Monday, 10 September 2012


Author : My Photo
                       Alan Scott 

I have in my crafting space the following machines:
Cricut Expression
Cricut Expression 2
Silhouette Cameo

Have to admit though since this has adventure happened l have had to research and visit various sites also my own personal opinion by using the machines..

The cricut does come off very badly. Its a great machine but there are draw backs. Like the cartridges cant be combined to another gypsy. I know they want to 'Protect the art work' but they have also to realize that some people due to one thing or another have to sell things.

I have approx 30 cartridges mostly bought from America as its a lot cheaper and they do work on my cricut with out any problem, [Shame on a person who stood there and toltaly denined that they would work and that the customer care would not be valid...] however the cost of them if l bought in the UK from a shopping Chanel would be approx. £1050 on top of the cost of the machine! So now l will just buy from across the pond via eBay or site here in the UK when they are holding a Sale of older Cartridges. A lot of the cartridges do contain a lot of graphic artwork, however they have started to introduce a much small content cartridge and not much difference in price. These are to me just a way of getting more money from us.

C&C do push the cartridges and they appear to be a 'Personal Fav of Mine' then its Oh this one is a Personal Fav... and on and on and on... The prices are not as was told C&C do not sell the cheapest cartridges.

The eCraft l find is not very good with very intricut designs and to be honest l only use it now for cutting out basic shapes and cards. [Not a great buy on my behalf. Other crafters may love the machine and think its the greatest just like the Cricut]

So if your in the market to buy a cutting machine then go for the Cameo. Its a lot more friendlier and craft ability is impressive. You don't have to buy a expensive cartridge filled with in some cases not very good artwork that only adds to the cost.

With the Cameo you log onto the internet store and only buy the design you want, they are mostly .99cents and there are a lot of free designs out there.
Only downside that l find is that when you download an file it can only be used for the cameo. This is okay if you only have the one machine.

That's the only the first of two issue for me. To use the 'Professional version so you can import SVG Files [This is the file format that is used for most of the die cutting machines] you have to upgrade and that's another $50. 

There is a software package that's available on the market that works along most of the die cutting machines. [I am not sure if l can advertise the program so if you are interested send me an email and l will respond] Version 2 did work with the Cricut, however Cricut was the only manufacturer that took this company to court and made them remove the link. So version 3 [the current one] works with all of them bar Cricut. I guess they wanted crafters to buy into Cricut even more by this action.

There are Designers like myself making designs available for free. I hope to start to release a lot of my designs soon.

I design mostly Full Cards/Card Fronts and text items ie Happy Birthday, Get Well Soon etc.

I hope that this is some help, I just wanted to get something of my chest.

This is just my opinion and not anyone else's The events that have happened happened to me. Other people may have had a completely different outcome to their problem/situation.

If you want to know anything else please contact me

Have a wonderful weekend ahead.



  1. Hmmm I agree on the software but not much else hun....

    I just sold my Cameo a few weeks ago... I have owned a cricut too..

    I'm now eagerly awaiting the american zing machine... and to be honest I cannot wait to get started!!

    And it comes with the said cutting software for FREE!

    A lot more sturdy and reliable than the Cameo my research seems to say so far.. it cuts better, the blade system is certainly better by far.

    It embosses, engraves and punches too!
    I got so fed up of my studio software shutting down and my cameo blades needing replacing every two minutes...
    So I'm nothing if not hopeful.xx

  2. I love my Cameo except for the fact that i would have to pay extra to use some of the designs commercially and some i can't use at all, that left a bad taste and i don't think the cricut works the same way but it is a great machine and the store is great value for money, much better than buying Cricut cartridges.

  3. Hi Alan, its nice to see you here to, Ive just bought a Silhouette Cameo machine and Im just trying to come to terms with it, I must say it looks a lot better than the Cricut machine I have. I also have a number of cartrigdes and also the "Sure cuts a lot" program though its still a fag to use as you say the Gypsy will only work with the one machine and I carnt always update it with my computer my antivirus doesnt like their bridge sync. Im just hoping I can get on with the Silhouette will need some tutorials to find out how to move myself forward. xxx

  4. Hi Alan,
    Very interesting reading.
    I have only ever had the original Quickutz Silhouette/Craftrobo and love this machine purely because I wanted to create my own designs. The Cricut never appealed as I thought it was very restrictive and you could only use Cricut Files. I also downloaded a trial version of SCAL to see how the SVG Files would cut and at the time it was very limited.
    I have Adobe Illustrator and can export DXF Files and then save them as either GSD Files or Studio Files, so I don't need to invest in the Professional Studio Software. So basically I can design whatever I want.
    To cut I use a combination of the original Craftrobo Software but also the Basic Silhouette Studio Software. The software I use depends on what and how I want to cut. As you probably know the original craftrobo software lets you adjust your dash and cut lines to whatever length you want.
    The Cameo is on my wish list but I will wait until my trusty Silhouette fails me before I invest in one.

  5. Hi Alan

    I first started out with the Quickuts Silhouette machine when it was first released and bought as a QVC TSV. I had just started crafting and thought I was the bees knees. The software back then was completely basic but I managed to do what I needed at the time - which was also basic. I welded etc.

    When I did my first major wedding stationery order, my little silhouette seemed to let me down - It wasn't robust enough to get through the materials I needed it to do.

    A couple of months later I bought the Pink L.E. Cricut Expression which seemed massive when I got it. It was on offer on C&C and just what I thought I wanted/needed. That was March 2011. I've used it ONCE.

    Not too long later, I had this chance email that mentioned a 12" machine was to be released by Silhouette and would be called the Cameo. I was a bit aggreived that I'd not known earlier about this because I would never have bought the Cricut - I'd have waited. My sister had just recieved her order of an SD Machine when I told her about the Cameo. She managed to send it back within the 14 days so she could order the Cameo - which she did.

    In the meantime, Cricut released the E2 machine and C&C were offering it with free WiFi capability. Too good to miss, and not wanting to 'copy' my sister (I know - crazy), I ordered the E2. Got it home. Opened it up.

    After an hour of just trying to cut one simple box - using the touch screen, I started to pull my hair out. Some of it was updated for updating sake. I'd stick with the easier to use Expression rather than put up with all that screen after screen nonsense. And I'm no technophobe either. Seeing my frustration and that I was near to tears, my mum offered to lend me the money to buy the Cameo - I'd pay her flexipay instead of C&C. It was reboxed an hour and 5 minutes after opening. It felt like a MASSIVE weight off my shoulders. The Cameo is what I really wanted all the time.

    On it's release date last year - I bought it at the NEC Hobbycrafts Exhibition in Birmingham from the Graphtec stand after chatting (me and my sister Vikki) with the genuine and totally lovely Hayley. 20 minutes or so later I was the happy owner of a Silhouette Cameo machine - whoop whoop.

    I have the DE version of the software and love that I always discover something different and learn something new each time I open it.

    I love it that there are so many generous people out there that have done tutorials on YouTube, in blogland.

    I love it that there are so many generous people about that give their cut files away for the love of it.

    I love it that I have a lot to learn so that I can start giving back.

    I love it that I can make new shapes to cut just by welding squares, elipses and circles - and that it makes the possibilities endless.

    I love that I can trace any image and get a cut file for my projects.

    I love that it brought me here as part of my journey.

    I love my Cameo.

    Paula x x x

    p.s. Anyone want to buy a Pink Limited Edition Cricut Expression - used once!!! get in touch!

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