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Cut@Home Blog - Scrapbooking & Card Making Ideas

Provo Craft - Cricut no image

Published on March 16th, 2012 | by Cut@Home


Provo Craft Cricut versus Silhouette Cameo

Which One Is Right for You? The Provo Craft Cricut OR the Silhouette Cameo. Here is some info that might help you out! Lets start the battle Cricut versus Cameo round ONE!

You might have noticed in our online store that we are now carrying Cricut machines and Cartridges. We have always carried Provo Craft’s line of Cuttlebug embossing folders and their version 2 of the cuttlebug, but held off for years on carrying the cricut line due to unfair competition. However, things have changed over at Provo Craft and we are pleased to be working more closely with them than ever. We will leave it at that & simply say that we are excited to carry Provo craft’s most popular machine the Cricut Expression and all their cartridges at unbelievable prices.

The purpose of this blog post however, is to compare some of the differences between the Silhouette Cameo and Provo Craft Cricut that perhaps you the crafter may not have thought of. Let me start out by saying that both of these die cutting machines are “hot” on the market and both are a scrapbookers dream come true for those that like a little software hands off approach per se.

So before we start I invite you to join our VIP email club where we release special discounts weekly on all of our 7000 die-cutting and stamping products along with special coupons from some of the hottest vendors like spellbinders and sizzix. Just join below:


Let’s start talking about the Cricut first & then finish with the Cameo:

Provo Craft pink cricut

Cricut Expression made and designed by Provo Craft is an electronic cutter with two cutting measurements offered which are 12×12 inch and 12×24 inch. You can cut out dies from .25 inch up to 23.5 inches. Which is absolutely huge! This machine accepts all cricut cartridges, which can be benefical if you don’t want to be collection hundreds of scrapbook dies. It’s space saving design is very much similar to small deskjet printer. It comes with different customization of cutting and settings to permit different languages & units of measurements. When you flip the lid open on the cricut expression you will see a very NICE LCD screen for easy viewing and all your keyboard options. Now here is probably the major difference from the Silhouette Cameo is that there is NO computer necessary. This is a stand alone and functioning craft machine! Click here to see these tools. PRICE: $199.99 on

Silhouette Cameo

Next we have the all NEW Silhouette Cameo designed by Silhouette America. This is a redesign from the first release of the Silhouette SD digital craft cutter. This redesign initiated the new company and branched from Quickutz. There are some big updates that were made to improve this die cutting tool. Lets go through them. First off it is an electronic cutting tool as well meaning no roller mechanism and needs to obviously be plugged in as with the Expression. It is similar to a home printer in that the Cameo plugs directly into your PC or Mac computer with the use of a USB cable. Using a small blade or pen (if you want to draw the design. See pens here) to cut paper cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and more. It will cut up to 12 inches wide and 10 FEET long. The motor is impressively quiet. There are no cartridges used with this machine. The designs are ALL downloadable! so you are neither collection die cuts nor cartridges. Click Here to see the Cameo. PRICE: $269.99  on

So as you can see their are some very OBVIOUS differences between these two die cutting tools. Here is my one thought I leave with you and the question you need to ponder if you are deciding between the two:


The reason I pose this question is the Cricut was designed around the working woman. One that is on a computer all day at work and the last thing she wants to do is sit at home & get back on that computer. On the contrary the Silhouette Cameo was made in mind with the crafter that does not really want the hands on experience and would rather have a tool that allows one to do their owny vinyl lettering easily or paper projects through a computer that is a stay at home mom or their job does not require 9-5 computer all day. They BOTH are different in purpose and why I posed the question as such.

See ALL die cutting & embossing machines! You will then be able to see pricing,more details, and most importanly make the best decision possible of which die cutting machine is right for you. YOu may also be interested in watching these videos below as it goes through a few that are out there on the market! Simply click on the link and you will be taken to our youtube channel.

Which Die Cutting Tool is right for you

I hope this was helpful and please feel free to LEAVE A COMMENT below on which one you like the BEST and WHY! We want to hear about it.


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About the Author

I love Scrapbooking, Rubber Stamping, and Card Making Ideas and Projects,which is why I started! I enjoy offering the Best products,ideas, & videos for Spellbinders,Sizzix,Provo Craft,Quickutz,Graphic 45,DCWV,Hero Arts,Making Memories and much more!

  • I would agree that both are GREAT and different as well in purpose! I will say that I like the feature of not having to be on the computer all the time, but I LOVE being able to do a LONG vinyl letter project with the Cameo. I guess 6’s for me!

  • Carrie

    Thank you for posting this on your blog! I personally own both the Cricut machine and the Silhouette Cameo and love them both! I have owned my Expression for about 4 years and own over 40 cartridges. I love so many of the designs and fonts, and the fact that I have the Gypsy which I can take with me where ever I go to do my designing, then hook it to my Cricut to cut. Handy! I decided to purchase the Silhouette Cameo mainly because I love the fact that I can download ANY font on my computer and cut it with my Cameo That is very nice! Both machines are great, it just depends on the project that I am doing as to what machine I will use. Thanks again!

  • There are definitely some small pros and cons of both. The Cameo is definitely for one that likes to use a PC in their crafting and designing. It is also very quiet and can even be used to run a small business out of the home for vinyl lettering. I have heard to if you are a school teacher it can be very efficient to do something right from your desk at school to quickly put up letters on a board. I do like the the Cricut Expression as well. It is true and kind of nice to not have to connect to a computer and be able to pull out a cartridge put your 12×12 paper in and you are ready to go! Anyways those are my comments.

  • Marcie

    I found this review on both machines done by P. Schmidt — “I am writing this review from the perspective of a comparison between the Cricut Expression 2 and the Silhouette Cameo. My review is also approaching the application of these machines from a more industrial perspective, NOT from and arts & crafts perspective. In other words, what applications can inexpensive computer-controlled cutting machines be put to outside of the usual arts & crafts world, and how do the two most popular machines of that type compare in those divergent applications?

    By Arts & Crafts, I am referring to applications that involve the usual ‘hearts, flowers, puppy dogs, cupcakes’ shape cutting. By Industrial, I am referring to other tasks such as cutting stencils for spray painting numbers on shipping crates, cutting gaskets, cutting of labels and industrial markers, cutting picture frame masks, and so on.

