If you have a creative mind and hands for making cool stuff, you will probably want to buy a Cricut very soon. However, you may be wondering, which Cricut model is best for beginners? You have come to the right place. Today, I will review most of the Cricut models to determine which one is not difficult to use.
At the end of this buying guide, I believe that you will be ready to make the best decision for purchasing your first Cricut. One thing to remember is that the Cricut machines all operate in the same way. It is the features that make them different. Without further ado, let’s find the best Cricut machine for beginners.
What is the Best Cricut Machine 2020?
In order to help you choose the best Cricut machine for you, I have highlighted some of the best models. Hopefully, this list of products with their greatest features mentioned will help you make a smart choice.
- Best Overall: The Cricut Maker
“Amazing cutting power, great sewing library, turbocharged engine, cutting-edge engineering, quiet.”
- Best for Beginners: Cricut Explore Air 2
“High-quality construction, innovative design, cheap, user-friendly, wireless cutting feature, versatile.”
- Best Budget: Cricut Explore Air
“Easy to use, very good design, no software needed for working properly, versatile, Bluetooth features.”
- Best for T-Shirts: Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine
“A bigger pressing area than iron, auto shut-off safety feature, easy to use, lightweight, digital display.”
- Best Portable: Cricut Mini Machine
“Compact, lightweight, space-saving design, excellent cutting precision, powerful cutting blades, cheap.”
- Best for Intermediate Users: Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine
“Improved safety features, the best substitution for a traditional iron, precise heating temperature.”
- Best for Professionals: Cricut Expression 1 Machine
“Fully customizable machine, four functions and six modes, lightweight, portable, includes cutting mat.”
- Best for Crafts: Cricut 29-0001 Machine
“A wide range of materials, compact, high-quality components, operates quietly, great support services.”
- Best Versatile: Cricut Explore One
“Perfect fit for beginners supports old cartridges, able to work through Wi-Fi, ability to cut and write.”
- Best Simple: Cricut EasyPress Machine
“Compact frame design, great pressing performance, able to heat super- fast, lightweight, portable.”
Top 10 Best Cricut Machine for Beginners 2020
Most beginners get tempted to invest in the latest, most-popular Cricut machine. However, that is not a smart thing to do. As a beginner, it is always smart to test the waters prior to buying the latest model. If you are a beginner, this comparison chart is for you. I have compared beginner-friendly Cricut machines.
|The Cricut Maker – Best Overall||6 x 7.1 x 6.2||24 pounds||A pro-level performance, 10 times faster than other die cutters on the market, popular among crafters||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut Explore Air 2 – Best for Beginners||24 x 9.5 x 9.5||14 pounds||Fast mode, perfect for beginners, affordable, 2 times faster cutting and writing, user-friendly||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut Explore Air – Best Budget||25.4 x 10 x 9.2||15 pounds||Affordable, Bluetooth-compatible for wireless cutting, user-friendly||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut Explore One – Best Versatile||24 x 9.5 x 9.5||13.7 pounds||Straightforward, user-friendly, affordable, super-versatile||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine – Best for Intermediate Users||3.6 x 6.3 x 7.8||1.52 pounds||Lightweight, portable, three heat settings, a ceramic-coated heat plate, am auto shut-off feature, great for intermediate users||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine – Best for T-Shirts||16.9 x 15.2 x 7.6||15.05 pounds||A professional model that delivers iron-on results in less than 60 seconds, great for customizing crafts like t-shirts||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut EasyPress Machine – Best Simple||3.6 x 6.3 x 7.8||1.52 pounds||Lightweight, compact, three heat settings, a ceramic-coated heat plate, an auto shut-off feature, user-friendly||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut Mini Machine – Best Portable||17.2 x 7.8 x 8.8||6.15 pounds||It can cut up to the 8.5-by-12-inch paper and other materials, lightweight, compact, user-friendly, affordable||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut Expression 1 Machine – Best for Professionals||22.9 x 11 x 9.2||18.5 pounds||6 modes and 4 functions which allow greater customization of cuts, a great choice for professional crafters||1-year limited warranty|
|Cricut 29-0001 Machine – Best for Crafts||17.8 x 9.7 x 12.9||10.45 pounds||It can cut from 1 inch up to 5-1/2 inches tall, great for making gift cards, and other DIY crafts, affordable, effective||1-year limited warranty|
Best Cricut Machine for Beginners Reviews 2020
Let’s take a look at the different Cricut models and determine which one is easy to use. However, before you finally buying one, I suggest that you determine what do you want to make with your Cricut because Cricut cutting machines all operates in the same way. It is the features that make them slightly different.
The Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker is the most popular model in the Cricut family. It was released in August 2017 and has the highest price tag for a good reason. Most crafters swear by this model because it is able to cut wood and fabrics. Also, it is the only machine that you can utilize the rotary cutter for crepe paper and fabrics.
Also, the brand has a knife blade for cutting things like foam board, wood, and other thicker materials. It is sold separately. However, you will get the rotary cutter for free. If you want to switch out cutting tools just undo the clamp on side ‘B’. It is super easy to set up and use, meaning it is perfect for beginners too.
The best part? The brand produces new tools in order to improve its performance. They want to make it even better, so customers can do more with it. Their latest invention is their scoring wheel that provides crafters the ability to create intricate score lines for embossing. Now, let’s summarize the pros and cons.
- Able to make professional cuts
- Produce amazing cutting power which is aided by the rotary blade
- Contains great sewing library that comes with this machine
- The machine is equipped with a turbocharged engine and cutting-edge engineering
- Futuristic and sturdy design
- Made from premium quality components
- Operates very smooth and quiet
- Cuts hundreds of types of materials
- Good for both home or business needs
- Easy to use and maintain
- Has great customer support
- Unfortunately, this machine has a small cutting space
- Has limited and slow design space software
- Knife blade does not come with the machine and has to be purchased separately
- A bit overpriced for occasional needs
- It is complicated to do projects which are wider than 12 inches
Cricut Explore Air 2
(Best for Beginners)
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a little weaker than the Cricut Maker. However, it is still able to cut hundreds of materials. The downside is that it is not compatible with the rotary cutter for cutting fabrics. It is also not compatible with the knife blade for cutting wood. That is why it is less costly than the Cricut Maker.
You can find the Cricut Explore Air 2 for less than half of the price of the Cricut Maker. Even if it is not as advanced as the Cricut Maker, it is still better than the Explore Air One because it cuts twice as fast. This means that you will save time when making your project. Now, let’s summarize the main pros and cons.
- Made from high-quality components
- Has a very beautiful and innovative design
- Very affordable
- Easy to use
- Contain wireless cutting feature
- Avoid materials slipping while working
- Able to cut a wide range of materials
- Has huge facebook support groups
- A lot of online resources
- Its great fit for small business
- Does not cut as many materials as Maker
- This machine does not come with any instructional manual
- A lot of valued features are not included with this machine
- The design space software is sluggish
- Has only 12 inches wide working surface
Cricut Explore Air
The Cricut Explore Air is very similar to the Explore Air 2. It can do exactly everything as Explore Air 2 but the main difference is in the speed. It cuts slower, so you will lose more time when cutting your crafts. It has the ability to cut hundreds of various materials. And there is not a big difference in the price as well.
If you cannot decide which one to buy, I suggest that you go with the Cricut Explore Air 2 since it is faster and saves you time. However, if you do not care about the cutting speed, purchase this machine and pay less. I also forgot to mention that the Cricut Explore Air is an advanced version of the Cricut Explore One.
It is the first model that has Bluetooth embedded for wireless connections. This is nice because you can use the Cricut Apps for Android and Apple and get rid of the need to have a computer to work. Also, it is the first model with a dual carriage that allows users to score or use Cricut Pens & cut at the same time.
- Has Bluetooth and wireless features
- Easy to work
- Very good design
- No software needed for working properly
- Versatile machine
- Does not require cartridges but also you can use them if needs
- Able to design on Ipad thanks to Ipad app
- Expensive machine
- The extra cost for features in the design store
- You will lose your images if you stop paying for a subscription
- A bit hard to create your own designs
- This machine dealing with some weird glitches
Cricut Explore One
As I already mentioned, the Cricut Explore One is less advanced than the Cricut Explore Air. However, it is the first model that stopped using cartridges and turned to the internet-based software Design Space.
You can still use cartridges with any Cricut unit but it is easier to link your cartridges to your account on Design Space. One big disadvantage of this model is having only one carriage for holding tools. So, if you need to score paper, you should remove the blade and add the scoring tool and switch it back again. It is considered as a disadvantage because you lose time while doing this. Still, it cuts hundreds of materials.
