Silhouette software options compared

January 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm 20 comments

With the popularity of the Cameo (and earlier SD model), and the introduction of premium software from Silhouette, there are lots of questions about which software is best. There’s not an easy answer, because it depends on what you want to do, and how much you want to spend. I have prepared a comparison chart to help you choose what’s right for you, Silhouette’s own software, Make the Cut or Sure Cuts a Lot.

Download the PDF here

Update: For the latest comparison click here.

Entry filed under: Silhouette. Tags: , , , , , , .

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20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Selena  |  January 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I just asked this question on Facebook the other day, because I’m totally lost as to which software to purchase. I’m a new Silhouette Cameo owner, so I don’t have a clue about anything, AT ALL. Your post really help me to decide.

  • 2. Sally  |  January 2, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Thank you so much for researching all of this! It is nice to be able to compare the software “apples to apples”.

  • 3. Sue from Oregon  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I am a new Cameo owner…this will certainly help! Thanks so much for your efforts!

  • 4. Sue from Oregon  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I am very new to silh. One of my frustrations so far is the lack of a ruler on the screen. I see in the purchased silh software you marked yes/no. I am confused LOL! Am I missing the markings in the basic software?

    • 5. Kay  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Good question, Sue. This was confusing and inconsistent so I have edited the chart to show what kind of guides each software has. All of the software EXCEPT the free version of SilhStudio has rulers in the margins, so you are not missing anything. One workaroud is to set your grid to the increments you would want for rulers (1 inch w 8 divisions, 1 cm with 10 divisions, etc.)

  • 6. Nicole McGuill  |  January 2, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for providing this. Before becoming a SAHM I worked in a marketing dept in a software company. As you said, it all really depends what you want to do with the software and how much you want to spend – rather than simply going with the column with all the “yes”s. I also appreciate the addition of both the street price and platform.

  • 7. Mary  |  January 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Thank You for assembling and posting this most useful information all in one place (chart). I very much appreciate the time and effort you put into it. Happy New Year, and Happy Cutting ;-)

  • 8. Barbara aka bdjeepers from Silhouette Plus  |  January 2, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Doesn’t the pause button on the Cameo pause the cut? It is marked no on the chart. If not, what’s it for?

    Silhouette freeware & DE both offer the option to turn on the dimensions of any design. File > Preferences > Measurements. Choose from serveral – mm, cm, meters, feet or inches. Much more accurate than rulers, IMHO.

    • 9. Kay  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks for your input Barb,
      I only have an SD, so didn’t know about the Cameo hardware option (Hallelujah!). Will update the chart.
      As far as measurement, all of these software packages have the ability to determine the exact measurements of a selected object in any units as you describe. MTC has an additional tool that measures point to point, similar to what is found in high end CAD software. Of course, the line tool in any of these programs can be used the same way, so it’s not much of an advantage.

  • 10. kraftingkelly  |  January 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Kay, this chart is fantastic! Thank you for all the work you put into it. And yes, the Cameo does have a pause button, although it’s like when you send a document to the printer and try to cancel–most of the job has already been received and it’s not an instant pause.

  • 11. Rebecca S.  |  January 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Kay – thank you so much for taking the time to come up with this comparison and sharing it. It is much appreciated. Happy New Year!

  • 12. Rhoda  |  January 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to make the chart. I’ve seen your other charts and was delighted to see that you had made this one too.Thanks for all your work!

  • […] Silhouette software options compared – 2 freebie(s) […]

  • 14. Sharongene  |  January 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I just got a cameo. It’s my first cutting machine so I’m new to this. All my friends have cricuts and use the sure cuts a lot. I’ve played with that program a little. On SCAL I can import an item and then break it apart or ungroup it. So far, if the Silhouette software lets me do it I cannot figure it out. Can anybody help?! Thanks! Love the chart.

    • 15. Kay  |  January 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      That command in the Silhouette software is called “Release Compound Path”. There is also an ungroup command and sometimes you have to use both of them. Think they are under the Object menu.

  • 16. Norma  |  January 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This is the MOST AWESOME comparison chart I have seen! Thank you ever so much for doing this! I realize how much work this must have been for you….Certainly helps a girl make up her mind :-)

  • 17. Crystal  |  March 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I just ordered my Silhouette Cameo. I’m torn between ordering Sihouette Designer Studio, Sure Cuts A Lot, and Make the Cut. I love this chart. And, am an experienced Cricut Gypsy and Cricut Craft Room user. So, my question to you, given this background and the new Silhouette purchase, which software package would you purchase?

    • 18. Kay  |  March 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Crystal, try the free version of Silhouette Studio and see if it meets your needs before you buy anything. Many people find that this is all they need. Above that, for computer/graphics savvy PC users I usually recommend MTC. For everyone else I recommend SSDE.

      • 19. Crystal Sanchez  |  March 20, 2012 at 7:56 am

        Kay, thanks so much for the quick reply!! My husband also plans to use my new Cameo for his 3D models on paper (He is a mechanical engineer and uses Pro-E, primarily, for his designs. He’d like to see the model on paper before sending the job for machining). I’ll take your advice and start with the standard software. MTC is on a limited time offer for $54.99USD so I’ll be sure to leverage that pricing before the expiration date. You’re the best and appreciate the advice!

  • 20. Anna  |  May 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Once again your expertise comes to the rescue for the rest of us, Kay! What a helpful chart for this cutting community!


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