If you’re into crafting and creating, you might be interested in the Cricut Maker. It’s an awesome machine that can cut more than 300 different materials, including balsa wood and paper. Plus, it comes with 13 tools for cutting, writing, scoring, and engraving. We’re here to talk about the first Cricut Maker, which came out in 2017. With a newer model on sale, is it still worth it?
Cricut has three machines in their lineup: the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, and Cricut Explore. The Maker is the flagship and most powerful out of all the machines. The Explore is similar in size, but has some limitations. And then there’s the Joy, a compact machine perfect for smaller craft projects or those who want a portable second machine.
Recently, Cricut released the Maker 3. But don’t worry, the original Maker is still a great buy! And there are tons of accessories available that work with all of Cricut’s cutting machines. If you’re interested in reading more, we have a review of the Cricut Mug Press and some deals on the Easy Press 2 bundle.
Now, let’s talk about the Cricut Maker. It’s a professional vinyl cutter designed for home use. In this review, we’ll cover the design, price, how the machine works, and anything else you might want to know before deciding if the Maker is the right fit for you.
Table of Contents
What is Cricut Maker?
Cricut Maker has over 300 different material options and can handle everything from basic card-making to complex 3D models. With over ten times more cutting power than its predecessor, the Cricut Explore machines, the Maker can tackle even the toughest cutting jobs, like vinyl cutting, and delicate designs such as papercraft.
The best part? The Cricut Maker comes with everything you need to get started. You’ll receive two blades: a fine-point blade for vinyl, paper, and balsa wood, and a rotary blade for fabrics and leather.
Plus, it comes with a LightGrip machine mat for standard materials and a FabricGrip mat for stronger sticking power when working with fabrics. You’ll also get a fine point black pen and a sample pack of materials to practice on before diving into your projects.
But that’s not all! The Cricut Maker is also compatible with 13 different tools (sold separately) that can help you cut, draw, emboss, embellish, foil, and even engrave.
So, once you’ve mastered the basics, there’s plenty of room to grow and try new techniques.
How To Use The Machine?
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Cricut Design Space software, which is completely free and available for both iOS and Android devices. It’s also now compatible with Chromebooks, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
With Cricut Design Space, you’ll have access to a range of tools to help you create, customize, and personalize all your Cricut projects. You can use the built-in images and fonts or upload your own designs.
If you’re planning on using your Cricut regularly, we highly recommend Cricut Access – an optional subscription service that gives you access to over 20,000 images, 700 fonts, and thousands of ready-to-make projects that you can customize to your heart’s content.
While Design Space is an app that can be used on a smartphone, we found that it’s much easier to design using a computer or tablet. For the best experience, we recommend using a device with a larger screen, so you have more space to layout your design.
Once you’ve downloaded Cricut Design Space, setting up your machine is a breeze. The Cricut Maker can be connected to your device via the USB cable that comes with the machine or Bluetooth. We prefer using Bluetooth as it’s one less cable on our desk, and we have more space for our machine without having our laptop in the way.
Setting up your Cricut Maker is as simple as opening your Bluetooth settings and pairing it with your device. If you’re using the USB option, just make your design and your machine should automatically work when you’re ready to start cutting.
Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to let your creativity shine and start making some amazing projects with your Cricut Maker!
Cricut Maker Cutting Machine Design
While it’s not the lightest or most compact machine in Cricut’s lineup, it’s still pretty portable and easy to move around. However, we do suggest that you find a permanent spot for it since it does take up quite a bit of space.
The Cricut Maker boasts a sleek metallic cover that comes in champagne or rose. Opening the lid is quite satisfying since the bottom part also opens up at the same time, thanks to its slow hinge. You’ll find a little drawer on the bottom layer that you can use to keep your accessories. On top of the machine, there’s a tool and pen holder that’s built into its smooth, bevelled edge. There’s also a handy docking station where you can place your phone or tablet, which is useful when watching YouTube tutorials or following instructions.
One of the best features of this cutting machine is its two clamps—one for the blades and another for the pens. Switching tools is a breeze, and since the design is open, you can easily change the blades and pens even in the middle of a project. The dual clamp system also allows you to do two things at the same time, like cutting and drawing.
Do note that unlike the newer Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Joy models, you’ll need to use a mat when using the Cricut Maker. It also doesn’t work with smart materials. The standard mats are 12 x 12 inches, but you can purchase 12 x 24 inches if you need a bigger cutting space. We personally found the 12 x 12 inch mat to be a good size, and we never felt the need for a larger cutting area.
Cricut Maker is not the cheapest option out there, but we think it’s a pretty good deal for what you’re getting. At $391 / £299, it comes with a rotary blade, fine-point blade, fine point pen, two cutting mats, and some practice materials, so you can start creating right away.
But wait, there’s more! Cricut also offers bundle deals that include vinyl, extra blades and cutting mats, and accessories like weeding tools and pens. Some even come with an Easy Press 2 for Cricut shirt design. If you’re planning on using your Cricut Maker a lot, it might be worth considering subscribing to Cricut Access. For $9.99 / £7.49 per month or $95.88 / £71.88 for an annual subscription, you get access to images, fonts, and ready-to-make projects, plus 10% off all Cricut purchases on their website, including machines.
Now, you might be wondering about accessories. There are a ton of different tools and materials out there, and depending on what you want to make, you might need some of them. While the official Cricut accessories can be a bit pricey, we recommend using them for the best results. However, the Cricut Maker is designed to work with a wide variety of materials and fabrics, so you can get creative with whatever you have on hand (just make sure to cut them to size first).
Cricut Maker is a total game-changer, and can be used by anyone, no matter their skill level.
Sure, the software might take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be flying through your crafting projects in no time. Plus, the actual machine itself is super easy to use. With 13 different tools available and the ability to cut over 300 materials (including toughies like leather and balsa wood), the Cricut Maker is truly a jack-of-all-trades.
We highly recommend the Cricut Maker. And, if you’re new to machine crafting, it’s worth noting that it’s a bit cheaper than the newer Cricut Maker 3. Trust us, once you start using this machine, you’ll fall head-over-heels in love with it.