixScan technology to scan and cut your own images.  The PixScan allows you to photograph a design with your mobile device’s camera, import it into the software and then use the Portrait 2 to cut it out!!

Are you loving these upgrades as much as we are??

 

6. Lightweight body and portable size

Silhouette proudly states that the Silhouette 2 is their most compact DIY die cutting machine.  It has been designed as a beginner desktop vinyl cutting machine, but yet it is still powerful and will offer a lot of crafters all the functionality they could possibly want.  The machine is small and lightweight (weighing under four pounds) so that you can take it to crafting events or move it around your house with ease.

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The Silhouette Portrait 2 Machine Pro’s & Con’s

 

Below you will find a list of the features that we love about the Portrait 2, as well as the features that we are missing or that we wish were better!

 

PROS

Ability to Cut 100+ Materials

This machine’s remarkable ability to handle over 100 materials is definitely impressive!

Autoblade

We love the Autoblade which automatically adjusts it’s pressure to the material being cut. Makes it so much easier to use and will save you time and hassles or adjusting settings.

Cuts Designs up to 10 Feet Long

Crafters worker will larger scale projects will love the maximum cutting length of 10 feet (although the 8″ width might be restrictive).  In comparison, the more expensive Cameo 3 can only go up to 24″.

Small and Light

The perfect machine for those who wish to have a machine that they can easily port around. It weighs just under 6 pounds and is only 12″ wide.

Print, Cut & Draw Capabilities

You can easily print your own images and then get this little machine to cut it out for you!  It also has the ability to draw. The blade is replaced with a pen.  If you wish to draw you will either need to purchase the Silhouette Pen Holder or invest in the Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit which comes with 24 colored pens.

 

CONS

Limitations on your Cutting Size

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is a small and light machine, which means that it will naturally be limited in cutting size.  Whilst it can cut up to 10 feet long, the width of 8″ will be pretty limiting for many crafters.

Weak Cutting Force

The cutting force is 210 grams, which means it won’t be able to cut heavier items like balsawood.

You Need to Purchase the Deep Cut Blade

Using the deep cut blade with the machine will allow you to cut up to 2mm thick, but you will need to purchase this blade additionally.

 

Our Verdict

We honestly think that the Silhouette Portrait 2 is a great machine for beginners.  Whilst it is a lovely upgrade from the original cutter, it still doesn’t match up to our pick as the best Silhouette Machine – the Cameo 3 cutting machine.

Reasons why you would pick this machine over the Cameo 3:

  • You are loving the 10 feet long cutting length (and you aren’t bothered by the 8″ width)
  • You are after a machine that is light and small so you can easily port it around
  • Your budget is tight – this is a great machine for the money!

 

Silhouette Portrait 2 Price

Currently, the machine is listed at $199.99 on the Silhouette America website.  You can typically pick up the machine for a cheaper price tag from Amazon.  Click here to check current pricing for the Silhouette Portrait 2 on Amazon.

 

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review: Is it Worth it?

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!  The new Cricut Explore Air 2 is taking the crafting world on a fast spin around …

Read moreCricut Explore Air 2 Review: Is it Worth it?

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!  The new Cricut Explore Air 2 is taking the crafting world on a fast spin around the world!  And we want to take you on a spin around a Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

This top selling machine is 2 x faster than its predecessor the Original Cricut Explore Air.  It’s like a crafting machine on speed haha!

What a brilliant upgrade from Cricut!  Not only is the latest Explore Air 2 Cutter faster than the previous model, but it still delivers those beautiful intricate precise cuts that we all love so much as Cricut fans!

Some other features of this leading DIY home vinyl cutter include Bluetooth functionality, the ability to cut, draw and score and the versatility of this machine for doing a large variety of crafts.

This brilliant machine has the ability to cut over 100+ materials and is our favorite machine when it comes to desktop vinyl cutters!

There are also some gorgeous Cricut Explore Air bundle deals!

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING SOON! See the Cricut Explore Air Black Friday 2019 sales page for all the best deals!

 

So is the Cricut Explore Air 2 Worth it?

You bet it is!! 

Watch the short Explore Cricut Air 2 review of the top features in this video below!


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Cricut Explore Air 2 Rating

 
  • User Experience
  • Cutting Specs
  • Materials Supported
  • Software
  • Value For Money
4.8

Our Verdict

Explore Air 2 is a top rated desktop vinyl cutter machine. It features wireless connectivity, precision cutting and easy to use software. If you are after an easy-to-use and super versatile machine, then this is the one for you!