    I have obtained and used both machines during the same time period. I have had extensive communications with both manufacturers, both in pre-sales discussions and in post-sales customer/technical support. If I mention a feature of a product, it is one that I have used and verified personally. If I mention a limitation of a product, it is one that I have experienced personally AND also discussed with the manufacturer to see if I was missing something and/or if there was a work-around or alternative way of achieving the goal.

    Both machines will cut out shapes from sheets of flat materials under computerized control. Both machines are very similar in design and layout, and both work in the same mechanical fashion. Both machines are about the same size and can cut shapes from similar sized pieces of raw material. Both machines use a tiny metal knife that us moved up and down under computer control, while the knife holder moves sideways and the material moved front and back. Both machines use a knife blade that swivels so that it always cuts regardless of the direction the materials is moving in relative to the knife itself.

    Other than these similarities, there are significant differences in the philosophy between the two products. Henceforth in this review I will refer to the Cricut Expression 2 as the “Cricut” and the Silhouette Cameo as the “Cameo”.

    The Cricut is fundamentally designed to provide a wide range of predefined symbols and symbol sets from which the user can select and assemble the desired craft projects. It does this without the need for any additional equipment, and specifically the user does not need to have a personal computer or have any knowledge of software or computers. It is the more portable of the two products because you can pick it up and take it to another location easily without the need to lug along a personal computer (or have a personal computer in the new location). The Cricut is self-sufficient.

    The Cameo is fundamentally designed to act exactly as an inkjet or laser printer does when connected to a personal computer; it is in effect a computer printer that produces patterns by cutting them from material as opposed to producing them by putting ink or toner on material. It cannot be used without a personal computer. Its user mist be able to learn and use computer software, the same as learning other software such as word processors, photo editing, web browser, page layout, and other popular applications. The Cameo is not self-sufficient.

    The Cricut does not allow the user to create shapes from scratch. You must find a suitable shape, or group of shapes, from within the huge library of predefined symbols that is spread across a large number of Cricut cartridges. It is possible to ‘weld’ different shapes together and this offers some flexibility, but ultimately the shapes must originate in the cartridges. When the user has a specific shape in mind and cannot alter it to suit what can be found in the cartridges, it can become quite frustrating. In the task of trying to assemble the designed custom shape, the user might have to purchase several cartridges, and they are not cheap. It is also quite possible that the desired shape cannot be cut at all.

    The Cameo allows the user to create shapes from scratch. There are no cartridges at all. If the user does not wish to design their own shapes, there is also an extensive library of online shapes designed by other users. Cameo does not limit where the shapes come from, but does offer a great many from their own online library at 99 cents per shape. The user can buy only the shape, or shapes, desired and does not need to buy an expensive cartridge only to get a single shape from it. Instead of purchasing shapes designed by others, the user can draw any desired shape using the computer software, and can offer it to others for use.

    The Cricut has a nice display, consisting of a color LCD screen with touch sensitive surface. All the operations can be performed by touching the screen, or for more precise selections a plastic stylus is included. Once a given cartridge is plugged into the Cricut, all of its shapes can be viewed on the screen as tiny thumbnail images, and the desired shapes can be selected to a queue, from which they can be dragged to a virtual cutting mat, showing where they will appear on the material to be cut. Any shape can be selected, enlarged, and resized.

    The Cameo has a small simple display like a calculator’s or an older cell phones. It displays only one color and shows only text. It is used for diagnostics and for messages like “Load the material” and “Unload the material”. All other operations are done using the included computer software, using the computer’s keyboard, mouse and screen.

    The Cricut can be used, optionally, with the free Craft Room software on a personal computer. This software must be downloaded from the Cricut website; it is not included with the machine. The software includes a library of all currently known cartridges, and allows the user to assemble a complete cutting session before the actual cartridges needed have been purchased. The Craft Room software will not function unless the computer is currently online with Cricut; this is important, since it means that you must have an internet connection anywhere that you want to use the Cricut in conjunction with the Craft Room software. The Craft Room does not allow the user to design their shapes, but it does provide a more user-friendly interface for the Cricut, since more tools and objects can be viewed on the larger computer screen.

    The Cameo must be used with the included Studio software; this comes on a CD-ROM in the box with the machine. For a fee of about $50, it will upgrade itself to the more advanced Designer Edition. The main advantages of the Designer Edition are the ability to import a wider range of graphics from other programs. Both the regular version and the Designer Edition allow the same design and cutting functionality, so for most people there is no need to buy the Designer Edition. The Cameo’s software only needs to be online with the Silhouette website when you wish to purchase shapes from their library, or when you wish to do an upgrade to a newer version. Otherwise, the software works without the need for an internet connection.

    The Cricut includes a white LED headlight next to the blade, so you can see what it is cutting as it does so. The Cameo does not have such a light.

    Both machines use cutting mats, which are clear plastic sheets with a special adhesive on the top surface to make it a bit tacky. This holds the material to be cut so that it does not slide around during cuttings. The mats wear out due to wear from the blades cutting through into them, and from the adhesive wearing out.

    Both machines use blades that attach to a tool holder on the machines. The Cricut uses tiny blades that fit into a blade holder, while the Cameo requires the user to replace the blade holder when the blade wears out; this makes the Cameo blades a bit more expensive, but on the other hand it is much easier to handle the larger blade holder then it is handling the tiny (and sharp!) Cricut blades. The Cricut blade depth can be adjusted while the blade holder is attached to the machine, whereas the Cameo blade holder must be removed from the machine in order to change blade depth. Both machines seem to cut equally well.

    The Cricut is not intended to make its cuts on specific areas of the mat (you can get close, though, using the Craft Room software). The Cameo allows very precise cuts relative to the material, so you can specify that a shape be cut starting 1/2″, for example, from the edge of the material.

    The Cricut is not intended for cutting out pre-printed materials; it is intended to cut out shapes in different materials (of materials of different colors) that can be later assembled to form a multi-colored overall shape.

