Which Cricut is Right for You?

UPDATE: Cricut has come out with a new machine, the Cicut Joy. To read about it click here.

The holidays are nearly upon us. What are you hoping to find under the Christmas tree? If the answer is a new Cricut, you have come to the right place!

I have used five different Cricut machines, and have become quite familiar with the pros and cons of each. Today, I want to talk with you about the differences between these machines, and hopefully help you find which one is right for you. 

The Original Cricut, Cricut Expression, Expression 2, Imagine, and Mini

First, I want to talk about the old Cricut machines. While they are no longer being sold by retailers, there are many old Cricut machines circulating around online and at yard sales. These machines will cut paper, vinyl, and htv. They, however, are not compatible with the Cricut Design Space software. If you purchased one of these machines, you could only use images purchased on physical cartridges and they are difficult to manipulate. I still know some people that love doing it this way, but I personally do not recommend it. The possibilities are just a lot more limited. That being said, I did purchase an Expression 2 as my first machine, but I upgraded only a few months later. 

Cricut Expression – Photo credit Walmart
Cricut Expressions 2 – Photo credit Amazon
Cricut Explore Family
The Cricut Explore family includes the Explore One, Explore Air, and Explore Air 2. These machines are compatible with the Cricut Design Space software! The Explore One does not connect via bluetooth, so you must use a computer but the Air and Air 2 can be controlled with a computer or a cell phone! The only difference between the Air and Air 2 is fast mode (which can only be used on specific materials). If you are a new Cricut user, I would recommend one of these machines! Right now, the Explore Air 2 is actually the cheapest machine on the market! With this machine, you can use any Cricut file, any cut file you find online, and even upload your own images and clipart to cut, draw, or score! These machines have the print-then-cut feature so you can print an image on your home printer and have the Cricut machine cut it out for you! They can cut paper, vinyl, bonded felt, and even thin faux leather!
My Explore Air 2. A power surge killed it. I did lots of crying.
My current machine. I used to always recommend this one, but now that they are phasing it out, it is more expensive than the Cricut Explore Air 2.
This is the ultimate Cricut machine! It can do everything the Explore family can do plus it can cut wood, fabric, and genuine leather. It can engrave metal. It can perforate paper… The possibilities are endless! Because of it’s geared system, Cricut continues to come out with more adaptive tools that the Maker can use. It truly is the dream machine, but the cost does reflect that. If you are an avid seamstress or architect, this is the machine you need. The Cricut Maker really will change the way you craft!
This machine comes with a slot to place a tablet and a place to plug the tablet in to charge.
The special geared system allows it to use a knife and rotary blade. No other cutting machine can do this!
I currently own the Explore Air and Cricut Maker. I use the Explore Air for anything that is not fabric, leather, or wood. The Cricut Maker is a much louder and slower machine, so I only use it for it’s special capabilities. If you are starting out, I highly recommend the Explore Air 2. If you have any more questions feel free to ask in the comments below! If you purchase from one of my links, I do get a small profit (at no additional cost to you), so thank you in advance! Good luck and happy crafting! 
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