This is the question that I get asked the most often. The other most asked question is, “How do I add bridges to letters and where do they need to be added?” I’ll save answering that question for another post. The following are my opinions on the cutting machines and software that I use. I am not an expert, nor do I get paid for my reviews.
The Cricut is easy to use, has labeled settings on the machine, Cricut Design Space software is easier to learn(although there is still a learning curve), it cuts well through heavier material, and it is a sturdy machine. There is no knife tool or manipulation of edit points available in the current version. It does not design super detailed images because the software doesn’t allow you to create those small details. It cuts very well, especially when you have a new or newer blade. I like the german carbide blade. The regular blade cuts well too, however, it wears out faster. Bluetooth works perfectly every time. I like the Cricut mats. They are durable. Cricut Design Space requires the internet to run. It sometimes lags and you can lose files if you are in the middle of working on them, have not saved them, upload too many images or a large size image. The company has put out a beta version. The new version should be available for downloading very soon. I have just started using the Beta version, so I can’t say how I like it yet. A Cricut Access subscription is available to purchase. It gives you access to images and fonts, as well as Make it Now Projects. I use it all of the time. It is worth it. You can also share the weblink to your files with other Cricut users if you use these images. You cannot share the weblink to your files if you use images of your own or downloaded images from the web because of copyright concerns. If you already own cartridges, you can upload them to your online account. Read about the types of files you can use here.
UPDATE– I have been using the new version of Design Space and I love it! No crashes and several new features!
The Cameo is also easy to use, does not have labeled cut settings on the machine. The cut settings are in the software. The software is more sophisticated and has more tools/features than Cricut Design Space, so it is a little more complicated to learn. It cuts detailed designs and bridges fonts very well because of the variety of tools(knife tool and edit points)available in the software. It allows you to design images with finer details. Bridges are easier to create in small areas of an image or letters. I use the knife and edit points tools for those fine details. I use premium(stays sharp longer) and autoblades, but I ordered a CB09(which is a carbide blade), so hopefully that will cut through the heavier material better and last longer. We shall see! Bluetooth for the Cameo does not work on the Mac at this point. They are supposed to be working on it. I am not sure how Bluetooth works with a PC. I don’t care for the Silhouette mats. They are flimsy. I cut down a Cricut mat to use instead. Silhouette Studio software does not need the internet. It is software that you download to your computer. There is also a Silhouette Design Store subscription available for purchase. Read more about that here and read about the types of files you can use here.
UPDATE–I have been using the newest version of Studio and it is terrific! I have zero complaints. I had no problems updating. It went very well.