There are various hobbies you can try out there and many of them improve your creativity such as paper arts or fabric arts. For those working with lots of design and pattern, vinyl cutters like Cricut Explore Air 2 Vs Silhouette Cameo 4 will be two ideal machines to have in your house. These cutters are very convenient and you can work with a variant of materials depending on what they can offer. For those who are also eyeing these machines, do check our article below.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- What is a Vinyl Cutter
- What are Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4
- What are Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 Look Like
- How are the Cutting Force of Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4
- What Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 can offer
- How are the Performance of Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4
- Cricut Explore Air 2 Vs Silhouette Cameo 4
Each one of us may have different hobbies to fill the free time or to prevent boredom when you have nothing to do. Some people may prefer to play an outdoor sport such as basketball or golf while some prefer to stay at home and realize their imagination whether it is by writing a story that they want to tell or drawing and painting what’s on their mind. If you are here then paper or fabric arts are probably what you love to do and just like any craft, they are very fun.
|Cricut Explore Air 2||Silhouette Cameo 4|
|Product Dimensions||24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches||7.87 x 22.44 x 6.69 inches|
|Shipping Weight||14 pounds||13 pounds|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
Working with paper and fabric can be stressful especially for those who will use various types of designs and in the past, we have been making lots of arts using these types of materials at school but at the time we can only use simple tools like rulers and scissors. As we grow older, the design and items we made will be more complicated and sometimes a regular cutter or scissors can no longer deliver the best result.
If you find cutting every detail is time consuming and can’t achieve the desired result even after a few tries, it is probably best to start investing on a machine. The machine that can aid your activity is called vinyl cutter and we are sure many people or crafters have been hearing this term a lot and this is not without a reason as they have been around for quite some time already. They used to be heavy duty but now almost every house can have them to accompany their creative time.
As the name suggests, a vinyl cutter is a machine in which function is cut a material. The machine utilizes small blades installed on a moving part that navigate in X axis. The blade decides what the machine is capable of especially in terms of what material they can handle while the machine itself in a glance will look like most paper printers that we may already have in the house. There are professional and consumer grade models depending on the machine capacity.
A vinyl cutter may put people off at first because of their price tag but, chances are almost every crafter who works with paper and fabric will reap some benefit from the machine. Without an automatic cutter, we usually cut the material manually with a sharp cutter or scissor if it is a big pattern but, with a vinyl cutter we can automate this process and finish them in no time. In addition, they can plot using a sharpie or pen as well to take the whole process even more convenient for you. Read also: Brother XM2701 Vs SM2700.
About Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4
Affordable and expensive are very subjective so we may have different opinions on how much we can spend on a machine and it is great to just go with which seems wiser for you. Personally we recommend getting a vinyl cutter if you draw and cut a lot because they can take the burden from your shoulders and overall make the process a lot faster without the stress. They are not very expensive too, since now many are sold below $300.
What’s confusing is actually which machine we should go with because just like anything, there are lots of them out there and different machines usually will give different user experiences as well. For those who want to save time, Cricut and Silhouette are two of the best brands to check for their vinyl cutter and this is because their machines are proven to work well, especially for hobbyist and home use. These brands also carry quite a lot of options in the catalog to provide the best option for different users.
All vinyl cutters will be able to cut paper or fabric and they are also ideal for different materials but those who look for best convenience yet want to keep the budget low, Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 are going to be your ideal options. These machines are very much the same to each other and in general will work very well for just a common paper and fabric cutting but, in details there might be some differences here and there.
In comparison the Cameo 4 is actually newer than Explore Air 2 and there has been a huge hype for the new Silhouette machine as it is improved a lot from the predecessor. Explore Air 2 on the other hand is an old favorite but still one of the best choices today because as long as the machine is working well, what we look for the most is their capabilities. Overall, we still think that you can go amazing with just any of them.
Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 Design
As you can see from the sample picture above, these vinyl cutters are looking like regular printers out there but the dimensions are a bit different. Cricut is measured at 6 inches tall, 22.7 inches wide, and 7 inches deep while the latter is larger in comparison at 10 inches tall, 24.8 inches wide, and 8.8 inches deep. In a glance they are looking like a regular paper printer and the whole machine itself is mostly made from plastic.
They are not the most robust item in the house but for this typical job we do hope they can last for a very long time. When you flip the cover open, we can see their cartridge holder that can equally carry two different attachments. None of these machines have a display on the unit but you can find a simple knob controller on Cricut and a touch controller on the side of Silhouette’s panel. In addition, Explore Air 2 also has a holder on one of its sides for you to keep pens or similar items.
Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 Cutting Force
The most frustrating part about vinyl cutters is when they don’t cut through your material and this is due to the weak force or dull blades, anything can happen over the time we use these machines but, straight out of the box they are made to work very reliably. The Explore Air 2 is boasting a cutting force of 400 grams while on the other hand the Silhouette new machine is improved a lot as a successor of their previous machine to have 210 at the lowest and 5000 grams of force at the highest.
This is of course a huge leap over many other vinyl cutters in this price range since many users have complained that their machine can’t cut into the type of material they are using. As for the blade however, both machines only come with one of them called Premium Fine Point Blade and Auto blade which are equally versatile and commonly used for different materials. We can buy other types of blade to work with the machine as well depending on the user’s need.
Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 Capacity
On the capability side, you can both cut and draw using either of Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 based on the setting and attachment we put in their holder. The maximum design we can work on is different and this may affect people’s decision because in general you will end up with 11.5 inches by 23.5 inches space in comparison to 12 by 120 inches of Cameo 4. The gap may be surprising but Explore Air 2 is an old machine so it is quite understandable.
Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 Performance
The last part we want to talk about is their performance and in this side both machines are actually working really well with their limitations. The software may need some time to get used to but the machine itself is capable of working with different materials. What’s noticeable is Cameo 4 can handle longer design and thicker material thanks to the heavier force so you may like this machine better if your paper is thicker than 2.0mm as the machine can handle it without much fuss.
Cricut Explore Air 2 Vs Silhouette Cameo 4
Vinyl cutters are convenient and this is why we love them but Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4 are ideal for most people. They can be an equally good choice depending on what you want to cut. In comparison however, Cameo 4 is better in terms of the cutting length and cutting force thus, if you will work with longer paper or thicker material then this option is the more ideal choice.
There is no bad option between these machines but they are also different and in comparison personally we will recommend getting Silhouette Cameo 4 because it is more reliable and price wise is still very affordable.