Cameo vs. Portrait -- is bigger better?

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Posted 2/4/2013 by Gynergy in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 225,338
September 2005
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Loc: Georgia

Posted: 2/4/2013 3:47:08 PM
I'm curious about the benefit of the size of the cameo over the smaller portrait. How often would the average scrapper need the larger size? I like the smaller size (since I have limited scrap space & enjoy crops), not to mention the lower price. But I'd certainly rather save longer for the cameo than end up regretting a smaller machine. Thanks for your thoughts, peas!


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PeaNut 180,263
December 2004
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Loc: Arkansas

Posted: 2/4/2013 3:57:28 PM
Here is my 2 cents on it. I had a baby bug and thought I just HAD to have the CE. So I got one on BF. I think I really only used the full 12 inches 3 times. DD prob used it 3-4 on school projects. I am a 12X12 scrapper but just didn't really need the larger size CE.

I wanted to get the Cameo when it came out but just didn't want to pull the trigger. I finally broke down right before Christmas and bought the Portrait. LOVE IT!! I have figured out ways to enlarge any cutting by cutting it and placing it behind an element or picture to give me a full page look. Make sense?

So to me it was worth it to save money and get the smaller based on my knowledge of my scrapping and my needs.

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PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
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Posted: 2/4/2013 4:05:24 PM
I haven't bought either machine yet but my thought process is that the only reason I would need a Cameo is when I want to cut out the cute folding boxes and 3D items they release in the store. Sometimes to get those at an appropriate size you do need the full 12x12 size available.

But for my actual scrapbooking, I would never need the 12x12 capability. When I decide to buy I will get the Cameo unless there's a big price gap between the two machines.

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PeaNut 559,779
July 2012
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Layouts: 8
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA

Posted: 2/4/2013 4:15:43 PM
I've had the Silhouette SD for 2 years and have never needed the wider size. The only annoying thing is that I have to cut down 12x12 paper before running it through the machine.

Note that it's just the width that you're limited - you can cut really long things still, even with the narrower width.

So if you're looking for an even better deal, you may want to look for a gently used Silhouette SD. I've seen them for around $120.

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PeaNut 220,508
August 2005
Posts: 5,593
Layouts: 54
Loc: IL

Posted: 2/4/2013 4:35:18 PM
I have the cameo and I like that I don't have to cut my paper down. I can also fit more stuff I need to cut out on one sheet with the 12x12. I also like the ability to cut 12x12 borders.


PeaNut 169,727
September 2004
Posts: 1,888
Layouts: 57
Loc: Houston, TX

Posted: 2/4/2013 4:35:24 PM
I bought the larger one but I make locker decorations for the kid's teams every year and really appreciate the larger size when I do those. I also use the bigger size for sports party decorations for the MS and HS. So.. it all depends on what you are going to use it for. I rarely use the larger size for scrapbooking.

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PeaNut 53,649
October 2002
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Layouts: 40
Loc: NorthCentral PA

Posted: 2/4/2013 7:45:03 PM
I had my SD for YEARS, and used it just for scrapping. Then, I bought my Cameo, thinking it would just be for scrapping too...

Once I saw what it could do, I changed my mind quick. With the 12x12 size I can make boxes, bags, holiday favorites are the 3d haunted house and the 9 inch hat box-which I use when I'm gifting a cake.

If you want to limit youself and KNOW that you won't ever make any of the 3d stuff, you'll be fine wtih the Portrait. However, once you start finding all of the cool things you can do with the Cameo, you might change your mind.


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PeaNut 161,671
August 2004
Posts: 488
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Loc: Scarsdale, NY

Posted: 2/4/2013 8:00:30 PM
I recently purchased the portrait and love that I chose the smaller size....I already have the cricut expression though for larger items like schoolprojects with the kids on posterboard, but just for my PL and card amking...I don't think I'll ever need the larger sizes....hope this totally LOVING this machine!,! Sooooo small and compact!


PeaNut 195,415
March 2005
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Loc: Rolla, Missouri

Posted: 2/4/2013 9:51:51 PM
Love seeing all the different opinions! Thanks everyone!


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PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
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Layouts: 26

Posted: 2/5/2013 6:16:40 AM
While my machine is a Gazelle rather than a Cameo, it's somewhat similar, and it will cut the same size. I also have a Wishblade, which is a "sister" machine to the Silhouette. I had my Wishblade first.

I prefer using a larger machine. I like to make the large shaped backgrounds for my 12x12 pages. I like to make 3D projects. I can put more images for cutting at once on the mat, and position the paper/cardstock in such a way that multiple colors can be cut at the same time. I can do more with the bigger machine, so for me, it has been well worth it.

Yes, the Cameo is going to be a bit bigger, but we're only talking a few inches wider than the smaller machine. It's not that much. The price is a bit more, but if you want the added capability, I think it's worth the difference in price.

If you scrap 12x12, you are a little bit limited by the smaller machine. I scrapped for years with my
Wishblade and loved the machine, but I frequently wished I could cut wider than my machine allowed. Once I got the Gazelle, my poor Wishblade has been gathering dust. I kept it because I have literally thousands of designs for it, but the bigger machine meets my needs better.

Every crafter has different needs and wants. Only you can figure out if you will want the bigger machine or be happy with the smaller one, but a lot of people who scrap 12x12 and make 3D projects are happier with a machine that cuts up to 12 inches wide.

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PeaNut 463,295
April 2010
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Loc: New York City

Posted: 2/5/2013 10:46:12 AM
I used to scrap 8.5x11 but I still decided to get a Cameo and I am so glad. My logic was that you never know when you might need the bigger size, even if once and I love not having to cut down a paper to use it. I can fit more on one page if I am cutting out a lot. I can do a full 12x12 background design if I need to.
Most importantly for me, I love cutting out words or shapes directly on my 12x12 LO background and backing it with other pp. There is no way I could get the same effect with a smaller machine.



PeaNut 223,381
September 2005
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Loc: somewhere over the rainbow

Posted: 2/5/2013 11:17:32 AM
I have had a Silhouette SD for years and so far I haven't had a need for a larger size. I still want to eventually upgrade to the cameo but I can't actually explain why.

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PeaNut 529,899
November 2011
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Posted: 2/5/2013 11:19:57 AM
Thanks for asking this question and for all the great replies. I've been pondering this myself. I'm currently a cricut expression user, but find I don't use it all that much & get frustrated with it easily. Since I mostly scrap on a small scale, mini books & divided page protectors, I have been considering the Portrait. I don't have a lot of space, hence having to "get out" the expression. Hoping the Portrait is something that could fit more easily on desk with computer. Still deciding if I really "need" it tho...


PeaNut 553,072
May 2012
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Posted: 2/5/2013 3:20:42 PM
If you decide to get the Portrait, here is info on the Valentine's Day Portrait bundle and coupon code. I have a Cameo, but I mostly like to do 3D projects, cards, boxes, etc.

Silhouette Valentine's Day Sale and Code


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