Are you tired of using the traditional scissors and knives for your arts and crafts projects?
The best Cricut machine can help you cut whatever material you want for your arts and crafts projects among many other things. These devices can cut fabric, craft foam, sticker paper, vinyl, faux leather, paper, and so much more!
But what is a Cricut machine in the first place?
Some people might receive a Cricut machine as a Christmas or birthday present and don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps you’re an avid crafter looking for an easy solution to cut different materials without the use of traditional knives or scissors. You might also be looking for a cutting device that will let you say goodbye to using handheld rulers.
The appearance of a Cricut machine is akin to that of a printer except without any cartridges or printing mechanisms. With this device, you can digitally input the size, font, or shape of the cut you want onto your chosen material. Many of these machines will even work over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection so you can even wirelessly send cutting designs from your computers and mobile devices.
- Buying Guide
- 1. Cricut Maker
- 2. Cricut Explore Air 2
- 3. Cricut Explore Air
- 4. Cricut Explore One
- 5. Cricut Mini Cutting Machine
- 6. Cricut Expression 2
- 7. Cricut Expression 1
- 8. Cricut Expression Cutting Machine
- 9. Cricut Personal Cutting Machine 29-0001
- Comparison – Top 4 Cricut Machines: (Which is the best for your needs & budget?)
- Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 vs Explore Air vs Explore One
There are many Cricut machines available on the market. When choosing the right model for your needs, you should consider some important factors. Can it wirelessly receive data from a source? Can it effectively cut the materials you choose? Will it last for years? What’s the device’s cutting speed? Does it have the right accessories for your preferred cutting style? If you’re still in your decision-making phase, then take your time in thinking about which model to buy.
Despite the differences in varying Cricut Machine models, there are many common features shared by each device. These common characteristics include easy-to-use controls, powerful cutting tools, wired and/or wireless technology, double tool handling, and optional cutting accessories.
Know these features well whenever you’re checking out online reviews. Once you’ve decided on a model, make sure that it fits your budget. Acquire a Cricut Machine that gives you a “bang for your buck” personality. It should give you the features you require without letting you spend an arm and a leg.
1. Cricut Maker
Many people who are into arts and crafts out the Cricut Maker to be a mind-blowing of art in itself. Out of the box, the package comes with an expandable suite of tools to help its users cut hundreds of materials. Cut from delicate pieces of paper to tough materials like chipboards or balsa. It also comes with a rotary blade to cut through virtually any fabric with utmost speed and accuracy without worry of human error.
Download digital patterns from the Internet and wirelessly send the desired cut to the Maker. From there, it can cut the desired pattern to the preferred material with due speed and precision. The next thing to do is to compile or sew all cut parts together for a unique masterpiece.
If there are any caveats with this device, it’s not on the machine itself but with the web application. Users can take advantage of a web app to wirelessly connect to their Maker. However, it runs with compatibility issues as it relies heavily on specific operating systems and drivers. Nonetheless, there are other options to transfer data from a source to this Cricut Machine for users to enjoy the full extent of this device.
Conclusion: The Cricut Maker can greatly help people who are into arts and crafts projects by providing an all-in-one package for all cutting needs. However, the web app from the brand could do better with compatibility. Still, users can take advantage of other options to send data from a source to this cutting masterpiece.
• Cut hundreds of materials with speed and precision.
• Option to expand the suite of tools.
• A rotary blade is readily available from the package.
• Streamlines all sewing and quilting projects.
• Using the web app with this Cricut Machine can become a hassle.
2. Cricut Explore Air 2
Cut, write, and score – these are the three basic activities you can use with the Explore Air 2 Mint from Cricut. Use this device to cut intricate details to a broad range of materials. Aside from cutting, take advantage of the Cricut Pens to create “handwritten” cards for various projects. Write with over 370 available and compatible fonts with a computer. Lastly, the Scoring Stylus attached to Explore Air 2 will create perfect fold lines for envelopes, 3D paper crafts, boxes, and more!
