Silhouette Cameo Vs Curio Comparison (Ultimate Showdown)

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Silhouette cameo vs Silhouette curio

These two crafting machines are top tier products of the Silhouette family. In-house rivalry leads to improvement. So, who will be the winner of the Silhouette Curio vs Cameo 4 fight?

Which is the best cutting machine?

Which one should you choose?

It’s not as simple as one would think. It’s important to know that the machines weren’t designed to replace each other. They were envisioned to improve crafting abilities. It’s not like Cameo 4 is better than Curio, to make the choice easy.

If you’re in the right niche, you will need both machines. But before you decide, read on and find out whether cameo 3 or curio is a better fit.

Cameo 4 is the newest addition to the Silhouette Cameo family. Hence, my decision to compare it with the Curio.

Between the Silhouette Cameo and Silhouette Curio, the winner is the Silhouette Cameo. Here’s why:

Why is it better?

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1147 Reviews Considered

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Comparison of the Silhouette Cameo and Curio

Details Price

Silhouette Cameo

  • It's a user-friendly cutter, so an average mom can get in the game with ease.
  • This is the secret tool of many Etsy sellers. Stickers come out nice and sharp.
  • With a bit of experience, you will be able to make money by crafting with tougher materials like, leather.

Silhouette Curio

  • So much fun to craft with this machine great tool for kids as well.
  • If you want to cut costs for the wedding with this cutter you can dopersonalized bridesmaid gifts, invitation addressing etc.
  • You can start a simple side business with etching pendants and other jewelery.

This table provided a bird’s-eye view of both machines. And obviously, the scale is tipping favorably towards the Silhouette Curio.

Silhouette Curio vs Cameo machine specs tested:

As you know, the devil is in the details. So, let’s check out those details, shall we?

The size and weight are straight forward. One is bigger and therefore, also heavier. Hopefully, you have a big and sturdy table to put them on. Also, if you are traveling to different exhibitions, the excess weight might present some challenges.

Both Silhouette craft machines have a cutting feature. This means both machines will make the precision cuts needed when you insert the blade. I highly recommend using the Deep Cut Blade for thicker materials. It’s so satisfying to see the deep cut blade in action. The blade goes through paper like a hot knife through butter. Also, both can draw. This is a nice way to copy different fonts to simulate handwriting.

How to digitize your own creations? It’s simple! Just use the PixScan technology and do the following:

  • Put your design on the mat;
  • Take a picture with your smartphone or camera; and
  • Upload the picture into Silhouette Studio.

Some might call it perfectionism, but for many, these last-minute details matter a lot.

Curio has these additional features, which make it shine over Cameo 3: embossing, etching, scoring, and stippling.

curio image

Silhouette Curio vs Silhouette Cameo

Cameo is limited to only thin and easy to work with materials. On the other hand, Curio can work with foam, leather, metal, wood, and many other materials as well (of course, not all of them can be cut).

Are you a designer who does hand etching on different surfaces? Then Silhouette Curio is here to save you some precious time. It can do wonders with soft metals like aluminum, copper, and brass.

curio works with metals

I’ve come across a lady on Etsy who creates customized jewelry (even from silver) with the help of the Curio crafting machine. Her line up shows that she even makes rings and 3D objects. (Here’s the secret to how she does it: first, she etches them while they are flat. Then, with the help of heat, she transforms them to the desired shapes).

Read More: How to Clean Silhouette Cameo 3 Machine. Keeping your machine clean will help it last for years to come. We discuss how to properly clean your Cameo!

Is There Any Difference in Cutting Force?

The biggest disappointment for me was the cutting force power. It’s 210g for both machines. Curio can work with a 5mm thick material and Cameo 3 only with a 2mm one. You would assume that it has more power, yet it doesn’t.

Here’s an important takeaway; 5mm isn’t the cutting depth. The Curio machine can’t cut through a 5mm thick metal plate. High-powered lasers are required for such tasks. 5mm means you can put in a material that has that thickness.

With thicker materials, you risk damaging your cutting machine. This is the main difference between the two devices. The Cameo 3 has a much shallow cut compared to Curio.

What it lacks in power, it makes up for on the surface. With Curio, you can only work on a small surface which is 8.5 X 6 inches. On the other hand, Cameo 3 has an amazingly bigger surface of 12 inches and uses an auto-feeding system. This is where Cameo shines; you can work on huge projects with ease.

cameo 3 feeder

Silhouette Curio vs Silhouette Cameo 3

Auto Blade

The Auto Blade feature is nice to have. It helps you automatically set the blade penetration thickness depending on the material you are working with. Unfortunately, Curio doesn’t have this feature, so you have to set it up manually for every job.

