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Cameo or Cricut: suggestions from a potty-mouthed sticker whore & designer :)

On 11 Jan 2018

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If you’re considering your first machine (silhouette cameo, Provo Cricut, brother scan/cut, etc), I might suggest the following:

1. The key to “what’s better” is design software preference and learning curve.

– Download the design software (both free) – Cricut Design Studio and Silhouette Studio.
– Watch the videos they provide to learn the basics
– Try making a design yourself in the software.

Then you can better decide for yourself which might be easier to work with.

2. See how you like making your project to test how much you’d like doing the work. Try printing and doing your first cuts with someone who already has the cutting machine you’re interested in.

If that’s not an option, try buying a used machine. It will save yourself several hundred $ and test the veracity of your conviction to really DIY – do you see yourself using this machine every week? eBay, online garage sales, and FB scrapbooking sales groups are good places to start looking for used machines.

Additional things to consider:
a. Cutting machines are an investment of time and money. On the average, it’ll cost $250+ for a new machine, another $50 for supplies & tools, etc.

b. Mats (+/- $10) and blades (+/- $15) are a recurring cost.

c. It takes a fair bit of time to design, register cuts, print, mat, and then cut. Do you have the time, energy, and focus to spend several hours producing 1 design? Be fair to yourself – if you are willing and able to invest the time and work it takes, then the machine might be for you, if not, ask a willing friend or pay someone to make it for you. No shame in any decision and it your $ you’re spending in the end.

d. Are you motivated to overcome the learning curve and do the work involved? Think about how many projects you’re willing to actually go through this process and how patient you are in seeing them through – the end product you’ve created exactly how you want is great, designing your own things is rewarding, there are lots of different things you can make, and yes, you *might* save money in the long run if you actually produce a lot of projects – but I’ve seen so many people spend a LOT of money buying all the stuff (used or new) and never use it because they couldn’t overcome the learning curve or the motivation to do the work.

Is it worth spending hundreds of $ in tools and supplies to make something with a solid learning curve requiring time/work over something you can buy and immediately have for $10, $20, or $50?

e. Customer service for both is meh at best. I have both machines and used their CSRs when I’ve had software, cloud, account, or machine issues … and I don’t call them unless there’s a real problem … having said that, you can tell that neither company really invests in customers after they’ve bought their machines because customer service/tech support isn’t that great – they usually try to get you to upgrade or pay for limited types of repair. Um. No.

In the end, I find the silhouette line to be more cost effective long-term, more user friendly design/cut software, and they run big sales more often than cricut for design download store, supplies, and machine upgrades (for example, silhouette offers 50% off sales for design downloads, machine packages, and supplies at least 4 times a year where cricut BARELY does that 1 time a year)


Go ahead, spill. I'll wait.