July 26, 2022
Whether you are new to crafting or have been crafting for years, buying a machine that is $150+ is an investment and you don't want to regret getting the wrong thing.
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This is the small but mighty machine! It has the capability to cut over 30 materials, has 3 tools, and can cut up to 4 feet! The width is smaller than a Maker or Air, but if you want to try out Cricut without committing to a $200+ machine, then this is your best start! The small size also means its more portable from room to room and it won't take up as much counter space.
You can get one here: Shop Cricut Joy
Don't tell my Maker, but my Air 2 is my favorite machine.... Why? It's fast and quiet - it can cut over 100 materials, is the same size as my Maker, and has 6 tools. I mostly work with paper crafts, so I am covered.
When making your decision on what machine is right for you, check the materials list - do you need your machine to cut wood or engrave? If you said no, then maybe the Explore is right for you! It comes at a slightly lower cost with the abilities you need.
The Explore Air 2 has a max width of 12 inches with no smart material capabilities - the Explore 3 maxes out at 13 inches and can use smart materials. It's been said that the 3's cut faster as well, but this seems to only be the case if you use the Smart Materials.
You can shop them here:
Smart materials are "mat-less" - is this a necessary thing - No. You are still going to need mats for materials that are not available in Smart form like a lot of paper colors or even vinyl.
The extra inch is great but for $50 more, I would just stick with my Air 2!
I have been using my Maker for almost 2 years, it's a great machine with a lot of features. The Maker and Maker 3 both cut over 300 materials and have 13 tools including the deep cut blade, perforation, and engraving. They keep making new tools to add to this machine as well! If you are thinking of selling crafts that you make with you machine, this one is a great option just for the versatility.
You can shop them here:
I think you have to ask yourself these questions:
These machines are a so fun to use and I have used mine almost daily for two years, so I have gotten my worth out of them.
If you don't have the space: go with a Joy.
If you want to start a business, maybe you jump into the maker.
If you want to test the waters: try an air!
Use these questions to guide yourself into the right decision thats best for you, and ALWAYS check for coupons!
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