5 Best Cricut Machines - Nov. 2022 - BestReviews (2022)

Cricut machines are a must-have for devoted crafters and scrapbookers. With one, you can say goodbye to hand cutting shapes. By using cartridges with pre-downloaded designs and shapes, the Cricut allows anyone to make beautiful lettering, shapes and decorations. Cricuts work on a variety of materials, such as vinyl, felt, and construction paper.

Before you decide on a Cricut model to purchase, however, there are some things to consider: software, ability to cut through many materials, ease of use and setup, wireless capability, selection of fonts and graphics, cutting speed, and compactness are all important. Our reviews cover these features along with pricing and affordability.

A Cricut is a handy tool for your crafts arsenal, and we’ve recommended the best Cricut machines on the market. If you’re not ready to buy, keep reading to learn about the factors to consider.

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A key factor in testing a Cricut machine is its cutting speed. A Cricut that cuts faster is more expensive, while more affordable beginner models don’t cut as fast.

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During testing, we evaluate special features on certain Cricut models, like the ability to write and draw, to see if their versatility is worth the higher price.

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When testing a Cricut machine, we consider its connectivity options, like the ability to access online image libraries via Bluetooth.

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We consider how easy it is to set up the Cricut machine for its first use and whether the average user could overcome the machine’s learning curve.

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During testing, we use our Cricut to cut a variety of popular crafting materials, including paper, vellum, felt, cardstock and even faux leather to see which machines handle which materials best.

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We consider what accessories consumers might look for with their Cricut machine and whether the Cricut is compatible with a range of accessories.

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We evaluate Design Space, Cricut’s free design software that’s included with many Cricut machines, to see how different subscription levels affect the Cricut’s usability.

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The Cricut machine’s shape and design are key considerations in our testing process. Some Cricut machines are better suited to small or oddly shaped products, while others are ideal for scrapbooking, making cards, or cutting fabric.

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When testing Cricut machines, we want to know whether it’s cranked by hand or automatically feeds through materials.

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How long and evenly the Cricut heats during use is a consideration in testing. Cricut machines that lose heat may require repetitive use to get the desired project result.

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Key considerations

Cutting speed

Not all Cricut machines cut at the same speed. Some of the top machines can cut up to two times faster than beginner models.

Occasional crafters may be happy with a less expensive machine that doesn’t cut as fast.

If crafting is part of your business, or you do it every day, you may want to invest in one of the models that cuts at high speed.

Automatic depth and pressure adjustment

Paper and materials of different weights require depth and pressure adjustments to the blade.

Some machines have an automatic adjustment system, setting the blade correctly for you.

You’ll still need to be sure you have a blade appropriate for the material you’re cutting, but this feature takes a lot of guesswork out of starting a new project.

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Testing Cricut machines

After considering 8 models we purchased our top Cricut machine to make sure it stood up to its claims. We consulted over 100 Cricut users to find out what to look for when testing.

STAFF

BestReviews

Scoring

Scoring lets you create a depression for decorative and folding purposes. Machines that have this ability are more expensive, but can take your crafting to the next level. You can always score manually with a scoring stylus, but if you score a lot, you may want to spend the extra cash on a machine that can do it for you.

Writing

Some Cricut machines can hold a pen, and write in different fonts, or draw images. This premium feature leaves a professional look, but also comes with a high price. For example, the Cricut Explore Air 2 can write (it can also cut and score). It's price hovers around the $250 mark, although sales can be found.

Wireless capabilities

Some Cricut machines have Bluetooth capabilities that allow access to Cricut’s downloadable online library of pictures, patterns, and images. Some of the images are free, while others must be either purchased individually, or with a subscription.

Bluetooth gives you access to all that information without any extra wires. When you’re busy making cards or putting together a project, wires can clutter your workspace. Machines that don’t have Bluetooth can still get access to the online library, but they require a USB cord.

You can also use Cricut cartridges to access patterns and fonts without any online access at all. These cartridges have a preloaded set of fonts and designs, and must be manually loaded into the machine each time you want to use one of those items.

Did you know?

Cricut machines that can write can also draw intricate pictures on a wide variety of materials. Machine drawn images add a professional quality to all your work.

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BestReviews

Workable materials

Originally, Cricuts were designed to cut paper, but today they can do so much more.

