Cricut Explore Air 2 DIY Cutting Machine

Last updated: October 13, 2023

Cricut Explore Air 2 DIY Cutting Machine

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We looked at the top Cricut Materials and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cricut Material you should buy.

Overall Take

When it comes to Cricut materials, you'll first need to invest in a quality machine. This model allows for endless project possibilities and comes with a host of accessories, such as a cutting mat and fine point pen. This powerful machine is able to cut through 100 different kinds of materials.

In our analysis of 21 expert reviews, the Cricut Explore Air 2 DIY Cutting Machine placed 1st when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Write faster and more precisely with the Cricut explore air 2. This Cutting edge DIY machine was designed to bring joy to you and others as you create projects with a personal touch. With this machine you’re able to upload your own images for free, select from the 3, 000 ready to make projects, or create on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. It also comes equipped with Bluetooth for wireless Cutting. And the possibilities are endless because you can create projects on over 100 different materials, from vellum to leather. All this gets done quickly thanks to the double tool holder that allows for Cutting and writing or Cutting and scoring in one simple step. This machine gives you the tools and features you need to personalize, design, and create in a way that shows you care.

Expert Reviews

What experts liked

Upload your own images, or access a good selection from Cricut's free library. Cuts through foils, leather, vinyl, and a whole lot of other good stuff. Has a Fast Mode to cut time in half, which is a big help for high-volume projects. Comes in five colors.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 will cut more than 100 different types of material, including premium vinyl, iron-on and HTV vinyl, cardstock, faux leather, adhesive foils, specialty paper and poster board, and you get five tools for cutting, writing and scoring. So it’s great for everything from making everything from custom stickers and greeting cards to personalised home decor and home-made gifts.
This machine offers the easiest-to-learn software, smooth cutting, a large image and project library, and strong community support.
Looks great. Simple to use. Fun, pre-programmed projects. Feels professional.
Fast Mode. Automatic settings for over 80 materials. Precision cutting. Dual carriage. Bluetooth connectivity for wireless cutting. Excellent price. Chic look.
High quality components. Beautiful design. Very affordable. Easy to learn. Cut hundreds of materials. Huge FB support groups. Tons of online resources. Suitable for small business.
100 material options. Smart storage options. Lightweight. Looks great. Accessible for beginners. Free software available. Works with Bluetooth devices.

What experts didn't like

Access to the extended graphics and font library requires a pay-per-image fee. Some users had problems with software.
We wouldn’t recommend this for anyone doing commercial cutting, but it’s certainly the best Cricut machine for anyone at the start of their journey.
It’s expensive but very beginner-friendly.
Tools run down quickly. Finicky Bluetooth connection. Extra accessories can get pricey.
Quite loud, especially in Fast Mode. Print Then Cut sizes are restrictive. Design Space software — you either love it or hate it!
Does not cut as many materials as Maker. Design Space software slow. Only 12 inches wide.
Needs Wi-Fi to work. You'll have to pay for premium design software access.


A Cricut machine is digital craft cutter. It works with your home computer, tablet or phone, which sends a signal to the machine to tell it the path to take when cutting. Crafters will find this device saves a significant amount of time when it comes to designing and producing DIY projects.

If you do a lot of crafting, a Cricut machine can be a necessary purchase, but you’ll want to check that the model you want can handle the materials you plan on using. While all models can handle basic designs, some of them have the power to cut through over 300 different types of materials, including thick leathers and felts.

Then, once you bought your Cricut machine, you’ll want to supply your Cricut with additional accessories and materials to make it even more useful.

All Cricut machines come with a fine-point blade that cuts through paper and vinyl, but a variety of other blades are available as well and you may want to add these to your Cricut materials shelf. Deep-point blades cut through magnets, thick cardstock and felt. Bonded fabric blades are ideal for making intricate cuts on bonded fabrics or fabrics with an iron-on backer.

Next, you’ll want to pick up a set of Cricut pens, so the machine can write or draw out your design in your selected font. You can get them in a variety of colors and in large packs of 30. The important thing is that you make sure the set you select is compatible with the machine you currently own. Make sure the pens are non-toxic and acid-free. The ink isn’t permanent until it dries, so resist the urge to touch the design until then.

Another important Cricut material to consider is a Cricut mat. Mats are flexible and adhesive, sold in a variety of colors and sizes that are suitable for different papers and fabrics. The mats work to hold your design in place as the machine does the cutting and are utilized for every project you do. Although your machine will come with one mat, it’s best to have a second, so you can prepare your next design while the first one is being cut.

Pick up a Cricut EasyPress Mini for specialty projects that involve vinyl, paper and heat transfers. Check that the press has a comfortable handle, as this allows for a more precise application. Size should also be a consideration. Smaller presses allow you to get in corners and hard-to-reach spaces. Larger presses allow you to complete bigger jobs much faster. Some models offer three different heat settings, while others are made with built-in timers.

You may also wish to obtain a basic tool set for use with your machine. Look for a set that is budget-friendly, as these tools aren’t generally expensive. You’ll want a spatula, scraper, tweezers, weeder and a pair of scissors. The spatula and scraper help place and remove items from the mat, tweezers work well to apply small details, and weeders assist in removing excess material.

There are a host of additional Circut materials that you can use to make a variety of projects easier. For example, a foil transfer tool comes with three interchangeable tips and allows for adding intricate foil designs to your project. Are you interested in making boxes, cards and 3D crafts? Then you want to pick up a scoring stylus.

Ultimately, the Cricut is such a versatile tool. Adding materials to it just makes it more so and allows your creativity room to assert itself.

Buying Advice

  • Just a few of the things you can create with a Cricut machine include iron-on vinyls for t-shirts, decals, stickers, leather jewelry, magnets, party invitations, stencils for wood and labels for your kitchenware.
  • When choosing a Cricut machine, make sure you don’t need a paid subscription to use the designs — unless that’s what you want. Cricut Design Space is free software that you can download and use; however, the Cricut Access app requires a paid subscription for all but the most restricted options. Some machines come with a limited free trial of Cricut Access, but you’d then have to pay for the subscription once the trial runs out.
  • You can use designs that are already on your device without any extra cost, so one way to work around getting a subscription is to download images from free websites.
  • Make sure the pens you select are compatible with your Cricut machine. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick up an accessory adapter separately.
  • Cricut blades are extremely sharp. Care should be exercised when handling or replacing your machine’s blades.
  • It’s best not to substitute an iron for a Cricut press. Irons contain small holes for steam and do not offer consistent temperatures for successful transfer.
  • Look for a Cricut press with an auto-shutoff feature that provides added safety.
  • If you plan on using your mobile device with your Cricut machine, you should be aware that some restrictions will apply. You’ll want to look these up to make sure you can still continue with your chosen design.
  • Always place a Cricut mat’s clear film cover over it when you store it, as this keeps dust and paper scraps off the mat.