Aside from its versatility of use, users can also create and finish 2x faster than other similar devices on the market. However, it accompanying software requires a monthly subscription fee after the trial period runs out. Furthermore, third-party software for cutting won’t be compatible with the Explore Air 2 Mint. People who don’t mind spending the extra cash to use all of this device’s features will definitely get their money’s worth.
Conclusion: The Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint presents additional options in dealing with different arts and crafts projects. It does, however, require a monthly subscription to use the accompanying software. This device is ideal for creative minds who aren’t bothered by spending extra on a subscription service to make full use of the machine.
• Cut, write, and score with this Cricut Machine.
• Create and finish projects 2x fast.
• Use hundreds of different materials for cutting.
• Use the accompanying software and app to design projects anytime and anywhere.
• There’s a monthly subscription fee to use the software.
• Users can’t use third-party programs with this Cricut Machine.
• Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3 – Which Cutting Machine Is The Best?
3. Cricut Explore Air
Time to throw out the convoluted instruction manuals you see with other cutting devices because the Explore Air is here to stay. This Cricut Machine doesn’t require any special settings or instructions for users to use all of its features. The only requirement is to set the right command with the Smart Set dial and the machine is good to go!
Precise and speedy cuts are possible whether the design is large or small. Users can also write with this Cricut Maker for personalized touches for cards, boxes, and other materials. However, the software can only cut up to a maximum area of 5.5 x 8-inches. Furthermore, users have to align their desired cuts on their preferred location because there’s no control from the application to control the site of the design.
There are some shortcomings that come with the Explore Air, but it’s still a well-made Cricut Machine that can deliver plenty of promises.
Conclusion: Getting the Cricut Explore Air is a great way to upgrade from an older model. It brings ease-of-use and flexibility for numerous cutting and writing projects. However, there are some complications regarding the software that can limit the usefulness of the device. Users are advised to do some workarounds when setting up and using this Cricut Machine.
• Durable body.
• Easy to setup and use.
• The machine can last for a very long time.
• Cuts are precise.
• Cuts are limited to 5.5 x 8 inches in area.
• The software doesn’t allow exact placements of cuts on materials.
4. Cricut Explore One
It’s time to cut more every day with the Explore One Cricut Machine. This device can help creative minds cut and write over 50,000 projects, images, and fonts. Choose from a very broad range of materials to use to create party invitations, decorations, favors, banners, and so much more! All of its features from the device are easy to use and there are no steep learning curves included in the package.
While this Cricut Machine presents plenty of useful features, much can be said about the accompanying software. Users can use third-party programs to create designs to use with the Explore One. However, it’s only possible to cut materials with the Design Space software by the brand. According to reports, this application doesn’t have the best user interface and it may require some people to tinker around with the software a bit to get the hang of it.
Conclusion: While the Cricut Explore One is a great cutting machine, the Design Space software can use some work. After a bit of tinkering around with the application, users can make full use of this device for fast and precise cutting operations.
• Fast and precise cuts.
• Users can use third-party programs for designing projects.
• Quiet operations.
• The Design Studio software that comes with the device may require a steep learning curve.
5. Cricut Mini Cutting Machine
Are you in need of a cutting machine that won’t take up too much space on your work desk? If so, then it’s time to check out the Cricut Mini. This cutting machine can cut up to a maximum of 8.5 x 12 inches of material which is the same size as Letter dimensions of the standard paper. Cuts from this machine are extremely precise as it requires no human interactions (apart from design processes) for it to make accurate cuts on different materials.
Its small size adds to its portability which means you can carry it around without having to pull too much muscle. However, it doesn’t do much besides cutting designs onto materials. In other words, it’s not possible to draw, pierce, engrave, or emboss on materials using the Cricut Mini. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer wireless connectivity so users have to directly connect this device to their computers to make use of its features.
