I have been using a KNK Zing for about a year (and absolutely love it) and can offer some first hand comparisons to a Silhouette Cameo. My first digital cutter was a Wishblade and it seems like a toy compared to both of these machines! I design my own cutting files so I needed software with more robust designer features that I can use in conjunction with a vector drawing program. The Make the Cut software that comes with the Zing has worked very well for me. There is an excellent online manuel for using Make the Cut with the Zing that is very well done, with tons of videos you can easily access from the pages of the online manuel. This manual is updated frequently with new information.(You can find a link to this manual under Resources on the Zing webpage.)Also, there are plenty of sites available online for purchasing files for use with a Zing if you don't want to design your own. My Zing machine cuts beautifully and I have had no problems with it. It is built very well. My 86 y/o mother who has no experience using a digital cutter, but does have experience using craft programs on her computer wanted a cutter that would be easy to use with her computer graphics and computer clip art. This week she bought a Silhouette Cameo along with the $49 upgrade to the Silhouette Studio Designer edition software and it has been a dream to set up and begin using. It also cuts beautifully. It looks like there are also videos online for the Cameo and she is busy learning all about it. As far as comparing the two machines, I kind of look at it this way. I think of the Zing as coming more from a professional cutting background that has been simplified into a machine for crafters, while the Sillhouette Cameo seems to have evolved from a simpler machine for crafters that now has some more professional features. So they both fall somewhere midline. Of the two, the Zing does have more professional features such as the wider cutting platform, stronger cutting force, and many more design features in the Make the Cut software vrs Silhouette Studio Designer edition, and yet it still is not hard to learn and use. The Silhouette Cameo is probably a little simpler for an absolute beginner, or for anyone who does not plan on creating a lot of their own complex designs. The online store that Silhouette offers would be a dream for anyone who wants to purchase designs as opposed to creating their own. If you do go with the Silhouette Cameo, you will need to purchase the $49 upgrade on the software if you want to import svg files (that will open up a lot of free downloads from the internet for you.) The Silhouette Studio, or even the Silhouette Designer edition software may not be enough in terms of designing tools if you want to do a lot of creating more complex graphic cutting files. It does seem to be easy to use in terms of cutting with the Cameo. Also, if you do go with the Cameo and decide up the road you want to do more complex designing of your own files you could buy a copy of Make the Cut (it currently sells for around $58) as it will also work with the Cameo. There will be a longer learning curve with the Make the Cut Software as it has more features, but if you need more complex designing features then its worth it and maybe the Zing would be the better choice- you would also get the stronger cutting force and wider cutting bed. If you want simplicity and a shorter learning curve with less complex designing features and you just plan on cutting cardstock, then the Silhouette Cameo might be the better choice for you. I am very pleased with both machines! I hope this is helpful and I wish you lots of fun with whichever machine you choose.
Edited by pdx.paula on 01-09-13 11:08 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.