Vinyl cutter is a helpful machine that we can use to cut various material we used to create crafts so we don’t have to do them manually. In the market, there are so many dependable items to choose such as Cricut Explore Air vs Silhouette Cameo 2. Both of them are coming with similar capabilities yet are also different. If you are also eyeing these two machines, go check our article below to see which model can be the better option for you.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
Why using Vinyl Cutter
What are Cricut Explore Air and Silhouette Cameo 2
What Cricut Explore Air and Silhouette Cameo 2 Look Like
What Cricut Explore Air and Silhouette Cameo 2 can offer to you
Cricut Explore Air vs Silhouette Cameo 2
Vinyl Cutter People have different hobbies and it is fine since each one of us may have different preference and taste to spend our leisure time or just to transfer our imagination into various things we can make. Crafting is one popular hobby today which is enjoyed by so many people because through this activity, we can deliver our creative mind into real things we can use everyday or occasionally, moreover, for professional crafters, their works can be sold to create a living.
While not all people have the time and patient to craft, crafting equipment is widely available in the market to help those with the same hobbies to create their favorite items, easier than just using a hand or manually working on them. One of the most popular crafting machine is vinyl cutter and just like the name, these machines are used to cut materials with the design we have created or choose earlier and use them to decorate or made anything we currently working on.
Before vinyl cutter becomes popular for home-used, many of us are creating or cutting the design just by hands and this process not only require so much concentration, it also takes time and patient to do them correctly for there are times when we messed up and have to redo them all together from the start that of course can be frustrating some time. With the help of vinyl cutter machine, we don’t have to deal with those process anymore and just let the equipment do their job.
Since there are so many options of vinyl cutter in the market, it is understandable that sometime we can get confused while in the middle of choosing the best item. However, if you want to quicken the process and narrow down the number quickly, selecting based from favorite or well-known brand can be a great help. This is because popular brand already have so many users and they are proven to be dependable most of the time with a good quality as well.
About Cricut Explore Air If you already look for other people’s recommendation on the internet, chances are you also see many of them recommending the Cricut Explore Air machine from the maker Cricut. This vinyl cutter is among the most popular in the market because not only they are fairly affordable, they are also capable of cutting various materials we often used to craft at home with some useful feature to help elevating the convenience. This is the second machine of its line, for the newer model, check on Silhouette Portrait 2 vs Cricut Explore Air 2 here.
Compared to its previous model, they are actually similar to each other which making them a bit hard to tell apart if we never used one of them before but in term of capabilities, the newer model is coming with some upgraded features. The first is its connection since the new machine is wireless, thus we don’t have to connect them with a cable anymore and then the next major difference is color option since this model is blue while the predecessor is green.
Cricut Explore Air Design From the design, there are almost no changes on the outside because this machine is still based or coming with the same shape or design just like its original machine. It has two compartments on the left side; one for tools and the other for cartridge. The other side is featured with a control knob to operate the machine along with several small buttons to load, process and pause the work. Cricut Explore Air have two cover we have to open to expose the cutting blade and pen holder.
Cricut Explore Air Features When we said that Cricut Explore Air is capable of working with many materials, it is true but don’t expect this machine to work with harder thicker materials since for a home used machine, they are only capable of cutting medium to thin fabrics or materials such as paper, vinyl fabric and cardstock, aluminum, leather and foam. For the last thicker materials, however, we have to purchase an additional deep cutting blade since the regular blade is not very suitable with such works.
Cricut Explore Air cutting width is 11.5 inches with maximum height of 23.5 inches which should serve our usual works just finely as long as we don’t need a bigger design for this machine ability is limited. Another benefit from the new feature here is the aforementioned wireless connectivity because with this capability, we don’t have to use cable anymore to transfer the design we want to cut and can work from a distance without the need to approach the machine often or move from our comfortable position.
The next benefit of Cricut Explore Air is the ease of use itself since this machine control is allowing its users to command it conveniently through the dial knob which is marking the kind of material we can cut with the machine, so we don’t need to go through a list just to pick the correct adjustment. Additionally, what we love from this machine is they are coming with two clamps inside to keep the blade and pen, thus there will be less pausing and changing tool in each project.
About Silhouette Cameo 2 Since there are so many other options out there it is better to check what other brand or model have to offer first before we are deciding on one of them because we may find another machine with the same capabilities but with more affordable price tag or a machine that can offer much more than our previous option. If you like the kind of features in Cricut Explore Air, you may also love what Silhouette Cameo 2 can offer.
This machine is the second generation of its line because currently, there a higher end model to this one called Cameo 3. Compared to the previous model, this middle brother is already popular since the beginning because they have what crafters need when doing their project at home. While not as strong some other similar machines, they can do a decent job at drawing and cutting each design on different materials.
Silhouette Cameo 2 Design For those who never use a vinyl cutter before, this machine design will look just like any other printer in the market since cutter machine are mainly have this rectangle shape. Silhouette Cameo 2 itself is sleek and appealing with a not so heavy weight, however, we wouldn’t need to move them often because they are working with a computer or laptop. For those who want to travel with the machine, they are featured with a USB port just in case you want to print a saved file directly.
Silhouette Cameo 2 Features With the blade it comes, Silhouette Cameo 2 is capable of cutting several type of material but due to the weak power and standard blade, they are not capable to handle stronger material like balsa wood or thin sheet metal yet it is perfect for scrapbooking, card making, and vinyl project. Other materials it can work with are paper or cardstock, vinyl, iron-on transfer, craft foam, lightweight fabric, and rhinestone template material.
While we can draw on the machine using pen or marker to create a design which is good to make personal invitations or address envelopes. However, Silhouette Cameo 2 only have one clamp to secure the tool, thus we have to change them from time to time when moving from one process to another like from cutting to drawing or vice versa. If you don’t want to draw, we can use the software to import or buy design then cut on the machine.
Additionally, this machine have both PixScan and Print and Cut technologies. Both of them are actually very similar to each other but while Print and Cut will require the help from your printer to print the design, PixScan will need a help from your camera to take a picture with the design on a cutting mat then we can send them to the software for the next process.
Comparison Now, let’s compare Cricut Explore Air with Silhouette Cameo 2. As you may already know, the prominent difference between these two machines is the fact that Explore Air is already coming with Bluetooth connectivity as well as two clamps to keep both pen and blade so we don’t have to pause whatever we are working on just to change the tool. Additionally, Cameo 2 is not capable of cutting harder or thicker material unlike Explore Air.
Conclusion All in all, both of them can be a good option if you want to have a machine to assist your crafting hobby. But, if we are to choose, we will recommend you to pick Cricut Explore Air because this machine is already coming with better features than Cameo 2.