    The Cameo is not a printer, but it does allow importing and designing shapes in any desired color or combination of colors. Then it will send the image to the printer of your choice, printing on the material to be cut; this is limited only by the ability of your printer. The Cameo software will print registration marks on the printed sheet, and when the printed sheet is then loaded into the Cameo machine, it used an electric eye to scan for the registration marks, and will synchronize and align the cutting with the pre-printed images. This allows an infinite number of printed images and cut shapes to be made. The synchronized cuts are very accurate, matching the desired printed images. The user can specify where the cuts are to be made relative to the printed shapes, or the software can automatically figure it out. This even applies to graphical objects imported into the Cameo software, as opposed to being designed in that software.

    The Cricut requires that all text come from the cartridges, so the user is very limited in regards to available fonts. The Cameo software can use any True Type font that is installed on the computer, which means pretty much all fonts available to other Windows applications, and of course you can download any font you want from the internet. Since none of the Cricut cartridges include a ‘stencil’ style font, you cannot easily use it to cut stencils for painting signs and such.

    I find that overall, the Cricut is probably a better choice for people interested in arts & crafts projects, or for people who don’t have or don’t care to use a personal computer. I find that the Cameo is better for people who are prepared to use a personal computer and who desire complete freedom in what shapes they cut.”

  • Anna

    You have done a great job in pointing out the differences in these two machines. I still can not make up mind as to which one I really want but I think it would be nice to have both. They aren’t that expensive and I think you could afford to have both in that case. Thank you for pointing out the differences and the similarities as well.

  • Milton

    It is still a very hard decision to make. I like you said am one of those women that are on the computer all day long and I do not want to be on the computer at night but I like that options that the computer has for this machine. The machine without the computer is great but it doesn’t have the capabilities that the other one does so they are both good.

  • If you want both machines and have the space and money to purchase both, then why not? I have both the Cricut and the Silhouette so I can use them for different purposes. I started with the Cricut Expression, but liked the fact that I can download ANY font on my PC and cut it with the Cameo! For those who neither have the space or funds, then this is great information to have to help with the decision of which machine will work best for your needs!

  • You are right! Each machine has great features, so it is totally up to personal preference as which machine will work best for you! Thanks!

  • John

    The prices they are asking for these machines are not that bad really and someone that is really into the crafts scene could actually afford to get both if she so wanted to. You have done an excellent job on your blog. I am going to go look at these machines later today but I am seriously leaning towards the cricut for what I need.

  • Leon

    These both sound like great machines and it would just depend on what you want to do as to which machine would be the best fit for your crafts. I am seriously thinking about getting both for my self because there are things I want to do on a much larger scale and things that I will need a computer program for. I am going to have to dig further before deciding.

  • James

    I saw the movie Real Steel (2011 starring Hugh Jackman) not too long ago and reading this article made me think that this battle (or comparison) between the cricut and the Provo is kind of like a miniature version of two dynamic machines (die cut printers) who are hailed by different factions of scrapbookers. I can’t say I have ever seen the provo in action, but thanks to an inundation of infomercials, the cricut has become a household name.

  • James

    Only those scrapbooking freaks who can’t have enough tools of their hobby would opt to buy both of these die cut printers. And someone indicated that you need both money and space to own both printers. Why is that? The cricut does not look to be any bigger than the average ink jet printer. So unless you’re working in a closet, there should be plenty of room for both. As for the cost, I have no clue.

  • Emily

    I had an original Silhouette before getting the Cameo and I love this mat! Early stickiness is no big deal. Flip it over on a clean surface and pull the mat away from the cut paper. After a few sheets of cardstock the stickiness decreases (or dab it with a clean cloth to de-tack it). I had a blade that was a couple of months old and it worked like new with this mat and the Cameo!

  • Billy

    After reading as much information on these two machines as I possibly can I have decided that there is no educated way to pick between these two machines. They both have things that I would like to have and they both have capabilities that the other one doesn’t so I am thinking I am going to have to go with both, it is a good thing that they really aren’t that expensive.

  • Michael

    I can’t believe that there are two machines that are out there that can do all of that. I wish that it was all on one machine but for the price of each one it really isn’t that bad if I want to go ahead and get both. You have really tempted me here because I love doing crafty things like this and I really want to get both and just go to town.

  • Ryan

    Where can you get one of these machines? I have tried sewing machine stores and places like that and they don’t carry them. Is this something that I will have to order on line in order to get it at a decent price? You have done a great job on your article and I appreciate all the information about how these operate and the functions that each one has.

  • Scott

    Both machines have things that I want out of them. Is there a more expensive machine out there that does everything these two machine together do? I would be really interested in that if there is such a thing. You have a great blog here and it was very informative, thank you for sharing all the capabilities with us and please keep us up to date on anything that may change.

  • Vicki

    Hi, Just wanted to say, that I have a craft robo which I have had for over 4 years now (paid $500), which I think has been updated into the Cameo, I looked at Cricut at the time but price here in Australia was $100 dearer for Cricut and then I would have to buy cartridges which were costing around $100 each back then, they have come down to around $80 now. So the cricut would cost a lot more and I could and can download files for Robo for a small amount on internet( once they are on your computer you can use many times). I have a friend who bought the Cricut and she is limited to what cartiridges she has and can afford (but she loves it), where I can download and cut out for a small fraction of the price of a cartridge. But Robo does depend on having a computer working and having some certain basic computer skills, which at the end of the day is what it will come down to and if you want it mobile or not. Have another friend that takes her laptop and her Robo to scraps. The new Cameo sounds like it is a beauty as my machine only cuts 8 inches in width, will put on wish list, you folks are lucky to be able to get both of these machines for great prices.

  • We offer both Cameo and Cricut machines right at And there is nothing you will have to do for special pricing. We already show what the discounted prices are.

  • NOPE! There is no machine that compiles both features. You just have to pick what works better for you. If you are one that doesn’t want to be on computer all day then the Cricut is the machine you want. However, if you like designing from the computer then Cameo is your best bet. WE offer both! thanks!

