Silhouette Portrait 2 Review

Update: There is a new version of the Portrait called the Portrait 3. The Portrait 2 is no longer available for sale by Silhouette. Read my full review of the Portrait 3.

If you’re looking to review the Silhouette Portrait 2 machine and are considering buying it, you’ve come to the right place. In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about its features, benefits, pros, and cons. We’ll also compare it to other electric cutters like the Cameo 3. Let’s get started!

Introducing the Silhouette Portrait 2

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is a portable die cut machine that is best viewed as the little brother to the Silhouette Cameo 3. It’s smaller than the Cameo 3 and much more portable, weighing only 3.5 pounds, making it perfect for smaller workspaces or smaller projects.

It still comes with the same power as the Cameo 3, being able to cut over 100 materials. While the portability is attractive, it has some drawbacks compared to the larger machines. For example, while it still has Print then Cut, PixScan technology, and the all-new AutoBlade, it lacks dual carriages and has a limited cutting width of 8 inches. Let’s dive into the Silhouette Portrait 2 review!

Silhouette Portrait 2 Review

Amazon Price

It should be noted that there is a previous version of the Silhouette Portrait 2 called the Silhouette Portrait 1. There are notable differences between the Silhouette Portrait 1 and 2, so be sure you are comparing the right machines. In this article, we will be focusing on the Silhouette Portrait 2.

Silhouette Portrait 2 Features

  • Cut and draw
  • 8″ x 12″ (20.3 x 30.5 cm) cutting area with a mat
  • Cut up to 10 feet with a lined media (such as vinyl)
  • 210 grams of cutting force
  • 2mm cutting depth with Deep Cut blade
  • AutoBlade compatibility
  • PixScan™ technology compatibility – create designs from pictures
  • Print then Cut
  • Bluetooth compatibility

Silhouette Portrait 2 Review

Silhouette Portrait 2 Inside

The Portrait hooks up to your computer just like a printer would. It comes with its own Studio Designer software for creating designs. Let’s take a look at some of the features of the cutting machine.


Portrait 2 Cutting with Deep Cut Blade

Cutting with the Silhouette Portrait 2 is going to be more limited due to its small size. If can cut up to 10 feet long, but the width will be limited to 8 inches. The cutting force is also on the weaker side at 210 grams, which means it won’t be able to cut heavier items like balsa wood. If you are looking for some extra power, consider the Cricut Explore instead.

Below are some materials that the Silhouette Portrait 2 can cut:

  • Paper/Cardstock up to 350 gsm thick.
  • Tissue paper
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on transfer
  • Cereal box chipboard
  • Craft foam
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Rhinestone template material

When it comes to cutting material with the Portrait 2, there are a few different blade options available. The AutoBlade is the blade that comes standard with the machine.

Silhouette Autoblade

AutoBlade: The AutoBlade is a special blade that automatically adjusts it’s pressure to the material being cut. The biggest benefit to using this blade is that you don’t have to take it out every time to be adjusted.

Deep cut blade: Using the Deep Cut Blade with the machine will allow you to cut up to 2mm thick. This is ideal for thicker materials such as leather and craft foam.

Standard Blade: The standard or “ratchet” blade was the standard blade that was used before the AutoBlade was invented. The blade material is made from Carbide, which does not last as long as the other blades made from Sintered Tungsten Alloy.

Fabric Blade: The Fabric Blade is the same exact blade as the Standard Blade, but comes in a blue colored housing. This blade is meant as a dedicated blade for fabric to make it last longer,

Print and Cut

Portrait 2 Print and Cut

The print and cut feature allow you to cut printed images. To use this feature, images to be cut out are first printed from your printer. Next, the printed paper is loaded into the Portrait machine. The Portrait then detects the image and then cuts around it. This is great when you want to cut detailed shaped accurately and quickly.