Despite some shortcomings, the Cricut Mini Machine can become a personal favorite for many budding and veteran folks in the arts and crafts industry. The freedom to move the device freely from different rooms or areas is a great asset not shared by many similar devices coming from this brand.
Conclusion: The Cricut Mini Cutting Machine may not help users with anything else aside from cutting. Furthermore, the range of materials usable with this device is limited as compared to other Cricut Machines on this list. Still, it’s a convenient machine thanks to its size and weight. This machine’s portable and lightweight design are boons for many people who are into arts and crafts.
• Portable and lightweight design.
• Quiet operations with precise cuts.
• Slightly less expensive than other similar options on the market.
• It doesn’t force users to use cartridges.
• No other features besides cutting.
• No wireless connectivity.
6. Cricut Expression 2
The previous Cricut Expression 1 needed a makeover so the brand decided to create an update aptly named the Expression 2. However, the name of the machine isn’t the only aspect of the new device that got an update. This time around, it offers simpler operations compared to its predecessor. Furthermore, there’s now a touchscreen panel and stylus that comes with the device. Another advantage to using the Expression 2 is the auto fill feature which makes the system automatically arrange patters for easy and efficient cutting.
With these features, this cutting machine is the perfect companion for creative minds who don’t want to get bogged down with complicated applications. Despite the new functions, the Expression 2 still requires cartridges for it to make cuts. The design of the body retains a similar look to its precursor which means it looks a bit outdated.
It may have limitations regarding its overall functionality, this Cricut Machine still delivers plenty of usefulness for many arts and crafts projects. It even has a 12 x 24-inch cutting mat for users to fit large materials for those big materials.
Conclusion: The Cricut Expression 2 lets users cut a broad range of materials while providing several hours of crafting fun. Despite it being an upgrade to an older model, the use of cartridges and an outdated design may present limitations to some arts and crafts projects. Still, these shortcomings don’t hamper the overall usefulness of this die-cutting device.
• Very easy to use.
• Large 12 x 24-inch cutting mat.
• Touchscreen panel and stylus.
• Outdated design.
• Requires the use of cartridges.
7. Cricut Expression 1
Even though the Cricut Expression 1 doesn’t have the latest and greatest features on the market, it doesn’t mean it already outlived its usefulness. Users who still wish to create wonderful pieces of art for scrapbooking purposes or to do small-to-medium-sized crafting projects can still do so with this die-cutting device. It can even cut from a very small 0.25-inch design to a broad range of materials.
Users can take advantage of an easy-to-use onboard interface which goes well with the accompanying software. The design of the Expression 1 is also relatively small and lightweight so most users shouldn’t have any dire problems moving it in between rooms.
However, the dawn of the Expression 2 already means the support for this device is already long gone. Users would have to deal with an outdated look and software if they still wish to purchase and use this machine.
Conclusion: Folks who don’t want to spend a lot of money on getting a die-cutting machine may want to check out the Cricut Expression 1. Even though it does offer an outdated design and software package, it’s still very useful in cutting different designs to a wide range of materials.
• Easy-to-use onboard interface.
• Precise cutting power.
• Relatively portable design.
• Outdated model.
• Lack of software and hardware support.
8. Cricut Expression Cutting Machine
What is the Cricut Expression? It’s a simple and easy-to-use die-cutting device that uses cartridges to make precision cuts to a range of materials. While the onboard controls are simple and straightforward, it does require some reading up of the accompanying instruction manual to get the hang of every feature.
This device presents a large mat size of 12 x 24-inches, and users aren’t required to use their computers with the help of the cartridges that come with the package. However, some people might deem the use of cartridges to be a dated feature but it still gets jobs done well. There’s even multi-language support with this model so users aren’t required to read or speak in English to make full use of the device. It also has a decently large LCD screen to show users upcoming and ongoing operations.
The Expression Cutting Machine is, however, an old model so support for this device is limited compared to other similar offerings by Cricut. Even if its successors have more features, it doesn’t mean this device already outlived its usefulness.
