For those who loves to do some DIY at home or creating many beautiful things from various materials especially paper and fabric, having a vinyl cutter will be a great idea. There are so many options out there such as Silhouette Portrait 2 vs. Cricut Explore Air 2 which we can depend on to help our project. If you also considering these two, go check what they can offer to you and see which unit can be the better option in our article below.
In this article, we are
going to give you information about:
What is a Vinyl Cutter
What are Silhouette Portrait 2 and Cricut Explore Air 2
What Silhouette Portrait 2 and Cricut Explore Air 2 Look Like
What Silhouette Portrait 2 and Cricut Explore Air 2 can offer to
Silhouette Portrait 2 vs Cricut Explore Air 2
There are so many people
out there who love to create crafts and other small things to put their
imagination into real objects which is a really fun hobby to have. We can use
many objects and incorporate many elements into our projects whether it is just
for a stress relief or if you are a professional who sell the projects to your
customers since not all of us are capable of putting the time and effort to
make something from the raw materials.
As for professional,
they must already have the required machine and tool needed to help their works
but even if you only do them as a hobby, it is still important to find the
right machine and tool so we can complete them faster and overall ease the
work, thus they can be done faster. One machine we need to have to help
creating various art without putting too much energy is vinyl cutter. Just like
the name, they are used to cut the material we are going to use.
Vinyl cutter have a
sharp knife inside which is designed to cut the material we use and depend on
the unit or model, some of them can have a higher capabilities than the other
which is important to keep in mind before we are going to hunt for some in the
market. Additionally, some of them are capable of doing the job without a
computer while some still need to be connected into a PC or a laptop since we
will use their software to operate them.
About Silhouette Portrait 2
Since the option of vinyl cutter is numerous, it is understandable if we can get confused sometimes when selecting from those collection. One of the fastest way to reduce the number is by looking from the popular or well-known brand because they already have many users who experienced the machine performance and most popular names also have a good quality to begin with. Silhouette Portrait 2 is the example of popular name with dependable quality which can be useful to help us dealing with different material.
Silhouette Portrait 2 is released in 2017 as the upgrade of its original model which has been in the market for years and to put an extra power into the company’s new machine. Generally, the unit is still similar to its predecessor and is a good option for any new users or beginner who are still new into the hobby and those with less budget to spend, thus this is not what you are looking for if you are a professional who will need a powerful machine in your workshop.
Silhouette Portrait 2 Design
Looking at Silhouette
Portrait 2, as you can expect from a vinyl cutter, this machine’s shape is very
similar to those printer we used to print documents but somehow have a more
chic look with its edgeless design. This machine is quite small and lightweight
with a maximum cutting width of 8 inches so it won’t take so much space in your
table. It is made from plastic with a cover which when opened can expose the
cutting blade and several buttons to control the machine.
Silhouette Portrait 2 Features
The first thing what has
been updated from the previous machine is the ability of being connected into
your laptop without the cable anymore since it is now equipped with Bluetooth
so we don’t need to deal with tangled cable which also help when we need to
transport the machine often from places to places. More importantly, since it
is wireless, we can work from any device we want and just send the design into
the machine without moving from your comfort position.
Another important thing
in Silhouette Portrait 2 is the AutoBlade which means that the blade will
automatically calibrate itself to follow the correct setting of the material we
are currently using without manually adjusted. This also mean we don’t have to
fiddling with blade depths and pressure while hoping to make the correct
adjustment anymore and just let the machine to do its work. At the end, it can
save more time and being more convenient for users as well as reduce the
material wasted from incorrect adjustment.
The next upgrade is on
the clearance since this machine is coming with 2 mm clearance as opposed to 1
mm in the previous model. What’s even more interesting is it is also able to
ease our work by letting user use PixScan and Print and Cut feature. Both of
these features are rather similar to each other since they will help us to
create design to be cut in the machine; the difference is PixScan need our
other device’s camera to capture the design while Print and Cut will require a
help from our printer.
Both of them are equally
useful and easy to use through the machine software in our main device. In
addition to the AutoBlade we have mentioned above that can make their own
adjustment according to the material used, Silhouette Portrait 2 also suitable
with Deep Cut blade which is sold separately. Just like the name, this blade is
supposed to work better against thicker material compared to the regular one we
already have. However, the cutting power is following the machine main
intention around 210 grams of force.
About Cricut Explore Air 2
When looking for something, it is best to also consider another option we have access to because we may find a better unit compared to our initial choice or at least offer more value to our money. If you like what you can get in Silhouette Portrait 2 but need a machine that offer more convenience for the user, then you will need to check what Cricut can offer to you especially their Explore Air 2 which is also the upgrade of their earlier machine.
Many people are saying
that the Cricut Explore Air 2 is one of the easiest machine to use in the
market to let beginner or those who never use or utilize a vinyl cutting
machine before can get familiar with the unit pretty quickly. What’s even
amazing is they are coming with more force than some other similar items in its
class at 350 grams to let the user deal with materials even those with greater
power such as leather. Read also: Cricut Explore Air vs Silhouette Cameo
Cricut Explore Air 2 Design
Looking at Cricut
Explore Air for the first time, what we think about this machine is quite bulky
yet still pretty with 3 color options to go; the one in our sample picture
above is in Mint fashion. It has two small compartments on its left side; one
for equipment and another for cartridge while on the other side we can find a
dial and several buttons to operate the machine. It has a cover and when
opened, we can see its blade with the pen holder.
Cricut Explore Air 2 Features
The first thing we love
from Cricut Explore Air 2 is the width because this machine can cut up to 11.5
by 23.5 inches which is wide enough for a beginner machine who love to craft at
home and currently one of the best size in the market. What’s unfortunate is
the size will be reduced when using other feature from the machine since it
will depend on the browser we used and if you want to cut bigger size, we are
going to recommend you to use Firefox instead of Chrome.
Cricut Explore Air 2 has
2 clamps to hold its pen and blade which we can swiftly change when needed and
the two clamps mean we don’t have to remove the blade to install pen and vice
versa which is good, thus we can save more time changing them when shifting
from one step to another. Additionally, it also pre-installed with the housing
to prevent us from misplacing the pen or blade into the incorrect place.
Just like many other
similar vinyl cutter, Cricut Explore Air 2 is working with Printer to help user
print any design they want then cut them in the machine when needed. For
connectivity, it also have Bluetooth if you don’t prefer connecting them into
your main device with cable or want to work in a more comfy place a bit far
from the machine for we can just send the design over to be executed.
Now, let’s compare Silhouette Portrait 2 with Cricut Explore Air 2. As you may already know, in power, Explore Air 2 is more powerful and can deal with more material even those thicker compared to Portrait 2 along with the cutting width. Additionally, Explore Air 2 is also coming with 2 clamps to secure both pen and blade which is more convenient since user doesn’t need to change them when doing another step.
All in all, both of them
can be a good option for those who need a vinyl cutter to help their crafting
hobby. However, if you don’t have issue against the budget, we will highly
recommend you to pick Cricut Explore Air 2.