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Monday, June 13, 2016

Cutting Machines: Cricut Explore vs. Silhouette Cameo

Hey everyone, Nikki here! For the past few months since we started releasing cut files, I have wanted to compare the Cricut Explore and the Silhouette Cameo machines.  Now that I have both, I decided to do some videos and a blog post to compare them.  I hope it helps as you decide which one to buy.

First, let’s start with some specifications of each:

Cricut Explore

Weight 10.9 lbs.
Full software free
Dual carriage: Explore and Explore Air
Single carriage on Explore One
Internet required to use software
Images stored online
Cut .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .svg, and .dxf free
Software is web based with automatic updates
Blade adjustment is automatic by smart dial on the machine
Has built in storage for extra blades and tools
Print then cut feature
Explore Air has built in wireless. Explore and Explore One needs a blue tooth adapter to be wireless
Cricut store with subscription option and single image purchases.  Can also purchase cartridges.
Multi layer files broken into layers automatically
Design on a canvas

Silhouette Cameo

Weight 6.5 lbs.
Basic software free but also paid upgrade option for full software
Cut .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .wmf, .gsd/gst and .dxf free  Must pay an upgrade fee to use .svg files
Layered images added as a group and must be ungrouped and moved to different mats
Single carriage
Print then cut feature
Images stored on personal computer
No internet required to use software
Design on a virtual cutting mat
Matless cutting feature
Manually adjust the blade
Software is downloaded and updates must be downloaded also

Now on to my personal experience with both machines. 
The Cricut Design software is online and requires internet to work.  Sometimes you get a notice that says the flash player needs updated and you either have to update it or close the web browser and restart it before it works.  Silhouette software does not need internet which is a definite plus in my book.  

The Cricut is less noisy and sounds like the movement of the blade and mat is more fluid than the Silhouette but both finished products were cut perfectly.

The Silhouette is slower at cutting than the Cricut.

I do not like that the layers are not automatically separated on the silhouette software and I really do not like the fact that you have to pay an upgrade fee to use .svg files.  .svg files are much easier to use than .dxf files. Both software programs allowed me to manipulate the size easily.  Overall, both are great machines and you can’t go wrong with either.  They both cut the images perfectly.

To compare speeds, I cut the same image out with both machines in the same size.  Cricut Explore One finished in 2 minutes exactly and Silhouette Cameo finished at 5 minutes 19 seconds.

If you want to see some of the features up close, here's a video I put together comparing the two and showing them in action:

I really hope this short blog and video help you determine which product personally suits you between these two cutting machines. Also, be sure to check out all our CKC Cut Files available - we have so many fun ones to choose from! 

~ Nikki 


  1. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.
    cameo silhouette

  2. I have a question for you. I am looking into purchasing a new machine, I am starting my own small tshirt business and need to figure out which machine would work better for that. What would your opinion be? I want something I can go online with and find an image and then use that image for a shirt design, which one would allow that to happen? Thanks Nikki

  3. thank you for tutorial couldn't figure why the cdc file i just downloaded wasn't working..... on my silhouette. because i was trying to download the .svg file.

  4. Thanks for providing recent updates regarding the concern, I look forward to read more. Best Vinyl Cutting Machines in 2018