If you are a devoted scrapbooker or crafter and never heard of Cricut machines before, you do not know what you are missing. It is the ideal tool for replacing hand cutting. A Cricut machine is using cartridges with pre-downloaded shapes and designs, allowing you to make nice decorations, shapes, and lettering.
Cricut machines work on different materials including construction paper, felt, and vinyl amongst others. If you would like to know more about Cricut machines, you are in the right place. I will share everything I know about them and review the best Cricut machines, so you can pick the best Cricut machine for you.
What Are Cricut Machines?
First and foremost, let’s learn about the purpose of Cricut machines. So, I am confident that people who have been crafting for a while know about the magic that these machines can do. From complicated cuts to making the best of iron on work, Cricuts never disappoint. They are used for all kinds of crafting tasks.
The best part?
Well, for every crafting purpose, you can choose a different model of Cricut. Choosing the right Cricut machine can be hard with so many products out there. But I will give my best to make it easy for you by sharing everything you need to know about Cricuts and reviewing the best machines in detail.
So, the Cricut machine represents a handy tool for making different kinds of crafts. Many people wonder if a Cricut machine is really worth it. Let’s find out together. Read on to learn the benefits of buying one.
Is the Cricut Worth it?
When you think about it, almost any project you can complete with a Cricut unit could be done without one. However, the Cricut machine will probably do a better job than you.
The results will look a lot better and more professional. Also, using a Cricut machine will save you a lot of time and headaches. You will complete your projects faster and mistake-free.
A Cricut unit saves stress, money, and time which makes it worth buying. In my opinion, everyone who’s passionate about crafting including teachers, moms, and hobbyists, needs a Cricut in their life.
What Tools Do I Need for a Cricut?
This is a very tricky question. It depends on the type of materials you want to work with and slice. Cricut machines are versatile and capable of many things.
However, if you use the proper tools, you will get even better results. For example, if you own any of the Explore Family units and you want to slice fabric, you will need:
- Standard grip mat
- Fabric bonded blade
- Backing material
However, if you own the Maker and you want to cut fabric with it, you can utilize other tools like Fabric grip mat and a rotary blade plus.
Most lightweight, common materials can be sliced with the fine point blade which arrives standard with each unit, and the regular grip mat.
What I like most about Cricut machines is assistance. Every time you’re going to slice a certain thing, the system will tell you exactly what tools you need.
You can choose between the basic toolset and the essential toolset. The basic one includes tweezers, a spatula, a scraper, scissors with a blade cover and a weeder.
The essential set comes with a scoring stylus for adding folding rows for cards and 3D projects, a scoring blade, and a trimmer with a replacement blade.
What is The Best Cricut Machine To Buy?
In order to help you choose the right Cricut machine for you, I took the responsibility to highlight the best Cricut machines for different purposes. Hopefully, this list helps you find the perfect match for you.
- Best Overall: Cricut Maker Machine
“Cricut machine with embroidery, sewing with this machine, home crafting, it simplifies quilting projects, poweful blades, a scoring tool.”
- Best For Beginners: Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
“Cut paper, vinyl, fabric, leather, metal, heat press machine for t shirt, embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting, smart dial for accurate results, precise, versatile, popular, best cricut for wood signs”
- Best For T-Shirt: Cricut Explore Air Machine
“Cut paper, vinyl, fabric, leather, plastic, Super versatile, ideal DIY enthusiasts and crafters, you can upload and cut your own designs for free.”
- Best For Vinyl: Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine
“Cut Vinyl, perfect size, precise temperature control, advanced heat plate design with the ceramic-coated surface.”
- Best Cricut Brightpad: Cricut Brightpad
- Best Cricut Explore Air 2 Bundle: Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Bundle
- Best Cricut Maker Bundle: Cricut Maker Machine Bundle
- Best Cricut Easy Press 2 Bundle: Cricut Easy Press 2 Machine Bundle
- Best For Teachers: Cricut EasyPress Machine
“Home-friendly design, pro-level performance, auto-shutoff feature, portable, reference chart included.”
- Best for Matless Cutting: Cricut Joy Machine
“Latest innovation, Bluetooth connectivity, compact, lightweight, elegant, new features, user-friendly.”
- Best Cheap Cricut Machine: Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine
“Portable Cricut machine, the newest Cricut machine, easy to use, works with infusible ink, portable, compact, reasonably priced, ideal for small projects.”
- Best Embossing: Cricut Cuttlebug Machine
“Affordable, a lot of free accessories included, compact fold-n-store profile and a collapsible handle.”
- Best Portable: Cricut Mini Cutting Machine
“Quiet cutting technology, small, portable, lightweight, it works with different materials, versatile.”
- Best Vinyl Decals: Cricut Explore Electronic Machine
“Best electronic cutting machine, it is cartridge compatible, but no cartridges are required, $100 value of projects, a powerful software.”
- Best Cricut Tools Bundle Beginner: Cricut Essential Tools & Vinyl Bundle
- Best Cricut Sampler Bundle: Cricut Machine Beginner Sampler Bundle
- Best Cricut Books: Cricut 2 BOOKS IN 1
- Best Cricut Group to Start: Cricut For Beginners
Cricut Machine Pros and Cons
Buying a Cricut machine has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the crucial pros and cons of Cricut machines and determine if Cricut cutting machines are worth purchasing. Or not.
- Easy to install
- Perfect for beginners
- You can use old cartridges
- You can cut and write at the same time
- It has one-click cutting settings
- It is wireless
- Cost of craft supplies
- Cartridges, premium designs, and cutting tools are sold separately
- Not compatible with Android mobile devices
Cricut Memorial Day Sale 2020
Starting today through 5/26, Cricut is launching their Memorial Day Sale, featuring 30% off select vinyl, Infusible Ink, and machine tools! In addition, snag an Explore Air 2 Machine, starting at $229!
From now until 5/26, Cricut is also launching their Homemade Celebration, featuring 20% off all materials and accessories!
Cricut is offering Free Economy Shipping on orders $99+ with code SHIPMAY or MAYSHIP through 5/31.