Basic Cricut machines still cut paper, but other machines can also cut vellum, vinyl, cardstock, adhesive foil, and faux leather.

New technology allows advanced machines to cut cardboard, fabric, metal, chipboard, and balsa wood to name a few.

Some of the most advanced machines can cut over 100 different materials. Keep in mind that the more materials the Cricut can cut, the more expensive it will be.

Compatible accessories and software

There’s a long list of accessories available for Cricut machines, and you may not need them all. Always check what accessories are compatible with the Cricut machine you want to purchase, to be sure you’ll be able to do the projects you want.

  • Accessory bundles: Accessory bundles are often designed to be used only with a certain Cricut machine. Bundles may include items like vinyl transfer tape, replacement blades, deep cut blades, different types of vinyl, scoring stylus tools, and more.

  • Software and images: Many Cricut machines include access to Design Space, Cricut’s free design software. Through the cloud, you can access thousands of images and fonts. Some are free with the purchase of a Cricut machine, while others can be purchased individually or through a monthly subscription. The subscription service comes in three levels — fonts, standard, and premium. Some subscriptions also include discounts on other Cricut products. For machines that cut fabric, you can also access sewing patterns from popular pattern retailers.

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You can find numerous tutorials online that demonstrate how to use a Cricut machine. You’ll not only get some good basic tips, but learn how to make intricate patterns, and get new project ideas. Tutorials can help you get the most out of your purchase.

Cricut machine prices

Inexpensive

For less than $100, you can get a manually cranked Cricut machine that die cuts and embosses paper, vellum, tissue paper, foils, thin leather, and acetate ribbon.

If you’re an occasional crafter, this might be all the machine you need.

Mid-range

In the $100 to $200 range, you’ll find machines with automatic depth and pressure setting, Bluetooth, and the ability to cut a wide variety of materials like vinyl, faux leather, adhesive foils, and poster board.

Expensive

From $200 to $300 are many of the same machines in the mid-range price category, except they come with accessory bundles that include different cutting materials, pens, and idea books for projects.

Premium

In the premium price range, above $300, are machines capable of cutting fabric, felt, leather, wood, and some thin metals.

They can write and score materials as well.

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Cricut has an online guide that specifies all the materials each of their machines can cut, along with which blade should be used for that material. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to paya subscription fee to use my Cricut machine?

A.No. You can download and use the Cricut Design Space app for free. Ifyou choose, you can pay a monthly fee to gain access to additionalCricutfonts, images, and projects. People who use their Cricut machine oftenfind this to be a small yet worthwhile investment. However, it is not required, and there arepatterns you can use without paying a fee.

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Q. Can I create and upload my own designs to a Cricut machine?
A.
Uploading custom designs is possible with some machines. However, you’ll need to check carefully about the specs before purchasing, because this is considered a specialty feature that not all machines have. Design Space only accepts certain formats as well, so your uploads will need to meet Cricut’s requirements.

Q. Do you use the same blade to cut all materials?
A.
Every Cricut machine comes with a standard blade, but specialty blades will need to be purchased separately. Machines that cut the widest variety of materials may come with a toolset, but there will still be some specialty blades you might need to purchase.

Q. Are there attachments that allow the Cricut to hold more than one tool at once?
A.
You can use two tools at once using a special attachment. However, it doesn’t work on all Cricut machines. Machines that write and score use this type of attachment. You’ll need to be sure your machine is compatible with the tool before purchasing.

FAQs

What is the best Cricut machine for beginners 2022? ›

The best machine for a beginner on a budget is the Cricut Explore 3. The Cricut Explore 3 is Cricut's most popular machine, and for a good reason! It cuts over 100 materials: cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, and specialty materials like glitter paper, cork, and bonded fabric.

Which Cricut machine can do everything? ›

When to choose the Cricut Maker 3: The Cricut Maker 3 can do everything the Cricut Explore can do, and so much more. I recommend upgrading to the Maker if you want the versatility to cut heavy-duty materials like wood and leather and delicate materials like crepe paper and fabric for sewing projects.

