Cricut Buyer's Guide: Which Cricut Should You Buy?
By Linus T.
Updated June 2023
There's always something about the sheer joy of arts and crafts - the reignition of a childhood indulgence lost to the weariness and bustle of adulthood. This is where Cricut products come in. Used by many for crafts, Cricut is one of the leading options for cutting machines and heat presses, specially tailored for your arts and crafts needs. Regardless of your skill level or age, Cricut guarantees a user-friendly experience, and final products sure to wow your friends and family.
We have compiled the ultimate buyer's guide for Cricut's best products on the market to help you figure out which model is right for you.
On our list
#1 Best Overall: Cricut Maker 3
#2 Best Value-for-Money: Cricut Explore 3
#3 Best for Beginners: Cricut Joy
#4 Best Heat Press for Cricut: Cricut EasyPress 2
#5 Best Heat Press for Convenience: Cricut EasyPress Mini
Best Overall: Cricut Maker 3
When it comes to Cricut products, the most outstanding one has to be the Cricut Maker 3. Where with most products, you would be left asking what exactly they can do, the more accurate question for the Cricut Maker 3 would simply be - what can't it do?
Firstly, it must be said that the Cricut Maker 3 offers the greatest range of tools to cut with as well as materials to cut on. Compatible with 13 tools, and able to utilise smart cutting on over 300 materials, the Cricut Maker 3 definitely isn't lacking in any way. Some examples of materials the Cricut Maker 3 can cut on range from standard paper, to leather, and even balsa wood! The Cricut Maker 3 also boasts some new tools such as the Engraving Tip, which allows you to make personalised jewellery, as well as the Debossing Tip. Furthermore, the Cricut Maker 3 allows you to make use of their unique Infusible Ink markers to write on paper, before transferring to T-shirts or other fashion accessories.
Something unique to the Cricut Maker 3 is its Adaptive Tool System. Simply put, this allows you to freely swap between blades and tools without having to change housing, saving you a lot of time. Cricut also states that this allows the Cricut Maker 3 to have up to ten times the cut force as compared to, for instance, the standard cut force of the Cricut Explore 3.
Similar to the Cricut Explore 3, the Cricut Maker 3 also allows you to cut without a mat with Cricut's specialised Smart Materials.
Build-wise, the Cricut Maker 3 measures in at 56.1 x 18.0 x 15.7 cm, and weighs around 7kg. While the Cricut Maker 3 is definitely bulkier, its size is definitely justifiable given the range of features available.
Beyond the technical features offered, Cricut has considered everything when it comes to making the cutting machine itself as user-friendly as possible. With two holders to store accessories, buttons to operate the machine manually, and even a docking station to keep your mobile devices safe while you work, there's nothing Cricut hasn't thought of. The various storage compartments also provide additional convenience, as everything you need is within reach and easily accessible. You'll never have to worry about loose parts rolling around everywhere because everything will be stored and ready to go!
Although the Cricut Maker 3 definitely carries a hefty price tag, for serious craft aficionados looking to invest in an all-in-one cutting machine, the Cricut Maker 3 is the one for you. If this sounds like something for you, learn more about the Cricut Maker 3 here.
Best Value-for-Money: Cricut Explore 3
In many ways, the Cricut Explore 3 is the sibling of the Cricut Maker 3, with a brilliant array of features available. While it does cut down on some features, it is nevertheless an excellent choice for both hobbyists and serious crafters alike.
As mentioned, the Cricut Explore 3 does cut back on some features. Compared to the Cricut Maker 3, the Cricut Explore 3 is compatible with only 6 tools and over 100 materials such as cardstock, foil and vinyl. Nevertheless, the tools available remain more than enough for anyone looking to craft, and for those who do not require the level of professional range that the Cricut Maker 3 offers, the Cricut Explore 3 performs spectacularly.
Similar to the Cricut Maker 3, where the Cricut Explore 3 shines is in its ability to make use of Smart Materials. Typically, when making use of cutting machines, you would require a cutting mat to ensure that you do not end up accidentally damaging your work surface. This would mean additional costs incurred on your part. However, with Smart Materials, the material can be directly fed to your Cricut Explore 3 without the use of a cutting mat. This also means that there are no size constraints unlike with a cutting mat, and you're free to utilise the full roll at one go. Furthermore, it is reported that Cricut machines are able to cut at a much higher speed with Smart Materials.
Build-wise, the Cricut Explore 3 is slightly more compact than the Cricut Maker 3, measuring 56.4 x 17.8 x 15.0 cm and weighing around 5kg.
While it is admissible that the Cricut Explore 3 does not have as wide a range of features as the Cricut Maker 3, it retains many of the unique selling points of the Maker 3. For those who do not require as extensive and professional a level of detail offered by the Cricut Maker 3, the Cricut Explore 3 is more than sufficient - especially as it retails at a lower price. If this sounds like it's up to your alley, learn more about the Cricut Explore 3 here.
Best for Beginners: Cricut Joy
Where the previous two machines mentioned have been heavier, more professional-grade equipment, let us now ease into the more light-hearted side of things, and show you exactly what the joy of crafting is with the Cricut Joy.
However, compared to the more powerful Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3, the Cricut Joy is limited to cutting and drawing. Nevertheless, it performs this beautifully - the sky's the limit when it comes to what you can use the Cricut Joy to make. Especially if you're a parent, you'll find using the Cricut Joy particularly useful when it comes to monogramming your child's school supplies or even just using the Cricut Joy with your child for a spot of family bonding. Even just using it to decorate your personal effects is superbly simple and fun.