Check Cricut Sale 2020 page for the latest sales.
Explore Air 2 Machines Starting at $229! Valid through 5/26
Save 30% off Select Vinyl! Valid through 5/26
Save 30% off Select Maker Cutting Materials! Valid through 5/26
Save 30% off Select Infusible Ink! Valid through 5/26
Save 30% off Select Machine Tools! Valid through 5/26
Cricut Access Only: Save 40% off Select Vinyl! Valid through 5/26
Save 20% off All Accessories! Valid through 5/26
Save 20% off All Materials! Valid through 5/26
Where To Buy Cricut Machine?
If you want to buy the best Cricut machine 2020, type something like: “where to buy a Cricut machine cheap”, “where can I find a Cricut machine”, “where to sell a Cricut machine”, “where to buy a Cricut machine cheap”, “Cricut machine near me” or “Cricut machine classes near me” and check them out.
If you do not have time for independent research, take a look at this map and write down the working hours of nearby stores. Review their best Cricut machines and prices and visit when you have the time.
12 Cricut Machine Comparison Chart 2020
Below you can find a handy table where I compared some of the best Cricut machines available in 2020. Compare the important features, pros, and cons of the best basic and advanced models on the market.
|Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine - Best Cutting Machine For Beginners||24 x 9.5 x 9.5||14 pounds||Cuts 100+ materials||1-year limited warranty||$$$|
|Cricut Maker Machine - Best Overall||22.6 x 7.1 x 6.2||15.02 pounds||An extra-deep blade that slices through heavier materials like 2.4mm (3/32”) balsa wood and matboard with ease||1-year limited warranty||$$$|
|Cricut EasyPress Mini - Best Cricut Machine for Small Projects||3.6 x 6.3 x 7.8||1.52 pounds||Portable, compact, 3 heat settings, ceramic-coated heat plate, and auto shut-off feature||Not specified||$|
|Cricut Joy - Best Cricut for Matless Cutting||5.50 x 8.40 x 4.25||3.8 pounds||Matless cutting, fine point cutting blade, smart materials||Not specified||$$|
|Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine – Best for Making Clothes||16.9 x 15.2 x 7.6||15.05 pounds||Professional iron-on results in 60 seconds or less||1-year limited warranty||$$|
|Cricut EasyPress Machine – Best Portable Machine with Pro-Level Performance||9 x 9||11.43 pounds||9"x9" Base is Great for large or layered iron-on projects||1-year limited warranty||$$|
|Cricut Explore One Cutting Machine - Best for Vinyl||24 x 9.5 x 9.5||13.75 pounds||Cut a wide variety of materials from paper to iron-on to adhesive vinyl- even leather||Not specified||$$|
|Cricut Mini Cutting Machine - Best Portable||17.2 x 7.8 x 8.8||6.15 pounds||Cuts up to the 8.5-by-12-inch paper and other materials||Not specified||$$|
|Cricut 29-0001 Personal Electronic Cutting Machine - Best for Making Crafts||17.8 x 9.7 x 12.9||10.45 pounds||Cuts from 1 inch up to 5-1/2 inches tall||1-year limited warranty||$$|
|Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine - Best Embossing Machine||13 x 11 x 6.5||11.55 pounds||Cuts and embosses a variety of materials||Not specified||$$|
|Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine – Best Machine with Cartridges||25.4 x 10 x 9.2||16.89 pounds||Cutover 60 materials from vellum to leather||1-year limited warranty||$$$|
|Cricut Expression 1 Electronic Cutting Machine - Best Cricut Machine To Make Paper Flowers||22.9 x 11 x 9.2||18.5 pounds||Six modes and four functions offer greater customization of cuts||Not specified||$$|
|Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine - Best for Making Vinyl Decals||25.4 x 9.2 x 10||15.75 pounds||$100 Value of Images and Projects included||Not specified||$$$|
12 Best Cricut Machine to Purchase 2020
In order for you to choose the best Cricut machine, I have reviewed the models from my chart in detail. It is important to know the crucial pros and cons of the best products before you make a final purchase.
Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine
(Best Cricut Machine For Beginners)
Have you ever heard of the Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint? It is one of the most popular cutting machines on the market. If you purchase this baby, you will be able to create custom vinyl stickers, original greeting cards, personalized home décor and custom-designed apparel with the German carbide premium blade.
Just upload your personal images for free or pick from the Cricut’s wide library of pre-made projects and designs. This machine has a double tool holder for writing and cutting or scoring and cutting at the same time. Now, you can design anywhere thanks to the free access to Cricut’s design software, Design Space.
Make and design on your tablet, PC or phone using the app for android and Ios devices. If you want the ideal cut every time you create something, this is the right machine for you. It provides great precision. And works with +100 materials including cardstock, vinyl, faux leather, specialty paper, board and so on. Shop now at Cricut Store too!
- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
- Smart dial for cutting the right depth and pressure
- Precise, versatile, high-end popular cutting machine
- Louder than the previous model ( Cricut Explore Air)
Cricut Maker Machine
If you want to invest in a feature-rich, versatile and durable machine, invest in the Cricut Maker. It will allow you to create everything that comes to your mind from iron-on to paper crafts and vinyl decals to leather crafts, sewing tasks, and balsa wood thanks to the super-powerful scoring tool, pens, and blades.
Cricut Maker comes with a new rotary blade that will allow you to cut through just any material ana fabric quickly and accurately. The knife blade will slice through everything that you throw at including mat board and balsa models with ease. If you want to simplify your quilting and sewing projects, this is the one for you.
All you have to do is choose from hundreds of digital sewing patterns and Maker will cut and mark the pieces. It comes with simple design apps, so you do not have to be a pro in order to use it. It is perfect for beginners and people who want to express their creativity by using their own, customized designs.
It is also a great Cricut machine to cut wood and cut stencils. You might be wondering: “Should I get a Cricut maker?” The answer is yes and you should not look any further than this amazing Cricut maker. Shop now at Cricut Store too!
