Choosing the best Cricut machine for beginners can be very confusing.
All Cricut machines are great and there is not a simple answer. It depends on what you want to do with your new Cricut machine. Will you be an occasional user or will you be crafting and selling items. It also depends on the material you will use. Let’s go find the best Cricut for you.
The Different Cricut Machines
Cricut currently has five cutting machines.
- Cricut Maker – I have this one now.
- Cricut Maker 3
- Explore Air 2 – This is the one I started with.
- Explore 3
- Cricut Joy
The Cricut Machine Differences
All these machines do the same, CUT. Each Cricut machine has a few differences. What do they have alike?
- All the machines use Bluetooth to connect to your computer or tablet. Most can be connected directly to your computer. Cricut Design Space, Cricuts free application to create, will work on all the machines. Unlimited uploads of images into Cricut Design Space. They are all easy to learn.
What do they not all do?
- All machines can easily cut vinyl and paper, but not all can cut the thicker mediums, like thick cardstock or craft wood. Something to think about if you want to sell your projects.
What Cricut Machine I Use
Currently I own the Cricut Maker. I really love it and I find it cuts all the thinner and thicker materials for me.
I started with a Cricut Explore Air 2 and I would suggest this Cricut machine to anyone that isn’t sure if they will like it or use it. The Explore Air 2 is an older machine but still works with the app needed to create. It cuts vinyl and paper with ease.
Well, let’s get real. My first Cricut was one I bought on Facebook Marketplace for $50. I brought it home only to realize that it was an older version and needed cartridges to operate and each cartridge costs about how much I paid for the machine. So I decided to buy a new one and I got the Cricut Explore Air 2.
I have also bought a Silhouette, but their app was over my head, so I came back to my Cricut. Nothing wrong with a Silhouette, I just prefer my Cricut.
Questions to Consider Before Buying a Cricut Machine
- What types of crafts are you thinking of making? Shirts? Cards? Signs? Wood? Thicker materials? If you want to cut thicker materials, you will want to go with the Maker or Maker 3.
- Budget? You will need tools and materials. It can get expensive.
- What will you run your Cricut Design Space app on? Desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. Do they meet the requirement set out by Cricut? Here is a link to the system requirements that Cricut has set out. Please check those before buying something to run Cricut Design Space on.
- Space. This does take up a bit of space, especially when in use.
To look at a side by side comparison of the Cricut Joy, the Explore Series and the Maker series, click here. Lots of good information in there about which machine cuts what materials, what their specifications are, what the maximum cut size for each machine, tools that work with each machine, and what it can do.
Basically….this is what you need
- If you are starting a crafting business: Cricut Maker or Maker 3
- If you are a casual crafter: Cricut Joy or Explore Air 2
- If you are a seamstress: Cricut Maker or Maker 3
- If you want to do it all: Cricut Maker or Maker 3
- If you want to create cards: Cricut Joy or Explore Air 2
I know this isn’t an easy decision, but here is my final 2 cents, for what it’s worth.
If I had to do it all over again and I wasn’t sure what I would do with my Cricut, I would buy the Cricut Explore 2 because it’s an older model that you may find cheaper. But if the Maker is only a few dollars more, get the Maker. I suggest the Maker over the Maker 3.
I hope this helps. Email me if you need more help. firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Facebook group, Addicted to Cricut.