Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4: Which should you get?
By Linus T.
Published October 2022
Cricut & Silhouette are both prominent brands in the smart cutting machine space. Both companies have existed for years in the market and have launched many cutting-edge design tools and crafting machines.
To understand more about Cricut and Silhouette, we’ll be taking a look at each brand’s top-of-the-line model. Though Cricut may be a more popular brand among crafters and designers, how does the Silhouette Cameo 4 fare against the Cricut Maker 3?
We’ll find out in this Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4 review.
On our list
#2 Design & Specs
#4 Cutting Capabilities
Cricut Maker 3
Let’s take a look at pricing first.
The Cricut Maker 3 retails for $399USD while the Silhouette Cameo 4 comes in at $299USD. Excluding seasonal promotions and bundle deals, the Cricut Maker 3 is generally more expensive than the Silhouette Cameo 4.
Do note that the Cameo 4 is also available in a ‘Plus’ and ‘Pro’, which are priced at $399USD and $499 USD respectively. These models are similar to the original Cameo 4 model but have a longer cutting width.
Between the comparable models of the Maker 3 & Cameo 4, if pricing is the main consideration for you, then the choice is obvious. But if budget isn’t a concern, let’s dive in to consider more factors in this Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4 review.
2. Design & Specs
The Cricut Maker 3 and Silhouette Cameo 4 are both modern, smart cutting machines. They both feature built-in Bluetooth technology to seamlessly connect to your devices, are compatible with their respective native mobile applications, and are designed with a dual-carriage system to attach different tools.
Design-wise, the Cricut Makers 3 has a polished exterior and provides a better user experience, while the Silhouette Cameo 4 looks a little edgier and focuses more on utility.
Cricut Maker 3
The Cricut Maker 3 gives you plenty of storage around the machine to put your blades, tools and pens wherever you need them to be. This makes it extremely accessible for you to swap tools when crafting.
The top of the machine features a tablet slot for you to rest your devices and also has a built-in USB charging port at the side to power your devices while using the Cricut Maker 3.
It is also constructed with more premium material with round edges and button controls that give it a nice look and feel overall.
Silhouette Cameo 4
The Silhouette Cameo 4 takes on a more clunky aesthetic. It does not have as much storage space as the Maker 3 but features two extra utility built-in.
It has a roll feeder to help you hold your materials in place when doing large designs and a cross cutter to easily cut off your material.
These aspects add value to the machine as you do not need to spend on additional external accessories. The Cameo 4 also comes with a nice backlit touch panel to control the machine.
Cricut Design Space
Cricut & Silhouette have both designed amazing software to be used alongside their machines.
With Cricut, you have the Cricut Design Space, which is compatible across all devices from desktop to mobile. For Silhouette, there’s the Silhouette Studio for desktop and Silhouette Go for mobile. Both apps can be used offline with their respective machines, making it a great plus point for users.
Both the Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio are free to download, so you can actually try them out before deciding which machine is right for you as their accompanying software will play a huge role in your crafting journey.
Both of their software also feature a huge library of templates and designs that you can use, but there is also a bulk of the content that is gated and can only be unlocked with a subscription. When you’re just getting started, the basic software will be good enough for you unless you already know what you’re doing. But as you dive deeper into your crafts, you can slowly consider coming on board these subscriptions to unlock more features for you to play around with and let your imagination run wild.
Now to the specifics. The Cricut Design Space is extremely user-friendly and intuitive to get started for beginners. It provides simple tools to get you going with cutting your materials. Simply import or choose an existing design, adjust the parameters like size and cutting material, and hit go.
The ease of use of the Cricut Design Space is also where it pales in comparison to the Silhouette Studio, which provides users with more design tool options and greater customisability. You are able to access features like tracing, warping, and welding and also perform complex actions like free-hand drawing and neat vector tools.