  • I would like a response from anyone who can confirm that Cricut is able to cut High Intensity reflective vinyl sticky back tape (hexigon muti angle reflective tape). My goal is to create Street letters to affix to dog bone style aluminum 6 inch width street signs for our hamlet town street signs. Even if Cricut is unable to cut through the material on the first pass, is the operator able to request Cricut to do a second identical pass and thus cutting though the material presented?

  • Unfortunately, we can not confirm that the Cricut will cut high intensity reflective vinyl, because we are not familiar with what the difference is from regular vinyl. Sorry

  • Becky Darmogray

    I dearly want a Cameo, but before I purchase, I need to know if it will cut through my magnets. I print my design on sticker paper, laminate one side, attach the sticker paper to my magnet material (.030) and then cut. Right now I only cut squares or rectangles and I round the corners with a corner rounder punch. I would love to be able to cut out simple shapes.

  • Hi Becky, The Silhouette Cameo will cut the Silhouette Magnetic material, and possibly magnet material made for use in the Cricut up to 1mm thick, however, it is not suggested to use magnetic material that thick or thicker as you would have to double cut with no guarantee that it will cut through. The blade is very tiny and magnet material will dull the blade much faster than normal use on paper, card stock or vinyl. I hope that helps!

  • donna c

    I have had a Cricut Expression and sold it and everything that goes with it and purchased a Cameo. I haven’t looked back for a second. The Cameo blows the Cricut out of the water in terms of overall costs, and cutting ability. Nice clean lines and you can cut very intricate shapes with a Cameo. Amazing customer support, and they are a current and relevant company, whereas Provo Craft….not so much.

  • donna, Glad to hear you are happy with the Cameo. You are definitely right about being able to cut “intricate shapes”. We have been impressed by this feature that doesn’t really show in the videos and do it justice. Thanks for your review!

  • Nikki

    I need to return my Cricut Expression 2. Hopefully it won’t be a problem. I haven’t cut anything……I can’t figure it out. I want the Cameo, but is it in stores such as Michael’s or JoAnnes?

  • Hi Nikki, Did you purchase the Cricut Expression 2 from our store? If so, you will need to contact our customer service for an RMA #. If not, you will need to contact the store you purchased it from for information on their return policy. The Silhouette Cameo is currently in stock here at Cut@Home, but I don’t know if Michael’s or JoAnn stores carry the Silhouette Cameo.

  • Cindy

    I teach school and I have two you young girls. I am constantly on Etsy buying birthday party supplies for the girls are buying labels or cute stuff for my kids at school. I love to be able to make my own crafts. My classroom theme is Peanuts Gang and I spend a small fortune personalized crafts for my kiddos at school. For my two girls, I like them to have birthday decorations that cannot be found at department store but I still want them to have Dora the Explorer and Lalaloopsy Dolls birthday parties. It seems like the Cameo is my best bet because I can download pictures from the computer. Does anyone have any thoughts? This blog has been so helpful and I know that I am buying my machine from here because the sales people are very nice and very educated.

  • Thank you Cindy for your comments! The Silhouette Cameo IS a great machine and you can create your own designs to cut if you have a design software such as CorelDraw or something similar. In order to cut your custom images, you will need to purchase the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software separately from Silhouette America. As for Dora an Lalaloopsy Dolls, I am unsure if the Silhouette will cut or color those as they are trademark items. You may want to contact Silhouette directly regarding that question.

  • Vera in CA

    Cricut to me has become a shoddy product — Provo was taken over by Bank of America, and their customer service really shows. Lord help you if you have a problem with your machine and have to send it back under ‘warranty’ which is now a joke — they have sent out faulty refurbished machines in replacement. Given the cost of the cartridges and the complete lack of creativity in design (Provo sued Make the Cut and Sure Cuts a Lot, which allowed people to do their own designs on Cricut), Provo to me just equates “stifling of REAL creativity.” I’ll never have one, and am glad every day I didn’t buy one.

    And to the person who said that the Cameo isn’t a printer — um, wrong. You can buy pens to slide in to where the knife is. It becomes a plotting printer for home use. This, in conjunction with a regular printer, pretty much sets you up to do whatever you can imagine. And Silhouette HAPPILY takes MTC and SCAL, as well as their own design software which is similar. Boo on Provo, yay on Silhouette. You can do everything from clothing transfers to fabric pattern cutting, to hot-fix rhinestone templates. Good luck trying that on a Cricut. Silhouette cuts MUCH cleaner than Cricut — anyone ever get a ‘perfect’ circle or sharp inside cut on a Cricut? Silhouette customer service has always been a breeze, and they have a gigantic library of shapes, gift boxes, etc. on their website, or you can import your own.

  • Very informative review on both. thanks so much to contributing I’m sure all our readers will appreciate this. Thanks!

  • La Toya

    Hi all – I’m a little late in joining the convo for this post, but I really just wanted to say thank you for such an awesome review of both of these machines. I have owned a Cricut Expression – the pink one with the Journey cart – since it came out but I just recently thought to pull it out to use it to help me cut out all of the backing layers for my invitations and stationery. I can’t tell you how much time that saves me when I have large invitation orders instead of having to cut everything out by hand. I love my Cricut, and can let my Cricut make those background layer cuts for me while I am embossing the invitations with Cuddlebug or heat or flocking the invitations – as long as the Cricut remains connected to the Craft Room. I have that process perfectly timed now lol! I sometimes use the cartridges, but it’s rare. There are only 3 carts that I own wherein I truly love all of the designs on them – with all of my others I hated that I had to buy the entire cart for literally only a couple of images that I really liked. So, the Silhouette Cameo has definitely gotten my attention. I love the idea of being able to use any image and FONT I want with the Silhouette, but I was wondering – is the Silhouette Cameo able to import into its design software images that I have created in Adobe Illustrator? Thanks!

  • Thank you for your comments regarding your Cricut Expression! It is a great machine! We also really like the Silhouette Cameo and its ability to cut images and fonts downloaded to the computer. You CAN import custom designs that you have created in your own design software IF you purchase Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software from Silhouette America. This software will enable you to create your own custom designs to cut with the Silhouette Cameo!

  • La Toya

    Then I am sold! I’ve been looking at the tutorials and I noticed the upgraded designer software. Will definitely be purchasing a Silhouette Cameo. I’m sure I can put BOTH of my machines to good use. Thanks so much for your response 🙂

  • Wonderful! I’m sure you will enjoy both machines!