PixScan Technology

Portrait 2 PixScan Technology

Another feature of the Portrait machine is the PixScan technology. PixScan is a feature similar to Print and Cut. Images are placed on a special mat. Then, you would take a picture with your camera or smartphone of the image. The photo is then uploaded to the Studio Designer software, where it can be cut out.


Drawing is just like cutting except it draws instead of cuts. The blade is replaced with a pen. This feature is great for making things like drawings or wedding invitations with a personal touche.

There are two ways you can sketch with the Silhouette Portrait.

  1. You can purchase the Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit
  2. Or, purchase the Silhouette Pen Holder

The Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit comes with an array of 24 colored pens. To use these pens, simply swap out the blade and insert the pen. It’s that easy.


The Portrait 2 is Bluetooth compatible. Keep in mind though, not all Portrait machines come with Bluetooth included. Some packages say “compatible” and not “included”, which means you have to find your own Bluetooth adapter. To be sure you have Bluetooth included, make sure your box has the word “included”, like the image below.

Portrait 2 Bluetooth Included


The software that is included with the machine is Silhouette Studio Designer. Unlike the Cricut machines, it does not require internet. The software does have a learning curve, but the benefit is that it is very flexible. If you want to create designs from scratch, the software does a decent job.

The basic version of the software is free. If you wish to use some of the more advanced features, you’ll need to pay to upgrade.

Portrait 2 vs Cameo 3

If you’re wondering about the differences between the Portrait 2 and Cameo 3, the chart below will be able to help.


Portrait 2

Cameo 3

Cutting Width

8 inches

12 inches

Cutting Force

210 grams

210 grams

Dual Carriage
Print and Cut
PixScan Technology
Works Without Computer
Yes with USB Stick

Silhouette Studio Designer

Silhouette Studio Designer




Common Questions

What can the Cameo 3 do that the Portrait 2 can’t?

The Portrait 2 and Cameo 3 machines are very similar. The main advantage that the Cameo has over the Portrait is dual carriage and larger cutting width. The Cameo also comes with a touchscreen and can import designs from a USB stick.

Can the Portrait 2 fit 8 1/2″ paper?

Yes, even though the Portrait machine cuts up to 8 inches, it can still accept 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. The remaining half inch, however, will not be cut.

How does “Print and Cut” work?

There are two ways the Portrait 2 can “Print and Cut”. The first is by placing the image on the PixScan cutting mat. Then, a picture is taken with your smartphone and uploaded to the Silhouette software. The 2nd way is by printing the image on paper with registration marks using the Silhouette software. The Portrait then reads these registration marks to help it the image cut correctly.

Does the Portrait 2 come with a blade and cutting mat?

Yes, the Portrait 2 comes with a cutting an Autoblade, a cutting mat, and 50 digital designs to help you get started cutting.

I have a design that is larger than 8 inches across, can I use multiple sheets?

Yes, the Silhouette Studio is smart enough to cut multiple sheets for larger designs. The multiple sheets can then be taped together.

Can I create my own designs with the Portrait 2?

Yes, you can create your own designs from scratch using the Silhouette Studio software or import your own. If you wish to use SVG files, you will need to upgrade your software to the Designer Edition, which cost $50.

Overall Review

Portrait 2

Amazon Price

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is similar to the Silhouette Cameo 3. The main difference between the two machines are the size and the Cameo comes with dual carriages. If you aren’t on a budget and want a full-size machine, consider buying the Cameo instead. If you prefer the portability, then the Portrait might be right for you.

Cricut Maker Review

If you’re looking for an even stronger and more precise electronic die cutting machine, you might just be in the market for a Cricut Maker. The Maker opens up a new range of DIY possibilities, being able to cut delicate fabric to balsawood with power and precision. In this Cricut Maker review, we’ll cover everything you need to know before you buy – including features, benefits, pros and cons, and some alternatives. Let’s get started!

