Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut Imagine

So I was blog reading the other day when I came accross a product I had never heard of before…a Silhouette Cameo by Silhouette America. I was intrigued. I have been begging for a Cricut since; like, forever and now I have found another crafters must have electronic cutting machine. So now I am researching and asking myself, which one?

Choices, choices.

Yes, I know. It is kinda odd to write a product comparison article when you don’t own either. But that is just how I roll.

The Cricut Imagine and the Silhouette Cameo are both electronic cutting machines; and both offer print & cut. You can create an image using the software provided for either and the machine will print and cut it for you. GREAT for scrapbookers and other paper (and vinyl) crafters!

According to the Product Descritpion on Amazon the Silhouette Cameo:

The Silhouette Cameo is the newest 12″ electronic cutting machine from Silhouette America. The Cameo can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and much more from 12″ wide to 10 feet long. The Cameo comes with a quiet motor and has the ability to register and cut printed materials.

As for the Cricut Imagine:

With HP, the world leader in inkjet printing, combined with Provo Craft, the world leader in paper crafting, Cricut Imagine offers vivid, full-color, photographic-quality artwork that adds a new level of detail and dimension to your projects. From beginners to experts, you?ll have fun making a wide variety of projects, including scrapbook layouts, cards, home or office décor, education materials, special event signage, and much more. Cricut Imagine offers endless possibilities; the rest is up to you. Now you can add full color, textures and patterns, for one-of-a kind projects that reflect your creativity and personality.

If I am understanding my research correctly, the Silhouette can basically work with any design 12″ wide and up to 10 feet in length. Woah! The Cricut Imagine on the other hand can only do a standard 12″x12″; where the Cricut Expression can at least do 12″x24″. I kinda like the the thought of larger vinyl projects!


Another thing to make note of is with a Cricut, you have to have cartridges, which can get pricey. There is software (and a free option) I have found, but you would still need some cartridges. The Silhouette has design software and an online store, no cartridges, and it looks a bit cheaper to download images.

According to several crafty blog sources, the Silhouette can also cut smaller, more intricate images and has a sharper cut line than the Cricut.  Oh, and the Silhouette weights considerably less than the Imagine, and if you are a crafter on the go kinda person, this could be a huge deciding point.

So…again. Choices, choices. It certainly appears that the Silhouette has way more going for it, and far better reviews on almost every website I visited. For some reason though I just can’t get the Cricut Expression or the Cricut Imagine out of my mind. I guess I will just have to win the lottery and get all three of them.

Yup, that sounds like a pretty good plan to me!

So tell me, do you Cricut or do you Silhouette? Or do you both? Tell me what you love or hate about either…I wanna know!






  1. Terri says

    I have the Cricut Imagine and have found the cartridges to be quite expensive considering that I generally only want to utilize one or two of the images in the cartridge. I also find it frustrating that I cannot download items off the internet to create my own images. I understand that there are two 3rd party companies that make compatible programs that worked with Cricut to allow you to go onto the internet and download your own images and fonts without having to purchase Cricut cartridges – but Cricut has filed lawsuits to prevent that and now these programs are no longer compatible with Cricut machines and Cricut has issued a warning that if consumers of Cricut machines utilize these 3rd party programs, their warranties on their machines are void. It is my understanding through my own research that Silhouette Cameo is compatible with these 3rd party programs – thereby allowing the consumer to be truly creative in producng their own projects. I fell upon your blog because I too am conducting research to see if I want to sell my Cricut and purchase the Silhouette given Provo Craft’s attempt to monopolize my creativity. I have several hundreds of dollars invested in the Cricut machine and cartidges – but I am bothered by Provo Crafts’ greed. I would have otherwise continued to purchase cartridges from Provo Craft even though using the 3rd party programs. But their conduct bothers me. I am going to follow your blog to see what you decide and to see what other commenters have to say about this issue. Good luck!!

    • Petunia says

      You are so right regarding ProvoCraft. I have the the expression and the gypsy and they are great but the imagine is really really bad. It does not work with the Design Studio Software. It only works with the cartridges.The Imagine is definitely the wrong choice to get. I’ ve had one for less than 6 months now, have used it only four or five times and it stopped working. I emailed technical support for help and they took 3 weeks!!! to answer my email. I called them on the phone and told me the machine’s warranty was void because I had it shipped overseas. That is not in the warranty documents. Now, they answered my email and said the warranty is void because I bought from ebay who is not an authorized reseller. !!! I have done everything they said and the machine simply does not work. I restore it and format it in order for it to work only for a couple of hours and then it stops working again. Now it won’t even let me restore it nor format it. I really regret having bouht it. What a waist of money. Be careful ladies, it seems everything voids Provo Craft’s warranty. They will not honor it.

