Best Silhouette Machine: Detailed Reviews in 2020
If you are crafty, you can do almost anything with your hands, and all the potential resources around you.
But if you are a professional, you need the help of the best machines and tools out there to make your craft truly beautiful.
The Silhouette machines are the best helping hands you can find when you are a professional.
This is a renowned company that makes different cutting machines for your crafts, machines that you can use for a number of projects.
You can cut anything with these machines, from the thinnest and the finest paper to sturdy leather. It’s all here, when you get yourself a Silhouette machine for all your arts and crafts needs.
Why Should You Get a Silhouette Machine?
Silhouette understands what you needs. You may start an art project with lots of ideas on your mind, but they will only come to life when you have the right tool to help you.
This world class manufacturer has some of the most popular cutting machines and starter bundles for any beginner, as well as all the tools and accessories that you are going to need.
Setting up, understanding and using these cutting machines are extremely easy, and they happen to be extremely versatile. With some machines, you can cut over 100 different types of materials into shapes and sizes that you want, to make anything you want.
What can you not make with a Silhouette cutting machine? Not much! You can make designs of your own or download anything from the Internet, and the machine will cut a shape of it on the material of your choice.
Not just cut, you can also sketch, etch, emboss, engrave and even stipple on any material with this machine, simply by adding a few extra tools. These designs can be used later to make embroideries, or attached to T-shirts and tote bags, made into leather goods, or even used in paper crafts.
Cutting machines are now used in baking and making confectionaries, as well.
Silhouette has a total of three different cutting machines to choose from, and they are all quite impressive in what they can do. Any one of these three machines can become a great help to you when you want your designs to be absolutely perfect and professional looking.
If you are little more than an amatuer spending time on a hobby or looking to make an earning out of your skill, you are definitely going to need a Silhouette machine to help in your craft.
Best Silhouette Machines : Reviews 2020
These are the products from Silhouette that are the best in their category available in the market. One of these three Silhouette cutting machines and the starter bundle pack is just what you need whether you are just starting out, or an experienced crafter.
1. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine
This is one of the best cutting machines available in the market, manufactured by Silhouette. It can cut a variety of materials from vinyl to leather, fabric to paper, and everything in between. This machine can cut almost anything that is 12 inches wide and up to 10 feet long.
This is one of the newest model of cutting machines from Silhouette. It has a number of improvements that are absent on the previous models, i.e. a touch screen, a built-in storage for accessories and a on-unit cross-cutter.
Any kind of design that you make or download from the Internet can be cut precisely on any number of materials using this machine, to be used later for making embroidering, appliqueing, quilting, making stickers, crafting or any other kind of projects.
The Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine comes with a 12” cutting mat that you can keep on using for years, as well as a cutting blade, and 100 designs preloaded into the machine for you to choose from.
You can use the Silhouette Studio with the Cameo, which is an extremely easy-to-use software for you to use to create or edit your designs.
2. Silhouette Cameo 3 White Bluetooth Starter Bundle
If you are new to the world of crafting, you are going to love this starter bundle pack. You just don’t get a brand new machine with this bundle, but all the tools and accessories that you are going to need for your first few project.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is an advanced cutting machine that can be connected to your laptop, PC or tablet/phone via a Bluetooth connection, a touch screen and a starter bundle. The starter bundle is massive and quite impressive, with 26 premium vinyl sheets each 12”x12”, 24 assorted sketch pens of different colors, and 1 roll of transfer paper.
The autoblade that comes with this machine can be replaced when it becomes dull, or it can be replaced with other kinds of blades for different purposes.
With the Silhouette Cameo 3, you also get a 12” x 12” cutting mat, a vinyl trimmer, a ratchet adjustment tool, a honk tool and a scraper tool - all simple but extremely important tools needed for you machine.
You can use the Silhouette Studio software to create your own designs, or to edit any designs you download from the Internet. With the purchase of this bundle pack, you get 100 exclusive designs and an additional 100 bonus designs for you to choose from.
These designs are worth over $50, but you get them for free when purchasing the bundle. The Silhouette Studio is compatible with Windows and Mac OS, and can be connected via Bluetooth and USB Cable. You don’t need Internet Connection to use this machine.
