Asked on Jan 22, 2015

Whats the best home dye cut machine to make freehand stencils?

by Victoria
I'm a graphic Designer/Decorator and I would like to experiment stenciling furniture using my own graphics.... I've been hearing a lot a bout Silhouette Cameo and Cricut ..... so many!! what home dye cut machine is best to do this with? I would love to make large scale ones too!!
Thanks for the help.
Victoria M.M
  22 answers
  • Judy Judy on Jan 22, 2015
    I have had my silhuette cameo for over a yr & LOVE IT! My main reason for wanting it was to cut stencils & it does cut stencils wonderfully! I have a post in my email that compairs the 2 machines, I will try to find it & post it for you. Please let me know if I can help with your decision making process!
  • Lori Roberts Lori Roberts on Jan 22, 2015
    Which is easier to run? I also have been looking and don't know which one, I also do scrapbooking that I would love to be able to get back to, a lot of other crafts.
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    • JaminGammy JaminGammy on Jan 24, 2015
      Also wireless, Now the new one is gonna be where you can design on your tablet anywhere in your home....👍👍👍
  • Judy Judy on Jan 22, 2015
    I haven't used a cricut but I'm in a Facebook user group & most have used both & prefer the Cameo. Here is a link to my favorite blogger for silhouette but she's also a cricket user & gives a fair summary for both items. I think the cutting area for a Sikh is larger than a cricut
  • Judy Judy on Jan 22, 2015
    I haven't found anything that a silhouette will not cut, even does monograming on metal (you buy a separate tool to do this, but most things are cut w/a blade that comes with the Silhouette cameo)
  • Judy Judy on Jan 22, 2015
    @Lori Roberts, also if you have other Silh questions, I will try to help! The group that I'm in on Facebook is wonderful & you just have to request to join. It's "Silhouette Cameo Creations"! I've seen a ton of folks posting questions & they're still in the decision making process. The other thing I thought abt after reading your question, I had just started in paper crafting mainly to make my own artwork & I spent a fortune at Michaels, Hobby Lobby & ACM. I rarely even go to the craft stores now bc the cameo does everything! No more stencils, stamps, etc. I purchase most Silh related supplies online, except vinyl (when I started using my cameo I took an online class & the host suggested going to your local sign shops & ask for their scrap vinyl. I called 2 sign companies & the 2nd was a vinyl goldmine, I get 99% of my vinyl free!!)
  • Phyllis Keck Johnston Phyllis Keck Johnston on Jan 22, 2015
    I have had my Silhouette Cameo for over 2 years now and I cannot tell you how much it has changed my life! Always something new to discover and make! I do not have a Cricut but from what I understand, the cricut is limited to using their cartridges whereas with the Cameo you do not have those limitations. I can't say enough good about it!
  • Teri Hansen Teri Hansen on Jan 22, 2015
    What a great question and one that I had been struggling with as well. I have been a cricut owner for a few years and was just surprised with a Cricut Explore for my birthday. I wanted to cut fabric cutouts to embellish pillows, haven't pulled it out yet but anxious to get started. I had never heard of the Silhouette Cameo until I started shopping for a new Cricut, I think the conclusion I came to is each machine has their own benefits and you can't go wrong with either. I will have to research more and visit @Judy suggestion and may end up being a dual machine owner before too long. I did see a review from a woman who did own both [can't for the life of me remember the link] and she did prefer the cricut over the silhouette, but sorry I don't exactly remember why, not very helpful I know. Good luck in your decision and in the long run you may also end up being a dual machine owner. maybe there is a FB page for that as well. Have Fun!
  • Carol Main Carol Main on Jan 22, 2015
    I have the Cricut Explore, which I believe to be the newest/latest machine issued. It hooks up to your computer. You can download your existing cartridges to the Explore Machine and also, download your own pictures/images or get them from Google images. However, I downloaded several silhouettes from Google images, thinking ahahaha I'm in business now. However, the Cricut Explore, does not want to cut them as a stencil, rather it wants to print them. Help, does somebody know how to get the Cricut Explore to cut stencil images? I'm going to look into the Silhouette Cameo.
