Card Making & Scrapbooking Paper Craft Supplies

Compare the Silhouette Cameo and KNK Zing

With the imminent arrival of the Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, we thought it was time to to pass on a few important facts and figures. We have had a great deal of questions about them and how they compare with the KNK Zing which came out at the end of last year. After writing what seems to be a number of essay email replies about each machine, I thought it was time to create a table of information to help everyone draw their own conclusions  to what suits your needs.

Both machines use hard plastic cutting mats as well as being driven by PC software giving you the freedom of designing your own shapes. You can also import files to cut or re-size and cut as you wish, making them both very flexible. As more information comes to hand we will update this article so that you will be as up to date as we are.


Currently the price of a KNK Zing is $595.00

We no longer Stock the Silhouette Cameo.

If you have either machine please tell us what you think about yours.



Silhouette Cameo

KNK Zing

Maximum Cutting area 12”x 12” (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm) with a cutting mat12” x 10’ (30.5 cm x 3 m) with a lined media ( Vinyl ) 14” x Unlimited Cutting mat supplied is 15” wide with a max cutting width of 14”
Maximum Cutting Thickness 0.8mm thick 2.0 mm Thick
Maximum Cutting Force 210 grams 750 grams
Print and Cut Feature Yes with Magic Eye Yes with Laser Alignment
Software Silhouette Studio Make The Cut
Files Supported JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, WMFOther file types require software upgrade available from Silhouette for $49
  • Preview/Import Any AI9, PS, EPS, SVG, TTF, OTF, PDF or SCUT File
  • Export shapes in PDF, SVG, EPS, AI, JPG and PNG formats.
  • Convert Raster (PNG, GIF, JPG, etc.) Images to Cuttables






$10 voucher to purchase shapes from the Silhouette website + 51 cutting designs included. 


All basic shapes included in the software as well as a library on-line of over 5500 shapes and growing. All available for free download. Try before you buy
USB & Bluetooth (wireless)



  1. January 13, 2012    

    Just like to take this opportunity to say I just purchased the KNK Zing. I am in heaven with this machine. I found it very easy to set up and start using. The software it is shipped with is fantastic. For the print and cut feature it does take a little bit of time to align your laser to your particular machine but the instructions are very straight forward and easy to follow. I downloaded and printed off the manual for the machine and the included software and it is so easy to use.
    I have also found the sites they recommend for additional help and contact with others that use the machine to be very friendly and informative.
    I would give this machine a very high rating and would highly suggest anyone considering purchasing a machine to seriously consider the KNK Zing. I really do love mine already and only had it a week.

    • Ian Ian
      January 13, 2012    

      Thanks for letting everyone know what you think about your Zing. I’m sure it will help anyone thinking about buying a cutting machine.

      • July 25, 2012    

        Is there any way to use the zing with my MAC?

        • Ian Ian
          July 26, 2012    

          Yes, there is a Mac version of Make The Cut. It is a Beta version but we have a number of owners using it on a Mac with no problems as far as we have heard. If you purchase a Zing from us please let us know you want the mac software and we can email it to you.

  2. February 10, 2012    

    I’M SO OVERWHELMED. I’m a graphic designer and consider myself quite computer literate. This realm of cutting machines is one i’ve been researching (more like circling) for weeks. I’m trying to decide between cameo or zing + a little manual embosser OR should I go all out and go for a gazelle or even a lynx? Of course – like ever consumer I want the best machine for as little money as possible!

    Ideally, I want intricate cuts that are clean. How does the zing and cameo compare in the actual fine detail cuts? I’m a MAC user, hate parallels, and design with illustrator – I know its not possible – but I wish someone could tell me what to buy already haha.

    The silhouette just seams to get consistent high reviews. People are in love with other machines or loath them. Having said that the cameo seems a bit limited in comparison especially at australian prices (really whats the incentive to buy here again??? service and warranty but i’d love to see more competitive prices in the international market)

    Anyway – love some feedback as i’ve going at this for far longer then I like.

    • Ian Ian
      February 10, 2012    

      I can understand your confusion now there are more and more choices of cutting machines available these days. Like many things, you get what you pay for and in that I mean pay more and get bigger cutting areas and more cutting pressure on the blade. As you see from the comparison of the Cameo & Zing, the Zing has several times more pressure and wider cutting than the Cameo. The Make The Cut software is easy to use with fantastic features letting you do many things very well. The video tutorials on the Internet walks you through all of the features at the speed you want to go at. Make The Cut can be downloaded for free and you can play with it even without a machine to see what you think. It is a PC piece of software but you should be able to run something like Fusion that allows you to run a virtual Windows machine. I have recently heard of people already doing this.