The Review

The Maker machine is 10x stronger than the Cricut Explore Air 2 and uses a Knife Blade crafted for thicker materials, a Rotary Blade for use on fabrics without risk of tearing or fraying, and an Adaptive Tool System that automatically controls the blade direction and cutting pressure. You can read my full comparison of the Explore Air 2 vs the Maker to learn more about the differences between these two machines. Its wide range of tools and precision and power make it one of the top die cut machines on the market. Let’s get on with the Cricut Maker Review!

Cricut Maker Review.jpg

The Cricut Explore machines are well-known for their ability to cut a huge range of materials, and the Cricut Maker brings even more power and variety. The Cricut Maker can cut thin wood and has plenty of storage space for all your tools. It also comes with an enhanced sensor for print and cut.

The Cricut Maker offers some neat features and tools to make cutting easier. Let’s take a tour and review the Cricut Maker machine.

Adaptive Tool System

Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System

The Adaptive Tool System is the probably the most impressive feature. It adjusts the direction of the blade as well as the pressure and depth to match the material you’re cutting. This works by you selecting the material in the Design Space software, which talks directly to the machine. That way, you can be sure to get the right cut every time. This also allows for the Rotary and Knife blade to have much cleaner cuts.

Two-Tool Capacity

Like the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Silhouette Cameo 4, the Maker has dual carriages. This means you can finish projects a lot faster and easier compared to machines that have only one carriage. Single carriage machines allowed for using only one tool at once, which meant you had to stop the machine, swap tools, and resume again. Not anymore with dual carriages. You can score or draw projects, then cut them after all in one go.

The first tool compartment, labeled ‘A’, is designed for the writing tools and scoring stylus. It comes with a pre-installed accessory adapter, allowing the tools to fit right in. The second compartment, labeled ‘B’, is for the cutting tools and scoring wheels. If you use the scoring wheel instead of the scoring stylus, you will need to stop the machine to swap tools. This is because the scoring wheels and cutting tools both use the same compartment, which will require swapping. You can still cut and score all in one go as long as you use the scoring stylus in compartment ‘A’.

Fast Mode vs Normal/Precise Mode

Fast mode is a Cricut Maker setting which allows the machine to cut 2x as fast as previous Cricut machines. This is ideal for more simple shapes that don’t need a lot of detail, such as hearts and stars. Keep in mind that Fast Mode is only available when cutting certain materials, which are vinyl, iron-on, and cardstock. When cutting in Fast Mode, expect some extra noise from the machine. If you find your cuts aren’t as precise as you want, turn off Fast Mode and go back to using regular mode.

Docking Station

Cricut Maker Docking Station

The docking system is a single slot that runs on top of the machine. It’s designed to hold your tablet or phone right inside the Maker. This allows you to easily see your design while you’re cutting and help conserve space. It’s also quite handy if you are watching video tutorials or want to watch a movie while you wait for your job to complete. The cool thing is that is that the Maker also comes with a charging port, so you never have to worry about draining your battery.

Extra Storage Space

Cricut Maker Storage Pocket

The Maker has a surprising amount of storage space – more than what meets the eye. The most accessible storage compartments are the storage pockets on the side of the machine. There are two pockets, both of which are padded with silicone rubber to protect your blades and prevent them from chipping.

The larger pocket on top is the deep pocket. This is great for holding pens and tools such as pens, styluses, and picks. The smaller pocket on the bottom is more shallow and is great for storing drive housings.

Cricut Maker Storage Compartment Lid

Another storage compartment is found inside the front lid. There are 3 main sections. The largest section is great for Cricut Tools, such as spatulas and scissors. The middle compartment fits the scrapper perfectly, and the last section holds gear housings. Keep them flat side down to make them fit nicely. The smallest compartment in the bottom left even comes with an attached magnet to hold your blades, preventing them from tumbling around.

Cricut Maker Magnetic Blade Holder

Print then Cut

The Cricut Maker comes with an upgraded Print then Cut feature. This feature allows you to print images using your printer, then cut them with the Maker. The Maker comes with an enhanced sensor. Unlike the Cricut Explore machines, the Maker now allows you to cut on colored and patterned cardstock.