    • Sharon says

      I started with the Cricut, 3 months later upgraded to the Expressions and a year later got Expression 2. I am nuts about my Cricut. I prefer
      old the Expressions and my daughter swears by the Expression 2. Her
      one works just about non stop all day. She has hers on her counter
      in my shop. I also decided to get the Cameo Silhouette purely for
      the welding option for ANY font on my computer. I am amazed every
      time at the intricate cutting the Cameo can do.I also have the
      Imagine. What a disappointment. It is slow and a huge battle to
      calibrate the cut and print. If you do not use it for a while, the
      ink cartridges dry out. The ink is very expensive. It is very big
      and takes up a lot of space.
      The pro’s and con’s:
      Cricut – needs all the expensive cartridges. Although I have
      Craftroom, I cannot get it connected to the Cricut. It battles with
      fine cutting. BUT, it is mobile. All you need is a power outlet
      and cartridges!
      Cameo – Cuts the most amazing intricate designs. I use it as I
      would a computer. Cut & paste, group, etc. And now I have found how
      to cut shadow. The cutting mat and blade seems to last longer.
      Con – you must be connected to the computer. You can spend a lot of
      time looking for designs. I am not that computer literate and do not
      know how to download images but will not give up. Their designs are fabulous!
      To sum up, I think that both Cricut Expressions and Cameo have a
      place in any crafters life! At the moment I have both on my table.
      Cricut is cutting out shapes while Cameo is cutting most amazing
      words and sentiments.

    • Stephanie says

      I just received last night my Silhouette Cameo and so far I really like it. I am new to it so I have lots to learn but I was wondering if anyone knew if the Cricut mats are compatible with the Silhouette Cameo. I am wanting to buy different mat sizes to use with the 8 x 11 size paper.

      Any tips anyone can help me with the Silhouette Cameo would greatly be appreciated.

  2. Tina Rodriguez says

    Just saw this…and I am at a loss of what to do. I have a small cricut and thinking of upgrading and not sure which way to go either. Between the Expression and Imagine or the gypse or Cameo.

    I have seen the program that works for the cricut (that is no longer available) and it is awesome! Wishes I would have seen it before the fall out. :( I didn’t think they could sell it…even it could be used on a silhoutte cameo.

  3. says

    I have just bought the Silhouette Cameo after being stunned by demos and reviews of it.
    I previously had a cricut create and although loved it, it was far too expensive to keep buying cartridges for, especially as Terri says, when you only want one or two images from them!

    I did use 3rd party software in order to cut fonts and other files but it never worked 100% correctly with the cricut and now the machine isn’t even compatible!

    I am still waiting for my silhouette to arrive but im sure its going to be fantastic…i just cant wait to create my own decoupage with the print and cut feature! :)

  4. says

    I have the Cricut Expression. I love love LOVE it, especially since I just got new cutting mats. It was really frustrating up until I got those and I honestly avoided using it! If the Silhouette doesn’t require a cutting mat, then I would choose that one. The mats become unusable pretty quickly, unfortunately.

  5. Sarah says

    So I just recently reviewed this on my blog too. Cricut imagine is by far far far more expensive. However at the moment I like their images and patterns better then silhouettes …,however I have now sent my 3rd Cricut imagine back to the company because it just up and decided not to work anymore. Now silhouette allows you freedom to pick and choose only images you want they are around .99 each plus the subscriptions allow you to spend about $19.99 a month for like $150.00 in images. I have looked up and found there is coupons to make that cheaper too!!! and use any font on your computer any!!! Their images and patterns are really nice and they have new images every week plus a free download every week even if you do not own the silhouette yet you can download the design software create a wish list of images and download the weekly free image until you own it. My vote silhouette listens to their customers and gave us value and freedom when my new imagine arrived back from the factory it’s going in eBay!

    • TheButterflyMom says

      Wow! Thank you so much for such a detailed comment and mini review of the Cricut Imagine. You really have me thinking. I have yet to open the box on my Silhouette (bad habit of mine) but when I do I will post all about it.

  6. Michelle says

    Does anyone know if the images on Cricut Carts can be imported into the Cameo software? I have LOTS of cricut carts, Design Studio, and a Gypsy. Could I do some sort of edit/save of the image with DS, then import that file format into the Cameo software? Or does SCAL work with the Cameo, and could I import cricut images somehow with that?

    Debating whether to get a Cameo, but would really like to be able to EDIT my cricut images with the Cameo software!!

    • says

      Have you tried the Cricut Craft Room? Not sure what kind of editing you want to do to your images, but you can do TONS of manipulation of images in the Craft Room. If you haven’t gone there yet, I suggest you do. Just Google Cricut Craft Room and you’ll get the site address. I’ve only gone on a little bit and played just a little and it was pretty interesting. If you’ve already tried that and it wasn’t what you needed, I don’t really have any further suggestions, sorry.

  7. Janelle says

    I have the small cricut and I have the software (sure cuts alot (SCAL)- which they don’t sell anymore compatible for cricut) However, I would like to upgrade to the silhouette cameo due to the fact that the same software SCAL vs3 that works for the silhouette cameo. I’ve done alot of project using what I have, but still limited cause my machine only cuts 6×12.