Pros:

Built-in Bluetooth connectivity, faster precision cutting, ability to score, draw and cut, freedom to download fonts and create custom artwork to use, cuts over 100+ materials.

Cons:

The machine is a bit noisy, no Android App available, you can only use the Design Space Software that comes with the machine

 

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Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

The Best Vinyl Cutters Cricut Air 2 Review

Below you will find our detailed Cricut Explore 2 Review.

I will outline the top features, specs, the pros, and cons of the Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine.  I

will also give you suggestions of who this Cricut vinyl cutter would be perfect for; in order for you to help figure out if this machine is the right match for you!

You can see how this machine stacks up to other Cricut machines in our Cricut machine reviews and comparisons guide.

 

Cricut Explore Air 2 Features

Fast Mode

Cricut Explore 2 Review

The Cricut Explore Air 2 features a brand new feature that allows you to cut twice as fast!  We tested this feature on the recommended materials (vinyl, iron-on, and cardstock) and it drastically reduced down the waiting time!  This is brilliant news for small business owners as we all know that time is money!

 

Smart Set Dial

If you have used a Cricut explore machine before you will know how brilliant the Smart Set Dial is. This dial allows for automatic settings for different material.  All you have to do is to select the material you will be using, and the machine will work out the cutting force for you!  So clever!

 

Cricut Explore Air Bluetooth

Whilst the Bluetooth functionality is not new, it is worth mentioning that it has this nifty feature!  I love the flexibility of being able to place my vinyl cutting machine well out of the way from my working desk space.  So incredibly handy!

 

Cricut Explore Air Blades

The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes with only one blade, a German carbide premium blade.  If you wish to work with thicker materials you will need to purchase the Cricut Explore Air Deep Cut Blade additionally.

The Deep Cut Blade is truly affordable and will give you the flexibility to cut thicker materials such as a magnet, chipboard, stamp material, thick cardstock, stiffened felt, foam sheets, cardboard, fabric, and other thicker materials.

The blade will provide clearance for thicker materials up to 2.0mm. Click here to see which blades are compatible with the Explore Air 2.

 

Draw, Score, and Cut

This gorgeous machine has the ability to draw, score or cut!  We love the double tool holder for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring, which allows you to do two things in one easy step.

If you wish to draw, you will need to grab yourselves some Cricut Explore Air Pens.  If you are after more versatility, the Cricut Explore Air Pen Adapter will allow you to use extra pens such as Crayola Markers, Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Pens, Sharpie Fine Point Markers, Gel or Ball Point Pens.

We also love the handy Cricut print and cut feature, where you can print an image that has registration marks and then you can pop it in the Cricut machine and it will cut it out for you!

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Cricut Explore Air 2 Specifications

In the Box

• Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
• Cricut Design Space software & app
• German carbide premium blade
• USB cord, power cord & Accessory Adapter
• 100+ free images & 50+ free project ideas
• Getting started guide
• Pen & cardstock sample
• Cricut 12 in. x 12 in. StandardGrip cutting mat

 

Cricut Explore Air 2 Size

The Cricut Air 2 dimensions and weight are as follows

  • Height: 151.59mm (5.97″)
  • Length: 563.3mm (22.17″)
  • Width: 177.57mm (6.99″)
  • Weight: approximately 21 lbs (9.5 kg)

 

What can Cricut Explore Air 2 Cut?

This new Cricut Air Explore 2 is a great machine for those who wish to work with a wide range of materials.  It has the ability to cut over 100 materials; from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal & foam.  You can find an extensive list of the materials that the Cricut Machine can handle here.

A top difference between the Cameo 3 Silhouette vs Cricut Explore Air 2 is that this Cricut machine can handle the thicker materials really well (although you will need to purchase the Deep Cut Blade additionally), whilst the Cameo will struggle to give you a clear cut!
Cricut is Easy as 123
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Cricut Explore Air 2 Cutting Size

The maximum cutting size of the Cricut Cutter Machine is 12″ x 24″ long.  This is a pretty standard size for a personal vinyl cutting machine and will be sufficient for most craft enthusiasts.

