Silhouette Curio vs Silhouette Cameo

Wondering what is the difference between the Silhouette Curio and Silhouette Cameo? Today, we will be comparing the Curio and Cameo machines and covering the differences between them.

UPDATE: To see updated information on the Cameo 3, head over to the Curio vs Cameo 3 comparison.

What is the Silhouette Curio?

The Silhouette Curio is one of Silhouette’s newest craft machines for DIY projects that is loaded with features. The Curio has more capabilities than the Silhouette Cameo. The Curio can not only cut and draw, but also emboss, score, sketch, stipple, and etch. With dual carriages, you can mix and match functions.

Silhouette Curio

Although the Silhouette Curio is more versatile than the Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, the Curio is not meant to be a replacement for the Cameo, but rather a supplement, or companion tool. The Silhouette Cameo has a 12 inch wide cutting width and can cut up to 10 feet long. The Curio machine is limited to an 8.5 inch by 12 inch cutting surface.

What can the Curio do that the Cameo machine can’t?

Here is a list of capabilities that the Curio can do, but the Cameo can’t:

  • Metal and foil stippling
  • Metal etching
  • Dual carriage multitasking (multiple tasks in one pass)
  • Embossing
  • Score & Emboss
  • Print & Emboss
  • Deep-cut capabilities* (leather, foils, foams, and more)
  • Using thicker materials as project surfaces (example: stencils sketched directly onto wood up to 5mm thick)

*To cut materials like leather and foam, you’ll need to use the deep cut blade.

Silhouette Curio dual carriage

The Currio comes with dual carriage heads, so you can mix and match tools. For example, you could print and cut, or print and emboss, or even use two different colored pens.

What can the Cameo do that the Curio machine can’t?

Silhouette Cameo

The Cameo machine is better for cutting. The cutting width of the Cameo is 12 inches, and it can cut up to 10 feet long without a mat. This is great if you are making large banners or home decor.

The Cameo also has an onboard touch screen, where you can load and cut designs without a computer using a USB drive. This is handy if you are traveling with the machine and won’t have access to a computer.

Silhouette Curio vs Silhouette Cameo Comparison

Here is a side by side comparison for the Silhouette Curio and Silhouette Cameo. Most differences are with the capabilities and cutting width.


Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Curio

Silhouette Cameo
Silhouette Curio
PixScan Technology
Cutting Force

210 grams

210 grams

Cutting Size

12 inches by 10 feet

8.5 inches by 12 inches



The accessory tools for the Curio do fit inside the Cameo, and may work, but the official word from Silhouette is that it’s not recommended.

Both the Curio and Cameo will be using the same type of software, but the Curio will have more option unlocked for capabilities such as embossing and etching.

What kinds of materials can be used?

Anything type of material that the Cameo can die cut, the Curio can cut, even fabric materials. However, the Curio can use materials as much as 5mm thick and cut materials such as foam and leather, which will require a deep cut blade

Curio Etching
The Curio can etch onto soft metal surfaces, such as aluminum, copper, and brass.

Curio Embossing and Scoring
The Silhouette Studio designer is optimized to emboss and score on paper products. With some experimentation, however, you could try embossing on soft/think metals.

Overall Differences

The main difference between the Silhouette Curio and Cameo are the capabilities and size. The Curio is designed to have more variety when it comes to capabilities, like embossing and etching, but the Cameo with its 12-inch cutting width is best for cutting materials.

92 thoughts on “Silhouette Curio vs Silhouette Cameo”

  1. You might want to note that the Curio accessories for etching, stippling and deeper cutting cost extra as does the 8.5 x 12 inch platform (standard work area is 8.5 x6″).
    It should also be noted that with 3rd party accessories, the Cameo can also emboss, etch, stipple and deep cut, albeit on thinner materials due to its lower roller clearance.

    • hi:
      I saw your statement and was wondering what third party accessories would I need to use so that the Cameo would emboss also…
      thanks… Clara

      • Hi there!

        Just wondering why the questions several people have asked about third party accessories for the Cameo for embossing and stippling have been ignored? Is this possible or does only the Curio have these capabilities?

        Thanks for your reply

    • I am looking to buy a cutting machine to cut out stencils. I am a face painter and I am starting to do airbrush tattoos. I am clueless when it comes to cutting machines. I want something that can cut detailed stencils on the average plastic stencil material. I am hoping to save some money doing them myself so I really want to buy the right one the first time. Thank you so much

      • Hi Ailene, you might want to look into the Cricut Explore. It’s more powerful than the Silhouette machines. You can search for ‘Creating stencils with the Cricut’ on youtube to see if it will do what you want.

