A question I frequently get asked by readers and friends alike – is the Cricut really worth the price? This question is not without merit as the machine when not on sale retails for $299.99. This is not a small amount of money for most people, so today I am going to talk to you about why the Cricut machine may or may not be right for you.
First of all, we are going to be talking about the new Cricut Explore machines, specifically the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine. If you are not familiar with what a Cricut Explore machine is, start here. You can see a comparison of the newest machines – Cricut Explore One, Cricut Explore Air, and Cricut Explore Air 2 – on the Cricut sale page.
Is Cricut Worth the Price?
The Cricut Explore is an electronic die-cutting machine allowing you to cut, write, and score a huge variety of materials such as paper, vellum, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, faux leather, chipboard, washi tape, fabric, leather, magnet materials, and more.
You can create from over 3,000 Make It Now projects. Each of these is pre-designed and take little craft knowledge to complete. If you are a more experienced crafter, you can customize the Make It Now projects for your particular needs. You can also design your own project in the Cricut Design Space™ software. There are over 60,000 images and fonts to choose from to create your own designs. And if you are a designer or experienced crafter, you can upload your own images and fonts for free.
You can purchase images and fonts individually, or if you plan on doing a lot of crafting you can sign up for a Cricut Access subscription for as low as $4.99/month. The subscriptions include fonts and/or images. Some also provide you with a discount on digital and physical purchases.
So now that you know a little more about the machine, let’s talk about whether or not the Cricut might be right for you.
Who is the Cricut Explore For?
For a craft blogger like me, it is a no-brainer. I use this machine all the time to create projects to inspire you to craft. I first invested in a Cricut Expression machine (that required cartridges to work) long before I was blogging. I loved to craft, scrapbook, and personalize projects, so even at that time I was willing to purchase it.
The software and machines have come so far from my original machine I owned. And now, I am grateful to be partnered up with Cricut to bring you even more creative ideas using the machine.
I probably use my Cricut on average at least once a week, if not more. Obviously, I am not posting a Cricut tutorial every week. However, I make lots of stickers, vinyl labels, cardstock cut outs, and more, that I use for my own personal use that I never share here on the blog.
Things a crafter might do with a Cricut Explore:
- Custom/personalized t-shirts
- Custom home decor vinyl
- Cutting out multiples of shapes or designs
- Create print then cut stickers
- Vinyl labels
- Custom accessories like phone cases or earrings
- Vinyl stencils for painting
- Holiday home decor
- Letters or numbers for projects
- Party decor
- Paper flowers
- Cut fabric
- Scrapbook page elements
- Handmade cards
- Party favors
You can see all the projects I have posted about on my Cricut Tutorial page.
Now, let’s be honest. Almost all of these projects can be done by hand. You can trace letters onto vinyl or iron-on and cut by hand, you can print out stickers and cut them out, you can purchase multiple punches or dies for a standard die-cutting machine. However, cutting out items by hand almost never look as professional as when I use my Cricut. And using a traditional die-cutting system you cannot get the customization of sizes and designs that you can with an electronic die-cutting machine.
These machines are perfect for teachers, scrapbookers, people who want to create custom shirts, people with arthritis or other medical conditions that don’t allow you to do a lot of hand cutting, crafters that want the versatility to create personalized gifts, party planners or crafters that enjoy creating custom party decor, people looking to open a handmade shop or sell homemade items at craft fairs, and crafters that want to create a lot of custom, handmade items.
Who is the Cricut Explore Not For?
I think most people who enjoy crafting or creating custom items would find a Cricut a useful tool in their craft room. However, it isn’t for everyone.
If you like the idea of crafting but don’t actually have the time to create and finish projects, this machine may not be for you. Sometimes it is just easier and more efficient to purchase something pre-made from the craft store, party supply store, or Etsy instead of trying to figure out how to make it yourself.
The software is pretty easy to use, and there are tons of Make It Now projects to choose from, but as with everything else new, there is a learning curve involved and you will need to put in the time to figure it out.
If you are an occasional crafter and only make handmade items a few times a year, this may not be the investment for you. To make the machine worth the price, you need to use it. To have a machine that you only pull out a couple times a year to do things you could probably cut by hand, it may not be worthwhile.
If you already own a traditional die-cutting machine with lots of dies and embossing folders, this may not be a worthwhile purchase since you may already be able to do projects with tools you have on hand.
Ready to Buy?
I hope this has shed some light on whether or not you might find the Cricut Explore useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.
Enjoy Free Shipping on any order of $50 or more (US and CA) with code JUNESHIP at checkout! (valid June 1 – June 30th). Sign up for Cricut Access™ Premium and get 50% off digital orders on Cricut.com and in Cricut Design Space™. Save $20 off Cricut Air 2 Machine & Air 2 Machine Bundles! (valid 6/21 – 6/27).
Right now you can get the Cricut Explore Air™ 2 Mint Machine + Ultimate Machine Set for only $249.99. It is normally $418.93.
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- Cricut Explore Air 2 vs. Silhouette Cameo 3
- What Tools and Accessories do I Need to Use a Cricut?
- What is a Cricut Explore Air 2?