  • Betsey Betsey on Jan 22, 2015
    I have both the Cricut that uses cartridges and the Silhouette and I LOVE the Silhouette. The big difference is not having to use cartridges in the Silhouette. You can buy just the designs that you want which is less expensive in the long run.
  • Victoria Victoria on Jan 23, 2015
    These are great suggestions and advice, thank you all for participating!!... I think I'm leaning towards the silhouette Cameo so I'll pop over to Michaels Crafts and check it out there. Thank again!!
  • Dawn Lam Dawn Lam on Jan 23, 2015
    thank you all so much, i had the been thinking about this too, and I have been swayed to the silhouette...blessing to you all
  • JaminGammy JaminGammy on Jan 24, 2015
    Cricut is 👍👍👍, plus they have a new one coming out soon.
  • Tania Tania on Jun 19, 2015
    I have a Pazzles Inspiration cutter - am a graphic designer too. Stay away from it! The software seems foolish compared to vector software such as Adobe Illustrator - moreover, it is full of "bugs". The machine itself never seems to work properly. I've had it for 5 yrs now and I need to replace the main board of the machine for the 2nd time! Not good value for money at all...
  • Lori Roberts Lori Roberts on Jun 19, 2015
    What about the brother scan & cut. How is it?
  • Joanne Costello Joanne Costello on Feb 25, 2016
    There's a show on the Create station called Scrapbook soup that features the Brother machine. Looks amazing! But unfortunately there are very few stores in the northeast that carry it in the store so you can try it
  • Julie McGuffee Julie McGuffee on Feb 26, 2016
    I have a Cricut Explore. I create and upload my own designs into Design Space either on my computer, iPad or iPhone. The big difference between the Cameo and the Explore, is that you have to be connected to the internet to use Design Space, whereas the Cameo has software to download. The Explore is easy to use, the Customer Service is awesome and it cuts almost anything you would want to cut. It is the best machine for tiny, intricate designs because of the blade, manufactured in Germany. The software is being improved and updated all the time so the updates are there each time you log in. And, yes, I have a Silhouette too... I also still own a Wishblade, the first digital die cutter for the Arts and Crafts consumer, sold by Xyron. The Wishblade was cross platform and I work on a Mac.
  • Stephen O'Hare Stephen O'Hare on Aug 17, 2016
    whats the silhouette like and what sort of price are we talking for the cricut explore,Julie
  • Julie McGuffee Julie McGuffee on Aug 17, 2016
    I have both machines. Prices vary. If you can, I would wait until Black Friday (Thanksgiving) to purchase. That is when you will get the best pricing. Search the internet and if you are on Facebook, join a Silhouette group and a Cricut group. You will find a lot of information there from other users.
  • Kitty Nikolai Kitty Nikolai on Mar 03, 2017

    Which is most compatible with high-end design programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator? I am a graphic designer, furniture artist.

  • Karen Lewis Karen Lewis on Mar 31, 2017

    Get the "Scan n Cut" Machine by Brother. You can draw any design scan it in and cut it out they are a little pricey but are fantastic and you don't need a computer or to buy any die s or other programs. Your idea's and what you can do are almost limitless. Have had mine for a couple of years and just love it.

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    • Karen Lewis Karen Lewis on Jul 16, 2017

      I'm not really sure about that as the machine I have is a couple of years old but I do know Brother has a new model that is supposed to do a lot more then mine. I am sure if you contact Brother they could tell you. Mine does cut stencils but not sure on what you are asking as I use it for painting patterns most of the time.

  • Kcama Kcama on Apr 01, 2017

    The Cameo is often sold at a great discount on Woot! (Amazon's discount outlet). I sure love mine.

  • Christi Orme Christi Orme on Apr 17, 2017

    I am trying to decide on a dye cutting machine as well, for stenciling signs. A lot of people on here are comparing the Silhouette Cameo 2 to the Cricut Explore. What about the Cricut Explore Air 2?