        • The cricut explore is definitely a more powerful machine for cutting stencils. I have the cameo, curio & the cricut explore, I do airbrushing and make stencils, the cricut explore is the best machine for the job.

          • You might check out Brother’s Scan-n-cut…It will scan a design and then cut it out. I haven’t used this machine…so it’s only a suggestion as an option. Best of luck in your decision.

      • No Dont get the Cricut, the designs suck compared to Silhouette (unless of course you pay extra, the descent ones are not include the monthly subscription), as well the silhouette has many many more design options. They both cut about the same so if you are mainly cutting stencils and temp tattoos just get the Portrait, you’ll save money and in the end you’ll have a much better creative experience and flexibility. I’ve found the Cricut Explore is great for paper/vinyl, but not much else. It does cut very beautiful details, in paper/vinyl, but not much else. I was pretty disappointed with it to be honest. I was told it would cut through thin metals and fabrics no problem, but it doesn’t provide the best results, not if your looking for the details. You also have to have an internet connection for the Cricut to work. You could actually take the portrait with you because its compact, add the Pixscan mat and do custom stencils and temp tattoos for a lil bit extra. My personal opinion would be to get the Portrait, you’ll be really happy you did. Anyone else wants to buy a Cricut Explore, I have one on the cheap, perfect condition, lots of extras lol. I should have bought the Silhouette first lol.

        • Hello Amy jo
          You wright about a lot off things a retailer sold me a mini and told me i could user the design space. all Lies.Now i am tryng to get a explore over here but they dont sel here in the Netherlands do you want to sell your explore

        • Wow Amy, you seem to know A LOT about these machines! Lol.? Can you tell me which should I add to my set up for best ALL AROUND crafting, the Silhouette or the Curio. I have a Cricut Explorer already.

          • If you are planning to use it for a lot of small scale home decorating or jewelry projects that you will absolutely need the diversity of other materials such as metal etching & leather, then you may want to consider the curio. However for GP, scrapbooking, cardmaking, anything LARGE to fit on walls like vinyl lettering, you will definitely appreciate the 12 inch cutting platform of the cameo. I have the cameo & although there are times I’d really like to have the metal etching & thicker cut material options such as foam core, I find myself needing the larger platform just in general & can’t see myself being able to give up THAT ONE OPTION. All other options I would get with the Curio I’ve honestly found that I can really live without. I have tried all different machines but the Cameo is the first I’ve bought on my own & I have been SO VERY happy with the decision I made. To give you an idea of how I use it, I’m an artist in general but a pro photographer by trade, as well as design all of my own graphics for custom sports/school activity posters & memory mates & all photography items I take pics for. Ive airbrushed everything from motorcycles to face makeup for costumes & performances & face paint, (use it for stenciling), scrapbooking, card making, vinyl signs, heat transfer for t-shirts (for sale not just personal use), material cutting for quilts or appliqué, ornaments, personal & personalized decorative art, wall art, vinyl decor, analog clock design, etc… And, thats just what I can name off the top of my head. Either choice, the software is great. I believe better than other brands. I’ve integrated the use of adobe photoshop & silhouette soft wear together for many projects & have even used photoshop in place of using the pixscan with downloadable graphics I’ve paid for off internet sites. Overall I’ve been very pleased with my cameo & know it was a much better decision to get the larger platform than it was to be limited in sizing & not be able to do large scale items the way I do. I hope this helps with your decision 🙂

        • You can insert almost any design into the cricut design space. You aren’t limited to just the options from the cricut library. I have drawn my own pictures/sketches and cut those out. You are definitely not limited with the cricut by any means.

    • The extra tools that are needed for the Curio are worth every penny. You can do some great things with the extras.

        • You can get an embossing blade and mat for the cameo. Also itching blade that you can use in the cameo. So yes the cameo can do what the curio does but just won’t take thicker materials. You can cut leather and foam with it to using the deep cut blade which is designed for the curio but can be used in the cameo. Hope this helps a bit to answer you’re question.

    • Excellent comment, Kay! Thank you for pointing this out. I was wondering why the cameo has the same cutting force but couldn’t do all the stuff the Curio can do. It seems like it just comes down to the clearance under the rollers. I wonder if using Curio blades would damage the Cameo.

    • Hi,
      Do you know what cartridges you use for the curio ultimate? I have looked but all I can find is something about a silhouette library. I’m not sure what that is as I’m not very familiar with Silhouette products. It’s all new to me. So any help or information you could offer would be extremely helpful and I’d be extremely grateful too.
      Thank you for your time and I’ll be looking forward to you’re reply.