      When it comes to price in Australia there several reasons why they are higher here and many I can’t go into here but, one thing that has an effect is shipping charges, duty and tax. A shipment of machines at that weight/volume can cost a great deal of money to bring into Australia. If you want to discuss this further to choose a machine please use our contact us page and give me your phone number and I can call you to see if we can help you further.


  3. February 21, 2012    

    Hi, I can’t decide between KNK Zing and silhouette cameo, I really only need it for scrapbooking and making cards. Any thoughts?

    • Ian Ian
      February 21, 2012    

      I think Value for money points to the KNK Zing when you compare the facts and figures but, everyone has their own opinion 🙂

  4. March 3, 2012    

    Hi all,

    I’m new here…My name is Jay and I live in Central Florida, USA near Walt Disney World…I can tell you that I graduated from 2 Cricuts, (Baby Cricut and Expression) to the KNK Zing….The Zing is so much better….it cuts faster and much more accurately that I ever could have imagined. The laser alignment is extremely accurate…I’m hoping to try Balsa wood next!
    Take care, Be well,


    • Ian Ian
      March 3, 2012    

      Thanks for your comments Jay. I’m sure it will help others deciding on which machine to choose a bit easier. Say hi to Mickey for me, been a long time since I visited Disney World. Liked it so much I went 3 times 😉

  5. Terry Terry
    April 26, 2012    

    Has anyone used the zing to cut thin timber veneer? or is this expecting too much of it?

    • Ian Ian
      April 27, 2012    

      I don’t know of anyone that has cut it using a Zing but I think it should do the job even if you have to make the software do 2 passes of the cut. Because it is very accurate so once is has cut it once it can go back to the start and cut it over again to cut that little bit deeper.

  6. May 21, 2012    

    Hi there, would you be able to tell as far as noise goes which machine is the quieter of the two.



    • Ian Ian
      May 21, 2012    

      There is little difference between them and there are many things that effect how loud they each are. Things like how solid the table you have it on makes a huge difference as well as if you have hard floors or carpet in the room makes even more differences. Personally I think they are pretty quiet for what they are doing and the speed they do it at.

  7. JH JH
    June 8, 2012    

    Hi, will the Zing work with a mac? I’m not concerned about the bundled design software as I will be designing and cutting straight from Illustrator.

    How long does the blade take to blunt? Is there a warning when it’s no longer useable?

    What different blades/accessories are available? What else do I need to replace other than blades? Thanks.

    • Ian Ian
      June 13, 2012    

      I have been looking into your question about the Zing working with a Mac and I am happy to let you know that it can be done. Make The Cut has a pre-production version of it for the Mac and they are happy for us to supply it with the Zing. It will have a full release soon of which like the PC versions you will be entitled to the latest version when it is upgraded. If you would like to order a Zing please just put a note in the “Customer Comment” box as you check out to supply the Apple software and we will make sure the disk is added for you.

      • Cas Cas
        June 13, 2012    

        Note: Mac version of make the cut software which is bundled with zing is currently in beta on the knk website if you wanna check it out. It’s written with wine.

        Also, to date you cannot cut directly from illustrator and make the cut is the only comparable software/method to send images to cut. I do would love adobe plugins and better Mac comparability and have done a lot of questioning on this topic 🙂 the zing itself is perfect though!

  8. Kim Kim
    June 9, 2012    

    Hi, I have been looking at the Silhouette Cameo as I want to make my own 3 part stencils to use for Glitter Tattoos. Has anyone used the KNK Zing for this purpose? After looking at the comparison tables the KNK Zing looks like the one for me.

  9. deb deb
    July 6, 2012    

    quick question please..I’m a bit confused. I’m a cake decorator and always looking for new techiques. In my research for this machine I keep reading “print and Cut” however, I can’t find anything that shows it “prints” will I need to purchase a ediable printer machine first to get these beautiful results?

    • Ian Ian
      July 9, 2012    

      Hi Deb
      You use your own printer to do the printing. You make the design on the cutter software first then send it to your printer. When it prints it puts little crop marks at each corner. When you put the printed (in your case, fondant sheet) into the cutter and it will cut our your design. You can see how it works from this video

    • August 5, 2012    

      YES. You will need a separate printer with edible ink. You do NOT want to mix regular ink with the edible ink. Good luck.

  10. July 6, 2012    

    Hi everyone, I´m really confused I was thinking buying the silhouette, but now.. I work with felt, balsa wood, foam sheets and bétula. I need a machine which I can draw my own shapes and it has to pierce, engrave and emboss the materials. What do you sugest?? (sorry for my poor English ) 🙂

    • Ian Ian
      July 9, 2012    

      I don’t think the Cameo will cut the thicker things like Balsa for you. You may want to consider the KNK Zing machine as that has a lot more cutting pressure than most other machines of a similar price.