- A helpful docking slot for your phone or tablet
- You can upload your personal customized designs
- It will simplify your sewing and quilting projects
- Super powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool
- It works with different materials and fabrics
- Limited cutting space
- The knife blade is sold separately
Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine
I am about review the latest innovation in the EasyPress line. It is the compact, stylish and cute Cricut EasyPress Mini. I recommend this tiny unit because it is easier to use than your regular iron. However, it is more effective than a traditional iron and as just as effective as any large-sized heat press on this list.
If you are looking for a safe, adjustable, lightweight and easy to store heat press that heats evenly, look no further than this unit. It features a timer and a shut-off feature for additional safety. No matter if you are a beginner or intermediate user, you will absolutely love this machine because it is very easy to use.
It delivers effective, quality prints. You may be wondering what can you do with this mini beast. You can create pockets, sleeves, cuffs, hats, shoes, stuffed animals, applique patches, coasters, mugs, and so on.
Highlighted features include 3 heat settings, ceramic coated heat plate, rounded handle, and an auto shut-off feature. It also has insulated safety base. However, let’s summarize the cons before you order. Shop now at Cricut Store too!
- Works with infusible ink
- Easy to store and transport
- Perfect for smaller projects
- Costlier than a small traditional iron
- You cannot complete larger projects
Cricut Joy Machine
(Best for Matless Cutting)
The long-anticipated Cricut Joy is the smallest, cutest cutting machine on the market. However, don’t let the compact design fool you into thinking it is powerless.
On the contrary, this little workhorse is loaded with unseen features and you will be surprised by what it can do for your creative projects. Also, it is affordable and lightweight.
This machine is ideal for beginners and enthusiastic crafters. However, experts can also enjoy it. It offers matless cutting, simple custom card making, and precise cuts.
Joy is pretty straightforward and operated by downloadable applications you can use on your PC, tablet or phone. It allows wireless cutting and other advanced features you can enjoy. Shop now all products Cricut Joy at Cricut Store.
However, keep in mind that you will have to spend extra money on important accessories like card mat, cutting mats and smart materials (materials that can be cut without a mat).
The fact that this machine is built for basic and simple projects is considered as another disadvantage by some people. If you want to cut heavier materials, look elsewhere.
But if you don’t mind using your Cricut Maker or Explore for complex projects and buy Joy as its sidekick, don’t think twice about buying it.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Works with over 50 materials
- Perfect for beginners and DIY crafters
- Works with card mat for making cards
- Works with smart materials
- Joy can draw/write and cut
- You need to buy extra accessories to use the full potential of Joy
- It has only two capabilities – drawing and writing – and you cannot do both at the same time
- You might experience issues with the software while updating
Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine
(Best Cricut Machine To Make Shirts)
Another Cricut machine that is worth your attention is the Cricut Easy Press 2 with 12’’ x 11’’ size that is ideal for larger blankets, t-shirts, banners, sweatshirts and so on. It provides professional iron-on results in just 60 seconds or less. It comes with advanced heat plate design with a ceramic-coated surface too.
With this machine, you will get precise temperature control up to 400℉. It is easy to learn and use but it is not recommended for use outside North America which is considered as a big disadvantage. Let’s take a look at the other important cons before you make your final purchase and get this model for yourself. Shop now at Cricut Store too!
- Perfect size for completing larger projects and crafts
- Advanced heat plate design with ceramic-coated surface
- User-friendly and provides precise temperature control
- Expensive cutting machine but worth the investment
Cricut EasyPress Machine
(Best Value Cricut Machine With Pro-Level Performance)
Another cutting machine that is worth the investment is the Cricut Easy Press. I say that it is worth the investment because of the home-friendly design and pro-level performance. It comes with a big handle, a safety base, and an auto-shutoff feature in order to keep your home, workspace, and office super safe.
If you order this workhorse, you will get a portable, lightweight and easy to store with a giant, ceramic-coated heat plate that provides the exact temperature you need. It is perfect for layered or big iron-on projects. It comes with a reference chart that will help you determine time and temperature.
- Home-friendly design
- Pro-level performance
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Portable and compact
- Reference chart included
- Inconsistent pressure and small cutting area
- Manual heat temperature and timer settings
Cricut Explore One Machine
(Best Cricut Machine for Vinyl)
Looking for an electronic cutting machine that will help you complete your projects and DIY crafts? Do you want something that will allow you to upload and cut your images for free? If yes, this may be the perfect model for you. You can design everywhere with free cloud-based apps for iPhone, Mac, and PC.
In order to cut wirelessly, you need to upgrade your machine by adding the wireless Bluetooth adapter. However, keep in mind that it is sold separately. This is one of the most versatile cutting models on the market. Cricut Explore One works with a lot of materials from paper to iron-on to vinyl to leather. But what are the cons?
- Super versatile and works with different materials
- The perfect machine for DIY enthusiasts and crafters
- You can upload and cut your own images for free
- Does not have a dual carriage
- Does not have Bluetooth connectivity
Cricut Mini Machine
The Cricut cutting machine can cut up to 8.5 by 12-inch paper and other materials. Now, you can create smaller fonts and shapes starting from ¼ inch to larger cuts up to 11-1/2 inch. So, if you are searching for a precise detailed machine, this one is ideal for you thanks to the precise and detailed cutting capability.
However, keep in mind that it needs a regular internet connection via PC or laptop. Or it is supposed to be connected to Cricut Gypsy. Do you want a quiet machine made with the latest technology? If yes, the Cricut cutting machine is what you should definitely consider when looking for the best Cricut machine.
- Quiet cutting technology
- Small, portable and lightweight
- It works with different materials
- You need to connect it to the internet to make any cuts
- You will spend extra money on buying cartridges or images
Cricut 29-0001 Machine
(Best Cricut Machine for Crafts)
If you want an electronic cutting machine, the Cricut 29-0001 might be what you are looking for. It cuts from 1 inch up to 5-1/2 inches tall. Now, you can create scrapbooks, greeting cards and other crafts with ease. It is capable of cutting letters, phrases or shapes and deals with cardstock, vinyl, paper or vellum.