Cross Cutter

Cameo 3 also has a Cross Cutter function. This is a handy tool for making clean cuts. It’s much faster and cleaner than working with scissors. Curio doesn’t have this feature.

Cameo 3 has one major feature that outdoes Curio. It can work on projects without cords. All you need is a device that has Bluetooth connectivity. This comes in handy when traveling to exhibitions. You can easily create projects on your phone and connect to the Cameo via Bluetooth.

Hauling a 14-pound machine around isn’t exactly a picnic. But apart from that, the Silhouette Curio also needs a constant computer connection. A more detailed review of Silhouette Curio can be found here.

Dual Carriage

The Dual Carriage is a godsend! It allows you to do two things at once. You can use two different colored pencils. Or you could draw and cut. Other options would be cut and emboss and so on. By having two tools at your disposal, you can cut down on production time. It’s easy to use like a cellphone. After you’ve got used to Dual Carriage, you won’t be able to imagine life without it.

dual carriage feature

Are they noisy or silent? Noise levels compared

Noise levels are regrettably high. If you want to craft in the evening after the kids are asleep, you will either need a soundproof room or work deep in the basement. These machines are noisy.

Are they user-friendly?

The Curio is easier to use than the Cameo 3 (but check out the negatives and learn all about Curio’s drawbacks).

Both machines are operated by the Silhouette Studio software. As far as I know, there isn’t any other 3rd party software to use. Silhouette Studio does everything you need. After setting it up, depending on your machine, you will have different features. For example, Silhouette Studio for the Curio has an embossing feature. If you don’t have that machine you won’t even notice that some things are left out. Here’s some food for thought: The Silhouette Studio that arrives with the package is most likely outdated, so go online and grab the latest version. If you are more interested in Silhouette Studio, let me know, and I will make a separate article about that.

Have you made your decision? Which one is the best fit for you? Is it the Cameo Cutter or Curio Machine?

Now here are the negatives. No true Cameo vs Curios comparison would be complete without these.

Silhouette Cameo vs Silhouette Curio comparison table

Silhouette Cameo Silhouette Curio
Size 22.5 x 6 x 8.5 inches 17.2 x 5.5 x 7 inches
Weight 13.95 pounds 7.5 pounds
Cutting Feature
Drawing Feature
Embossing Feature
Etching Feature
Scoring Feature
PixScan Technology
Cutting Force 210 grams 210 grams
Cutting Size 12 inches x 10 feet 8.5 x 6 inches
Auto Blade
Cross Cutter
Dual Carriage
Max Material Thickness 2mm 5mm
Computer Connection Needed
Noise Level Loud Loud
User Friendliness

Drawbacks of using Silhouette Cameo

It’s not a user-friendly machine. Many users have had connection issues with Bluetooth. This is one of its best features, so no wonder it caught some flak for it. Also, every manual can only be found online.

Some users complained that they couldn’t use the full 12-inch length. The issues arise on one side where the blade can’t cut deep enough. We’ll see if this is still an issue after some firmware updates.

If you are planning to use certain materials like acetate, make sure you run the process at least twice, so you know for sure that it has cut through. Another user reported that after four passes, he still couldn’t cut through Shrinky Dinks paper. If you plan to work with leather, just forget about it.

The noise is bothersome as well. But the loud noise runs in the whole Silhouette family.

Drawbacks of using Silhouette Curio

Let’s see what is negative about Silhouette Curio:

The main complaints are about embossing. It’s a three-step process, and you need a lot of practice to get it right. There are cheaper competitors that can do it faster.

Also, the embossing results weren’t that great. And for some reason, it didn’t cut vinyl that well. According to some users, you are better off with a cheap embosser.

Again the noise was an issue. Hopefully, the next generation will be quieter.

The Comparison Results

Here are the results of this versus challenge (Silhouette Curio and Cameo).

The Silhouette Cameo 3 is the ultimate DIY machine. It’s cheap and does what it’s advertised to do. It works well for small things and (supposedly) for bigger ones as well. It’s a great fit for people in the home décor industry and event planners.

silhouette cameo 3 cutting machine

Click Image to see Reviews and Latest Price

Silhouette Curio vs Cameo

The Silhouette Curio is the little brother of Cameo. It can carry out tasks which are impossible to do with Cameo even with the 3rd version. If you need embossing or have to work with soft metals and wood, then Curio is the best choice for you. If you are a jeweler, you can do amazing things with this machine.

curio machine

Click Image to see Reviews and Latest Price

When Silhouette released the Curio, it didn’t kill the Cameo product line. The plan was to extend capabilities. How convenient, isn’t it?

