Hi, guys! It's been a crazy busy past couple of months with lots of travel. Remember how I attended the Cricut Make-a-thon in Salt Lake City this past August? Whelp, I was there when they announced the new, industry-changing Cricut Maker and everyone collectively L O S T I T. I spent a few days learning all about the machine and what it can do. Cricut was kind enough to gift me with both a Cricut Explore Air and a Cricut Maker so that I could play with them both and share my thoughts with y'all. You may have see a few of my more popular Cricut DIYs using my Explore Air (like this Disney T-shirt, these faux leather earrings, and the “Merry Everything” gear that I made for the kids) or checked out my Facebook Live video demo of the Cricut Maker. If you did and you're intrigued, welcome! I'm here today to share with you a comparison of the Cricut Explore Air vs the Cricut Maker – I'm hoping it helps to clarify any questions about the cost, technology, and uses of both.
So, when it comes to the two different machines, each has specific characteristics that are either major or not-so-major differences, depending on what you want your machine to do for you. I love my Explore Air and am hardcore lusting over my Maker but definitely think that they are best suited to crafters with specific skills sets and needs. Overall though, both machines work great for basic paper, vinyl, and iron-on crafting since they both cut paper, vinyl, and faux versions of materials like leather and metal. They are also both really sleek looking and use wireless technology.
Some key differences:
Materials: The Explore Air cuts copy paper, scrapbook paper, cardstock, some felt/fabric, faux leather, faux metal, thin wood veneers, vinyl, and iron-on materials. The Maker cuts all kinds of paper, fabrics, felt, leather, metal, wood, vinyl, and iron-on materials – the sky's the limit!
Cricut Cartridges: The Explore Air accepts them. The Maker does not.
Storage: The Explore Air has a small upright storage spot plus additional limited blade storage in a flip down compartment. The Maker's tool holder is larger and features a rubber bottom for your sharp tools plus a much larger flip down compartment.
Cutting Mats: The Explore Air uses both 12″x12″ and 12″x24″ mats in lightweight, standard, and strong grips. The Maker uses 12″x12″ and 12″x24″ mats in lightweight, standard, and strong grips plus a new fabric grip mat.
Blades: The Explore Air has a standard cutting blade and a deep cut blade. The Maker has completely changed the blades (so no, they are not interchangable between machines). The new blades are engineered with a gear system that allows them to makes cleaner cuts without pulling your material. The blades for this machine are: the fine tip, deep tip, rotary, and knife.
Weight: The Explore Air is much lighter than The Maker. The Maker was engineered for cutting fabrics, leather, metal, and wood so it's a heavier machine.
Functions: The Explore Air features an “Open” button and the Maker does not. The Explore Air has a Cut Smart cartridge that is designed to hold blades and pens. The Maker has an all new Adaptive Tool System that is designed to hold a variety of pens and blades.
Technology: The Explore Air has bluetooth wireless technology and a USB port. The Maker has those but also features a spot to hold your phone, iPhone, tablet, or iPad which also charges it at the same time!
You can buy a Cricut Explore Air (or Explore Air 2) right now on Amazon, the Cricut website, JoAnns, and Michael's for $249.99. The Cricut Maker is brand new and ships for $399.99 from Amazon, the Cricut website, JoAnns, and Michael's. What are you waiting for? GET YOURS TODAY!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.