Silhouette Cameo Vs Silhouette Portrait: Which To Buy?

Any avid crafter can spend hours chatting about the wonders of a cutting machine. Hailed as the best tool on the market with a myriad of uses, a cutting machine is a must-have for many crafting projects. Two of the best cutting machines on the market are the Silhouette Portrait and the Silhouette Cameo.

The Silhouette Portrait 3 and the Silhouette Cameo 4 cutting machines are the latest release models from the Silhouette America Company. Each has unique features designed as a die-cutting tool for the modern-day crafter.

A cutting machine allows beginners and experts alike to create fabulous cut-out designs using your own or ready-made templates.

Silhouette Portrait And Silhouette Cameo 4 Comparison

The Silhouette Portrait and the Silhouette Cameo cutting machines are excellent choices for crafters,  but each has different features to cater to individual needs and requirements.

While the Cameo 4 is considered the big brother of the Portrait 3, both machines boast similar features and capabilities.

One function unique to both the Portrait 3 and Cameo 4 machines is the pop-out cut function. Older Silhouette machines don’t have this capability as they are not equipped with the newer technology of these 2 models.

A channel underneath the cutting blade allows the pop-out cuts to happen – a great feature for home crafters!

Similarities Between Both Cutting Machines

Although these cutting machines have unique features, Silhouette provides a few standard features across their range of die-cutting machines. These include:

  • Matless cutting capabilities for specialty materials like sticker sheets, tattoo paper, cardstock, vinyl, and heat transfers
  • The “Pop-out” cutting feature
  • Print & Cut registration capability
  • The Silhouette Studio software program. This allows you to choose from over 170 000 design options from the Silhouette Design Store collection while at the same time allowing you to create or import your own
  • The Silhouette Studio software has an automatic tool detection function to detect which tools are inserted into the machine to ensure the correct cut settings
  • Bluetooth connectivity with a preinstalled Bluetooth adapter allowing for wireless cutting
  • The Silhouette Go mobile app. This app allows you to invent and create your own designs wherever you are
  • PixScan compatible

Now that you know what they both have in common, let’s look at the differences between the Silhouette Portrait and Cameo.

Silhouette Portrait 3

The Silhouette Portrait 3 cutting machine is the latest compact, portable die-cutting machine from the Silhouette stable. This machine is ideal for smaller projects like cutting through pop-outs from cardstock, but it is equally capable of cutting through thicker materials like craft foam or even chipboard!

The Silhouette Portrait 3 is the perfect die-cutting machine for beginners, part-time, or at-home basic crafters. It is ideal for crafters working in a small space without a permanent work area  – the machine is easy to unpack and pack away at the end of the day, and, it doesn’t take up much storage space!

Don’t let the small stature of this incredible machine fool you! Even though it is compact enough to carry with you wherever you go, weighing only 3.5 pounds (1.6kg), it is powerful enough to tackle any project!

Designed to be used anywhere, anytime, the Portrait 3 is the ideal cutting machine to carry along to any event. Whether you are outdoors creating interesting designs for your garden decor, remodeling your home, or simply designing personalized birthday cards, this portable, easy-to-use cutting machine can do it all!

Features Of The Silhouette Portrait 3

The Portrait 3 is the upgrade of the Portrait 2. Even though it has some of the same features, the upgrades make this a better machine:

  • A compact, portable machine
  • Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.5 x 4.4 inches (41.1 x 14 x 11.2cm)
  • A cutting surface of 8 x 12 inches (20.3 x 30.4cm) using a roll feeder with a single carriage
  • A cutting length of up to 10 feet (3m) is recommended, but up to 60 feet (18.2m) is possible
  • The auto-adjusting Silhouette AutoBlade
  • 2mm clearance allowing the AutoBlade to cut through thicker materials
  • Standard 8 inch (20.3cm) cutting mat with cutting capabilities to cut any A4-sized cardstock or paper and standard 8-inch (20.3cm) rolls of vinyl
  • The Sketch It function

What does the Silhouette Portrait 3 come with?

