Silhouette Cameo VS. Cricut Explore Air

Scroll to the end of the post for the giveaway!

Are you considering a Silhouette Cameo vs. a Cricut Explore Air? I’ve been users of both for a long time. How is the Cricut different from competitive cutting machines? Here is my story of my experience with both machines. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Silhouette Cameo Vs. the Cricut Explore Air. Read one crafter's experience with both machines.

 

My Cricut Story

Eight years ago, my sister in law brought handmade cards for everyone at a Christmas party. I thought they were lovely, and then I found out that she made them with a Cricut machine. Instant want.

That year my husband purchased a Cricut Expression for me for Christmas (after lots of hints from me, of course!). The old Cricut Expression was a cartridge based machine that required no computer for use. Instead, users bought cartridges to cut shapes, cards, etc. The machine, at least for me, had a few down falls. I found it very confusing on how to size the images. I disliked that I had to buy an entire cartridge when I maybe only wanted one or two images. Other than card stock, I didn’t feel like it cut different materials well. I slowly lost interest and barely used it unless I needed to cut basic shapes for a bulletin board or project.

Then I won a Silhouette Cameo in a giveaway. 

I was in a group of bloggers who raved about the Silhouette, making me super excited to try it out. I join a Silhouette Challenge group and got to work! The Silhouette Design Software was very easy to use, but that was about it. I could NEVER get the Print and Cut feature to work, no matter what I tried. Half of the items that I tried to cut never cut cleanly, and I would have to re-cut them. I hated wasting money on materials that I had to re-cut. I, once again, just phased out from using the machine. I also had a difficult time getting the pens to work. I was only successful with one project, and, after that, they never worked correctly.

Then Cricut sent me a Cricut Explore Air

After my experience, I was skeptical. My track record with cutting machines was disheartening. I did not have high hopes. But I thought that I would cut a few cards and try out the Window Cling material that they sent in the box to make window clings for the kids and call it a day.

That was six months ago. I’ve used my Cricut Explore Air a minimum of twice a week for blog, home, and school projects. I never thought that I would be this happy with a cutting machine!

Why I’m Using the Cricut Explore Air 

So, here’s the scoop. Am I affiliated (as in, they send me materials, machines, etc. sometimes) with Cricut? Yes.

But I’m affiliated with Cricut BECAUSE I love recommending them. I’m not recommending them only because I’m affiliated with them. Does that make sense? Here are the things that made me love the Cricut Explore Air over the other cutting machines that I have used.

How is the Cricut Explore Air Different from Competitive Cutting Machines?

-The wide range of materials. The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wider range of materials. I’ve heard that it can even cut balsa wood, even though I’ve never tried that material out for myself.

-I’ve never had a ruined cut. I have not changed my blades since opening the Cricut Explore Air. I’ve used it 1-2 times a week (on everything from vinyl to faux leather to adhesive foil), and I’ve never had a cut that I had to re-do because it did not cut correctly the first time. This is a BIG deal breaker for me when it comes to a machine. Cutting materials are not cheap, and neither is my time, and both are wasted when the machine doesn’t cut correctly the first time.

I often hear other crafters say that they prefer the Silhouette Design Studio over the Cricut Design Space. Guess what? I do, too! The Silhouette Design Studio is easier to use and isn’t internet based (meaning it’s a program that you download on your computer and do not need internet connectivity in order to use it). I will say that there is a new version of Cricut Design Space in beta. I’ve heard awesome things about it and cannot wait to try it out!

But design software doesn’t mean a hill of beans if the machine can’t cut it out correctly or it wastes materials. 

And, bottom line, that’s why I like the Cricut Explore over the Silhouette Cameo and why it’s what I use and promote. In the end, it’s each user’s individual choice, so here’s a breakdown of pros and cons in my opinion of each machine.

Silhouette Cameo Vs. the Cricut Explore Air. Read one crafter's experience with both machines.

Silhouette Cameo

Pros:

  • Design Studio Software has less of a learning curve.
  • Design Studio Software has less overall glitches.
  • Easier to transfer own images and cut files into the software.

Cons:

  • Cuts fewer range of materials.
  • Does not have as clean of a cut.

 

Cricut Explore Air

Pros:

  • Cuts wide range of materials.
  • Clean cut every time.

Cons:

  • Design Space is Internet based and sometimes “stalls” out (although I’ve never had an issue of this where I could not exit the program, start again, and fix it this way).
  • Greater learning curve for the Design Space software.

 

I also own a Sizzix Big Shot, but a Sizzix machine is in a completely different category (it is not electronic), and I do not feel like it would be an apple-to-apple-comparison.

See more Cricut Projects, Tips, and Information on the Cricut Class Page!

A page of tips, projects, tutorials and information from a Cricut Crafter. This page is updated frequently!

Don’t just take my word for it- check out these other Silhouette VS. Cricut comparisons below!

Comparing the Explore Air 2 & the Cameo 3 – PMQ for two

5 Reasons Why I Traded My Silhouette Cameo for The Cricut Explore Air – Tastefully Frugal

Why I replaced My Silhouette Cameo with a Cricut Explore Air – The Quiet Grove

Why I love my Cricut Explore – Crafting In The Rain

Why I Switched from a Silhouette to a Cricut Explore Air – Housewife Eclectic

Cricut vs. Silhouette: Why the Cricut Explore Continually Wins – Becoming Martha

Top 10 Reasons why I love my Cricut Explore – Brooklyn Berry Designs

Why I switched to the Cricut Explore – My Mom Made Take

 

CRICUT EXPLORE AIR 2 GIVEAWAY!

