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Best Cricut Machine 2021: Comparison and Reviews

Getting overwhelmed trying to choose which is the best Cricut machine to buy for your style of craft?  

So, you know you want to invest in a Cricut cutter. But what's the newest machine that is worth investing your hard earned money in? 

I bet you are feeling a bit stressed out with the decision. I mean they are definitely not cheap, so you want to make sure that you get the right machine for you and your craft.  

Sound familiar? - We hear ya! - It can get pretty overwhelming! So we want to make it super easy for you by outlining the top features and capabilities of each one. This should make it simple for you to choose the best Cricut cutter for your needs! 

Keen to just get the best recommendation straight up?

This machine below (the Cricut Maker 3) is by FAR my favorite cutter. It can cut over 300+ types of material so how can you go wrong!?


 

STOP THE PRESS!

Did you know that we have a full page with Cricut Sales that we try to keep updated?

Note: We also have buyers guides to help you find the best vinyl cutter machine.


Cricut Comparison Chart 2021

Below is handy Cricut comparison chart where we compare Cricut machines to showcase their best features. 

If you are investing in a machine, you might just as well get one of the latest releases so that you know that the technology is up to date and that you will be able to find replacement parts easily. 

Older Machines that I have not included in the table (I suggest you DON'T buy any of these):

  • Cricut Maker - Released in 2018
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 - Released in 2016
  • Cricut Cuttlebug - Released in 2014
  • Cricut Expression 2 - Released in 2012
  • Cricut Mini - Released in 2012
  • Cricut Imagine - Released in 2010
  • Cricut Create - Released in 2009
  • Cricut Personal - Released in 2006

Now that you know which cutters NOT to buy, it really does narrow it down to only 3 Cricut Machines!  

I told you I would make this really easy 🙂 

NAME

PRICE

CUT WIDTH

INFO

USE

CUTS

Cricut-Maker-3-open
Cricut Machine Upgraded Pick

13" x 12'

The most versatile machine

Can do anything the other Cricut machines can do plus it can also cut fabric and thick material like basswood

Cuts 300+ materials, from thin fabric to thick leather, metal & foam

Cricut-Explore-3-open
Our Pick

13" x 12'

The best cutting machine for beginners

Paper Crafting, Vinyl Projects, Banners, Signage & Decals

Cuts 100+ materials, from thin vinyl to thick leather, metal & foam

Cricut Joy small
Budget Pick

4.5" x 20ft

Fabulous for small projects

Stickers, Scrapbooking, Cards, Die Cutting & Labels

Cuts 50+ materials, focusing on thinner materials such as paper, vinyl, cardstocks,  etc

Which Cricut is Best for You? Here is Some Help!

Find some really simple questions below which will help you figure out which machine is the best Cricut craft machine for you. Hopefully the answers will help you to understand the main difference between the Cricut machines.

1. Are you after a cheap Cricut machine?

The Cricut Joy is the smallest and also the cheapest Cricut Machine on the market. You can usually pick it up for around $180. 

2. What size do you want to cut?

If you want to work on a larger scale, both the Cricut Explore 3 as well as the Cricut Maker 3 can cut projects up to 12 feet long that are 13" wide in size, whilst the Cricut Joy can cut long continuous shapes that is up to 20 foot long (but it's limited to 4.5" in width).

3. Do you prefer working with vinyl or iron-on projects?

The best Cricut vinyl machine is the Cricut Maker 3.  

Whilst the Cricut Explore 3 does a great job with vinyl, it does sometimes struggle with the more intricate details of vinyl designs, so we much prefer the vinyl cutting capabilities of the Cricut Maker 3 instead.

It truly is a top notch choice as your Cricut vinyl cutting machine.

Don't forget that if you want to work with iron-on vinyl, you should ideally purchase a heat press machine too. You can use our post on heat press reviews to find the best machine for you.

4. Whats the best Cricut for cutting fabric?

The Cricut Maker 3 is the only cutter that can cut fabric (without the need for you to stiffen the fabric before cutting it). This machine was built to keep quilters and sewists happy!  

It does a fabulous job at cutting super thin fabric like silk, as well as thick material like felt. If you want to cut fabric, don't even bother looking at the other Cricut cutting machines.

It is by far the best Cricut Machine for fabric!

We also have a full guide on fabric cutters that you might like to check out.

5. Do you wish to cut really thick material such as balsawood?

If you wish to cut thicker material, we suggest you grab a Cricut Maker 3 machine.  

This machine is not only strong enough to cut thicker material but it can also hand any material up to 2.4mm in thickness. You will need to purchase the Knife Blade additionally.