If you are after a larger cutting surface, we recommend you have a look at either the Cameo 3 Silhouette (12″ x 120″) or the US Cutter MH 871 MK2 (31″ x 96″).

 

Cricut Explore Air Software

You will either hate or love the Cricut Explore Air Design Space.  Beginners will most likely love the fact that the software is super easy and straightforward to use!  You can also use your own images and fonts for free or you can Cricut images from cartridges or the Cricut store.   The software also contains 3,000+ ready-to-make projects and quick cuts to help you get started ASAP.

For the more advanced users who love using programs that they know in-and-out, you will be frustrated to know that the Cricut machine has been designed to only work with their software only, so no Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw access for you!

The Cricut Explore Air App is really nifty too, as it allows you to sit in front of the TV and work on your iPad or iPhone before sending your creations wirelessly to the vinyl cutter.  Unfortunately, though, this app is not available worldwide and their Android App is still in the Beta phase.

Warranty & Support

Your Cricut Air Machine comes with a 1-year warranty.  You will also have access to their Help Centre, their ‘How-To’ tutorials as well as videos on how to set up the Cricut craft cutter properly.

 

Cricut Price

If you are wondering where to buy your Cricut Explore Air 2, we highly recommend Amazon.  You can often receive free postage on these machines as well as get their great 30-day return.  You can click here to see a comparison of the best price on Cricut Explore Air 2 machines.

Alternatively, you might wish to purchase the Explore Air 2 Machine directly from Cricut itself. Another tip is to sign up for their newsletter and they will give you $10 off your first purchase as a ‘thank you’.

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How to Use Cricut Explore Air Cutter

You can watch this short video to see the Cricut Explore Air setup for that first cut!  You can also find heaps of Cricut Explore Air tutorials for beginners on the official Cricut website.

 –

Cricut Explore One vs Air 2

Cricut has created this super handy chart to outline the difference of the Cricut Explore One vs Cricut Explore Air vs Cricut Explore Air 2.

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The Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Review

Below you will find our Explore Air 2 Cricut machine review; focusing on the pros and cons of this machine together with information on who this machine would be perfect for.

 

Pros

Twice as Fast

The biggest selling point about this machine is that it now offers super speedy cutting.

Intricate Precision Cuts

This is the machine for you if you are after super intricate designs.  Its precision cutting is second to none and always delivers superior cuts!

Ability to 100+ Materials

This machine’s remarkable ability to handle over 100 materials is definitely impressive!  It is also our top choice machine when it comes to working with thicker materials.

Freedom to Download Fonts and Create Custom Designs

The freedom and flexibility of being able to download any font means that this is one of the best vinyl monogram machines on the market.  The ability to create custom designs is definitely a selling point as well.

 

Cons

Noisy

The compromise of the faster cutting system means that the machine is slightly noisier than its predecessor.  For us, not such a major issue, but if this machine will live in a workplace environment it might be problematic.

Limitations of the Software and the App

We would have loved to have seen flexibility in using other software with the machine.  It is also a shame that the App is not available worldwide and neither is the Android app out yet.

Print Then Cut Sizes Are Restrictive

Whilst the cutting size is decent for a desktop vinyl cutter, when it comes to the print then cut feature, the size becomes restrictive. Google Chrome: 5.5″ x 8″ and Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari: 6″ x 8.5″.

 

The Cricut Explore Air 2 Cutter is Perfect For

This Explore Air 2 Cricut Machine is probably the best selling vinyl cutter for desktop use.  This machines excels in offering top notch features and specs.  The machines is perfect for a large variety of crafters.

The only reason why this machine will not be for you is if you prefer working with your own choice of software.  Whilst the cutting size of 12″ x 120″ is perfect for most of us, if you are hoping to work on larger scale designs, then this might be limiting for you.

You can click here to find the current best deals on the Explore Air 2.  If you are after some great bundle deals to save you money, please scroll down to our deals and accessories below!

 

FAQ:

Q: What blade comes with the Cricut Explore Air 2?

A: It comes with a German carbide premium blade.

>>> READ OUR DIE CUTTERS BUYERS GUIDE 

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Cricut Explore Air Bundle Deals and Cricut Explore Air Accessories

Cricut Air Bundle Deal

Bundle deals are always excellent for those who are purchasing their first vinyl machine. Cricut Explore Air bundle deals are guaranteed to save you lots of money and it makes it super easy for you to simply set up your machine, grab your vinyl from the kit and get cutting!

