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Best Cricut Machines – Cricut Explore Air 2 Vs Cricut Maker (2019 Review)

On my last post I’ve talked about Mandala SVG and given that SVGs are closely linked to the cutting patterns and many other crafts, I’ve decided to write a new article about Cricut machines.

After my through searches about cutting machines, I’ve found out that Cricut is the most popular and also the highest quality brand, so I brought here the best Cricut machines, in terms of efficiency, high custom rankings and, of course, quality.

What Is A Cricut And What Does It Do?

Best Cricut MachinesFirst of all, I believe it is very important to know what these Cricut machines are and why do we need them. Maybe you received one as a gift and don’t know what is good for, or you’ve heard about Cricut, but still don’t know what it is, or you are a crafter and you need a tool that will make your work a thousand times easier.

It doesn’t matter what’s the reason you ask yourself “What is a Cricut?”. You are in the right place, so you will get answers to all of your questions.

A Cricut machine is a die-cutter tool that allows you to create an image or design on your computer and then send it to the machine. It will perfectly cut your design on paper, vinyl, fabric, sticker paper, faux leather, craft foam, iron-on and more. It works also as a printer, so you can print and cut your designs and there are infinite possibilities.

Cricut is the most popular and efficient brand of cutter machines. The first machine they created was the Cricut Explore One, then they updated it and created the Cricut Explore Air.

Today the newest machines of this brand are Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker. These are also the cutting machines that I decided to review here.

If you want to make an idea of how it works, I recommend you to watch Becca Beach’s video (she presents a Cricut Explore Air). Beside that, you will get all the instructions you need with the Cricut machine and you will also find lots of tutorials on YouTube, so you don’t have to worry if you have never used a Cricut. It’s really easy!

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

Cricut Explore Air 2Product: Cricut Explore Air 2

Price: £246.05 – Air 2 Mint

Buying choices available: 4 (Air 2 Mint essential bundle, Air 2 Sunflower essential bundle, Air 2 Mint machine, Air 2 Sunflower machine) – if you want to see the Cricut Explore Air 2 Cherry Blossom, click here!

Colors available: mint, sunflower, cherry blossom, the unknown Cricut Explore Air 2

Average customer rank: 3.9/5 (4.4/5 for Cricut Explore Air 2 Cherry Blossom)

Where to buy: Amazon

Product Overview

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a fast and fairy easy-to-use cutter. The machine is designed to cut at a speed that’s almost 2X what its predecessors delivered.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes with:

  • customized cards – it has pens that can be attached and used to create customized cards; there are more than 370 fonts available
  • thousands of printable patterns included – that means more than 500,000 printable images + 1,000 printable patterns
  • upload and create your own designs – besides the thousands of images you get with the machine, you can also customize, upload and create your own designs, which is cool for the ones who want to be original (if you need to know where you can buy awesome and unique SVG designs for £2 or £3 pounds, I recommend you to see my post – Mandala SVG – you will find useful info about SVG and also gorgeous and cheap designs)
  • wide range of materials – cuts 100+ materials: vinyl colors, iron-on vinyls, cardstock, faux Leather, adhesive foils, specialty paper, poster board and more
  • compatibility with smart devices – this allows you to print them on-the-go; this means flexibility and time saving, which is pretty awesome for a busy crafter or designer
  • ability to cut intricate details – great accuracy; some examples of intricate designs are: lace stationery patterns, snowflake patterns and even spider webs patterns.
  • free access to Cricut’s simple design software, Design Space – the Design Space software can be used offline for those with the iOS app (no apps available for Androids)
  • cartridges – the Cricut Explore Air 2 is designed to use the cartridge system of Cricut, so if you have used a Cricut before, you don’t have to buy new cartridges.
  • standard grip cutting mat – the mat has a good grip that holds your material firmly in place; easy to remove the cut material; easy-to-use ruler and grid included (flexible use)

Cricut Explore Air 2

Cricut Maker Smart Cutting Machine (The 1st On The Top) Review

Cricut MakerProduct: Cricut Maker Smart Cutting Machine

Price: £361.23

Buying choices available: 1 + check out the Cricut Maker Fabric Bundle at £435.20 and save money

Designs available: 1

Average customer rank on Amazon: 3.6/5

Where to buy: Amazon

Product Overview

The Cricut Maker has some more advanced features if it is to compare it with the Cricut Explore Air 2. The most important one is that it is made especially for fabric cutting. So let’s have a look and see what it has to offer.

