Whether you are an arts and crafts fanatic or just enjoy customizing your personal items, this Cricut Maker review will provide valuable information and the sound advice you deserve!
In this article, you’ll find an extensive Cricut Maker review, along with detailed reviews on a few competitive products in the same industry. Our review will give you a better scope and help you confidently decide whether this revolutionary machinery is right for you.
What Is the Cricut Maker?
image via: amazon.com
The human body doesn’t work without the heart, lungs, and brain, and a heat press doesn’t work without all of its essential components. You know about the platens and the basic setup of a heat press, but what about the specifics?
This section looks at the components of a heat press and how they work looking at time temperature, and pressure, or the heart, lungs, and brain of the heat press body. Read on to learn about the inner workings of the heat press.
The Cricut Maker is a two-foot-long and 15-pound machine. It isn’t huge, but it isn’t what we would call small. It is available in three color options: blue, rose, and champagne. The machine has a notably modern aesthetic. There are four buttons, which intuitively guide you through the process of making a cut. The printer portion of the machine is enclosed by a “gate,” which slowly folds outward as you turn on the machine.
The Cricut Maker is loaded with extensively useful tools and gadgets. This Cricut Maker review will explore them all.
The highlight tools of the Cricut Maker are the blades. The first blades included are the fine-point blade and the deep-point blade. Each blade respectively works to slice through thin and thick materials, effortlessly. Some note that the thin-point blade can accurately cut material as delicate as toilet paper!
Next comes the rotary blade and the knife blade. These are the two top-rated and essential tools within the bundle. They are made exclusively for the Cricut Maker.The knife blade has a recognizably longer and more durable blade than the deep-point blade. This blade enables the machine to cut material up to 3/32 of an inch thick.
The rotary blade extension is a revolution in fabric cutting. It brings a virtually infinite array of cuts. The machine can move the rotary blade with 360 degrees of precision. The rotary blade can cut through cotton, fleece, denim, and even leathers! What was once hard to finesse by hand, is a thing of the past. The cuts to the fabric are all clean, with no backing material.Another impressive spec of the Cricut Maker is its ability to apply 4kg of pressure on any stroke. This pressure ensures precise work on every edge of every cut.
Fun fact—the smart cutting machine will pass over a mark a few times with a light cut to start. Then, the machine increases the pressure to get deeper through the material before decreasing the pressure again for the last few passes on the mark. This reiterating approach mocks real professional cuts by hand and results in some of the finest and clean-quality cuts.
The Cricut maker further comes with single- and double-scoring wheels. The single-scoring wheel is marked with a 1, and the double-scoring wheel is marked with a 2. These design adaptations help make grabbing the right tool for the job more convenient.
The single-scoring wheel is for thinner papers and the double-scoring wheel is for thicker paper.You can easily create quality creases in your paper, card stocks, or fabrics using the scoring wheels. For example, you can take ordinary cardboard, set the design pattern over the app, and use the Cricut Maker to turn it into a shipping box.
The Cricut Maker comes with attachable pens. Included are the fine-point pen, the calligraphy pen, and the washable fabric pen. You attach the pens to the print unit and send a design over the app to be completely drawn out for you!
Pair custom or pre-made designs with the project you are cutting or just draw out intricate designs onto paper with a look of fresh ink. These pens take your creations to the next level by truly giving your designs a handmade feel while utilizing computer sophistication and precision.
Grip Cutting Map
The Cricut also comes with a standard twelve-by-twelve grip cutting mat, so your fabrics, papers, and other cuttable materials lock into place. This mat ensures that high-quality prints, cuts, and scores don’t move while the machine is running.
It is an essential element to the process and the functionality of the device. The mat also slides into small guided place-holders within the machine, making it all that much easier to Cricut.
A Remarkable App with Tech Integration
Cricut Maker leverages a wonderfully engineered app on top of all things physically offered. Via smartphone, tablet, or computer you can connect to your Cricut Maker machine, give it the design instructions to follow, and then watch as it works its magic and prints what you ask for.
The app is available for free over at the iTunes app store and Google Play.The app has a library featuring many templates of styles and design ideas that are truly inspiring for those of us with little to no graphic design experience. If you are a graphic designer, the benefits are equally exciting because you can upload your artwork directly into the software, measure it out appropriately and get to printing, regardless of the intricacy.
They also engineered the machine with a smooth groove on top, so you can conveniently mount your smartphone or tablet right there at the site of action. There is also a USB port on the side of the machine, so your device can charge while it is in use.A good Cricut Maker review includes all the product details. Hopefully, these specs have helped build a vivid idea of what’s inside this extraordinary technology.
The price range of the Cricut Maker is at a premium rate. The product is available in arts and craft stores such as Michaels. It is also available directly from Cricut themselves. For added convenience, the Cricut Maker is available through online merchants, such as Amazon.com.