List Price:$229.99
Price:$229.99
Price Disclaimer

>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

 

Another very popular bundle deal is the Cricut Air 2 Iron-On Starter Kit.  This bundle is perfect for those who wish to work with transfers for t-shirts, throw pillows, bags and more!  The kit includes 4 sheets 12×12 iron-on in Black, red, silver, gold and a weeder tool.

 

>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

 –>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

Cricut Tools Craft Basic Set

Grab all the handy Cricut tools in one handy set!  Includes the following Cricut Tools: Scissors with protective blade cover; Tweezers; Weeder; Scraper; and Spatula.

 
List Price:$14.78
Price:$13.76
You Save:$1.02
Price Disclaimer

>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON

Cricut Explore Air Cartridges

Your Cricut Explore Air 2 has the ability to work with the Cricut Cartridges.  Browse this range by clicking the link below.

>>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON

Cricut Explore Air Vinyl

If you are after vinyl for the Cricut Explore Air, we cannot recommend this great vinyl bundle highly enough!  This cheap Cricut vinyl bundle includes 40, 12 x 12″ sheets in 30 different glossy colors, 2 matte colors, and 3 metallic colors.

 
List Price:$29.99
Price:$19.99
You Save:$10.00
Price Disclaimer

>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON NOW!

Over to You:

  • Did you find our Cricut Reviews and Comparisons helpful?
  • Can you add any helpful information to our Cricut Explore Air review?
  • Will you be purchasing a Cricut Explore Air 2 vinyl cutting machine?

Our Honest Review of the Silhouette Cameo 3 Machine

Silhouette’s bestselling Cameo machine is a truly impressive die cutting machine. We couldn’t help but share our thoughts in …

Read moreOur Honest Review of the Silhouette Cameo 3 Machine

Silhouette’s bestselling Cameo machine is a truly impressive die cutting machine.

We couldn’t help but share our thoughts in a Silhouette Cameo 3 Review.

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is similar to the Silhouette Cameo 2, but has some key upgrades and new features which we are incredibly excited about!

* Please note, that the Silhouette Cameo 4 is out now. You can read our Silhouette Cameo 4 review post here.

Some of these features include dual carriages, Bluetooth functionality, and an upgrade to the much-anticipated Silhouette Studio 4.0 Software. This nifty machine has the ability to cut over 100+ materials and was our favorite personal vinyl cutting machine in 2019!

Watch the short review of the top features in this video below!

(Apologies for the blurry cover photo, but I promise the video itself is worth it and crisp and clear! )

 

Additional Reading:  Check out our collection of the best Silhouette cameo 3 bundle deals on the Web.

BLACK FRIDAY! Bookmark the Silhouette Black Friday 2019 sales page!

 –

Overall Rating

  • User Experience
  • Cutting Specs
  • Materials Supported
  • Software
  • Value For Money
4.6

Our Verdict

One of the best vinyl cutters on the market in 2019. The Cameo 3 is not only a top personal vinyl cutter, but it is also the preferred vinyl T-shirt printing machine for those who operate a small business. As the machine’s cutting force is still lagging, this machine is not suitable for those who wish to cut thicker materials, but for most of us, this machine is simply brilliant.

Pros:

Built-in Bluetooth connectivity,
Easy to use software,
The AutoBlade is definitely a selling point,
Dual Carriage which gives you the ability to draw and cut
Touchscreen

Cons:

Cutting force is still lagging

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Silhouette Cameo 3 Review

The Cameo 3 is an electronic cutting machine. You can compare it to a size of a printer and comes included with software that will help you to create images that can then be cut out via the vinyl cutter on your choice of material. Not only is it our favorite home vinyl cutter but it is also the best vinyl cutting machine for t-shirts.

Below you will find our detailed Silhouette Machine review.  I will outline the top features, specs, the pros, and cons of the plotter Silhouette Cameo 3.  I will also give you suggestions of who this vinyl cutter would be perfect for; in order for you to help figure out if this machine is the right match for you!

 

Top Features

Dual carriages

The Cameo 3 has dual carriages, which is brilliant as it means that you can draw and cut your designs at the same time. The handy upgrade of the mechanism to a push locking mechanism is more secure in comparison to the twist mechanism on the other Silhouette machines.Silhouette Cameo 3 Review

Print and Cut

The Cameo 3 has kept all the functions that we love so much in the Cameo 2.  One of which is the innovative Print and Cut feature.  This feature allows the Studio software to send an image to your printer to be printed. Whilst printing the image, you will notice that the printer adds little registration marks in the corners.

