View Full Version : cricut expression with SCAL vs craft robo
As the title really - I've been wanting a cutting machine for a while and was thinking of the robo but then found out about sure cuts a lot for the cricut which seems to allow you to do much the same? What are your opinions on these? These are the pros and cons as I see it so far. I'm from the UK which complicates things somewhat with postage and guarantees.
pros: cartridges - good for quick cards, ready designed, some are really cute
can cut any designs you make using SCAL
cons: more expensive buy ~£50 + cost of SCAL
would need to get from America to get good price so would lose warranty
pros: from UK so get good warranty
cons: no cartridges
smaller cutting size
I really don't know :S Any opinions or advice?
09-10-2008, 01:13 PM
I don't know much about the cricut with scal so I am of no help there BUT I did have a craft robo before I upgraded to the KNK element, the only regret I have now is not getting a bigger machine (13") so I can cut frames on a full 12 x 12 sheet, BUT I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my element.
Not to sure why you put no cartridges under cons for the craft robo? The CR does not need cartridges like the cricut does, it is a cutter with a computer based program in which you create .GSD files to cut out. You can also download freebies and buy many of these type of files.
Hopefully someone will be along to give you more information about the cricut and scal.
09-10-2008, 01:59 PM
This is my personal opinion only . . . I think you have much more versatility in designing with the CR. For one thing, you can design in Illustrator and KNK Studio GE and then cut directly from those programs. Although I have not done anything with Sure Cuts A Lot, I hear it is very limited with what you can design.
09-10-2008, 04:09 PM
Did you checkout the comparison chart? It may help you with deciding for any special material you may want to cut. I have a KNK Element and would not trade it for anything. I don't do much 12 x 12 stuff. I do have a friend with an cricut but she didn't get the scal program. She was hoping Santa would bring it. She does like her cricut but complains about the price of cartridges. .
09-10-2008, 04:27 PM
With CraftRobo, you would have over 3000 free GSD files, just here at Paperthreads, and there are many more shared among the internet!
You would also have Inkscape, which is a free program (you can use it with Cricut too, but then would have to bring into Scal in several pieces.)
Your abilities to cut things with the CraftRobo are ten fold in comparison to the Cricut.
If you are needing to be in a certain price range, and you can afford them, then the better options would be either the KNK's or the Pazzles Inspiration, they are going to give you the best options long term.
09-10-2008, 06:58 PM
One thing to remember with the Cricut and SCAL is that Provo craft has been trying to block the use of SCAL. When using SCAL, you still need to have a cartridge in the machine to cut but it won't read from it but SCAL instead. That is my understanding at least.
Also, you will have to make sure that you don't get the newest update of Design Studio...yes, you need this even to use SCAL. You have to update the firmware of the Cricut in order to use SCAL and I believe that that can only be done through Design Studio.
Personally I think the CraftRobo would be better!!!
I sure hope that the info I am posting is correct.
My opinion- Craft robo with KNK Studio GE would be a terrific choice if you can afford it. I think that software is much better than SCAL. If money is a problem I'd vote for the CR & inkscape and maybe add KNK Studio GE later. Or if funds aren't too tight be sure and consider the KNKs.
09-11-2008, 06:14 AM
I think you will be a little more limited with the cricut. After purchasing the machine and then having to spend money on cartridges (which are not inexpensive) you then have to purchase the software program if you want to create your own items.
While some people are not comfortable with the computer (and for them cartridges are great), if you are, and the choice is between the cricut and craft robo, I would suggest the CR. Michelle is right...you have tons of free images available here on the forum and the store has another great selection of files.
The other benefit is that you also have all of the great tutorials and hints available to you here for the CR while you learn to use it.
Take a look at the machine comparison chart...that way you will know upfront what each machine is capable of doing so you won't be disappointed.
