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Thread: Cricut Maker, Silhouette, Scan n Cut, KNK --questions/suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Cricut Maker, Silhouette, Scan n Cut, KNK --questions/suggestions?

    I already own the Accuquilt Studio and love it for basic shapes. However, I'm looking into wanting to do more applique that is not the standard dies through Accuquilt. So, enter the digital electronic machine. I'm also wanting to cut HTV with it(heat transfer vinyl)--I don't do scrap booking so that's really not a concern of mine(right now). I know there also is the Janome Artistic Edge. Questions:

    1. Do you have any of these cutters and how do you like it?
    2. How much of a learning curve is there with the software. I have read that the Brother Scan N Cut and Silhouette have a steeper learning curve.

    One of the things that I have read is that if you want access to any designs with Silhouette and Cricut is that you have to pay for them through a membership? Is this correct? So, as I understand it, you pay for a membership and then also for designs? I also have read that this is not the case with the Brother. Is that also true? Have any of you ever used any Cricut or Silhouette membership? If not, where do you get some of your images?

    I think each machine has their own strengths---but I'm looking for user friendly, cuts both fabric/vinyl(or more). I like the fact that the Cricut Maker has a rotary blade tool for fabric and you use a dial for application of different materials to get the correct cutting height--not sure that is absolutely necessary though.

    Any help/hints/suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

  2. #2
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    I have a knk zing cutter. I bought it from my quilt shop when they were featuring it for use with iron on vinyl or to make templates for crystals. I have used it mostly for card stock in a variety of projects. Actually never for fabric, but lots of vinyl. As in everything, somewhat of a learning curve. I have sure cuts alot software and it is user friendly. I am not sure about cutting detail in fabric, you would definitely need to stabilize it well. If you have many of anything fabric to cut I still think that your accuquilt studio would be the best way to go. I also have the studio, and had a custom die made by them during a sale. Gives you an option for quilts that they don't currently have dies for. The zing will cut any cutting design out there on the internet. Sort of like embroidery design options, sky is the limit. The zing has been a great cutter for me.

  3. #3
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    I have the SNC wireless machine but haven't used that feature. I can send the applique cut files from embroidery machine designs to USB and then cut them out with the SNC. There is on line software that you use and create designs. The designs stay in the cloud and not on your computer.

    The new SNC versions auto set the cut depth. That alone takes out a huge curve for learning how to set depths for different materials. Honestly, I haven't worked much with my machine to learn how to navigate it very well. There are many tutorials for it though on the web.

    You are wise to research the different machines. I will add, don't skimp on cost if you find the one with features you need.IOW don't settle for less than...even if you have to save up.

    Good luck with your decision. They are certainly fun!

    PS: If you have a local dealer they may offer classes. Our local shop has 2 classes each month.

  4. #4
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    Ansew, I have a Go too, & those are the same reasons I bought a Scan 'n Cut. I wanted to make my own appliques, and I wanted to try HTV-HeatTransferVinyl. There is a learning curve, and you can put as much time into it as you want to get out of it.
    Scan n Cut doesn't come with very good instructions though.

    The Best place to go for help is Jen Blausey.

    She has a facebook page with Tons of tutorials, help, advice, free stuff and inspiration-(it is a closed group that you have to join so they can avoid advertising & spam), she has youtube videos, and a utube channel called Jam Sessions that includes tutorials for SCAL (sure cuts a lot), and HTV.

    All free. All pretty great. You can watch her videos and get a sense if you want to spend the time learning the SnC machine or not before you buy one. There is So much you can do with it if you want to learn. But, if you just watch the videos, it may be a bit daunting at first. It helps to follow along with a machine as you watch.

    Here are the links:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=jen+...nt=firefox-b-1

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ut+jen+blausey

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU_...BYH327dvOU9q5A

    I can say, that without this help, I would have been completely lost trying to figure out how to use most of the functions of this machine. There are other tutorials and videos online, but none are as thorough as Jens.
    Just my opinion. I have never tried Silhouette, or Cricut.
    Last edited by mindless; 11-06-2018 at 05:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    I just got a Cricut Maker and I am having so much fun. It is an amazing machine with unlimited possibilities. There is a learning curve with Design Space but there are tons of how to videos. If you buy a Cricut then Cricut Acess is free for a month and then they offer a discount for an additional month. I have found that most of the designs in Access are free with the subscription and you do not have to buy any other designs unless you want to use the designer offers that they have. Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
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    I "think" I have it narrowed down to the Brother Scan N Cut and the Cricut Maker. It will all come down to features that are best for me. For instance:

    1. Which software is the easiest to import files(i.e. embroidery and svg) and then convert to the format the machine uses and then cut---fabric or vinyl

    2. The software itself---which one offers more bang for the buck

    3. Which one cuts fabric and vinyl the best?

    4. Cost of replacement parts, i.e. cutting knives?

    5. What other little "tools" or "gadgets" need to be purchased before cutting?

    Those of you who have the Brother---do you have the version sold at brother dealers exclusively or do you have the one sold like on Amazon and other places?