Once it is printed, you add it to the cutter where the machine will detect the registration marks and know exactly where to cut the printed image out.  So clever!!

 –

PixScan Technology

The PixScan is another excellent feature of the Cameo 3.  It operates similarly to the Print and Scan, however this time you will place your image on the PixScan cutting mat.  The mat itself contains the registration marks.  So whilst the image is on the mat, take a picture from your camera or smart phone and upload it to the design studio.  In the studio you can create the trace lines and then select to cut the design.

 

Choice of 3 Blades

The Cameo 3 cutter comes with the inclusion of 3 super handy blades!

You will get a:

  • Standard blade: to cut your thin-medium thick materials
  • Deep cut blade: to cut your thicker materials
  • AutoBlade: a new blade that automatically adjusts its depth based on the material being cut (gotta love that!)

 

Silhouette Cameo Bluetooth

A great upgrade on the Cameo 3 is the Bluetooth functionality.  You can now place your machine wherever you want and have it connect to your computer without a cord!  I love not having to share my desk with a machine as well. It can now live on the shelf, out of the way!

 

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Cameo Silhouette 3 Specs

In the Box

  • The cutting machine, Power Cable & USB Cord
  • Silhouette Studio software
  • 12″ cutting mat
  • AutoBlade cutting blade
  • Crosscutter
  • 1 month Basic subscription to the Silhouette Design Store
  • 100 free digital designs

 

What can you cut with a Silhouette Cameo?

The cutter has the ability to print and cut on over 100 different types of material, these include:

  • Paper/Cardstock up to 350 gsm thick.
  • Tissue paper
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on transfer
  • Cereal box chipboard
  • Craft foam
  • Light weight fabric
  • Rhinestone template material

This new Cameo plotter has a cutting force of 210 grams, which means that it is a great machine for those enjoy working with thin-medium thick materials.  This machine is not the machine for you if you wish to cut thicker material such as thin sheet metal or balsawood.

The Studio software comes with a nifty ‘double cut’ feature, which is great with the thicker materials.  However if you work with thick material on a regular basis, we would recommend you check out the Cricut Explore Air 2 instead.

 

Cutting Width

In comparison between the Silhouette Cameo 3 vs Explore Air 2, the Cameo cutter really is the best choice if you are after a larger cutting area.

This Cameo draw and cut machine is brilliant for both small intricate designs as well as larger signage projects.  It can cut up to 12″ wide to a massive 10 feet in length.

 

What Material Thickness can the Cameo Cut?

We love the flexibility of the cutting thickness of this machine.  The Cameo has a cutting force of 210gf. With the included Cameo blade, you can cut material of up to 1mm thick; whilst with the Deep Cut Blade, you can cut material up to 2 mm in depth.

 

Silhouette Cameo Software

You will need to download the free Cameo Silhouette Software.  The software is really great as it allows you to either buy Cameo Silhouette Designs, import images from elsewhere, or create your own designs from scratch. The software is compatible with Windows Vista and higher, and Mac OSX 10.6.8 & higher.

The software is really easy to use and you will be able to find plenty of tutorials online if you need some extra help.

With the purchase of the machine you will receive 100 free images to use, you will also receive 1 month Basic Subscription to the Silhouette Design Store which gives you $25.00 credits to download any designs you want.

Whilst the basic software is free for use, you might choose to upgrade it to either the Designer or Business package.  The Cameo is also compatible with other design software, such as Make The Cut, Sure Cuts a Lot, and Inkscape which is great news for those who want to get more serious with this nifty machine!

 

Warranty & Support

The Silhouette Cameo Machine comes with a 1-year limited warranty (for US and Canada only).

Silhouette also offers support as well as helpful information and tips on their blog.  My personal choice of preference though is to search for video tutorials of your Silhouette Cameo Cutter on YouTube.  You will find tutorials from set-up, to your first vinyl cut to more creative rhinestone T-Shirt transfers.

 

Silhouette Cameo Price

If you are wondering where to buy your Cameo, we highly recommend you purchase it from Amazon.  Amazon has a 30-day return policy, so it is a great opportunity to try out the machine and if anything is wrong, it should get sorted ASAP.

