Which cutting machine is the better investment in 2020: the Cricut Maker or the Silhouette Cameo 4? Both are highly rated brands, so a lot of crafters are debating which machine to add to their craft collection. The Cricut Maker has been in the market since 2017, while the Silhouette Cameo 4 was only released in 2019 and at a more affordable price point than the Cricut. We take a closer look at their features to help you pick your machine in 2020.
Cricut Maker vs. Silhouette Cameo 4 Comparison Chart
|Model||Cricut Maker Machine||Silhouette Cameo 4|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Dimensions||21.2 x 7 x 5.9 inches||22.44 x 7.68 x 6.69 inches|
|Maximum Cutting Force||4 kg||5 kg|
|Max Media Thickness||2.4 mm (through its Knife Blade sold separately)||3 mm (through its Kraft Blade sold separately)|
|Maximum Cutting Size||12″ x 24″||12 in. x 24 in. (mat)|
12 in x 10 ft. (roll)
the upcoming Pro and Plus versions will offer bigger cutting size
|Software||Design Space®||Silhouette Studio®|
|Blade||Rotary Blade, Fine-Point Blade||AutoBlade|
|Colors||Blue, Lilac, Champagne, Mint, White, Rose||White, Black, Pink|
|Cutting Mat||12″ x 12″ FabricGrip™ and LightGrip machine mats||12″ x 12″ cutting mat|
|Digital Sewing Patterns||50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns||100 exclusive designs|
|Subscription||Free trial membership for Cricut Access||1-month subscription to Silhouette Design Store|
|Compatible Tools||Rotary Blade|
Fine Point Blade
Deep Point Blade
Downward Cutting Force & Speed
Both machines are fast, but the Cameo 4 applies 1kg more downward force
The Cricut Maker has been faster than the other Silhouette Cameos until the latest Cameo 4. Both cutting machines are already faster and more powerful than the average cutting machines, but with 5 kg downward cutting force, the Cameo 4 is more powerful than the Cricut Maker with 4 kg downward force. If you are only cutting card stocks or fabric, you might not even notice their difference. However, if you cut thick materials often such as vinyl, leather and balsa wood, you will appreciate the extra force that the Cameo 4 offers.
Cricut’s software is more user-friendly and has a larger library of designs
The software used by your cutting machine can greatly affect your design and cutting experience. The Cricut Maker uses Cricut’s Design Space while the Cameo 4 runs on the Silhouette Studio.
Cricut’s Design Space is more intuitive and user-friendly, while the learning curve for the Silhouette Studio can be a little higher. Cricut’s Design Space also has a bigger library of images, fonts, designs, and a wider array of sewing patterns.
The Silhouette Studio also has a wide selection of fonts and designs to choose from, but it is notable that it offers more flexibility when designing from scratch. If you like having more freedom in designing, the Cameo 4’s Silhouette Studio can offer that more than the Cricut Maker’s Design Space.
Another major difference between their software is Cricut Maker’s Design Space for desktop only works on the cloud while the Silhouette Studio is downloadable. If you always have a stable internet connection at home, then the cloud-based Design Space will work well. If you are using iOS though, you’re in luck as they have rolled out an offline version.
For those with a poorer connection at home who use desktop computers, the Silhouette Studio is the better choice. However, since the Cameo 4 is still fairly new, users have experienced more bugs than the Design Space, which has been on the market for much longer.
The Cricut Maker is compatible with more tools than the Cameo 4
For years, the Cricut Maker was the only cutting machine equipped with a rotary blade. The Cameo 4 changed that though as this latest cutting machine comes with AutoBlade. However, even with the Cameo 4’s vast upgrades from its predecessor, the Cricut Maker still currently has more tools you can use by a mile (see comparison chart).
The Cricut Maker is smaller, looks sleeker, and has more colors
The overall look of the Cameo 4 pales in comparison to the Cricut Maker. The Cricut Maker’s aesthetics and chic shades are on point. You can choose from blue, lilac, champagne, mint, white, and rose. As for the Cameo 4, white, black, and pink are the only options.
For crafters who want to maximize space, you will also like the smaller dimensions of the Cricut Maker. The Cricut Maker also has an iPad docking station that helps save space.
The Silhouette Cameo 4 gives you more bang for your buck, but new crafters will benefit from the Cricut Maker’s wide variety of tools and user-friendly interface
Cricut Maker Machine
Silhouette Cameo 4
This is a difficult decision because each has its own unique strengths.
At a lower price point, the Silhouette Cameo 4 offers significant features similar to what the Cricut Maker has. Even when you are not looking at the price tag, its power and the bigger cutting size options that Silhouette is about to roll out this 2020 make it a better investment. The Silhouette Studio of the Cameo 4 is something advanced designers also prefer because it provides more freedom to customize your designs.
On the other hand, the Cricut Maker is easier to set up, its software is more intuitive, and has more compatible tools available. For those who like to sew and do 3D projects, the Cricut Maker has a vast selection of sewing patterns and projects to choose from. In addition, since it has also been in the market for a while, you will find more tutorials available online that will help you maximize its features, and any bugs it had when it was first released have been fixed. The same cannot be said for the fairly-new Silhouette Cameo 4.