Looking for a portable cutting machine with a cartridge-based system? If yes, this is the best model for you. It does not need a computer and comes with George and Basic Shapes cartridge. Also, it is covered by a 1-year limited warranty. Let’s check the main pros and cons before you make your final purchase.
- It works with different materials
- It does not require a computer
- Possible power light and connection issues
- Some buyers have received a broken product
Cricut Cuttlebug Machine
(Best Embossing Machine)
Looking for the best embossing and die-cutting Cricut machine? I might have the perfect model for you. Cricut Cuttlebug comes with two metal dies and an A2 embossing folder. If you buy this baby, you will also get one 6x8 b, 6x8 a plate and a rubber embossing mat. It has a collapsible handle and compact fold-n-store profile.
Cutting and embossing through materials such as acetate ribbon, tissue paper, thin leather, and foils has never been easier thanks to the versatile Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting and Embossing Machine. It works with other leading cutting dies and embossing folders. But it has its downfalls just like any other model.
- It comes with a lot of free accessories and works with different materials
- Super-versatile with a collapsible handle and compact fold-n-store profile
- It does not make complex cuts
- It does not come with a C plate
Cricut Explore Air Wireless Machine
(Best Cricut Machine with Cartridges)
If you want to buy a product that is trusted by countless customers and has a good reputation, Cricut Explore Air is the ideal choice for you. It has a dual carriage for writing and cutting or scoring and cutting at the same time. Now you can upload your personal images for free thanks to the Cricut Explore Air.
It works with over 60 materials from vellum to leather and comes with a smart dial set for easy material settings, free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app. It offers smart precise cutting and works with all Cricut cartridges. You also get integrated storage compartments. Now, let’s read the main cons.
- It offers smart precise cutting and works with all Cricut cartridges
- Dual carriage for writing and cutting or scoring and cutting at once
- Smart dial set for easy material setting and free online software
- Lound when making a cut
- Adjusting the blade is hard
Cricut Expression 1 Machine
(Best Cricut Machine To Make Paper Flowers)
Another electronic cutting machine that you need to consider is the Cricut Expression 1 cutting machine. It is an innovative crafting workhorse from Provo Craft that allows cuts from as little as 0.25’’ up to 23.5’’ which is very impressive. It features 4 functions and 6 models that provide greater customization of cuts.
However, unlike traditional die-cutting machines, the Cricut Expression is portable, super fast and easy to use. This machine will blow your mind and take your crafting skills to the next level.
However, just like any other electronic cutting machine out there, this one has both pros and cons. Let’s check them out.
- Super fast, portable and easy to use a cutting machine
- Innovative crafting machine with impressive features
- Not the best customer support and software issues
- No software updates in case a new version comes out
Cricut Explore Electronic Machine
(Best Cricut Machine To Make Vinyl Decals)
Electronic cutting machines are the most popular among devoted crafters, especially the Cricut Explore. It works with over 50 different materials and allows you to upload and cut your personal designs for free including SVG files. Also, it is cartridge compatible. However, no cartridges are required. The best part?
It comes with $100 value of projects and images and free and easy software that does not require paid upgrades. Now: let’s summarize the pros and cons of this workhorse before you make a final purchase.
- It is cartridge compatible, but no cartridges are required
- $100 value of projects and images included and free software
- The app is not compatible with Android devices
- Slower than most advanced Cricut cutting machines
What Cricut Machine Should I Buy 2020?
What Cricut should you purchase depends on the projects you want to complete, budget and how often you plan to use your Cricut machine. When buying a Cricut machine, pay attention to these key features.
Every Cricut cuts at a different speed. Some high-end Cricuts can cut up to 2 times faster than a beginner model. So, if crafting is just a hobby of yours, I recommend that you invest in something more affordable and slower. But if crafting is your main income and something you do every day, invest in a faster model.
Pressure Adjustment and Automatic Depth
Different materials and paper have different weights and they ask for different pressure adjustment and depth to the blade. Some machines have an automatic adjustment system. Meaning, they can set up the blade for you. Still, adjusting the blade for a new project the right way can be a nightmare for beginners.
Scoring allows you to create a depression for folding and decorative purposes. Cricuts that provide this ability cost more. However, they are worth it because they can take your skills to the next level. You can score manually with scoring styles. However, if you score a lot, invest in a model that can do this for you.
Different Cricut machines offer different writing options. Some can hold a pen and write in various fonts, while others can draw images or both. This is a premium feature that you should look out for if you plan to invest in a high-end Cricut machine that provides professional-looking results.
Some have Bluetooth capabilities that give access to Cricut’s downloadable library of designs, images, and patterns online. You can download some of the images for free. However, other images and designs must be bought individually in order to download. You can download some of them if you subscribe too.
Bluetooth allows you access to every information without the wires. So whenever you are busy working on a project or making cards, you do not have to deal with wires too. Models that do not have Bluetooth can still provide access to the online library. However, you will need a USB cord in order to connect to it.
You can use cartridges to access fonts and patterns without any online access as well. They have a set of preloaded designs and fonts. However, you must manually load them into the machine every time that you plan on using one of them. Next key feature you need to consider is the type of materials it can cut.
Originally, Cricut machines were made to cut paper. However, they can do so much more thanks to the advanced technology and design these days. Basic Cricuts cut paper, however, other models can also cut vinyl, adhesive foil, cardstock, vellum, and faux leather. Advanced models, on the other hand, are ready to cut fabric, cardboard, balsa wood, chipboard, and metal among dozens of other materials and fabrics.
Accessories and Software
There are many accessories available for Cricuts. But not every user needs every accessory available.
Before you buy a certain accessory, check if it is suitable with the model of device that you already have or plan to buy in the future to make sure that you will be able to complete the project you have in mind.
Accessory bundles, for example, are made to work on certain Cricuts. They can include items like blades, vinyl transfer tape, scoring stylus tools, different types of vinyl and so on. Software and images should be considered as well. Many Cricut machines provide access to design space – Cricut’s design software.