The Cricut Maker comes with:

  • this machine offers 4 kg of cutting pressure which is 10x more than what its brother, the Cricut Air provides
  • active steering of the blade, intelligent variable pressure
  • it has a USB port, rotary blade, knife blade and a washable fabric pen
  • in addition to the handy tools, the cutter also comes with unlimited access to Cricut’s rich sewing pattern library
  • while the Cricut Explore Air 2 was reasonably adept at fabric cutting, we always preferred to use a separate fabric cutter to do large scale serious projects, but the new Cricut Maker is set to change all that
  • the brand new rotary blade has been designed to cut through virtually any fabric; it’s equipped with a gliding and rolling action that makes cutting fabric as easy as cutting through butter, and allows you complete control over, regardless of what direction it’s going in
  • the blade can take on anything from the lightest silk and chiffon to thick denim and canvas

The Sewing Pattern Library

A sewing pattern is essentially a template for the item you’re going to sew. They’re usually made of paper and allow you to trace the pattern on to the fabric you’re going to use for the project.

The pattern is made up of the different parts of the item that you’ll need to cut and sew, so you don’t have to spend anymore time on tracing patterns, pining the fabric and cutting the fabric. The Cricut Maker will do all this for you.

It has hundreds of patterns for you to choose directly from within Design Space, that will cut the pattern for you automatically with total accuracy and efficiency.

Adaptive Tool System And Expandable Suite

Basically, The Cricut Maker is a futuristic invention that allows you to be able to customize and adopt new technologies in the future, thanks to the adaptive tool system.

So, once you get this machine, you don’t have to worry about the new ones that will come. It will be able to enable the new tools and that’s a very big advantage.

It guarantees that not only does fit with all the tools currently for use with the machine, but that it will be compatible with all future tools as well.

Cricut Maker

For more details on how cool is this machine, I recommend you to watch this video, where Tanner Bell shows us how it works and why is the best. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Both of these machines are great, but if you own a customizing/crafting shop or business, I think the best choice is The Cricut Maker, thanks to its innovative tools and its adaptability to future tools and technologies, especially if you work with fabric.

On the other side, The Cricut Explore 2 is not a bad choice at all. It is just perfect for home crafts and not only.

I have to say it again, both machines are good investments. They both help you to save time and money. Your choice depends on what you do and what you need it for.

Here are some useful tools for Cricut machines that you can buy from Amazon:

Also, if you need to know more about SVG, seen that it is the main format used on cutting machines, I recommend you to read my post about SVG.

I hope you found my article useful and I’d love to see your opinions about those awesome machines, so feel free to leave a comment below! Blessings!

Anna

16 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for this amazing post, you must have out a lot if energy into writing this and I find it highly informative and timely. I think I will pick the circuit maker ahead of other machines when it comes to customizing and crafting because of it technological advancement and  I will like to read the SVG post for good insights about cutting machines. 

    • Hello, Clement!

      I’m glad you found my post useful and yes, the Cricut Maker is a very good choice. I’m sure you will make cool crafts with it. 

      I think the SVG post will answer all your questions. Anyway, if you need to know more, just let me know and I will eventually write another post related to those. There is so much to say, but I always try to keep it clear and simple.

      Thanks for your comment, Clement! Blessings!

  2. I know of black and white and coloured printer, then 3D printers. But Circut is another fascinating that I am getting to know today. In my experience with using 3D printers, speed is very important as low quality printers take like forever to get the job done.Compatibility is what users of this product will enjoy, since cartridge that was used for one can be used on another machine.I watched video of Cricut Maker Smart Cutting Machine, I am wowed!

    • Hello there!

      Yes, they are great machines and also very new technologies, so lots of people haven’t heard about them yet. 

      I think it’s worth it to have a Cricut machine, especially if you are a craft lover. It will make your work more than easy on many projects. 

      I’m glad you found my post useful and thanks for your comment!

      Blessings!

