View Full Version : Element vs. Silhouette
09-04-2008, 06:54 PM
Hey everyone! I just joined paperthreads yesterday and have found the forums very informative! I was going to order the Silhouette, but am worried about the 90 day warranty and am interested in being able to cut chipboard and fun foam. I don't want to purchase a machine now, just to replace it a year from now because I can't do what I want! Would the Element be a good cutter to start with or would the Sil be a better choice? I haven't been able to find as much info on the Element, so I have some questions about it...:confused:
What files will it cut?
How user friendly is the software?
How loud is it (I've read that the Sil is pretty loud)?
Are replacement blades, mats, etc easy to find and order?
Does it go through blades and mats quickly?
I'd appreciate any general information about either machine! Thanks for your help!
09-04-2008, 07:22 PM
Would the Element be a good cutter to start with or would the Sil be a better choice? Since you want to cut chipboard, you would need the Element.
I haven't been able to find as much info on the Element, so I have some questions about it...:confused: You can find some information here (http://www.paperthreads.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=45_61&products_id=1209) in the store. Michelle has formulated a comparison sheet (http://www.paperthreads.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2014)here on the forum that should be helpful too!
What files will it cut? It cuts KNK files. It opens some GSD files. Other file types can be converted to cut in KNK.
How user friendly is the software? I don't use their software. I use Illustrator. But most people really like the software. Michelle has been doing some great tutorials on the software. You can find them here (http://www.paperthreads.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=161)!
How loud is it (I've read that the Sil is pretty loud)? It is much, much quiet than the WB, Silhouette and Craft Robo.
Are replacement blades, mats, etc easy to find and order? YOu can buy them here at the Paperthreads Store (http://www.paperthreads.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=45_61&sort=20a&page=2). Most of us make our own mats.
Does it go through blades and mats quickly? It all depends on how much you use the blades and what type things you cut. I've had my KNK for well over a year and I'm on my first blade. I use my mats forever. I haven't thrown one out yet. I use Cricut mats and homemade ones.
Hope that helps you out a bit!
09-04-2008, 07:33 PM
There really is no comparison in those two machines... the Element is much much much better and can do sooo much more...
I had a Wishblade - traded that in for the Element and traded that in on the 13" machine!!!!
09-04-2008, 09:48 PM
I have a Craft Robo, which is the same as the wishblade, sill. I upgraded earlier this year to the element after using my CR for 8 months. I LOVE my element, the only thing is I think I'd like a 13" or bigger. You can still use 12x12 without having to trim, which is handy!
I don't use the KNK studio software either. I design in Illustrator and convert into knk files.
The one nice thing about the CR is the ease of doing print and cuts. It has the 'eye' and is very easy to do a p & c. Although I haven't tried it with the element yet.
I'm still on my first blade and had it for 4 months.
09-05-2008, 06:16 AM
I started out with the Element and LOVED it! Once I had some $$ saved up, I was able to sell it quickly here and upgrade to the 13" model. I find the machine to be very sturdy and well made (all metal construction, no plastic).
You asked how user friendly the software is and I can tell you since I only design in it that it is pretty easy. Once you learn what each of the buttons can do you can make anything. Michelle has some great videos you can watch and learn from and I have a few I have made available on my blog. It can become pretty addicting! If you ever get stuck just post a message and you will get help right away.
Also, I don't find it to be too loud. I don't know if it's because of the way the machine is constructed but it's not too bad. As far as the blades go, I have only broken 1 and that is because I didn't realize I was using my thin paper blade when trying to cut balsa wood (duh!) I have been using the same blades for 9 months without a problem. I do have spares in my drawer just in case but so far so good. I purchased them at the Paperthreads store.
Also, I buy the cricut 12x12 mat (comes 2 to a pack) at my local joannes with a 40% off coupon. With a can of easy tack spray I was able to make my first set last for about 8 months. I just recently opened a new set so they seem to last for a while. There are threads on here which specifically discuss mats and how to make your own, etc if you do a search.
You are doing it the right way, figure out what it is you are going to want to do, research and then purchase. That way you will be happy in the long run. I will say that in the end, if you purchase here, you get really great support with the set up and if you ever have any issues with the machine, Michelle does help you to resolve right away!
09-05-2008, 06:19 AM
Like Lori stated, there really is no comparison between the two machines, it ALL depends on what you want to do. Do you scrapbook? If so I would go for the 13" KNK. That is just my opinion. I have the KNK element and wish i would have just went and got the 13" KNK, but I did start out with the craft robo and upgraded after I found out about the KNK's
Good luck with your decision, it is a hard one.
09-05-2008, 09:35 AM
Thank you for your wonderful responses! What software do you use to convert gsd files to knk? I really like that cricut mats can be used in the machine, as they can be found locally (so no ordering online!). I'm really torn as to which machine to buy! The Element seems like it would be the best investment in the longrun, but the price is higher than what I expected to pay. I've thought about getting a Sil for now and seeing how much I use it, then decide whether I want to go up to a 12" cutter. I really could not justify spending $750 or even $500 on a cutting machine to my husband. My primary use for the machine will be scrapbooking and also for cardmaking and other paper crafts. I'll have to ponder on this...
09-05-2008, 02:15 PM
I have the Silhouette but wish I get a bigger machine. Thought the same thing bout getting it first and then upgrading but that means more money.
I love it the machine a whole bunch so don't get me wrong. I just never thought I would want to cut thicker material but now I find that I do. But if I had known it was so VERY loud I know I would have waited.
Every once in a while someone sells an Element in the My Crafty Garage Sale section so you might find one in there.
For the mats, you can make them for only a buck or two each. The dollar store sells chopping/cutting mats for a buck and then you can get the Krylon Easy Tack at Hobby lobby with a 40% off coupon making it close about $4 and that will last forever!
09-05-2008, 06:10 PM
Welcome! My only machine has been an element. I think my dog you say the printer is louder than the element. She hates the printers. Software can be difficult to learn but just watch the videos and do the tuts. They have a ton of very helpful info. I would not trade my machine. Mats I made more from cutting mats from Meijer. I mad a post before about what I did, you can search for it. Just think what you want to do and use the comparison chart to see which cutter will work best for you. This is what I did as well. I bought mine from here and Michelle is the best part. The people here are also very very helpful when you have an issue. Good Luck and enjoy cutting.
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