The Silhouette Cutter is an extremely versatile craft cutter and is great for the hobbyist on up to a small business. It can cut a wide range of materials including printable vinyl, silhouette vinyl, fabric, paper, chip board, card stock, craft foam, heat transfer vinyl, among other craft materials. The silhouette can also draw in place of cutting. One of my favorite features of the Silhouette cutter is its ability to print and cut. More on this feature later.
The Silhouette is the most versatile craft cutter because right out of the box, it connects to your computer! This means that any font or image you can get on your computer can then be transferred to your Silhouette to be printed, cut, or both! There are no cartridges to buy, no manual settings to set on the machine itself, (unless you want to), and the possibilities are unlimited. If you are searching the internet and come across a really cool font in TTF format — which most are, you can download it and use it with your Silhouette on the spot. The cricut is only capable of doing this if you have a program like sure-cuts-a-lot which is an extra cost above and beyond the initial price of the cricut.
You can replace the blade on the silhouette with a pen, then you can use the silhouette to draw a sketch on your project. This is a fun feature and gives a unique look.
Now, the Silhouette doesn’t have a built in printer to deal with, so you won’t have to buy different ink cartridges, or deal with your silhouette as a printer, since it only cuts (or draws). The magic of the silhouette is that it has an optical sensor connected to the cutter head. When you want to print then cut something such as Printable Vinyl, you turn on a feature known as “registration marks”. What the software does is tell the printer to print marks in three corners of your project, then when you take your material from the printer to the silhouette, the optical sensor on the silhouette can then scan the page in order to orient itself with exactly where everything is, then cut the project exactly where it is supposed to! It is really an amazing thing to behold, and even more amazing that you can have that technology right in your own home without spending an arm and a leg!