You can get to thousands of fonts, designs, and images. As I said earlier, some are free for download and some you will have to purchase to use. You can also get a monthly subscription and download different items depending on the level of your subscription (standard, premium or fonts).
How Much is a Cricut Machine?
Different models come at different prices. You have manually operated ones for less than $100. They can die cuts, embossed paper, vellum, thin leather, foils, tissue paper, and acetate ribbon. If crafting is your temporary hobby, I recommend that you purchase something simple and basic in this price range.
If you want a mid-range Cricut with pressure setting and automatic depth, expect to pay over $200. Mid-range Cricut machines are Bluetooth enabled and provide a broad range of materials you can work with.
Advanced models cost between $200 and $300 and they come with accessory bundles including cutting materials and scrapbooks. Premium models, on the other hand, cost over $300 and offer a possibility to cut wood, leather, felt, fabric, and some metals. However, they can score and write materials as well.
Is A Cricut Worth It?
There is a whole list of products on the market but nothing can compare with Cricut machines. Although they are expensive, they are definitely worth it. Their price is high because they can cut different fabrics and materials like no other cutting machine can and turn crafting into the most fun and exciting process.
They also provide the possibility to choose from hundreds of projects or insert your own designs. After hours of research, I have come to the conclusion that Cricut machines are seen as the most practical and streamlined cutting machines. They even offer storage solutions and software included in the purchase.
It is super easy to create an account or upload your own designs and images if that is what you want.
Therefore, Cricut machines are durable, sturdy, versatile, hassle-free and quite simple to use, even for a beginner who has no previous experience. Professional and enthusiastic crafters adore these machines.
Which Cricut Machines are Compatible with Design Space?
As I already mentioned, Cricut machines come with standard simple design software. It is free for every customer to access. Also, you are free to use this software on a designated app and install it on different devices including computers and tablets. You can even operate from your phone both online and offline.
This software allows you to preview, edit and customize your crafting projects. Thanks to the new offline features, you can access it without an internet connection. However, that is not all that Cricut machines can do. They also allow you to draw, score and cut different letters, shapes, and designs on flat surfaces.
In case this is your first time buying a Cricuts, let’s learn how electronic machines work – step-by-step.
- Open the software to make the text or shape you want to be scored, drawn or cut.
- Load your Cricut machine with the necessary materials you want it to score, draw or cut.
- Send whatever you have created to the Cricut machine by using the free design software.
- Your machine will follow the given commands from the software to score, draw or cut.
- Cricuts work with a Cricut software known as Design Space that needs to be installed.
- You can install this software on your phone, tablet, laptop or computer online or offline.
- The software cooperates with windows devices, mac devices, iPad, iOS app and android.
- The software provides different features depending on the operating system you use.
- In order to check the entire list and comparison of the software’s features, click here.
- You can use the software with the machine from any device via Bluetooth or cord.
If you find this too complicated, watching online tutorials can help you learn the steps faster. However, do not worry because Cricuts are not that difficult to use and setup. On the contrary, they make one of the easiest cutting machines to work with. Let’s see learn to use and set up a Cricut machine properly.
Are Cricut Machines Easy To Use?
Using and setting up a Cricut could not be any easier for newbies. If this is your first time using a Cricut, first you will need to register the device to your account. Switch your machine on and connect it to the device that you plan to use. Access the setup link in your instruction guide and follow the instructions.
They will teach you how to create your Cricut ID. Download and install the plugin required and start your first project on your PC or MAC. As you might have noticed by now, using a Cricut machine is pretty straightforward. Put the tool you need into the cartridge. Insert your material selection in, and then pick the cut that you want.
What Are Cricut Machines Used For?
As you probably figured by now, Cricuts are used for a different type of work like score, draw or cut on different materials. Wonder if a machine you plan to buy is suitable for dealing with certain materials? If yes, you need to double-check the specification in order to make sure that it meets your expectations.
Do You Need a Computer to Use a Cricut machine?
Yes, you will need a computer to use a Cricut machine. However, you do not need to buy a brand new computer to use a Cricut machine. Just make sure that your current one has the minimum system. Make sure that the Cricut machine that you purchase is compatible with PC, MAC, Android, and iOS devices
How To Clean a Cricut Machine?
Over time, your Cricut machine can collect paper particles or dust and you can see some of the greasers from the Cricut start to build upon the carriage track. But do not worry because a circuit machine is easy to clean. If this is your first time cleaning a Cricut machine, apply my simple tips and you will do just fine.
- Always turn off your Cricut machine before cleaning.
- You can use a soft clean cloth and glass cleaner spray.
- If you see static electricity build-up causing paper particles or dust to accumulate, just wipe that off with a clean soft cloth.
- Use a cotton swab, a soft cloth or a tissue to gently remove the buildup of grease on the bar across which the carriage travels.
- Never use acetone (nail polish remover). It can damage the plastic of your device permanently.
Now that you have learned how to clean your Cricut machine, let’s compare some of the best machines available for purchase in order to determine which one meets your needs and requirements completely.
Cricut Machine Does What?
Except for printing your designs, a Cricut machine can cut whatever material that you have in mind. You can use it to cut sticker paper, craft foam, fabric, vinyl, paper, faux leather, and more. The mat keeps the material in place while the Cricut blade passes it over and cuts it.
Can Cricut Cut Acrylic?
Yes, you can cut Acrylic with a Cricut. However, there is a catch. You have to know which acrylic to buy because some will not cut well while others will not cut at all.
Can Cricut Cut Wood?
Yes, you can cut balsa wood with a Cricut. In fact, it is one of the easiest materials that you can cut with the Cricut Maker. You can also cut balsa wood with the Cricut Explore and the Deep Cut Blade but keep in mind that there is no setting for cutting balsa wood. Watch this tutorial on how to cut wood properly.
Can Cricut Maker Cut MDF?
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. It is an engineered wood product created by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in a defibrillator, mixing it with a resin binder and wax, and making panels by applying high temperatures and pressure. This wood is denser than plywood.
