Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2: Everything You Need to Know of This Update

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Ellie Macadam

Cutting different materials like vinyl, cardboard, paper, leather, and balsa is easier when you have a cutting machine. Cricut is one of the most popular cutting machine brands and the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 are two of their best models. In case you are looking for the best cutting machine, this Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 review will help you compare whether the Cricut Maker or the Explore Air 2 is the vinyl cutting machine that’s perfect for your needs.

Variety of materials to cut

If you are looking for a vinyl cutting machine that can cut a variety of materials that comes with a suite of tools then the Cricut Maker is your choice. This machine will give you more freedom to work on different materials including paper, vinyl decals, leather, iron-ons, and balsa.

Cricut Maker 01s

Meanwhile, the Explore Air 2 is a smaller version of the Cricut Maker. But what it lacks in size it makes up with some cool features. It can be used to cut and mark a number of materials including vinyl, paper, cardboard, and fabric. You can use the Explore Air 2 to cut fabrics for you as you sew.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Persimmon

The Explore Air raises the bar when it comes to creating more efficient cuts because this comes with the Smart Set Dial. You can adjust the cutting depth of the blades to work on different materials. Because of this, you will be able to work more efficiently and perfectly on different materials for any project.

Different tools to use

Cricut Maker comes with an expandable set of tools that will help you complete different projects. It has blades, pens, and a handy scoring tool. This cutting machine will be able to grow with you as you discover and make new projects for your home or business. This die cutting machine comes with a new rotary blade, which can glide and roll through any material without the need to use backing. A knife blade is a new tool that is also compatible with the Cricut Maker which can make deeper blade slices on thicker materials like matboard and balsa wood.

On the other hand, the Explore Air 2 has adaptive tools that will help you cut different materials. This can create perfect cuts every time with its dual tool holder which can cut or score materials in one step. The Explore Air 2 is armed with German-precision carbide blades so every cut is accurate and perfect.


Both Cricut models make sewing, quilting, and other DIY projects easy. It connects to your device or PC so you can upload designs easily or you can use designs that are found in Cricut’s app. These will simplify all kinds of projects like sewing and quilting. These machines will cut and mark all the materials you will need. All you have to do is sew them. You can upload your own designs using the Cricut app. This connects easily to your mobile device or your computer using wired or wireless connections. Both machines can connect via Bluetooth. This allows you to send designs to the app for easy cutting or scoring.

Parts and accessories

The Cricut Maker has an expandable suite of tools, however, it only comes with a rotary blade. If you want to use the new knife blade then you need to purchase this separately. Meanwhile, Explore Air 2 comes with all the tools you need like the blade and scoring tool. But if you wish to purchase additional tools you may do so. Accessories and parts of Cricut cutting machines are available on Cricut’s website and from local and online dealers and distributors.

Both machines will arrive with USB cables, the Cricut software, and power cables. The Cricut Maker has a built-in area where you can place your tools like blades and scoring tools as well as your other DIY tools as well. The Explore Air 2 does not have this convenience because the large Smart Set Dial is located in this area.

Which one is best to use

Cricut Maker is one of the basic Cricut models. It can work with a number of materials and is completely expandable to hold different tools. Whether you have your own design or you still have to figure out what to do, the Cricut Explore lets you upload your own designs or select from Cricut’s vast library of designs from the Cricut app. The Cricut Maker will connect to different devices. You can use your Android smartphone or your Apple iPhone and it can also connect with a laptop or PC using wired or wireless connections. If you need a machine that has expandable tool capabilities then the Cricut Maker is for you.

Meanwhile, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is slightly smaller than its siblings but still, it makes a good addition to your craft room. This machine can cut and score a number of materials using its double tool holder plus Smart Set Dial features. This machine can connect wirelessly or using wired connections plus will let you use your own designs or make do with designs from Cricut’s app. If you are looking for a machine that’s smaller but will be able to provide you with more precise cuts then the Explore Air 2 is your cutting machine.


If you are shopping for a vinyl-cutting machine that will give you precise cuts on any material, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is your machine. It has the Speed Set Dial and the double tool holder to help you create perfect cuts and scores all the time. But when you are looking for a machine with a wider cutting area and with more adaptive cutting tools then the Cricut Maker is your machine.

Other Comparison

Cricut Maker vs Silhouette Cameo 3 – Which One is the Best Cutting Machine?

Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3 – Which Cutting Machine Is The Best?

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