02-19-2009, 03:39 PM
well l have both and expression and a robo and l love both and l have scal as well l use all of the above the cricut l love as l know it will cut whatever card l choose where the robo can be a bit more temperamental and it has a learning curve where cricut u can plug and play it would depend on what you want to achieve
03-04-2009, 11:03 AM
I just ran across this thread.....I know it was posted some time ago..
however...I LOVE MY CRICUT... I also have a wishblade (going to sell)
and a KNK Element. I also love my Element but it's not 12 by 12.
I can't afford the big one.
If you have the Cricut, along with Design studio, Inkscape, and SCAL, I don't think you could ask for more. I never have the problems with it I have with the KNK. It never skips a beat! Price wise, Cricut is cheap, compared to the other cutters.and comes with catridges. You only need one to make the SCAL work. Inkscape is free and you only need the trial verison of Design studio to upgrade the cricut. It cuts as well as the KNK. The mats are wonderful and can be cleaned and reused. I have purchased them for $6.00 on a regular basis. I use them for the KNK.
You can cut any font and more and more svg and scut files are available on line really cheap and FREE if you look around.
I don't know much about Inkscape, but with the handy dandy tutorials available, I can make my own files out of jpeg images and
fonts (ding bats).
About having to save all the pieces seperate: I don't do that! I just
position them on Inkscape so when I save the file it fits perfectly on the mat to cut with SCAL and use different color paper for the section.
03-04-2009, 11:39 AM
Which is what we do when cutting by color. :)
03-23-2009, 11:40 AM
I have a CR and thought about the cricut but the temptation to collect all the carts would make it too expensive!
If you are careful you can cut thick card as I have done on many occasions but I feel the Skies the limit with CR when you have Inkscape which is free and DM which comes as part of the package now
03-24-2009, 10:50 AM
I don't believe DM comes as part of the package in all areas, only in GB....as that was contracted by Graphtec GB, not by Graphtec company themselves.
But the CR still gives you more options than the Cricut, and even though you can use SCAL, SCAL is still a very limiting program. If you are going to go through to process to purchase a machine, a few cartridges and SCAL, you might as well take the plunge, pay upfront $100 more, and get a machine like the Pazzles or KNK Groove, which gives you all possibilites and doesn't limit your creation process.
04-09-2009, 08:04 AM
Just a thought for those choosing a machine...
I am not hugely creative. I do a nice job on my scrapbooks, but mostly I look at layouts/patterns I like and modify slightly to fit my pictures. I am not comfortable taking a group of pictures and figuring out a layout that is pleasing to the eye.
I have the craft robo which seems like the possibilities are pretty extensive for the creative type willing to put the time in to learn it. I can't believe some of the awesome files I have seen, BUT I primarily want to make titles for my pages. With this said, I am slightly sad that I didn't just buy a cricut and share cartridges with others at local crops! I am already so far behind on scrapbooking that it is only getting worse as I work to learn illustrator. (and more expensive as I will be purchasing illustrator to keep using the CR--currently using the trial version)
The time spent by myself and my husband to try to get it to work using our mac with windows capabilities has been long and frustrating, leading us to the illustrator program. My dh purchased this 1.5yrs ago for me as a gift after hearing me mention how great it would be to make titles with ANY ttf. However, I am just getting to use it as previously our mac did not have windows capability and I refused to spend any more money to purchase illustrator... did I mention I am cheap also?
So, long story short. Not everyone can be as awesome as these ladies (and men?) here at PT.:D If you do not consider yourself creative or computer savvy with patience and determination to learn these programs then I would suggest you get the cricut or some other basic cutting device.
Since I have the CR, I am going to give it a shot. Hopefully, with the help of PT members I will develop some decent skills and return to post an update with a different opinion!!
(Thanks to everyone for the help, past and future!!!)
04-09-2009, 08:25 AM
Trust me, we have all been where you are with the frustration! When I first got my machine, there was not Illustrator to the machine capability, and the software itself was very limiting, with not nearly as many features as there are available now!
In the long run, you will have spent way less on the machine than with the cricuts and the many cartridges. Especially if your main goal is just text/words.
