Cricut

Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Explore Air 2 – Should you upgrade?

October 31, 2018

Should you upgrade your Cricut Explore to the Cricut Maker? The short answer is yes. I’m going to show you all the capabilities you will have and more opportunities you have to create when you upgrade your Cricut machine. 
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What’s the biggest difference in the Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2? You can cut so many more materials and it’s just not a machine for crafters anymore. So many uses and so I’m going to show you why you should take your Cricut Explore Air 2 and upgrade it to a Cricut Maker.

What Cricut Machine should you own?

I have both machines. I started originally on the 6″ Cricut and then wanted to try the Expression so badly because I wanted more opportunity with my machine. The attached screen to show what your were designing was confusing so I never took the plunge. I waited a long while to get a new electronic cutter because I had to compare all makes and models before taking the plunge.

A few years later I won a Silhouette off of the internet and so I was Team Silhouette for a while. I would get so frustrated with the dang thing because the software wasn’t newbie friendly and then it would always tear the paper or not cut through the material and I was frustrated, to say the least. 

After I had all but thrown it in the bin, I got the opportunity to start working with Cricut and they provided me with their first Cricut Explore. I was so happy with the cuts and so thrilled I could cut more materials with the Explore. And then they released the Cricut Explore Air 2, and in mint no less. I had all the opportunities to do the same work I had been doing but now I wasn’t tied down to wherever my computer was, I could craft on the go and it was fun!

I didn’t start having real fun or pushing my capabilities as a crafter until I started using the Cricut Explore Air 2. I was finally trying new things and different materials and I thought it couldn’t ever get better. And then in August 2017, they announced the Cricut Maker.

The Cricut Maker can do all the same things your Cricut Explore can but more! You still have the classic blades like the Fine Point Blade and the Deep Cut Blade that the Cricut Maker can use. But now you have the Rotary Blade (which is included), a Cricut Knife Blade and the new Scoring Wheel. Let’s break down what each of these blades can cut that you won’t be able to cut on your Cricut Explore Air 2.

What fabrics can the Cricut Maker Rotary Blade Cut?

Bamboo Fabric
Bengaline
Boucle
Broadcloth
Burlap
Burn-Out Velvet
Calico
Cambric
Canvas
Cashmere
Challis
Chambray
Chantilly Lace
Charmeuse Satin
Chiffon
Chintz
Corduroy
Cotton
Cotton, Bonded
Crepe Charmeuse
Crepe Paper
Crepe-back Satin
Damask
Denim
Denim, Bonded
Dotted Swiss
Double Cloth
Double Knit
Duck Cloth
Dupioni Silk
Eyelet
Faille
Faux Fur
Faux Suede
Felt
Flannel
Fleece
Flex Foam
Foulard
Fusible Fabric
Fusible Fleece
Fusible Interfacing
Gabardine
Gauze
Georgette
Gossamer
Grois Point
Grosgrain
Habutai
Heather
Homespun Fabric
Insulbrite Batting
Interlock Knit
Jacquard
Jersey
Jute
Khaki
La Coste
Lame
Leather
Light Cotton
Light Cotton, 2 Layers
Light Cotton, 3 Layers
Linen
Linen, Bonded
Lycra
Matelasse
Melton Wool
Mesh
Microfiber
Moiree
Moleskin
Monk’s Cloth
Muslin
Neoprene
Nylon
Oil Cloth, Bonded
Oilcloth
Organza
Ottoman
Oxford
Panne Velvet
Peau de Soie
Pima Cotton
Pique Cotton
Plisse
Plush
Polyester, Bonded
Poplin
Printable Fabric
Quilt Batting
Ramie
Raschel Knit
Rayon Lyocell
Rib Knit
Rip-Stop Nylon
Sailcloth
Satin Silk
Seersucker
Sequined
Shantung
Shantung Santeen
Silk China
Silk, Bonded
Slinky Knit
Spandex
Suede
Tafetta
Terry Cloth
Tulle
Tweed
Ultra Firm Stabilizer
Velour
Velvet Upholstery
Velveteen
Viscose
Voile
Waffle Cloth
Wool Crepe
Ziberline

What can the Cricut Knife Blade cut?

Acetate
Balsa – 1/16 in
Balsa – 3/32 in
Basswood – 1/16
Basswood – 1/32
Birch, Permanent Adhesive
Cereal Box
Corrugated Cardboard
Craft Foam
Cricut Cutting Mat Protector
EVA Foam
Flat Cardboard
Foil Poster Board
Gel Sheet
Heavy Chipboard – 2.0 mm
Kraft Board
Leather -Garment 1-7 oz
Leather – Tooling 1-7 oz
Light Chipboard – 0.37mm
Matboard 4 Ply
Metal Gauge
Plastic Canvas
Plastic Packaging
Poster Board
Stencil Film

What is the Cricut Scoring Wheel?

The Cricut Scoring Wheel works with the Cricut Maker and the Smart Tool Adaptive System. You can only use the Cricut Scoring Wheel in the Cricut Maker. You can use the Cricut Scoring Tool in both Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore.

The Cricut Scoring Wheel comes with the .01 wheel which will produce a single scoreline. You have the option to buy the scoring wheel with both the .01 cap and the .02 cap. These caps are easily interchangeable. You just press the button on the top round area of the Cricut Scoring Wheel and then it will release allowing you to change to the other cap.

The .02 cap has the capability to produce two scorelines which are great for creating 3D objects. The Cricut Scoring Wheel .02 cap allows scoring of thicker materials so that they do not break or rip when you’re folding them along the scoreline.

The Cricut Maker uses more force so that you’re not lost as to why you can’t see the scoreline. In the picture below, I’ve shown you an acetate box that I’ve scored with the .01 and the Scoring Tool in my Cricut Explore Air 2. You can absolutely see the difference and I haven’t even folded the acetate at all when I took these pictures. showing score lines on acetate

Which Cricut Maker tool is your favorite?

I have really loved all of them but the Cricut Scoring Wheel is my favorite. It has made making my own party goods that much easier. I have all the things in the world at my home to make boxes but I couldn’t get a deep enough score or cut to really to create them. When the Cricut Scoring Wheel and the Cricut Knife Blade were released, I’ve been able to use more of my own products and not going to the store because I need that one thing. I can make them all with my Cricut Maker.

Why should I buy a Cricut Maker?

I’m here to tell you that you will do more than you thought you could with your Cricut Maker. I’ve been able to create nursery signs with basswood, I’ve made my sons Halloween Maui costume, I’ve made an awesome front porch using all things Cricut Maker and I’ve loved every second of it.

Just to show you some versatility, I scored these boxes with each a scoring wheel and the scoring tool. You’ll see in the picture above that the scoreline wasn’t very visible with the scoring tool so the dad box is folded by hand and the seams are messy.

I’m a perfectionist so the Cricut Maker helps aide in my OCD by creating perfect projects every time. If you’re wondering when is the best time to buy a Cricut Maker is, usually Black Friday has the best deals because everything is in a bundle rather than the machine alone. It’s worth every penny of investing so I suggest you grab one today!

how to score acetatecricutmas acetate gift boxes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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