Cricut Maker VS Silhouette Cameo- My Honest Review

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Reviews | 0 comments

For those who follow me online, you probably know that for the past year or so I have been a hardcore Cricut fan. I got my Cricut Maker back in July 2019 and since then it has opend up a world of creativity for me to embrace.

Iv’e created things like koozies, stickers, shadowboxes, jewelry, mugs, signage and more! It allowed me to turn my designs into something so much more than a flat image on a screen. 

However, back around September of 2020 I ran into a huge issue with design space. As a creative, I rely on Cricut’s software to allow me to upload my own custom designs to cut. The software bug refused to let me upload anything! I tried and tried and hoped it would get fixed. After all, I had custom orders I needed to get out.

Well. After a couple weeks being down, per the advise from other users, I invested in a Silhouette Cameo 4 plus. I was put on a wait list and was fortunate that it just so happened to ship in October. 

 This article is about my experiences with both my Cricut and Silhouette machines. I will be going into some details on the Pros VS Cons as well as what I use each machine for.  

Cricut Maker

First I will start off with my Cricut Maker. For those who asked “Why the Maker”- I originally wanted the ability to cut fabric, as I sew. I ended up using my unit for pretty much everything but fabric, but what I really liked was the ease of use. Right out of the box, I could upload and work my designs. It was very easy and simple to use.

Now, granted, I do have a design background and am very familiar with Adobe Illustrator. All of my files are cut ready when I upload them into design space, so I may not be the average user. 


  •  Easy to use right out of the box
  • Design space is simple and user friendly- great for newbies (when it works)
  • Great print-and-cut accuracy
  • Blades are easy enough to replace and are relatively inexpensive for sets you can buy right off of Amazon. Lots of generic options
  • Great diversity of attachments
  • Machine isn’t very loud
  • Minimal maintenance needed- I haven’t had many issues with jamming or things getting stuck
  • Blades easy to clean. I just poke it into foil after running it through faux leather/ card stock/ glitter.
  • The base-material settings in the software were pretty accurate for me right out of the box. Not much tweaking needed


  • Software has a lot of bugs and is cloud based. It goes down a lot for me and is unreliable when operating a business.
  • Software is cloud based and needs the internet to run
  • Software is very basic and may not offer users the customization options they need
  • Need mats for cutting projects
  • Can only cut 12×24 in unless rigged (there are ways)
  • Print-and-cut produces a lot of waste due to the eye marks
  • Mat maintenance- you need to clean and make sure they are sticky enough (taping the edges and sides help)
  • No option to do test-cuts for projects
  • For print and cut kiss-cut stickers, the normal sticker setting will cut through! You need to set it for washi-tape setting for cutting kiss cuts.

Silhouette Cameo

I will say, it has been a learning curve with my Silhouette Cameo 4 Plus. It took me a good day to really understand and get to know my machine, however there are two huge benefits to this machine I want to point out- Matless cutting and the ability to cut large rolls of vinyl; 15 in x 10ft i’m talking! I have used both features and it seriously helps cut down a lot of time.


    • Great, advanced design software if you upgrade to the business edition (think Adobe status almost)
    • Matless cutting! Card stock, kiss-cut stickers and vinyl! This is the feature I am most pleased with and is a game changer for me! Just load and set!
    • The ability to cut 15 in x 10ft rolls of vinyl (great for signage) or even larger rolls if you go with the Pro model
    • Software isn’t cloud based and you can save projects locally and work without the need for the net!
    • The ability to perform test cuts on material types so you don’t waste
    • You can still use a mat- that is optional!
    • Blades and attachments can be purchased separately
    • You can purchase other attachments separately
    • Has a trimmer in the back of the machine to cut your rolls of vinyl



  •  Software may be overwhelming for new users
  • Takes awhile to learn the machine and may present a learning curve if you are used to a Cricut
  • Glossy print-and-cut may cause registration issues due to glare (also- you need to make sure your design is NOT within the cross hatch region. Adding tape over the eye marks may help, or closing the machine lid to cut)
  • Matless cutting pop-out card stock feature isn’t great for small details (ie- detailed shadowbox layers) and it may jam the machine
  • Blade exchange is much different than a Cricut. You need to purchase a whole new auto-blade VS getting the tips like you can do with a Cricut
  • The vinyl roll piece is a bit flimsy and often pulls the roll off center, skewing or jamming the vinyl. I’m still trying to figure out how to rig it, but the intent is great. This is hit or miss for me and I keep an eye on the large roll jobs.
  • Machine is a little loud (I think it sounds like a slot machine


What’s the verdict here?

For the longest time, I was always a hardcore Cricut fan. I love how easy it is to use, I can load a mat and can count on it for all my print-and-cut needs, however with recent events, I have to admit when running a business and doing orders (especially around the holidays), I feel I cannot rely on the Cricut software to work as I like. My machine has gone down more than once and having it be unusable for over a month is really unacceptable.

My Design Space issue presents the following: when I try to upload my custom files (it’s all I work with)- the software puts me in a loop and will not allow me to upload anything. It just goes back to the main screen. As a designer, I rely on my machines to cut my own designs and projects. I upload all my own SVG files that I personally create. 

For crafters wishing to start a business or sell and needs that reliability, I highly advise the Silhouette. When you have orders and clients, you cannot afford to have your machine down for days at a time. The learning curve is worth it in the long run. Not to mention, the matless cutting and large rolls of vinyl are beneficial for large jobs and can add to your service list.

If you are a hobbyist looking to get started on something simple to see how you enjoy the capabilities of cutting, I recommend the Cricut. Even if you are unsure if you want to make money with your crafts, the Cricut is a great machine when the software is working. Some people have no issues and some people have all the issues. 

Most often, I have both of my machines going at the same time, when my Cricut software works. For my shadowboxes that are many layers I often load up the detailed ones on my Cricut via mat so it can take its time, and then use my Silhouette to cut the less detailed ones.

I only do faux leather jewelry, crepe paper and fabric on my Cricut Maker via strong grip mat, although I hear the Silhouette can cut it as well. These ones are one-off jobs though and I don’t do them often.

 What about you? Do you have a Cricut or Silhouette? What has been your experiences?

About the Author

Kristina is a full time freelance illustrator, graphic & web designer as well as an avid DIY crafter! She loves nothing more than creating all kinds of things. This blog showcases her latest projects, shop updates, stories, reviews, freebies and more!

When Kristina isn’t making stuff, she can be found hanging out with her Goldendoodle pup Daisy and her two Axolotls, Pickles & Popcorn.

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