Silhouette Portrait 2

Last updated date: October 1, 2019

DWYM Score

8.0

Silhouette Portrait 2

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We looked at the top Die Cutting Machines and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Die Cutting Machine you should buy.

Update as August 22, 2021:
Checkout The Best Craft Die Cutting Machine for a detailed review of all the top die cutting machines.

Overall Take

The Silhouette Portrait 2 can cut a variety of materials, including cardstock, fabric, heat transfer material, transparencies, paper, velium and adhesive vinyl and magnet paper. It comes with PC- and Mac-compatible software, as well as 50 exclusive digital designs.


In our analysis of 40 expert reviews, the Silhouette Portrait 2 placed 0th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Silhouette Portrait

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.0
5 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.2
567 user reviews

What experts liked

If you don’t mind the smaller size, or you don’t want to invest quite as much money, the Portrait is a good choice.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Small and light, this can easily fit into hand luggage or even your handbag — and this is even more true for the Portrait 2.
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
December 19, 2017 | Full review
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.
- Personal Die Cutting
Bluetooth lets you connect wirelessly to your computer, iPad, iPhone, or Android device. It has a range of 100 feet, so you can set up your Portrait anywhere you want, without being tethered to a computer.
- Cut, Cut, Craft
November 22, 2018 | Full review
This machine’s remarkable ability to handle over 100 materials is definitely impressive!
- The Best Vinyl Cutters

What experts didn't like

The cutting area maxes out at 8 inches wide (versus 12 inches for our other picks), so it won’t work for signs or iron-on decals for tote bags and tees, but in our tests it cut many of the same projects that the bigger machines could.
- New York Times Wirecutter
One area where we think Silhouette missed an opportunity was not including a dual carriage on the Portrait 2, allowing you to write and cut, write and score or score and cut at the same time.
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
December 19, 2017 | Full review
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.
- Personal Die Cutting
The first drawback of the Portrait 2 is that it has the same weak cutting force endemic to all the other Silhouette models. It cuts with 210 grams of force, which is pretty weak in the cutting world.
- Cut, Cut, Craft
November 22, 2018 | Full review
The cutting force is 210 grams, which means it won’t be able to cut heavier items like balsawood.
- The Best Vinyl Cutters

An Overview On Die Cutting Machines

A craft die-cutting machine can be the perfect tool for any crafter’s workshop. Over the years, these devices have evolved from their original design that needed cartridges to cut out letters and shapes. Today’s craft die-cutting machines can print out die-cuts that are designed on your mobile device or computer, opening up the possibilities for what you can do with them.

If you’re interested in designing on your mobile device, though, it’s important to find a craft die-cutting machine that’s compatible with the operating system you use. Some machines have larger image libraries than others as well, with some featuring big-name designers as part of the free library they provide.

But not all craft die-cutting machines are created equal. Some can cut through extremely tough fabrics like leather and vinyl, while others can handle delicate fabrics like lace. If you plan to work with a wide range of fabrics, look for a machine that can adjust to the thickness and type that you’re using.

Craft die-cutting machines have also improved in their ease of use. Not only can you get started right out of the box, but today’s machines also have notifications built in that will let you know when your machine is warmed up and when it’s about to shut down due to inactivity. You’ll also find that some machines can quickly warm up, which means you’ll be able to complete a cut any time you need to without having to wait an extended period of time.

Crafting doesn’t always happen at home. If you craft with friends, perhaps through retreats or casual get-togethers, you’ll love that some craft die-cutting machines are ultra-portable. Not only are these machines lightweight and small, but they also have a handle that makes them easy to carry. Even if your machine never leaves the house, though, a smaller machine will more easily fit into your crafting room.

The Die Cutting Machine Buying Guide

  • For crafters, it’s all about the designs. Some models let you upload your own images or choose from a large selection in their free library. Other models also feature built-in image libraries, with hundreds of patterns from big brands like Simplicity and Riley Blake.
  • Before you buy a craft die-cutting machine, think carefully about the types of materials you’ll want to use. The Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut through foils, leather and vinyl, among many other material types. Other models are especially good with thick materials, like glitter heat transfer vinyl.
  • For quilters, you’ll want to look for a craft die-cutting machine that can cut fabric without the need for heat and bond.
  • Some machines can cut all types of fabric without you needing to add interfacing or backing to it to reinforce it.
  • Some models use a technology called the Adaptive Tool System, which features 10 times the cutting power of other machines. It adapts to the depth of the fabric you’re using at a given time.
  • Waiting for your craft die-cutting machine to warm up can be frustrating. A model that heats up in 60 seconds or less is an excellent choice.
  • Whether you’re new to craft die-cutting machines or not, ease of use is important. Look for a model that beeps to notify you once it reaches the preferred temperature, as well as before shutting down due to inactivity. Another handy feature to watch for is the ability to remember the settings you last used.
  • Cleaning and maintenance can be time-consuming, so look for a machine that lasts through many uses with minimal maintenance.
  • It’s important to note that these aren’t professional-grade die-cutting machines. However, they’re great for home craft projects that you wouldn’t have been able to do without a craft die-cutting machine.
  • For those concerned about staying within a budget, keep in mind that you can find a machine that fits your budget, depending on the bells and whistles that are included.
  • In order to print designs from your mobile device, you’ll need to download an app onto your phone.
  • A loud craft die-cutting machine can be a nuisance, especially if you use your maker when your family is around. Some are quieter than others, so keep that in mind before purchasing.
  • Technologies seem to always be changing. Some models are fully expandable, which means as new tools like blades and pens are released to the market, you can easily add them.