Silhouette Portrait 2
The Silhouette Curio may not be the newest kid on the block but it still remains unrivaled as far as versatility is concerned. Indeed, even though the box machine may seem tiny, calling it a small machine would be totally wrong. That’s because it is capable of handling multiple tasks ranging from sketching, scoring, etching to stippling, and embossing.
But even then, the Curio has its fair share of downsides – we’ll talk more about this a little later. First, let’s take a closer look at its key features.
Silhouette Curio Review – Everything You Need To Know
This is a light-duty electronic cutting machine which boasts the ability to perform many different tasks. It has a modest cutting force of 210 grams which is just enough to draw, pierce, emboss, deboss, and engrave.
One thing we like about this boxy machine is that it is capable of working as a standalone device. So, whether you’re a newbie or experienced crafter, you can fully count on it to get the job done.
That said, you need a computer to unlock the full potential of the Curio. The computer enables you to use Silhouette’s very own Studio software which comes in handy when designing is concerned. What’s more? Thanks to the advanced design of this device, you can have an easier time managing your workflow particularly in regard to image-processing and photo-editing tasks.
The software program provided with this machine is literally a plug-and-play device. It only takes a few minutes to set up and in just a short time, you can get started embossing and cutting.
The winning formula as far as using the Silhouette Curio is concerned comes from the perfect that it has a pretty large clearance. Therefore, you can comfortably work on thick materials such as wood, metal, and foam. On the flipside, though, the extremely thin materials such as paper and vinyl have to be raised to be brought into close contact with the blades.
So, what are some of the key features that set the Curio ahead of the competition? We review some of those in the next few lines.
One common challenge with electronic die cutters is that they all tend to have some pretty limited cutting space. And while the Curio still limits you with its cutting width, it makes up for that by providing you with a decent 5mm clearance.
The good thing with such a deep clearance is that it enables you to handle thick materials. Also, it provides you with the freedom to draw on canvas, sketch on pieces of wood and so forth.
*The Overall Design
The machine is generally box-shaped but with some rounded corners. Its overall design seems boring compared to the sleek machines available on the markets currently. The good thing with this kind of design, however, is that it provides you with the means to push the machine’s capacity to the limits.
The vast majority of the sleeker modern-day machines tend to sacrifice cutting capacity and clearance all in the name of good looks. And, therefore, if aesthetics matter more than practicality to you, this might not be the best machine to settle for.
The Curio is minimalistic but highly functional. And by that, we’re referring to the fact that it provides you with 4 storage slots in total. These are distributed in twos on each side thereby helping spread out the weight.
A closer look at the machine’s base reveals a ratchet that can be conveniently used to set the depth of the standard blade. This is a well-thought-out and space saving design. On the flipside, though, it means that the Curio cannot take the AutoBlade, so you have to entirely rely on the Standard Blade.
But generally, this machine is quite compact and, therefore, easy to manage, store, and transport.
*The Dual Carriage
Very few electronic die cutters come with this handy feature. And yet the dual carriage system is probably the most important and time-saving tool one needs to have. It lets you use two tools at once.
And that way, you can sketch and cut or score and emboss at the same time. You can even draw in two colors at once.
The good thing with this feature is that you don’t need to stop your machine to change the tools when shifting functions. This can really help you save time and plan better for the tasks ahead.
And the best part is that the Silhouette Curio itself is meant to handle a wide array of tasks. Therefore, you can use it, full throttle to explore your creativity and also finish your tasks much faster.
*Silhouette Studio Design Software
It’s important for us to shed more light on the kind of software that this system rides on. That’s because, the software system determines speed, efficiency, and convenience. And, indeed, the Silhouette Studio seems to be pretty well-made.
To begin with, it’s cloud-based meaning that it is easy to access and also dynamic. The best part is that this software can even be used even when there is no internet. This is a far cry from the kind of system that Cricut Design Space provides.
Yet another benefit to using the Studio software is that it empowers you to conveniently import/export SVGs. The SVG format is probably the best choice when it comes to cutting files.
On the flipside, though access to this feature requires you to upgrade your plan. So, if you’d like to access the full benefits of this dynamic software, you’ll need to pay up. The good thing you can opt to subscribe for 1-month, grab as many free designs as possible and then stop the subscription once done.
What Can The Silhouette Curio Do?
What kind of materials can you handle with the Curio? Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few tasks that can be entrusted with since it can comfortably handle hundreds of materials. It’s not realistic for us to try and list all the materials it can handle but we’ll try to present you with quite a few of those.
- Vinyl – heat transfer, permanent, adhesive, window cling, stencil, chalkboard, dry erase, glitter, and holographic.
- Paper – washi, vellum, crepe, printer, wax, construction, freezer, specialty patterned, photo.
- Matboard and cardstock.
- Fabric provided it has the appropriate iron-on interfacing.
- Craft foam, balsa wood, chipboard, leather (some of these can only be handled through the Deep-Cut blade.
- Rhinestone template material.
Can the Silhouette Curio cut balsa wood? Well, given its limited cutting force, it would struggle with balsa wood and, therefore, the best thing to do would be to use it to engrave or etch the material. For a deeper cut, you can consider getting a deep cut blade at an additional cost.
What Is The Silhouette Curio Used For?
One of the reasons we really liked the Curio is that it is designed to deal with a wide variety of materials. It also can cut, draw, and even score. Yet another thing about this compact machine is that it provides you with the freedom to be creative. So, you can experiment as much as you’d like and learn a lot more stuff while using it.
(2) Enhanced Cutting Capacity
Once again, the fact that this machine provides you with a 5mm cutting width makes it second to none. And also, it comes with deep cutting abilities which come in handy when one needs to make some deep cuts.
That said, you’d need to buy the Deep Cut Blade separately. That’s because the machine itself comes with a Standard Blade which is quite limited in terms of cutting depth.
The good thing is that all the blades used for this machine are well made. They are made of tungsten alloy which is quite strong, powerful and durable.
(3) Time-Saving Benefits
The Silhouette Curio is indeed one of the few machines that provide you with a dual carriage capacity. This feature comes in handy when one needs to save time. And, therefore, if you have a tight deadline to put up with, the Curio would be a good machine to invest it. No more changing or adjusting of tools is needed halfway through the cutting process! How cool is that?
3 Reasons We Don’t Like the Silhouette Curio
(1) You Need to Buy Some Accessories Separately
This may feel like an upsell to some because you have to buy a variety of extra tools just to have this machine working in tip-top condition. For instance, you’d need to buy a deep cut blade, etching/stippling tool, and the mat. What’s more? You’d need to upgrade your Silhouette Studio membership to access some of the premium features.
(2) Limited Cutting Capacity
Much as it has a generous clearance, the Curio’s cutting power of 210 grams is quite limited. What’s more? Even the largest tray which has to be bought separately can only handle a maximum of 8.5×12 inch material capacity.
(3) Learning Curve
The Silhouette Studio software, though user-friendly, involves a bit of a learning curve. That’s because it provides you with a wide variety of tools and you’d need to take time to understand how exactly to get the most from them.
There is nothing like a perfect electronic cutter out there in the world. And, therefore, even though the Silhouette Curio isn’t perfect, it seems like something worth banking on. It provides you with the freedom and flexibility you may need to explore an entirely new level of possibilities. And that’s a pretty good thing especially to the creative user out there who’d like to get a little playful and learn more with time.