Wireless Convenience

The Maker comes with Bluetooth technology so that you can connect to your computer or a mobile device without having to mess around with extra wires. This also enables you to upload your own designs easily, even on the go. For example, you could download images to your mobile device while traveling and upload them to the machine when you get back.


Cricut Maker Tools

There are several tools that can be used with the Cricut Maker. Cricut sometimes even comes out with new tools, expanding the capabilities of your existing machine.

These tools include the Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, Single Scoring Wheel, Double Scoring wheel, and Fine and Deep point blades.

Rotary Blade

Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

One of the neatest tools for the Maker is the Rotary Bade. The Rotary Blade works with almost any fabric, including delicate fabrics like tissue paper and less dense material such as cork. You can even cut multiple layers of light cotton using this blade, up to 3 layers.

Keep in mind that this blade should be used with designs 3/4″ or larger. Designs that are smaller than this can cause the blade to scrape during tiny turns which can gouge the mat and dull the blade quicker.

The Rotary Blade is designed to cut fabric using the FabricGrip mat. The FabricGrip is made from a stronger material that can withstand the pressure of the machine while it cuts.

Knife Blade

Cricut Maker Knife Blade

The Knife Blade is another great tool only compatible with the Cricut Maker. It is designed to cut through thicker materials up to 2.4mm (3/32″), such as balsa wood, matboard, and chipboard.

Materials that the Cricut Knife Blade can cut are:

  • Balsa wood (1/32″, 1/16″, 3/32″)
  • Basswood (1/32″, 1/16″)
  • Cricut Chipboard
  • Craft Foam (1.5mm, 2mm, 3mm)
  • Leather (Garment Leather, Soft 2-3 oz., Garment Leather, Soft 4-5 oz., Tooling Calf Leather, Stiff 2-3 oz., Tooling Calf Leather, Stiff 4-5 oz., Tooling Calf Leather, Stiff 6-7 oz.)
  • Mat board (2 ply, 4 ply)

One tip when cutting thicker materials is to be sure to move the white rings on the roller bar to the far side. These roller bars are designed to hold materials in place, but for thicker materials, they aren’t needed and can leave marks.

The Knife Blade is best used with the StrongGrip mat. Similar to the Rotary Blade, cutting shapes smaller than 3/4″ is not recommended. Cutting width should also be no less thick than a pencil, or else it runs the risk of breaking apart during the cutting process.

Scoring Tool

Cricut Maker Single and Double Scoring Wheel

The Scoring Tool is another nifty tool designed to create creases. When folding by hand, it’s sometimes difficult to get straight folds. And when folding material such as foil, cracks can often appear. The Scoring tool fixes these issues by making straight, clean folds.

The main advantage to use the Scoring Tool over the Scoring Stylus is the amount of pressure that can be applied. The Scoring Tool applies 10x more pressure than the Scoring Stylus. This makes folding quite easy, especially on harder materials.

There are two scoring wheels, the Single Scoring Wheel, and the Double Scoring wheel. These two wheels are labeled 01 and 02 respectively. The Single Scoring Wheel is best for regular paper and regular cardstock. The Double Scoring Wheel creates two parallel score lines. This is ideal for thicker materials such as poster board and cardboard.

The Scoring Wheels can be used on any mat. The mat you use will depend on the material. When you are using the Scoring Wheel, it’s best to have “pretty side” down.

Fine Point Blades

Aside from the blades used in the Adaptive Tool System, there are even more blades that can be used with the Maker. They are manufactured using premium german carbide steel, making them durable and precise. They are now color-coated to help distinguish them:

  • Premium Fine-Point: Gold
  • Deep point: Black
  • Bonded Fabric: Pink

These blades and blade housings can also be used with the Cricut Explore machines.

Premium Fine-Point Blade

Cricut Premium Fine-Point Blade

The Premium Fine-Point blade is a “general purpose” blade to cut material that is thin to medium weight. Such materials would include paper, cardstock, posterboard and vinyl, iron-on.