6. Looking for the best Cricut for Beginners?

Again (yes I love the Cricut Maker 3) I want to recommend the Cricut Maker 3 for beginners. It might be the most expensive machine but that is because it has the latest technology built into it. 

It will do most of the thinking for you, automatically deciding how much pressure to apply to all the different types of surfaces. 


 Cricut Machine Comparison Chart Outlining the Main Differences

Find below a handy Cricut machine comparisons chart. The chart outlines the main differences in features between each of the machines. Hopefully it will help you figure out which Cricut to buy.

BTW this page is a page from our Cricut Cheat Sheet Book which has over 80 Cheat Sheets to make your crafting life easier. Click here to grab it.

Cricut Comparison Chart


What is the Best Cricut Machine 2021?

The Best Cricut Machine of 2021 is the Cricut Maker 3!

The Cricut Maker 3 is one of the latest Cricut machines and it truly offers some impressive features together with brilliant technology! 

It offers lighting-fast speed and intricate precision cutting. This is a brilliant machine that really has impressed us!

The Cricut Maker 3 machine can cut over 300+ materials from thin fabric such as silk to 2.4mm thick material (if you purchase the Knife Blade).  

We also love how intuitive this machine is; so much so that you don't need to do any guessing when it comes to settings. The Maker 3 can automatically calculate and calibrate the correct cutting force on your materials!  

Add in the fact that Cricut has made the machine to fit all your past tools and has guaranteed that it will be able to fit all the future tools, so you know that you won't need to upgrade this baby any time soon!

For more information about why recommend this machine as the best machine for 2021, read our Cricut Maker 3 Review.  

So if you are wondering which Cricut is the best machine when it comes to versatility, this is definitely our top pick!


What is the Newest Cricut Machine?

The Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3

Cricut-Maker-3-and-Cricut-Explore-3-together

The latest and newest release is their beautiful Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 Machines. They were released in June 2021.

Both the Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 machine are sleek and versatile cutting machines. 

The Cricut Explore 3 cutting machine is perfect for beginner hobbyists. The Explore 3 machine can cut over 100 different materials. It can also cut large scale projects up to 12 foot long when using Smart Materials. With the ability to cut lengthy projects, it can cut without the use of a mat.

The Cricut Maker 3 is also perfect for beginners however, is equally suitable for business use.  The Maker 3 can cut over 300 different materials, large scale projects up to 12 foot long with matless cutting when using Smart Materials.  

I own the Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 and definitely prefer my Maker 3 over the Explore 3 as it can do and cut a whole lot more.


Best Cricut Machine Reviews 

Below you will find the best Cricut machines. We will have a close look at a top cutter machine for paper, vinyl, fabric, cardstock and other materials. 

I will outline the top features, the pros and cons of each in detailed Cricut cutter reviews, which should help you choose the best Cricut Cutter 2021 has on offer. 

1. Cricut Maker 3 Review (Best Cricut Machine for Beginners)

Cricut Maker 3 Review

The Cricut Maker 3 is my absolute favorite cutting machine. It is incredibly versatile.

It can cut even more material than the Explore 3 and offers more strength and even more precise cutting. It is super fast and it can cut over 300+ materials (in comparison to Explore 3's 100+ materials).

The Maker 3 is also capable of matless cutting when you use Cricut's Smart Materials.  When using Smart Materials the machine has an increased cutting capacity of 13" wide and up to 12 feet long.

Another awesome upgraded feature of the Maker 3, is the ability to Print then Cut on coloured paper.

This electronic cutting machine has the ability to work from ready-to-go images and sewing patterns. You can also send your own choice of images from your computer to the machine to cut out.

This machine is a brilliant buy and happens to be the top Cricut cutting machine on the market in 2021!  

PROS:

  • Wireless & Tablet Docking Station
  • Can cut a range of material from the thinnest fabric to thick balsa wood
  • You can cut sewing patterns with it  
  • The adaptive tool system that automatically calculates your force according to the material you are using

CONS:

  • Expensive

OUR VERDICT:

The Cricut Maker 3 is one of the newest cutting machines on the market. It is also the most expensive Cricut machine currently on the market.

Sewist will be thrilled to know that this machine can cut out their sewing patterns for them. Whilst other crafters will enjoy the fact that the machine can cut material up to 2.4mm in thickness with absolute precision.

It is the best Cricut machine for beginners; a machine that makes it super easy to turn your ideas into professional-quality projects.

The machine is so clever that it will work out the correct settings for you, taking all the guess work and trial and error out of trying to figure it out yourself.

