Cricut Machine: A Vinyl Cutting Machine and so Much More

Crafting is more than just an enjoyable activity, crafting helps reduce depression, reduces the risk of cognitive impairment as one ages, helps insomnia, relaxes, and helps self-esteem. From the artsy enthusiast to the serious crafter, it also opens an avenue of opportunities for business building community and establishing friendships. Teachers also find crafting as a fun and entertaining medium for learning and find it is an invaluable tool for the young pupils in their formative years. With so many benefits, who wouldn’t love to start a new crafting project during the wee hours or for a potential business endeavor.  

Like any crafting, great projects start with the right tools, and if you haven’t heard about Cricut Machine, then you’re missing a lot on your crafting prospects. Though if you’re in the loop about how great the cutting machine is and planning to get one, but need to know what model to choose, then do continue reading to learn more about the smart Cricut Machine. 

What is a Cricut Machine Cricut? 

Cricut  Machines are craft machines that interface with Cricut’s design software allowing users to create an unlimited number of projects. The beginner-friendly Cricut Explore machines are great for the casual crafter and can cut and write on common crafting materials such as cardstock and vinyl. The premium Cricut Machine, the Cricut Maker can engrave, and emboss on a wider range of materials including leather and sheet metal.

All of the Cricut Machine models can cut paper, vinyl, and cardstock. Other versions of the cutting machine can cut, engrave or emboss on harder and thicker materials such as thin wood, metal, and leather. 

What Can You Make with a Cricut Cutting Machine?

I love using a cricut to create polished, custom , craft projects. I purchased a cricut when I was making my wedding invites. I used the cutting functionality to cut out pockets for the invitations and I used the  writting tool to address envelopes.

The great thing about the Cricut Machine is that you can download any SVG and using the Cricut create very impressive projects . For a lot of projects I head over to ETSY and search for an SVG file. There are lots of free SVGs available on the internet for download and personal use.  Cricut also has a library of projects some are completely free,  some are free with a subscription, other  If you are a gifted designer you can create your own SVG using  Adobe illustrator and

Once my wedding passed I started using it very casually. A few projects I worked on include:

  • Custom greeting cards
  • Thank You Cards
  • Baby Shower Favors
  • Custom T-Shirts

Gone are the days where you must cut everything by hand, with a Cricut machine, you can cut your cutting time significantly and spend more time on your creative thinking. 

What are the Types of Cricut Machine? 

In total, there are 13 Cricut Models that include the legacy and current models. The Cricut Personal or also called Cricut Original started it all that can cut 1” to 5 ½” images and comes with a 6” x 12” cutting mat. Though it can cut limited types of materials compared to newer versions, with the Cricut Deep Cut Blade and Housing, the Cricut Personal is able to cut magnet, chipboard, and stamp materials.  

Legacy Models:

Cricut Personal

Cricut Create

Cricut Imagine

Cricut Mini

Cricut Expression

Cricut Expression 2

Current Models:

There are currently 5 current models of Cricut which include Cricut Explore One, Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, and Cricut Joy. Where among the current models, Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker and Cricut Joy are the most popular and are currently featured in Cricut official website.

  1. Cricut Joy the Cutest Portable Cricut Machine. Whether for the globetrotting crafter or for those quick everyday projects the Cricut Joy is a handy cutting machine to have. This newest Cricut model is compact having an 8.4 x 5.4 x 4.2 inches (In the box) size which makes it ideal for tight working spaces. You’ll be proud of carrying it around as it only weighs 3.9 lbs and can be conveniently hand or shoulder held with a Cricut Joy Tote Bag which is sold separately along with the Cricut Joy Tool Bundle.


  • Can cut over 50 materials.
  • 300 card design space
  • Cuts a single image up to 4.5 in x 4 ft long or repeated cuts up to 20 ft long.
  • Smart with or without a matt – smart materials up to 4 ft and 20ft for repeated patterns
  • Bluetooth operated
  • One housing for storage of Cricut tools and materials.
  • Can draw on different types of materials such as the smart writing vinyl.
  • Use offline from a desktop computer or an iOS device.
  • Make cards in as little as five minutes.
  • Free Design Space app with the opportunity to upload your images.
  • Auto load capabilities.
  • Measure material
  • Insert card matt – card folded insert in a pocket no glue needed


  1. Best for Beginners since it is easy to operate.
  2. You can do your crafting projects practically anywhere.
  3. Affordable cutting machine compared to other models.
  4. Looks good and has a compact built.
  5. Free designs are available online.
  6. Can be controlled using your mobile, tablet or PC.


  1. Since it has a small size this limits the size of the projects you can cut.
  2. Limited to certain types of materials.
  3. Cannot cut thick materials.
  4. People noted that the software interface for the app can be a challenge to navigate.
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 for the Paper Crafter. When your main crafting activities involve cutting mostly vinyl and paper the Cricut Explore Air 2 is your perfect choice. Like all the models belonging to the Cricut Explore Family, the Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut, draw and score. The main difference though is that this newer version is twice faster than its predecessors where you can choose either the normal or fast mode. Other awesome features of Cricut Air 2 are its Bluetooth ready and compatibility with smart devices making mobile connectivity convenient when doing your crafting anywhere and anytime.