Also, by using an additional software called Silhouette Connect, users have the option to sync with Adobe Illustrator® or CorelDRAW® to send projects directly to Silhouette Studio.
If you're starting out, the Cricut Design Space makes it really easy for you to get the job done with an excellent interface. However, if you’re looking for more complex tools to design and experiment with, then the Silhouette Studio might be more suited for your skillset.
4. Cutting Capabilities
Last but not least, the most basic and important feature of a cutting machine, how do the cutting capabilities compare with the Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4.
Both machines are extremely powerful and fast compared to their predecessors and are capable of cutting through a wide variety of materials to support your creative ideas.
Silhouette Cameo 4
Force & Speed
Spec-wise, the Silhoutte Cameo 4 is more powerful than the Cricut Maker 3. The Cameo 4 is able to cut with up to 5kg of force while the Maker 3 only has 4kg of cutting force. The power a machine has affects its cutting ability for thicker and denser materials. If you’re mainly cutting materials like vinyl and iron-on, then this will not make so much of a difference for you.
Cutting speeds seem to vary across the board for different materials. In some instances, the Maker 3 outperformed the Cameo 4 in getting the task done. While in other scenarios, the Cameo 4 could take half the time of the Maker 3. One thing that is visible throughout though is the sound & noise of the machines. The Maker 3 is audibly much quieter and presents a more peaceful cutting experience as compared to the Cameo 4 which feels and sounds a little cranky.
Cricut Maker 3
With the Silhouette Cameo 4, you are able to perform longer cuts of up to 10ft thanks to its mat-less feature for materials with liners or backing like vinyl, heat transfer, etc. This is not possible with the Cricut Maker 3 unless using their proprietary Smart Materials, where you can also go mat-less.
Lastly, the range of tools. The Silhouette Cameo 4 is only able to work with a limited set of 5 different tools: Autoblade, Rotary Blade, Kraft Blade, Punch Tool, & Pen Holder.
The Cricut Maker 3 is in a different league with its large array of 13 crafting tools you can access: Fine Point Blade, Deep Point Blade, Bonded Fabric Blade, Knife Blade, Rotary Blade, Foil Transfer Tool, Scoring Wheels, Engraving Tool, Debossing Tool, Wavy Blade, Perforation Blade, Scoring Stylus, and Pens & Markers.
Do note that apart from the basic blade in each machine, the rest of the tools are sold separately. That said, the Cricut Maker 3 does open up a lot more possibilities for you with an extensive selection of tools to choose from.
When it comes to cutting capabilities, it seems like the Cricut Maker 3 and Silhouette Cameo 4 each win at different aspects to come out rather toe to toe. The Cameo 4 continues to stand out for its robust functionality with power and cutting length, while the Maker 3 focuses on a great user experience.
Compare Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4
Silhouette Cameo 4
Based on our review of the Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4, we can kind of draw parallels to a familiar comparison in the tech space — Apple vs Android.
Like Apple, Cricut has designed its machines with a beautiful and polished look, using premium materials that are nice to touch and feel. Its software is intuitive and easy to use for all, making it a great choice for entry-level crafters. And it’s also a little pricier.
With Silhouette, you sort of get an Android-like experience. Their machines are engineered with more specs and features and when it comes to their software, you have a greater ability to customise and play around with your designs and cuts.
To sum it up, if you’re looking for a great user experience in your crafting journey, you might want to go for the Cricut Maker 3. While, if you like to experiment with more full-feature design customisation, then the Silhouette Cameo 4 is the option for you.
If you like to read more on Cricut smart cutting machines, check out our other relevant guides here:
Cricut Buyer’s Guide
Cricut Maker 3 vs Cricut Maker
Cricut Maker 3 vs Cricut Explore 3
Cricut Easypress 3 vs Cricut Easypress 2
Best Cricut Accessories: Everything You Need To Get Started
Explore the full collection for Cricut on Amazon.com or visit the Official Cricut Singapore Store.
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