Deep Point Blade

Cricut Deep Point Blade

The Deep Point or Deep Cut Blade is designed to cut thicker materials. It’s made from a more durable steel and has a blade angle of 45 degrees versus the normal 60-degree blade angle.

Suggested cutting materials for this blade include:

  • Magnet
  • Chipboard
  • Stamp material
  • Thick cardstock
  • Stiffened felt
  • Foam sheets
  • Cardboard
  • And some fabrics

Bonded-Fabric Blade

Cricut Bonded-Fabric Blade

The Bonded-Frabic blade may seem like a different blade, but it’s really the same type of blade as the Premium Fine-Point Blade! Cricut made this blade a different color to be used only for fabric. By having a dedicated blade only for fabric, you can have a blade that lasts longer and remains sharp when you need it. These blades can also fit inside the Premium Fine-Point Blade housing.

Cricut Explore Comparison

The Cricut Maker is similar to the Cricut Explore machines but isn’t part of the Cricut Explore line. One of the differences between the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore is that the Maker does not have the Smart Dial. The Smart Dial made it easy to select the right settings on the Explore machines, which has been replaced by the Adaptive Tool System, automatically adjusting pressure and depth to the material being cut. The Cricut Maker is also 10 times stronger than the Cricut Explore, which is quite impressive. See the chart below for differences between the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2 or read my full article:

Cricut Explore Air 2

Cricut Maker

Cutting Width

12 inches by 24 inches

12 inches by 24 inches

Cutting Force

350 grams

4000 grams







Print then Cut

White Paper Only

White/Medium Color Paper

Pressure Setting

Smart Set Dial

Adaptive Tool Set

Double Tool Holder



Knife Blade



Rotary Blade



Scoring Wheel



Debossing Tool



Wavy Blade



Perforation Blade



Engraving Tip



Wireless Bluetooth



Mobile Docking Station




Cricut Design Space

Cricut Design Space





The Cricut Machine uses the online Design Space software, which is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. It is now a downloadable program but you still need an internet connection to use the full suite of features. There is also an app you can download for iOS which can be used offline. As for Android devices, the app is in beta and is only available in the US.

Cricut Design Space is free to use and you can even use it prior to buying a Cricut machine if you want to get a feel for the software. There a subscription available from Cricut called Cricut Access, it’s a monthly or yearly cost that gives you access to a ton of designs and fonts.

Cricut Design Space - Templates

The software is easy enough for beginners to learn and use, yet powerful enough to allow more advanced users to feel the freedom of using their own designs. Design Space comes fully loaded with Offline Mode (iOS), Print Then Cut, and SnapMat features. You can also import .JPG, .BMP, .PNG, .GIF, .SVG, and .DXF files for free, then convert them into cuttable shapes. This means you can use other design software like Photoshop or Illustrator to create images or find images online to convert.

The Maker also comes with 50 free ready-to-make projects to help you get started right away. These not only help you get started with the Cricut Maker but allow you to explore new ideas that you may not have thought of before.

Maintenance, Warranty, and Support

The Maker comes with a 1-year warranty, starting at the date of purchase. The warranty is only valid from authorized resellers, which does include Amazon and the Cricut website if you are ordering online.

Aside from switching out the cutting blades, cutting mats and other tools every so often, not much maintenance is required on the Cricut Maker. You will though want to make sure the machine is kept free from debris after cutting.

Cricut offers a huge range of tutorial videos on their site. You can watch introductory videos explaining how to use each machine, get guidance on using new tools, and follow along with specific projects. Their How-To videos offer tips and tricks to perform specific actions, helping you master skills simple and advanced.

Where Can I Buy the Cricut Maker?

If you want to find the best price on the Cricut Maker, you’ll need to shop around. The two best places to buy the Cricut Maker are from Amazon and from the official Cricut Website, which often has sales. Clicks the links below to find the best deals.