    With the heat transfer vinyl---I would be using on tote bags and possibly on pillows(the fabric before making) and possibly kitchen towels.

    I already have embroidery and use PES format.

    Continue to chime in and give your opinions and suggestions. Thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansew View Post
    I "think" I have it narrowed down to the Brother Scan N Cut and the Cricut Maker. It will all come down to features that are best for me. For instance:

    Those of you who have the Brother---do you have the version sold at brother dealers exclusively or do you have the one sold like on Amazon and other places?

    With the heat transfer vinyl---I would be using on tote bags and possibly on pillows(the fabric before making) and possibly kitchen towels.

    I already have embroidery files that use PES format.

    Continue to chime in and give your opinions and suggestions. Thanks
    Ansew,

    What EMB machine do you have? On some models the applique part of the design has a "scissors" icon. You send this to the SNC (wireless) for cutting. You can also send to the USB and then load for cutting. I wanted to have compatible machines.

    Dealers have different models over the stores. Some models just have more built in designs.

    If you will attend classes you will probably want a rolling bag.

  8. #8
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    I have the first generation of SNC and yes, there was a learning curve but I understand the new units offer some nice features as others mentioned above.

    Check the Brother website or Amazon for the current cost for replacement blades and mats.

    Accessories: other than weeding tools and perhaps some Frog tape (to hold down fabric/vinyl corners to the mats) not much more is needed.

    Brother offers a site called Canvas that you can import/export designs, edit designs & layout, and convert to the fcm extension for the SNC. There are many designers who have their own sites who offer design files.

    I have been very pleased with my machine however, I cannot offer any experience regarding other machines.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Rhonda K;8157184]Ansew,

    What EMB machine do you have? On some models the applique part of the design has a "scissors" icon. You send this to the SNC (wireless) for cutting. You can also send to the USB and then load for cutting. I wanted to have compatible machines.


    I have an ancient Brother 8500 and Babylock Elegante---works for me and for what I do, at this time, I see no need to upgrade---it can be a vicious circle to get the "latest and greatest" machine/software, etc. I just don't want to go there---I'm retired and old school to boot when it comes to machine embroidery. I never could justify spending the $$ for the latest machines---so I'm looking for something that I can handle $ wise as well as easiest for me at this time and still have a little fun!

  10. #10
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    So, after looking at some videos---to do embroidery I probably would need to upgrade my embroidery machine----so probably would not use the scan n cut for embroidery---but more for applique shapes(i.e. animals) that I could stictch manually on the machine.

    I'm becoming more confused than ever! lol

  11. #11
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    mindless - thanks for the information. I bought a Scan & Cut and still have not gotten very far with figuring out how to use it.

    Now I'll have more reason to join facebook. My husband is really against the idea, but I keep telling him that it won't have any personal info about me if I don't put it there - and I would only use it to join a few groups.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    mindless - thanks for the information. I bought a Scan & Cut and still have not gotten very far with figuring out how to use it.

    Now I'll have more reason to join facebook. My husband is really against the idea, but I keep telling him that it won't have any personal info about me if I don't put it there - and I would only use it to join a few groups.
    Cathy, I feel the same way about facebook. I don't use my real name there. I only use my avatar name.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansew View Post
    So, after looking at some videos---to do embroidery I probably would need to upgrade my embroidery machine----so probably would not use the scan n cut for embroidery---but more for applique shapes(i.e. animals) that I could stictch manually on the machine.

    I'm becoming more confused than ever! lol
    ansew, I have the same emb. machine that you have. It is a Brother 8500 upgraded to an 8700. I use PES also. I'm still learning, but I can download PES designs from the internet (many are free) and write them onto my card reader using USB cable. The PES card reader is one I bought at the same time as I bought my emb. machine years ago. I have drawn some of my own applique designs, scanned them into the SnC. Then, the SnC which holds colored pens as well as a knife, will draw or cut the image for me.
    I also found free software online that lets me digitize my designs & turn them into PES (or other formats). Still learning to use that too.

    Also....for free designs, visit UncleGravy at QuiltFusion: https://www.quiltfusion.com/product-...uilt-patterns/
    All these patterns come with cutting files that will work with most cutting machines out there.

    I don't think you can go wrong with your choice. You will have to put some time into learning whichever system you get, and try not to be intimidated too much by it. Learning anything almost always requires an oops or two, but...sew what? My Momma says: Fail Forward. Just have some fun along the way.