  3. I definitely had not heard of a cricut machine until now but hearing all of the great qualities I can tell that it would be an invaluable piece to my business. Honestly it could help me break through to creating an outside business vs. just online. I must say I am amazed by the price given the functionality of theses machines. Are you able to use a fleece blanket type of material with these?

    • Hello, Alisha!

      I’m so happy my article creates new opportunities! It will definitely help you to transform your online business in an outside business, especially if you are passionate about it. 

       And YES, you can use the Cricut Maker to cut fleece. The Cricut Explore Air 2 may not do it, but the Cricut Maker can do it for sure.

      Thanks for your comment and success!

  4. The Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 seems like very good portable and amazing machines for DIY project, going through the review was amazing and the videos really made a lot of sense, however for someone who has a new customizing/crafting shop or business which would you recommend if price is not a factor

    • Hello there!

      Well, I will definitely recommend the Cricut Maker. It can cut lots of materials, even feence, and it is also adaptable to future tools and technologies. I’ll say the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a little limited and is more suitable for home use.

      Both are good machines, but the Cricut Maker is more professional and just perfect for a new crafting shop or business.

      I’m happy you enjoyed my post and thanks for your comment! Blessings!

  5. Hello Anna! Wow, it is interesting to see a die cutter that also serve as a printer. The cricuit machine you reviewed has wonderful features and serves lots of purposes. Looking at the benefits and disadvantages, I will say that the pros certainly outweighs the cons. I love the fact that it has the ability of drawing, scoring and cutting materials and they certainly save time. Thanks for your wonderful review on both the Cricuit maker and the Cricut Explore 2 and pointing out the one that is best suited for each purpose.

    • Hello, Gracen!

      You’re right, they save a lot of time and they help you to create an infinity of beautiful and original designs. A Cricut machine is always a good investment if you are passionate about crafting and design.

      I’m happy you found my post useful and thank you so much for your comment! Blessings!

  6. Useful insight on this article. I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a two in one machine before, I mean, printing and at the same time cutting. Also its pros are just simply unique that you can connect to it via Bluetooth and easy cutting. I would like to say am amazed at the same time learnt something about this machine, and I would like to have one. Thanks, Anna. Good job. 

    • Hello, Kinggold!

      Yes, they are definitely great and unique machines! I’m happy to see you found my info useful and if you are a craft lover, then you should try one of them. I’m sure you’ll love it!

      Thanks for your comment! Blessings!

  7. The cricut machine is such an amazing innovations. This machine has come to make crafter’s work simpler and more efficient. One feature that’s jaw-dropping is the Adaptive Tool System And Expandable Suite. If these feature really works and it continues, then the cricut machine will be indispensable as it will be relevant at all times.

    • Hello, Muhiyb!

      I’m sure they will bring new features in the future. The Cricut brand is the best for now and I think they would like to keep that. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

      Anyway, the Cricut Maker is adaptable to new technologies and I guess this is a big advantage, so you will not have to buy another machine, but just update the one you have.

      I’m not sure it will become indispensable, but it will definitely become an important tool for creative people.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post and thank you for your comment! Blessings!

  8. What an awesome and helpful tool! Thanks so much for writing this detailed review and including the videos as I am so much more a visual/auditory learner than just by reading. It really seems like this makes the whole process of cutting and printing patterns so much easier than normal. 

    My family is full of crafty and artistic people and this looks like a wonderful and versatile addition. 

    It’s unfortunate however that the Cricut Maker Smart Cutting Machine does not come with the knife blade as that looks like it is almost a necessity. Is that also available on Amazon?

    • Hello, Steve!

      It is so great to see you found my content useful! A Cricut machine is more than a good investment! You will save time, money and you will be able to do crafts like a pro. 

      And yes, it is unfortunate that the Cricut Maker doesn’t have the knife blade included, especially because it is one of the best tools it has. Well, it’s a new brand, so I guess they still have to make a lot of improvements. However it remains a great tool, seen that there are no others better cutting machines out there.

      So stay tuned to see the ones that will come!

      Yes, it is available on Amazon. Actually, my links will direct you to Amazon.

      Thank you for your comment and have fun crafting with your family! I’m sure they will love the Cricuts!

      Blessings!

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