      • Silhouette machines don’t use cartridges. You have an online library of patterns that you’ve purchased or made. If the machine has an SD slot (most do now), you can use patterns saved to one.

    • hi is the curio capable of cutting die cut invites? which is better machine for this? curio or cameo?

  2. Hi was just reading your comments and was wondering what is the 3rd party accessories I would need for the cameo to allow it to emboss as i am about to buy the cameo 2 and it would be great if I could get the emboss accessories at same time
    Thanks tess

  3. I am interested in getting a Cameo or Curio but not sure which as of yet. I have been reading reviews and forums and posts and opinions but I can’t find the answer to some of my questions. Perhaps someone here can help…
    What are the differences in the connectivity of the two? I know there is a touch screen on the Cameo so I am presuming an internet connection is not required. What about the Curio?
    Also, do they have USB or SD Card slots?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Lany! Neither machine requires internet connection. The Cameo has a spot to upload designs via USB drive, but the Curio does not. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you for that information! So, if the Curio does not have a USB port to upload designs to, how do you get your own designs into the Curio?

        • Hi Lany, the Curio machine connects to a computer. The Cameo however, has a spot for a USB drive so you don’t need to have it connected to a computer. Hope that makes sense!

        • You use a computer with the Curio to manipulate your own designs. It depends on what you want to do, as to which one you get. They are 2 different machines that work together. There both great!

    • The Cameo has a SD card slot. The Curio doesn’t. They are both great machines. They work together, they are different machines.

  4. Ahh, of course. I’m still not sure which one I will get so will have to do more research. Thank you for patiently answering my questions.

  5. Hi, Was wondering if anyone has used the deep-cutting blade with the Cameo, and if it’s been successful?

    I’m torn between the two models because I need the deep-cutting capabilities inherit to the Curio, but I also need size capabilities of the Cameo.

    I’m trying to cut oil-board which is thicker than card stock, but not as thick as framing mat. The standard Cameo blade cuts almost deep enough, but I have to go in afterwards with an xacto knife to finish the cuts.
    So in using the deep-cut blade, I would only be adjusting it to cut slightly deeper than what the standard Cameo blade does, so it’s not like I’d be trying to do any extremely deep cutting.

    Thanks for any info provided!

    • If you haven’t got one yet. Is the oil board you are wanting to cut to make gaskets for motor bikes and cars. I so the Brother Scan N Cut is brilliant for this.

      • We’re using the Brother Scan N Cut for adhesive-backed wood veneer, and it is working great. Sometimes we have to run it through twice, but the cuts are always perfectly clean. Now we’re thinking about getting the Curio because we need to cut adhesive-backed foam that is nearly 4mm thick and won’t go through the Scan N Cut rollers. Wonder if anyone has tried this with the Curio yet? Is there a better cutter for this purpose – the shapes are fairly complex.

    • Mike,
      I have not tried mat board for the simple reason that you can’t get a 45 degree angled cut for the beveled edge with either the cameo or the curio. Is this correct or have you been able to do so and it’s a feature with the cameo I’m not aware of?

  6. Mike… I’m sure you probably already know but Silhouette released an 8.5″ x 12″ mat for the Curio a couple of weeks ago. Double the size from the original mat… would that be enough additional space?

  7. I have decided on the Curio (*muted and cautious applause inserted here*) and have ordered it in a bundle. If I were to purchase the Pixscan Mats (both 6″ and 12″ sizes) would they work on the Curio? According to Silhouette:

    “The PixScan™ feature is found in all versions of the Silhouette Studio® software V3.1 and higher and requires the use of a PixScan™ Cutting Mat.”

    but then they tell me that

    “The PixScan™ mats are only offered for the current Silhouette models (Portrait and CAMEO).”

    but they offer it on their website as being useable with the Curio. Does anyone out there have a Curio and the Pixscan mat and could tell me if they are compatible?



    • Just in case you never got an answer, I called and asked them this mornin and they are in the process of manufacturing the PixScan mats for the Curio. They told me neither, the Cameo or the Portrait, mats will work in the Curio. I was super bummed.


    • Hi Lany, not sure if you will receive an email about my reply this thread is old so not sure if i will ever get a reply but i will try anyway. I am having difficulty deciding on the cameo vs curio and was curious to your experience withe the curio and if you would suggest it over the cameo.
      I posted a lengthy comment at the end of these threads if you would like to know more bout what I am going to be using it for, I would appreciate your help, Thanks!