Cricut Maker Review: How It Compares
For this Cricut Maker review, we picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare using a 5-star rating system.
- Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make everything from paper crafts, iron-ons, and vinyl decals to sewing projects, leather crafts, and balsa models
- Expandable suite of tools. With its powerful blades, pens, and scoring tool, Cricut Maker grows with you as you learn each new craft
- New Rotary Blade. With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric quickly and accurately - without backing material
- New Knife Blade (sold separately; coming in 2018). This extra-deep blade slices through heavier materials like 2.4mm (3/32") balsa wood and matboard with ease
- Simplifies sewing and quilting projects. Choose from hundreds of digital sewing patterns, and Cricut Maker cuts and marks all the pieces - you just sew them together
- ease of use
This Cricut Maker review has found this product relatively easy to use. There is software involved, and engineering components to understand, but it comes across intuitively.
After a detailed Cricut Maker review, we found that this product is the most advanced Cricut machine available from the manufacturers. It gives you the freedom to create almost anything you desire as long as the material is under 3/32” of thickness.
It comes equipped with a remarkably expansive set of tools. There are various knives and point blades, rotary blades, scroll wheels for embroidery, and a few pens to tackle drawing any intricate designs on your projects. The tools are unmatched in the industry. The Cricut Maker nearly perfectly cuts all different fabrics with such precision; all you need to do is pick up the pieces and sew them together for store-quality results.
Whether you are new to it all or not, you can easily download and open the intuitive design app, and quickly get to work. These designs can be made on the go thanks to the app’s smartphone compatibility. The app comes with extensive libraries of templates and free fonts.
The device is meticulously built with thoughtful features. Some include the docking slot on top of the machine to hold your tablet or smartphone and the USB port for convenient charging power.
You can open a chat from 9 AM to 11 PM, contact support via e-mail, or give Cricut a call 9 AM to 8 PM every and any day. There is also an extensive FAQ board available in the help section of their website.
The Cricut Maker is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting
- Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step
- Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf) Cut over 60 materials from vellum to leather
- Smart Set dial for easy material settings, Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
- Cut Smart precision cutting,Works with all Cricut cartridges
During our Cricut Maker Review, we found another product from the same company to come close in competition. The Cricut Explore Air is another fantastic product made by Cricut. Some people don’t need to cut leather or thin woods, and if that sounds like you, then this device is right up your alley.
It has the power to cut, write on, and score 100 plus materials. It may not have the power of the Cricut Maker, but the Cricut Explore Air still has a fine-point blade capable of carving through an array of materials. Some materials include card stock, cork, bonded fabric, vinyl, and iron-on. These capabilities make the Cricut Explore Air a fantastic tool for t-shirt designs or any other screen printing projects.
The device is also compatible with the scoring stylus for embroidery projects and the deep-point blade for thicker materials. However, with the Cricut Explore Air, these add-on tools are sold separately.
The tools that are included in the Cricut Explore Air are the fine-point pen (black ink), the useful twelve-by-twelve Lightgrip mat, a USB cable, the power adaptor, material for a practice project, and a free trial membership to Cricut Access. A Cricut Access membership includes connectivity to a library of over 30,000 non-licensed images, 1,000 projects, and over 400 fonts.
The Cricut Explore Air is also compatible with the highly advanced Cricut design application. You can easily open the design platform via smartphone, tablet, or computer, and get going on your creative ideas. Such ideas include uploading your custom artwork and then drawing, cutting, or embroidering it onto specific fabrics and material.
One of the special features of this machine is its Bluetooth capabilities. You can wirelessly send your ideas from the drawing board on the design app to the Explore Air and watch the magic as it meticulously goes about its job.
- ease of use
Another product offered by Cricut, the Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine empowers the artist through simple functionality.
There is software involved and mechanical engineering to learn, but it is thoughtfully designed for beginners.
If you’re not looking to cut leather or thin woods, then this device is packed with high-functioning features. Despite not having the power of other competitive products.
This product can still be used on over 100 materials. Not only does this product support cutting, but it also features useful pen tools for added customizability.
You can open a chat from 9 AM to 11 PM, contact support via e-mail, or give Cricut a call 9 AM to 8 PM every and any day.
There is also an extensive FAQ board available in the help section of their website.
The Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
- Included: CAMEO machine, vinyl starter kit, and bonus pixscan mat, 12 inch x 12 inch cutting mat, cutting blade, vinyl trimmer, software for pc and mac
- The CAMEO includes silhouette studio, an easy to use but powerful program which allows you to create your own designs using your own fonts and images with your CAMEO
- With the silhouette pixscan cutting mat you can turn hand drawn sketches and lettering into cut jobs, digitize fabric patterns, and much more
- The silhouette CAMEO is an electronic cutting machine that can cut a variety of materials (from vinyl to fabric) up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long
The Silhouette Cameo is highly rated and proves to be tough competition in this Cricut Maker review. It is a powerful, smart, and versatile cutting machine while being similar in size to a printer.