What is the newest Cricut machine 2022? ›

10+ Best Cricut Machines in 2022
  1. Cricut Maker (Editor's Choice) Cricut Maker. ...
  2. Cricut Explore 3. Cricut Explore 3. ...
  3. Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine. Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine. ...
  4. Cricut Explore Air 2. Cricut Explore Air 2. ...
  5. Cricut Maker 3. Cricut Maker 3. ...
  6. Cricut EasyPress 2. ...
  7. Cricut EasyPress Mini. ...
  8. Cricut Joy.
1 Aug 2022

Which Cricut should I buy as a beginner? ›

If you are brand new to the Cricut product line, you can't go wrong starting with the Cricut Explore 3. We're confident in saying that it has most of the capabilities that you'd want in a cutting machine: cuts over 100 different types of materials up to 13in wide and 12ft long.

What is the most up to date Cricut machine? ›

Along with the Cricut Explore 3 in June 2021 came the new Cricut Maker 3, now the flagship cutting machine of Cricut. The Cricut Maker 3 can do everything that the original Maker can do, but now it does it faster, longer, and — if you're using Smart Materials — without a mat.

Which one is better Cricut air or Cricut maker? ›

Cutting technology: The Cricut Maker features the innovative Adaptive Tool System, which offers 10x the cutting power of the Explore Air 2. This lets the Maker cut three times as many materials as an Explore machine. Price: The Explore Air 2 is a much better value, especially for cutting paper and vinyl.

Which is better the Cricut Explore air 2 or the Cricut maker? ›

The Cricut Maker can do everything the Explore Air 2 can do plus so much more! It's the ultimate smart cutting machine. The Maker cuts over 100 materials quickly and accurately, from the most delicate crepe paper and fabric to tough leather and wood.

Whats the difference between a Cricut and a Cricut maker? ›

The biggest difference between the original Cricut Maker and the New Cricut Maker is the matless cutting which also allows you to use the new smart materials, such as smart paper sticker cardstock and smart iron-on. Also, it cuts up to 20 ft in a single cut session just like the Cricut Joy.

What is the difference between the new Cricut machines? ›

The biggest differences between Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Maker is that Cricut Maker 3 can cut matless Cricut Smart Materials (Cricut Smart Vinyl and Cricut Smart Iron-On). This means you are not limited to the length of a cutting mat. You can cut up to 12′ of material in a single go!

Which is better Cricut maker or explore AIR 3? ›

As a general rule, the Maker 3 can do everything that the Explore 3 can. So in addition to the 100+ materials that the Explore 3 cuts, which includes different textured vinyls, cardstock, sticker paper, heat-transfer vinyl, Cricut's Infusible Ink, and foil transfers, the Maker 3 can cut around 200 more.

Is the Cricut Maker 3 better than the Cricut maker? ›

The main difference between the Maker and the Maker 3 is the addition of smart materials. Pairing Cricut's Smart Materials with your Maker 3 will mean you can cut twice as fast as any material you could cut with the original Maker.

What is the best Cricut machine for vinyl? ›

  • Cricut Maker. Maximum Cutting Area : 12" x 24" ...
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine. Maximum Cutting Area : 12" x 24" ...
  • Cricut Explore Air Machine. Maximum Cutting Area : 12" x 24" ...
  • Cricut Joy Machine. Maximum Cutting Area : 4.25" x 20' (4' repeating pattern) ...
  • Cricut Cuttlebug. Maximum Cutting Area : 6" x 8"
31 Jan 2022

Which Cricut does not need a computer? ›

You don't need a desktop or laptop computer to use a Cricut machine, but you do need at least a smartphone. The current Cricut cutting machines (the Maker/Maker3, Explore Air 2/Explore 3, and the Joy) operate using Cricut Design Space.

How much should I pay for a Cricut? ›

And Cricut machines themselves can cost anywhere from around $179 to $399, before the potential subscription. At its most basic, Design Space is required to upload designs created in other apps so they can be formatted to work with Cricut machines.

Can I trade in my old Cricut for a new one? ›

With the Cricut Trade-Up Program you can get $50 off a Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint Everything Bundle when you trade-in your old machine!

Is Cricut discontinuing the maker? ›

With the launch of Cricut Maker 3, many folks have wondered if the Cricut Maker being discontinued. According to my folks at Cricut, there are no plans to discontinue Cricut Maker any time soon, and support will continue.