  • eloisa

    I want a Cameo, but before I purchase, I need to know if it will cut fun foamy.

  • Mai

    Hi! Thanks for all your comments. Im looking into buying a Cameo. I have a question, though. Will I need to buy those starter kits so that I could work on vinyl or fabrics? I mean, can’t I just buy the machine itself with all those purposes already. Thank you so much.

  • You do not need to purchase the starter kits to cut fabric or heat transfer designs. You will want to keep a separate blade for cutting fabric that you do not use to cut paper or vinyl with as they dull the blades so it will not cut fabric.

  • Great question! I actually had to call Silhouette America for the answer. They told me that the thinnest fun foam they have found to test the Cameo on was 2mm and unfortunately it will not cut. If you know of thinner foam than that, please let us know where you can get it so they can test it, but for right now the answer is no.

  • Rose

    Here’s a tip – the deep cut blade (60 degree blade) in the regular housing in your Cricut Expression2 will allow your machine to handle intricate cuts better. I have not found anything that the Silhouette store offers that I can’t recreate with my Cricut… intricate to simple…including perfectly round circles.

    Also the gypsy allows me to design on my commute. I love being able to plan out my cuts away from home. Forget about doing that with the Cameo. Also at lunch at work, or on my laptop, I can play around with Cricut Craft room, plan designs, save them to later import to my Gypsy for cutting.

    Cutting thicker materials – the cricut is a workhouse in that department. I have cut all sorts of items from fun foam, to magnetic sheets, to vinyls, to chipboard. Chipboard is a biggie for me. I like to make mini albums and I love using my cricut to cut shaped pages and elements. The cameo doesn’t cut chipboard.

    Just some other perspectives. I think it all depends on how and what you like to create to determine which machine is most suitable. I think the Cricut is the best for all around versatility…cuts a variety of materials, don’t have to be connected to a computer, can design on the go, supplies are widely available.

  • Thank you Rose for your helpful information! I appreciate your comments and agree that it is definitely personal preference as to what machine suits your needs. It is my opinion that if you have a Cricut machine, the Gypsy is a big plus for expanding your design library and allows you to get the most out of your machine! Thanks for the tips!

  • Sierra Heath

    I will say I have had a Cricut since the original and I love it. I do most of my designing with there software and then cut. I have close to 35 cartridges and I love it. Also when you have several of your friends with different carts then you can share them with each other without spending any more money. Also Cricut has come out with a lot of downloadable carts now. I was just checking out the different kinds before I bought the newest Cricut , since my Expression can’t be fixed. I would love to have both machines, but money isn’t there. I just wanted to point out a few things that people haven’t talked about yet. Happy Crafting 🙂

  • Great comments! Those are wonderful tips for those who are looking into purchasing a new machine. We really appreciate your comments!

  • Latanya Poelinitz

    I have the cricut expression 2 and the original cricut, I love both machine and I really enjoy the freedom that cricut provide for my crafty needs, I love that cricut expression is able to cut chipboard which is a bigggie for me, I plan to purchase the Gypsy in the near future, will I know will be plus to have along with CE 2.

  • Cutting chipboard with the Cricut is an awesome feature, I agree! You will love having the versatility the Gypsy has with the Cricut!

  • Jodie

    I have owned a cricut cake for a couple years, than last year my husband bought me the CE2 anniversary edition. I used it a handful of times, put it away for a few months, then took it out a couple weeks ago. I have a dedicated laptop for it and when I updated the firmware it just stopped working. I called cricut they sent me a replacement. I have been using the CE2 with their craftroom and am always having issues with it not recognizing the cricut. I have always liked cricut products, but am glad to have another option besides cricut. I’m doing my own little business that will require dependability in my machine, and I don’t have the confidence in cricut at this point. I truly hope to regain that. I like the craftroom feature as it makes the cricut more user friendly, having a large screen certainly makes it easier for the aging population to use. Too bad you have to have an internet connection to use the Craftroom, that is a liability. To me personally, cricut electronics has become like Microsoft, never buy their new releases because then you become their beta testers.

    I just purchased the Cameo today. As I mentioned, I’m glad to now have an option to the cricut, and hopefully dependability. I love the fact that I can edit, and import my own designs. I have worked with CorelDraw for many years, and Cameo being able to read and import corel files is awesome, which opens up a large door of options and creativity. So…I hope later this week to be testing my cameo, and hoping it is as great as I’m anticipating. Happy crafting Everyone. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your comments! It is so nice to have different users opinions as it really helps those who are looking at buying a machine make an educated decision. I do believe that sometimes there are just lemons out there and unfortunately one lemon can make a whole batch of good ones look bad. I am excited for you to test your Cameo and let us know how it passes!

  • Anna

    I am researching die-cut machines for a christmas present for my daughers – 9 and 11. I do not have experience with die-cut machines myself. I plan on us working on projects together.

    The Cameo looks appealing – I definitely want computer based. I do not want cartridges.

    However, I am concerned that we will get frustrated using the product since we don’t have experience with die-cut machines. I have read reviews on amazon of several products – reviews are all over the place. It seems that user error could play a big role in customer satisfaction.

    Suggestions on where to start? Thank you.

  • The Silhouette Cameo is a great machine which will connect to either a PC or Mac computer. If you are computer savvy, it is pretty user friendly. I am not a computer wiz and even I was able to figure it out pretty easy. The key for me was in getting my blade correct. Once I had that right, everything went smooth!

    Another option is the Sizzix Eclips. With the E-cal software, it allows you to work from the computer or from cartridges. This is a very user friendly machine!

    If you have an illustrator program, you can design your own images and transfer those images to cut with either machine if you have the separate software (e-cal for eclips, Silhouette Studio Designer Edition for Silhouette). It really depends on personal preference!

