This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (see Disclosure).
As always, I only share products that I use myself and truly recommend!
Monday, February 15, 2021

Which Cricut Machine is Right for You?

Looking to buy a Cricut machine? Find out which one is right for you!

Which Cricut Machine is Right for You?

Investing in a new Cricut machine can be an overwhelming task when you aren't sure which one is the right one for you. I totally understand the feeling, and am happy to let you know that I am here to help! After reading through this post, I hope you will be able to understand the different capabilities each machine has, and help you decide which machine will fit your crafting needs and lifestyle. 

There are currently three Cricut machines available: Cricut JoyCricut Explore Air 2, and the Cricut Maker. They all have a lot in common, but also have some HUGE differences! For a quick and basic comparison, you can save this helpful Cricut machine chart below.

Cricut Machine Comparisons

Before we get started, I wanted to talk about the legacy machines since there's always questions about how they fit in. The Cricut Gypsy, Cricut Cake, Cricut Personal, Cricut Mini, Cricut Imagine, Cricut Create, Cricut Expression, and the Cricut Expression 2 aren’t being sold anymore, and are no longer supported by Cricut (including Cricut Design Space).

The original Cricut Explore, Cricut Explore One, and Cricut Explore Air were recently discontinued, however, these machines are still fully supported by Cricut and work beautifully with the current version of Cricut Design Space!

Cricut Joy Machine

Cricut Joy Machine

The Cricut Joy is a uniquely compact and portable machine that makes crafting easier than ever AND it fits in the palm of your hand! No, really! The Cricut Joy weighs under 4 pounds and measures only 5″ x 8″ (when closed). The cut width is 4.5″ wide, compared to 11.5″ on Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker.

This machine is made to be SIMPLE, which means it's a great machine for Cricut beginners or to use as a smaller companion machine for quick crafting. There are no buttons or dials. All of the functions are actually controlled through the Cricut Design Space software, so all you need to do is plug it in and you’re ready to go!

Besides being small and easily transportable, one of the biggest and most unique features is the mat-free cutting capability, which means you can cut up to 20′ (seriously) of “Smart Vinyl” in a single go! Cricut Joy also has a Card Mat, making it incredibly simple to make cards for all sorts of occasions!

The price point of $179 might seem be a little high for some since the capabilities are a bit limited. However, I think of is this way: you're investing in a machine that is perfect for basically all of your basic Cricut crafts; including iron-on vinyl, adhesive vinyl, writable labels, cardstock, and cards!

For more information, check out All About the Cricut Joy.

Cricut Joy is best for beginners who might be intimidated by a larger machine, those who don't have a dedicated crafting space, or to use as a companion machine to the Explore or Maker machines.



Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is an amazing machine that can cut 100's of materials, including vinyl, iron on, cardstock, faux leather, and SO much more! It's incredibly user-friendly, especially with the Smart Set Dial that does the thinking for you when it comes to material settings.

For those who have been with Cricut since the beginning, you still might have or want to use cartridges. The Explore machine has a built-in slot for cartridges to load into your Design Space account! Of course, you can also upload your own images into Design Space to create Print + Cut projects, decals, and so much more.

The Explore Air 2 is priced at $299, but the good new is that it goes on sale a lot! It's a fantastic machine for creators who love using the popular materials, like paperadhesive vinyl, and iron-on. Plus, the machine comes in a ton of color options, so it's easy to match your personal style or craft room!


Cricut Explore Air 2 is best for crafters who enjoy creating projects with popular supplies like paper, adhesive vinyl, and iron-on.



Cricut Maker Machine

Cricut Maker Machine

The Cricut Maker is the ultimate Cricut machine to help offer you more possibilities to MAKE than ever before! The machine has the sleek design of the Explore machines, but with some important upgrades. The Adaptive Tool System allows you to cut even more materials with even more tools.

For example: With the Rotary Blade, you can cut fabrics and felt beautifully. The Knife Blade makes it possible to cut thicker materials like leather, and even wood (up to 3/32″)! With the Scoring Wheel (a step up from the Scoring Stylus) you can score all sorts of materials with ease. The newest Maker tools include the Debossing, Engraving, Perforation, and Wavy Rotary tools, as well as the exciting Foiling Transfer Tool!

Cricut Maker’s Adaptive Tool System was built with expansion in mind. This means that it is going to be able to use all kinds of new and innovative tools that Cricut is known for without you having to purchase an entirely new machine. The Cricut Maker grows with you as you master each new craft!

At $399, the Cricut Maker is the most expensive machine. However, with how much you can do with it, and the Adaptive Tool System, I think it's definitely worth it. This is the perfect machine for those who are serious crafters, sewing aficionados, leatherworkers, paper crafters, and for those who love to tackle new types of projects.


The Cricut Maker is best for serious crafters who want to take their projects to the next level, sewing aficionados, leatherworkers, paper crafters, and for anyone wanting to learn to craft with different kinds of materials.



I hope that you find this post helpful and are able to decide which Cricut machine is the one for you! As always, if you ever have any questions, please comment below and I'll do my best to help you out. If you already have a machine, I'd love to hear your thoughts, too!

Don't forget to Pin, Like, and Share!
Which Cricut Machine is Right for You?

Would you like to comment?

Thank you so much stopping by. I am so glad you are here! If you have any questions, please leave them here and I'll answer ASAP in the comments.