- Starter bundle with Silhouette cutting machine and necessary accessories
- Comes with Silhouette Cameo 3
- Comes with 26 premium vinyl sheets each 12”x12”
- Comes with 24 assorted sketch pens
- Comes with single roll of transfer paper
- Comes with a 12” x 12” cutting mat
- Comes with a vinyl trimmer and a ratchet adjustment tool
- Comes with a honk tool and a scraper tool
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac OS
- Comes with 200+ free designs
- Works via Bluetooth and USB Cable
3. Silhouette Portrait 2
This is one of the most popular cutting machines from Silhouette. The Portrait 2 can be connected via Bluetooth without the need for any Internet access; you can also use an USB cable to connect it to your laptop or PC.
This machine can cut through a number of materials, including fabric, vinyl, heat transfer material, cardstock, paper, adhesive magnet paper, vellum and transparent sheets.
This machine doesn’t have a touch screen or a monitor, but you can control it from your PC/laptop. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS, and the software comes included with the machine.
You get 50 exclusive digital designs with the purchase of this machine. You can cut materials up to 12 inches wide with this machine, and control it wirelessly through your tablet, smartphone or computer.
- One of the most popular cutting machines from Silhouette
- Can be connected via Bluetooth or USB cable
- Can be controlled with computer, tablet or smartphone
- Lightweight at 8 pounds
- Smaller and lighter version of the Silhouette Cameo
- Comes with 50 digital designs
- Can cut up to 12 inches of materials
- Can cut a number of material types
4. Silhouette SILHOUETTE-CAMEO-3-4T-Wireless Cutting Machine
The Silhouette Cameo 3 is slightly larger than both the Silhouette Cameo and the Portrait 2, suited more for professional use than a hobby. This machine can give you a perfect and precise cut every time, and can cut a variety of materials.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 can cut through vinyl, cardstock, paper, fabric, leather and other materials up to 10 feet in length and 12 inches in width.
This machine is compatible with the Silhouette Studio software, which is extremely easy to install, understand and use; this machine is also compatible with PixScan and Print&Cut. You can connect this machine to your laptop or PC via Bluetooth or USB cable.
The self-adjusting autoblade is quite helpful at times, and this is the only Silhouette machine that has this feature. The Silhouette Cameo 3 also comes with a 12 inch cutting mat, and a dual carriage that can carry two different kinds of blades at the same time, so that you won’t have to go through the trouble of changing them again and again.
- Larger and more professional than the other Silhouette machines
- Can cut through a number of materials
- Comes with a 12” x 12” cutting mat
- Can cut material up to 12” in width and 10 feet in length
- Compatible with Silhouette Studio, PixScan and Print&Cut
- Comes with dual carriage for double auto blades
- Sharp 2mm blades can make precise cuts
- Connected via Bluetooth
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Silhouette Cutting Machines
Q. Can I do anything else with a Silhouette cutting machine except making cuts on my materials?
B. Yes, with the Silhouette Cameo 3, you get a dual carriage that carries two blades at the same time. If you want to replace one of the blades with a sketch pen and reduce the depth of the carriage, you can use it draw on your material instead of cutting it.
In the other Silhouette machines too, you can replace the blade tool with a sketch pen tool to make drawings instead of cutting. With the Cameo 3, you won’t have to take out the blade tool to put in the pen tool, as there are two carriages present.
Q. How long does a Silhouette blade last?
A. It depends on a number of factors:, i.e. how frequently you use the machine, how many corners the blades have turned because of the intricacy of the patterns, the overall length the blade has cut, and especially, they type of material you’ve mostly cut using your blade.
In average, a blade will last around 5 to 6 months with regular use. If you run a business and use your machine constantly, or if you are always using a thick material like leather, it can take off a week or two worth of lifespan from your blade.
Q. What size material can I use for my Silhouette machine?
A. Most Silhouette machines allow a maximum of 12” wide material for cutting, with a similar sized cutting mat that accompanies the machine. You can increase the length of the design to up to 10 feet in most cases, but the width needs to remain under 12 inches.
If your design is smaller than 12 inches - like a logo or a small drawing - there are adjustable pinch rollers inside the Silhouette Cameo and the Silhouette Portrait that will hold your material strong when cuts are being made on it.
