Silhouette Portrait 2 Review

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Anyone looking for a small but versatile cutting machine that they can use for their crafts and DIYs should look no further than the Silhouette Portrait 2. An improved iteration of the original Portrait, the Portrait 2 is often referred to as the younger sibling to the Portrait 3 and shares similar features with the Cameo 3 but in a lighter smaller package.

The Portrait 2 functions almost like a printer, but as opposed to printing on the page with ink, a blade is moved around to cut images out of the material that the user has selected to use. The machine can work with several materials including cardstock, paper, fabric, vinyl amongst others. Apart from cutting, it can also be used for drawing.

We take an exhaustive look at the details surrounding the Silhouette Portrait 2 and why it is a crafter best portable cutting tool.

Silhouette Portrait 2 Overview

Introduced into the market in November 2017, the Portrait 2 is an upgraded version of the initial portrait incorporating technologies such as Bluetooth and AutoBlade to its functionalities. It’s, in our opinion, one of the best portable automated cutting machines in the market, and it is ideal for anyone who is into crafts beginners included. Its size makes it perfect for small craft studios. The package of the Portrait 2 contains the electronic cutting machine, power cable, AutoBlade, Bluetooth adapter, USB cable, 8-inch cutting mat, 50 exclusive cuttable designs, Silhouette Studio software and a one-month free subscription to Silhouette design store.

Features of the Silhouette Portrait 2

Size aside, it is very easy to mistake the Portrait 2 for the original portrait, but any doubts that one may have are quickly washed away as soon as they start using the Portrait 2. With the several new features that place it just slightly under the high-tech Cameo cutting machine, the portrait 2 is the perfect compromise. Some of the features that the machine brags include;

Bluetooth compatibility; this must be my beloved feature of the Portrait simply because it eliminates the uses of cables and as such, makes the cutting machine even more portable. By simply activating the Bluetooth, a user can send files from their computer to the machine which will print them remotely. This feature provides users with the freedom to manage their designs in the Portrait’s Silhouette Studio software as well as any design software that they may be comfortable using. Once a user has finished creating their custom design, they simply send the artwork to their device for execution with only a few swift clicks. The Bluetooth also offers the benefit of users completing the design and customization process without compromising on their comfort. Unlike in the past when one had to limit their workspace because they were using power cables.

Compatibility with PixScan; if you are confused because you have never heard of PixScan do not fret. PixScan is an innovative technology Patented by Silhouette America that has the ability to transform sketches drawn by hand into intricately cut pieces of art. This is legit one of the best ways to achieve those creative and bolder pieces such as the ones that involve digitization of a user’s stamp collection. All you need is either a camera or scanner, and you are good to go as PixScan works using three steps specifically,

Step one: putting your artwork of sketch on the mat provided.

Step two: using your scanner, camera, or a smartphone to capture the imagery of the material.

Step three: importing the captured image into the software and adding the necessary cut lines.

Auto blade: this is an intuitive feature that helps users attain the right settings regardless of the material they are using for their crafts. This feature eliminates a lot of the guesswork that occurred as users tried to determine which material to use and why. The AutoBlade which is included in the machine’s package and has played a significant role in improving the quality of cuts.

Can Accommodate Thick Materials: Unlike the Portrait 1, the Portrait punches above its weight bragging a 2mm clearance that facilitates the use of thick materials. This is a significant milestone because users are no longer limited to only using thin materials such as paper, card, or vinyl as they can effectively use materials such as craft foam and leather which were previously difficult to cut. This translates to value for money and convenience as users do not have to struggle with sturdier materials.

Cutting Power: The Silhouette has a limited cutting size, but this has not stopped it from excelling in a lot of the tasks it is required to handle. This machine offers users with the ability to cut materials up to 10 feet long despite its width having a limited 8-inch cutting capacity. However, the machines cutting force could be better in our opinion, as its 210-gram force would struggle with tougher materials such as balsa wood. We nonetheless appreciate the fact that the Portrait 2’s cutting power is accommodative of diverse kinds of blades aside from the AutoBlade that the machine is equipped with when a user purchases it. Users can order other blades such as the fabric blade, the standard blade, and the deep cut blade which they can use to achieve different outcomes depending on their needs.

Pros

  • This Silhouette Portrait 2 maybe a small machine, but it is extremely powerful and performs beautifully.
  • Due to its portability, one can easily move it between places
  • The Silhouette design software is not only easy to use, but it can function without internet access.
  • Users can enjoy cutting wirelessly because the Silhouette portrait 2 is Bluetooth compatible

Cons

  • The machine’s cutting force is limited to the 210 grams weight of the machine.
  • The cutting width is small and could be much larger than it currently is.
  • Users must pay for the advanced design software features in order to access them

Final Thoughts

The Silhouette Portrait 2 is an impressive machine that shares several unique features and benefits with some of the most powerful cutting machines in the market today. Anyone considering acquiring this machine is certainly in for a great treat.

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