  8. I have a silhouette cameo and love it. However, I want to purchase the curio; but I was wondering if the curio can also cut vinyl material (same material as cameo) like the cameo.

    • Hi Ronnie, the Curio has the same amount of cutting force as the Cameo and will be able to cut vinyl.

      • Hi! I’m new to all this cutting stuff! I just got my new curio and tried to cut heat transfer vinyl but it cut all the way through the clear backing. It ruined a whole sheet! I had the settings like it suggested, 2 blade and 6 platforms. What cut settings work for vinyl and heat transfer so it only cuts the vinyl, not the backing? I asked the company and they replied the curio is not for cutting vinyl. That was a big reason I bought it so if it’s not going to work I’m bummed! Thank you for your help!

        • Hi Jenna, cutting vinyl should work. I think you just need to experiment with the cut settings to figure out what works. Try little pieces at a time so you don’t waste too much material. Goodluck!

    • I’m also looking at buying the Curio, but i’m slightly put off by the fact that it won’t cut vinyl from the roll and therefore also not the lengths that the Cameo allows.

      Am I correct for assuming that the above is accurate? Will it only be able to cut vinyl with measurements of 6″ x 8.5″ max?

      Please advise?

      • Hi Monique, I don’t believe you can cut vinyl from the roll with the Curio. You can purchase the 12 Inch X 8.5 Inch plate to cut larger than the typical 6″ x 8.5″. Hope this helps!

    • The Curio will cut vinyl equally as good as the Cameo. I used mine to cut some vinyl to decorate my old Cricut Create. It cuts from tiny to big no problem. If you want to cut down to the size of nail art buy the Brother Scan N Cut. That’s the best ever machine I’ve got.

  9. Hi, I’m interested in purchasing one of these two, my main reason is that I want to do wedding and social invitations, and for scrapbook
    Which one of these would you recommend me?

  10. They are both great machines. If you only want it for card making they are both as good. I have both & think they are equally as good for card.

  11. Hello, I am a quilter / fabric artist, as well as am obsessed with crafting. My main question is, I purchased an Accuquilt Go! maching for cutting my fabric and a relative gave me dozens of dies for it. She did this because she uses the Cameo for all of her fabric cutting needs. I also work with Vinyl for apparel as well. Other than the cutting size, is there any differences I should be aware of between the Cameo and Cureo? I’m going to be in the market for something better in the future for cutting both vinyl as well as several layers of fabric, any suggestions?


  12. Hi,
    I appreciate the info….does the Curio have to have the computer to work…also,
    can the
    Curio look at picture or design of some sort, copy and cut it?
    I was told the Brother’s Machine could do this sort of thing… but I was put off by the price.
    Thank you in advance.

  13. Hello,

    After reading all of the above comments I am left curious about the use of the extra parts( to the Curio) on the Cameo. I’ve worked with the Cameo one before and love it, however the embossing/ etching features are really nice. Is it possible to use them?

  14. Hi, great review thanks. I am wanting to buy either the curio or cameo , I will be cutting thin copper sheet and would like to cut 1mmand 3 mm thick fibre paper for glass fusing. I know the curio has a 5 mm clearance for the rollers but can it cut 3 mm deep ? Thanks

    • Hi PC, both machines will do what you want, but users seem to enjoy the Cameo more than the Curio.

  15. You all seem so knowledgeable, I hope you can help me. I need to find a machine that can emboss my own designs into aluminum soda cans.
    I am trying to avoid making a mistake in purchasing the wrong thing and having to return it.

    • Amy – I believe the Curio would do a better job of embossing because of its ability to raise and lower the mat with platforms. I don’t know that the platforms and the versatility they offer are fully appreciated. I wrote a blog explaining it. You’re wise to try to get the right machine for the right job.

      Kristi – The Curio does not have the USB feature so it does have to be connected to the computer. My blog explains that too.

  16. Hello I love these comments they have all been so helpful! I am looking into purchasing a new machine for my shop and torn between the cameo and the curio which is better for making kiss cut on my sticker sheets and for helping me with my glass etching as well? I am wondering which has better features for what I need to dobas well as more accessories and what accessories you all think would be best. I had previously done all by hand but my business has grown which I am grateful for but I now need to save some time and invest in a machine to help me with such things. I would greatly appreciate any and all advice anyone had on this thanks so very much!

  17. I’m looking to be cutting into paper anywhere from 4×6 to 8 1/2 x 11 sizes. With either of these tools am I able to create my own designs to be cut out? Which one would be best for me? I’ll only be working with card stock. Perhaps in the future I could be cutting matting for photos.

