There are several electronic cutting machines on the market these days – I have owned a few. You may have owned a few. And for someone looking to buy one, or upgrade, or switch brands, it can be confusing to know what the best machine is!
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You can read here about the cutting machines I’ve owned. Right now of course I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, and I love it. I use it multiple times a week. A lot of the projects show up here as blog posts – but many more are quick things I do for my kids or for myself that never even get a blog post written up.
Anyway, I want to give you some details about the machine.
The Cricut Explore has the cut force to cut lots of different types of material like leather, chipboard, felt, and aluminum. And of course all the things you’d expect like paper, cardstock, vinyl and iron-on vinyl.
With 3 different “stickiness” levels of mats – light grip, regular and strong grip, you can pick the best one for your material. Light grip keeps paper from tearing, regular is great for vinyl, and strong is perfect for leather and craft foam.
The Smart Set dial means you never have to memorize or print out a list of different speeds and pressures that go with different materials. Plus you can even create your own custom settings and save them in Design Space (like I did here when cutting balsa wood with my Cricut)
Design Space has been really easy for me to learn how to use. Learn here about the different Cricut Access plans to see what will be the best option for you. And it’s always free to upload your own image, SVGs and fonts to use in the system! Plus, Design Space version 3 has been in beta for a few months and should be released to the public soon – with changes to make it even easier to use! Read this tutorial on how to use your own images in Design Space.
The Explore Air 2 connects wirelessly to your computer (which basically means I don’t have to clear off a space on my always-messy craft desk to set up my laptop so it can be connected by cord 🙂 And the “2” means it can cut and write up to 2 times faster than the original Explore.
Do you have any questions for me about the Cricut machines? Do you have one and love it? Tell me your favorite thing about it!
Keep learning about Cricut here:
How to use heat transfer vinyl
How to layer glitter vinyl
What Cricut tools and accessories do I need?
Teresa Steadman says
I am searching to find out which Cricut is best for me. I will be doing mostly vinyls for glass bottles, car decals and probably clothes. Which ones would you recommend?
It sounds like an Explore Air machine will be best for you. I like to tell people that the Maker is wonderful if you think you’ll ever want to cut felt, fabric, crepe paper, leather or basswood. (It can also of course cut everything you mentioned.) But if you really are looking to do mostly vinyl and iron-on, the Explore will do it for you! Hope that helps!