Best Cricut Machine

If you are someone who is obsessed with all things crafting, DIY, scrapbooking, and handmade, then you likely have at least heard of the Cricut brand.

Cricut are one of the top providers of computer controlled cutting machines, perfect for home crafters due to their ability to cut through a wide range of materials such as vinyl, fabric, delicate paper, and even sturdier materials such as leather and wood.

They are truly a must have for home crafters who want to be able to create a wide variety of handicrafts at a moments notice!

One of the best things about Cricut is that they have a wide variety of machines available to support your crafting needs.

This is of course a positive point but if you are just starting out in the world of crafting and you are looking to invest in a Cricut machine to help you on your way, then it might be a bit difficult to know where to start.

The vast array of Cricut machines are all useful in their own way but they may not be what is best suited to your personal crafting needs. 

We are here to help you in your journey to find the perfect Cricut machine to suit you!

We are going to be looking at several of the different kinds of Cricut machine and examining exactly what each one has to offer as well as which ones are the best in terms of your personal crafting needs.

Each Cricut has something a little different to offer so whilst one might be brilliant for you, another might not be as well suited. By the end of this article, you should be able to identify which Cricut is the best catered to your needs! With that in mind, lets get started. 

OUR TOP PICK

A small yet sturdy and super popular choice of Cricut machine, the Cricut Easy Press 2 (as the name suggests, this is indeed the second model of the Cricut Easy Press) is used to imprint designs onto different surfaces or materials.

T-shirts are a relatively popular item that can be created with a heat press but a wide variety of crafts can also be made with them. The Cricut Easy Press 2 makes these possibilities all the more endless with its easy and quick heat transfer process.

This machine acts as something of a cross between a heat press and an iron, combining the ease and convenience of an iron with the speed and accuracy of a heat press for results that are long-lasting and easy to accomplish! 

The Cricut Easy Press 2 is not only quick and efficient, but it is also super easy to use.

All you need to do is adjust the temperature and the time (you can download an easy-to-read heat guide online), place the Easy Press 2 plate onto the project that you are working on, and press!

This is a professional level of heat press- designed with a ceramic coated surface, a built-in timer, and precise and user-friendly temperature controls (with temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) packed into an easy-to-use compact package.

Whilst we are on the subject of the compact nature of the Easy Press 2, there are three different sizes but each of them is suitably travel-sized.

The largest machine is 12 by 10 inches, followed by the 9 inches by 9 inches and the smallest model is 6 inches by 7 inches.

It is also lightweight so that no matter which size you choose, you are sure to be able to take the Easy Press 2 with you should you want to perfect your crafting whilst on the go!

The Cricut EasyPress 2 is also a great option for those looking for a heat press due to the compatibility that it has with various types of heat transfer vinyl.

This includes Cricuts own Infusible Ink products. There is also the option of two colors for the Easy Press 2: Mint and Raspberry.

If you are looking for a heat press to decorate a range of items- from t-shirts to pillows and tote bags- then this machine is certainly one for you to consider. 

Pros

  • Quick and easy to use thanks to the efficient nature of the machine.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Can be used with most brands of heat transfer vinyl. 
  • Tested temperature and time settings.

Cons

  • Specific to the craft of transferring heat vinyl, so not particularly versatile. 

EDITORS CHOICE

If you have a specific project in mind that needs a considerably smaller heat-press, Cricut has got you covered for that as well! The Easy Press Mini is a sigifnicantly smaller version of the Easy Press 2 that is perfect for small and unique kinds of heat transfers.

Despite its small size, the Easy Press Mini still packs a punch as a powerful heat-press, offering edge-to-edge and even heat thanks to the ceramic coated heat plate.

There are three different heat settings that you can switch between to use for projects with Infusible Ink or iron-on heat transfer projects. Much like the other Cricut machines, the Easy Press Mini offers a lot of surprising variety.

You can easily use it to customize items that you might not have considered using heat transfers on before, such as baseball caps, shoes, or even small stuffed animals.

If you have a baby shower coming up or there is a little one in your life in some way, think of all of the adorable and tiny baby clothes and toys that you can customize!!

In this way, the Easy Press Mini would be great for creating some truly unique gifts for all manner of occasions. 

As well as being a great way to create gifts that are a little bit different, the Easy Press Mini is also safe for use thanks to the automatic shut off feature (always handy if you are the type to forget if a household appliance has been left on or not!) as well as an insulated safety base. 

