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July 26, 2022

What Cricut Machine Should I Buy?

Ready to dive into the Cricut world but unsure of which machine is best for you?

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.

*Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links that earn me a commission. Thank you*

Let's start with what each machine is:

cricut machine guide

Each machine comes with different abilities, so depending on what you are looking to do will help determine what machine you should get:

Cricut Joy

cricut joy
About the Joy

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.

What materials can it cut?

You can get one here: Shop Cricut Joy

Explore Air 2

cricut explore air 2

Explore 3

cricut explore air 3

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.

Whats the difference between an Explore Air 2 and Explore 3:

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.

What materials can it cut?

You can shop them here:

Explore Air 2

Explore 3

What are Smart Materials?
cricut smart materials

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!

Cricut Maker

cricut maker

Maker 3

cricut maker 3

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.

The differences between the Maker and Maker 3 are similar to that of the Explore 2 and Explore 3 - 12 inches vs 13 inches and smart material capabilities.
What materials can it cut?

You can shop them here:

Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker 3

So, how do you decide?

I think you have to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What am I doing this for? Business or Pleasure
  2. What projects will I focus on? Paper, Wood, Vinyl, Etching, Embossing... etc
  3. What is my budget? Don't go broke buying a machine.
  4. How much space do I have for it? You need space for the machine and materials.

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!

Happy Crafting!

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