  14. #14
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Ihave used a cricut and have a scanncut. I find the learning curve is the same with these machines each have their own proprietary software. If you join a forum it helps a lot. If you buy from a dealer like i did it helps a lot. Reason i like the scanncut is you dont need software or computer just scan and cut. They do have a program but it is not necessary to use the machine others you have to be linked to the software in some way
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  15. #15
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    I have a Silhouette Cameo (not the latest model, but the software is the same). I bought it for about the same reasons you are looking into an additional cutting machine. I was choosing between it and a Scan N Cut and the price was one deciding factor. No-you do not need to join the design club to get designs--I usually buy them as needed on sale for 50cents each--you get them to save in definitely, plus they also have weekly free designs. You can join their club, but know that the tons of designs they offer include ones for 3D paper, scrapbooks, Heat Transfer, vinyl, fabric, etching glass, setting rhinestones, etc.
    You can also design your own using a program much like computer drafting, and also you can (using a special mat) scan in designs from pictures, etc. You do all this on your lap top which the cutting machine plugs into.
    You set cut depth, type, width, change out the cutting blade for different materials, and also can use a pen (either just a plain one or special ones) in the blade holder to draw out designs on the paper, etc.
    you do have to stiffen the fabric for cutting either by fusing fabric onto stablizer (either theirs or basically just any fusible stablizer like Heat N Bond, etc) or (and I haven't tried this but have heard from others that have) something like Terrial Magic that you spray on to stiffen so it goes through the machine smoothly.
    It does work fine on cutting fabric but I think the design needs to be somewhat less complicated to efficiently cut. I've also used it often with cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer, the pens or a drawn design, Their website has videos to show it in action.

  16. #16
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    I own the Cameo Silhouette and the Scan n Cut2 (wireless) they both are wonderful for cutting fabric though you do need to stabilize. The reason I wasn't interested in the Cricut was because from what I saw you needed to buy by the set of designs - i.e. if you wanted just one particular thing to cut out you had to buy the set @around $30 - I may be wrong, I didn't look that deep into. What I like about the Cameo & S&C is that once you get your design - say SUnbonnet Sue you can make it as big or as small as you want - you aren't stuck with just one size. And you could also use it to cut out quilt blocks. I started with the Cameo (and yes I do have the Go which I also love) and then got the S&C which I became aware of afterwards because I like that you can scan your piece of fabric and then put your design exactly where you want it. Many quilt shops offer classes for the S&C.
    Canvas is free on the Brother site (for S&C), there is also SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot) has a cost - onetime, I believe. I believe both Cameo & S&C you can buy designs individually and it's VERY reasonable (cheap) plus free designs. Blades on C and S&S are adjustable depending on what you are cutting. I think both machines are user friendly

  17. #17
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    I "think" I'm leaning toward the Brother Scan N Cut, just because it seems like what I want to do most of, it's the most direct way, fastest, and easiest. Funny, the Brother was actually down on my list behind the Cricut, Silhouette. I've been watching some youtube videos that compare the two machines(Maker and SCS2) and what they can and cannot do. Not to say I won't look into Cricut, Explore, or others once I get going.

    Now the pressing question is which Brother----the one sold on Amazon and other big box stores, or the big gun sold at Sewing/Quilt Stores/Shops. My budget is more along the lines of the big box ScanNCut2 unless someone has a screamin' deal(on either one for the holidays, i.e. Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday, etc.

    Who of you have the SNC350 and who of you have the SNS650 and what made you go with that particular SNC? I would be happy with a "used" or refurbished machine(at least to start with) if I could find one locally, but no go, so far.

    Thoughts??

  18. #18
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    I have the Accuquilt and the Scan n Cut. I love both of them. Scan n cut does have free software and just recently created a version that you can download and work on your desktop with. I havn't used that much. A friend of mine was telling me yesterday that she just took a class that compares the Scan n cut, the Silhouette and another one but I can't remember. She said that the Silhouette has free software to use and she thinks its pretty easy. Now she bought the business version because with it she can create designs, save them as SVG files and send them to the scan n cut. She created some for me for some new embroidery designs that I normally would use my cutwork needles with but now I can just cut all of the fabric and Peltex on the SnC and she said it'll be faster. I'm excited to try it. Even though I don't have the Silhouette I thinking about getting the business software to use for my Scan n Cut, she said its easier than the one that you get for free from Brother. I'm just getting back into doing all of this after being down for over 3 years so its a challenge learning all of this new stuff and forgotten stuff. But as far as cutters, I love the SnC, it cuts, draws, you can even scan documents into you pc for saving. Right now they just came out with a new one, I've heard it has issues but not sure. The point is, now the last one which was the SnC 2 will be cheaper and some of the older ones that people are trading in. It might be the best way to try. I have the one before the 2, I didn't trade up because even though it had more features, like wireless, it did away with some that I like. I don't have wifi so that didn't matter to me. Brother comes with lots of designs and quilt blocks plus you can make your own. Check you tube, a couple of spokes people for Brother have videos on there and I think there are some comparisons as well
    Judy

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