As you’ve read my posts over the last couple of years, you know I love my Cricut. It’s not the only machine I’ve ever owned though, so here’s my story, and I’ll compare a little the Cricut to a Silhouette and a Black Cat Cougar.
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|Cricut Explore Air|
My Cricut Story
Back in 2007 I bought my first Cricut machine. It was the original, small size one, and I was so excited! I was doing a lot of scrapbooking back then. I had two small girls, and they both took naps, so nap time was scrap time. I was also making a lot of cards and had a few Cricut cartridges that let me add a lot of cute things to both. Eventually I started using a third-party software to design some of my own cut files.
About 3 years later it started having trouble cutting circles exactly evenly though, and I wanted a bigger cut space. I did some research and reading around in craft groups online. I discovered the Black Cat Cougar–and industrial grade vinyl cutter with completely customizable pressure and speed settings. People said it would be the last machine I’d ever need. So I splurged, and bought one, and man, was it big! It filled up my whole little craft desk.
It was heavy and I never moved it from that spot. Then I quickly learned that totally customizable meant that for everything I cut I had to adjust the arrows up or down for pressure and speed, and do several test cuts until I found the settings that worked right. I started writing numbers down on a list but it seemed like they kept changing over time. I also had to adjust the height position of the blade everytime I cut. There were a lot of steps anytime I wanted to cut something, especially when changing materials.
Then in 2014 I had both a Cricut Explore and a Silhouette Portrait sent to me so I could play with them and blog about it. It was great to experiment with them both at the same time.
With the Silhouette, I found the software hard to learn. There were some limitations on the materials it could cut, I had to pay extra to use my own svgs, and I wasn’t cutting right out of the box like I was with the Cricut.
10 Reasons I love my Cricut Explore
So now after all those experiences, here’s why I’m a huge fan of my Cricut.
2. Plus there’s a custom setting. There are dozens more loaded presets here like for leather, craft foam, glitter paper, vellum, and I can create my own custom settings like for balsa wood. Then I can select that in the drop down menu later and don’t have to remember what pressure or how many passes it needed to cut nicely.
5. Ability to upload my own basic images (jpg, gif) or vector images (svg)
6. Easy to use and understand Design Space. I can slice and weld items, duplicate, combine layers, hide layers, etc, all with easy to find commands.
7. It’s portable. Because it doesn’t weigh much (like my other machine I told you about) I can easily move it around my house or take it out to other locations if I need to.
9. Saving projects in Design Space. Since I can save right in Design Space, if I make something again, I don’t have to go find all the individual files again, I can just select the project and either make edits or cut right away. It saves so much time.
Leave me any questions you have in the comments, or tell me what you love about your Cricut!
If you’re still unsure about which one to chose, check out these other posts from my fellow Cricut bloggers who did a comparison, or wrote about why they love their Cricut:
Now, if you want to win a Cricut Explore Air 2 of your own follow the rules on the rafflecopter below! The contest runs from January 18th to January 25th. The winner will be notified within 24hrs after the contest closes.