The Cricut vs. Silhouette debate is alive and well in my craft room. At least when it comes to cutting straight from my iMac. (I can’t speak for comparisons between the two concerning cartridges, since only the Cricut uses cartridges). :)
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to cut intricate word art from my computer to my Cricut Expression. Maybe I need to adjust the settings on my Cricut even more, but I just couldn’t get it to cut my designs the way I wanted. For some reason, it was rounding all my sharp corners, and over-cutting some corners (the over-cutting i solved by reflecting my design and cutting it backwards. When I turned the cardstock over, the over-cutting didn’t show). Hard to explain, but believe me, it was odd.
At first I thought I just needed a new blade, so I swapped that out. Then, a new cutting mat. Then I adjusted the speed and pressure. The new blade and different settings helped a bit, but overall, it was still unsatisfactory. I was at a total loss, frustrated, and wanted to throw my Cricut across the room.
NOTE: I realize that I’m being a perfectionist. Of course, the result from the Cricut was okay, but I wanted the machine to cut exactly what I had designed, WITHOUT any changes.
Then I remembered that I had cut super thin and intricate designs with my Silhouette last spring while I was designing my digital kits for TwoPeas. Like SUPER thin stuff. I was testing the limits of the Silhouette to see how detailed I could get. After I got my Cricut and was happy with it for a month or two, I took my Silhouette to work and used it to mock up things. It just sat on my desk and didn’t get used too much.
So, on Wednesday night, I brought my Silhouette home and hooked it up again. I tried cutting the same thing my Cricut had failed to cut. HOLY CRAP! The Silhouette was awesome! It cut straight corners. No overcutting. It was lovely. :)
Here are the comparison images. Notice the corners…
The corners were much cleaner on the Silhouette.
Now, I can handle a little bit of rounding corners, but may the typography gods forgive me, LOOK WHAT IT DID TO THE TYPE! (look away, look away I tell you). Notice how the Cricut warped the width of the letters (specifically the two sides of the letter A), while the Silhouette preserved the integrity of the type. Both of these were cut from the same file (about 2-3/4″ square in size)…
Now, I realize there are quite a few factors that might be causing the Cricut to cut differently. I am using SCAL, which might adjust the design, but I highly doubt it. It seems to be more of a firmware issue than a problem with the actual mechanics of the machine. As if the programming on the machine is dumbing down the design, even through the machine probably could cut it correctly.
This “softening” of the edges is exactly what I experienced when I tried to cut smaller designs on a Making Memories Slice machine, and one of the reasons I haven’t used the Slice in over a year. It sort of “blobbed” smaller images. Totally strange and gross. Just give me sharp edges, and for the love of all that’s good in the world, DO NOT mess with my type, dangit! :)
So, in the great Cricut vs. Silhouette debate, the Silhouette has pulled ahead. Just my opinion.