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.
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.
-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.
- 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.
- Cuts fewer range of materials.
- Does not have as clean of a cut.
Cricut Explore Air
- Cuts wide range of materials.
- Clean cut every time.
- 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!
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
I love the cricut!
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!!!!
Mary MacKenzie says
I been wanting to purchase a Cricut Explore Air but haven’t been able to as of yet…
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!
Good luck! That is one thing that I have not made- car decals. I may have to try it out!
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!
Good luck! I stay at home with my boys, as well, and I know how long the days can be!
Emily Adams says
I would choose the Cricut! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!
Amy C. says
Your new machine sounds great! I’ve never owned an electric cutting machine, but would love to give it a try!
I love the cricut it’s pretty to look at and the cuts are far more accurate than the silhouette 😊
I agree with you on both accounts!
Linda Harris says
I would go with the Cricut. Looks fun!!!
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.
Cricut all the way!!
I would love to have the new Cricut!!
Terri C says
Have always wanted a Cricut.
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!
Good luck! Kids have a way of zapping spare time, don’t they?!? 🙂
Roxy K says
Would love the Cricut Explore Air 2!!
Rita Medina says
I would love it have i let someone use mine and never got it back
Oh, no! Good luck!
I would choose the Cricuit but only based on what everyone is telling me. I don’t own either machine.
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!
They are definitely an investment! Good luck!
Vickie L Bartley says
I chose the Cricut after researching which machine was better. I’m so glad I did….Love My Cricut.
Sarah Hanley says
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!
Christy Early says
I’m not sure. I would just love to have one.
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 ! 🙂
You, too! Good luck!
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! 🙂
Both have pros and cons, but with the upcoming Cricut Design Space upgrade, I’m hoping that soon there will be no comparison. Love my Cricut! Good luck!
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!
Agreed! Good luck!
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!
It can be hard to choose! Good luck!
This would be so awesome to have to help promote my husband’s business!!
Good luck! What does your husband do?
Emily J. Delgado says
It would be nice to have Circut. It would be great help for my graphic designs and crafts.
Emily J. Delgado says
It would be nice to have Circut. It would be great help for my graphic designs and crafts in classes.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Mandee Thomas says
Love my Cricut Explore! I use it all the time for my custom paper cut designs. 🙂 Would love to be able to get the new version!!!
Kristin C says
Thanks for the review- the cricut sounds like a great product!
Colleen Boudreau says
I would choose the Cricuit.
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!
I am hoping that will change with the Design Space upgrade that is supposed to release this year! Good luck!
Ellen Casper says
I would choose the Cricut!
Kevin E says
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air!
Michelle C says
I would love the Cricut. The huge variety of materials that can be cut is a deciding factor for me!
Tee Anderson says
I would love a Cricut!!
I would love a Cricut.
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 ☺
Christine H says
I’d pick the CriCut because it’s been test & true and love by many for along time!
Tracie Cooper says
I would love a cricut!
Laurie Nykaza says
The Cricut Explore Air 2 sounds amazing so I would love one to use.
Jessica B Moore says
I love my Silhouette but would love to try a Cricut!!
Paloma Quintero says
I’d love a cricut!
golden storm says
i would pick the Cricut i think they are wonderful
Tina W says
I think the Cricut sounds like the best fit for me!
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.
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.
That is a great point!
jeremy mclaughlin says
Would go with the Cricut. Thanks for the chance
angie w says
I’d go with the Cricut!
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!
I would choose the Air because it cuts a wider range of materials.
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!!!!
Kelley Roach says
I been wanting to purchase a Cricut Explore Air
LeAnn Harbert says
I want the Cricut.
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.
Darlene Owen says
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air
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!!!
Sally Wilsey says
I would have to go with the Cricut Explor Air 2. It has all the features I would like to have.
I love the cricut.
The Cricut Explore Air.
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!
I love the cricut
Bethany Larrabee says
I have a silhouette, but I would love to try out the Cricut Explore Air!
Renee Rousseau says
After reading the comparison I would definitely choose the CRICUT EXPLORE AIR 2. I enjoyed the projects page, so many inspiring ideas!
Tamra H says
Would love the new Cricut! One of these has been on my wishlist for some time!
Michelle J. says
I’d choose the Cricut for the clean cut!
Deb Anderson says
I’ve never used either one (yes, I know I’m waaaay behind!) but I’ve heard far more good things about the Cricut. Fingers crossed I finally get the chance to find out for myself!
Heather Bridson says
I would choose the Cricut explore Air. I also have a big shot and I love it, but I would love a digital cutter!
Annmarie W. says
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air!
evans s says
Linda Walker says
I would love to try this one out since I have a silhouette as well.
Megan Parsons says
I’d chose the cricut, because I have wanted one for years.
Connie Gruning says
I would love to review the Cricut Explore Air. It looks like SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yona Williams says
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air. – sounds like I would get more out of it.
Pam C. says
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air.
elizabeth miller says
I would choose the CRICUT EXPLORE AIR 2. this would be my choice because the crisp clean cut is really important to me for cutting to put on home decor items. I also use it for making teacher gifts and such so the clean cut really adds a nice look to things.
I would love to have the Cricut Explore Air I have been drooling over this one for a while now just cannot afford it…They are both sweet..
Kelly Schirado says
I would love a cricut exlporer air!!
I would choose the Cricut Explore Air 2 because I need a clean cut the first time. Crafting is enough of a challenge for me since I’m disabled. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you. Happy January!
Terry Stevens says
I would choose the Cricut.
Mary Gardner says
I would choose the Cricut. I’d love to have the Cricut Explore Air! Making car decals would be something new for me and I think lots of fun!
Maggie Currier says
I love the options but I would have to go with the Cricut Explore Air!
Sarah Spilker says
Nice post. I especially like the links to other opinions of silhouette vs. cricut. I’m looking forward to cutting with you! I would prefer the cricut too!
Chelsey Bennett says
I’d choose the Cricut. My sister-in-law has a Silhouette and I’m not sold on it. This comparison proves my original thoughts are right. Can’t wait to get one soon.
Rachel Griffy says
My husband and I have both been researching on both machines and are praying we can start an at home business so the Cricket Explore air would be a great help!! Thanks for all your great posts, they are so informative to newbies like ourselves!!!
Good luck! What kind of business are you thinking of starting?
Rachel Griffy says
I have an embroidery machine and with a machine like the cricket we can do more thing with clothes, bags, baby items, than you can the embroidery machine!!
Magen R says
I consider myself pretty crafty but my sister in law introduced me to the cricut. I had no idea everything it could do. She has owned both brands of machines and prefers the cricut. I think I’d prefer a cricut to a silhouette as well. I can’t stop pinning ideas!! My poor daughter! Hahaha!
Oh shoot, I just went to enter for the giveaway, and its closed. 🙁 Im assuming it probably closed at midnight, no worries!