How do you know if the Cricut Maker is the right cutting machine for you? Learn all about the functionality and cost to help you decide if the Cricut Maker is right for you!
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Features & Functionality – Cricut Maker®
The Cricut Maker® is the top of the line Cricut cutting machine. Although it looks very similar to the Cricut Explore Air 2, it’s a completely different machine. It can do everything the Explore can do and more!
The Cricut Maker has up to 10x the cutting pressure of the Cricut Explore. What does that mean for you? With the Maker you can cut thicker and denser materials more easily, including leather, chipboard, and wood up to 3/32″ thick.
The Cricut Maker can cut everything the Explore Air 2 can cut, PLUS it can cut fabric!
What’s included in the box with the Cricut Maker?
Inside the box, you’ll find everything you need to get started using your new Cricut Maker:
- Cricut Maker machine
- Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
- Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing (comes pre-installed in the B clamp).
- Fine-Point Pen
- FabricGrip™ Mat 12” x 12”
- LightGrip™ Mat 12” x 12”
- Welcome book
- Quick Start Guide
- USB cable
- Power adapter
- Materials for your first project
Mats for the Cricut Maker
The Cricut Maker also has four kinds of mats and uses the same mats as the Explore Air 2:
- LightGrip Mat – Blue: Use for lightweight materials, including copy paper, light cardstock, vellum, adhesive vinyl, and iron-on.
- StrandardGrip Mat – Green: Use for medium weight materials including Adhesive-Backed Deluxe Paper, and Infusible Ink™ Transfer Sheets
- StrongGrip Mat – Purple: Use with specialty cardstock, matboard, and backed fabric
- FabricGrip Mat – Rose: Use to cut most fabrics with Rotary Blade or Bonded-Fabric Blade
Adaptive Tool System
Where the Cricut Maker really shines is in the new blades and its Adaptive Tool System™. The Cricut Maker uses a completely different technology from the Explore from its advanced mathematical algorithms and a system of intricate brass gears – all designed to improve cutting precision. The Adaptive Tool System allows Cricut to design new tools that can be added as they are invented.
The Adaptive Tool System can control your tools to cut from side-to-side, move up and down, and lift and turn, so you can cut more materials with more pressure than ever before. This is what makes it easy to cut through fabric without a backer (right off of the bolt) using the all-new Rotary Blade. Cricut Maker can cut hundreds of materials from delicate papers and fabrics to denser materials like leather, chipboard, balsa wood and more.
Currently, the Cricut Maker can use the following tools and blades:
- Rotary Blade
- Knife Blade
- Single and Double Scoring Wheels
- Wavy Blade
- Perforation Blade
- Fine Debossing Tip
- Engraving Tip
- Foil Transfer Tool
If you are a crafter, designer, sewer or creator, Cricut Maker gives you lots of possibilities to take on new projects that you only dreamed about being able to do (or couldn’t imaging you could do) from the comfort of home.
And, if you’re someone who loves the thrill of pushing the boundaries of what you can create, the Cricut Maker is the right choice for you.
What can you make with the Cricut Maker?
- iron-on vinyl for t-shirts, tote bags, etc.
- paper gift boxes
- gift tags
- stencils for wood signs
- vinyl quotes and designs for coffee mugs
- greeting cards
- monogrammed water bottles, towels and more
- paper flowers
- pantry labels
- Christmas ornaments
- leather earrings
- felt flowers
- cut out fabric for sewing and quilting
- and so much more!
The Cricut Maker Might Be Best for You If:
- you have space available for a bigger machine than the Cricut Joy
- you’ll be doing more advanced crafts
- you’ll be crafting a lot
- you’re looking to craft with more than the limited products available with the Cricut Joy
- you make and sell crafts
- you sew or quilt
Here are some resources to help you determine which Cricut Cutting Machine might be best for your crafting needs:
- Is the Cricut Joy the Right Cutting Machine for You?
- Is the Cricut Explore Air 2 the Right Cutting Machine for You?
- Which Cricut Machine is Right for You?
Here are a few Cricut Maker craft projects to inspire you:
Cricut YouTube Videos
I put together an entire collection of Cricut tutorials that you will find in my Cricut YouTube Playlist, just like this wonderful tutorial from Jen at Well Crafted Studio. She, by the way, is my go-to source for engraving with the Cricut Maker!
Where to Buy the Cricut Maker
You can purchase a Cricut Maker directly from Cricut or from your favorite retailer or even online from places like Amazon. They often have them on sale – so, you may want to keep your eye out for that! In fact, Cricut has put the Maker on sale a couple of times at about $100 off the retail price. It’s happened twice, so far. Here are a few sources for you to consider:
- Cricut.com – currently listed at $399
- JO-ANN Stores– currently listed at $369
- Michaels – currently listed at $349
You may be even to find the Cricut Maker at your local Target, Hobby Lobby or other craft supply store.
Please note that these prices are good as of February 24, 2021 and available for purchase either in-store or online in the US. Prices are subject to change and are only a reflection of what they are currently selling for.
Remember, the key to selecting the Cricut Cutting Machine that’s right for you is for you to:
- Learn about the features and functionality of each machine.
- Determine how you think you will use the machine.
- Take your budget into consideration (Joy – $180, Explore – $250, Maker – $400)
Then, once you’ve made a selection, learn everything you can about your Cricut.
I’d like to add one more thing. Although we have to take our budget into consideration, just like when you are selecting a sewing machine, you want to purchase the best quality machine that fits your needs that you can afford. The same holds true with the Cricut machines.
And then, my on a personal note, I LOVE my Cricut Maker! I thought I loved my Cricut Explore, but the Maker opened up so many more crafting possibilities.
P.S.: Be sure to pin this post to your favorite Pinterest Board so you can come back to it or share it with friends and family!