THE HEAD-TO-HEAD COMPARISON WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR
We’ve heard it all before. What’s the better machine? Do I really need this machine? What can this do that the other can’t? Well in this comparison, we’re going deeper into the questions and answering all of them, to find out once and for all, what’s the difference.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING
To have a fair comparison, we’re first going to need some criteria for judging
MEET THE MACHINES
The Silhouette Cameo is considered by many to be the workhorse cutter of the generation
Since it’s release in 2016,
the Silhouette Cameo has been dominating the scene up until today,
targetting production work for startups and industrialists alike.
It is the go-to cutter for majority of upcoming entrepreneurs,
and for good reason, being the industry standard
that other machines look up to.
But with the advancement of technology,
does the Cameo pale in comparison to the newcomers?
THE CAMEO IN ACTION
Boasting variable speed and pressure, the Cameo can handle cardstocks with ease. Thanks to its 10ft cutting length, the Cameo is made to cut large volume projects in a single sitting. Best known for it's vinyl cutting capabilities, the Silhouette Cameo packs quite a punch when it comes to productivity and efficiency.
The Silhouette Cameo has both free and paid designs available through its software, the Silhouette Design Studio. The offline software makes for manual checking and installation of updates, but still has cloud sync available. With a maximum cutting width of 12” x 10’, the Cameo is your best bet for large-volume production projects, like sticker decals or vinyl cutting. At just 14 lbs, the Cameo is good for portability, should you ever need to move the machine. With a cutting force of 210 gf and a speed of 10cm/s, both with custom settings, the Cameo can handle intricate cuts no problem, and dual carriages allow for better productivity in production projects.
The built-in test cut feature is a wonderful perk, making it easier to sample materials and test out pressure and speed settings. With a touch screen panel located at the right of the machine, its controls are similar to that of an older generation smartphone, in that it’s easy to use and hassle free. Available in limited edition colors, and in classic black or white, there is a color that is perfect for the aesthetic you are going for. All this, packed with a load of tools available like the Ratchet Blade, Deep Cut Blade, and Weeding Hook, the Silhouette Cameo is the perfect production companion for your business.
MEET THE MACHINES
The Cricut Maker is the newcomer to the industry but is already throwing good results, one after the other
Launched in August of 2017,
the Cricut Maker has been slowly climbing up ranks in the cutting industry,
mainly targeting crafting enthusiasts of all levels.
With its sleek and sophisticated look,
the Maker has achieved both aesthetics and performance,
and does not disappoint even when cutting balsa wood and leather.
Underneath the hood,
does the Maker have what it takes to stand up to its’ predecessors
to be crowned the ultimate cutting machine?
THE MAKER IN ACTION
Don't be fooled, aesthetics aren't the only thing this machine has going on. Underneath, it packs a 4000gf cutting force and a multitude of tools that can cut practically everything from paper and cardstock to wood and leather. With a max cutting size of up to 24", the Cricut Maker is more than enough for all your crafting needs.
The Cricut Maker has both free and paid designs available through its online software, Cricut Design Space. The cloud functionality built-in to the software has required automatic updates to ensure proper operation of the machine and the software. The Maker has a maximum cutting width of 12” x 24" provided by its various cutting mats, available in varying degrees of tackiness. This makes the Cricut Maker fully-equipped to handle all the crafting materials you intend to cut. With its multitude of tools like the Knife Blade and the Rotary Blade, plus its backwards compatibility capable of using blades and tools from previous Cricut machines, the Maker is a beast at cutting a number of materials. At just 30 lbs, the Maker is definitely on the heavier side, and for good reason. With a cutting force of 4000gf, it's bound to hide heavier components underneath the hood.
The Maker is capable of handling intricate cuts, in part due to the tackiness of the cutting mats provided, and the Cricut Explore Air 2 pales in comparison. With a simple and intuitive interface, Design Space is easy to maneuver, even for newcomers to the cutting industry. Thanks to its tactile buttons with LED lights, the Cricut Maker provides good haptic and visual feedback. And thanks to the USB port and docking area, you have a safe place to charge and store your device, should you choose to use the machine's Bluetooth capabilities. It is a given that the Cricut Maker looks good in any office or workspace setting, and packed with tools like the Applicator and Remover Set, Basic Tool Set, and Deep Point Blade, you are guaranteed endless hours of crafting and creating with the Maker.
So what's the verdict?
While it may seem like there is a clear winner, there is an important destinction to be made...
It depends on how you plan to use it.
Certainly, each machine has its own set of pros and cons. Limited cutting size, speed, lack of tools, etc. Whatever you choose to use for your business is up to you.
However, our research dictates that the Silhouette Cameo is great for production loads due to its 10' max cutting length, and the Cricut Maker is unbeatable for crafting projects thanks to its 4000gf cutting force and wide range of materials and tools.
Moreover, you can certainly do one's project with the other machine (i.e. crafting projects with the Cameo), but expect varying results. We find that the best use of both machines is to maximize each other's tools and features, depending on how big and complicated a certain project is.
So there you have it. Our concise yet comprehensive comparison of the industry's best cutter plotter machines. Each has its own use case and capabilities, so it is best to know which machine you should be aiming for. Hopefully, our research and findings have helped you decide on the cutter plotter for your business and target market.
For an even shorter version, here's a handy infographic to remind you.
So if you're looking to purchase either machine, or interested to know more, or maybe even want to see an in-person comparison, do not hesitate to contact our team.
We will gladly schedule your appointment so you can try both machines, first-hand.