  11. July 22, 2012    

    Can the KNK Zing engrave metal?

    • Ian Ian
      July 24, 2012    

      It can engrave with the optional engraving tool that is available for just under $50

  12. July 24, 2012    

    Hello Ian, Thanks for my prompt delivery of the lovely 14″ Zing!!!!!!!!!!! I love it, it is such an upgrade from the Ecraft which i bought a year ago. I’m sooooooo happy!

    • Ian Ian
      July 24, 2012    

      Hi Nicole, I’m glad you are happy with your KNK Zing. They are extremely popular with all positive feedback. I’m sure anyone thinking about buying a Zing would be encouraged by your enthusiasm. Happy Cutting 🙂

  13. October 5, 2012    

    I’m sure it will cut the rubber mats for the rhinestone stencils?

  14. February 17, 2013    

    I was going to purchase a Cameo but have heard that designs that are Studio files cannot be sold commercially. (Silhouette I believe are making a big mistake because if people can’t buy designs other than from their site, people wont bother buying the machine).
    Are there any restrictions on files with the Zing? ie if I make designs will I be allowed to sell them?

    • Ian Ian
      February 19, 2013    

      Anything you design / create yourself in the software that comes with the machines can be used for anything you like. There are no restrictions on what you design it is only restricted when you purchase a ready made file if they are under copyright conditions as you mentioned in the sale of the Silhouette ones.

  15. April 11, 2013    

    I too spent ages dithering on choice of a machine…. research lead me to the Zing, which I have had for 3 weeks now and am very pleased.
    I am a Mac user and the machine ships with Make the Cut running on Wine (a “Windows Converter”). I have already received the free software upgrade to MTC 4.6.1 – the service cannot be faulted.
    You can use Illustrator but files will need to be converted to MTC compatible files for import – not difficult!
    One gripe is the Imperial measurement set-up. There are small items in-built which give metric conversions, but I do find it unnecessarily awkward to keep thinking in parts-of-an-inch compared to millimeters. I have set a mat with a Metric rule to align my projects.
    I believe the developers are enthusiastic about this machine and future upgrades should address this issue – they ask for a “Wishlist” in the Yahoo group and seem to respond.
    In my opinion this is the best option on the market in this price range.
    (No affiliation to KnK or MTC)

  16. Chloe F Chloe F
    April 21, 2015    

    I am on the hunt for a die cutting machine and have come across this article and the comments have been very interesting. I am considering buying a KNK but had a few questions. I create wedding stationery, but like to have this printed properly at professional printers. I was thinking it would be great to be able to cut out the design in fun shapes after it was printed, but i am concerned about how it would register. An example of this would be if I had some A5 sized invites printed and wanted to cut it into an oval shape afterwards. Is there a way to export some registration marks onto the design that I send to the printers so later I can cut it out later?
    Help would be appreciated as it is a big investment for my small business and would like to find something that can do what I am after.

    • Ian Ian
      April 22, 2015    

      Hi Chloe

      When you want to do a print and cut like that you need to print from the design software (Make The Cut) as that will add the registration marks so that you can put it into the cutter again. From there you need to use the laser in the cutter to show it three of the four marks to cut it out correctly. I haven’t actually tried this but in theory it should work but you could do the design in the software and then save the print output as a PDF file and give that to your printing company. They should be able to print as many as you like from that so you can use them in your machine to cut out the shapes.

      You can see a video here of a demo of print and cut to give you an idea of how it all works.

      I hope that helps you and if you have any other questions please feel free to contact us again. You can use our Contact Us form on our site if you wish.

  17. Kristen Kristen
    July 28, 2015    

    Hi there. I am looking for a machine to use for my classroom. I spend hours cutting out shapes to make games and things for my students. I am usually on my couch with a pair of scissors every single night. I am looking for a machine that I can use to cut out straight from PDF, PowerPoint, and Word files that I’ve created or purchased. Ideally that machine would also cut the shapes out again after I’ve run them through the school laminator. Let me clarify that the shapes would be cut out, then laminated. Then they need cut out again from the lamination. Any suggestions?

    • Ian Ian
      August 5, 2015    

      A KNK Zing would do the cutting for you easily. You can’t cut directly from the files you have but you can import them into the software (Make The Cut) and then it can trace the shapes for you. Once you have done that you can save it as a cutting file to call up and cut at any time. Have a look at the software and if you like you can download a trial to play with even without the machine. That way you can see how it will work for you. You can see it all here.
      I hope that does the job for you.

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