Cricut DIY Explore Air 2 Die Cutting Machine

Last updated date: August 24, 2021

DWYM Score

9.5

Cricut DIY Explore Air 2 Die Cutting Machine

Why Trust DWYM?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand review. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.
Show Contents

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

Update as August 22, 2021:
Checkout The Best Craft Die Cutting Machine for a detailed review of all the top die cutting machines.

Overall Take

If you have your own images that you want to die-cut, this craft die-cutting machine is a great choice. You'll be able to choose from a wide selection of images in the machine's free library. This will be one of the most valuable devices in your crafting room.


In our analysis of 40 expert reviews, the Cricut DIY Explore Air 2 Die Cutting Machine placed 3rd when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

For over 60 years Darice has prided itself on providing its customers with the best value and selection in crafting supplies, while always striving to exceed customer expectations with amazing customer service. It remains our goal to earn your trust through the traditional way we do business.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.5
7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.9
1,390 user reviews

What experts liked

Upload your own images, or access a good selection on Cricut's free library. Cuts through foils, leather, vinyl, and a whole lot of other good stuff.
- BestReviews
And the Explore Air 2 has one of the better, established resale values if you ever want to upgrade to a new machine. It’s an investment, but we think it’s worth the cost.
- New York Times Wirecutter
It doesn’t make sense to have an app for iOS and lack one for Android.
- Cutting Machine Reviews
The major benefit of the Explore Air 2 is that it’s faster.
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
June 5, 2018 | Full review
We also loved the embedded Bluetooth that enables wireless cutting. With the help of the embeded Bluetooth, it becomes easier to move the designs from the computer into the machine.
- 10 Techy
One thing I noted, is even though the Cricut Explore Air 2 is 2X faster.
- Ken's Kreations
October 12, 2016 | Full review
I love the flexibility of being able to place my vinyl cutting machine well out of the way from my working desk space. So incredibly handy!
- The Best Vinyl Cutters

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.
- BestReviews
It doesn’t make sense to have an app for iOS and lack one for Android.
- Cutting Machine Reviews
It’s annoying that Android users aren’t yet able to enjoy the experience of using Cricut’s products from the comfort of their phone or tablet.
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
June 5, 2018 | Full review
We must also point out that a lot of value added features of the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine do not come with the machine. One very easy to recognize example is the design studio, it is available on the internet. But imagine if there was one that came in with every cutting machine which updates online. That would be sweet wouldn’t it?
- 10 Techy
You will be frustrated to know that the Cricut machine has been designed to only work with their software only, so no Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw access for you! The machine is a bit noisy, no Android App available, you can only use the Design Space Software that comes with the machine
- The Best Vinyl Cutters

An Overview On Die Cutting Machines

A craft die-cutting machine can be the perfect tool for any crafter’s workshop. Over the years, these devices have evolved from their original design that needed cartridges to cut out letters and shapes. Today’s craft die-cutting machines can print out die-cuts that are designed on your mobile device or computer, opening up the possibilities for what you can do with them.

If you’re interested in designing on your mobile device, though, it’s important to find a craft die-cutting machine that’s compatible with the operating system you use. Some machines have larger image libraries than others as well, with some featuring big-name designers as part of the free library they provide.

But not all craft die-cutting machines are created equal. Some can cut through extremely tough fabrics like leather and vinyl, while others can handle delicate fabrics like lace. If you plan to work with a wide range of fabrics, look for a machine that can adjust to the thickness and type that you’re using.

Craft die-cutting machines have also improved in their ease of use. Not only can you get started right out of the box, but today’s machines also have notifications built in that will let you know when your machine is warmed up and when it’s about to shut down due to inactivity. You’ll also find that some machines can quickly warm up, which means you’ll be able to complete a cut any time you need to without having to wait an extended period of time.

Crafting doesn’t always happen at home. If you craft with friends, perhaps through retreats or casual get-togethers, you’ll love that some craft die-cutting machines are ultra-portable. Not only are these machines lightweight and small, but they also have a handle that makes them easy to carry. Even if your machine never leaves the house, though, a smaller machine will more easily fit into your crafting room.

The Die Cutting Machine Buying Guide

  • For crafters, it’s all about the designs. Some models let you upload your own images or choose from a large selection in their free library. Other models also feature built-in image libraries, with hundreds of patterns from big brands like Simplicity and Riley Blake.
  • Before you buy a craft die-cutting machine, think carefully about the types of materials you’ll want to use. The Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut through foils, leather and vinyl, among many other material types. Other models are especially good with thick materials, like glitter heat transfer vinyl.
  • For quilters, you’ll want to look for a craft die-cutting machine that can cut fabric without the need for heat and bond.
  • Some machines can cut all types of fabric without you needing to add interfacing or backing to it to reinforce it.
  • Some models use a technology called the Adaptive Tool System, which features 10 times the cutting power of other machines. It adapts to the depth of the fabric you’re using at a given time.
  • Waiting for your craft die-cutting machine to warm up can be frustrating. A model that heats up in 60 seconds or less is an excellent choice.
  • Whether you’re new to craft die-cutting machines or not, ease of use is important. Look for a model that beeps to notify you once it reaches the preferred temperature, as well as before shutting down due to inactivity. Another handy feature to watch for is the ability to remember the settings you last used.
  • Cleaning and maintenance can be time-consuming, so look for a machine that lasts through many uses with minimal maintenance.
  • It’s important to note that these aren’t professional-grade die-cutting machines. However, they’re great for home craft projects that you wouldn’t have been able to do without a craft die-cutting machine.
  • For those concerned about staying within a budget, keep in mind that you can find a machine that fits your budget, depending on the bells and whistles that are included.
  • In order to print designs from your mobile device, you’ll need to download an app onto your phone.
  • A loud craft die-cutting machine can be a nuisance, especially if you use your maker when your family is around. Some are quieter than others, so keep that in mind before purchasing.
  • Technologies seem to always be changing. Some models are fully expandable, which means as new tools like blades and pens are released to the market, you can easily add them.