Which Cutting Machine Should I Buy?
WHICH MACHINE WILL I LIKE BETTER?
This is the number one question that I get asked. The other most asked asked questions are, “How do I add bridges to letters and where do they need to be added? and “What material and cut settings do I use to cut my stencils?” I share this and so much more helpful information. Learn all that you need to know to design and cut culinary stencils using a Cricut or a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine in The Colorful Cookie Club. There are over 140 video tutorials at this point and more videos get added every week. There is a weekly LIVE Q & A along with interactive designing tutorials in our member’s only Facebook Group too. Did I mention that I share a lot of freebies and images to use for your stencil designs?? It is so much fun to design and cut your own custom cookie stencils! Click HERE to see what I use to design and cut cookie stencils.
CRICUT Maker, Explore Air 2, Explore Air
The Cricut Explore Air machines are easy to use, have labeled cut settings on the machine and you can also create a custom setting.
The new Cricut Maker is supposed to be superb machine. I have not invested in one yet. The Cricut Maker is a superb machine! I invested in one and I LOVE it! All of the cut settings are programmed in the software now and there is no Smart Set Dial on the Maker. I am happy with my Cricut Explore Air. I also have a Cricut Explore Air 2. These machines have a Smart Set Dial on the machine for turning to pre-defined cut settings. They are all great cutting machines. They all cut stencils so nicely, even out of the thicker stencil material. I prefer .007 thickness. Cricut Design Space software is fairly easy to learn, although there is still a learning curve. All of my Cricut machines cut very well through thicker material. I can cut cookie stencils with no issues. It is a sturdy machine. There is no knife tool or manipulation of edit points available in the current version of the software. The software does not allow you to design super fine detailed images because it likes to do a lot of work for you. The software now has a curve text tool that is awesome! The Cricut machines cut very well, especially when you have a new or newer blade. I like the premium German carbide blade. The regular blade cuts well, however, it wears out faster. Bluetooth works perfectly every time. I like the Cricut mats. They are durable. I clean and re-sticky them and they last a really long time. Cricut Design Space requires the internet. The most current version of Design Space has been great. No crashes! I like it much better than the previous version. 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 the Cricut Access images. You cannot share the weblink to your files if you use images of your own or images downloaded from the web because of copyright. If you already own cartridges, you can upload them to your online account. Read about the types of files you can upload and use here.
The Cameo is also easy to use, does not have labeled cut settings on the machine. The cut settings are set within 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 the autoblade and the premium blade(stays sharp longer). My Cameo has more difficulty cutting through the thicker stencil material. Bluetooth for the Cameo does not work on the Mac at this point. There is no fix for that issue yet. I am not sure how the Bluetooth works with a PC. I don’t care for the Silhouette mats. They are flimsy and clear. So is the stencil material, so it is hard to see your design on the mat. I cut down a Cricut mat to use instead. Silhouette Studio software does not need the internet. (You do need the internet if you will be saving to the cloud.) 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.
DESIGNING and CUTTING STENCILS
I design all of my stencils in Silhouette Studio and I cut them on my Cricut machines. I suggest to everyone that they buy the Silhouette Studio Business Edition, found HERE. I do this because I can design any stencil that I want in Silhouette Studio and have total control over every part of it. I can design a stencil with the tiniest of details if needed. I can manipulate any edit point to get the exact stencil image that I want. If someone says that you can use a Silhouette file in Design Space, that is true. But, you can save a file in Silhouette Studio in the Business Edition and save it as an SVG file. Then you can upload it into Cricut Design Space and cut it. I teach all of my methods, tips, and tricks in The Colorful Cookie Club. We have so much fun! Join us and you will be designing and cutting stencils in no time!
In summary, I like all of my machines for different reasons. I’d buy any of them again. They are all great machines! They all cut vinyl and paper very well! For cutting stencils though, the Cricut is my preference. For designing stencils, Silhouette Studio software is my preference.
If you are tech savvy, Silhouette Studio won’t be too hard for you to learn. If you like to keep things simple, then Cricut Design Space is a little easier to learn.
If you are new to a cutting machine or want to learn to design stencils, join The Colorful Cookie Club . You will learn to design and cut your own stencils and you will love it! There are tutorials for Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines and lots of other fun things going on in The Colorful Cookie Club!
Let’s Get Busy Designing!
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Need a stencil fast? I have an online shop where you can buy digital stencils to download and cut on your own cutting machine. Download and cut cookie stencils immediately!
I design…You cut!
Directions for both Cricut and Silhouette software come with every download. Super easy!
*This post is my opinion on the cutting machines and software that I use to design and cut culinary stencils. I do not get paid for my reviews. I am just giving you my quick 2 cents.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, TCC will earn a small commission if you click through to make a purchase.