Since Cricut machines can cut balsa wood without any problem, I suppose that they can be used to cut MDF as well. Please, watch this tutorial on how to cut wood letters on a Cricut and boost your creativity.
Can Cricut Maker Cut Metal?
Yes, you can cut metal with a Cricut Maker. I have found a few comments about people using the Cricut for cutting metal. Apparently, there is nothing that a Cricut machine cannot cut. So, if you want to apply metal accents on your creations, feel free to use your Cricut Maker. However, use your light grip mat in order to protect the material. Also, when your project is done, use a spatula and slowly lift the material.
Can Cricut Maker Cut Perspex?
Perspex is a solid transparent plastic made of polymethyl methacrylate. It is the same material as Lucite or Plexiglas and yes, you can cut Perspex with the Cricut Maker. Follow this guide on how to do it properly.
Can Cricut Cut Felt?
Yes, you can cut felt with both Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore. There are other options for cutting felt with your Cricut Maker. However, you can most definitely cut felt on most of Cricut cutting machines.
Can Cricut Cut Plastic?
Yes, you can cut plastic with your Cricut Maker. However, you should be careful when choosing acrylics. Some cut well while others will not work at all.
Can Cricut Engrave Wood?
Yes, you can engrave wood with your Cricut. Except for cutting fabrics and thick materials with a rotary blade, thin wood and leather with the knife blade, you can also engrave wood with your Cricut machine.
Can Cricut Cut Mylar?
Mylar is a brand name for a type of polyester film. You can cut it with different tools including scissors, a hot pan or a craft knife. However, you can also cut it with your Cricut.
Can Cricut Cut Leather?
You can absolutely cut leather with the knife blade on both the Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker. Use the deep cut blade. Before buying a Cricut for cutting leather, keep in mind that the blade is sold separately.
Can Cricut Cut Acetate?
The Cricut Maker can cut acetate. You can also cut acetate with your Cricut Explore. If you have a unit from the Explore series, just set your dial to custom to get an acetate set. Both units will use the fine point blade when cutting acetate. If you are a beginner and want to learn how to do it, check this useful tutorial.
Can Cricut Cut Plywood?
Both Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore cut so many materials and Polywood is one of them. No matter if you want to cut something delicate as tissue paper or thick leather, your Cricut machine has your back.
Cricut Can't Read Sensor Marks
Wrinkles in the material or incorrect mat placement may interrupt with reading the cut sensor marks. A mat with smudges near the cut sensor marks can cause the Cricut to mistake the smudges for cut marks.
Is Cricut Cutting Too Deep?
The Cricut Explore series of die-cutting machines including Air, Air 2, Explore, Explore One and Maker all feature a German Carbide blade. This blade is ideal for cutting materials such as cardstock, ORACAL 651 VINYL, paper and so on.
Cricut offers a “standard blade” with a gray rubber cover, while newer blades have a white rubber cover. It is called “a fine point blade”. Apparently, those with gray covers are not intended for all Cricut units as it says on the package.
Some customers have posted this is a 60-degree blade and the German Carbide is 40-degrees. However, this is not accurate. They are both 45-degree blades. The fine point blade is longer than the Carbide blade and cuts through the backing on your vinyl.
Cricut vs Screen Printing
With screen printing, you need actual screens. You cut them in order to create templates for the design. After, you spread ink over each screen. You can use only one ink color per screen and let it pass through to the piece of clothing underneath. So, you will need multiple screens in order to come up with a result.
A Cricut is a machine that allows you to cut. Think of it as a printer which instead of ink, it uses a small blade to cut your design. You can also use a pen to write or the scorer tool to score on your Cricut. Which one you select depends on the size of your orders and the complexity of the design that you want to make.
Cricut vs Laser Cutter
A Cricut machine allows you to cut different materials. It is like a printer that uses a small blade instead of ink in order to cut your design. However, you can also use the scorer tool to score and a pen to write on your unit. Laser cutting, on the other hand, is a non-contact process which uses a laser to cut things.
It delivers high-quality dimensionally accurate cuts. The process works by directing the laser beam via a nozzle to the workpiece. A combination of pressure and heat executes the cutting action. Which method you choose, depends on your personal needs and preferences, as well as the complexity of your projects.
Cricut vs Die Cut
The Cricut is a die-cutting machine also known as a cutting machine or a craft plotter. You can use it for cutting vinyl, paper, craft foam, fabric, faux leather, sticker paper and more. Also, you can use it as your printer. Die-cutting, on the other hand, is cutting label stock, cardstock, paper, and other substrates into different shapes using a thin, razor-sharp steel blade with a specific shape. Watch this video for details.
Cricut or Vinyl Cutter
Cricut machines allow you to cut different materials. However, you can use them as your printer. Think of your Cricut machine as a printer that uses a small blade to cut your designs instead of ink. However, it is not all that the Cricut machine has to offer. You can also use the scorer tool to score or a pen to write.
A vinyl cutter, on the other hand, is a computer-controlled unit. Smaller vinyl cutters look like computer printers. The computer controls the movement of a sharp blade that is used to cut out letters or shapes from sheets of thin self-adhesive vinyl.
Cricut vs Silhouette
The main difference between the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Silhouette Cameo is the software that they use. Silhouette uses a far more advanced and powerful software than the Cricut Explore. It allows customers to make their own designs from scratch. However, it is harder to use for beginners. The Cricut Explore is a better option for cutting different materials. It is easy to use and makes a perfect choice for beginners.
Cricut vs Heat Press
With a Cricut machine, you can cut vinyl, paper, felt, fabric, and other materials like fondant. The circuit is one of the best-selling die-cutting machines on the market. It is adored by scrapbookers, card makers and paper crafters. A heat press, on the other hand, is made for imprinting designs or graphics on t-shirts.
Cricut vs Uscutter
Cricut machines are one of the most popular die-cutting machines on the market. They are versatile and affordable. People love them because you can cut different materials including fabric, fondant, vinyl, felt and so on. A Uscutter, on the other hand, is a vinyl cutter with a trusted performance in the United States.