- Easy to work with
- Able to work through Wi-Fi
- Perfect fit for beginners
- This model can write and cut simultaneously
- Support old cartridges
- Ability to cut with just one click
- A bit overpriced for beginner users
- Cutting tools and premium designs need to be purchased independently
- Pretty expensive craft supplies
- This model is not compatible with android devices
Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine
(Best for Intermediate Users)
The Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine is the latest innovation in the EasyPress series. It is stylish, elegant, and compact. I personally recommend this cute machine because it is easy to use. It is even easier to use than regular iron. It is also more effective than a regular iron and just as effective as large-sized units.
If you want a lightweight, adjustable, safe and easy to store machine that heats evenly, this model is for you. It has a shut-off feature and timer for extra safety. No matter if you are an intermediate user or just a beginner, you will absolutely adore this tiny machine. It is user-friendly and makes high-quality prints.
You can create cuffs, shoes, pockets, sleeves, stuffed animals, mugs, applique patches, coasters, and so on. Best features include a rounded handle, an auto shut-off feature, three heat settings, and a ceramic-coated heat place. It also features an insulated safety base. Now, let’s check out the main pros and cons.
- Portable and easy to carry design
- Very easy to use
- Perfectly transfer the heat on the whole surface
- Provides precise heating temperature
- Comes with improved safety features
- It is the best substitution for classic iron
- Cost a bit much for the ability to do small jobs
- It is a very small machine
- Suitable only for small projects
Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine
(Best for T-Shirts)
If you are looking for a Cricut machine that will help you make t-shirts, larger blankets, sweatshirts, and banners, look no further than the Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine. This 12’’ x 11’’ machine is definitely worth your time, money and attention because it provides professional iron-on results in less than 60 seconds.
It has an advanced heat plate design with a ceramic-coated surface & gives precise temperature control up to 400℉. I decided to review this machine because it is very easy to learn and use. So, it is perfect for both beginners and intermediate users. However, it is not recommended for use outside North America.
- It has a bigger pressing area than iron
- Ability to reach needed temperature so fast
- Has auto shut-off safety feature
- Very easy and safe to use
- Has great support services
- Contains user instruction manual
- Portable and easy to carry design
- Equipped with digital display
- A bit pricey
- You have to use much pressure while working
- Does not have automatic press down
- The largest press is only 12″ x 10″
Cricut EasyPress Machine
If you want a cutting machine with a pro-level performance and home-friendly design than the Cricut EasyPress Machine is the model for you. It features a big handle, an auto shut-off feature for additional safety, and a safety base. It will keep your house, apartment, office space, and workstation super safe.
If you buy this machine, you will get a lightweight, portable and easy to store workhorse that will help you finish your iron-on or layered projects in no time. It features a large, ceramic-coated heat plate that provides the right temperature. It also includes a reference chart for determining the right temperature.
- Compact frame design which makes it easy to store everywhere
- Delivers great pressing performance
- Able to heat very fast
- Very lightweight and portable
- Includes good instruction manual
- It is compatible with other brands of heat-transfer materials
- A bit overpriced especially for beginner users
- Small surface area
- Need additional pressing power from the user
- Does not have a lock mechanism
- Includes a small range of pressing materials in the box
Cricut Mini Machine
The Cricut Mini Machine is compact and lightweight. However, this does not mean that it cannot cut as much as the other Cricut models. On the contrary, it can cut up to 8.5 by 12-inch paper and other heavy materials. With this machine, you can make smaller shapes and fonts starting from ¼ inch to larger cuts.
If you want a precise, detailed unit, this model is great for you because it has a detailed, precise cutting capability. However, it needs a stable internet connection via laptop or PC in order to work. You can also connect your unit to the Cricut Gypsy. I recommend it because it is produced with the latest technology.
- Small and portable and space-saving design
- Provide excellent cutting precision
- Equipped with powerful cutting blades
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Very lightweight machine
- Not able to emboss, pierce or drawing materials
- Does not provide access to design space software
- Unfortunately, this machine delivers the limited cutting power
Cricut Expression 1 Machine
(Best for Professionals)
If you are looking for an electronic cutting machine, look no further than the Cricut Expression 1 model. It is an innovative creation from Provo Craft that can cut from 0.25’’ to 23.5’’. This is pretty impressive. It features four functions and six models that deliver amazing customization of cuts. It is portable and fast.
However, it is still easy to use, so you will have no problem learning how to use it. If you want something that will take your art to the next level or boost your skills, this unit is for you. Now, let’s check the cons.
