Which craft cutting machine would you recommend?

I have a Silhouette Cameo 3 and use it for testing my designs. It’s been a learning experience from the start and most the time is behaves :stuck_out_tongue:

For those of you who have used multiple types of machines, which would you recommend?

I love paper cutting and like that the cameo allows me to slow down the speed for intricate designs.


I have Cricut Explore Air and I love it, I never had another machine though. Many people complain about Design Space in Cricut but I only use it to import my files in there - for the designing part I have Illustrator

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I also have a Cricut Explore Air, and I love it! It does have its limitations, though: for example, if you’re wanting to cut fabric, you’ll need to get a Cricut Maker.

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I would watch some beginner videos on the machines you are considering. I find them valuable in learning the machines.

I’ve had both a Cricut (old cartridge style) and a Silhouette (Cameo 3). I also craft with ladies from one of my organizations. They have a mixture of the Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother machines. After using their machines and the software, I will admit that if I were shopping right now, I would buy another Silhouette.

I tried their machines before I bought my Cameo 3. The Silhouette Cameo 3 was easier to use and I found the Silhouette Studio software to be easier to understand than Design Space. Then again, I was interested in using some of the design features in the software and not just finding designs in their store or uploading finished designs to use.

Your mileage may vary. I also use Illustrator and Photoshop regularly, and that may have swayed my opinion on the machine design software.

When I have questions about how to do something with my Cameo 3, I search for tutorial videos. I’m happy to help if you let me know what you want to do with your Cameo 3. If I don’t know the answer, I’m pretty good at ferreting out an answer online.


The biggest thing to consider is what do YOU do? I see that you mention paper and if that is your thing, then the cameo is probably the best thing. Espcially since you said you can slow down the speed. I don’t believe that Cricut is able to do that (although I haven’t looked into, I know you can do Speed cuts lol).

I have the two cricuts (the air and the explore) and I only cut vinyl and it’s worked great for that. If you are wanting to dive into cutting a wider range of material, the Maker is suppose to be AMAZING for it!

The only issue I have had with the Cricut is that sometimes the Design studio went down, but since they have moved to a desktop application, it has been pretty smooth sailing. With any technology though things are bound to pop up. If you have any close crafting friends, you can always ask to play with theirs to see how you like the way the program works.

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Thank you @Ashley_M @ThatCraftyRedhead @Anne_B and @Desislava_S
That is so useful. It is like a whole other world.
I design in illustrator and convert to SVG, so for me it’s less about Design Space and Silhouette Studio and more about the machine.

My mum has my machine at the moment, I’m tempted to let her keep it. Then get myself a new one. So I do have a love to think about and lots of good recommendations - Thanks :smiley:

See, you have a great solution then! Giving your cameo to mom means it’s still close if you need it, but grabbing a Maker will allow you to play with everything! Best of both worlds. :slight_smile:


I’ll just jump in and say I have the Brother Scan and Cut (DX machine), which I use the most, a Curio, and I also had a Cricut Explore Air. I found I only used the Cricut when I wanted to cut really intricate designs, which I rarely do. One year I think I used it only one time to cut Christmas cards. Because of that, I gave it to a niece. I mostly use my Brother the most, and the Curio when I purchase a design from Silhoutte and need to cut it out. I really like both machines, but the DX machine is very quiet and will cut intricate designs (again, which I rarely cut).

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OOOH! So it looks like you ended up seeing a little bit of everything. What did you think of their cutting software? Which one was the most friendly to use?

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Cameo 3, awesome machine and quick easy software. 99% of my products have been designed in silhouette :blush:

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Thank You @Keeley_B

I would look at the software, do you have access to the web all the time? I picked the Silhouette because of the software. They have many tiers, but if you already use Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW they have a plug-in to print directly from them. I have the business edition and the plug-ins… I can’t offer much more information about the software besides that. I’m still learning too.

If your a heavy font user in your designs that is another drawback I hear for Cricut, poor font handling , many use Inkscape or some other vector application to create their designs and save an SVG to send to DesignSpace.

Something to look at is your workflow.
Do you design on paper, scan, import, and build a vector from there, do you use Procreate send your designs to another app to vector-ize and print…

I have the cricut maker. Fantastic machine. Did have the sillouette curio but had so many problems I sent it back for a full refund.
Everyone will have personal preference but for me I’m so pleased I made the swop

I guess a lot would depend upon why you are interested in one, if it’s for your own use, then I’d look at your intended end use, use and ask myself how big of an image (physical dimensions) do I need to cut, both long term and short term?
Are you only going to cut purchased designs, or are you going design your own?
If you are going to cut purchased designs, then you need to make sure that the machine you choose, and it’s software, will cut desired files. If you are going to design your own, you need to make sure that the machine and it’s software will take, and work with, file formats you can generate. Always look at “Worst case scenario”, the biggest file/artwork dimension wise, that you would ever possibly need or want to cut. How complicated a file can your cutter handle, and what kind of memory capacity does your cutter need. Can you EASILY get new cutting heads, embossing heads, etc.? It’s easy to get yourself sold on something because of the low initial price, but if you can’t get new cutting or accessory head, updates on software, etc., then your machine is only good for the first few jobs. You end up with a really expensive paperweight/learning experience. What kind of material, and thickness, will your cutter handle or need to handle? Does or will your cutter work cross platform (Mac or PC), can you run it from a laptop? If you need to work remotely, like at craft shows, etc., this can be a make or break kind of thing.
Look ahead at your needs and limitations, and think of all of the steps that will be needed to get you to your desired destination.

I have a Cricut Maker and previously a Cricut Explore Air. I did buy Silhouette Studio business edition for some specific photo editing and the ability to export as an SVG to my Cricut for engraving. Because I learned DS first, I find Silhouette Studio difficult to learn. I have all of the Cricut blades and I think it’s fun to try all of the new things. I craft for fun, not for business.

I have used both and I find Silhouette’s software to be way more user friendly than the Cricut. I like the functionality of the machine better and love that they now have the ability to cut way wider with the Cameo 4 plus and Pro than anything that Cricut offers. But again this is probably an IPhone vs Android debate…