I have a Cricut and I like the machine a lot. I use it pretty often and as long as I have the cart I am super happy.
My favorite tool though is my Sizzix BigShot. It is really versatile. You can use framelits, sizzlets, regular sizzix dies, bigz dies, embossing folders and i'm sure i'm forgetting something. It's really easy to use, and not terribly expensive and the individual dies are priced nicely and unlike Cricut you don't pay for cuts you won't use.
Well, I always say, it depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend. You must also consider if you want a cartridge based system or a computer based system.
Cricuts are nice starter machines. The base price used to be cheaper than other systems. However, that is not the case anymore. Moreover, you have to think about the cost of cartridges. Yes you can find them for $15. BUT that amount can quickly add up! Before you know it, you have spent several hundred dollars.
The Eclips and Ecraft are also cartridge based system. However, they can also use third party software (SCAL and or MTC). You have the best of both worlds, but you have to remember the cost of the cartridges. I don't have either machine so I cannot give my opinion on them. I have read that most people do not like the Ecraft for one reason or another.
For around the same amount of money as the Cricut, you can purchase the Cameo which is a computer based system. You can download the software for free. You can also purchase images for 99 cents or less. You can also merge your images to cut. If you upgrade to the deluxe, you can design your own images or import SVG files. You can cut true type fonts. So in other words you pay for the machine and you can cut what your heart desire with little additional cost. The downside to the Cameo is it is not built for heavy cutting. Some have successfully cut cereal weight chipboard. I have not tried this on mine. I highly recommend this cutter for people who stick to cutting paper, vinyl or card stocks. It cuts beautifully.
If you want something a little more heavy duty (to cut chipboard) you may want to look into a Gazelle, Zing, or Pazzle. I have the Gazelle and I highly recommend it! I have cut so many different materials on it without issue. Also customer service is second to none! I have not used the Zing or Pazzle, but the uses of these machine loves them.
There are also heavy duty cutters such as the Cougar, Silver Bullet and Klick N Kut cutters. But you are looking at a nice bill
So I tried to be unbiased. Ultimately the decision is yours
I have the cricut expression 1 and 2 and a Gypsy along w/ many carts that I bought on sale over the past 4 years. I did not want a computer based machine as I use it when traveling and camping and I don't have to keep it tethered to a computer. I use the Gypsy to modify some designs-you can weld images and fonts together and can eliminate parts of designs. The carts come with loads of images and they are always on sale some place.
HisGems, great breakdown on all the machines out there.
I bought a Cricut when they first came out. Had it for two days and returned it. For me, it was just to complicated and hard to figure out where what went and stuff. Not to mention all the cartridges.
I then bought the Silhouette (original one)fell in love immediately! No cartridges, easy online diecuts - especially at 5:00 on a Sunday night and you want to put a vine diecut on your layout and you don't have one!
I just ordered the Cameo and received Saturday. Spent all day Sunday playing with it and watching videos of ALL the stuff it can cut.
I got mine on e-bay, I made sure the seller was an authorized seller of Silhouette products. I didn't pay as much as I would have from Silhouette directly.
Edited by KimKV on 11-12-12 05:47 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
I just bought my Cricut Expressions2 on Walmart.com for $209. It was bundled with a spatula and a tool kit. Plus it had a list of cartridges to choose from at discounted prices. I paid $20 for one. I figure it was worth not having to get out at 4am the day after Thanksgiving to save $20-$30. Plus I just found out I am having surgery Dec. 10 so that cuts into my cardmaking time considerably! I will need all the help I can get.
I am a new scrapbooker and got a Silhouette Cameo late September had it for almost two months now. I really like it and can make my own designs or buy on the online store or even use the fonts on my computer. I almost did buy the cricut. I realize I might have to buy the cartiages of a lot of images when I wanted only two or three images. I realize the Cameo was a better fit for me in the long run. I am a graphic design major anyways. So I am use to designing my own things. I love computers anyways. I say pick the machine that will fit your needs and have fun with it.
I had a Cricut and sold it and bought the Silhouette Cameo....and it was the best decision I ever made!!! So easy to use, not having to purchase all those cartridges, and store them and remember what one had what shape....and I find you can do so much more with the Cameo....