- Fully customizable machine
- Able to create amazing designs
- Contains four functions and six modes
- Can work with circuit craft room software
- Lightweight and portable design
- Includes cutting mat with dimensions 12″ x 12″
- Do not include cartridges
- Has small problems with a sticky mat
- Lack of compatibility with other cartridges
Cricut 29-0001 Machine
(Best for Crafts)
The Cricut 29-0001 Machine is another electronic cutting machine that is worth your time and money. It can cut from 1 inch to 5-1/2 inches tall. With this model, you can create greeting cards, scrapbooks, and other great projects with great ease. It can also cut letters, shapes, and phrases and works with different materials including paper, vellum, vinyl or cardstock, and it comes with George & Basic Shape cartridges.
- Able to cut a wide range of materials
- User optional control of cutting size and style
- Compact and easy to carry design
- Good fit for both beginners and professionals
- Easy to work and maintain
- Designed with high-quality components
- Operates quietly
- Has great support services
- Not for heavy-duty work
- Provides limited graphic design abilities
- It is expensive for occasional using
- Slow design space software
- Complicated to do a project which is wider than 12 inches
What is the Best Cricut Machine to Buy?
When shopping for the best Cricut machine for beginners, you should pay attention to some features such as versatility, ease of use, cost, and cutting ability. If you are a beginner, the cost should be one of the main factors when shopping. Most beginners spend too much money on advanced cutting units.
The Cricut Maker has the highest price among Cricuts and is not recommended for absolute beginners. However, it is a fantastic gift for enthusiastic crafters who have extra money to spend. The second most important factor that you should be worried about when buying a Cricut for beginners is the ease of use.
Luckily, the whole series of Cricut machines remains user-friendly, whether you are taking your first trip to this amazing world or upgrading from a manual vinyl cutter. Versatility is also important when buying a Cricut device. Explore Air One is one of the simplest models while the Cricut Maker is more advanced.
And the price of each model changed depending on their features and capabilities. Last but not least is the cutting ability as one of the most important features you should look out for. Thankfully, every unit is solidly built, cuts precisely and cleanly through hundreds of different materials with ease, in no time.
Features to Pay Attention to When Buying Your First Craft Cutter
I have highlighted some main considerations that you should pay attention to when purchasing a cutting machine as an absolute beginner. From software and community to cutting size and machine specs, any one of these factors could make or break your choice. And it could have a negative impact on your work.
As a newbie, you could spend a lot of precious time using the design & cutting software that is included in your purchase. That is why you need to read reviews and determine if the software that comes with a machine is easy to use. Otherwise, you will end up frustrated or not in the mood to finish your projects.
I suggest that you try out the software before you order a cutting machine, so you can see how it works.
The community is also an important factor to look out for because it can teach you useful tips and tricks on how to use your device and awaken your inspiration for new projects. Luckily for you, there is a lot of Facebook, Reddit, and Pinterest groups and pages that you can join. Or you can join their official forums.
The cutting size is also important. Keep in mind that Cricut units can only cut on the cutting mat, unlike a Silhouette machine. Meaning, they are limited in this sense. However, a Silhouette machine can cut right from a roll of vinyl for making signs or decals. Machine specs are the last but not least important factors.
They get better with each day, as brands release new models in the market. Newer units have a greater cutting power and precision, while the older ones drop in price. In order to choose the right cutting unit, it is important to pay close attention to the unit’s specifications and determine if they match your needs.
Who Can Use Cricut Machines?
At first, Cricuts were made as electronic, automatic versions of older die-cutting machines. So, instead of using manual pressure and cookie cutters to cut shapes out of paper, they move a small blade to cut out images based on digital designs. Ever since Cricut units have the ability to cut lots of different materials.
They can also perform other functions like engrave, score, draw, and emboss. Cricut machines are liked by DIY enthusiasts and home crafters. They are also adored by scrapbookers to cut and emboss all types of designs from cardstock and colorful paper. Seamstresses & quilters save a lot of time by using Cricuts.
As you can see, Cricut has made a lot of units intended for different purposes. For example, the Explore series is most suitable for cutting out vinyl and paper. The Maker, on the other hand, has the capacity as a CNC and makes a great choice for experts who want to cut out foam and wood, emboss and engrave.
The Cricut Maker is also the first choice among quilters and seamstresses – it can easily cut unbonded material. The EasyPress is not a cutting machine. Instead, it is a heat press for making jackets and t-shirts with heat transfer vinyl or iron-on, while the BrightPad represents a lightbox for tracing fonts or images.
What do You Need to Get Started with a Cricut?
