Cricut Cutting Machines
When the first Cricut machine came out it was fairly pricey, but I have found it to be indispensable for scrapbooking. I use this machine with at least 50% of my scrapbook pages. The machine basically works like a printer, but is equipped with a blade for cutting. You can also swap out the blade for a pen and it can write for you as well.
There have been several versions of the Cricut Cutting Machine and we will share the pros and cons of each: (Please note that I receive a small compensation for click thrus):
Cricut Maker: This is the newest model of the Cricut machine, and in addition to cutting paper and cardboard, it also has settings and blades to cut fabric and balsa boards. This allows the tool to be used with a much larger range of craft projects beyond paper crafts. So, if you quilt, sew or make light wooden crafts in addition to scrapbooking, then this will be the perfect tool for you. It comes with Bluetooth wireless technology to allow you to control your machine from your table or phone. Since it is the newest model it is the priciest (list price $399), but can sometimes be found at a discount at various stores.
Cricut Explore Air 2: This is the latest version of the paper/cardboard only cutting machine, and is perfect for crafters who are planning on only cutting paper or cardstock. It has Bluetooth technology so that you can control the machine with your phone or tablet device. This machine cuts at twice the speed of the Explore Air, so if you hate waiting this would be the best model for you. It currently has a price of $199.
Cricut Explore Air: This is the machine that I currently own, and in my opinion it is the best option for the scrapbooker on a budget. It does everything that the Explore Air 2 does, but cuts at about 50% of the speed. I am not usually doing very complicated cuts, and so I rarely feel like I waiting for the machine. This machine also has bluetooth technology so that you can control the machine with your phone or tablet device, as well as connect it directly to your computer. Current price is $149.
Cricut Explore One: This is the oldest model that you can current purchase new. It is the cheapest of the models at $135 – but it does not have Bluetooth wireless technology which means that you must have a computer directly connected to it by a wire in order to control the cuts. So, if you have a craft room with a computer already integrated into it – then this might be the most cost efficient model.
In order to effectively use your new Cricut machine, there are a few other things that you will need to have and know about: