Silhouette Portrait 3 Review 2023 (The Pros and Cons)
What is Silhouette Portrait 3? The Silhouette Portrait is a cutting machine that can be used to create various projects, such as decals, stickers, cards, vinyl projects, and more. This machine is very popular among crafters and hobbyists. It is also relatively affordable, which makes it a great option for those on a budget. Are you in the market for a new cutting machine? If so, you may be wondering if the Silhouette Portrait 3 is right for you.
This lightweight and portable machine have a lot of great features, but it also has some drawbacks. I am handling this machine since last month and I believe you should be aware of both the pros and cons of this machine before making your purchase. Continue Reading Silhouette Portrait 3 Review below!
I bought this cutting machine because I wanted to try it for vinyl projects and card making and I was not disappointed. Weighing just 3.5 lbs, the Silhouette Portrait 3 is very portable and can be easily taken to craft fairs or classes or even your friend’s home. It has a sleek white design and is very quiet when in use. The machine comes with a power cord, USB cable, software CD, one cutting mat of 8 inches, 100 Exclusive Cutting Designs, a download card, and a basic guide.
Short Summary for Why to Go with Silhouette Portrait 3
Affordable, beginner-friendly, portable, cutting different materials up to 8 inches wide (more than its competitor, Cricut joy has 4 inches) and 60 feet long, automatic detection tool, PixScan compatible and cutting range of different materials like vinyl, stickers, cards, paper, cardstock, and more, make it a good choice.
The main drawback is the lack of Dual carriage and bit noisy machine. You can do one job at a time, drawing or cutting. While the Cameo 4 has a dual carriage. So if want dual carriage then you should obviously go with Cameo 4. If you are a beginner and looking to make stickers and sheets, then Silhouette Portrait 3 is sufficient for you. I would give it 9.5 stars over 10.
Read Also: Silhouette Cameo 4 Review
Why Silhouette Portrait 3?
This white color die-cutting machine comes with dimensions of 18 x 8 x 9 inches, and a price of $199 has the following features.
- Cutting Force & Depth
- PixScan Mat
- 4 Types of Cutting Blades
- 4 Different Adapters
- Matless Cutting
- Print & Cut
- Bluetooth & USB connectivity
- Windows and Mac Compatible
- Silhouette App
- Silhouette Software
The sleek white design makes it look elegant and resemblance to other die-cutting machines like Cricut explore air 2. Its main competitor Cricut Joy has the same almost weight.
It is very light in weight (just weighing around three and a half pounds) so that you can easily take it with you wherever you go. Cricut joy is also a portable die-cutting machine. Portability is also one of the main reasons people choose the Silhouette Portrait 3 over other machines.
Cutting Force & Depth
With a cutting force of up to 210 grams and a depth of two millimeters, the Silhouette Portrait 3 can cut through a variety of materials, including vinyl, cardstock, and paper, and more. You can cut a letter of (8.5″x11″) or A4 materials. Cricut Maker has a force of 4000g Cameo 4 has 5000g but 210-gram force is quite enough to deal with vinyl, paper and stickers. It worked for me cutting stickers and vinyl sheets but if you are looking to cut thicker materials like leather and balsa wood, consider another cutting machine like the Cricut maker.
The PixScan mat is a great feature that allows you to scan any image or design and have it cut out by the Silhouette Portrait. This is a great feature for those who want to create custom designs or for those who want to convert images into vector files.
The Silhouette Portrait comes with an Auto Blade, which is a great feature for those who want to cut precise designs. The Auto Blade automatically adjusts the blade depth and pressure for different materials, making it easy to cut precise designs. The blade is made of high-performance tungsten alloy and can be used for the most common materials like paper, vinyl or iron-on transfer. The blade’s length varies depending on what you’re cutting, but it can be as short at 0.1mm or long up to 1 mm!
The Rachet Blade is an all-purpose cutting blade that can be manually adjusted for different material thicknesses. Made of tungsten alloy with a length from 0.1mm – 1 mm, this sharp tool will give your designs the perfect edge without any hassle! Compatible only with The Portrait 3 however you may not need it since I recommend using Autoblade if possible which has been known as one step ahead in designing blades and saves time.
The Premium Blade is an upgrade to the Rachet blade, but with one big difference. This new sintered tungsten alloy makes it much longer-lasting than other blades on market today! You can cut most materials just like you did before by using this sharpener but a black adapter for this tool also needs to be purchased separately which will make your job much easier.
Deep Cut Blade
This blade is perfect for cutting thick/soft materials like craft foam, cardstock and other similar products. It can cut up to 2mm in thickness with its manual adjustment range of 0-2 mm! Made from tungsten alloy metal so it won’t get dull too quickly even if used frequently.
The deep cut feature makes this tool ideal when you need bigger holes or cuts through tough material.
One thing to remember that expose enough blade so that its tip barely touches the cutting mat when held on the material.
This blade is made of stainless steel, so it can cut through stronger materials like chipboard and leather. The manual adjustment ranges from 0.1-2 mm to make sure you get the perfect fit for whatever material may be being processed. Although a kraft blade is available but it is not compatible with Portrait 3.
Four types of adapters come with Portrait. These adapters are needed when you want to use different materials or even if you want to use a new blade with your machine.
- Premium Adapter-Black
- Grey-Deep cut Adapter
- Blue-Pen Holder Adapter
- Whaite-Kraft Blade Adapter
Note: only the Blue-Pen Holder adapter is included with purchase and the rest of the adapters can be bought separately.
You can use the Silhouette Portrait to draw or write with a pen! The machine comes with one black pen, but you can purchase other colors separately. You can also use the pens to create custom designs or to trace images.
Note: Be sure to buy Pen Holder Type B which is compatible with Portrait 3.
The Silhouette Portrait can be used without a cutting mat! This is great for those who want to cut small designs or for those who want to use the machine on the go.
To use the machine without a mat, you’ll need to purchase the Matless Cutting Kit. The kit includes a roll of cutting film, a weeding tool, and a pick-me-up mat.
The cutting film is placed over the material you want to cut, and the machine will cut through the film. The weeding tool is used to remove the negative space from the design, and the pick-me-up mat is used to transfer the design to your project.
The matless cutting feature is a great way to save time and money, and it’s perfect for those who want to cut small designs.
Print & Cut
The Silhouette Portrait can be used as a printer! You can use the machine to print designs on your computer, and then use the machine to cut them out.
This is a great way to create custom t-shirts, stickers, and more. You can also use the machine to print designs on paper and then cut them out with the Silhouette Portrait.
Bluetooth & USB Connectivity
The Silhouette Portrait has both Bluetooth and USB connectivity, making it easy to connect to your computer or laptop. The Bluetooth connection is great for those who want to use the Silhouette Portrait 3 without having to worry about cables. You can connect wirelessly with your smartphone, tablet and laptop. The USB connection is great for those who want to use the Silhouette Portrait 3 with a laptop or desktop computer.
The Silhouette Portrait is a great choice for those who are new to die-cutting. The machine is easy to use and comes with a variety of features that make it easy to create custom designs. The Silhouette Studio software is also very user-friendly and comes with a variety of tutorials that make it easy to learn how to use the machine.
Windows and Mac Compatible
The Silhouette Portrait 3 is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. You can use the Silhouette Studio software on both types of computers. The machine also comes with a USB cable, so you can easily connect it to your computer.
The Silhouette Go App is the perfect way to send designs or premade images without needing a computer. This new app has limited features but can still help you create amazing pieces with ease! You’re able to resize, rotate, duplicate your image as well as add print registration marks – all from within this iOS & Android-based mobile application that’s available now in beta version.
The Silhouette Studio software is the heart of the Silhouette machine. This is where you will create your designs, add text, and more. The software is very user-friendly and starting from scratch is very easy. Although the basic version is free if required more advanced features then it is required to upgrade.
Note: Software works on Mac or Windows operating systems. Smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks are not compatible with this software.
Silhouette Portrait 3
- 30% light weight than its Competitors.
- Beginners Friendly.
- 210 g cutting force. Enough for vinyl, paper and stickers.
- Can cut different materials up to 8 inches wide and 60 feet long.
- Advanced autoblade.Automatically adjusts the blade depth and pressure for different materials.
- Can cut 2mm thickness.
- Silhouette Go App with built-in-Designs.
- Lack of Dual Carriage.
- Bit Noisy.
- Can not cut thicker materials like leather & wood.
What Type of Materials Silhouette Portrait 3 Can Cut?
The Silhouette Portrait can cut a variety of materials, including:
- Sticker Paper
- Heat transfer vinyl
- Adhesive foil
- Craft foam
Note: The machine cannot cut metal, wood, or glass.
It is always a good idea to test your settings before cutting anything major with the Portrait 3. The software has an easy Test Cut feature that allows you can see what changes will be made in real-time so there are no surprises when it comes time for finalizing everything!
Comparison of Silhouette Portrait 3 with Other Machines
I am confused about which one to buy? Is this a question you find yourself constantly asking? If you are in the market for a cutting machine then you have probably seen all of the different machines that are available. It can be so overwhelming! Let me help!
Silhouette Portrait 3 vs Cricut Joy
It might be the most confusing to choose between the two that have many similar features.
The main difference between the Silhouette Portrait and the Cricut Joy is that the Cricut Joy is an entry-level machine while the Silhouette Portrait is a mid-level machine. The Silhouette Portrait has more features than the Cricut Joy and can cut a wider variety of materials. It can cut materials up to 8 inches wide & 60 feet long while the Cricut Joy can only cut materials up to 4 inches wide & 4 feet long.
The Silhouette Portrait is also compatible with the Silhouette Studio software while the Cricut Joy is not. The Silhouette Studio software gives you more control over your designs and allows you to create more complex designs than the Cricut design space in Cricut Joy.
On two points Cricut Joy is better than Silhouette, The price, and Compatibility with the card mat. The price of Cricut joy is $179.99 and Silhouette is $ 199.99. However, there is no huge difference in price. If you are a beginner and on a budget, Cricut Joy is the best machine.
Read Full Review of Cricut Joy Machine
Silhouette Portrait 3 vs 4
The Silhouette Cameo 4 is the ideal choice for vinyl cutting enthusiasts who want to go big or stay home. With a deeper 3-mm depth, built-in roll feeder and cross cutter that can handle any project you throw at it without slowing down production time thanks to its 100 free designs library included with every machine purchase – this product have got everything!
One of the best features of Cameo 4 has the Dual carriage which Silhouette doesn’t have. Cameo comes with 5000g force and can cut tougher and thicker materials. Cameo 4 can cut 12 inches wide which is more than a Silhouette Portrait.
Price of Silhouette Portrait 3: $199
Price of Silhouette Cameo 4: $299
Portrait 3 vs Portrait 2
Cut size, print & cut, the automatic detection tool, matless cutting and auto blade are the features in Portrait 3 and missed in Portrait 2. Portrait 2 can cut 8 inches wide & 10 feet long while Portrait 3 can cut 8 inches wide & 60 feet long. Portrait 3 is more lightweight than Portrait 2.
Silhouette Portrait 3 vs Cricut Explore Air 2
The next most confusing comparison is between the Silhouette Portrait 3 vs Cricut Explore Air because they are both mid-level machines.
The main difference between the Silhouette Portrait and the Cricut Explore Air is that the Cricut Explore Air can cut faster than the Silhouette Portrait. The Silhouette Portrait can cut up to 60 feet per minute while the Cricut Explore Air can cut up to 80 feet per minute. If you want to create custom cards, signs and more with ease then the Cricut Explore Air 2 is an excellent option. With its ability as well engrave or score any item on-the-fly this machine will make your work life easier!
Read Review of Cricut Explore Air 2
The Silhouette Portrait is a great machine for those who want to create custom cards, signs, and more with 210 g cutting force & up to 2mm thickness. It is easy to use, portable and has a variety of other features that make it a great choice for those who are looking for a mid-level machine. However, there are some drawbacks to the Silhouette Portrait that should be considered before making a purchase. Overall, the Silhouette Portrait is a great machine for those who want to create custom projects with ease.
Q: How do I make stickers with my Silhouette Portrait 3?
A: You can make stickers with your Silhouette Portrait by using the print and cut feature. Simply design your sticker in the Silhouette Studio software and then print it out on adhesive paper. Once it is printed, load it into your Silhouette Portrait and let the machine do the cutting for you.
Q: Can I use the Silhouette Portrait 3 to cut fabric?
A: Yes, you can use the Silhouette Portrait to cut fabric. However, you will need to purchase a cutting mat that is compatible with the Silhouette Portrait 3.
Q: Can I use the Silhouette Portrait to cut wood?
A: No, you cannot use the Silhouette Portrait to cut wood. The machine is not designed for cutting materials that are thicker than two millimeters.
Q: What is the benefit of Silhouette Portrait 3 software?
A: The Silhouette Studio software is a great way to design your own projects. You can use the software to create custom designs, or you can purchase design files from the Silhouette Design Store. The software is easy to use and comes with a variety of features that will make creating your own designs easy and fun.
The best features are the print and cut function, which allows you to print your design and then have the Silhouette Portrait cut it out for you. You can also use the software to create layered designs or to engrave words and phrases into your projects.
I hope Silhouette Portrait 3 review will work for you.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Thank you for your time!
I am Mason, a Team Leader & Writer, a proactive and collaborative individual who works closely with my team to achieve shared goals. I am skilled in managing projects and am able to lead my team to success by setting clear expectations, providing guidance and feedback, and fostering a positive and productive work environment. I have a deep understanding of printers, sticker printers, label makers, sublimation, and craft markets, and use my knowledge to produce high-quality content that is both informative and trusted for the readers.