Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Bug vs The Silhouette: My Opinions

The Cokie Pop Paper Boutique, posed an interesting question on her blog that I felt compelled to answer. Out of the Provo Craft Cricut, The Quickutz Silhouette, and the Making Memories Slice, which do I prefer? I own two of the three machines; the Cricut, and the Silhouette. The details of how each machine works is explained on her blog, so I’ll try to leave this “review” to my opinion.

The Quickutz Silhouette:

The QK Silhouette was so appealing at first! It is cheaper than the Cricut, requires NO cartridges, and has an SD slot that allows the user to make their computer generated vector files, or cuts, more portable. Being, I think, technologically advanced, I thought this machine would be well worth the investment. I ordered my Silhouette straight from their website, and after hurdling several customer service problems, received my product in about six weeks. I used the machine for a few months before moving on to the Cricut, and this is why:

1. It has an awesome program, derived from the Craft Robo program series, and an online area to purchase cut files that is updated often, however, the cuts are $2 a piece, and most look as though the designer used the auto trace tool on an image. Meaning, some of the images just don’t cut correctly. I have to give Quickutz credit though, they have been, very recently, having some awesome guest artist design a few cut files.

2. Cutting paper to fit sucks. Taking the time to cut down EVERY piece of 12x12 paper that I wished to use is so time consuming! The Silhouette mat only accommodates 8.5x11 size paper, at most. When I do my crafts, I like fast resluts, and this just took too long.

3. That baby is LOUD! I husband often described it has moose mating season in my craft area.

4. While the SD slot sounds great on paper (or internet website), it’s very limited. You can save an image to an SD card, and take it on the road with you, however, once at your location with your Silhouette, should you decide that you want to chance the size of the image, or in any other way alter it, you can’t. You must have a computer with the software loaded in order to edit any images on your SD card.

The Provo Craft Cricut Expression:

I’ve only had this machine for a few short weeks, however, I know more about it that you’d think. I’m an avid YouTube learner, and internet surfer, so from the time we bought my Cricut on Black Friday, until the time I was allowed to open it on Christmas, I did research; Lots of research. The Cricut is absolutely the machine for me. Is it the machine for you?

1. The biggest issue between the die cutting machines is the cartridges. Yes, the Cricut cartridges are an investment, however, great deals can be found everywhere! Few people ACTUALLY pay the suggested retail price of these cartridges. If you don’t want to take the time to shop around a bit, and it doesn’t take long, then this isn’t the machine for you. With Design Studio and Sure-Cuts-A-Lot, the options are endless.

2. 12x12 mat OR 12x24 mat.

3. It’s simple. Put the cartridge in, follow the handbook to find the button you want, and press cut.

4. For more advanced users, there are numerous accessories and programs available to enhance the versatility of the cartridges, and make using the machine faster. Those options can be found here, and at the Cricut website.

5. They're pretty. Mine is a beautiful black, and my mom's is an awesome red. Who wouldn't love to match their die cutting machine to their craft room?

I know this review isn’t the most thorough, but I could have written for an hour straight about each one! If anyone out there is conflicted as to which machine to buy, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email, and I’ll do my very best to help.


  1. Don't forget that the Silhouette mat is ungodly sticky at first and that the blade design tends to shred more intricate designs. Also it is Slooow. I do have to say though, I am pretty impressed with the software driving it. It's nice to be able whip something up in Illustrator and have it cut with little hassle. But I will agree the Silhouette while "portable" it's really only portable if you know exactly what you are going to make beforehand or you have a laptop that is going to be coming with you.

  2. I completely agree with you. The silhouette was a bit intimidating since I didn't know the program that came with it. I am so happy with my (red)Cricut!! It is very user friendly and if I want to hook it up to my computer to expand it's capabilities, I can. Thanks for the review and I Love your blog!!!

  3. I have never had the silhouette and never got on the wave for it. I do have the Cricut and love it for all time. The Cricut is a girls best friend next you!!!!!

  4. I prefer the Cricut too. Sure you have to buy cartridges but you also have to by other things to work with the other machines too. Cricut is well known and has good customer support as well. You can even buy cartridges at great discounts on Ebay! :-)

  5. This was an interesting review! Your insight was really helpful since I'm trying to decide between the two. I actually am leaning towards the Silhouette. I just want to use it for basic cutting and to cut templates for cards, so it sounds simpler to use. And my paper is 8x8, so I think I'll be alright. Thanks for clarifying the machines! Great review.

  6. I have the Cricut E AND the Gypsy, which I love with all my heart! They Gypsy has helped me use my Cricut much more efficiently and without have to do "practice runs" before using my good paper!


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