If you are a beginner who wants to buy a cutting unit or you already have one, you may be wondering, what else you need to get started. Keep on reading and find out what must-have accessories you need.
- Cricut tools (scraper tool and weeding tool)
- Cricut deep-cut blade (Explore and Maker) or Cricut Knife Blade (Maker only)
- Cricut scoring stylus (scoring tool)
- Aluminum foil ball
- Transfer tape
- Extra Cricut mats
- Cricut EasyPress
- Cricut pens
- Fabric marking pen
Do I Need a Cutting Mat for Cricut?
Yes, you will need a cutting mat for Cricut. It will hold your material while the unit cuts it. You can select from different sizes and grip strength too. I recommend that you buy extra Cricut mats at the beginning.
Are Cricut Machines Easy to Use?
Most Cricut units work over Bluetooth or wifi, so you can create from your smartphone or iPad, as well as from your PC. The Cricut units are user-friendly, super-versatile, and only limited by your imagination.
What Accessories do I Need for Cricut Maker?
I already mentioned some of the main accessories and tools you will need for using your first Cricut unit. However, here is a shortlist of some other extra accessories and gadgets you might need along the way.
- Sewing kit
- Spatula and scraper
- Scoring wheel combo pack
- Premium fine point replacement blade
- Housing and knife blade
- Fabric grip mat
Do I Need a Computer to Use a Cricut?
You do not need to buy a brand new computer to use a Cricut cutting machine and get the most out of your projects. However, make sure that your current computer has the minimum system requirements. With the Cricut Explore 2 and Maker, you can use both Mac and Windows units, ios and android devices.
Can You Use Cricut to Make T-Shirts?
Yes, you can absolutely use Cricut to make your custom t-shirts. All you have to do is enter your account on Design Space, select ‘new project’ and click on ‘templates’ in the left corner at the top. Select ‘classic t-shirt’ and choose your preferred color, size, and style. The template will help you customize your shirt.
Can You Make Your Own Designs with Cricut Maker?
The answer is yes, you can make your own designs with Cricut Maker. You can upload your own designs, images, and graphics to Design Space. After, you can cut them out with your cutting workhorse. It is also possible to upload images and use the Print and Cut feature in order to make projects with your images.
Do You Need Cartridges for Cricut Maker?
The Cricut cartridge adapter lets you upload cartridges to Design Space without using a cutting machine. Meaning, if you already own a Cricut Maker you can continue uploading your cartridges to Design Space.
Can I Use a Cricut without Internet?
Yes, because Design Space gives you the ability to design and cuts projects without the Internet. You can use a Cricut without the internet. Get your content onto your unit to use offline, and you are good to go.
Is Cricut Software Free?
Yes, Cricut software is completely free to use for every file type. You do not need a subscription to cut your images and designs. You can upload and cut your .dxf, .jpg, .svg, .png, and .gif files free of charge.
How Much does a Cricut Cost?
You can find a Cricut machine for as little as $150 at Amazon. However, some of the Cricut models cost even more. You can buy a decent cutting machine for $300 but keep in mind that extra tools need to be purchased separately, such as knife blade, cutting mats, fabric, and fabric marking pen, and much more.
You have probably noticed that every Cricut machine uses the same design software. Also, they have the same controls and cut mats. And the same simple procedure is used for cutting designs with each Cricut.
While researching reviews and specifications of Cricut machines, I have realized that every Cricut has the potential to be the best Cricut machine for beginners. However, in the end, the cutting ability, price, and other specifications are not what matters the most when shopping for your first Cricut cutting machine.
What matters the most is your needs. That is why it is so important to ask yourself, what do you want to do with your Cricut machine. In my opinion, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is most suitable for beginners due to two reasons. It is affordable and effective. Not as effective and fast as the Cricut Maker but still amazing.
It is two times faster than the previous Cricut models and cuts over 60 materials including glitter paper, cardstock, poster board, vinyl and many more. It also has Bluetooth embedded for wireless connection and dual carriage to both cut and score simultaneously. The best part? It still costs less than the Maker.
That being said, if you want something less expensive but still fast and effective, purchase Explore Air 2.
However, if you have deeper pockets, order the Cricut Maker immediately because you cannot go wrong with this model. It cuts over 100 materials, has a brand new rotary blade, and is popular among crafters.
Which Cricut caught your eye? Leave a comment down below and let me know. Hopefully, this article is going to help you make a wise decision and choose something that will meet your special requirements.