It is the successor to the popular Cameo 3 and boasts a number of impressive upgrades: it’s stronger, faster and offers a much improved user experience.
We’ve spent many hours crafting with this new machine, and without jumping the gun: we think you’re going to be really pleased with the areas where Silhouette has upgraded its flagship cutter.
You probably have some questions:
- Is the Cameo 4 any good?
- How does the Cameo 4 compare to Cameo 3?
- What can I do with the Cameo 4?
- What new tools does the Cameo 4 have?
- Is the Cameo 4 better than the Cricut Maker?
We will answer them all.
Our Cameo 4 review delves into the pros, cons and features of the machine, as well as how it compares to its main competitor — the Cricut Maker.
Is it worth the money? Let’s find out…
- 1 What is the Silhouette Cameo 4?
- 2 What Are The Pros and Cons?
- 3 Which Is Better Cameo 4 Or Cameo 3?
- 4 Which Is Better Cameo 4 Or Cricut Maker?
- 5 What Tools Can I Use With The Cameo 4?
- 6 What Does The Machine Look Like?
- 7 Your Questions Answered
- 8 Is The Silhouette Cameo 4 Worth It?
What is the Silhouette Cameo 4?
The Silhouette Cameo 4 is the latest 12-inch desktop cutting machine from Silhouette. It lets crafters work with a number of materials, including paper, vinyl, fabrics, cardstock and more.
Packed with technological improvements, the Cameo 4 marks a significant leap forwards from the Cameo 3 and previous Silhouette machines.
What Are The Pros and Cons?
Which Is Better Cameo 4 Or Cameo 3?
Read our full comparison here: Silhouette Cameo 3 vs 4
One of the questions we’re asked a lot is how the Silhouette Cameo 4 compares to the Cameo 3.
We think it’s fair to say that the new machine is a huge improvement over the Cameo 3 — which was already a great and well-respected vinyl cutter.
How Cameo 4 Has Improved On Cameo 3
But let’s be real here, here’s what the Cameo 4 has going for it over its predecessor. Things like:
- It can cut more materials — thanks to that huge 5kg of downward cutting force, this is a truly powerful machine
- And create more projects — new tools like the Rotary blade and Kraft blade suggest that there’ll be a whole new world of crafting opened up to you
- It can cut faster — three times faster according to Silhouette!
- It’s easier to use — thanks to the single tap auto blade and automatic tool detection, you’ll have to spend less time faffing about in the settings of Silhouette Studio
- It’s more accessible — the touch interface panel allows for greater visibility and the pull-out built in roll feeder means that it can even be used with just one hand
There is one way in that the Cameo 3 might be preferred over the new Cameo 4, however.The new machine has an MSRP of $299, which is significantly more than the MSRP of the Cameo 3 at around $199.
We would argue that it is clearly the superior machine and has a very good price in comparison to its main competitor (see below), but if you’re price sensitive you may want to choose the older machine instead.
|Cameo 3||Cameo 4 |
|Downward Force||221 grams||5,000 grams|
|Speed||3 x faster|
|Max Cut Size||12" x 10'||12" x 10' |
15" x 10' (Cameo Plus)
20" x 10' (Cameo Pro)
|AutoBlade?||AutoBlade||Single Tap AutoBlade|
|Automatic Tool Detection?||No||Yes|
|New Tool Compatibility?||No||Yes|
|Best Price||Amazon||Swing Design|
Which Is Better Cameo 4 Or Cricut Maker?
Read our full comparison here: Cameo 4 vs Cricut Maker
Another obvious comparison to make in regards to the Cameo 4 is with the Cricut Maker, which is definitely its main competitor.
Here’s how they compare side by side:
|Silhouette Cameo 4||Cricut Maker |
|Max. Cutting Size||12" x 10'|
15" x 10' (Plus)
20" x 10' (Pro)
|12" x 24"|
|Tools||Rotary Blade, Kraft Blade, Single Tap Auto Blade, Punch Tool||Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, Scoring Wheel (Single & Double), Fine Point Blade, Deep Point Blade, Wavy Blade, Perforation Blade, Debossing Tip, Engraving Tip|
|Software||Silhouette Studio||Cricut Design Space|
|Stand-Out Feature||Power and Speed||Sewing Pattern Library|
|Check Best Price||Check Price on Swing Design||Check Price on Cricut|
As you can see, both machines have a lot going for them.
The Cameo 4 is more powerful, can cut larger sizes and is cheaper, while the Cricut Maker has lots of tools and more versatility as a cutting machine.
What Tools Can I Use With The Cameo 4?
Much like the Cricut Maker, the Silhouette Cameo 4 comes with a suite of new tools to fit the machine’s brand new, bigger, gear-driven drive housing.
The new tools and housing will be designed for the huge increase in power of the Cameo 4 and will not fit into any previous Silhouette models.
Some of the first tools to be announced include the following:
By utilising tools like the Rotary Blade and Kraft Blade, you can multiply the number of materials that this popular machine can work with.
The machine is also blessed with automatic tool detection to allow it to automatically adjust to whatever tool you happen to load in the carriage — blade, pen, whatever — without you needing to fiddle around with cut settings in Silhouette Studio.