Pros

  • A brilliant way to create unique, small gifts. 
  • Compact to fit into a wide variety of spaces.
  • Three heat settings.
  • Safe thanks to insulated base and automatic shut-off. 

Cons

  • Only necessary if you want to customize smaller items. 

BEST VALUE

The Cricut Joy is a smaller option for those who might not be quite as well versed in the world of crafts (it is smaller than half the size of some of the bigger machines we will be looking at later) but who still like to dabble from time to time!

It is very much a compact cutting machine- the most compact amongst the Cricut range and not as large or as versatile as some of the other Cricut machines.

That being said, the Joy is still incredibly useful and highly professional in terms of the quality of what can be made with it. Due to its small size and limitations, it is definitely better suited to the more casual crafters. 

The Cricut Joy is another Cricut machine that is incredibly easy to use, making it accessible no matter what skill level you are when it comes to DIY or handicrafts.

The Joy can be used for label making, writing, drawing, scoring, and cutting which opens up a huge range of options for crafting.

The personalization possibilities are near endless, with cards, decals, clothing transfers, papercrafts, home decor, banners, home labels, and more able to be created simply and easily thanks to the Cricut Joy.

The Joy allows for continuous cuts of up to 4 inches wide and 4 feet long but it also allows for repeated cuts that can reach up to 20 feet long. You don’t need a cutting mat to get started either as everything you need is already built into the Joy. 

Much like the Easy Press 2, the Joy is also a quick and efficient way to create crafts as well as being perfect to use for beginners. The convenience of the Joy cannot be understated, as you can easily use it to make a wide range of crafts or gifts in next to no time.

Another similarity to the Easy Press 2 is the compact nature of the Joy, allowing for you to take it with you on the go.

So long as you are able to hook it up to a laptop or computer with an internet connection- or connect with Bluetooth- there is nothing stopping you from creating whilst you travel or if you are visiting family and friends.

Cricut has its own app that can be used to create your own designs: Design Space. Design Space is compatible with devices- both Android and iOS- and Mac and PC and it is a great way to make your own designs that you can then cut with the Joy.

You can also use the subscription service that Cricut offers- known as Cricut Access- to download designs that might take your fancy.

However you choose to do it, you are sure to be able to quickly and efficiently create some stunning designs for all sorts of DIY crafts with the Cricut Joy. 

Pros

  • Portable due to the compact sizing.
  • Great for beginners and casual crafters.
  • Able to make a variety of crafts despite its simplicity and small size.

Cons

  • Limited in terms of crafting due to its simplicity. 

RUNNER UP

Mugs are a staple in almost every household thanks to most of the human race having either a caffeine or sugar fix. Even if you don't drink coffee, you probably drink tea or hot chocolate or some kind of warm beverage on the daily.

Even if you don't actually indulge in warm drinks, mugs are super useful for all sorts of food and drinks like noodles or soups (some of which are specifically designed for mugs). You can even get cake in a mug in this futuristic world we find ourselves living in!

Now that we have discussed the longstanding reputation of the humble mug, you can likely see why mugs are so popular as household items but also as gifts.

Custom mugs are hugely popular gifts and this next Cricut machine is perfect for being able to create a wide range of customizable mugs (or just for mug enthusiasts in general): the Cricut Mug Press. 

This Mug Press allows the user to create any sort of custom mug that they may choose thanks to the compatibility that it has with Cricuts own ceramic mugs and their Infusibel Ink Transfer Sheet, as well as the other Cricut machines as you can use them to design and cut out your patterns to transfer onto a mug.

You don't have to worry about the result causing the mug to become compromised in terms of quality either.

The decals that are printed onto the mug via the press are peel-proof but are also safe and maintain integrity when put into the dishwasher, so you don't have to worry about losing your designs. 

The press does all of the hard work for you and even the machine itself isn't too taxing to use as there are no complex pressure settings or manual temperatures.

Simply design your decal with the DesignSpace app- or download one via Cricut Access- cut it out with a Cricut cutting machine and you are ready to create a unique and stylish mug!

It's all done with one simple button press, so you literally cannot get any better when it comes to a Cricut machine that is easy to use and accessible to everyone. 

Pros

  • The easiest of all of the Cricut machines to use. 
  • A great way to make customizable mugs as a gift.
  • Quick and efficient.

