These two big shots are the primary cutting machines on the market right now, with the Maker (available to buy on Amazon or the Cricut Store) released back in 2017 and the Cameo 4 (available on Swing Design and Amazon) new to your craft rooms since Fall 2019.
They’re powerful, fast and more versatile than you could ever imagine from a desktop machine.
But which one is best? Which one deserves your hard earned cash?
Here’s a sneak peek at how the two compare:
Silhouette Cameo 4
Max Cut Size
12″ x 24″
12″ x 10′; 15″ x 10′ (Plus); 20″ x 10′ (Pro)
Cricut Design Space
Sewing Pattern Library
Power and Speed
Let’s find out more…
Cameo 4 vs Cricut Maker
One of the easiest ways to compare the Cameo 4 against the Cricut Maker is by how powerful both machines are.
Let’s be upfront about it: both machines are incredibly powerful — much more so than your average desktop cutter — and it’s highly unlikely you’d even notice a great deal of difference, unless you were cutting very high volumes of thick materials that require such power.
But, nevertheless, the Cameo 4 does inch ahead of the Maker with a whopping 1,000 extra grams of downward force than its rival.
The Cameo 4 has 5kg of downward force while the Maker has 4kg.
In this round, the point undoubtedly goes to the Cameo 4, but it’s worth considering how important this actually is given how powerful both machines are.
Similarly, both machines are very fast cutters — especially for standard materials like paper, cardstock and vinyl.
The Cameo 4 is advertized as being 3 times as fast as its predecessor, the Cameo 3, while the Cricut Maker benefits from ‘Fast Mode’ that works at double Cricut’s speed for standard materials.
We’d estimate them being about neck and neck for these materials — there’s certainly not enough of a difference to choose one over the other.
When it comes to more complex and thicker materials like fabric and chipboard, for instance, we’ll be conducting speed tests between the two once Silhouette have released the necessary tools.
At the moment, however, we’d award the speed category as a draw between the two machines.
We know that we’re not the only crafters to value versatility as one of the most important features of any cutting machine that we’re likely to buy.
So, what contributes to versatility? We look out for features like the following:
Ability to work with multiple tools
Ability to work with multiple materials
A dual carriage that allows for two tasks to be carried out at once (like sketching and cutting, for example)
Huge library of images, projects and designs
Both machines boast all of these features and can definitely both be described as versatile.
But the Cricut Maker just inches out ahead of the Cameo 4 here.
Probably because it’s already been on the market for a couple of years, it’s got access to a lot more tools. Not only game changers like the Rotary Blade and Knife Blade, but more specialist stuff like the engraving and debossing tips, wavy and perforation blades, scoring wheel and more.
The Cameo 4, in contrast, has just been released with the AutoBlade and is awaiting the release of its new tools — hopefully to come early in 2020.
Both Silhouette Studio and Cricut Design Space thankfully have huge image, font and project libraries for you to find practically any design you can think of. Plus, of course, you can create your own designs within both programs.
Point to the Maker — the score currently stands at 2-2.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing between the Cameo 4 and the Cricut Maker is how much you like working within the design software they provide.
We know that more experienced designers choose to use their own, more sophisticated programs — like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, for instance — but the truth is that most people find it easier to stick with the included software.
For the Cameo 4 that’s Silhouette Studio.
Silhouette Studio has really improved in the past year or so, thanks to some much-needed updates, so it’s now intuitive to use and has plenty of opportunities to really grow your design skills. It can still be buggy, however, which definitely causes some frustration.
Cricut Design Space is probably slightly better set up for beginners and doesn’t seem to suffer from the same number of bugs as Silhouette Studio but can be a little limiting for more experienced designers.
It’s hard to award one program over the other as it really will come down to personal preference — beginners and lower-level users tend to prefer Cricut Design Space whereas Silhouette Studio has more to offer the more advanced.
Looks like it’s another draw…
Another feature that’s super important to a small section of users is just how much space you have to cut your designs on both machines.
While most crafters are perfectly happy to work within the confines of the 12″ x 24″ cutting space that the Cricut Maker sports, others will be looking for something a little less restrictive.
We’re still waiting on lots of tools so it’s hard to judge how well they all stack up (stay tuned!)
Cameo 4 vs Cricut Maker: Overall Verdict
It’s really hard to choose a winner between the Cameo 4 and the Cricut Maker as truthfully they’re both fantastic machines that are really at the top of the market.
We’re leaning slightly towards the Cricut Maker at the moment although we reserve the right to change our minds once we’ve seen the full spectrum of the Cameo 4’s capabilities.
As the Maker has been out for around two years at this point, we’ve had a long time to play with it and take advantage of all the Cricut tools that have been released so far. The Cameo 4, on the other hand, is brand new and still awaiting the release of lots of exciting tools and the larger versions of the machines.
There are some clear ways to judge that the Cameo 4 is the better machine. however.
I’m a life long crafter with a passion for vinyl cutting — it’s been both a hobby and a career for me over the past 5 years. Everyday I love testing new machines, materials and techniques and passing my tips and reviews along to my crafting friends and readers. I don’t like to play favorites, but it’s hard to deny that the Silhouette Cameo and Cricut cutters hold a special place in my heart! When I’m not in my craft room (and sometimes when I’m in it), you’ll find me playing with my baby daughter and my two furball puppies.