I am still a lover of my silhouette Cameo and mostly with the designer edition software cause it allows me so much creativity to make my own files or tweak files but I broke down and bought a new Cricut explore air because I was hearing so many good things about the cuts being so clean. My cameo has been used hard for over 4 years. Still kicking but it has been cutting pretty terribly so I wanted to "explore" my options.
The cuts are definitely cleaner so that is a big PRO but there are several cons to the Cricut as well and I will share my thoughts on that now.
1. Design capabilities are extremely basic. You cannot create files because there are no functions to edit pivot points, draw or anything like that. There is not even an option to offset to create a shadow layer or inset. I miss the slice tool also. You can accomplish a little slicing with the "Slice" function but it is really strange how you use that. You need to place a shape over the item you want to slice in order to use it so its not a functional slice to me.
2. Slow process and what I mean by that is I make alot of items for my etsy shop. Time is something I don't want to waste and everything is done with web based software so you have to wait till it tells the machine you want to load the mat, wait until the machine tells you to hit a button to cut. Lots of time goes by to get to those points. Cutting itself is much slower than the Cameo as well, although much more quiet!
3. Software, being web based you are at the mercy of the internet, Cricuts servers and the amount of people who may be accessing so more error codes might happen. Most users will tell you that occassionally you have to clear your cache. Well I am going to tell you I don't like that aspect at all. I don't like that I can open up two different projects at one time that I have saved and want to put on the same mat to work with.
4. Cartridges cannot be used directly from the machine, they have to be linked and if you have linked them to a gypsy or something than it is a pain I believe to get them on your account because they don't want to link in design space. Shouldn't it let you link you own cartridges again in design space without having to go backwards to craft space to do it first?? So that is a big con cause for people who don't necessarily want to be on the internet to design or cut that is not a possibility for them.
5. Getting ahold of customer service. You might want to brew a whole pot of coffee cause your going to be there for a while buttercup. Expect at least 1 hour for hold times but that is the least. I had problems with my machine and I will say this I did get taken really good care of by Cricut so I am thankful for that. But I hope that Cricut will see they have alot to work on since now they have a great machine.
So you can see my "CONS" are mostly on the software end of things. The machine itself is great, could be faster but still great.
So now Silhouette PLEASE come out with a machine that cuts better cause you are rocking all the rest of the equation.
Here are some new clips I cut with my cricut explore. I mean the cuts were fabulous. My cameo would have not done well with it. The little buttons on the raincoat would have just been chewed up and spit out with my cameo.