Silhouette vs. Cricut

January 13, 2011

in Product Review,Silhouette

EDIT: I've updated the bottom of this post with additional notes & answers to questions I've received. I've received quite a few inquiries on what I prefer between these 2 machines. The truthful answer is that I really haven't played around enough with the Silhouette to say for sure. However in the little bit I've been using the machine - if I had to choose one right now, it would be the Silhouette. Here are my personal reasons why: (Note: everyone has different preferences, so these may or may not apply to you)
  • It handles intricate cuts VERY well. Now perhaps it's just me - but I've tried new blades, new mats, different paper, and all kinds of settings on my Cricut Expression and I'm telling you - the cuts still tear and the machine just can't handle super intricate images. For me, that's a problem.
  • No cartridges required. I am not a fan of any more clutter than I already have in my craft room! I also hate the cost of the Cricut cartridges. $40-$50 a cartridge (only if you find them on sale - otherwise they are more like $90) - and most of the time I don't even really like a lot of the images on the cartridge. I like being able to pay for the elements I want at a much lower price. (anywhere from 20 to 99 cents an image, depending on what plan you have)
  • Size. It's smaller & lighter. Takes up less room. I like that.
All in all, I feel like the artwork available for the Silhouette is more reasonable in price and also more my style. But that might be because I haven't purchased any Cricut carts recently. A lot of them are very cartoonish - they are cute, but not so much my style. I do think they are GREAT for kids. (so maybe that means I should keep mine? Ha!) Lastly, here are some other resources if you really wanted to research further: Kristina Werner's Blog post about her experiment w/ the 2 machines. Chart that compares the 2 machines. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there are deals out there on the Silhouette - it's not $299. Whatever you do, DO NOT buy it from Silhouette America's website. LOL! Try this deal on Overstock.com - that is where Pete got mine - it even comes w/ a few extras. and with that, I hope I didn't offend any of you Cricut lovers ;) EDIT 1/14/11: Just answering some more questions & sharing more info that I've received:
  • A Blog Reader (thank you Lee Ann) sent me a link to another site with a great price on Silhouette. I have not ordered from here, just sharing this link that she passed along to me. You can find it HERE.
  • Regarding the images you purchase for the Silhouette: You own the images once you purchase them, yes. Meaning - you can cut them as many times as you want. They are stored on your computer for future use & get added to your library.
  • You can also import files into your Silhouette software to cut. So if you purchase any of the digital cut files over at 2Peas, or any other site, you just need to import the GSD version of the file. See a video HERE that explains more about importing GSD files.
  • Another good point some of you mentioned that I forgot to - you can cut out any font you already have on your computer with the Silhouette. You can do this with the Cricut too - but you will need the Sure Cuts a Lot software. SCAL will also let you import cut files that you can buy at 2peas or other places. You use the SVG version of the file & import into SCAL. (I have SCAL and have used it - it's definitely a great piece of software to have). NOTE: The Cricut Design Studio software will NOT cut anything out from your computer - meaning fonts or anything you download. It will ONLY cut from the Cricut cartridges.
  • One of my favorite places to download digital cut files is from Kerri Bradford. Her stuff is amazing & super reasonable in price. I believe these cut files can be used with Cricut too (you will need SCAL software)
  • Another great place to get cut files for both Silhouette & Cricut: the TwoPeas store.
  • Someone just pointed out that the Silhouette will score. I did NOT know this! I need to figure out how to do that - it sounds pretty neat.
  • To see some examples of using the Silhouette software, try this video by Kristina Werner. There is also this video by Nichol McGourik (she is a HUGE resource for all things Silhouette). I do believe she is using the older version of Silhouette Software in this video though.
OK so that's all I have to update for now. I am still learning about this machine so I will do my best to answer any questions. Thanks!

{ 11 comments }

Lesley S January 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I totally agree with you. I have a cricut expression and I find the carts very expensive (even more so in the UK) and the designs are all the same. I am thinking of selling my cricut and investing the money into another die cutting machine which is more versatile, with designs I want to use, at reasonable prices. I think Provocraft have got greedy. I will investigate the silhouette. Thanks for your honest views on the product.

Lisa January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I agree with everything you said! I also have both machines and I really like the Silhouette better. The cuts are more precise and I also like thier designs better than the cricut. I also love that they come out with new designs daily!!

LindaStamps January 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Thanks for this review. I own the cricut and I don’t love it. It’s ok, but I agree totally with your view on a lot of cartoon type images – not my thing either. The cartridges sell here in my city in Canada for $119. Ridiculous unless you use all the images.

Naturally Me Creations January 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

Thanx for this post! I don’t have any of these machines yet, so this is handy info in researching which one i should get! :)

nemo January 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thank you Kerry, I do appreciate it!!

Julie Gibbons January 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi Kerry, Thanks for the review. I have a Cricut but love the Silhouette Store where you can purchase single downloads for 0.99. Have you ever found a similar site for Cricut downloads.? I agree the Silhouette images are much more my style as well, and am hoping someone out there has developed similar downloads for the Cricut. BTW: LOVE your blog.

Jess January 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Hey Kerry – Love the review – I too, like a lot of others it seems, am also disappointed in the cricut. Once you buy the design, is it yours to “keep” or do you have to repurchase it if you want to use it again??

Lu January 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Hello Kerry,
Well-funny you should talk about these items. I attended a recent craft workshop and three of the attendees indicated there were selling their Cricuts-too bulky, too expensive, and the cartridges almost all have the same elements or similar. I bought mine a couple of months ago and I cannot get the Design Studio to capture my cartridges. Lots of money for an item I am not enjoying like I thought. I visit the rubberstamping blogs to stay inspired. Thanks-I thought it was just me. Blessings.

Coley January 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I’m loving my Silhouette too! My favorite two features are: it can cut any font on your computer and it scores! I love being able to make a little box or an envelope or a bag or even a party hat and having the fold lines scored and the tabs cut!

Alissa January 15, 2011 at 10:58 am

Great post! THanks for updating and giving us so much information. I just got my Cricut Expression at Christmas and I really love it. I had heard about the Silhouette, but did not know how it compared to the Cricut. I think both machines are fantastic. I personally love the cricut and all its options. The videos, tutorals and design ideas online are limitless and amazing.

rosbelie February 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Thank you for this review. I actually own a Silhoutte but have not used it much.I was even thinking of getting rid of it but you changed my mind, I appreciate all the resources that you shared. I hope you will share more ideas or projects using the Silhoutte. Now I will focus on using it.

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