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Cricut Explore Review. Is a Cricut worth it?

Hi Friends!!  Have you ever wondered “Is a Cricut worth it??  Is it worth the money??  What can a Cricut actually make for me?”  I know I wondered the same thing when I first heard about these machines.  Could I justify spending over $200 on a craft machine?

is a cricut worth it

I talk a lot about my Cricut so I thought I’d give an honest Cricut Explore Air™ review.  Have you thought about buying a Cricut but hesitant because of the cost???  I was when I first wanted one.

I bought my first one, the Cricut Expression, about 6 years ago.  I didn’t know quite what I was getting into, I just kept hearing about it and seeing all sorts of cute things made with it.

I did a little side work to make some extra money so my hubby would agree to it.  With the Expression, you had to have cartridges so it got very expensive.  All the cartridges were $15-50 so they added up quickly.  A lot has changed in the past few years!

Enter the Cricut Explore Air™.  I was hesitant to buy a new one but I used my Expression a lot and heard all the new things the Explore could do so I took the plunge and got one during black Friday last year – a little Christmas present for myself!  What a difference in the machines, it is amazing!!

I still have the Expression, cannot get myself to sell it.  I still use it every so often since not all of my cartridges wouldn’t link and there are a few features I like more on the Expression.  So here are my pros and cons!

**Update**  I have since updated to the Cricut Maker!  Find out what more the Cricut Maker can do with an unboxing video tutorial.

cricut explore air review

Pros of Cricut Explore

  • You can cut out almost any design!!  You can upload all your old cartridges if they haven’t been linked so you have access to all of those files.  You can also Sign up for Cricut Access™ and get unlimited access to images, fonts and projects.  What I love most is that you can upload any images you find online and fix them up in Design Space and use those.  Those that are familiar with Inkscape can design all sorts of SVG files to upload.
  • Cricut Design Space™ is a pretty good program.  There are a lot of glitches and sometimes it freezes so I know some people prefer Inkscape or Photoshop.  I haven’t figured out how to use those yet so I do all my designing in Design Space.  It’s easy and straight forward to use and there are are a ton of videos on how to use all the functions.
  • It can be wireless!  If you want it wireless you can get the Cricut Explore Air™ which is what I have.  My laptop was super old and didn’t have blue-tooth capability so I had to buy an adapter.  So I can hit the “Go” button from another room but for the first 6 months I owned it I connected with a USB and it wasn’t that bad.  I don’t know if I’d pay the extra $50 to get the wireless if I had to do it again.
  • You can start a small handmade business.  I mean it.  I did!  You can make so much stuff and sell on facebook groups or at fairs and this machine will pay for itself in no time.
  • You can cut so many materials and there is a custom set on the dial that will pull up a pop-up screen for a whole list of different materials.  You don’t have to guess at blade depth, speed, and pressure like the older machines.  The top dial ranges from light paper to heavy card stock and has tick marks for iron on vinyl and vinyl.  I just turn the knob to what I’m cutting and that’s it!  The machine does the rest!
  • The print and cut function is pretty awesome!  After you design something, send it to your printer, and then put it on your mat and it will cut it our for you.  I made a whole dinosaur alphabet train and used the print and cut function for all the dinosaurs.
  • dinosaur party favors dinotrain
  • You save so much money by making your own presents, cards, t-shirts, etc.  Find your favorite place to get supplies at good deals.  Craft stores are pretty expensive unless you shop with coupons.  You can buy better and cheaper vinyl off eBay or from Expressions Vinyl.  Click Here To Visit Expressions Vinyl

click here for cricut

You can click through my site and almost all of the crafts I make have used the Cricut Explore Air™.  Here are just a few Cricut ideas . You can find even more projects like back to school Cricut ideas on th blog..  Click here to see pictures of more of my projects!!  You can click on the pictures below to check out tutorials!  (A few are still in the works!)

diy tooth fairy pillow

For this cute pillow, I bought the tooth file and pillowcase. I added the name on top, cut out all of heat transfer vinyl with Cricut, made a little stuffed tooth and added the smiley face with heat transfer vinyl. Now my son can put his tooth in the tooth pocket and we will write the date on the pillow of when he lost the tooth. We can keep pillowcase as a keepsake!

DIY Halloween buckets bags

I got these black buckets at the Dollar Tree. I cut everything on my Cricut and then applied the 651 vinyl to the buckets with transfer tape. I got the canvas bag at Joann’s and pressed heat transfer vinyl on it with my heat press. So easy and cheap!

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Cons of Cricut Explore

There is not too much I don’t like about the Explore, but here are a few things

  • Cricut Design Space is very temperamental.  I like it for the most part but it freezes a lot or shows error messages for no reason so it does cause some stress, I won’t lie.  ***Update – this has gotten a lot better since their upgrade!**
  • You have to be online to cut anything.  Just like the Cricut Explore 3, the Cricut Explore only works from Cricut Design Space and you can’t just cut by loading a cartridge.
  • If your cartridges were previously linked to another account you can not upload them to design space.  I have 4-5 cartridges that I bought used that now I can only use if I get out my Expression.

That’s about it!  I have not owned any other cutting machines so I can’t compare it those.

So, to answer the question “Is a Cricut worth it??”:: YES!!!  It is definitely worth the money!!  Save up and grab one when they’re on sale.  Here are two great places to get one!

I hope this was helpful in making up your mind!  Let me know if you get one and what your first project was!!

cricut explore review

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Evita Ragsdale

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

Love the tooth fairy pillow! I've searched all over Etsy to find something similar with no luck. Would you be willing to share the svg?

Deborah Griffin

Sunday 21st of May 2017

Thank you for your review, although I already have an explore Air. What I love is your tooth pillow. Being a Grandma already, I would love to make this for my grandson when his teeth begin to fall out but I can't find the SVG for the teeth. Can you please tell me where you got it.


Leap of Faith Crafting

Thursday 25th of May 2017

Hi Deborah! Thanks for checking out my post! I actually got it from a Facebook page that the woman stopped selling her designs. I think their are similar ones on Etsy.

Nora Mcfarland

Monday 9th of January 2017

Have 2 machines, expression, the one, bought the wireless adpt, but haven't used either yet. Very cool though.c

Leap of Faith Crafting

Tuesday 17th of January 2017

Hi Nora! Thanks for checking out my blog! You just need to get them out and play with them. It's a learning curve but it's so much fun and the project possibilities are endless! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to