The Cameo 4 is a 12-inch width desktop cutting machine that lets you make precision cuts in vinyl, cardstock, fabric, and more.
Crafters, creators, and creative people in general, listen up. I am so lucky to have gotten my hands on the Silhouette Cameo 4 and pleased to have written this review. I absolutely love cutting vinyl shapes out and making amazing stickers and vinyl products for my family and friends, as well as my online shop.
However, I found that my business was lacking. I wanted a machine that could do MORE for me. This machine delivered.
I would also like to disclose that I am not a paid reviewer, I did not get a free one to test-instead, I am just a consumer that wants others to know what this machine is like.
Who Is This For?
Are you creative, but feel like your designs could use a bit of “oomph?”
Are you excited to work with new media like balsa wood and leather?
Tired of low-power cutters?
This is for crafters and creators that want to make their designs really stand out. I’d say it’s more for advanced crafters, but anybody can learn how to use this machine with a few practice sessions.
Overview: Silhouette Cameo 4
You can get this in three different sizes. You can get it in 12”, known as the Silhouette Cameo 4, 15”, the Cameo Plus, and Cameo Pro, which is 20”.
Each and every one of these comes with a one-year warranty, which is comforting as I know the price tag on these is rather high.
You can also look forward to some super features like:
- Three times the cutting speed of the Cameo 3 – When it comes to cutting straight lines, the machine operates three times as fast. Meanwhile, the curves you need to cut can be done twice as fast. I should also note that the clearance for materials on this machine is 3 mm as compared to the 2mm you get on the Cameo 3.
- 20 times the force of previous models – You can make deep cuts on material like metal, leather and even wood. This really solves the pain point of the previous Cameo 3model-the cutting power on that was rather lacking.
- A revamped dual carriage – The carriage on this is remarkably similar to the Cricut Maker. You can use tools like a rotary blade which makes fabric cutting a cinch, as well as a deep-cut crafting blade. And the tech behind this is amazing, it keeps the cuts precise and in line with your design.
- New and exciting tools you can use exclusively with the Cameo 4 machine – Do you enjoy working with felt or fabric? You can easily do this with the new Silhouette Rotary Blade, and if you want to cut these materials with the precision of the highest quality, opt for the Silhouette Craft Blade. And, I would also like to note that Silhouette has made it so you can adapt Silhouette Cameo 3 tools to the Cameo 4. There will be more stuff announced as time goes on, so the excitement doesn’t stop.
If you guys and gals know about the Cricut Maker-one of my closest friends has one-this is Silhouette’s answer to that machine. I have been loyal to Silhouette but can honestly see why some crafters would choose Cricut.
If you were hoping to come back to Silhouette, now would be the time to do so. They really have outdone Cricut on this particular product, if I do say so myself.
Other Amazing Features and Benefits
The advanced tech this cutter features is really amazing, but there are heaps of other things I think you will love about this.
For starters, you can look forward to the touch interface. Everything is touch screen nowadays-why not the cutting machine?
You can also enjoy the ease of use that comes with the vinyl crosscutter, vinyl cutters, and the roll feeder. They are all part of the machine itself, too, making it very convenient. I also like that the lid has been revamped, it now slides into the machine itself.
Therefore, if you are limited on space, you need not worry about fitting it into a smaller space. (Do take measurements before you buy, however!)
There is also a retracting cover for added safety and the software detects the tools you put in the Cameo 4 automatically. This saves headaches and gets you crafting faster.
I kind of went crazy talking about how great the Silhouette Cameo 4 was. So, let’s talk about the actual specifics of the machines.
- Cut Force: 210gf to 5000gf
- Weight: 14 LB
- Max Cut: 12”x 120” (or 15” x 120”, or 20” x120”)
- Material Limit: 3 mm
For All Machines-20”, 15”, 12”: You get one cutting mat, which is what you use to load the cutting material into the machine. You will notice it is a bit sticky on one side as this will help you attach your material to it, and have it stay put while the cut is taking place.
You will need to replace this every 6 month or so, depending on how often you use this.
The AutoBlade also comes with this machine, it is a tool that picks up on the cut settings you have programmed into it and sets the depth immediately-no adjustment needed!
The Silhouette Software is included also-you will use the instructions in the box to download the software. All cables, such as the USB and Power cables, are included. You also get a nice one-month subscription to the Design Store. 100 designs exclusive to the Cameo 4 are also included, too.
You just download them and go to town designing whatever your heart desires.
The interface of this design program is totally customizable. You learn about the tools that matter most to you and your craft projects. The software is easy to learn and gets easier as you go along.
Once you get good at it, you will be pleased to know it just keeps getting advanced: The sky’s the limit with things like innovative line styles, custom color palettes (great for those of you designing things for your child’s school, a local business, or a color specific event), and a project setup that keeps you in the correct size parameters so you won’t be creating things that are impossible to cut in the first place.
Making A Cut
At this point, you might be wondering just what the quality of the cut was like. In this section, I am going to talk about what happened when I made some cuts using this machine, and what my thoughts on the results were.
As somebody who has owned Silhouette machines in the past, I personally feel that cutting power, quality and the rate of the cut could be improved. This machine took care of all three of those concerns for me.
After all, materials are cut three times faster when making straight lines, and twice as fast when doing curved and intricate designs. The amount of materials I can cut is hugely increased thanks to the cutting power. We can get through stuff like felt and fabric, even leather, with ease.
Thanks to that Rotary Blade and Craft Blade, as well as the 20x more power included in this model, I can do so much.
I cut some promotional magnets using magnetic material for a friend looking to grow her medical practice. I cut out heart-shaped magnets featuring her name and office number, plus hours.
I created a custom puzzle for a dad looking to surprise his wife with a family photograph puzzle for her birthday. That puzzle board isn’t exactly the thinnest material.
I also was able to create beautiful vinyl stickers for my daughter’s car (this was just a personal project; we created a stick figure family with relative ease and exceptional quality.)
Other users noted they made leather wallets and balsa wood toys, too. I am absolutely confident you can do the same.
Pros and Cons
- The touch interface is easy to use and responsive.
- This machine is the most powerful Silhouette has ever invented.
- The vinyl roll feeder is super convenient.
- The cuts are accurate and fast.
- You can make use of materials previously unheard of with this machine-wood, magnetic material, leather.
- Matches the Cricut in power but is actually cheaper
- The retractable lid is a nice addition; however, I do miss the drawer that existed on previous models; was great for storing tools and supplies.
- The new storage area is less than half the size of the older machines.
- USB input is not present on this Cameo-not able to load designs in using this method.
- You cannot use old Silhouette Cameo tools with this machine.
- The price is more compared to older machines.
Wrapping It Up
This is the cutting machine us crafters have yearned for, at a price that beats the competition, power that blows others away, and cuts everything with precision!
I encourage you to run, don’t walk, to your favorite crafting materials shop and check this machine out. The things you can make are unlimited. Do some research and you will see-this is the machine for you.
Hello there, my name is Carole Lokey from Texas. I am a die cutting and scrapbooking enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 15 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page. Learn More>>