It has 34 inches of feed width and 30 inches cut width. The Uscutter is perfect for starting your business at home. You can make graphics for your community or bring your signature production needs in-house. It is ideal for making decals, heat transfer for apparel, signs, banners and more. It is versatile and durable.
Cricut vs Cameo 4
Both Cricut Maker and Cameo 4 are great machines. It is hard to choose who is the winner between these two. Silhouette has an extra 1000 grams downward force and powerful software. However, the Cricut machine allows you to cut different materials. It makes a great choice for newbies with no previous experience.
It never falls to make a nice project thanks to the many accessories included. The Silhouette Cameo 4 is the latest invention by this brand that was released not so long ago. If you want something that provides fast and high-quality results, this model is for you. It can cut up to 3 times faster than the Cameo 3. Also, it is 25% stronger than the Cricut. If you want to learn more, read my full review on Silhouette Cameo 4.
Cricut Machine vs Scan n cut
If you doubt between Brother scan n cut 2 and Cricut machine, I hope that comparing both machines will help you choose the best fit for you. Scan n cut is made for crafters and hobbyists. It is not a heavy-duty machine. Meaning, you can use it for light materials, unlike the Cricut machine which has a powerful knife blade.
The Cricut machine is suitable for both lighter and heavier materials. Both machines are similar and have built-in fonts and ready-made designs. Scan n cut is versatile, unlike the Cricut. It has an outline, region, and line detection. However, the Cricut machine features more powerful blades and adaptable system.
Meaning, you can easily choose the right pressure for the material that you are working with. Also, this removes the guesswork from your die-cutting work. If you are looking for an advanced machine, choose the Scan n cut. However, keep in mind that it is more expensive than the Cricut machine.
Cricut Machine vs Silhouette Cameo
The main difference between silhouette cameo and Cricut machine is the software. The silhouette design studio is advanced and more powerful than the Cricut design space. It allows complete freedom to make designs from scratch. It provides professional-looking complex images for purchase as well.
However, Design Space is easier and simpler than the Silhouette design studio. It is perfect for newbies or people who want to create their own designs from scratch. But it has limited options. It was made for importing designs made in other programs. It asks for internet connections and linked cartridges as well.
If you want something easy to use and setup, choose the Cricut machine. However, if you want a model that will provide advanced features and allow you to create custom shapes, buy the Silhouette Cameo because it has a super-powerful software. Also, the Cameo cutting force is limited to 210 grams of force.
Cricut Machine vs Air 2
Most Cricut machines can cut a lot of different materials. However, it depends on the machine what you can use it for. Entry-level Cricut machines for newbies have a limited range of materials that you can cut, while advanced models provide a wide array of materials you can cut. Cricut machines are simple to use.
Most of Cricuts are Bluetooth enabled and have a convenient double tool holder. Cricut Explore Air 2, on the other hand, provides extra features that basic Cricuts do not have. Air 2 can cut up two times faster than basic Cricut machines. The biggest disadvantage is the noise. It is much louder, unlike most Cricuts.
Cricut Machine vs Cameo 3
Cricut and Silhouette Cameo 3 represent the biggest names in the die-cutting industry nowadays.
Today, I will review the Cricut Maker and Cameo 3 to help you choose the best machine. Cricut Maker is one of the best machines with rotary and knife blades made for cutting through materials with ease.
No matter if you want to tame leather or balsa wood, the Circuit Maker has your back. Powerful enough to cut through every material, this model offers precision and speed. It comes with simple design apps.
You can use them on your mobile or computer in order to adjust your designs. This is one of the biggest advantages because you can pile up different designs and cut them altogether. Cameo 3, on the other hand, is user-friendly and portable which makes it a perfect choice for beginners and occasional crafters.
It is popular among smaller businesses or people who work with vinyl arts and paper. But the one thing that makes it very appealing to new users is the Bluetooth connectivity. If you purchase this model, you will not have to worry about cables.
All you need to do is pair your machine with either a phone or computer to transfer designs and images. Portability is an important feature you need to consider. And Cameo 3 provides it. Another advantage of this model is the dual carriages. They make feeding materials and making cuts a lot easier for you.
Cameo 3 comes with an auto blade which automatically adjusts itself and provides amazing cuts without you adjusting it manually. The Cricut maker is a feature-rich powerful and fast model.
However, Cameo 3 is perfect for beginners thanks to the automatic features, portability, and simplicity.
I would suggest the Cricut Maker for intermediate and advanced users. But newbies should definitely consider Cameo 3. If you are searching for a model that can handle different materials, the Cricut Maker is the ideal choice for you because the Silhouette Cameo 3 works with some of the basic materials only.
Cricut Machine vs Sizzix
Sizzix and Cricut represent the two biggest brands in the making of embossers and die cutters, and while there is no doubt that the two names have their benefits and disadvantages, it is enough to take a closer look to determine which one is best suited to provide you with the best user experience and great value.
Cricut is owned and ruled by a firm known as Provo Craft. It is based in Spanish Fork, Utah. However, it is very popular in the USA. They produce the best manual and electronic die cutters such as Cricut Maker, Explore Air and Explore Air 2. Sizzix brand, on the other hand, exists since 2001 and is owned by Ellison.
They produce the popular award-winning die-cutting models including the Eclips2 electronic die cutter, steel-rule dies, a few manual cutters, chemically-etched dies, and embossing folders. Based in California, it is partnered with some of the best artists and crafters in the industry to boost its market appearance.
However, the main question is which one is better? The two brands are very similar. However, Cricut is focused on electronic die cutters, unlike Sizzix. Electronic Cricut machines are some of their best-selling products on the market. Sizzix tried to keep up with them by designing the Eclipse electronic die cutter.
However, they have better manual die-cutting machines than Cricut such as Vagabond 2 and Big Shot. I will review them later in this article. Cricut provides innovative, high-quality and future-rich machines.
Cricut uses the design space software while Sizzix launched the use of the Ecal software for their Eclips2.
