After word got out that the PC-MTC lawsuit had settled, I started receiving requests for recommendations for an electronic cutter that is not a Provo Craft product. Honestly, the Cricut is all I have ever used. I never really cared to find out more about the other cutters that are out there because I was happy with my Cricut.
As a result of the recent settlement, Make-the-Cut is no longer compatible with any Provo Craft machines. Since I have and am still using MTC v.3.2.1 with my Cricut Expression (firmware 2.34), all that means to me is that I can no longer update my MTC or firmware if I want to continue using MTC with my Cricut. If I leave my program and cutter as-is, I can continue using MTC and my Cricut together so long as I NEVER update either the program or the machine's firmware. EVER.
In other words, with the settlement, Provo Craft has effectively given me, the Cricut user, an ultimatum: either stick with using the Cricut and cartridges without MTC OR to continue using MTC with another cutter that is not a Cricut. I can no longer have the best of both worlds. I was forced to choose a side. If I choose to update MTC in the future, I will not be able to use my Cricut with it. If I choose to use my Cricut with MTC, I can never update my MTC. If there should be an update or upgrade, while the other non-Cricut /MTC users are enjoying all the cool new features, I am stuck with v.3.2.1. Forever.
To me, the choice is obvious. I'm an MTC girl but, the Cricut was the only cutter I have ever used. Who am I to recommend any other cutters when I have no hands-on experience with any die-cutting machines besides the Cricut? It didn't take long for me to realize what I had to do. In an effort to give you, my dear blog readers, a fair and unbiased assessment, I decided to pay out-of-pocket, and without sponsorship, for three MTC-compatible cutters that I think would make a possible good replacement for the Cricut Expression.
Out of the list of cutters that I know are compatible with MTC, I decided to get the Silhouette SD, the Gazelle, and the Lynx. The Silhouette SD costs $189 less a $10 coupon on Overstock.com and $199 on Amazon.com. I am aware that Custom Crops currently has the cutter for sale at $159 but I have had a bad experience shopping with their site so that I no longer shop there.
After checking around for a little bit, I decided to buy the cutter from Overstock.com. I ordered the Silhouette on March 12 and it was delivered on Mar 17. I finally took it out of the box on Monday.
This is the box that the machine was shipped in.
and here is my new friend.
|"Hello! Nice to meet you,."|
|Look! No carts required!|
|Seriously, no carts and free designs?|
Here it is out of the box:
|The Silhouette SD?|
|The Silhouette SD unveiled.|
Size-wise, the Silhouette is a baby compared to the Cricut Expression.
It is also A LOT lighter. The Cricut Expression weights over 12 lbs while the Silhouette weighs a mere 4 lbs. I can hold it with one hand!
There are only 5 buttons on the Silhouette compared to the Cricut's half-a-million (fine, that 's an exaggeration, but you know that there are a lot of buttons on that silly rubber overlay).
To use the machine, the cover has to be lifted up like that:
Here's the blade plunger inside the plunger holder and secured by the blue lock lever.
Here are the other stuff that came with the machine: 2 cutting mats, a power cable, an AC adapter, a USB cable...
...Silhouette Studio software, and a $10 download card to the Silhouette Online Store.
The blade for the Silhouette looks very different from that of the Cricut. There is a blade plunger with 3 adjustable caps. The different colored cap is used for cutting different weight paper.
The Blue cap is for thin material like vinyl or vellum. The yellow cap is for medium thickness paper, while the pink is for thick paper such as cardstock.
Here is a short video for you:
Here is a short video for you:
---My first impression of the cutter is EXCELLENT. I love how small it is. Even hubby said it was "So Cute!". I really like how light it is too. 4 lbs! Even my groceries weigh heavier than that! Because of it's small size, it takes up a lot less room than my Cricut Expression. I like how it looks too. The 5 buttons is a refreshing change from the Cricut's multi-button overlay. So minimalist! The best part is that it does not use any cartridges at all. Not even a dummy one like the one we have to leave in the Cricut for MTC to work with it.
This concludes my first post about the Silhouette SD. In my next post, I will show you my first cut with the Silhouette SD.