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Which Cricut Should I Buy? Find Out Which Cricut is Right for You!

Wondering which Cricut to buy? Let’s break down the differences between the Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker so you know which Cricut is best for you!

Are you thinking about getting a Cricut or wondering which Cricut to buy for a friend or family member?  Today I am going to explain the differences between the two Cricut machines to help you narrow down which Cricut is best for your needs.

I have owned three different Cricut cutting machines and I definitely think they are one of the best tools for crafters.  I started with the Cricut Expression over 8 years ago, then moved up to the Cricut Explore Air and last year made the leap to the Cricut Maker!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.



which cricut to buy pin

So, I know all about the different Cricut machines and what they can do.  Because I love and use my Cricut all the time, Cricut asked me to write a post explaining the differences between the two.

Let’s talk about what each of these amazing vinyl cutting machines can do before you decide which Cricut to buy!

What’s the Cricut Explore Family?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text).

cricut explore pic

The Cricut Explore is a great starting machine.  It is definitely more affordable.  

These machines can cut up to 100 different materials including vinyl, iron-on vinyl, paper, cardstock, bonded fabric, cork, and much more!  This family of vinyl cutting machines can use the fine point blade, deep cut blade, scoring stylus, and pens/markers.

There are three different machines in the Cricut Explore family:

  • Cricut Explore One – This is the first release of this family and the most affordable.  The main difference is that you can not use Wi-Fi to connect your laptop/tablet to the Cricut.  You’ll need to connect the two via a USB cord.
  • Cricut Explore Air – This machine has a built-in Bluetooth connectivity so you can make cuts wirelessly. 
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 – This machine is a little bit more expensive.  It also offers Bluetooth connectivity, but cuts and writes up to 2X faster than the Air.

For more information on the Explore Family make sure to check out my Cricut Explore review and the website.

How is the Cricut Maker different?

cricut maker pic

The Cricut Maker is the newest Cricut machine on the market and offers much more extensive cutting abilities.  It is the most expensive of the Cricut machines, usually costing between $349-399 because it’s the newest technology that can use different blades.

It does all the same things as the Cricut Explore Family, plus a bunch more.  It cuts over 300 different materials including thicker materials such as tons of different fabrics, chipboard, balsa wood, and leather.

The Maker contains a technology that can steer the blades so it can use a bunch of different blades and tips.  This opens the door to endless crafting potential.

The Cricut Maker blades now available are the fine point tip, double scoring wheel, knife blade, rotary blade, debossing tip, engraving tip, perforation blade, and wavy blade.  Plus more blades to come!

For much more information, make sure to read my Is a Cricut Maker worth it post and the info on

So Which Cricut Should I Buy?

When deciding between the machines, think about the following things:

1. What are you wanting to cut?

    • Mainly vinyl, iron-on vinyl, and cardstock = Explore
    • A ton of different materials including very fine paper, fabric to thicker materials = Maker

which cricut is best for me

2. Are you wanting a machine for fabric cutting?

  • Not really.  Maybe just bonded fabric = Explore
  • Yes!!  I want to be able to cut patterns out of hundreds of different types of fabric = Maker

which cricut to buy

3.  Are you wanting a huge variety of blades and tips to use?

    • No, I just need the standard cutting blade, a deep cut blade, and a scoring stylus = Explore
    • Yes, I want to be able to engrave, cut thick material like chipboard and balsa wood, deboss, and so much more = Maker

which cricut to buy

4. What are you wanting to make the most?

  • Personalized Tshirts, signs, mugs, tumblers, tiles, cards, stencils, totes, anything will vinyl on it, anything with iron-on vinyl, print and cut projects, draw projects, Infusible Ink projects.  Everything in my Ultimate Guide of Cricut Ideas list was made with an Explore = Explore
  • All of the above plus sewing projects, 3D projects, engraved acrylic, chipboard decor, balsa wood projects, debossed cards, leather projects.  Make sure to check out all of these amazing Cricut Maker projects to get an idea = Maker

5. Is cost a factor?

    • If you are on a limited budget and just need a great vinyl cutting machine to start a side business or to craft your little heart out = Explore Family

    • If you have some extra money and want the latest in cutting machine technology = Cricut Maker

Cricut Maker Machine

I hope that now you know the main differences between the Cricut Explore family and the Cricut Maker, that you have a better understanding of which Cricut to buy and which Cricut would suit your needs best.

If you have made up your mind and are ready to buy one of the best tools for crafters, hop on over to buy a Cricut Explore or to buy a Cricut Maker!

If you have any questions about these amazing cutting machines, please comment below or email me at

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting

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Tuesday 31st of August 2021

SO helpful! Thank you Amy!!!

kimberly a pratt

Thursday 12th of November 2020

i would like to buy one that i could use my photo from my computer to make t shirts and sweat shirt thanks

Leap of Faith Crafting

Monday 16th of November 2020

Both the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Maker will send images to your printer and use the print and cut feature! 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