Cons

  • This is definitely the Cricut machine with the most niche market and so it will only benefit you if you are a fan of mugs or plan on gifting some custom mugs.

RUNNER UP

There are a couple of different models when it comes to the larger Cricut machines that can make a huge variety of handicraft items, including the Cricut Explore Air 2.

The Explore Air 2 is not the most recent Cricut machine model in general but it does a huge amount, offering tons of possible DIY handicraft projects. 

As the name suggests, the Explore Air 2 is the second in the Explore Air series and it improves on everything that the Explore Air already did brilliantly.

The Explore Air 2 is one of the quickest of the Cricut machines (and from what we have said about the various machines already, you can likely see that this is a huge achievement as they are all incredibly fast!).

It shares the top spot for the top Cricut machine as a whole due to the sheer array of features that it has (we will be discussing the machine it shares that top spot with later).

The machine cuts, writes, and scores, allowing you to make tons of products from cards to decals. 

When it comes to the tech behind the Cricut Explore Air 2, it utilizes built-in Bluetooth so that you can do that aforementioned, writing, scoring and cutting via wireless means.

The machine has a Smart Set dial that allows you to adjust the settings to suit certain materials.

For instance, paper is going to need a different setting to vinyl for obvious reasons and the Explore Air 2 takes that into consideration and lets you make the appropriate changes.

This is certainly a useful feature, as the machine lets you cut more than 100 materials! The Cricut Explore Air 2 is the perfect middle ground when it comes to the cutting style of Cricut machines.

It is larger and more substantial than the Cricut Joy, but smaller than the deluxe Cricut machine that we will be talking about next.

If you are searching for a cutting machine that is a little more advanced than the simplest option but isn't quite as complex as the larger options, the Cricut Explore Air 2 could be perfect for you!

Pros

  • The perfect middle ground of the Cricut machines.
  • Cuts through over 100 materials.
  • Can be used to create a wide variety of DIY crafts. 

Cons

  • If you want a Cricut machine that offers the most variety when it comes to possible options for crafting, the Explore Air 2 is close but not quite there. 

RUNNER UP

When it comes to versatility, the Cricut Maker 3 is the absolute cream of the crop of the Cricut machines.

Everything is taken to another level with this machine, with this model being twice as fast as the previous Maker machine and up to ten times faster when it comes to the cutting force.

This machine is the ultimate in the Cricut line and certainly a worthy investment if you are a DIY fanatic and crafting is a big part of your life. 

The Cricut Maker 3 is compatible with tons of different materials, including Cricuts own smart materials that can be cut such as Cricut Smart HTV Iron-On, Cricut Smart Vinyl, and Cricut Smart Paper.

This is far from all that this machine is capable of cutting through though, with more than 300 compatible materials. These range from the softest of materials- such as paper and delicate fabrics- to the strongest, such as leather, mat board, or basswood.

You can score, write and cut with the Cricut Maker 3- much like you can with the previously mentioned Explore Air 2- but there are even more options available with this Cricut machine, including engraving and debossing.

There are also tons more options when it comes to what tools can be inserted within the Cricut Maker 3 in comparison to the Cricut Explore Air 2, with the Maker 3 being able to manage more than 12 tools which is double the amount that the Explore Air 2 can handle.

Some of the tools that can be used with the Maker 3 include a Foil Transfer Tool, a Rotary Blade, Scoring Wheels, a Knife Blade, and more. 

Despite being relatively the same size as the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Cricut Maker 3 has a much wider range in terms of what it can do.

Much like all of the other Cricut machines, it can also be connected with the DesignSpace and the Cricut Access apps so that you can download designs or create your own that you can then cut out of the many, many materials that are compatible with the Maker 3.

The Maker 3 is significantly more than purely a cutting machine. It is a tool of creation with so many possibilities that you are likely to be spoilt for choice.

The Cricut Maker 3 is truly the ultimate tool for those with a strong passion and interest in crafting as well as those who might consider creating a crafting business. 

Pros

  • The most versatile of all the Cricut machines.
  • Able to cut through over 300 different kinds of materials.
  • Perfect for crafting as both a hobby and a business due to the huge range of items that you can make. 
  • Not too big or bulky. Around the same size as the Cricut Explore Air 2 but with double the capabilities. 
  • Easy to use. 