This is where Cricut's free Design Space app becomes especially useful. While this feature is available on all Cricut products, Cricut's Design Space comes even more as a sigh of relief for beginners. With an array of pre-designed templates and graphics, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to make use of the machine, you won't have to worry about being at a loss of what to do. Oftentimes, when it comes to arts and crafts, it is figuring out where and how to start that is the greatest hurdle, and the Cricut Joy seeks to bridge this gap as far as possible and hold your hand as you journey into the wonderful world of crafts. From there, we can guarantee that you will only spread your wings and fly.
Coming in at just 12.7 x 20.3 cm, and with a weight of less than 1.8kg, the Cricut Joy is one of the friendliest cutting machines you can get out there - and this is further emphasised by how vibrantly coloured it is. Cricut certainly went all out in making the Cricut Joy as inviting as possible!
In terms of other aspects of its build, the Cricut Joy is pretty self-explanatory and includes a lid that can be flipped up or down, a clamp, and tool housing to store your pens and blades.
If you're just starting out on this arts and crafts journey, the Cricut Joy will be your great first friend. Learn more about the Cricut Joy here.
Best Heat Press for Cricut: Cricut EasyPress 2
We've talked about cutting machines extensively, but that's not all Cricut does. Cricut also offers a line of heat presses, with the most powerful one being the Cricut EasyPress 2.
So why buy the Cricut EasyPress 2 rather than make the common, economical choice of just using the iron you already have? Well, the Cricut EasyPress 2 excels at what it does precisely because it combines the best of industrial heat machines and ironing machines while getting rid of what makes them poor at applying designs to fabrics.
Firstly, regular irons have holes in them, which create cold spots that make the heating process uneven. In contrast, the Cricut EasyPress 2 offers uniform heat that allows you to apply your design immediately without having to iron the spots out over and over again. Furthermore, while industrial heat machines also apply heat evenly, they are very large and heavy - and tend to be very large. Portability-wise, this is not very ideal or cost-efficient, especially if all you need is to iron-on designs. Thus, the EasyPress 2 combines the portability and convenience of traditional ironing machines with the powerful universal heat dispersion of industrial heat machines.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is also very intuitive when it comes to temperature and heat. Depending on what you'd like to do, the Cricut EasyPress 2 will recommend an ideal temperature, which you can set with buttons. The logo on the machine will remain orange until the programmed temperature is reached, and will turn green as well as chime when the EasyPress 2 is ready to be used. Then, it's as simple as pressing the countdown button, and then waiting for the sound when you can remove the iron. The process is highly user-friendly and safe.
When it comes to heat, safety is always one of our biggest concerns, and Cricut has taken this well into consideration.
The Cricut EasyPress 2, despite being very light, does not compromise safety. It is stored in a protective plastic case that covers the Cricut EasyPress all around - it's so safe that you can even put your hand directly under it, and you won't get burned. The Cricut EasyPress 2 also features an Insulated Safety Base, which protects your work surface from being burned as well when not in use. You'll never have to worry about accidentally leaving your heat press on and coming back to a charred and smoking table!
Overall, when it comes to heat presses, you can't get any better than the Cricut EasyPress 2. If you need a handy iron-on tool for your arts and crafts, learn more about the Cricut EasyPress 2 here.
Best Heat Press for Convenience: Cricut EasyPress Mini
The Cricut EasyPress Mini is much like the Cricut Explore 3 is to the Cricut Maker 3 - with many similar functions, albeit in a much smaller package, for those seeking a quick and affordable portable heat-press, the Cricut EasyPress Mini is for you.
What's great about the Cricut EasyPress Mini is how easy it is to add designs onto small and tight spaces. Despite its size, it does not compromise on quality and is still able to adhere a multitude of materials onto other materials like wood or cork.
The Cricut EasyPress Mini also has three different heat settings tailored specifically to the type of material you're using. Low heat is best used for more sensitive and delicate fabrics, medium heat for just about any general usage, and high heat for projects using Cricut's Infusible Ink. If you're not too certain of which setting to use, and afraid you'll burn your fabric, Cricut also provides you with a guide to making your choice.
Although the Cricut EasyPress 2 is already pretty portable, the Cricut EasyPress Mini pushes it even further. Measuring only 5 x 9 cm and weighing in at about 0.35kg, you can't get any smaller for how powerful it is.
One aspect of its build that is highly praised by users would be its grip - the Cricut EasyPress Mini boasts a very comfortable grip that is easy to hold without cramping, which allows you to indulge in your crafts without having to stop every so often to shake out your hand.
The Cricut EasyPress Mini also has an Insulated Safety Base and a ceramic heat plate to ensure optimal safety. Furthermore, it also has an auto-shutoff feature, which helps ease worries about leaving your heat press on and coming home to a burned-down house!
Overall, the Cricut EasyPress Mini is an excellent choice for a portable but powerful heat press. If this sounds like what your home needs, shop the Cricut EasyPress Mini here.
Compare Cricut Devices
Art can heal - and this is especially so in the turmoil the globe has been facing in recent years. Whether you're looking to start crafting or are already a seasoned professional, there's something for everyone at Cricut. You can expect nothing but excellent quality and reliable performance from Cricut - so why not make the investment?
If you like to read more on Cricut smart cutting machines, check out our other relevant guides here:
Cricut Maker 3 vs Cricut Maker
Cricut Maker 3 vs Cricut Explore 3
Cricut Maker 3 vs Silhouette Cameo 4
Cricut Maker vs Silhouette Cameo 4
Explore the full collection for Cricut on Amazon or visit the Official Cricut Singapore Store.
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