Overall Review

Overall, the Cricut Maker die cut machine offers unprecedented cutting power, flexibility, and capability. If you are a serious craft hobbyist, you will benefit not only from the high-quality individual tools that are compatible with the Maker but from the increased power in using them. Because of the ability to switch easily between tools, use two tools at once and import a huge range of design files, even the most advanced crafters find the Maker fits their needs.

KNK Force Review

The Klic-N-Kut Force is an innovative digital die cutter with features not found on other cutters in the hobby world. When it comes to power, there is no other die cut machine that compares. The force is also unique in that it has an onboard camera and a true z-axis. Learn all about the Force in this KNK Force Review.

KNK Force

KNK Price

KNK Force Features

Here are some key specs of the Force:

  • It has a whopping 4000g of cutting force, thus the reason for the name. This is due to Z-axis control which will be explained later. By comparison, the Maxx Air has 1500g, Silver Bullet – 1250g, Pazzles Vue – 1000g, and all Silhouette models – 210g.
  • The maximum cutting speed is 750 mm/sec making this cutter ideal for production cutting as well as for busy crafters.
  • The cutting range is over 15” in width with unlimited length. A 15” x 15” mat is included with the Force, but you can also cut rolled materials, such as vinyl and HTV, without the mat.
  • There are three pinch wheels which can be moved to four different locations to accommodate other cutting mats or material widths.
  • The Force comes with one blade holder and two blades (one for thin materials and one for thick materials). Other optional accessories include a fabric blade, embosser, engraver, punch/piercer, rotary tool, and blade holders in other colors.

Z-Axis Control

The most important difference in the Force is that it can control both distance and speed moving vertically, unlike the typical solenoid cutters which drop the blade with a user-specified pressure. This feature, called Z-Axis control, results in a new approach to blade-based cutting and enables the use of the optional rotary tool.

Even though the Z-axis controlled head invokes a high downward force, this machine can still cut the thinnest of materials (i.e. paper and vinyl) with intricate detail:

KNK Force detailed cuts
KNK Force detailed cuts

The controlled downward speed allows the rotary tool time to drill to a certain depth before proceeding with cutting out a shape. It also permits cutting of denser materials like chipboard, without fear of breaking the delicate tip of the blade:

KNK Force cutting chipboard
KNK Force cutting chipboard

Multi-pass cutting is improved due to the ability to set both a starting depth and an ending depth. This allows the blade to work its way through a material instead of being forced through the material at a set pressure. The result is smoother edges on thicker materials like mat board:

The rotary tool further expands cutting to even thicker (~ 5 mm, 0.2 in) materials such as wood, acrylic, PVC, foam board, and even “old school” vinyl record albums:

KNK Force cutting thick materials
Left to Right: engrave and cut from 3 mm birch plywood, cake topper cut from 3 mm black acrylic,
1/8” PVC moon and hang tag, a clock face cut from a vinyl album

The rotary tool also adds the ability to carve out materials, such as a Speedball stamp block:

Connectivity and Software

The KNK Force connects via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Normally you set up the Force as a device on your home or office network. However, the Force can also be connected in a stand-alone Wi-Fi mode directly to a computer.

The Force has a built-in Raspberry Pi computer hosting a program called C3. While the program is currently only designed to open and cut SVG files, the cool aspect of C3 is that it works on any smart device you own. Thus, you can use your computer, tablet, and smartphone to launch C3 (all at the same time, if you desire) in your favorite browser (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) to open and cut your file. Note that an Internet connection is not required unless there’s a new update to download and install.

Besides C3, the KNK Force also cuts from Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL), a popular vector design program amongst crafters. At a retail price of only $60, SCAL offers everything most users need in the designing and cutting of vector files. It imports a wide range of file formats, converts imported graphics (JPG, PNG, BMP) into cutting files, and includes dozens of easy-to-learn designing features.

Two Heads Are Better Than One!