Raise your hand if you want a chance to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 of your own! Follow the rules on the rafflecopter below to enter to win. The contest runs from January 18th to January 25th. The winner will be notified via email within 24hrs after the contest closes.

Fine print: Void where prohibited. All winners must be at least 18 years old. It Happens in a Blink, LLC is not responsible for selecting the winner, emailing the winner, or prize fulfillment to the winner. Only valid entries accepted. This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments

  1. LaTosha Reeves says

    I have been doing tons of research to help me decide on which machine to purchase and I’ve decided to go with the Cricut and I would absolutely love to win the Cricut Explore Air 2!!!!

  2. Selina Lopez-Nunez says

    Similar to your story, I was at a Kroger store (Target, Walmart, had all a very limited selection that day), desperately trying to find a set of thank you cards that would express my gratitude in its design and still look elegant, but couldn’t quite nail it. After coming to work that morning I realized a coworker of mine had gotten a new decal on her car and asked where she had gotten it. To my surprise she happily replied, “oh I made it!” and that was the beginning of my enfatuation with the Cricut Explore Air 2 began. This was last month and I have been so eagerly wanting it since then… As a savvy online customer, I spend a good time reading reviews and comparisons are the best way yo get the info out to potential customers like me! The issue is that it has to take secondary priority because girl has to pay her bills and save up! I would absolutely love this item to help me make my own cards, and even better, personalize my home that so dearly needs it. Thank you for sharing and comparing!

  3. Whitney Fegett says

    I would go with the Cricut. I been wanting to buy one for so long now. I would love to win one!! My days are boring being a stay at home mom and this would save tons of money!!! THANK You for the chance!

  4. shirley emitt says

    I have a girl that would LOVE this, been wanting one a while, she has a family and can’t swing it yet. She said she did research and said the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the one she would love to have.

  5. Ashley says

    What a cool giveaway! I’ve been wanting a cutting machine and winning the Cricut would be amazing! I used to be so crafty before I had kids. Hoping to get my creativity (and spare time) back soon!

  6. Crystal Turner says

    A couple of my friends have cricuts and I just love to see all the wonderful things they make with it. I really like the Cricut Explore Air 2. I would really love to get one, unfortunately they are more than my budget can handle right now. So I am entering the giveaway in hopes of winning one. Fingers crossed!

  7. Brigid OHara Koshko says

    I have several friends who have a Cricut and just love it. I trust their opinions so I would love a Cricut Explore Air!

  8. Jessica Mobley says

    Thank you so much for this helpful information. I’ve been looking at both the silhouette and the Cricut explorer. After reading, I think my mind is made up. The Cricut it will be.. Have a great day ! :)

  9. Jessie says

    I have a Silhouette, but I’ve heard of so many jumping ship for the Crichton, I want to try it out and see this new machine! :)

  10. Megan says

    I will always choose Cricut!!! As you mentioned, the software is sometimes frustrating, but so worth it when my project comes out correctly every time!

  11. Ashley Goodsell says

    I would love to win this machine! I’ve always wanted one! Thanks for giving this away! You’re the best! This post helped me decide that circuit was the way I wanted to go! boom! Just like that!

  12. Emily J. Delgado says

    It would be nice to have Circut. It would be great help for my graphic designs and crafts in college classes.

  13. Mercedes says

    I would love Cricut explore air. I have no idea where to start. I just heard about this the other day. The machine & it’s materials are expensive thou.

  14. says

    I own a Cameo, but I’ve been dying to try the Cricut because I’ve heard so many good things about the new one. I think Silhouette used to be better, but not anymore! Thanks for the chance to win!

  15. Barbara says

    I would chose the Cricut. This blog has been helpful. I have been looking at both and was wondering which one was a better choice for me! Thank you! I would love to win the Cricut!

  16. Barbara says

    I would choose the Cricut! Thank you for your blog. I have been doing a lot of research so that when I can get one I would know which one to choose.

  17. Danielle Porter says

    I would probably choose the cricut for the cleaner cut! But I’ve messed with Design Space a little and it’s kind of a pain. I’d love to see what the silhouette programs is like!

  18. Elle says

    I think I’d choose the Cricut, I’m partially biased because I’ve wanted one for so long lol. This is a great post, very informational and to the point ☺

  19. Kayla Klontz says

    I’d go with Cricut, I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time, I think they’re really neat and I’d love to use it for projects with my kids and other things.

  20. Judith Martinez says

    I think I would go for the cricut air because it cuts a wider r ang e of materials. I have a limited amount of space so I’m always looking for products that do more than one task.

  21. Ashley R says

    I would choose the silhouette cameo if I won! My mom and a friend both have that one and they raved about it forever!

  22. randi says

    Yay! I did as many of the entries I could, i don’t know what i was supposed to write in the box after each one so i just put in my email each time haha I’M SO EXCITED!!! your craft room gave me all sorts of giddy feelings! The air 2 would be a life changer!!!!

  23. tracee says

    I think I’d pick the cricut for its flexibility. I’m not worried about a steep learning curve (although its good to know that it exists). I would, however, get frustrated at having to recut and recut and recut.

  24. allyson Tice says

    omg! i would so be forver in LOVE if I won a Cricuit Explore ! I ave wanted one for SO long! Would use it to make stickers and tshirts.. wood signs for my house and for gifts! photo cubes.. i could go on and on!!!

  25. Leah Shumack says

    This is my dream crafting supply! Someday I shall have Cricut! I would love to have the Cricut Explore Air because it can cut more materials!

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