I have found with many punchers that they have their own personal preferences. It is usually the one they started with, the one they became familiar with. As with most tools the better the tool the better the finished product. There are many needles on the market. But as a rule, it boils down to two or three favorites. I'll try and give a brief description on two of these, the Ultra Punch Cameo and the CTR's.
Bottom to top: (blue) CTR one strand needle, (red) CTR three strand needle, (black) six strand needle, (blue) Ultra punch Cameo needle medium, (Green) Daisy Three strand Needle.
Bottom to top: (blue) one strand CTR, (red) three strand CTR, (black) six strand CTR, (blue) six strand medium Cameo Ultra Punch
A punch needle comes basically in three sizes: small, medium and large. I am not referring to the handle or the overall dimensions but the metal needle itself. I am referring to the thickness of the metal needle. In the CTR needles my preferred needle, small (blue) is for use with one strand of floss. medium (red) is for 2, 3 or 4 strands of floss, and the large (black) is for 4, 5, or 6 six strands of floss. Keep in mind the Cameo does not hold true to this. The small Cameo is for 3 strands, the medium for 6 strands and the large is for wool weight yarns. So if you are going to punch any small details I would suggest the CTR needles.
The Ultra Punch Cameo is larger in overall dimension. It almost looks like a pen. It has an adjustable needle length, easily adjusted with a little nub on the side. It is made of plastic and to me the metal needle itself is generally thicker than most other brands of needles. I do own one of these but do not use it. Again, it is not my preferred needle because of the thickness of the metal needle itself. Many people swear by it because it's like holding a pen. I personally find it cumbersome and not easy to thread.
Comparison: The CTR is made of metal, a more substantial material, lightweight and very easy to maneuver. The loop length is adjusted by the little sectioned rubber sleeves that slip over the needle and works as a stop point against the fabric. To be honest it is a very rare occasion that I change the loop length. The metal needle itself is fine and slides through the fabric like butter. The overall benefit is the ability to change your needle for smaller areas and detail work. In addition is much easier to thread than the Cameo, which is a huge bonus.
Super Luxo Needle
In conclusion there are many different needles available on the web, Cameo and CTR are the two most popular. It is of my opinion that if you are punching strictly six strand punches then consider the Cameo. If you are planning to punch with small detail or are considering punching small punches like brooches then consider the CTR.
I hope this has been helpful and has answered any questions you may have on the difference between CTR's and Cameo's. If you need or have any more questions please leave a comment in the comment box and I will try and answer it to the best of my knowledge.
The next post threading the CTR and Cameo needles.
Thank you and Happy Punching!