Is the new Cricut machine worth it? ›

The nickel-and-diming is a lot if you're just a hobby crafter, and you're going to end up spending a lot more if you don't have the skills to build your own designs in Design Space. However, if you sell your crafts on Etsy or elsewhere, I do think a Cricut could be a good investment.

Is a laptop or tablet better for Cricut? ›

Your best option with Cricut is a laptop or desktop computer. The good news is that to be able to run Cricut Design Space, you don't need a lot of RAM, processing power, or storage. It's internet-based and simple to run so you don't need to run out and buy a high-end computer for it.

Can the Cricut Air 2 cut wood? ›

Cutting wood is a fun new material to work with with your Cricut cutting machine. However, if you have an Explore Air 2, you might think that wood is not an option for you. False! You can cut wood with the Explore.

Can a Cricut Air 2 cut fabric? ›

With the Cricut Explore Air 2, you can cut everything from cardstock, vinyl, and iron-on to specialty materials like glitter paper, cork, and bonded fabric.

What is the easiest Cricut machine? ›

The Cricut Maker 3 is just as easy for beginners to learn as the Cricut Explore 3. It's also the quietest machine we tested, and it's one of the only machines that can cut fabric without needing stiffeners, such as interfacing.

Is Cricut air or Cricut maker better? ›

If you plan on using your machine to mainly cut out vinyl and paper the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the perfect fit. If you want to use a wide variety of materials, you love to sew, make intricate paper crafts and you want to have even more creative capabilities I'd recommend upgrading to the Maker.

Which is better Cricut explore or Cricut maker? ›

Cutting technology: The Cricut Maker features the innovative Adaptive Tool System, which offers 10x the cutting power of the Explore Air 2. This lets the Maker cut three times as many materials as an Explore machine. Price: The Explore Air 2 is a much better value, especially for cutting paper and vinyl.

Is the Cricut maker or explore better? ›

The Cricut Maker cuts about three times as many different materials as the Cricut Explore Air 2. There are also more than twice as many tools that you can put in the Maker, such as a Rotary Blade, Knife Blade, and more. You can also engrave and deboss with the Maker.

Which is better Cricut 3 or Cricut Maker 3? ›

The key difference between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Maker 3 is that the Cricut Maker 3 works with Smart Materials, which is something that was lacking in the original. Cricut's Smart Materials will allow you to work mat-free, meaning you can continuously work on projects up to 12 feet in length.

Is a laptop or tablet better for Cricut? ›

Your best option with Cricut is a laptop or desktop computer. The good news is that to be able to run Cricut Design Space, you don't need a lot of RAM, processing power, or storage. It's internet-based and simple to run so you don't need to run out and buy a high-end computer for it.

Is the Cricut maker being discontinued? ›

With the launch of Cricut Maker 3, many folks have wondered if the Cricut Maker being discontinued. According to my folks at Cricut, there are no plans to discontinue Cricut Maker any time soon, and support will continue.

Does a Cricut engrave wood? ›

What Materials Can You Engrave with a Cricut Maker? This machine can engrave plastic, wood, metal, glass, and more. Each material has different settings you will need to use to get the best results.

Do you need a computer with a Cricut? ›

You don't need a desktop or laptop computer to use a Cricut machine, but you do need at least a smartphone. The current Cricut cutting machines (the Maker/Maker3, Explore Air 2/Explore 3, and the Joy) operate using Cricut Design Space.

Whats the difference between a Cricut and a Cricut maker? ›

The biggest difference between the original Cricut Maker and the New Cricut Maker is the matless cutting which also allows you to use the new smart materials, such as smart paper sticker cardstock and smart iron-on. Also, it cuts up to 20 ft in a single cut session just like the Cricut Joy.

Can the Cricut maker engrave metal? ›

The Cricut Engraving Tool gives you the ability to engrave with your Cricut Maker machine! The Cricut Engraving Tip can engrave soft metals, acrylic, leather, paper, and plastic to add a variety of project options to your crafting arsenal!

Is it worth buying a Cricut maker? ›

The only thing that's really “required” to use a Cricut is to want to make things! If you consider yourself a crafter/DIYer/hobbyist/maker or any other type of person who likes to make things with their own two hands, it's probably totally worth it to buy a Cricut because you'll get a ton of use out of it!

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