As you’ve read my posts over the last couple of years, you know I love my Cricut Explore. 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.
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.
Click here for machine comparisons. And my review about the new Explore Air 2.
Sampling of Cricut projects I’ve made:
You’re Killin Me Smalls shirt
Jennifer Beaton says
Like you have started with the original smaller Cricut. I then had the Expression next the Expression 2. I am really wanting the Explore Air. Here is my issue. I often go to scrapbooking retreats for a weekend. Sometimes I borrow or lend my cartridges. With the Explore you cannot do that once they are linked to Design Space. Do you think that this should be a deal breaker for me?
Thank you for your advice,
Stephanie Paxman says
I would think that you'll have access to so many more designs and digital cartridges that you wouldn't mind. Plus, since a lot of the carts are available in Design Space, you might not even have to link your current ones. Then you could still loan them out. Hope that helps!
Would definitely go for the Cricut! I have an Expression that hasn't been used to its full potential because of designing limitations and the need to buy cartridges. I only have 8, I think, but I love every image on each one. I love following your cute blog!
I have heard that there is softare available for the old Expression. Do you know what it’s called and where you get it?
I don’t believe so – Cricut Design Space only works with the Explore or Maker Machines. The Expression uses cartridges only.