The Silhouette Cameo vs Portrait is a great comparison between two very good die-cutting presses from the same brand. These products are similar, so it is no wonder that there can be some confusion as to which model to choose. The differences are large enough to make it easier to choose between them. What you need to know when considering either of these units is that they are both great choices.
Silhouette cameo – Click here to see the price
Silhouette Portrait – Click here to see the price
Cameo Silhouette vs Portrait
Size and appearance
These electronic cutting tools are useful to both the experienced artist and the casual craftsman. The Silhouette Portrait is the more compact of the two, not only in size but in weight of almost 9 pounds. The Silhouette Portrait is more rounded at the ends than the Silhouette Cameo with a wedge at the base to prevent it from rolling. It is a metallic gray color on the bottom while the panel to open it on the front is white.
The Silhouette Cameo is the larger electronic cutter of the two. It has a more modern design with 3 sides instead of 4. The front of the device is angled with buttons and a small color LCD screen next to the panel that opens to control settings and power. Just like the Silhouette Portrait, it is light gray on the sides and bottom while the panel to open it is white.
Each of these machines receives praise, not only from artists and craftsmen who use it frequently, but also occasional users. Both offer a large number of designs to choose from, designs that can be downloaded to your computer, and designs that you print from your home printer. This variety makes these machines very versatile and useful for any project you might have. Some customers have noted that the Silhouette Portrait is a bit noisy when operating, like a fax machine.
Additionally, the Silhouette Cameo’s blade can be swapped out for a pen so you can draw patterns rather than cutting them, which just gives it a bit more variety in its uses. This function can be controlled either by a computer or by an SD card. Besides sketches, the Silhouette Cameo can cut scrapbooking pages, cards, stencils, fabrics, vinyl, and of course, standard paper. The Silhouette Portrait cannot draw like the Cameo, but it can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, etc. Although the computer software takes a bit of getting used to, most users say it’s not too difficult to maneuver. Whatever type of project you have, from decorations to stencils to glass engraving, you should be able to achieve it with ease. Many customers have also noted that the images these devices cut are very sharp with clean lines. For the Silhouette Cameo, the sketches are also precise.
While an electronic cutter isn’t something you use like a power tool or kitchen appliance, it’s still important to consider its durability. Customers of both machines say they will last you for years. Even customers who use it professionally every day said that they had no problem with the machine breaking down or malfunctioning.
It is also important to note the length of the blade in these as well. This, of course, goes for the blade that came with the unit, as after that it will depend on the replacement blade you buy. The standard blade that Silhouette installs lasted about 4-6 weeks for most customers. Some customers have found it easier to change the blade at the same time as they change the cutting mat, which needs to be changed every 100 uses.
Click here for more details on the Silhouette Cameo
Click here for more details on the Silhouette Portrait
Both of these electronic cutters come with plenty of accessories to get you started. For starters, both come with the software needed to connect your new device to your computer in order to upload designs. In addition, this software is compatible with PC and Mac. To help you get used to this software and device, both systems come with a basic instruction guide and the Portrait Silhouette also comes with an instruction DVD. All cables needed to connect to your computer are also included.
To help you create, both electronic cutters come with a blade and cutting mat, although these will need to be replaced later. Both also come with 50 cutout designs and a $ 10 gift card to get more designs on their online store.
Silhouette covers its products with a one-year limited warranty covering parts and labor. This means that if this machine or any of its parts breaks down, not only will they cover the cost of the parts, but they will also cover the cost of labor to repair and install those parts.
Advantages and disadvantages
These electronic cutters are popular for good reason. Both are incredibly precise and offer almost limitless options for designs. The software for these devices is also easy to understand and both come with clear instructions to help you. This software is also compatible with Mac and Windows, so you won’t have to worry about matching your computer and electronic cutter. Silhouette customer service is also very responsive and will help answer all your questions regarding these electronic cutters. They will both cut through many types of materials, from standard paper to vinyl and fabric. The Silhouette Cameo also allows you to replace the blade with a pen and it will sketch patterns as well.
However, these products have certain drawbacks. For the Silhouette Portrait, the major issue for customers was noise. Some customers have described the cutoff noise as being like the sound of a fax machine. Unfortunately, the Silhouette Portrait does not have the sketching capability of the Silhouette Cameo. The Silhouette Cameo isn’t without its flaws, either. Some customers have complained that the buttons on the front of the Cameo were not very well aligned with the cutter itself which caused some issues. For both systems, some customers complained that the software was taking up a lot of memory on the computer and the cutting mat was too sticky, causing the paper to stick and tear.
Click here for Silhouette Cameo Reviews and Ratings
Click here to view Portrait Silhouette’s reviews and ratings
Summary and recommendation
While these two electronic cutters are loved by both experts and hobbyists, the Silhouette Cameo is the better choice. It offers more possibilities than the Silhouette Portrait thanks to the drawing ability. Customers take note and those given the option, and despite the budget, would choose to get the Cameo. This is the choice we recommend. Either way, you have two really good choices on the table.