    • Hi Nikki, the Cameo has received better reviews compared to the Curio. You will be able to create your own designs with both machines and cut card stock. I will say you might want to wait till next month when the Cameo 3 will be out 🙂

  18. I”m looking into getting a machine. I”m stuck between the Cameo, Curio, and Cricut Explore Air. Can the Silhoutte Machines cut stencils? Which one is more cost effective down the line? I”m starting a crafting business so I’m trying to find something that will cut down on my time spent creating products.

  19. I need to be able to cut multiple crosses that measure 1.25″ hi x .75″ using 2mm craft foam. I tried to do on my Cameo Silhoutte but mat fed through unevenly and it created a mess and also the cut wasn’t through the foam. Does anyone have a solution? This is for a ongoing church project. Thanks

  20. I am considering purchasing the cameo 3. Does anyone know if it cuts stencils and what the quality is. Maybe give me the pros and cons.

  21. Okay, I need some advice. I have a cricut mini for general cutting, however I am currently having issue with the machine. I dont know much about Silhouettes, love the ideo of getting the curio for the etching, embossing, and more. But I also like the cameo 3 for the wireless option and the create and design options. So my question is, do I need both the curio and the cameo 3? I understand the machines are different, but how alike are they really? Thanks for your time

  22. I have read some of the comments on here. I’m new to this world. I have the cricut mini but don’t find use for it and need to get rid of it. I’ve had the cricut for cake decorating and loved it.
    But now i’m trying to find another hobby. Cutting vinyl/leather, all type of etching, iron prints, etc. I am more of a old school crafter and was interested in doing things faster and easier by using a machine now. So I’m looking for something that does it all.
    Suggestions? Or am I thinking of doing too much lol?

  23. I want to make paper stencils from my own shapes. I also want to use scrap fabric. What model will do this. I have windows XPATH and ipad

    • I know this is late but you need a computer to use either of these machines. Both machines use the exact same software so either will work

  24. I am a mom in her 20’s with plenty of friends wanting to do DIY parties for their kids, I have a husband who has his own business and could use a little style, my child is 4 and has plenty of art projects going on, I am super craft and am looking into purchasing a cutting machine however I am lost when it comes to all the options available.
    I understand it depends on what I want to use it for but I need help in the right direction.
    I initially liked the circuits but then heard about the ‘cartridges’ and I would like to not spend money on things like that. I am very computer savvy and believe I could create my own designs within the silhouette design space, I have downloaded that software and am familiarizing myself with it. I am now looking at the camio vs. curio. Will I really use the camios 10ft capabilities? Will I really use the extra features that come with the curio?

    Can anyone tell me from experience what to do please?!
    ps. I am going to Disney land in May and would like to make t shirts for us all. Will the curios length restrictions be a problem?

  25. Hi,

    Can one do deep cuts through thicker paper or some cardboards with The Silhouette Cameo 3?
    Does one need another knife and a cutting mat?
    If so, where can this be achieved?

  26. I was just wondering what’s the difference between the cameo and the curio. I’m looking to print cups and also make things for the house, But mainly I’m most interested in printing t-shirts. I also seen on the Walmart site there’s a Silhouette Cameo mini, which comes as a bundle. Does “mini” means anything?

  27. I recently got the curio machine which comes with the software version 3.4, my cameo is running on version 3.2, if I load this new software will it over write the files in my library and will it still be compatible with the files I’ve created in the older version?

  28. I plan to acquire a Curio or another silhouette for Train modelism (scale HO 1/87). Did you know if curio is able to cut a facade of a house (with windows, door, ..) and emboss the wall in order to simulate bricks?
    Is there some community who share experience with silhouette for modelism?


  29. I’m looking to do vinyl stencil transfers onto glass and wood. After a lot of research I’ve come to the conclusion that the silhouette cameo seems to be the best option for me ? Can someone confirm for me! Ordering one today. Thank you kindly !!

  30. Hi! I’m looking for a cutting machine. At first, I was torn between the Cameo and Cricut, but I decided on the former due to the fact that internet connection is pretty slow at our place. So now, I’m deciding between the Cameo and Curio. I plan to make sticker sets, so I thought the Cameo would be great. However, the Curio offers so much variety to explore for my other projects. So I have two questions so far: (1) can Curio kiss cut? And (2) which cuts faster? Thank you!

    • Hi Hans, I’m not 100% sure but I imagine the Curio being able to kiss cut. And I’m not entirely sure which one is faster. Sorry I couldn’t help more!

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