Besides, with most Silhouette machines, you can choose between a standard A4 size material or a Letter Size, which is 8.5” x 11”. If you are using the Silhouette Studio software, you can customize the size of the paper and the machine will comply.
Q. What are the materials that I can use in a Silhouette cutting machine?
A. This is a complete list of materials that can be used in most Silhouette cutting machines, but you can find more details in the instruction manual that comes with the machine:
- cardstock and adhesive cardstock,
- fabric stabilizers,
- printable heat transfer paper for both light and dark fabrics,
- smooth and flocked heat transfer,
- glitter and glow-in-the-dark heat transfer paper,
- metallic heat transfer paper,
- reflective heat transfer paper,
- Mint stamp kit and mint stamp sheet set,
- Rhinestone template material and rhinestone transfer tape,
- Chipboard and cork,
- Adhesive corrugated paper,
- Printable cotton canvas and printable cotton fabric,
- Double-sided adhesive sheets,
- Duct tape sheets,
- Glitter paper,
- Sublimation papers
- Faux leather paper,
- Printable and adhesive kraft paper,
- Printable and Adhesive Magnet Paper,
- Metal Etching and Stippling sheets,
- Shrinkable Plastic sheets,
- All kinds of Sticker Paper,
- All kinds of Sticker Foil Paper,
- Scratch-off sticker Sheets,
- Temporary Tattoo Paper and Vellum,
- Washi Sheets and Stickers,
- Window Cling papers,
- Wood Paper Sheets,
- Glossy, Matte, Metallic, Printable and Black Chalkboard Vinyl,
- Printable and Glow-in-the-dark Vinyl,
- Transfer Tape Roll and Sheets, etc.
Q. What are the different blades that I can use with my Silhouette cutting machine?
A. There are a total of five different blades that you can choose from and use: the Ratchet Blade, the Deep-Cut Blade, the Premium Blade, the Fabric Blade, the AutoBlade.
The blades are all of the same size with different functions, and they are all compatible with the Silhouette Cameo 3. The Ratchet Blade, the Fabric Blade and the Premium Blade are compatible with the Silhouette Portrait 2 and the Silhouette Cameo.
The blades all have different functions. The Fabric blade is used to cut both thick and fine fabric; the AutoBlade, only with the Cameo 3, will be automatically adjusted by the machine depending on the material you are using; the Premium Blade is the most expensive one to replace, but has 3 times the lifespan of the Ratchet blade; the Deep-cut Blade has a depth of 2mm, which is more than the other blades and can be used to cut through thicker materials like cardboard and foam; the Ratchet Blade is the one that comes with all the machines and can cut through the most common materials.
Q. What are the other other tools and accessories I’ll need with my Silhouette Machines?
A. There are a number of other small but important tools that you are going to need, and you can buy them separately, or get them together by purchasing the Silhouette starter bundle pack. The starter pack has the most important ones that you are going to need, for example:
- A pen holder if you want to use a different pen instead of the Silhouette sketch pens;
- A hook to take out scrap paper from vinyl transfer paper;
- A scraper to take out air bubbles, apply transfer paper and to clean your cutting mat;
- A spatula to lift the designs from the mat without damaging them;
- A Pick-me-up which is a small sharp tool to pick up and place small pieces;
- Roll Feeder if you are working on a rather long project;
- A special PixScan Cutting Mat if you are working on small, intricate designs;
- A Curio Base if you are using a material that is too large or too stiff to properly feed through the machine;
- Finally, a dust cover to keep your machine protected from dust.
If you are looking for a good and reputed cutting machine, you don’t need to look any further than the Silhouette cutting machine range.
These three machines: the Silhouette Cameo, the Silhouette Portrait 2 and the Silhouette Cameo 3 are the best cutting machines that you can find in the market for a reasonable price. The Starter Bundle pack from Silhouette is also just what you need if you are new to crafting.
These three machines are extremely versatile. You can cut everything from paper to fabric to leather with these machines, with perfect precision and ease. Instead of the blades, you can use sketch pens to make drawings you couldn’t do with your hands, easily and within seconds.
These machines, especially the Silhouette Cameo 3, is the best investment you can make if you are a professional, an amateur or a hobbyist.