What Does The Machine Look Like?
We touched upon it in our review, but truthfully we’re a little surprised at the look that the Silhouette designers have settled on.
It’s definitely still in keeping with the familiar Silhouette aesthetic, but looks a lot bigger and tougher than previous models like the Cameo 3 — we imagine this is due to the increased cutting force and sturdiness of the machine. There’s definitely an industrial look to it. You’ll want to find a nice storage area for it.
It’ll be available in the following colors:
Which one will you go for?!
Ken from Ken’s Kreations captured this view of the prototypes on display at the Summit before the machine’s release:
Your Questions Answered
Since we published this Cameo 4 review, we’ve been bombarded with questions about the machine. How it works, how to get the most out of it, etc!
Here we’ve answered a few of your top questions.
What Can I Make With Cameo 4?
The Cameo 4 is hugely versatile and suitable for a number of craft projects.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Greeting cards
- Designs for apparel (t-shirts are popular!)
- Party decorations
- Business signage
- Temporary tattoos
- Paper plants
- Car stickers
- Shadow puppets
Is The Machine Easy To Use?
In short – yes!
The Cameo 4 is easy to use with a number of exciting new features that are designed to take the pain out of cutting.
The Single Tap AutoBlade, built in cross-cutter, built in roll-feeder and auto tool detection help to make this the most user-friendly Silhouette machine yet.
If you are looking for help getting setup with your new Cameo machine, we have a detailed guide for the Cameo 3 – much of which still applies.
Can The Silhouette Cameo 4 Emboss?
The Cameo 4 is not designed for embossing or engraving projects. It is not capable of embossing paper or cardstock. While it can be used with certain materials like vellum (or very thin metal sheets), the machine is not powerful enough to compete with a dedicated embossing machine.
If you need an embossing machine, the Silhouette Curio offers a great alternative.
What Can Silhouette Cameo 4 Cut?
The Rotary Blade and Kraft Blade make the Cameo 4 an excellent all-rounder machine capable of working with more materials than previous models.
Cuttable materials include:
- Adhesive Vinyl
- Card Stock
- Acetate Sheets
- Balsa Wood
- Craft Foam
- Cork Sheets
How Thick Can Silhouette Cameo 4 Cut?
With a max cutting force in the second carriage of 5000g, the Cameo 4 can cut materials with a max thickness of 3mm.
This makes the Cameo 4 well suited to most craft projects.
Keep in mind that the machine has a cutting width setting of 12 inches. If you need to cut wider than this, then there are two more machines from Silhouette that may be better suited.
Which brings us to…
What Are The Cameo Plus and Cameo Pro?
The cutting width of the standard Cameo 4 is 12 inches (with a 12 inch cutting mat included) — BUT Silhouette has also introduced 2 larger sizes to the line-up.
That’s right — the Silhouette Cameo Plus (15″ cutting width) and the Silhouette Cameo Pro (20″ cutting width).
The Plus and Pro have all the same features of the Cameo 4, but they’re able to accomplish larger cuts.
Like their names suggest, these larger editions will probably be most attractive to people running vinyl cutting businesses or those who simply work on larger projects.
Price wise, the Plus and Pro are naturally more expensive than the standard Cameo 4.
The new Silhouette Cameo Plus will be $399 while the Silhouette Cameo Pro will be $499. We can expect some nice bundles with these new machines if you’re hunting for a deal.
Is The Silhouette Cameo 4 Worth It?
Overall, we highly recommend the Silhouette Cameo 4.
This is a professional level cutting machine at a truly bargain price that will appeal to a huge number of people (it’s easy to use!) — whether you’re an occasional cutting hobbyist or a fully established business owner.
The included software is excellent, and the machine incredibly strong and with plenty of promise. The fact that it’s available in larger sizes (the Pro and Plus) is really exciting as well as the multitude of new tools.
There are a couple of non-dealbreaker issues that knock the Cameo 4 down from a perfect score — namely the machine’s aesthetics and the occasionally inefficient tool carriage — but these are unlikely to be an issue to many of Silhouette’s audience.
The machine is well supported in the community, as well as by Silhouette through their website with FAQ guides and customer tutorials (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
What are your thoughts on the new Silhouette Cameo 4?.
Send us your own Cameo 4 reviews below.
Silhouette Cameo 4 Review
The Cameo 4 is a huge improvement on the Cameo 3 and offers a professional level cutting experience for a truly excellent price.
It’s not a perfect machine — the dual tool carriage is a little inefficient and it’s a bit clunky looking.
Regardless, the Cameo 4 is definitely a winner and a worthy competitor to the Cricut Maker
- Professional grade cuts
- Quick and easy to use
- Good software (at least compared to Cricut Design Space
- Very powerful
- Able to cut fabric without backing as well as thicker materials (like balsa wood!) with the new tools (Rotary Blade & Kraft Blade)
- Lots of color and size options
- Good price
- A little industrial looking for our tastes
- The dual tool carriage isn’t as efficient as it could be
- Not quite as versatile as the Cricut Maker