You can either purchase the Cricut Maker 3 Machine by itself or you might like to invest in the Cricut Maker bundle deal which will save you money if you are starting out!

>>> CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO BUY NOW.


2. Cricut Explore 3 Review

Cricut-Explore-3-Review

The Cricut Explore 3 is one of the top Cricut machines. It is a great machine for those who love working with paper, card or vinyl.

It has been called 'the ultimate DIY machine' as it has such a wide variety of capabilities, from paper projects, vinyl transfers, banners, wall decals, signage and so much more! 

The maximum cutting width is 13" wide by 12 feet when using Cricut Smart Materials, which is large enough for any hobbyist or beginner crafter. 

The Explore 3 is also capable of matless cutting when you use Cricut's Smart Materials and has the ability to Print then Cut when using colored cardstock.

It is an easy machine to use.


PROS:

  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Faster Precision Cutting
  • Extra Features such as Scoring, Cricut Pen for Handwritten effects and Download Fonts from your Computer to use!
  • Cuts over 100+ Materials; from Thin Vinyl to Thick Leather

CONS:

    • The Machine is a Little Loud
    • Doesn't handle very thick material very well 

OUR VERDICT:

Explore 3 is a very popular, top rated cutter machine. It is electronic but it is still small and light enough to take along to craft workshops or retreats. 

It is also heaps more affordable than the Cricut Maker 3 machine.

You can either purchase the Cricut Explore 3 Machine by itself or you might like to invest in a Cricut Explore Air bundle deal which will save you money if you are starting out!

>>> CLICK TO READ THE FULL CRICUT EXPLORE 3 REVIEW OR CLICK BUTTON BELOW TO BUY NOW.


3. Cricut Joy Review (Cheapest Machine)

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy was released on the 1st of March 2020. The machine is small, light and portable so you can easily take it along in your tote to crafting workshops.

This cutter is small but mighty. It was designed to cut continuous shapes (such as labels) for up to 20 feet. But keep in mind that it has the limitation of a small 4.5" max width cutting ability.

The machine also has limitations in that it can't use the same tools as the other machines. It also can't do things such as use the new Foil Tool and it also can't do print then cut projects.

What we do love is that you can cut without a mat when using this machine (although you will have to purchase vinyl in order to do so).

Ultimately this machine was designed for those who like making cards, stickers and labels.

PROS:

  • Cheapest of the 3 machines
  • It is really small, lightweight and easy to cart around
  • It is easy to use
  • It can cut up to 20 feet long
  • It can cut and draw

CONS:

  • It can only cut up to 4.5" in width
  • It can't use the same tools that the other 2 machines can use
  • You need to purchase special Cricut vinyl if you want to cut without the mat

OUR VERDICT:

Card-makers and label-lovers will adore this machine. It is the cheapest Cricut machine on the market and it is pretty super cute. 

For a lot of crafters the 4.5" cutting width will be all they need, however for some it might be limiting. 



FAQ

1. What is the difference between Cricut Explore 3 and Cricut Maker 3?

Essentially the main differences between the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3 is that the Cricut Maker 3 is much stronger (10x) than the Explore 3. It can also cut over 300 types of material in comparison to the 100 types that the Explore 3 can cut.

Which means that you can cut some really thick material such as balsa wood and leather with ease on the Maker 3, using the new knife blade.

The Cricut Maker 3 is also brilliant for cutting fabric for custom designs. It has a new rotary blade which has been designed to cut even the thinnest of materials - without the need for any backing.

The Cricut Maker 3 is much more expensive than the Explore 3, but it truly is a big upgrade from the popular Explore machines.

2. Can I use my Cricut cartridges with Cricut Explore 3?

The great thing is that the Cricut Explore 3 does not require cartridges.

But if you do have cartridges that you would like to use, you will need to contact Cricut Customer Support who will try and assist to link up your cartridges with the Cricut Design Space App.

So Which Cricut Machine Should You Buy?

which cricut machine should i buy

We hope you have enjoyed our handy Cricut reviews and Cricut Comparison guide.

If you have come to the end of this post and you are still wondering which is the best Cricut machine to buy, I would highly recommend that you invest in the the Cricut Maker 3. It is our pick as the top rated Cricut machine of the year.

Now that you have found a new Cricut cutting machine for your office or business, why not hop over to our craft blog section.

Whether you are working with adhesive vinyl, transfer vinyl, or vinyl with permanent adhesive - or any other of a wide variety of materials - we'd love to help you.

We have loads of tutorials, project examples, SVG files, and free designs as well as step-by-step posts on our DIY blog to help you.

Happy Crafting xxx