The Silhouette Portrait 3 is designed with a few unique accessories, which are included in the box together with the standard accessories:

  • The 8 x 12 inch (20.3 x 30.4cm) cutting mat
  • The Autoblade
  • Adapter for the sketch pens
  • USB and power cables
  • 50 exclusive downloadable designs
  • A 1-month free subscription to the Silhouette Design Store

Our review of the Silhouette Portrait 3

What we like about The Silhouette Portrait 3:

  • The portability and convenience allow you to cut any design on the go
  • Extremely user-friendly and easy to use!
  • The price. It is very affordable machine compared to other die cutting machines
  • The variety of functions using an assortment of craft materials
  • This machine can sketch, draw and cut thanks to the interchangeable cartridge
  • The Portrait 3 can use the same cutting tools as the Cameo 4

What we don’t like about the Silhouette Portrait 3:

  • With no dual carriage, you can only do one job at a time, either cutting or drawing
  • Adaptors for the tools and some tools are sold separately
  • The width of the cutter is only 8 inches (20.3cm), requiring you to trim down your material before feeding it into the machine

This handy video will explain the Silhouette Portrait 3 in detail:

Silhouette Cameo 4

The Silhouette Cameo 4 cutting machine is the flagship of the Silhouette company. Hailed as “the fastest in its class,” the upgraded Cameo 4 is 3 times faster than its predecessor, the Cameo 3.

This desktop cutting machine is designed for the serious crafter. Weighing in at 10 lbs 6.4 oz (4.7 kg), this machine is still easy enough to move around your workspace but sturdy enough to command the space that it is in!

Small business crafters will find the Silhouette Cameo 4 a versatile and professional machine. The new features of this machine allow for more accurate cutting through several materials like cardstock, paper, fabric, and vinyl.

The dual carriage on this model allows for power cutting on materials like wood, leather, and metal.

An extra special added feature worth mentioning is the new color scheme of the Silhouette Cameo 4. Match your decor or mood and choose a classic white, midnight black, or blush pink cutting machine.

Features of the Silhouette Cameo 4

The Silhouette Cameo 4 cutting machine has some brand new features, making it an all-around better model than its predecessors:

  • A sleek desktop cutting machine with a sliding lid and a backlit touch panel
  • Dimensions: 22.4 x 7.68 x 6.69 inches (57 x 19.5 x 17cm)
  • A cutting surface area of 12 x 24 inches (30 x 60.9cm) using a cutting mat with lined media
  • A cutting length of up to 10 feet is recommended, but up to 60 feet (18.2m) is possible
  • 3mm (0.118 inches) clearance for cutting through thicker materials
  • A built-in roll feeder with a double carriage
  • Built-in cross cutters
  • Compatible with a wide range of different blades and tools

What does the Silhouette Cameo 4 come with?

The Silhouette Cameo 4 has its own unique accessories, which are included in the box together with the standard accessories:

  • The 12 x 12 inch (30.4 x 30.4cm) cutting mat
  • The single-tap Autoblade
  • Adapter for the sketch pens and the blades
  • USB and power cables
  • 100 exclusive downloadable designs
  • A 1-month free subscription to the Silhouette Design Store

Our review of the Silhouette Cameo 4

What we like about the Silhouette Cameo 4:

  • The new colors of the machine
  • The Portrait 3 can use the same cutting tools as the Cameo 4
  • The speed!
  • The auto blade and automatic tool detection make the machine easier to use
  • The touch interface panel
  • The pull-out built-in roll feeder

What we don’t like about the Silhouette Cameo 4:

  • Expensive compared to the Portrait 3, but still cheaper than the Cricut Maker 3
  • Some tools and blades only work on the left, while others only work on the right, so you cannot cut and sketch at the same time

Watch this informative, short video for an overview of what this versatile machine can do for you:


The choice of machine for you depends on your own unique circumstances and needs. While the Silhouette Portrait 3 is designed as a portable machine, it can perform as well as any of the bigger, more powerful cutting machines like the Silhouette Cameo 4.

For more information, you can also read my comparison of all Silhouette machines or my article on which Cricut machine to buy.

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