Dual heads on the Force allow the user to draw and cut, score and cut, emboss and punch, and so forth in one execution. While several other cutters in the hobby market have dual heads, none of them allow you to insert virtually any marker or pen directly into the cutter or use other brands of embossers, punch tools, engravers, etc. Any two tools can be calibrated for alignment giving the owner a range of applications. The following video shows a score and cut application to make a box:

Onboard Camera for Print and Cut Applications

Print and Cut (PNC) applications are achieved using a built-in camera which projects an image onto your monitor or smart device. The magnified image allows for extremely fast and accurate alignment by simply moving a red + over the corner of a projected registration mark:

KNK Force camera alignment
KNK Force camera alignment

Force owners who have owned other brands of PNC machines report very high satisfaction with the accuracy and speed of the camera process. Here are some examples of user-shared PNC projects:

KNK Force Print and Cut Projects
KNK Force Print and Cut Projects

Additionally, the Force passes the litmus test of perfectly cut, pre-printed circles across a full sheet. This is seldom possible with other hobby cutters on the market because of a gradual drift in accuracy as the cuts progress:

PNC Drift Test conducted on KNK Force:

KNK Force Print and Cut Drift Test
KNK Force Print and Cut Drift Test

Similar PNC Drift Test conducted on Silhouette Cameo (note inaccuracy in top few rows):

Silhouette Cameo Print and Cut Drift Test
Silhouette Cameo Print and Cut Drift Test

Similar PNC Drift Test conducted on a Pazzles Vue (note inaccuracy in lower right segment):

Pazzles Vue Print and Cut Drift Test
Pazzles Vue Print and Cut Drift Test


All cutters have some drawbacks. The following issues are the standout ones on the Force:

  • The Force is not a plug and play device. The initial setup requires adherence to specific steps in the user manual. Those owners with outdated routers or certain brands of network equipment (such as an all-in-one router-modem combination) may not be able to establish reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. However, KNK USA will happily assist anyone needing help setting up their Force.
  • Learning how to successfully use the Force requires one to read certain sections of the user manual. There are video links in the manual to facilitate learning, but you will not master this machine by experimenting or relying on knowledge about other cutters. Especially important is the chapter on the rotary tool. Failure to follow those instructions can result in cutting through the material, the mat, and into the Force itself!
  • Not all SVG files will open in C3. Documentation is provided for SVG export from Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Inkscape, Make The Cut, and Sure Cuts A Lot. If you do not know the source of an SVG file, then usually you must open and re-export it from one of these programs. This issue, fortunately, does not affect cutting from SCAL.
  • At the time of this writing, the auto PNC feature is not complete. Manual PNC, as described earlier, works well and is far easier and faster than the laser-alignment method on older KNKs and other brands of cutters, such as Silver Bullet, Black Cat, and Gazelle. But Force owners were promised Auto PNC and are still awaiting its arrival. The delay is due to resolving other software issues first and KNK USA has assured its customers that these issues are actively being addressed. Auto PNC, as well as other enhancements to C3, are still very much on the To Do list.

Availability and Support

The KNK Force is available worldwide with distributors in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Poland.

KNK USA’s commitment to customer satisfaction is second to none. With over 25 years of experience in selling and supporting cutting machines, KNK USA knows the importance of making sure customers buy what they need. Prior to purchase, sample materials can be submitted for testing and mailed back to the prospective buyer for inspection. Detailed user manuals, online videos, Facebook and Yahoo support groups are open to the public, as well as to all KNK owners. When tech support is needed, owners can either call in or start a support ticket. If necessary, help by phone or Skype can be scheduled outside of KNK USA’s normal Monday-Friday office hours.

Overall KNK Force Review

While the KNK Force has had some growing pains in its first year and requires new owners to read and learn how to properly operate it, it’s also proven to be a solid machine capable of production cutting from a wide range of materials. Further, it offers precise print and cut applications, accurate dual head functionality, plus the ability to engrave, emboss, pierce, and draw:

KNK Force Emboss Score Engrave Draw
Left to right: emboss and cut peacock, score and cut box, engraved charms, drawing with gel pens

The rotary tool provides additional functionality not possible with any other digital die cutter in the hobby market:

KNK Rotary Tool
KNK Rotary Tool

If these exceptional features are something that will work for your business or just enhance your crafting experience, may the KNK Force be with you!

