Learn all about the Silhouette Portrait 3, the newest cutting machine from Silhouette that packs a whole bunch of fabulous features into an itty bitty package! Thanks to Silhouette for partnering with me on this post! This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this site at no extra cost to you.
I am excited to tell you guys all about the newest crafting tool from Silhouette, the Portrait 3! I was lucky enough to receive a Portrait 3 from Silhouette a couple of weeks ago, and I just love this machine!
If you aren’t familiar with the Portrait, it is the little sister to the Cameo, a powerful cutting and drawing machine, that comes in a smaller package (it’s only about 16″ long and weighs less than four pounds).
I recently shared a full comparison and review of the Cricut Joy and the Silhouette Portrait 2, which is the Portrait 3’s predecessor, and the Portrait 3 has all of the things I loved about the Portrait 2 with a couple of upgrades that I will explain today!
Silhouette Portrait 3 Key Features
The Portrait 3 is a great choice if you are looking for a more compact crafting tool at a great price that still has lots of features. Let’s talk about just a few of my favorite things about the Portrait 3, shall we?
A couple of my favorite Portrait 3 features:
- Size. I’ve been a devotee of the Cameo for years, and had never tried out a Portrait machine until I got a Portrait 2 earlier this year. I normally keep my Cameo 4 on my desk, but lately, the Portrait has had the honor of being my desktop machine because despite it’s smaller cutting area (compared to the Cameo 4), it still works for most of my projects and it takes up considerably less desk space. Plus I just think it’s cute!
- Print and Cut. The Portrait 3 can accommodate letter sized paper, which makes it the perfect machine for print and cut projects. You can print your own stickers or temporary tattoos and then precisely cut around those designs! It’s just the coolest thing.
- Variety of Materials. Because you can use different blades and tools with the Portrait 3, you can create with lots of different materials including cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer, craft foam, sticker paper, tattoo paper, shrink film, and more!
What’s new for the Silhouette Portrait 3?
The Silhouette Portrait 3 has all of the great features of the Portrait 2 (some of which I pointed out above) plus a couple of brand new features.
New Portrait 3 Tool Chamber
First, the Portrait 3 comes with a new tool chamber that houses the new AutoBlade. This tool chamber is similar to that of the Tool 1 chamber on the Cameo 4. This chamber allows the software to automatically detect what tool you are using and instantly adjust your cut settings.
Can I use my old Silhouette tools with the Portrait 3?
A new tool chamber may have you wondering about all those blades and pens you have in your crafting stash, but don’t worry you can still use most of your old tools with the Portrait 3 by using the tool adapter set.
How to use the Tool Adapters with the Portrait 3
The tool adapter set comes with four adapters that fit with different types of tools. These adapters are basically plastic collars that wrap around your tools allowing them to fit in the Portrait 3 tool chamber and be automatically detected by the Silhouette Studio software. The black adapter pairs with standard ratchet, premium, and fabric blades. The gray adapter works with the deep cut blade, the white adapter fits the 2 mm kraft blade, and the blue adapter works with Silhouette Sketch Pens.
You can also use your own favorite third party pens with the Cameo 4 Pen Holder.
Pop-Out Cut: A New Matless Cutting Mode!
The new pop-out cut is definitely my favorite Portrait 3 feature. Previous Silhouette machines allow you to cut vinyl and other backed materials without a mat, but with the Portrait 3 (and the Cameo 4), you can now cut materials like cardstock and paper without a mat! Amazing!
How does Pop-Out Cut Work?
Basically, while the Portrait 3 cuts, it will occasionally lift the blade leaving tiny portions of the design uncut so the piece remains connected to the sheet of material. Then, when you are done cutting, you simply pop the finished design out of your material! It’s really kind of cool.
Why/When is Pop-out Cut Helpful?
I know I will be using pop-out cut all the time going forward. Here’s some of the reasons I’m a fan of the pop-out cut:
- It’s a great time saver because it eliminates the steps of putting the material on your mat and removing it from the mat after cutting.
- If you are anything like me, you have gone to cut a project and realized that your mats are all old and crusty and then you have to tape your cardstock to the mat to keep it in place. Well, old, no-longer-sticky mats won’t be slowing me down anymore. 🙂
- Similarly, brand new, extra sticky mats can make removing paper cuts difficult and often cause curling or tears. I loved how perfectly flat my pop-out cuts were.
- Melissa from Silhouette School smartly pointed out how great pop-out cut is for thick materials that sometimes don’t stick well to cutting mats.
- I love pop-out cut for group projects because you can just have a nice neat stack of cardstock pre-cut and ready to pop out! I’m thinking it would be especially great for kids’ crafts to keep track of all those little pieces and because you know kids are going to love to pop out the pieces themselves.
- Pre-cut coloring projects are so easy! I used the pop-out cut with this coloring box design, and I loved having the paper around the cut design still attached! (You can see the little cactus coloring box I made below. The design is available in the Silhouette Design Store.)
Want to see how to use the pop-out cut? The Portrait 3 makes it super easy.
How to cut Cardstock with the Pop-Out Cut
Guys. I am pretty excited about this matless cutting thing. Since getting my Portrait 3 I have made at least a dozen projects without once using a mat. So cool!
So, Is the Silhouette Portrait 3 for You?
I would recommend the Silhouette Portrait 3 for any crafter who wants a powerful cutting machine in a smaller package and at a great price. At just under $200, it is a really good value. I think the Portrait 3 would be an especially great tool for paper crafters and teachers, who could really put those awesome print and cut and pop-out cut features to good use.
If you want the ability to cut thicker materials (up to 3mm), fabric without stabilizer, or wider cuts, then I would recommend checking out the Cameo 4. Otherwise, for a smaller, more affordable, but still very powerful crafting tool, the Portrait 3 is a great option.
PSST – the Portrait 3 ships free through 8/31, so if you want one, hurry and go get that free shipping! Plus, to celebrate the release of the Portrait 3, Silhouette is offering great materials bundles to stock up on supplies for your new toy! Use the code VINYL40 to grab one of these great deals.
What do you guys think of the Portrait 3 and that pop-out cut? Drop any questions you have in the comments and I will do my best to answer.
Until next time, Happy Making!
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