  • Elba Irizarry

    I am researching die cut machines and have no experience with them. I feel that the Cameo looks better for me. In one of my projects I will be cutting perfect round circles of 1 cm diameter out of smooth felt. I will be using 12″ x 12″ sheets of felt. Obviously, I would like to obtain as many circles as possible from each sheet of felt. My question is if I can design (using the program that comes with the machine ), as many circles of 1 cm as can be fit in that piece of felt and if the Cameo can cut them without problem. I would appreciate if you could tell me how long it will take ( approximately) the Cameo to cut those circles. I appreciate your help regarding this matter.


  • Unfortunately, cutting felt with the Silhouett Cameo is not a good idea. Not only will it stick to your cutting mat, but it is to thick for the rollers and the blade will not cut well and could get clogged. Here are the items suggested for use with the Cameo:
    Paper and cardstock
    Adhesive vinyl
    Heat transfer material
    Rhinestone templates
    Specialty media

  • Elba Irizarry

    Thank you very much for your advise. Do you have any die cutting machine/ devise that you could recommend to us to make those circles ??

  • Manual machines with dies work best when using felt. I do not recommend using felt with electronic cutters.

  • Dawn

    Hi I am interested in the Silhouette Cameo, but I am looking to cut some small circles out with it arprox: 1.3mm diameter (yip that small) does anybody know if the cameo can do that I will be using cardstock.

  • Oooo…that is really small! Unfortunately, I have never tried anything that small, although, I do know it will cut fairly intricate designs, so who knows! All you can do is try! If any of our viewers have tried this, please let us know!

  • I’m not sure how small the circles are you want to cut but I cut some tiny snowflakes out which were about 1/4″ with my Cameo. They cut beautifully. Also when designs have small circles in them they cut with no problem as long as my blade is sharp. The main thing you need to remember when cutting small is that your blade is sharp and your mat is sticky. When cutting small a spatula either the Cricut or Silhouette one is great for taking small shapes off the mat.

    As far as fun foam goes. I’ve cut thin foam I’ve bought at the Dollar Store with my Cameo. I’ve used the blade setting at 10. I do have to double cut it but it will cut. I’ve also cut shrink plastic with my Cameo also having to double cut it. Just make sure you have a sharp blade.

    In Studio the free software that comes with the Cameo allows you to save your files to a SD card. That card will then fit in your Cameo so you do not need to be connected to a computer to use it. The drawback is that you can not do a lot of editing with the file on the SD card. You can change the size of your shape. Mainly I find this useful for taking my Cameo to crops as I don’t have to take my laptop also.

    I love my Cameo and support has been the greatest. Often sending me a reply e-mail within five minutes when I’ve had a question or problem. They also sent me replacement blades when I got some defective ones the very same day with no hassles at all.

    Hope this helps anyone who is not sure which to get.

  • Thanks Myoriah for your great comments on the Silhouette Cameo! You have given us some great info with your expertise and opinion. I’m sure it will help someone out there with their decision!

  • Misty

    In my many years of experience I have found that Provo Craft continues to provide products that are increasingly worse. Their customer awareness and communication is lacking. Their focus is fast money and not a quality product. They are suffering because of it. Many people are jumping ship. Just as the home phone is going away as smartphones sell more and more The cameo will win this war. It is far more superior a product. It is precise. It cuts beautifully. 5 years ago I would have recommended the cricut but no longer. If someone asked me if they should but any provo craft machine (and they have many times) I say run away as fast as you can.

  • Thank you for your comments! We appreciate your opinion and value your expertise. We still have many customers who love their Cricut machines, especially those who do not want a machine connected to a computer. However, the Silhouette is a fantastic machine which I agree, is more precise, but since it does require the computer, it is not for everyone, so it is nice to have a variety for consumers to choose from.

  • Rob

    Love the idea of a computer based die cutter. Endless possibilities. My wife currently has a Cricut which stopped working. It won’t power up. Very dissapointing for amount of use it’s had. This could be a good time to upgrade her to the Cameo for Christmas!

    If anyone has any suggestions on how to get her Cricut working please let me know. Provo has not been much help.

  • The Cameo is a great option if your wife is ready for a change. It has a lot of options not available to the Cricut. If she can not power up her Cricut, has she checked her power cord to make sure it is getting connection? If it is getting power, but not booting up, then there is something internal that will need to get fixed or she will need to replace it.

  • I actually had to show this unique article, “Provo Craft Cricut versus Silhouette
    Cameo” with my own close friends on facebook itself.
    I personallysimply just sought to disperse your remarkable posting!
    With thanks, Carina

  • Thanks Carina, we do appreciate it!

  • Kathy

    Will either of these cutters handle upholstery weight leather?

  • We are not able to answer this question, as this is one that would need to be addressed by the individual manufacturers.

  • Ashlee

    Thank you for this review. I see that the Silhouette Cameo is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Has anyone used a Macbook Pro with this machine? Just trying to make sure that it is compatible with a laptop before I buy one.

  • Hello,

    Thank You for the wonderful Review, however I have a question that doesn’t seem to be answered in any of the comments. Maybe it is common sense! I make tags specifically for wedding decor, ie wishing tags, place card, escort tags, etc….and I am looking for a machine that will print let’s say a name or table number or phrase and then cut.

    This is what I currently do, I have a cricut and cut out my tags, then I have to handstamp either a phrase, or name onto the tags, then distress, hole punch etc….I would love to find a machine that I could program to print and cut. So that all I need to do is take the shapes off the mat and then distress etc…

    Does the Cameo do this? If not is there another machine that would be better for what I am looking for?

    Looking forward to your reponse 🙂

    Sarah – Owner/Artisan
    The Papery Nook

  • Yes, The Cameo has this capability! You would need to set everything up on your virtual mat, print out your phrases, then place your printed paper on the actual mat where you have outlined, so the Cameo can cut your tags. This is a very brief explanation just to let you know it can do what you are suggesting.

  • Donna

    Can you cut stencils with the Cameo? on the software can you rotate the text? I have a Mac, will that be a problem?

  • Yes, you can cut stencils with the Cameo. You have the ability to rotate text on the virtual mat. The Silhouette Cameo is compatible with PC or Mac computers!

