Silhouette Cameo vs. Cricut Explore Air

Below, we are going to discuss the comparison between Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut Explore Air to help you choose the best cutting machine for the money. Both are great cutting machines. Both are great for cutting large designs. However, there are several distinctions that set the two models apart.

In this article, you can find out more about:
– Which model that is more portable and space-friendly
– The connectivity options that are available on each model
– The features of Silhouette Cameo and Cricut Explore Air
– The maximum cutting size of each model
– The performance of Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut Explore Air
– Which model that is more recommended for the money

In terms of portability, Silhouette Cameo holds a distinctive advantage over Cricut Explore Air. If you are looking for a portable cutting machine that you can easily bring along when going to a class or traveling, Silhouette Cameo makes a better choice. This is because it is significantly more lightweight at just 8.93 pounds. See also: Cricut Explore One vs. Silhouette Cameo.

Silhouette Cameo is definitely very light if you compare it to Cricut Explore Air. Lifting the unit does not take much effort. Besides, it has a slim body, so it will not eat up much storage space. However, Silhouette Came does require a wide area to be placed. It measures 22.5 inches wide and 8.5 inches deep. The height is about 6 inches, but make sure to provide some free vertical room to allow the lid to open.

On the other hand, Cricut Explore Air is not the most portable cutting machine in the market. It is quite heavy at 21 pounds. As the effect, it is almost impractical to bring along to classes or travels. Nevertheless, the hefty weight becomes less of an issue if you are going to place the unit in a fixed position in your room.

Cricut Explore Air measures 22.17 inches wide and 6.69 inches deep. The height is about 5.97 inches. Although the overall size of the unit is smaller than Silhouette Cameo, you should not forget to give some free space to allow the lids to open. This model has two lids, one on the top and the other on the front.

Computer Connection
When choosing between Silhouette Cameo vs Cricut Explore Air, you should consider what connectivity options that you actually need. Silhouette Cameo is unique because it can operate without a computer connection. It has a display screen and control buttons to operate independently. This is a big advantage when you are in a class or are traveling without a computer. On the other hand, Cricut Explore Air needs to be connected to a computer or mobile device to operate.

Silhouette Cameo has a USB port and an SD card slot. You can use the USB port to connect the unit to a computer. You can also load designs directly from a USB flash drive or an SD card. However, Silhouette Cameo does not have any built-in wireless option. You can purchase the optional Bluetooth adapter (which plugs into the USB port) to connect the unit to a Bluetooth-enabled computer wirelessly.

On the other hand, Cricut Explore Air comes with a USB port and built-in Bluetooth. This is very convenient. You can use a USB cable to connect the unit to your computer, but you can also use a wireless connection if you don’t want to eat up the precious USB ports. There is no need for a dongle if your laptop also has built-in Bluetooth.

Mobile Connectivity
Silhouette Cameo can’t connect directly to a mobile device. It should be connected to a computer, and you need to set up a connection between the computer and your mobile device using Silhouette Link. Afterwards, you can install Silhouette Studio Mobile and PixScan Mobile on your mobile device to work remotely.

Cricut Explore Air is able to connect directly to a mobile device by using the built-in Bluetooth. It is compatible with iPad and iPhone devices. However, the number of compatible Android devices is still limited. You can download and install the Cricut Design Space mobile app on your mobile device for this to work.

Maximum Cutting Size
Next, consider the maximum cutting size of Silhouette Cameo vsCricut Explore Air. Well, if you only work with small to medium designs, you don’t need to worry much about this. Things become trickier if you often need to cut large-sized designs.

Silhouette Cameo is able to cut a maximum size of 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. This is really impressive. You can easily cut a very large design on a long paper sheet or vinyl roll with this cutting machine.

On the other hand, Cricut Explore Air ‘only’ has a maximum cutting size of 12 inches x 24 inches. After testing the unit, you can see that the actual size is closer to 11.5 inches x 23.5 inches. But, honestly, this is not bad. It already allows you to cut medium to large designs. You just can’t cut designs that are very large.

Silhouette Cameo is pretty good for cutting common materials that aren’t too thick, such as paper, vinyl, and light cardstock. The blade is sharp, and is capable of giving good results on these materials. However, the motor of the original Silhouette Cameo model is rather weak. It is not able to cut thick and solid materials, such as leather, aluminum, and copper sheets.

With Silhouette Cameo, you need to make manual adjustments for every material that you use. If you forget to change the settings when switching materials, the results will be underwhelming. Fortunately, the performance has been improved on the updated models, Silhouette Cameo 2 and Silhouette Cameo 3.

Cricut Explore Air has generally better performance. The blade is sharp and tough, and the motor is quite powerful. This cutting machine is able to handle a variety of materials, including the thicker ones. It can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, leather, aluminum, and copper with good results. The cuts are clean and precise.

Cricut Explore Air is generally more beginner-friendly because it has a selection dial for adjusting the blade. You only need to select the right preset for the material you are currently handling. No need to manually adjust the cutting depth and pressure. The selection dial also allows you to make one custom preset for a special material that isn’t on any of the presets.

Silhouette Cameo vs. Cricut Explore Air

Silhouette CameoCricut Explore Air
Key Features- The silhouette cameo starter bundle includes an extra mat (2 total), cutting blade (2 total), metallic pen set and pick-me-up-tool - 50 exclusive cuttable designs- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting - Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step

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In general, Cricut Explore Air is more recommended. It gives a better value for the money due to the features and performance. It has built-in Bluetooth, which is very handy for connecting to computers as well as mobile devices. The cutting size is good for medium to large designs. The cutting power is excellent. It can cut various materials, including the thicker ones.

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