If you are into arts and crafts then you need a special tool that will cut precise shapes and designs out of any kind of material. You need a cutting machine that will cut any design or shape you need for projects precisely so you won’t waste time and materials. And when it comes to easy cuts perfect for all kind of projects and location, a Cricut Maker works perfectly. There are two basic models of Cricut, check out this review with a comparison of the two models to help you find the best Cricut for your needs. So let’s check it out together on Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Explore Air 2: which one is really the best.
What is a Cricut?
A Cricut is a computer-guided cutting machine that will cut different materials precisely . A Cricut can cut more than 100 kinds of materials that are 12” x 24” in size and is also very portable. This machine works like a CNC machine except that it can be used on a small working table and of course you can work on any project from your computer, tablet or smartphone; just connect the two devices and you are ready to work. There are similarities and differences between the two Cricut machines.
#1. Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker has a new design with two new blades, a rotary blade and an X-ACTO knife blade, so you can cut fabric without the use of any backing material. You can also cut thick things like leather and thin wood using the knife blade. The rotary blade is so versatile it can cut very thin and even easy to wrinkle materials like crepe paper and tissue because you can control the pressure and the direction of the blade. The Cricut Maker is the flagship machine from Cricut. It is now available for orders online.
- With rotary cutting blade and knife blade
- With available sewing patterns using Cricut Access; more patterns available from its huge project library
- With an Adaptive Tool System to hold a variety of blades and pens; additional pens and blades individually purchased
- With a built-in shelf to mount your iPad, iPhone or other device
- With a tool storage area with a rubber bottom for sharp tools and blades
- Weighs more than the Explore at 24.1 pounds but still lighter than standard CNC machines and cutting machines
- With an improved 3 Amp power cord to allow you to charge your Android or iPhone
- Available in champagne/grey colors
#2. Cricut Explore Air 2
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a machine that can cut and write up to 2x faster than its predecessors. It can work on more than 100 different materials with an option to choose from more than 3,000 ready-to-make projects or images from its library. The Explore Air 2 can also connect via Bluetooth and can work on a number of image files including .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif and .dxf. The Cricut Explore Air 2 may be called the “hip” version of the Cricut Maker since it is also available in a variety of colors plus you can take it anywhere. Perfect for people who make projects on the go.
- Does not have a rotary cutting blade and knife blade
- No sewing patterns but you can get inspiration from its extensive image library
- With cartridge slots to use old Cricut cartridges
- With a Cut Smart 2 cartridge for holding blades and pens
- CutSmart technology for precision cutting and recalibrated materials selection
- With a SmartSet material dial
- Is handy and lighter than the Cricut Maker at 14 pounds; perfect for projects on the go
- Available in a variety of colors; choose the color that matches your room décor or color scheme
Similarities between the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut is a popular brand when it comes to portable smart cutting machines. Its two front runners, Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 have a lot of similarities as well as differences. You must check these out as you choose the ideal Cricut machine to use for your home, office or business projects.
Both the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Air 2 will let you upload files which mean you can use your own designs. The two machines can be connected directly to a personal computer, laptop or smartphone but these can also connect to devices via Bluetooth. No need for wired connections; and more than one device can connect to the machine at a time. You can take these machines to school to make projects for a class or you can use this at home to make personal DIY projects.
Both the Cricut Maker and the Explore Air 2 can work on soft to tough materials, even vinyl and leather. If you have the Cricut Explore and you plan to upgrade to the Cricut Maker then you can use the Explore blades on your Maker.
The two Cricut uses the Cricut Design Space however you will find that the set material and load tools and mat look different on the Maker. This is because the Cricut Maker does not have the SmartSet dial.
Which Cricut machine works for me?
At first glance, the Cricut Maker stands out from the Cricut Explore Air 2 however a smart shopper and DIY hobbyist and crafts enthusiast will look at the features of each machine and not just its overall appeal. The Cricut Maker appears to win hands down because of its rotatory cutting blade and knife tool. These features definitely improves the machine’s functions as a handy materials cutter and pattern maker however if you are looking for a handier machine, which weigh less and with basic cutting and pattern-making features then the Cricut Maker Explore 2 could work for you.
Both machines can work on any designs, even those that you have made on your own. Both machines also allow you to work on any kind of project by simply connecting your mobile device with the Cricut. It is compatible with all kinds of mobile devices, laptops and PCs. All-in-all; these machines can provide you with hours upon hours of project fun.