The Silhouette Cameo comes with a USB cord that plugs right into your laptop or desktop computer. It is equipped with a small blade that can cut through card stock, paper, vinyl, iron-on, fabric, and more. This machine is highly efficient for screen printing; it takes designs from the computer and prints them out just how you desire. The device is supported to work with over 100 different materials.
This product also has an additional input slot for a fine-point pen or marker. You can take your digital graphics and designs to the next level by having the machine draw them out with intricate precision. This feature enables you to create DIY cards, calendars, and invitations that come off with store-level quality.
You can go online to the Silhouette website and access a library of samples, which are for sale, starting at a low rate. The device comes with software capable of a lot, but if the features still don’t meet your needs, you can upgrade to a higher software for around an average price.
- ease of use
The Silhouette Cameo can be a bit intimidating upon first opening the box and taking it out. You might think you’re missing pieces, and you might feel like it’s a challenge to know which parts are or aren’t there. Some functionalities on the machine are less intuitive to understand, so the essence of the device may come across as overwhelming.
But don’t worry; once the learning curve is overcome the machine proves to be very capable. It’s also important to note that the Silhouette Cameo comes with software you have to install onto your computer.
This product supports features for cutting, drawing, and design. These features are compatible with over 100 materials, and it’s especially useful for screen printing.
Silhouette is available for chat Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM Mountain time. There is an online library of FAQ’s available on their website. Finally, if you would like to send them an e-mail, there is support for that; just go online to their contact page and fill out a form.
Silhouette has a limited 1-year manufacturer warranty.
Silhouette Portrait 2
This edition of Silhouette’s smart cutting devices is based on portability and squeezing the most into a small package. There is no need for WiFi as the device works through Bluetooth technology. You can wirelessly connect to the printer and quickly get cracking at cutting your latest design ideas.
The Silhouette Portrait 2 roughly weighs in at a mere 4 pounds. This product is one of the lightest and compact devices available on the market. The main competition for this device is the Cricut Explore Air. However, this Silhouette Portrait 2 is significantly less expensive.
The Silhouette Portrait 2 can work with over 100 different materials thanks to its auto-adjusting Autoblade technology. The blade can cut through material 2 mm thick. The device can also cut material up to 10 feet, as long the width does not exceed 12 inches. This device also comes with the Silhouette Studio 4 software. This newer software includes extra features, speed, and stability for projects.
There is support for a pen or marker, sold separately. You can take your design ideas and bring them to life through real ink that comes across to a viewer as if it was hand-drawn. This feature helps in creating invitations, thank you cards, personal calendars, and more.
- ease of use
This product is compact and lightweight, making it easy to use. The Bluetooth capability steps ease-of-use up to the next level.
Featuring Bluetooth technology and the ability to work with over 100 materials, this product offers a lot in a light package and a reasonable price.
Silhouette is available for chat with Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM Mountain time. There is an online library of FAQ’s available on their website.
Finally, if you would like to send them an e-mail, there is support for that; just go online to their contact page and fill out a form.
Silhouette has a limited 1-year manufacturer warranty.
The Cricut Maker Review Conclusion
Ultimately, after our full Cricut Maker review, the Cricut Maker is the number one choice for cutting devices. It is a 5-star product in its industry. The Cricut Maker is on the more expensive side, but it comes loaded with tools and features that the competition just hasn’t caught up to yet.
This product uses ground-breaking technology and offers a long list of creative features. Plus, it’s fun and easy to use. The aesthetic can warm up any room in the house or office. It may take up more room than other models, but for what it is capable of bringing to the table, we can easily overlook those more questionable specs.
Tools like the rotary blade are enough to dissuade consideration of the competing models. The curves and circles that the blade can infinitely work with take all creative projects above and beyond, and the added knife blade is capable of cutting through material 3/32” thick.
While we maintained objectivity in this Cricut Maker review, it was difficult to find downsides to this device.
image via: amazon.com
If you are willing to let go of the amazing features stacked up in the Cricut Maker package, our Cricut Maker review found that the Silhouette Portrait 2 is a good runner-up.
The Silhouette Portrait 2 was engineered to be more compact and portable. It does a highly sufficient job and also boasts a compelling aesthetic to warm up any room. It’s a 4-star product in its industry.
Creating arts and crafts projects can take us away from the world of daily routines, stresses, and necessities; it’s a form of therapy. But what stops a lot of us from experiencing this magic is our lack of confidence in the degree of quality that our final creations hold. These smart cutting devices take that insecurity and toss it away. They enhance any project with a quality equal to store-made products.
The Cricut Maker is a remarkable machine for the arts and crafts world. Hopefully, this Cricut Maker review has helped, and you feel ready to advance your creativity with these astounding devices!
Based on its ease of use, support, features, and warranty, we give the Cricut maker an average rating of 4.8 stars.