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My love for the Silhouette Cameo machine runs deep.  I have loved Silhouette products since I got my first Silhouette SD machine back in July of 2010.  For those of you unaware, a Silhouette machine is a digital cutting machine. 


You create your design on their software and then cut it out with their machine.  It uses a fine blade to cut paper, cardstock, fabric, magnet paper, tattoo paper, vinyl, iron-on heat transfer, chipboard and more. It is way superior to the Cricut (IMHO) because of their extensive online store where you can purchase images for $.99 rather than cartridges for $30.  I know Cricut has developed an online image gallery but I think Silhouette has so much more to offer and the designs are more my style.  But take that with a grain of salt since I have never actually used a Cricut machine with their new online gallery just with their cartridges. Hands down, if you are a crafter I would recommend the Silhouette machine over any other crafting machine. So then why would I purchase another machine that cuts stuff out? 

The reason I purchased a Sizzix machine was because a Silhouette machine can’t cut out thick surfaces like felt, metal, multiple pieces of cardstock or paper, leather, foam, fabric, and more heavier surfaces.  I wish to all goodness that we could create our own dies like we can choose from the Silhouette gallery and cut images.  Then this would be the perfect machine.  However, the Sizzix machines actually use metal dies to punch through your material allowing you to cut multiple pieces at one time.  It also embosses too but I never do that since I don’t paper craft very often.  My favorite thing to cut out is felt and I can usually cut out 5-6 layers at one time.  My kids also can use this machine. I don’t let them use the Silhouette Cameo because it is too easy to break.  Kayla has helped me cut out flowers with the Sizzix machine and we made headbands for her.

Felt Flower Headband


Sizzix has several machines that die cuts.  Big Shot , Big Kick , The Big Shot Pro and the Sizzix Vagabond Die-Cut Machine .  I purchased the Sizzix Vagabond machine last year for my birthday.

The Big Shot and the Big Kick are the same machine except the color is different.  The Big Shot retails for $120.  It looks like the Big Shot on Amazon is $71.99 right now.  The Big Kick retails for $99 and it looks like the limited edition Vintaj Machine is on sale for $67.50 on Amazon.  The Big Shot Pro which is the big daddy (and great for quilters) and can cut out all dies is $350 ($323 on Amazon).  And the Sizzix Vagabond that I have retails for $250 and is $152.99 on Amazon currently.


The pro to the Vagabond machine is that it is electric whereas, the other machines are hand crank. The only downside to my machine is that it doesn’t cut the 12†dies which would be perfect for a quilter.  You would need the Big Shot Pro for that.  Here is a cheat sheet about the different machines Sizzix offers

I purchased this machine because I love cutting out felt and making wreaths.  I have made a couple of wreaths and having one of those machines makes it so easy.

Halloween Felt Flower Ruffle Wreath


Land of Nod Inspired Felt Wreath


Yarn Wrapped Wreath with Interchangeable Flowers


I also used a flower die to add some embellishments to this Back to School Wreath.


If you are having a ladies craft night in your community a Sizzix machine makes projects nice because you can cut out multiple pieces at a time.  I have made flower headbands, pins and embellishments with a group of ladies and they always have so much fun.

The only downside is that you have to purchase the dies individually.  And they aren’t cheap.  You can buy some at your local craft stores with a coupon and they sell them online too.  They retail from $5 (for the Sizzlets dies) – $80 for large Pro dies that you can only use with the Big Shot Pro .  Most of the ones I have are around $20 retail. 



I hope that helps you understand the difference between the machines.  Click here to see more of my Silhouette Cameo projects.

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  1. Thanks for the explaining the differences, Beckie. I have a Cameo, but have been thinking about buying a sizzix to cut out labels for my jars of Doodle Magic. I appreciate the “cheat sheet.” It should help me decide which, if any, I should get. 🙂

  2. Thanks for such a great post! I have a cameo and love it, but am getting really into cardmaking and stamping. I would love a sizzix because I can get the matching dies for stamps. I have tried the pix scan with the silhouette, and it’s really not my favorite. I think I am successful one of every 3-4 tries, and it’s a pain ruining projects. 🙂 Are you able to use coupons at michael’s/joann’s for the dies? Have you every tried a coupon with the die/stamp combos?

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