So we have had our Cricut Explore Air 2 for a little over a year now and although we are super pleased with it, we were always aiming to get the newer Cricut Maker because it does so much more than the earlier version (Cricut Explore Air 2). You might be reasonable in thinking that we did not exhaust all that could be achieved with the Explore Air 2, and we agree but when the Maker came up in the sales, we just could not let it pass us by. This is therefore our Cricut Maker Review.
We are not sure when you are reading this but this was written in June 2020 when we (many people of the world) are in lockdown due to a pandemic, Coronavirus. So many ran out of ideas of what to do with their ‘extended’ days staying at home and crafting came up as an answer for many, we included. We love to craft, and it has kept us sane for many years.
The Cricut Maker was launched in 2017 and came with a lot of promise. You see whilst the Cricut Explore Air 2 was capable of cutting vinyl, card, and paper, the Maker suggested that it could be used to cut paper, card, vinyl, leather, fabric, wood, and a whole lot more. I know that for many, this has the potential to be a game-changer. The potential is just vast for hobbyists, crafters, sewing enthusiasts, and even homebodies who just like to potter around with craft.
Our Cricut Maker, which we paid £299 for, came with 2 blades, one of which is a super rotary blade. The other is a knife blade. We also got a washable fabric pen so that you can make markings, and the machine itself has a USB port.
Just before we got the Maker, we were busy doing our bit to help the National Health Service (NHS) by making scrub bags and ear savers (to go with masks). After weeks of making these, we started to make masks for friends and family. We were only able to cut one mask at a time so it was really time-consuming.
For us, therefore, the Maker with its rotary blade was a deal-breaker. The rotary blade with its rolling and gliding actions allows fabric cutting to be so much more efficient. So we are now able to cut multiple masks at a time and sew them in far less time, allowing us more time in the day to get on with more crafts. There is even the option to make your cut faster if you like. Now that is super cool.
I know not everyone is into sewing or fabric related crafts. So is this suitable for other crafters? Sure! Some crafts that the Maker can definitely help with include, but not limited to: bow making (hair bows) bag making including totes, woodcraft, sign making (gender reveal, baby showers, wedding announcements, etc), decorative wreath making, t-shirt designing and making, cake toppers making, glass etching and the list goes on.
Perhaps one of the coolest things I personally admire about Cricut is that it comes with a user-friendly design interface called Design Space. This is really amazing. I would be lying if I said it was super easy to use because it is not, but the more you play around with it, the more alive things become, and the more you use it the easier it is to remember things the next time around.
With Design Space there are hundreds of designs, fonts, patterns, and other creative ideas that are available to be used. Granted, some of the designs are not free to use but there is the option to pay a monthly fee which allows you access to more free stuff.
If you don’t use this program to do paid work, then it might seem like not a wise idea to pay monthly. The good news is that there are many free ideas swirling around on the internet which you can make use of if you are happy to put the time into doing some research. As for me, I really love Design Space.
I know some wood enthusiasts are excited to learn that the Cricut Maker can cut wood and I am happy too. But I find it just a tad disappointing that the Maker can only cut relatively thin wood such as chipboard, balsa board, and basswood. I have not personally tried cutting any wood yet with my machine but I have watched videos of others cutting thin pieces of wood and have been disappointed to see that a craft knife has had to be used to help with the cutting after the wood is removed from the machine.
It can also cut materials like felt and I am looking forward to doing that.
In addition to the fine point pen, the calligraphy pen, and the storing stylus by Cricut, I understand that you can use a variety of pens with the Cricut Maker. If you are willing to take the chance then……… but I would not like to think that I ruined my expensive machine by inserting something that was not intended for it. I have even seen blades being sold purporting to work with the Maker. Would you buy it? Would that ruin the warranty on your machine? Your guess is as good as mine.
Do I think this machine is soon to become obsolete? Absolutely not. Do I think there will be an upgrade to the Maker? Certainly. And although I do not know what the plans are, I just think it would be super cool to have in the improvements, a raised cutting platform allowing for the use of a deeper cutting blade to cut patterns into thicker wood. I just think that would be so amazing. I would also like to see the machine being much wider, although, thinking about it, that might make the cost out of the reach of hobbyists like myself and others.
I would also like to see a more simplified way to work with Design Space. At the moment I do think it needs that.
With Cricut, I think the future is now. What do I mean? Well the future in terms of various types of craft, from designing and making wedding items, making Christmas ornaments, seasonal decor ideas, woodcraft, and sewing. I think this has the potential to be a game-changer for many crafters and with the reduced price now, this is definitely the time to get the Cricut Maker.
Our rating for this machine, although we have not yet exhausted its functions and don’t know when we ever will, is 4.5 out of 5 stars. It comes highly recommended and we concur.
Here’s a lovely video of unboxing the Cricut Maker and doing your first project. Soon, you’ll be doing your own Cricut Maker review too!
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