Have you heard the rumors…? That’s right — it’s new machine time again!
The Silhouette Cameo 4 will be winging its way to us in September/October 2019 and it’s fair to say that we can’t wait to see what they’ve been cooking up with this brand spanking new vinyl cutter.
We’ve been waiting on the Cameo 4 for what seems like years so we’re pretty certain that it’s going to be something special.
Excitingly, it should be ready to pre-order soon — keep an eye on this page for more details and sign up for updates.
Here, we’ve compiled a complete guide to everything we know about the Silhouette Cameo 4 so far, and what we can expect when it’s finally released. We’ll update this post with a review once we’ve had a few weeks to truly play around with it and figure out what’s what.
Let’s get straight into it…
Silhouette Cameo 4: The Announcement
The much-loved Cameo 3 came out around 3 years ago so rumors have been swirling about when on earth Silhouette was going to release its next machine ever since!
This week (8 May 2019) saw Silhouette convene their annual summit in Hawaii, where they announce their new products and any updates due within the year.
The biggest announcement this year was that they’re hard at work on the Cameo 4 and were scheduling its release for Fall 2019 — specifically, a date yet to be confirmed in September or October.
Getting excited yet?
Cameo 4 Features
Of course, it’s not enough to simply know the date of when we can expect this new vinyl cutting machine — we also want to know a little about what we can expect when it arrives.
By the sounds of it, it’s certainly going to pack a punch.
Up to 5kg of Downward Force
If there’s one way that we were disappointed with the Cameo 3, it was the lack of downward force — just 221 g/s — that made for real difficulty cutting thicker materials.
It doesn’t look like that’s going to be a problem with the Cameo 4.
Silhouette are advertizing a whopping 5kg of downward force, which completely blows the previous forerunners — the Cricut Maker and the KNK Force, both with 4kg — out of the water. If anything, it puts it into serious competition with industrial vinyl cutting machines.
So what does 4kg of downward force actually mean for us crafters?
That’s easy: deep cuts on thicker materials.
Suddenly, you’ll be able to start cutting previously tricky materials like balsa wood, craft foam, leather and matboard — which had previously all been out of bounds.
We’d guess that Silhouette has designed the Cameo 4 to be a serious rival to the Cricut Maker — anything the Maker can cut, the Cameo 4 should be able to as well. And maybe even more!
3x the Speed of Cameo 3
Another way the Cameo 4 promises to be even better than its predecessor is in the speed category.
Silhouette are promising that it’ll be able to cut at three times the speed of the Cameo 3, which will make for some serious time savings.
This is a particularly nice feature for anyone running a vinyl cutting business, or simply anyone that values their time. A machine that promises the same quality (or even better!) cuts at three times the speed has definitely caught our interest.
Much like the Cricut Maker did, the Cameo 4 will come 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.
The first tools to be announced are the following:
- Silhouette Rotary Blade — we assume for cutting fabric
- Silhouette Kraft Blade — perhaps for thicker materials?
The machine will also be 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 settings in Silhouette Studio.
Single Tap Auto Blade
One of the things we loved when the Cameo 3 came out was the Auto Blade function that automatically adjusted according to whatever material you were using at the time, so we’re really pleased that this technology is staying put for the Cameo 4.
We’re not entirely clear right now on what they mean by ‘single tap’, but it seems certain that it’ll be even more intuitive and fast-working than ever before.
Other New Features
- Touch Panel
- Built-in pull-out roll feeder
- Built-in vinyl trimmer
- Built-in cross cutter
- Weeding tool (it’ll mark where exactly you should weed the material)
- Dual motor system (hello, maximum power!)
Cameo 4: The Look
From the (admittedly limited) photos we’ve seen of the Cameo 4 prototype from the Hawaii summit, 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 the Cameo 3 — we imagine this is due to the increased force and sturdiness of the machine. There’s definitely an industrial look to it.
It’ll be available in the following colors:
Which one will you go for?!
Ken from Ken’s Kreations managed to get a good view of the prototypes on display at the Summit:
Silhouette Cameo 3 vs Cameo 4
One of the questions we expect we’ll hear a lot of running up to the release is how the Cameo 4 will compare to the Cameo 3.
From what we know so far, 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.
But let’s be real here, here’s what the Cameo 4 has going for it over its predecessor:
- It can cut more materials — thanks to that huge 5kg of downward force, this is a truly powerful machine
- And create more projects — new tools like the Rotary and Kraft blades 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 panel allows for greater visibility and the pull-out 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 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.
Silhouette Cameo 4 vs Cricut Maker
Another obvious comparison to make in regards to the Cameo 4 is with the Cricut Maker, which we think is likely to be its main competitor.
Of course, it’s impossible to say how they truly compare until we have the Cameo 4 in our craft room and have been able to compare them side by side, but it’s worth looking at the facts beforehand anyway.
|Silhouette Cameo 4||Cricut Maker|
|Max. Cutting Size||12" x 10'||12" x 24"|
|Tools||Rotary Blade, Kraft Blade, Single Tap Auto Blade||Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, Scoring Wheel (Single & Double), Fine Point Blade, Deep Point Blade|
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 presumably more versatility.
We’ll report back definitively on which is the better machine as soon as we’ve tested them both out thoroughly against each other.
Are you excited for the release of the Silhouette Cameo 4?