Cricut Maker

Last updated date: March 7, 2019

Review Melt Score
9.3

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We looked at the top 1 Cricut Machines and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Cutting Machine Reviews, Vinyl Cutting Machines, Cut, Cut, Craft, The Best Vinyl Cutters, 10 Techy, Personal Die Cutting, Joy's Life and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cricut Machine you should buy.

Overall Take

The Cricut Maker is a hit with many crafters since it can easily handle a wide variety of fabrics, with no need for backing. Quilters can also use it to cut quilting fabric without needing heat and bond. The Cricut Maker uses Adaptive Tool System, providing 10 times the cutting power of comparable machines on the market. In our analysis of 59 expert reviews, the Cricut Cricut Maker placed 2nd when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 17, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cricut Machine for a detailed review of all the top cricut machines.

Expert Summarized Score
9.3
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
501 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Versatile uses. Quilters can cut fabric without using heat and bond. Also works with delicate fabrics like lace. Can use customized designs.
- BestReviews
The new Cricut Maker is the fastest and quietest machine we tested, and the only one that can cut fabric without your having to add anything to stiffen it (such as interfacing).
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 25, 2017 | Full review
What’s more, the machine comes with incredible expansion capabilities meaning even if new tools come up in the future, you’ll be easily able to accommodate them.
- Cutting Machine Reviews
March 24, 2018 | Full review
The unique gliding and rolling action means that it can cut through practically any fabric. And here’s the best bit — it doesn’t require any backing material!
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
October 16, 2018 | Full review
The first Cricut machine to use the Adaptive Tool System. 10x the cutting power of other Cricut machines.
- Cut, Cut, Craft
November 22, 2018 | Full review
We love love the adaptive tool system that automatically calculates your force according to the material you are using and we are so happy to see an extension on the ready-to-go projects that include some beautiful sewing patterns to cut out.
- The Best Vinyl Cutters
If you are hand-cutting your sewing patterns before for about an hour or so, you can expect that this task will only be done for only 15 minutes with the new version of Cricut Maker because there are over a hundred of digital patterns from top brands such as Riley Blake and Simplicity which can be automatically cut by the machine!
- 10 Techy
The Adaptive Tool System is the probably the most impressive feature. It adjusts the direction of the blade as well as the pressure and depth to match the material you’re cutting.
- Personal Die Cutting
I was pretty impressed that I could lay the cut fabric back down on the mat so many times and still have it make good cuts, especially so close to the previous cuts.
- Joy's Life
September 2, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Some owners are frustrated by the software, saying it is not as user-friendly as they would like.
- BestReviews
For small cutting
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 25, 2017 | Full review
The only gripe we could pick with this machine is with its limited cutting space.
- Cutting Machine Reviews
March 24, 2018 | Full review
Just a little niggle for our final negative — the much anticipated Knife Blade for the Cricut Maker won’t be available until late 2017, and you will have to buy it separately.
- Vinyl Cutting Machines
October 16, 2018 | Full review
The downside is that using the Knife Blade is a bit slower. You sometimes need to make an additional cutting pass to ensure a clean, complete cut.
- Cut, Cut, Craft
November 22, 2018 | Full review
We are annoyed that the knife blade isn’t included in the box and we would love to see a move away from the old Design Space software
- The Best Vinyl Cutters
Knife blade is not included on when you buy the Cricut Maker for now. You need to buy it separately to enjoy cutting thickest materials.
- 10 Techy
Similar to the Rotary Blade, cutting shapes smaller than 3/4″ is not recommended.
- Personal Die Cutting

From The Manufacturer

Introducing the ultimate smart cutting machine. With its expandable suite of tools and advanced Rotary and Knife blades, Circuit Maker gives you the freedom to make virtually any DIY project. Circuit Maker cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to mat board and leather. It’s professional-level cutting performance, accessible to everyone.Compatible with Knife Blade for thicker materials up to 2.4 mm (sold separately).Compatible with Scoring Wheel for razor-sharp creases in cardstock, poster board, and more (sold separately).Compatible with Washable Fabric Pen for marking pattern pieces (sold separately)

Overall Product Rankings

1. Cricut Explore Air 2
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 7
2. Cricut Maker
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 9
3. Cricut EasyPress 2
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Cricut Explore One
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 2
6. Cricut EasyPress
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 7
7. Xyron Creative Station
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 2
8. Silhouette Portrait 2
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 5
9. Cricut Explore Air
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Cricut Machines

A Cricut 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 Cricut 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 Cricut 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 Cricut 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.

Cricut 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 Cricut 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.

Review Melt Fun Fact

Cricut machines are generally used for cutting fabrics, but their versatility shows in the many products they can make. Crafters regularly use them to make vinyl car window stickers, leather tablet cases, clothing, purses and pillows. Once you’ve purchased a Cricut machine, you can start exploring all the possibilities. However, in order to be able to make many of these things, you’ll need a machine that can handle the type of fabric you’ll need to use. Whichever Cricut machine you choose, you’ll likely be able to use a basic Google search to track down a list of things you can make with it.

The Cricut Machine Buying Guide

  • For crafters, it’s all about the designs. The Cricut Explore Air 2 lets you upload your own images or choose from the large selection in its free library. The Cricut Maker also has a built-in image library, with hundreds of patterns from big brands like Simplicity and Riley Blake.
  • Before you buy a Cricut 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. The Cricut EasyPress 2 is especially good with thick materials, like glitter heat transfer vinyl. The Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine can easily manage a wide range of materials, from tissue paper to thin leather. However, if you have an intricate design, you may find the Cricut Cuttlebug has issues.
  • For quilters, the Cricut Maker may be the best option since it can cut fabric without the need for heat and bond.
  • The Cricut Maker is the only machine that can cut all types of fabric without you needing to add interfacing or backing to it to reinforce it.
  • The Cricut Maker is the first Cricut machine to 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 Cricut machine to warm up can be frustrating. The Cricut EasyPress 2 heats up in 60 seconds or less, achieving temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whether you’re new to Cricut machines or not, ease of use is important. The Cricut EasyPress 2 beeps to notify you once it reaches the preferred temperature, as well as before shutting down due to inactivity. Another handy feature of the EasyPress 2 is that it remembers the settings you last used. A quick start guide will walk you through your first project, so this one is great for beginners.
  • Cleaning and maintenance can be time-consuming, and the Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine eases some of that for you by lasting 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 Cricut machine.
  • If you’re limited on space or want to take your Cricut on the go, you’ll like a machine like the Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine, which is highly portable. It also has a pop-up handle to make it easier to carry.
  • For those concerned about staying within a budget, the Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cutting & Embossing Machine is the most affordable Cricut machine, retailing for less than $200. The Cricut Maker is on the most expensive end of pricing, retailing in the $300 to $400 range.
  • Although you’ll spend more than $200 for a Cricut Explore Air 2, it does hold its value, which will become important if you upgrade to a newer machine down the road and want to sell your old one.
  • In order to print designs from your mobile device, you’ll need an app. Unfortunately, the Cricut Explore Air 2’s app only works with iOS devices. The Cricut Maker, on the other hand, works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
  • A loud Cricut machine can be a nuisance, especially if you use your maker when your family is around. The Cricut Maker is the quietest of all the machines.
  • Technologies seem to always be changing, making a device outdated as soon as you’ve purchased it. The Cricut Maker is fully expandable, which means as new tools like blades and pens are released to the market, you can easily add them.