KNK Price

Accuquilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter Review

The Studio 2 Fabric Cutter is one of the largest machines from Accuquilt. It’s large size and durability makes it the perfect fabric cutting machine to handle the frequent cutting done in quilt shops, fabric craft retail stores, and in the craft rooms of experienced quilters. The machine is 16 inches wide and is tough enough to cut up to 10 layers of 100% cotton at once.

Accuquilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter
Accuquilt Dynamic Promo

Studio 2 Features

The Accuquilt Studio 2 is a great machine for large fabric or quilting projects. The machine may seem intimidating due to its size, but it’s quite easy to use. The Studio 2 is able to cut several layers of fabric at once, producing crisp clean cuts. The handle is easy to turn, and of course, is much quicker than using scissors.

This fabric cutter is a big and heavy machine, weighing 32lbs. The size is large, but the sides do fold up to save some space. Quilters who use the machine recommend getting a dedicated space for the machine. The original Studio machine (now discontinued) does not have foldable sides, but a conversion kit is available.

The cutting machine comes with 3 major parts:

  • Cutting tray
  • Cutting die
  • Plastic cutting plate

These 3 parts, along with your fabric, will create the cutting sandwich that is sent through the machine. Eventually, both the tray and cutting plastic will need replacement after continual use. Once the tray or plastic start to show excessive wear or the machine doesn’t cut as well, consider replacing these parts. One sign that the tray needs replacing is that it will bulge and pop in the middle while cutting.

What Can the Accuquilt Studio 2 Cut?

The Studio 2 can cut multiple layers of fabric at once. the number of layers that you will be able to cut will depend on the thickness of the fabric. It’s always a good idea to start with fewer layers first, then add more. Sometimes more layers will improve cutting performance.

One tip when cutting is to use quality fabric to prevent it from stretching and also to have the lengthwise grain running the length of the cutter.

See the Accuquilt Studio 2 cutting chart below.

Cotton with Fusible Web4-6

Dies for Accuquilt Studio 2

The Studio 2 machine can use Accuquilt’s giant and super giant dies. If you have any Go! dies, you can still use them, but you’ll need to purchase an adapter plate.

The Cutting Plastics are sold in several sizes to match varying sizes of dies. You should purchase additional sizes of cutting plastic depending on the dies you will be using with the Studio 2. However, as long as the desired shape is covered, you can use a different size plastic than your die board.

See the video on how to use the Accuquilt Go! adapters.

The dies never need sharpening and are designed to be used repetitively. Some dies feature specially designed corners to aid in alignment.


General maintenance is advised in keeping the machine and dies clean. After use, it is recommended to make sure all lint, thread, and debris are cleaned away from both the machine and dies. When cleaning the machine, use a soft dry cloth. Avoid abrasives, solvents and spray cleaners. When cleaning the rollers, canned air can help remove lint. No lubrication is required for the machine as all bearings are sealed.

When cleaning the dies, use tweezers or a die pick to remove threads that are embedded between the blades and the foam.

Accuquilt Dynamic Promo


The Studio 2 Fabric Cutter comes with a 3-year warranty which covers defects in the machine. Consumable parts such as die trays and cutting plates are not covered.

Studio dies are guaranteed for one year.

Overall Review

Overall, the Accuquilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter is a great machine for large projects being able to cut several layers of fabric at once. The machine is big, sturdy, and heavy, and you can expect it to hold up for a very long time. One downside to the machine is that plates, trays, and dies can be a little expensive. Despite the cost, users seem to be ecstatic and happy with the Studio 2 cutting machine.

This cutter is my favorite for serious quilters but if you are looking for a machine to cut fabric and want something a little smaller and less expensive, check out my article Best Cutting Machines for Fabric and Felt.