Makercam Vs Easel
Easel shipped with our X-Carve machine. It is an all in one operation as it can create simple .svg vecotr files, generate Gcode from them, saves the files, and send the gcode to the Xcarve. If I was working with young children this would certainly be my choice. Using the .svg editor is not satisfying at all. It does not do what Inkscape can do, and does even the little that it does with less ease. Having the Gcode generator and sender in one application is a big advantage. I find the assumptions of materials to be used and the connection to the store irritating and not helpful, but I am sure it is convenient for some. Easel is sensitive on import. You cannot have even a dot as a raster and I have had a couple of problems when there were fills or wide strokes. The problems could be my fault but they were hard to find and fix.
Makercam is clearly not as easy. It has more gothchas in some ways. It is better in my experience at importing. It has a problem with circles imported from Inkscape. You can also draw in it, but it even less friendly than Easel in some ways. Makercam is set up to create CAM operations that are not permanently linked to the objects that they were created from. This means that you can take a square, mill a pocket on the inside and a profile on the outside and a profile on the inside and export them and save them for use on different parts. For my lights this is really helpful. Makercam also has a drilling operation. If you have a bazillion holes to drill like in a vacuum table I suspect that it will be easier. I use Makercam with Universal Gcode Sender. I am getting to really like Universal Gcode sender as it allowed me to figure out how to save a machining operation after the X axis stuck.