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Silhouette Cameo 4 vs. Cricut Explore Air 2

If you’re a crafter, you’re probably wondering whether you should get the Silhouette Cameo 4 or Cricut Explore Air 2. Both of them are reliable; they’ll give you great help while crafting, whether a masterpiece or a small DIY project. However, every machine has its cutting speed, accuracy, noise level, and ease of use.

Therefore, you should be aware of each machine’s features to choose the best one that fits your crafting needs. So, read on as we compare both machines.

Silhouette Cameo 4 vs. Cricut Explore Air 2: Which Is Better?

It depends on the type of projects you’re working on. If you’re working with very thick materials such as leather, then the Silhouette Cameo 4 would come in handy, thanks to its powerful motor. This makes it a great machine to work with on large projects as it has a larger cutting size.

But, if you’re working on small projects like patches and cards, Cricut Explore Air 2 would be best for you as it works efficiently in precision cutting. It’s also faster when it comes to projects needing intricate cutting.

Exterior Design

The Silhouette Cameo 4 is available in only three colors to choose from. And its touch interface is intuitive and user-friendly, which you’ll use to set up your tools and materials. In addition, there’s a sliding tray on the side of the machine where you can put an extra blade. However, the storage area in this model is quite small.

It also comes with a rotary blade for easy fabric cutting and a deep-cut crafting blade for precise cuts that align with your design.

On the other hand, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a sleek and stylish cutting machine with a wide array of unique colors to choose from. It also uses a dial to select your material. In addition, it has a pocket where you can put your pens on the side and a tool drawer for other tools at the base.

It comes with a fine-point blade that has a 45-degree angle, which is efficient for making intricate cuts on various thin to medium-weight materials such as cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, and more.

Winner: Cricut Explore Air 2

Cutting Power

The Silhouette Cameo 4 is considered a cutting machine beast. With a 5000 g of downward force, it can handle small businesses efficiently. This extra power enables the machine to work with thick and complicated materials, such as leather, felt, basswood, and balsa.

However, the Cricut Explore Air 2 has 400 g of downward force. As a result, it’d be a beneficial die-cutting machine if you’re only cutting vinyl, iron-on, cardstocks, and thinner stabilized fabric for your projects.

Winner: Silhouette Cameo 4

Cutting Size

The Silhouette Cameo 4 has a maximum cutting size of 12 x 24 inches. However, it has a built-in roller feeder, which allows handling big projects up to 10-feet long. Therefore, the Silhouette Cameo 4 would come in handy if you’re crafting something large like banners.

On the other hand, the Cricut Explore Air 2 has a cutting size of 11.5 x 24 inches. So, it’d be of great help only in small projects like birthday gift bags, poster boards, glitter paper, and photo paper.

Winner: Silhouette Cameo 4

Noise Level

In this category, the Cameo 4 is quite like the Explore Air 2. They make some noise, but it’s an acceptable level of noise; it’s the same level of noise as running an old printer.

However, when doubling the speed, the Cricut Explore Air 2 becomes louder than running at average speed. So, it’s much better to run this machine at a moderate pace unless you need to speed up working on your craft.

Winner: Silhouette Cameo 4

Design Software 

Starting with the Cameo 4, we’ll walk through the Silhouette Software Studio, which is an offline software. Usually, the design software that comes with the machine is out of date, and you’ll need to update it via its website by going online and downloading the most recent version.

In addition, it’s not easy to work with this software because it has a steep learning curve. So you’ll have to go through many trials and errors before you figure out how to use it effectively.

And there are two plans for Silhouette Studio Software: paid and free. The most significant limitation of the free plan is the inability to export SVG files. Furthermore, if you export in PNG or JPG, the colors may differ.

On the other hand, the Explore Air 2 is usually used with the Cricut Design Space, which is a free, online, and easy-to-use design tool. Because the program has a cloud-based feature, you can easily work on your designs from any phone, tablet, or computer.

The machine is also Bluetooth-enabled, which allows you to send your designs wirelessly to be cut. In addition, Cricut Design Space recently added an offline mode that’s only available for iOS users.

Winner: Cricut Explore Air 2

Silhouette Cameo 4 – Pros & Cons:

ProsCons
Easy and responsive touch interface
Powerful cutting force
Accurate and fast cuts
Can cut thick materials
Has a large cutting capacity
Lack of USB input
Design software isn’t easy to use
The storage space is smaller compared to previous Silhouette models

Cricut Explore Air 2 – Pros & Cons:

ProsCons
Stylish and well-designed machine
Cuts easily due to the 2x fast mode
Has a smart set dial and a double tool holder 
Accurate cuts on cardstock and vinyl
Import SVGs files for free
Cutting wirelessly via Bluetooth
Cutting size of only 11.5 x 24 inches
Can’t cut fabric or very thick materials
High noise level when running at a high speed

Silhouette Cameo 4 vs. Cricut Explore Air 2: Final Verdict

If you’re an advanced crafter and want your designs to stand out, then you should consider getting the Silhouette Cameo 4. It’s a superior cutting machine with a beasty cutting power that enables you to cut over 100 different materials.

It’s also versatile and has a significant cutting speed. In addition, the built-in roll feeder will enable you to work on larger projects effortlessly.

However, if you’re a beginner and more interested in small crafting projects, then the Cricut Explore Air 2 would be the best fit for you. It works flawlessly, is user-friendly, and has a shallow learning curve. So, you’d get into crafting with ease.

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