  • I want to make rhinestone templates, but I use 2mm and 3mm rhinestones. Can the cameo cut templates with holes that small?
    Thanks Kim

  • Ronald

    I find it hard to distinguish between either of these two die cut printers. Both are very capable for any scrapbooking hobbyist. But just by giving it the eye test, without even comparing their features, I would say that the shell of the Cameo looks far more industrial or professional, while the Cricut looks more like a consumer level home ink jet printer.

  • If you have their designer studio edition software you can cut smaller 2mm holes, but the regular software will do 3mm and up!

  • The Cricut relies on cartridges to cut where the Silhouette Cameo connects to your computer for the images. Both are great machines, however, the Cameo seems to give the user more flexibility.

  • Kim

    Thank you for your answer, I already have a Cricut but really want the rhinestone software, so the Cameo seems the way to go.

  • Rob

    Thanks for the review but as an owner of Cricut Expression, a cricut Cake cutter, several hundreds of dollars of cartridges, a license for the cricut software ( Design Studio), the carousel for cartridges and too many accessories to think of… I can’t switch to the Silhouette Cameo fast enough. I chose the Cricut when it was basically the only choice on the market and I grudgingly shelled out HUNDREDS of dollars a year to get a new font or a different image. I spent hours trying to squeeze as much creativity as I could out of the machine and don’t regret a moment of it. BUT anyone looking to get into the crafting/scrap booking with a cutting machine would be foolish (imho) to go that Cricut route now. You are going to spend so much money to do things that we do every day on a computer or the web with ease. Imagine if you had to pay HP $100 everytime you wanted to print a different font. Imagine how restricted you would feel if you only had a handful of images you could print… imagine longing to do your own freestyle designs and layouts but not being able to because the image/shape had to be on one of the companies cartridges or you couldn’t use it.
    I use a computer 8 hours a day at work and I also will agree to disagree with you that the cricut is more suited for me because of that. Computers (and not just for the younger generation) are no longer a tool of labour… they are simply tools. It’s like saying “if you use scissors all day the last thing you want to do is come home and use scissors to cut out stuff”. I am sure there are people in that boat but I don’t think its the case for many if not most when you come to realize how limiting the Cricut business model is to your creativity and ability to express yourself.
    Hopefully I can recover some of my investment in the Cricut by selling to stuff I have to people who do still love it… but with tools like the Silhouette out there now I am no longer in that boat.

  • Thank you for your comments! You have been been helpful in giving personal insight which I believe will be very helpful to our readers. I believe there is something to be said for the word “personal” in the title Personal Die Cutting Machines, as choosing a die cutter is VERY personal. We put together the review as impartial as choosing a cutter is a personal choice, however, it is very helpful when choosing a machine, to get input from those who have used them, then base a decision on the information given. We appreciate your input and hope that you enjoy your Silhouette! We know that others who purchase your Cricut products will be thrilled with those as well. Thankfully there are different products on the market, as we are all different and have different needs!

  • sheryl Swanson

    I am a quilter. will the Cameo cut fabric without it being fused first?. Will it work with other fusables on the market such as: Steam a Seam ? Can the fusable vinyl be peeled off so that just the fabric remains, for an applique? What other applications can be used for the quilters ? can you make your own stencils ? the kind with the cut out lines for marking stitching lines.?

  • It is always best to use a fusible interfacing on fabric before cutting on any machine. This helps the fabric hold its shape and not stretch. Fabric makes darling appliques. You can make your own stencils with the Cameo!

  • Sandi Shealy

    I have the cricut original and want the Expression 2….but decided I had better investigate the Silhouette after talking to a few people. Thanks to you… decision has been made and was very easy, based on your no nonsense/fact comparison! Thank you!! (Cricut Expression 2 it is!)

  • Great! Glad we were able to give you information which helped you make the right decision for you! Enjoy your new machine!

  • click here

    Thanks for finally talking about > Provo Craft Cricut versus
    Silhouette Cameo < Liked it!

  • Awesome! We are so glad you liked it and we hope that you will find the information helpful!

  • Bethany

    Sorry. I cannot support the Cricut or Provo Craft due to high prices and needing a cartridge for everything including more than one. Most of the cartridges are kiddie and don’t have useful shapes. You are limited to what Provo Craft has and what they say about software and usage. I have better things to do with my time than deal with a crappy company. After PC sued 3rd party software (which they had a right to do) my Cricut is pretty much useless.

    I love my Cameo. I can design what I want and how I want it. I can do print-and-cut given the optical eye with any digital paper and if so desired purchase items from their store. Their software is easy to use and I can use other software like Make-The-Cut and Sure Cuts Alot. My next machine will be a big girl machine like the Zing or a KNK machine. I will never go back to PC and their high priced products.

  • Thank you for your comments Bethany. We appreciate all points of view for the various machines, however, we also realize the various desires, knowledge and needs of consumers, which is why we offer the comparison and we also offer various machines to suite those differences. I am sure that your opinion of these machines will help others in their search for the “right” machine for them. We appreciate you taking the time to share your opinions with us.

  • Jodie

    I have been a dedicated Cricut user/lover for many years & have been very patient!!!! but it seems living in Australia is not supported by Provocraft, we are still unable to buy digital cartridges from their online store or directly thru Cricut Craft room, where as Sillouette does not discriminate. So after all my years if loyally I am jumping ship, hello Silhouette goodbye Cricut!!!!!

  • Thank you for your comments! I was unaware that International customers were not able to buy digital cartridges from Provo Craft. One more reason why the Silhouette is more user friendly! This is good to know! TFS.

  • Evelyn

    Thank you for all the great info

    Can the cameo cut Cricut vinyl?

    Just starting to collect digital paper. I want to print 12×12. What is your favorite 12×12 printer?

    Thank you.

  • Thank you for your comments! Yes, the Silhouette Cameo will cut Cricut vinyl, as it is similar to Silhouette vinyl. Unfortunately, I am not able to answer your question about the 12 x 12 printer, as we sell die cutting supplies and do not deal in digital scrapbooking, so I am not familiar with the different printers available for digital scrapbooking and their quality. Sorry!