Cons

  • Could be a little overwhelming in terms of capabilities when it comes to casual crafters. 

Buyers Guide

So there we have several different Cricut machines as well as what they specialize in and what their various pros and cons are.

All this information may seem a little overwhelming at first, so let’s break down the various elements of these machines that you need to consider if you are looking to invest in a Cricut machine and start getting in on the crafting scene!

Best Cricut Machine

Why Do You Want a Cricut Machine?

First and foremost, you need to have a strong grasp on why exactly you are looking to invest in a Cricut machine. Do you want to start making DIY crafts that can fit in all around the house as a hobby in your spare time?

Or are you looking to start a business and build a brand to sell your handicrafts? Are you a casual crafter or are more hardcore one? Do you want to make a wide variety of items or do you have certain items in mind?

These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself before you even start looking for a Cricut machine. Once you know exactly why you want to get yourself a Cricut machine, then you are well on your way to finding the right one to suit your needs. 

Specific Or General?

This is one of the wuestions we mentioned previously in regards to what you should ask yourself before even considering getting a Cricut machine, but this question is particularly important due to the fact that Cricut offers certain machines that are relatively niche in terms of what they can make.

For instance, the Mug Press and the Easy Press 2 that we talked about earlier can only be used to use custom mugs and heat transfers. Therefore, they wouldn’t be useful to you if you have no plans to make these particular arts and crafts items.

The cutting machine options- such as the Explore Air 2 and the Maker 3- are useful for a wide variety of products and so they can be a big help if you aren't sure what kind of crafting projects you want to embark on.

It might be useful to figure out if you would benefit from getting a few different kinds of machines. The great thing about Cricut is that a lot of the machines work brilliantly together.

You can pair the Mug Press with the Explore Air 2 and the DesignSpace app to create your own decal, cut it using the Explore Air 2 and then transfer the design onto your mug with the Mug Press.

This is, of course, a pricier option so again, it is best to make a decision based on how much use you are going to get out of the machines as well as the products that you plan to make with them.

Make your choice as to whether you want a specific kind of Cricut machine, whether you are looking for something more general that can be used in a multitude of ways or both and then you should be able to start zoning in on the best choice for you. 

Models

Now you are well on your way to figuring out what kind of Cricut machine is going to suit you best! Once you have narrowed down your options, you will notice that there are different kinds of the same Cricut machine.

Some are the latest models with the previous one being unavailable, but some are slightly different versions of the same machine. Take the Cricut Easy Press 2 for instance.

The first Easy Press was discontinued after the release of the second model but you can still choose between the Easy Press 2 and the Easy Press Mini. In this situation, consider exactly what you plan to make with your chosen machine.

Would you want to make transfers for t-shirts and pillows or for smaller items like hats and small stuffed animals? For a cutting machine, think about how often you plan on using it and how many options you will need.

If you need as many possibilities as you can, consider the latest models of the more deluxe machines. If you are planning on being a more casual crafter, you might not need to spend quite as much. Consider a simpler cutter rather than the deluxe options. 

Verdict

With all of that in mind, you should now be ready to take your pick from the best Cricut machines! But which is the best machine overall? There is no concrete answer to that question because the answer is going to be different for everyone.

There is very little that you cannot do with the Maker 3 and that is what makes it the strongest Cricut machine in terms of capabilities, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best choice for you.

Consider what we have mentioned here in the buyer’s guide and you should be able to pick out the Cricut machine that is best suited to your personal needs in no time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Accessories Are Needed For A Cricut Machine?

The accessories you need will vary from machine to machine but some of the most common that you will need- particularly with the cutting machines- are vinyl packs, ink transfer sheets, and applicators.

You might also need something more specific such as a blank mug if you are planning on investing in the Cricut Mug Press. 

What Kind Of Things Can You Make With A Cricut?

All sorts of homemade handicrafts are possible with a Cricut!

This will differ depending on what machine you get exactly but it can range from stickers to vinyl decals to home decor to a whole host of personalized items such as greetings cards and signs. The only limit here is your imagination!

Is A Cricut Machine Good For Beginners?

Whilst some of the Cricut machines would be best suited for an intermediate or advanced level of DIY crafting, there are several options that are perfect for beginners.

One of the smallest models of cutting machines- the Cricut Joy- is brilliant for people of all skill levels when it comes to arts and crafts so that particular machine is a great place to start.

Michael Moore
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