  • Uses Smart Set Dial Technology
  • The Cricut Explore Air 2 machine can cut and write up to 2x faster with Fast Mode enabled.
  • Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  • Dual tool holder, so you can cut & draw in a single pass
  • Cartridge slot for linking your old Cricut cartridges
  • Smart Set Dial automatically selects machine settings to cut 100+ materials
  • Cuts, writes, and scores 100’s popular craft materials
  • Available in a variety of different colors
  • Fine-Point Blade for cutting a wide variety of popular craft materials
  • Upload and use your own images and fonts
  • Compatible with Scoring Stylus and Deep-Point Blade
  • Compatible with Cricut cartridges
  • Design Space software for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac


  1. Has more cutting speed.
  2. Fast Bluetooth sensor even if you send tons of designs to cut.
  3. An affordable advanced cutting machine.
  4. No sliding mat issues.
  5. Strong cutting power with 210gf making it a reliable cutting machine for 100 materials.
  6. Wireless printing.


  1. No android app for Design Space.
  2. Basic Design Space which makes advanced graphic design difficult if not impossible.
  3. Louder cutting noise compared to the Explore Air.
  • Cricut Maker for the All-around Crafter. This versatile Cricut model is a powerful cutting machine that can cut almost 300 materials. It comes with a rotary blade, knife blade, fine point blade, deep point blade, bonded fabric blade and a washable fabric making it the perfect cutting machine for professional as well as crafters who cut tougher and thicker crafting materials.

Probably the greatest strength of the Cricut Maker is its Expandable Suite which allows you to use any new tools in the future such as embossing tools and more. This means you can create crafts other than with paper or boards such as creating jewelry and party supplies.


  • Cuts 300+ materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather
  • Rotary Blade for cutting virtually any fabric without backer
  • 500+ digital sewing patterns and quilt blocks available from Simplicity, Riley Blake, and more (sold separately)
  • Compatible with Knife Blade for thicker materials up to 2.4 mm (sold separately)
  • Compatible with QuickSwap tools to quickly switch between scoring, engraving, debossing, and other decorative effects (sold separately)
  • Compatible with Washable Fabric Pen for marking pattern pieces (sold separately)
  • Adaptive Tool System™ for professional-level cutting performance and expandability
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Fast Mode for up to 2X faster cutting and writing
  • Upload and use your own images and fonts for free
  • Design Space software for iOS, Android , Windows and Mac


  1. Unlimited access to Cricut’s rich sewing machine library.
  2. Expandable Suite
  3. Professional detailed cuts even with a busy design layout.
  4. Can easily cut fabrics.
  5. With its advanced capabilities it has a sensible price tag compared to other cutting machines.
  6. Available sewing machine library.
  7. Hardy built that can withstand heavy and frequent cutting.
  8. Can detect if you are using the right blade or not.


  1. Limited cutting space.
  2. Web-based Design Space.
  3. Separate knife blade which must be ordered separately.
 Cricut JoyCricut Explore Air 2Cricut Maker
Retail Price (Source:$179.99$249.99$399.99
UseQuick projectsBest for paper CraftersProfessional Crafters
Design SoftwareDesign SpaceDesign SpaceDesign Space
Max. Material Width5.5 inches12  inches12 inches
Max. material length 20 feet2 feet2 feet
Material compatibility Over 50 materialsOver 100 materialsOver 300 materials
Tool Capabilities2 (for cutting & writing)4 (for cutting, writing, scoring)11+ (for cutting, writing, scoring, debossing, engraving & more)
Commercial-grade performance 
Key Features:    
Upload Own Images    
Card Mat    
Mat Free Cutting    
Print and Cut    
Fine Point Blade    
Deep Cut Blade    
Rotary Blade    
Knife Blade    
Debossing Tool    
Engraving Tool    
Scoring Tool    
Perforation Tool    
Marker for Drawing    
Common Materials:    
Paper and Cardstock    
Adhesive Vinyl    
Bonded Fabric    
Infusible Ink    
Balsa Wood/Bass Wood    
Cricut Chipboard    
Cricut Felt    
Wool Felt    
Crictu Faux Leather    
Cricut Genuine Leather    
2.5 oz. Leather    
Cricut Cutting Machine Comparison


Creating your designs for whatever purpose is a fun and rewarding experience. If you love graphic design or have a knack for arts and crafts, any of the Cricut cutting machine is a reasonable investment. You’ll be able to create numerous designs for your home or business, the only limit is your imagination. Purchasing the right Cricut model can be tricky especially if it’s your first-time to purchase. But, if you know your priorities and goals in getting one, you’ll surely find the best Cricut machine that can accommodate your preferences.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

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