If you take a closer look, you will notice that both their software are free to download. But using their premium features come at a price but nothing expensive. Design Space can be accessed with or without an internet connection, unlike Sizzix’s software. It cannot be accessed without an internet connection.
Both names have good customer support and warranty. But Sizzix provides a 1-year warranty for their electronic cutter. They provide a 3-year warranty for their manual cutters. Cricut offers a 1-year limited warranty for all its machines. As you can notice, Cricut has better software and machines than Sizzix. If you want to learn more, please read Sizzix Big Shot Plus Review, Sizzix Eclips 2 Review.
Cricut Machine vs Big shot
Both machines are similar and have similar cutting capabilities. They are both made for embossing and cutting different materials. So, if you own a digital machine that does not emboss, a manual one like the Cricut or Big Shot will get the job done. They weight approximately the same and have 6’’ cutting width.
However, the biggest advantage of a Cricut machine is the ability for the device to fold up. Also, it is very portable thanks to the carrying handle. It is also compact and easy to store. It has a 1-year warranty and costs less than the Big Shot. Big Shot, on the other hand, does not fold up. It has a longer crank handle.
It has a larger work surface unlike Cricut and provides greater stability. After hours and hours of intense research, I have come to the conclusion that users like Big Shot better because it is better built, stronger and more stable than Cricut. It is also easy to use thanks to the multipurpose platform, unlike the Cricut.
However, if you want more storage space, you need to stick to the Cricut. If you are ready to invest in a larger, durable and stable machine, I would recommend Sizzix Big shot. Both machines are great but Big Shot has more advantages and fewer disadvantages than Cricut. Still, users are satisfied by both models.
Cricut Machine vs Knk Zing
You already know what you need to know about the Cricut machine. And that is why I will focus on reviewing Knk Zing in detail. It is not user-friendly like Silhouette and Cricut. It provides better flexibility and a strong cutting force, unlike the Cricut and Silhouette machine. It can engrave, emboss and pierce.
You can work with a lot of materials if you purchase Knk Zing including fabric, cardstock, foam, leather, chipboard, rhinestone rubber, sheet magnet, foam, sheet metal, balsa wood, cling vinyl and plastics. It is the perfect choice for people who are attentive to details and ask for precision and extra cutting speed.
It does not require cartridges. This is considered as a big advantage for most users. It is nicely designed, portable and compact. However, it is super expensive for a basic cutter. Still, it is worth the investment.
Why My Cricut Machine Not Connect To The Computer?
If you have an older model, it is possible that your Cricut machine was never intended to be connected to a computer or any other modern device. You can check about the installation CD on the Cricut board. Contact customer support but expect disappointment. They are not always helpful and knowledgeable.
If you have a newer model, it is possible that your internet connection is slow. Or you might have some background programs running while you are trying to use your Cricut machine. Ask customer support for a solution if these are not the issues. Make sure you that got enough available space on your computer.
Also, keep in mind that if you have Windows 7, it is possible that your operating system is blocking the download of drivers without showing any signs. You think that it has the drivers downloaded but it has not done so. If this is not the case, clear your history and cache, update drivers for Windows and run a malware check to identify the issue. Defragment your hard drive and check your anti-virus for updates.
Why Won’t My Cricut Machine Turn On?
If your Cricut machine will not turn on, try connecting the power cord to some other wall outlet. If this is not the problem, see the power adapter in the power cord. Make sure that the green light on the box is lit up. If not, you will need to replace the cord. Make sure that you have received an undamaged device.
Why Won’t My Cricut Machine Not Connect?
First and foremost, make sure that your Cricut machine is powered on and within 10 – 15 feet of the PC. If you have a Cricut Explore 1 or Cricut Explore, make sure that your wireless Bluetooth adapter is in the right place. Most PCs are Bluetooth enabled. To see if yours is too, make a right-click on the start button.
Select device manager and see if there’s “Bluetooth” listed. If there is, your PC is Bluetooth enabled. If it is not, you will need to buy a USB device known as ‘Bluetooth dongle’ in order to allow your computer to talk to other Bluetooth devices such as your Cricut machine. Close device manager. Select settings again.
Open the devices option and make sure that Bluetooth is on. Click add Bluetooth or another device. Select Bluetooth and see if your PC recognizes your Cricut machine. Once it does, select your machine from the list and enter a PIN, if it is required. Just type 0000 and see if it connects.
Your computer should pair with your computer in just seconds. However, keep in mind that the steps I have listed are intended for Windows 10. I do not know if they will work with another operating system.
If you have OS or different Widows, contact customer support for help or check online forums to search for solutions. Usually, multiple online forums give better solutions than your provided customer service.
Why is My Cricut Machine Not Cutting?
If your machine is scoring material or not cutting all the way through it, check if the material setting that you have chosen in design space matches the material on your machine mat.
If you have the Explore Cricut machine, make sure that you have selected the correct material from the custom materials list. If this does not solve the issue, open clamp b and take off the blade housing from your device. Ensure that you are using a brand blade. Inspect for debris on both the blade and housing.
Once you have everything cleaned out, run a test. If the housing and blade are okay but your machine is still not cutting, move on to the next step. Open the manage custom materials page in order to increase the pressure for your material setting by 2 – 4 and perform another test. Maybe you will need to do this a couple of times before you notice a change in the cut result. Change the materials if this does not help.
Clear the cookies, cache, and history of your browser and perform another test if changing the material is not the issue. Try a different browser (Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome). Contact customer support if none of this helps you solve your issue. Visit online forums for further assistance and possible solutions.
If you are interested in buying a Cricut machine, I hope that my buyer’s guide will help you choose the best model for you. Also, I hope that you will take into consideration the pros and cons of the best Cricut machines and choose the model that meets your requirements and crafting needs, within your budget.
If you are investing in a high-end model, you need to choose some of the latest releases in order to get the updated technology and find replacement parts easily. Do not forget to share this useful information with someone who is interested in buying a Cricut machine and follow our website for updated reviews.