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Silhouette SD Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

Our Verdict

Silhouette is great for paper projects but stay away from most other materials.

For

  • You will be able to cut with or without a computer.

Against

  • Customer service is pretty lacking.
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Screenshot image shows a card created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.

Screenshot image shows a card created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.
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Screenshot image shows a glass etching created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.

Screenshot image shows a glass etching created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.
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Screenshot image shows vinyl lettering created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.

Screenshot image shows vinyl lettering created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.
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Screenshot image shows a heat transfer pattern created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine and used to decorate a T-shirt.

Screenshot image shows a heat transfer pattern created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine and used to decorate a T-shirt.
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Screenshot image shows a scrapbook page created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.

Screenshot image shows a scrapbook page created with a Silhouette SD die cutting machine.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

Silhouette SD is a more expensive cousin of Craft ROBO but is about the same in every other way. This die cutting machine has a pretty wide range of capabilities, though it lacks the cutting power of some of the higher-ranking systems.

This digital die cutter will give you freedom to adjust many of its settings. As you get used to its abilities you will be able to coordinate the ideal blade depth, pressure and speed to get the perfect cut regardless of material. The Silhouette digital die cutting system comes with software that allows you to make totally unique designs with no need to buy cartridges or anything further, ever.

A Silhouette SD die cutting system can operate using nothing more than the information on an SD card, which means you don’t have to have it tethered to your computer around the clock. That will be a very nice thing if you like to get together with friends as you craft. You can also easily share this die cutting machine with your more trustworthy friends. Without tool storage or a carry handle you may want to invest in a carrying case, but this die cutting machine is so feather-light it will not have to be a big one.

The cutting path is relatively small, only able to accommodate 8 inches in width. For scrapbooking and cards that will be more than enough, especially since it can cut material up to 39 inches long. We’re used to seeing a wider path though, even on units that don’t cost much more.

Silhouette SD marketing materials make no secret about the fact that this die cutting system is not really designed for heavy-duty items. It is really only designed to cut drawing paper, postcards, scrapbooking paper and photo paper. Customer service reps told us it could handle a few other things, but it is not really designed for much beyond paper. If you are someone who likes to make cards or scrapbook pages this die cutting product will be perfect. If you may branch out into other crafts at some point you may want to invest in a sturdier die cutting machine.

This little die cutting unit is quite versatile really. Cutting is just the beginning. It can also draw, weld, pierce, engrave and emboss with the right tools.

The customer support for Silhouette die cutting systems leaves a lot to be desired – answers, to name one thing. This is a website that looks great but offers little information about the die cutting product. Over-the-phone service is not much better. The one thing which may help – the product’s manual – is available on the Silhouette SD site, but it takes a while to download. Also, it really only has enough information to get your die cutting machine up and running. We’re not sure where all the helpful FAQs and inspiration and pointers are hiding out.

The Silhouette SD die cutting machine seems to cost more, on average, than its cousin, the Craft ROBO. It does not seem to do more, though. There is nothing wrong with this unit for scrapbook work and making cards. It will bring you a lot of crafting satisfaction as long as you don’t expect it to cut much more than paper. It will cut that beautifully and in an unlimited number of shapes.