Cricut Models Comparison And A Little Extra

 

Are you thinking of getting a Cricut machine but not sure which one? Maybe you are even considering one of the older models from second hand, but not knowing much about the machines is holding you back…? Well, you are in right place, I would love to tell you a little more about all the Cricut machines out there ...

Let's  just start from the beginning…. All following Cricut Machines were made by Provo Craft. The first Cricut machines were working only with cartridges, but with the technological advances, Provo Craft didn’t stay behind for long and came out with some awesome products. I am going to name them in chronological order, because there are still crafters interested in some older models, mainly because they do not need computers in order to run.

 

   Personal (Original) Cricut Electronic Cutter Machine

  • Original Purchase Cost 99$ - 199$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  6x12

  • True Image Cut Size is 1" to 5.5" tall and up to 11.5" long

  • The machine does not need a computer to run. It uses cartridges which need to be inserted in the slot in order for images to be cut out. Please note, Cricut cartridges are now being replaced by digital images only and soon they might be discontinued completely.

  • Machine has a 4-way button for moving the blade

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Craft Room (optional free software that can be used with your machine)



 

Cricut Create

  • Original Purchase Cost 199$ - 299$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  6x12

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 5,5" tall and 11.5" long

  • The machine does not need a computer to run. It uses cartridges which need to be inserted in the slot in order for images to be cut out. Please note, Cricut cartridges are now being replaced by digital images only and soon they might be discontinued completely.

  • Machine has an 8 directional  button for moving the blade

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Craft Room (optional free software that can be used with your machine)

  • Portrait button for taller images

  • Fit to page mode available

  • Autofill mode

  • Center Point Function (cuts image and then centers in the middle of it)

  • Flip image function

Expression 1

  • Original Purchase Cost 199$ - 399$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • The machine does not need a computer to run. It uses cartridges which need to be inserted in the slot in order for images to be cut out. Please note, Cricut cartridges are now being replaced by digital images only and soon they might be discontinued completely.

  • Machine has an 8 directional  button for moving the blade

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Craft Room (optional free software that can be used with your machine)

  • Portrait button for taller images

  • Fit to page mode available

  • Fit to length mode

  • Autofill mode

  • Center Point Function (cuts image and then centers in the middle of it)

  • Flip image function

  • Line Return function

  • Quantity buttons

  • Mix & Match function

I would like to mention here, that Cricut Expression 1 also works with third-party software. This is however not approved by Provocraft and voids the warranty of your machine. If you are looking for this specific model of a machine to buy and to try to make it work with this 3rd party software again, I really advise to just go and buy one of the newer models of Cricut machine. It will save you a huge headache and you will be able to do much more with a newer machine as well.

 

Expression 2

  • Original Purchase Cost 149$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • The machine does not need a computer to run.  It uses cartridges which need to be inserted in the slot in order for images to be cut out. Please note, Cricut cartridges are now being replaced by digital images only and soon they might be discontinued completely.

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • is compatible with Cricut Craft Room (optional free software that can be used with your machine)

  • Machine has all the Cricut expression 1  features - fit to page, fit to length, auto fill, center point, flip image, line return, quantity options, paper saver and shadow option

  • Better speed and pressure settings

  • Image rotation

The main difference between expression 1 and expression 2 is in the design of the machine. Instead of having buttons for different functions this model comes with full-color LCD  touchscreen.  The screen lets you see where images are placed on the mat prior to cutting and provides a detailed view of each image.

 

Imagine

  • Original Purchase Cost 399$ - 499$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • The machine does not need a computer to run. It uses cartridges which need to be inserted in the slot in order for images to be cut out. Please note, Cricut cartridges are now being replaced by digital images only and soon they might be discontinued completely.

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Craft Room (optional free software that can be used with your machine)

  • Machine has all the Cricut Expression 1 and 2 extras -  fit to page, fit to length, auto fill, center point, flip image, line return, quantity options, paper saver, shadow option, colored LCD screen with image rotation option

  • It prints & cuts - with use of HP ink cartridges 97(tri color) and (98 black)

  • The only one of the older machines that be used with Cricut imagine cartridges

The machine is a cutting machine and a printer in one.

 

Cricut Mini

  • Original Purchase Cost 129$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • The machine was made only for use with computers and uses Cricut craft room software as an operating software.

  • Machine is compatible with Cricut Gypsy

  • The machine has all the Cricut Expression 1 and 2 extras -  fit to page, fit to length, auto fill, center point, flip image, line return, quantity options, paper saver, shadow option, colored LCD screen with image rotation option… These, however, works much differently than it ever did on previous Cricut machines. Everything runs through software which works the similar way as some graphic design programs. Because it is now a software-based, you have an option to save your projects so you can make them again and again without difficult image size calculating.

Before I continue to the next Cricut machine models, I would like to stop right here for a second with a few words regarding the change of design and development of the Cricut machines. A huge change happened and Provocraft changed the design of Cricut from a machine that runs only on cartridges to a machine that needs a computer in order to work.

