I LOVE my Silhouette!!! I just bought it in December (after doing a lot of research), and I use it practically every day. Quickutz has just done a major upgrade, so you can weld words and do a lot of new things with the Silhouette. One of the things I like about it is I don't have to buy cartridges - I can just use any True Type font on my PC. It came with 50 images, and with the latest upgrade, I now have over 100 images - for free.
Quickutz also just came out with a new Silhouette SD that doesn't need to be connected to a PC. It operates much the same way that the original did but is more portable.
When compared to the other systems, the Silhouette really is a winner, hands down. Printing up to 8 inches wide and 14 inches long for paper, it allows me to die cut most of the designs I would ever want to print. No cartridges needed, either, so you save a huge expense there, as well as no additional software to buy to use it with your computer. If you choose to purchase Quickutz dies, the prices are great, but you can also find many free designs around the web. I love my Silhouette!
I absolutely love my silhouette. I purchased it about a 1 1/2 months ago and I use it on every single LO. I recommend this cutter due to the price and the ease of finding GSD files that are unique to use. You can search the web for hundreds and hundreds of files to cut. You can create lettering with mats and lettering with die cuts, you can cut all your own diecuts, such as arrows and circles, flowers and swirls!! The machine doesn't cost nearly as much as some of the other machines and your only costs is the original purchase price and paper!!! You don't need any carts or templates...just the machine & paper! You can sharpen your blade and resticky your mat to make them lasts lots longer.
This machine doesn't cut chipboard, which is the only thing I wish it did that it doesn't. I love using chipboard, but other than that...this machine could not be better!
There are pens that you can buy in order to draw with the machine, but that isn't even necessary. I was able to wrap some paper around a gel pen, stick it in there, and it worked perfectly!!!!
This is a fantastic little tool. Really easy to use once you understand what it does. And the newest version of the software does weld words!! That improvement made me very happy!! And the price has been reduced on the designs. You can't go wrong with this product!!
Only 2 drawbacks - only cuts up to 8 1/2 x 11 and doesn't weld words automatically. Great software screen you download from the website. Many images available to purchase and download as well as the themed software packs which give you the option to print cutout images with your printer, then cut them out with the Silhouette - I have Jingle and Postcard. The Silhouette images are of the Quickutz style which is great because you can resize them instead of being limited to 1 die shape size. I have both the Silhouette and the Cricut Expression...I use them both as I like both company's images. The Silhouette is not quite as user friendly as the Cricut, but it is quite easy to use if you are able to read and understand the instructions, there are so many things you can do integrating paint and Adobe through MS Word. I love my Silhouette!