For MAC users, I actually recommend the Wishblade over the CraftRobo or Silhouette, as the Create and Cut, while not as fully integrated as a more expensive program like illustrator would be...can do all you are asking, and it comes with that machine :)
04-09-2009, 11:52 AM
Kathy, I am sorry to hear of your woes and wish you the best of luck getting what you need done with your CR. I think once you get the hang of it, you will not regret having your CR.
04-09-2009, 07:55 PM
I wish I found this site earlier. I think if I had, I would have purchased the Wishblade to use with MAC without any additional software to do basic things. With that said, I am actually getting kind of excited about learning more of the features of Illustrator and hope that we will use it for more than just my scrapbook titles. While I am frugal, it is not going to break the bank to purchase illlustrator so I just need to get over it. :mad:
My plan is to keep plugging away to learn the basics. I need to focus on them and wait on some of the more advanced functions so that I don't get overwhelmed.
Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement.
04-09-2009, 08:47 PM
If you or anyone you know is a student (college, high school, etc) you can get significant educational discounts on illustrator.
04-10-2009, 07:47 AM
I am a student :) I love illustrator and used it quite a bit before getting the KnK studio with my KNK :)
09-22-2009, 04:17 PM
I realize that it has been awhile since this was posted but just ran across it today.
I have 2 Cricuts. The original and an Expression. Also have Design Studio and SCAL. All are very limited on design capabilities. I never could get anything to work in SCAL. All of them are a waste of money in my opinion. It's all sitting in boxes in my basement. They haven't been used over 10 times combined.
I also have a CR which I have had for about 2 years and just used for cutting vinyl for decals, then I discovered PT and Inkscape. OMG. I have turned into a paper cutting demon.
I just purchased a KNK Groove-e from someone that saw my post on PT Forum about wanting to buy a used machine. She originally bought the machine from PT. Love, love, love it. KNK Studio is fantastic software. If I had known how great it was, I would have purchased the GE version to use on my CR. Of course the learning curve is there but with this forum you can get all the help you need. Wonderful people out there. Renews your hope for humanity. The one draw back I see with the CR is the ability to only cut 8 1/2 paper and the thickness is also limited. Comparing the CR to the KNK Groove is like comparing a Model T to a Rolls Royce. Just found out today that you can cut directly to the CR from KNK Studio. I wouldn't waste my money on a Cricuit but if anyone wants my 2, I'll sell them to them cheap. I'll even pay shipping.
09-22-2009, 05:47 PM
I am another lover of the craft robo. I thought about the circut but didn't like the idea of having to buy cartridges. I bought my craft robo from the garage sale section on this site from some one that was frustrated with it. I was a little nervous but since I got it have never regretted it. There are so many free files that you can start by cutting free stuff, and fonts. Also using dingbat fonts makes it super simple.
After 2 years of having it I am now just getting in to trying to design my own stuff. Pretty excited and so far having fun with it.
My next purchase after I get comfortable with designing will be something that will cut 12x12 but that's a ways down the road.
09-25-2009, 01:31 PM
BRDOAN....You may want to post about them (Cricuts) in the garage sale part of the forum, someone may be interested.
10-03-2009, 06:32 PM
I realize that it has been awhile since this was posted but just ran across it today...
... I wouldn't waste my money on a Cricuit but if anyone wants my 2, I'll sell them to them cheap. I'll even pay shipping.
Would you be interested in selling your SCAL? I just bought an Expression and plan on using Inkscape to design in and SCAL to cut.
10-03-2009, 07:01 PM
You might want to send her an PM or email. Click on her name and you'll get options.
05-23-2010, 02:13 AM
I have both, recently had problems with my CR. I have had it 2 1/2 yrs. I have Scal and converted a file but for me the cut on the Cricut was just not neat enough. I like all the really intricate files. They was very messy looking on the Cricut. I decided to get my CraftRobo fixed, I don't design I just like cutting other peoples files.
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