This post is sponsored by Cricut. However, the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own. You can view my full disclosure here.
Are you wanting to get a Cricut crafting machine but aren’t sure which one to get?
For those who have been following me here on my blog or on my social accounts, you know that I adore Cricut. They make the BEST crafting machines and support products and materials! I have been using their products for years to make holiday/party decorations & favors, custom gifts, custom clothes, cards, home decor items, and more!
Seriously, I never knew how much fun crafting could be, until I started crafting with Cricut! You can do so many amazing projects with a Cricut even if you are a complete newbie when it comes to crafting!
When I show my latest Cricut creations, one of the most common Cricut questions I get from my friends, followers, and readers is: “Which Cricut Should I Get?”
This question is very understandable since buying a Cricut machine (not to mention supporting products and crafting materials) can be quite a investment. When making this kind of a purchase, buyers want to know they are getting the right machine for their crafting li
Cricut has three main machines available today: the Cricut Joy, the Cricut Explore Air (2), and the Cricut Maker. I actually have and love all 3 machines and use them all the time. This is why I can honestly say that you would be happy with any of them. However, the purpose of this article is to help you know which Cricut machine is the best one for you.
To help you determine which machine is going to be the best fit for you and your crafting life, let’s start by discussing the details and differences of each Cricut Machine.
The Cricut Joy is Cricut's Newest and Smallest Cutting machine. It is known for its adorable mini design and portability.
With the Cricut Joy, you can craft anywhere! While the Cricut joy can only cut materials using the fine point blade. This means it cannot cut materials that require the deep cut blade or any adaptive tools. It can however in addition to cutting basic tools draw/write with specialty-sized joy pens and markers.
What really sets the joy apart from the other Cricut machines (in addition to its size) is that you don't always need to use a mat! That's right, while Joy sized mats are available for the Cricut (for when cutting paper, cardstock, and scraps) you don't need to use a mat when cutting any of Cricut Joy's Smart materials.
Cricut has a whole line of Smart materials that can be loaded directly into the Cricut Joy including Vinyl (permanent & removable), Iron-on, Infusible Ink, sticker paper, & Labels. While the width of your cutting is 4/5" the length of a single cut design can go up to 4' depending on the material you are using! It can also do repeating patterns up to 20'
Additionally, the Cricut Joy also has a special card mat and insert card kits available to make quick, easy, and gorgeous custom cards in minutes!
-->Click HERE<-- To check out my article addressing the top Cricut Joy Questions!
If you are looking for a small easy to carry around crafting machine to do basic crafting projects like cards, labels, custom clothes, and gifts then the Cricut Joy is great!
You may ask what the difference between the Cricut Explore Air and the Explore Air 2 is. Basically, they are the same machine. The only difference is that the Air 2 has a fast cut mode for simple cutting projects which if you are doing a lot of cutting can help you save time.
The Explore Air machines are Bluetooth compatible but also come with a cord should you want to directly connect it with your computer. They have the standard 12" cutting mat size (vs the 4.5" of the Joy) and can cut designs up to 24" in length at a time.
The Cricut Maker is Cricut's premiere high end Crafting machine. It is known for its ability to work with specialty materials making possibilities endless with your crafting.
The Cricut Maker is similar in size to the Explore Air machines and really can do everything the Explore Air machines can do and sooooo much more.
In addition to being able to draw, and cut over 100 different standard materials, the maker with the aid of the adaptive tools available can also work with specialty materials like basswood, veneer, metal, leather, Heavy Chipboard, fabric, felt & more.
Cricut is always coming out with new adaptive tools to use with the maker (the other machines just aren't built to be able to use). Current adaptive tools include a rotary blade (which comes with the maker), a knife blade, a scoring, and double scoring wheel, an engraving tip, a debossing tip, a perforation blade, and a wavy blade.
As you can see all three of these machines can help you make custom labels, decorations, gifts, and more. All three machines can cut and draw. All three machines can be used with standard materials like paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on & infusible ink.
Here are a few fun projects you can do with these machines
Cricut Joy DIY Projects
The following are some fun projects you can make with your Cricut Joy!
Learn how to make your own fitted Mask with your Cricut Maker over at Hey Let's Make Stuff.
So in order to determine which machine is perfect for you and your crafting needs, we will need to look beyond these basics. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help you determine which Cricut is BEST for you:
What sort of crafting are you wanting to do with your machine?
What is your crafting space like?
What is your budget.
If you don’t have the crafting space for a full-sized unit, or just want a small portable machine to take with you and make simple projects where ever you are then and have a smaller budget, I would recommend the Cricut Joy (and make sure to get that card mat!)
If you have the space for a full-sized unit, want to do projects that require the full 12″ cutting mat, want more versatility of materials you can work with (but aren’t interested in crafting with specialty materials like fabric, wood, and metal) and you don’t quite have the budget for the maker yet, then I would recommend the Cricut Explore Air (2)
If you have the space for a full-sized unit, want to have access to the full 12″ cutting mat and endless possibilities with what you can craft, working with standard and specialty materials (like fabric, wood, metal, acrylic & Leather), and budget for it, then I would recommend the Cricut Maker.
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