  • Dianna

    I started with the original cricut and then graduated to the expression when it became available. I owned a scrapbook store and ProvoCraft was by far one of the most popular brands on the market at the time. For the most part I have been satisfied with it, however I do get frustrated looking for an image, flipping through 40+cartridges (not to mention the $ I have invested in purchasing them)taking time away from scrapbooking, and wasting a lot of paper over the years trying to figure out sizes since each cartridge is different and having difficulty with it cutting intricate fonts or shapes. I finally made the decision to purchase the “Sure Cuts A lot” only to find out I no longer have that option! So with that being said and reading all the reviews comparing the 2 machines to me it’s a no brainer to purchase the cameo! And to those who are concerned about lugging your laptop with the cameo? How are you transporting your cartridges? I’m sure my laptop is much less cumbersome to pack up than a bunch of cartridges-and it doesn’t matter how you have them organized to travel! Also keep in mind using a computer with the cameo you have the whole screen to work with vs. the little 3×4 inch screen on the cricut. And yes you can purchase the software to use your computer with the cricut but why not just have the cameo in the first place!

  • Thank you for your insight Dianna! It is always a plus when machine users give us their input and you have made some great points. We appreciate your comments very much!

  • Gina Smythe

    I currently own the Expression and have since end of August. Went through 3 Expression 2 and was advised by craft store to skip that one and go previous model – Expression. Took a couple to get one that didn’t sound like it was grinding. Customer support @ Provo Craft is terrible. You stand a good chance of getting the same person whether you are calling with a question, online order assist or technical support. They read from a script for troubleshooting – even when you explain you have done all of it. I visited craft store to see the Silhouette Cameo and wondered why I didn’t do that before buying Cricut. The Silhouette Cameo is so amazing and can cut the most intricute of designs with clean, sharp edges. Their software is amazing and works flawlessly with Mac (and PC). I would rather spend my money on images I will use (most .99 when not on sale) than to spend $40 to $50 for a cartridge and not need most of what is on the cartridge. I will be hopefully selling my Cricut Expression as soon as my Cameo arrives in a couple of days. Advice I can offer … determine your needs and choose wisely.

  • Thank you so much Gina for your comments! We appreciate you sharing your personal experience with your previous machines and feel that you will enjoy your Silhouette Cameo very much! You are correct when stating that it cuts intricate designs with clean, sharp edges. It is no wonder more and more crafters of all kinds are choosing the Silhouette Cameo as their machine of choice. Have fun!

  • Andrea Bowlby

    Hi Cut@home,

    I got a Cricut personal cutter for 50 bucks at a garage sale. I took a class and loved it right away. Now, I bought an Expression II, but haven’t opened it, as I have heard and seen the Cricut Imagine and love the idea of printing and cutting…So, is there any drawback to this machine? I saw some old posts saying it was discontinued… BOO… And I am trying to decide if I want the Cameo instead. I am computer savvy and have a MAC and a PC available, but just don’t know if it will be overkill…

    Do you know if the Cameo prints as well or does it only draw outlines with the pen attachment, which is what I think…


  • I personally own a Cricut Expression and a Silhouette Cameo and I rarely pull out the Cricut machine anymore, because the Silhouette is so much more user friendly! I love that I can purchase individual images instead of whole cartridges, and I don’t have to find room to store the images because its all done in my Silhouette Library! I have not personally used the Imagine, but when I looked into it, the ink was expensive and I didn’t want to purchase the whole cartridges again for only a few images that I really liked. I have saved a lot of money with the Cameo! Neither machine will actually print. If you want to print the image, you do it off of your printer, but then can cut the printed image with the machine. Both have drawing capabilities with pen attachments sold separately.

  • Cassandra Edwards

    I am the owner of a Expressions, Expressions 2, Cake and Imagine machine. I loved my Cricut Expressions machine which was my introduction into the crafting arena. I purchased an Imagine machine because I loved the concept of being able to print and cut. The Expressions 2 because I seriously thought it was an upgrade – technically perhaps. My experience thus far has been that Provo Craft just keeps churning out these machines even though they have flaws serious enough to warrant their discontinuing them (i.e., Imagine, Cricut Cake). My intention is not to bash Provo Craft but just to state some background information that anyone looking for an honest comparison should be aware of. At a price tag of $500+ for the Imagine and $280+ for the Cake machine, and hundreds for the cartridges specific to these machines, this becomes more than an annoyance. There is never any give back to the consumer (trade in discount, 20% off for owners of defunct machines, whatever!) which leads me to believe that profit may seriously outweigh their loyalty to their customer base (imho). I will probably always use my Expressions because I own over 114 cartridges but I do believe it is past time to sink the “ProvoCraft loyalty ship” and try something new. So I have opted to purchase the Silhouette rather than the Cricut Explore which is now on the market. They seem to do the same things but the Silhouette has been doing it longer. Although both machines require a computer, for the Silhouette you don’t need to constantly remain on the internet. I have teenage internet gamers and Netflix lovers in my home who will seriously appreciate me not competing with them for internet bandwidth. Also, anyone considering purchasing these machines should seriously and deeply look into the ACTUAL cost of using them over time. For the Cricut, you can purchase a subscription to access their online suite of images for $9.99 per month or pay .99 per image. You can design your own creations for free. For those of us who are not “design” savvy, you will need the subscription to access pre-made, ready to cut designs.

  • We appreciate your input Cassandra and thank you for sharing this information, as we have many customers who are looking for an electronic machine, which will find this very valuable information coming from a personal user. We generally recommend the Silhouette because it is not only a great machine, but because you can purchase the images you want and not have to worry about where to store cartridges. It is really nice to have your images stored in the Silhouette Library where they are safe and sound. Thank you very much for sharing your opinions with us!

  • Jane

    Just wanted to add on to this info Cassandra provided….

    ” For the Cricut, you can purchase a subscription to access their online suite of images for $9.99 per month or pay .99 per image. You can design your own creations for free. For those of us who are not “design” savvy, you will need the subscription to access pre-made, ready to cut designs.”

    Users should also be aware that the cricut subscription is a rental; for a fee of $9.99 you can cut any image in their library, but will NEVER OWN THEM. With Silhouette Subscription you own what you purchase. This is something else to consider when choosing a machine.

  • Thank you Jane for the information you have provided! This is very helpful for those looking to purchase an electronic cutter. We appreciate your comments!

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