Prices vary greatly, you can easily compare prices of single machines vs bundle deals by clicking here.

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How to use the Silhouette Cameo

You can watch this short video to see how you need to set up your cutter for that first cut!

 

Silhouette Cameo 3 vs Cameo 2

Below is a quick comparison between the Cameo 2 vs Cameo 3.  Essentially it is the same machine but the Cameo 3 has the improvement of Bluetooth, Auto Blade and Dual Carriages.  All of which is our opinion makes it worthwhile to pay the slightly higher price for the newer Cameo cutting machine model.

Cameo 3 vs Cameo 2

We also have a post on the Curio vs Cameo 3 for those that in interested in comparing these machines.

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The Cameo Silhouette Review

Below you will find our Silhouette Cutter review; focusing on the pros and cons of this machine together with information on who this machine would be perfect for.

Pros

Auto-Blade

We are in-love with the super intuitive Auto-Blade on the new Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutter.  By using the AutoBlade setting, the blade settings will be automatically calibrated based on what material you told the machine you will be working with!  Goodbye to getting frustrated and wasting supplies whilst trying to find the perfect settings!!

Dual Carriage

The dual carriage is a brilliant feature for those who love to draw and cut in one easy step! Box makers will also enjoy this feature as it has the ability to score and cut at the same time too!

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth!  Ah man do I love the Bluetooth!  I hate cords everywhere, not only can I pop the machine well out of the way, but I no longer have to try and work amongst all the millions of cords!  HOORAY!

User Experience

There are also loads of extra little improvement that aid in making the user experience a much more happy one!! There are now media guides to help you feed cutter. The touchscreen is soooooo much simpler to use now.  A super handy roller lock mechanism as well as extra storage areas!

 

Cons

Cutting Force

Whilst the Cameo Cutter Plotter now has the ability to cut material up to 2mm thick, surprisingly enough they didn’t increase the cutting force from the previous model, so it will still struggle to work with thicker material.

Bluetooth Technology

Whilst the Bluetooth technology on the Cameo Silhouette Cutter is a big win, it is a bit disappointing that only those in the US, Canada & EU can enjoy it!

 

The Silhouette Cameo Machine is Perfect For

This Silhouette Cameo version 3 is top notch machine for those who are after a machine for personal or small business use.  The machine works well for beginners as well as for the experienced vinyl cutters. A small but powerful and intuitive machine that will help you create your designs time and time again!

This machine is much loved by a large variety of crafters, from card makers and scrapbookers to sign makers.  Quilters and home decor fans favor this machine as well as those who want to invest in a great machine for t-shirt transfers.  The only reason this machine might not be for you is if you love working with thicker materials.  We honestly feel that the Cameo 3 is the best Silhouette machine to buy.

You can click here to find the current best deals on the Cameo 3.  If you are after some great bundle deals to save you money, please scroll down to our deals and accessories below!


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Cameo Silhouette Machine Bundle Deals and Accessories

Silhouette Cameo 3 Bundle Deal

Bundle deals are always excellent for those who are purchasing their first vinyl machine.  This deal is guaranteed to save you lots of money and it makes it super easy for you to simply set up your machine, grab your vinyl from the kit and get cutting!

In this deal you get all the bits and pieces that comes in the box plus extra goodies such as 24 Sheets of Permanent Oracal 651 Vinyl (12″ x 12″), assorted mix of 24 Sketch Pens, Extra tools, Vinyl Instructional Guide by Silhouette School, 1 Roll 12 Inch x 6 Feet of Premium Transfer Tape & More.

>>>> CHECK OUT THIS DEAL ON AMAZON NOW!

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Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine Dust Cover

 

When you invest so much money in a machine, it only makes sense to buy accessories that will protect it and allow it to last for longer!  This dust cover will keep your machine clean and protect it from any scratches as well.  A worthy investment.  Available in grey, pink or blue!

>>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON NOW!

Silhouette Cameo Vinyl 

If you are after vinyl for your Silhouette Cameo, we cannot recommend this great vinyl bundle highly enough!  This bundle includes 36, 12 x 12″ sheets of high-quality vinyl.

>>> CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON NOW!

Over to You:

  • Did you find our Cameo machine review helpful?
  • Did you end up purchasing a Cameo 3?
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