Out With The Old – In With The New
Die-cutting machines are getting increasingly more complicated – and more advanced, too. And performance-wise, the leap from first manual die cutters to these highly sophisticated, electronic cutters is nothing short of amazing.
But from the user’s point of view, things are getting more and more confusing. I’m not talking only about the ever-growing learning curves that come with these advanced machines, either.
As I’m sure you're already aware that choosing the best die cutting machine for your needs is becoming trickier by the day, too. With new models popping up regularly, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, as they say.
So, if you managed to narrow down your choice to these two cutting machines, congrats – you’re on the right path. The only thing that's left now is to figure out which one's a better fit for your crafting and DIY projects.
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Which brings us to my next point:
When it comes to Silhouette Cameo vs. Brother ScanNCut, which one is the better option?
That’s the question I hope to answer with this detailed side-by-side comparison!
Keep on reading – the final verdict may surprise you!
Silhouette Vs. Brother: Should You Trust The New Kid On The Block?
When I did my Silhouette Portrait vs. Cameo comparison, I pointed out that there are several leading brands in the arts and crafts industry. You can probably name a few from the top of your head, too:
Cricut, Silhouette, and Sizzix are, without a doubt, considered the big shots on the market.
But guess what:
There’s this new kid on the block – Brother.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Brother is a young company, though. Brother’s been around for over a century now – since 1908, to be exact. However, they haven’t bothered much with entering the die-cutting space up until recent years.
So, if you’re not as much into sewing as you are into arts, crafts, and DIY-ing, it’s understandable if you have questions or doubts about the brand’s reputation.
Brother took its first steps in this new industry not too long ago – and is yet to deserve the same respect as the more well-known brands, such as Silhouette, have. It’s okay if you don’t trust the new kid on the block straight away, but at least give it a chance to impress you.
The brand put in the time and effort to improve their die-cutting machines and adapt to the high standards set by their competitors – the more established names in the industry.
Silhouette America, on the other hand, might now have a tradition as long as Brother’s, but their focus has been on the arts and crafts market and electronic cutting systems from the start. Their innovative, highly advanced cutters, such as the Cameo we’re talking about today, took the world by storm.
It’s the fact that hobbyists and crafters are more familiar with this name that gives the Silhouette an edge here, though. Add the relatively low price tags into the mix, and you can see why a lot of people would instinctively go with Silhouette, rather than Brother.
But as you’re about to learn in this Silhouette Cameo vs. Brother ScanNCut comparison, there’s a lot more to that choice than it initially seems. Stick around, and see what I mean!
Silhouette Cameo Vs. Brother ScanNCut: Specs & Comparison Chart
Before we dive head-first into the nitty-gritty details of it, take a moment to go over their basic specs and features. The comparison chart below should shed some light on what these cutting machines are like – dimensions, specs, and feature-wise.
|Feature||Silhouette Cameo 3||Brother ScanNCut 2|
|Dimensions||22.5x8.5x6 inches||10.1x22.8x10.6 inches|
|Weight||12 pounds||10.36 pounds|
|Cutting Width||12 inches||12 inches|
|Clearance||2 mm||1.5 mm|
|Cutting Force||210 g||350 g|
|Software||Silhouette Studio Software||ScanNCut Canvas Software|
|Highlighted Features||Dual-carriage for multitasking||Built-in 300 DPI scanner|
|Warranty||One-year warranty||One-year limited warranty|
As I already mentioned, this is nothing more than a basic rundown of these two cutting machines – nothing more, nothing less. For a more detailed take, you should check out the rest of this article. There’s an elaborate Silhouette Cameo vs. Brother ScanNCut comparison waiting for you below!
Silhouette Cameo Vs. Brother ScanNCut: Up Close & Personal
Based on the price tag alone, the Brother ScanNCut seems like the more premium, high-end option out of the two.
That said, I hope you learned that price often doesn’t dictate quality – or pleasant user experience, for that matter.
Rather than focusing your attention on that single factor, take a step back, and look at the whole picture:
What do these cutting machines bring to the table? And which one’s a better fit for your crafting needs?
The best way to answer these questions is to see what each of these units have to offer. That’s what this next section is all about – getting up close and personal with these two cutting machines!