    In SCAL, you can edit and create SEVERAL designs – the possibilities are endless. You can also download (for free)
    inkscape, and you can save clip art and import it into the SCAL program and cut it out with your machine. There are TONS on tutorials on how to use the inkscape program.

    Love, love, my machine and software :)

  8. Stephanie says

    I am new to all of this stuff but by the sound of everyone’s input I think i am going to go with the Cameo. Mostly because I will be able to create my own images as well as using the fonts from my computer.
    I have one question for you ladies, what are the websites I can use to down load images for the Cameo? I keep hearing I can buy them for .99, and any advice you can throw my way will be greatly appreciated!

  9. Sherl says

    I own a cricut expression and based on everyone’s comments here I will definitely sell it and get a cameo. I have been reading reviews all over the place and its seems to be the better choice. I love the idea of not having any more cartridges. I’m over joyed. I downloaded the silhouette studio so I can practice and know how to use it better. I love the fact that the design software is free. Nothing with provo craft is free. That’s awsome.

  10. Janet says

    If you go to and sign up you will find instructions for joining another group which has archives of tons and tons of free files compatible with various programs. I own the Silhouette Cameo and have downloaded many usable files from there. I use the .gsd files. The site has the files in jpeg also. those show you what the file looks like and probably could be imported into the Silhouette themselves.

  11. Paul says

    Hello all ….no contest.. Being a guy and wanting to get the best deal I did the Maths and looked at the performance of several machines before I parted with my hard earned bucks. The Cameo won hands down, it’s such a versatile machine and to date I have produced cards, scrapbook pages , car stickers, signs for summer camp and much more even multilayered to produce embellishments ..great

  12. Cynthia says

    I currently have a Cricut Expression 2 that I received as a gift. I am not a scrapbooker but do make my own kids party invites by printing out images and then layering pieces or paper on top/bottom. Nothing fancy. I liked the idea of the Cricut Imagine that would print and cut it at the same time. However I wanted to use my own image and then have it cut out. Which machine can I use for this. I have only used the Expression onnce. Lookign for another product i can use.

  13. Angela says

    Have you seen the cost of the Silhouette vs the Cricut mini…..and you do have the option of over 500 free images in the craft room and the sets start @ $4.99

    • Erica says

      The cricut mini is on average $119, the silhouette cameo is $299, but with Black Friday you can find it as low as $229. Here is a website that has it listed for that price $229 with free shipping. Here is a website They also have the portrait for $175 their new machine that is similar to the cricut mini.

      • Erica says

        I forgot to mention that Silhouette has over 20,000 images and 50+ designers including designs and papers you can print and cut from Echo Park,My minds eye, Heidi swapp and many others.

  14. Suzanne says

    So, those of you who have commented about getting the Cameo – how do you like it now that you have it and have used it? I’ve heard rave reveiws from my children’s teachers on the Cricut, but I wonder if it’s just because they haven’t heard of the Cameo. I’m looking to cut paper, vinyl and fabric (i.e. felt). Making my wish list for Santa, want to request the right product! ;0)

    • spacey says

      I love the Cameo!!

      I work at a craft store that sells it and uses it to cut custom dies for customers, and I loved it so much I bought it. I played around with it for about a month and just couldn’t get it out of my head, so I had to get it. Couldn’t be happier–I use it EVERY day.

  15. Mandy says

    I bought the Cricut personal last year. I’m a crafter from WAY BACK. My mom & I used to paint sweatshirts…. Anyway, after seeing the limitations of the Cricut vs. Silhouette, I sold my Cricut and bought the Silhouette. The Silhouette is very user friendly. I’m glad I made the switch.

  16. Lynn Daniel says

    I have owned a Cricut expression for many years now. I bought the SCAL software and used that a ton. I got sucked into the CTMH cartridges that match the stamps, so I cannot make myself get rid of the darn thing. I think I really want the Silhouette because I have heard that it cuts much nicer than the Cricut. I am so tired or ripped paper! I think I will be making room for 2 machines in my craft room.

  17. Kim says

    I so love the wide range of art work that is available out there. I have invested in Cricut. I have an Imagine and E2. I love them both. I do love the options Silhouette has to offer but I also like the CTMH and Cricut partnership as well. The refreshing art work offered by so many for the Silhouette really has me wanting to make this investment as well. Cricut craft room is really cool but I never got to us SCAL before it was no longer available. Would you own both? I am certain that I would never get out what I have put into my Cricut investment nor could I part with them. Am I crazy for wanting both? Wish I had a friend who lived close by so that we could share and combine forces! Let me know what you think . . . Both or just one?

  18. says

    I have had the original cricut for almost 7 years. I just got the cameo for Christmas and it is far better. The cameo allows you to use any image that you can get on your computer. I was able to scan into my computer my clear stamp images and now will be able to have a perfect border cut for each and everyone of them. No more stamping and hand cutting around the image or buying die cuts with matching stamps.

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