CNC & Machining Digital Fabrication
Review: Small and Affordable Silhouette Portrait Vinyl Cutter
The Silhouette Portrait. Photo by Gunther Kirsch
Pro Tips
Upgrade to Designer Edition or a third-party tool for more file-type options, offering a wider variety of software and better control of the Portrait’s smaller cutting area.
Narrow designs such as signs and banner elements can be run out to 10 feet (finesse required!).
Why to Buy
Those looking for a pint-size cutting plotter they can bring with them (or stow away when not in use) will appreciate the lower price, while retaining most of the capabilities of the Cameo.

The easy-to-run Portrait offers many of the premium capabilities of the Cameo while lowering costs by forgoing the LCD display and USB stick slot. It’s smaller too, but with the optional roll feeder, it can cut work as long as the Cameo, albeit not as wide. It cuts the same variety of materials with the same precision and tool pressure, in an impressive, toss-it-in-your-bag, featherweight 3½-pound package. However, the cutting area, limited to a little less than a letter-size page, can be a serious limitation, and the lack of untethered cutting can make it harder for teams and classes to share a single Portrait.

For Makers working small or building larger projects piece by piece, the cutting area will accomplish many of your tasks, from laptop decals to temporary tattoos to painting stencils. By using Silhouette Studio Designer Edition or third-party software like SCAL Pro or Make the Cut, this affordable machine can accurately cut original designs, unlike competitors’ entry-level plotters that largely require purchasing existing designs.