Conclusion: The Cricut Expression is a personal die-cutting tool perfect for many arts and crafts projects. Its package comes with plenty of cartridges to help users select and combine the right designs to cut on their preferred materials. Support for this device may already be gone but it’s still very useful and easy-to-use for many projects.
• Many cartridges to choose from out of the box.
• Precise cutting.
• The large LCD screen with visibly labeled controls.
• A dated model which means support for this device is severely limited.
9. Cricut Personal Cutting Machine 29-0001
The 29-0001 cutting machine from Cricut certainly doesn’t win any awards for best name. Still, it doesn’t mean that using this device is going to be a mouthful. Users will use small and light cartridges to cut designs onto their desired materials with a touch of a button. It’s a must-have device for anyone looking to accurately and speedily cut designs to greeting cards, scrapbooks, and other paper crafts.
It does have some limitations regarding its use. For instance, the device can only slice up to 5 inches in height. Furthermore, the cutting pad might be a tad too sticky during the first few cuts. Buying additional and replacement cartridges can become a major investment if left unchecked.
Although there are some drawbacks to using the 29-0001, it does enable easy customization for many different shapes. It’s also an ideal choice for any person who likes to make scrapbooks.
Conclusion: The Cricut Personal Cutting Machine is a great device for making accurate cuts. It uses different cartridges to make unique designs on paper and other similar materials. Users who wish to buy additional cartridges may find new holes in their wallets as the accessories can be an expensive investment.
• Highly customizable.
• User-friendly controls.
• Accurate and fast cutting prowess.
• Expensive cartridges.
• The device can only slice up to 5 inches in height.
• Cutting pad is too sticky at first.
Comparison – Top 4 Cricut Machines: (Which is the best for your needs & budget?)
The Cricut Maker, Explore Air 2, Explore Air Wireless, and Explore One die-cutting machine is the cream of the crop in this list. Looking at these four devices, it can be difficult to choose which is the best Cricut Machine out of these units. There are factors to consider to ensure users can be free from regrets after making the purchase.
First, there’s the Cricut Maker which gives all the right features. It has a suite of expandable tools, a state-of-the-art rotary blade, and streamlines the entire sewing and cutting process. However, it’s the most expensive die-cutting machine on this list.
Aside from the Maker, there’s the Explore Air 2 which gives users more options for different arts and crafts projects. This model comes with cutting, writing, and scoring accessories. It’s the least expensive out of the four models but the accompanying software requires a paid subscription fee to continue using it. Without the program, the device is useless because users can’t take advantage of third-party applications to connect with this die-cutting machine.
Next on the list is the Explore Air Wireless and this model provides an easy and simple way of controlling desired cuts on materials. It’s the “no-brainer” unit out of the four models. As for its price tag, it’s just one step short from the most expensive item on this list.
Lastly, the Explore One is just second to being the cheapest unit out of the four models we’ve mentioned. It’s an overall good product but the accompanying application prevents it from being a step higher.
So which is the best Cricut Maker out of these four units? If you’re on a tight budget, then the Explore Air Wireless is the best model to get. You might be thinking, “What about the Explore Air 2?” It may be the cheapest unit in this list but the subscription fees make it more expensive than the Maker. However, if you want to get the best “bang for your buck” model, then there’s no beating the Cricut Maker.
Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 vs Explore Air vs Explore One
Choosing among the Maker, Explore Air 2, Explore Air, and Explore One model can be a difficult task in itself. Just think of certain factors before making your decision.
For instance, if you don’t mind shelling out extra cash but you’ll get all the right features in return, then definitely go for the Cricut Maker. On the other hand, if you want to make your life as an arts and crafts enthusiast easier without spending too much, then there’s the Explore Air. The Explore Air 2 is also an excellent model but users have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the software. Lastly, if you want to the cheapest model out of the four units, then it’s going to be the Explore One but it does come with a steep learning curve before you can use it to its fullest.
We hope our guide helped you in choosing the best Cricut Machine for your needs and preferences.
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