Yet, for some people, both machines are needed. There are successful crafters who want to increase their market share by offering new products. For them, both Curio and Cameo 3 will be a perfect fit.

Conclusions for Silhouette Cameo Vs Curio

This is the end of the Silhouette Cameo Vs Curio article.  It was an unbiased opinion since both devices have flaws, which I’ve listed fully. I tried staying objective to give you the best information possible. The choice is yours. You can now make an informed choice on whether to get one or both machines.

Happy tinkering!

Now the choice is up to you. You can choose one or both cutting machines. You have a solid foundation about both machines, so you can make an informed decision.

Happy tinkering!

Silhouette Cameo 3 Beginners Bundle, Black
141 Reviews
Silhouette Cameo 3 Beginners Bundle, Black
  • Cuts a variety of material including vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and other materials up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long with 2mm clearance
  • Use the powerful Silhouette Studio design software to create your projects Features Bluetooth technology for wireless cutting or plugs into your home computer
  • The only Silhouette compatible with the self-adjusting autoblade
Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine with Silhouette Starter Vinyl Kit Bundle
38 Reviews
Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine with Silhouette Starter Vinyl Kit Bundle
  • Silhouette America Curio Crafting Machine - DIY
  • Vinyl starter kit
  • Fine emboss tool & wide emboss tool, and cutting blade

What else can you create? Check out this hot pin.

Frequent Questions from our readers (FAQ):

Can the Silhouette Cameo 3 emboss?

Sadly the Silhouette Cameo 3 can’t emboss. For that you need to buy either the Silhouette Curio or the Cricut Maker.

Can my Silhouette Cameo 3 cut wood?

No it can’t. For that you need to buy the Silhouette Curio or the Cricut Maker.

Read our related article, Can a Cameo 4 Cut Wood? A Cameo 4 can cut wood, and we show you how to do it (and the materials you can cut) in this guide!

Can you cut vinyl with Silhouette Curio?

No you can’t. Paper and Vinyl is not supported By the Silhouette Curio. For that you will need the Silhouette Cameo 3.

Anything missing form the Silhouette curios vs Cameo 3?

Well no matter what silhouette machine you’re using you have to respect the cutting clearance levels.

What’s the cutting size of these Silhouette machines?

The cutting size is 8 inches by 10 feet long for the silhouette Curio and 12 inches by 10 feet long for the silhouette cameo 3. To fully utilize the 12 inches by 10 feet you will need a feed roller. This is a sufficient cutting size for more projects. The Curio embossing machine and cameo 3 is the vinyl cutting machine. With these machines you can cut and draw plus stipple and etch.

What is the cutting force for these machines?

It’s 210 grams. Also this force can be lowered according to the blade depth. The cutting area is not affected by it.

Can the Silhouette Curio emboss deboss?

Yes the Silhouette Curios can emboss deboss. The Silhouette Cameo 3 can’t. For some reason they have left out the emboss deboss feature from the Cameo 3. To do it use an embossing mat. The embossing tool is quite strong. Other vinyl cutters are way to light the etching tool barely makes a dent.

Silhouette Curio Vs Cameo 3 which is the best stippling tool?

From the Silhouette Curio Vs Cameo (cameo vs curio) its obvious that the curios is the best etching tool because that can only do it. Also it can etch stipple.

Who’s the clear winner from the curio vs silhouette cameo vinyl cutter comparison?

Well there’s no clear winner between the two vinyl cutter machines. There are certain things that the curio embossing tool can do and the cameo machine can’t. On the other hand Cameo 4 will be able to do die cutting and craft foam which is perfect for home decor.

How to connect to the curio silhouette vinyl cutter?

You can use the sd card companion tool, or usb drive.

What do other vinyl cutter owners have to say?

The cutting width is sufficient for most fabric materials, die cutting and craft foam. If you would like to extend the capabilities you can. Don’t forget about the learning curve. Plus it can cut and draw at the same time on the work area and project surfaces. The touch screen is easy to use and navigate. Thanks to comparison guides it was easy to choose the right cutter. The cutting width is the most important aspect for most people. Thanks to the dual carriage you can mix and match tools and mix and match functions.

What kind of accessories are needed if I would like to do stencils?

For stencil materials you need to check out that section. For anything type of materials paper products are easy to make since it has double carriage heads. Do include the embossing score wheel for best results.

Silhouette vs Cricut – Which one should I choose?

The Cameo is a pretty decent product but if you want the best of the best you should buy A Cricut Maker.

Did you write a detailed Silhouette Cameo 4 review?

Yes, you can read the Silhouette Cameo 4 vinyl cutter review in the Reviews section.