The application that Provo craft bundle with their machines is called Cricut Design Space, it is a free, very powerful online based software and it is the only program that works with the below-mentioned machines. If you previously used Cricut craft room, you can still find your linked content in between images in access library. Since the first release of the software, there had been many changes made and it is no longer only a support program which runs your machine, but also a graphic design tool which allows you to create your own shapes with help of few newly included tools.

New functionality to use your own images via third party software (such as adobe illustrator or Inkscape) were also added. Designs space is also able to recognize fonts you have installed on your computer (system fonts) and with the huge selection of free fonts you can find online, Cricut just became a must-have tool for any crafter or scrapbooker.

All the new machines can now also use new feature “print then cut” where your own printer gets involved and the Cricut machine cuts it out.

All the Cricut cartridges and more had been uploaded into a huge library and a new service is now being offered with an access to a majority of images (this does not include licensed images and cartridges)  for a small monthly fee.  This service was eventually named as a Cricut Access and was also split into three categories for crafters that may don't need fonts but want images, or for those that would like everything included. You can still buy cartridges and “link” them to your Design Space account through the machine’s cartridge slot, but you don’t need to have a cartridge inserted anymore when cutting images as you did with previous machines. Once a cartridge is linked to your account, it can not be used by another account, you can, however, connect more than one machine to the same account or use the cartridge on your previous older machines. 

The following machines are no longer compatible with Cricut Gypsy, however, if your images are linked to your Cricut craft room account, you will be able to access your Gypsy-linked cartridges within Cricut Design Space.

The Machine is compatible only with Design Space Web Based Application. [If you did have Cricut craft room account, you can find your linked content by opening the “Insert Images” window and using the filter menu in the upper right corner to select My Images (if you are searching All Images) or My Cartridges (if you are searching Cartridges). ]

Pressure and cut features are much more improved and come pre-set or you can make your own settings. Cuts much wider range of materials than any of the previous machines.
 

Now back to the Cricut machine timeline… Next model was called...

 

Cricut Explore

  • Original Purchase Cost 149$ - 299$ (No longer sold)

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • Has a “print then cut” feature which allows you to be able to cut out already printed image.

  • Has a double tool holder, one for a pen for write feature and one for the blade. Can be also used with a deep cut blade.

  • You can buy an optional wireless adapter to make your Explore connect to your computer without a cable.

Cricut Explore One

  • Original Purchase Cost 149$

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • Has a “print then cut” feature which allows you to be able to cut out already printed image.

  • Has only one holder for the blade or pen but that does not limit you. With the purchase of Explore One Accessory Adapter, you will be able to get same results as with Explore machine.

It is a pretty much exactly same machine as Cricut Explore, except instead of two holders, it has only one. As mentioned above that can be easily fixed by purchasing the adapter.

 

Cricut Explore Air 1

  • Original Purchase Cost 179.99$

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • Has a “print then cut” feature which allows you to be able to cut out already printed image.

  • Has a double tool holder, one for a pen for write feature and one for the blade. Can be also used with a deep cut blade.

  • Is wireless

Explore Air isn’t much different from Explore at all. The only difference is Air is wireless where older Explore uses a cable which connects to your computer. I already mentioned that there is a wireless adapter for Explore machine as well so you don't need to update to Explore Air 1 to get the wireless capability.

 

Cricut Explore Air 2

  • Original Purchase Cost 249.99$

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • Has a “print then cut” feature which allows you to be able to cut out already printed image.

  • Has double tool holder, one for a pen for write feature and one for the blade. Can be also used with a deep cut blade.

  • Is wireless

  • 2x faster cutting speed

To simplify it, Air 2 isn’t much different than Air 1. The only difference there is the cutting speed.

It was around this time that Provo Craft announced another new line of products and the following machines now had the capability to cut stronger materials as well. By adding textile to one of the materials the potential buyer market has grown hugely. 

 

Cricut Maker

  • Original Purchase Cost 399$

  • Mat size (inch)  12x12 or 12x24

  • True Image Cut Size is 0.25- 11.5" tall and 11.5" or (depending on size of mat) 23.5” long

  • Has a “print then cut” feature which allows you to be able to cut out already printed image.

  • Adaptive Tool System for cutting hundreds of more materials. It is different than previous machines and comes with a new rotary blade for fabric and knife blade for thicker materials.

  • Comes with hundreds of digital sewing patterns

  • T is wireless

 

This machine is currently newest on the market. The amount of pressure blade uses while cutting is much stronger which gives the maker option to cut much thicker materials such leather or thicker fabric.

Provo craft is constantly updating the design studio and probably working on developing another machine right now. I will be updating this list with new models in the feature and I hope I answered some questions you may be had.

This month Cricut has launched a fall-themed, Access-Exclusive Mystery Box for $34.99! 
In addition to the Mystery Box, Cricut is also just now offering 40% off Seasonal Materials and 10% off Air 2 or Air machine (includes bundles) + free shipping with code:
OCTOBAIR at checkout!

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