Getting To Know The Silhouette Cameo 3
If you had a chance to read my Silhouette Cameo 3 review, you know that the Cameo electronic cutting machines have been around for some time now. From the first one to enter the market, all the way to the family’s newest addition, Silhouette Cameo 4, the upgrades were nothing short of amazing.
Watch this to learn more about the Silhouette Cameo 4:
The title of the line’s most popular model, however, still goes to the Silhouette Cameo 3. Modern in design, and sleek in its appearance, this cutting machine is the perfect addition to any work area. The surprising part is how sturdy it is, though.
And when you look past the shiny exterior, that’s when all the real fun starts:
The Cameo 3 is packed to the brim with a wide range of advanced, user-oriented features!
Boasting an easy-to-use LCD interface, a compatibility that extends to both PC and Mac computers, and access to the free Silhouette Studio Software, this is the ultimate DIY cutting machine.
And with the addition of a dual carriage, you can use two different tools in one round, cutting the time needed to finish your projects in half!
Beyond that, it includes an on-board SD card reader, Bluetooth-enable wireless operation – and more!
Here’s a brief video introduction:
Getting To Know The Brother ScanNCut 2
The thing you absolutely need to know about the Brother ScanNCut 2 is that it’s the first and only cutting machine of its kind.
What makes it so unique, you ask?
Also known as the CM350, this desktop cutting machine is the only one that features a fully functional, integrated 300 DPI scanner! If you can draw it, you’ll be able to cut it.
Even if it had nothing else to offer, it would still blow the competition away based on this one feature – but it does!
It’s equipped with a large, 4.85-inch LCD touch screen, over 600 ready-to-use designs, and allows for on-screen editing, among other things. Moreover, it boasts wireless, Bluetooth-enabled connectivity, SVG data readability, as well as PC and Mac compatibility.
Granted, it’s not the most pleasant-looking machine – it’s bulky and box-shaped, at best – but it’s well-made and sturdy, and that’s what matters. Plus, you can’t expect all these features to fit inside a small, dainty housing, now, can you?
You’ll find more info in my Brother ScanNCut 2 review, but for now, that’s more than enough to get you familiar with the outstanding capabilities of this electronic cutting machine. I know it all sounds a bit too advanced for the average user – and even flat-out complicated – but trust me:
Brother knows how to make approachable, easy-to-use sewing machines, and they poured all that knowledge over and into this cutting machine, as well!
Learn more about the ScanNCut 2 in this video:
Silhouette Cameo Vs. Brother ScanNCut: Notable Differences
Now that you’re more familiar with these two cutting machines, their features, and performance, it’s time to take this comparison to the next level.
By pinpointing the essential differences, and shedding some light on what sets them apart and makes them unique.
You can see the most notable distinctions listed in the chart below – or you can read on for a more detailed take!
|Main Differences||Silhouette Cameo 3||Brother ScanNCut 2|
|Software||Silhouette Studio Software||ScanNCut Canvas Software|
|Scanning Capabilities||No||Yes (Built-in 300 DPI scanner)|
|Multitasking||Yes (Dual carriage)||No|
Difference #1: Software
Since we’re talking about two different brands here, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t share the same software.
The Silhouette Cameo 3 utilizes the downloadable Silhouette Studio Software, which is available on their website – for free.
Learn how to set the Silhouette Studio up by watching this video:
The Brother ScanNCut 2, on the other hand, features the ScanNCut Canvas – a free, cloud-based workspace software for all your projects. It’s something that Brother needs to keep working on, though. Compared to the Silhouette Studio, it’s basic, cluttered, and not at all impressive.
Here’s an overview of how the Canvas workspace works:
Difference #2: Scanning Capabilities
Remember what I said earlier about the Brother ScanNCut – if you know how to draw it, you’ll be able to cut it?
This cutting machine does have quite a few things in common with its more famous competitor, but their essential differences all boil down to one thing – scanning.
As I mentioned once before, the ScanNCut 2 is the only die cutting machine that comes with a built-in scanner. Whatever drawings and designs you come up with, you can scan, edit, and cut them using nothing more than your cutting machine!
One might argue that the inclusion of PixScan technology and the Scan & Cut feature in Silhouette Cameo 3 come close to providing a similar level of convenience and versatility.
However, no matter how useful, these features are nowhere near as versatile as having an actual, full-functioning scanner.
Difference #3: Multitasking
There’s one more notable distinction between these two cutting machines – their ability to multitask.
As you can already guess, only one of the two boasts multitasking as a result of having a dual carriage – and that’s the Silhouette Cameo 3. And yes, it’s as handy and time-saving as it sounds:
By having the option to use two separate tools all at once, you’re cutting all your efforts in half. Sketching and cutting, with a pen on one side, and a blade on the other, or using two different blades or sketch pens simultaneously – whatever the combination, you’re still getting twice as much work done in a single go!
Resemblances & Similarities: They’re Not So Different, After All?
Now, let’s set these differences aside, and take a moment to discuss how the Silhouette Cameo 3 and the Brother ScanNCut 2 are similar. And as you’re about to see, these two electronic cutting machines have way more in common than one might think.
The table below pretty much sums it all up – be sure to check it out before you dive into my thorough analysis!
|Main Similarities||Silhouette Cameo 3||Brother ScanNCut 2|
|Wireless Connection||Yes (Bluetooth-enabled)||Yes (Bluetooth-enabled)|
|Controls||LCD touch screen||LCD touch screen|
|Cutting Width||12 inches||12 inches|
|Weight & Portability||12 pounds (Not portable)||10.36 pounds (Not portable)|
Similarity #1: Stand-Alone Use & Wireless Connectivity
The Brother ScanNCut 2 is the definition of a stand-alone unit. It’s a cutting machine, yet it’s so much more than that. Thanks to the built-in 300 DPI scanner and the option to edit all your designs on-board by using the LCD screen, you have the freedom to use it without a computer.
If that’s not enough for you, it also packs an extensive library of over 600 pre-loaded designs!
The Silhouette Cameo 3 takes a slightly different approach here but achieves the same goal – operating without a computer connection. It has an integrated SD card reader, which allows you to upload all your files onto your SD card, and access them later, even if you don’t have a computer nearby.
Lastly, they both allow for Bluetooth-enabled connectivity:
You can go wireless whenever you need to, and get rid of all the extra cables cluttering your workspace!
Similarity #2: LCD Screen & Controls
Another thing these machines have in common is that they both ditched the more traditional button controls in favor of color LCD touch screens.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against the good, old buttons. However, I’m glad that more and more brands are deciding to take on a more modern approach. Creating convenient, intuitive, and responsive controls – that’s what it’s all about.
And while it may not seem that way at first, LCD touch screens are much more comfortable to use. They allow you to navigate among the machine’s options, access your designs, and even edit them on the spot!
Similarity #3: Dimensions & Portability
When you look at the Cameo 3 and its sleek lines and slim design, the ScanNCut 2 seems like this big and bulky, box-shaped monster that will eat up all your available space.
But here’s the thing:
Even though the two machines look very different at first glance, don’t let that fool you. They’re relatively similar in both dimensions and weight. Granted, the actual numbers aren’t identical, but the differences aren’t that significant, either.
One example is the weight – it differs a mere 1.6 pounds. I wouldn’t call either of the two portable. If you want portability, you should look into the Silhouette Portrait 2.
Moreover, as a result of their relatively similar sizes, they boast the same cutting width of 12 inches, too.
Silhouette Cameo Vs. Brother ScanNCut: Final Thoughts & Recommendations
It’s time to conclude this Silhouette Cameo vs. Brother ScanNCut comparison, which means that there’s one more question left to answer:
Which cutting machine gets my seal of approval as the better one out of the two?
But the thing is, they both have their strong suits, as well as downsides. Highlighting one over the other wouldn’t do you any good. So, instead, I’d like you to take a moment to think about your needs – and your budget.
The Cameo 3 is the more affordable one out of the two – and it offers quite a bang for your buck, too. But there’s no denying that the ScanNCut 2 is the more advanced, stand-alone cutting machine – and it serves as a scanner as well. That level of versatility is hard to beat!
So, which one will it be? Drop a line and let us know!