Cricut maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2
If a cutting machine is on your wishlist this holiday season, you won’t want to miss this post!
As everyone prepares their wishlist for Santa (or their spouse), one question that keep surfacing is “Should I buy the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Explore Air 2?” For most, it’s a big investment and making the right decision is important. So today, I’m going to share my thoughts and opinions on both machines, let you know which I think is best, and of course, why I think that.
Ready to get down to the nitty gritty and compare both of these machines? Let’s go!
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: Price
The Cricut Maker sells for the regular price of $399 USD, but you can score a great deal on a Maker bundle, or keep a close eye out for the occasional sale. The Cricut Explore Air 2 sells for the regular price of $299, but is on sale quite frequently.
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: Colours
The Cricut Maker is available in three colours: champagne, blue, and rose. All have a sophisticated brushed metallic finish that I love. The Cricut Explore Air 2 is available in a wide variety of fashion colours, depending on what retailer you purchase from. (Certain colours are only available at specific stores/websites.)
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, look at all of those fabulous colours that are available in the Explore Air 2! Why aren’t they available in the Maker?” Remember many years ago, when the iPhone was released in fashion colours? It was only the lower end model, while the high end model remained in the staple, core colours. The Maker is like the high end iPhone – it’s more expensive to make and it’s a classic statement. The colour should always reflect that!
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: Blades and Tools
The Explore machine revolutionized the cutting industry with its german carbide blade. The Maker continued to build upon that success by using the same blade, but also developing an Adaptive Tool System. This is the system that allows the machine to use tools like the rotary blade, knife blade, and scoring wheel. It has a gear on the top of the blade/tool housing that allows it to maneuver in a way the Explore tools could not. So what blades are compatible with which machine? Let’s take a look.
The biggest shortcoming of the Explore Air 2 is that it doesn’t have the Adaptive Tool System. This controls the:
- rotary blade (used for fabrics and more delicate materials such as tissue paper and crepe paper)
- knife blade (used for thicker materials such as bass wood and chipboard)
- scoring wheel (which creates deeper score lines that are easier to work with than it’s predecessor, the scoring stylus).
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: Cutting Materials
The list of materials that the Maker can cut is extensive. I’ve included the most common materials below, in a broad overview, so you can get a sense of the differences between the Cricut Maker and Explore Air 2.
Even though both machines may have a checkmark, it doesn’t mean they are equal. For instance, both machines can cut leather. However. the Explore Air 2 uses the deep cut blade to cut a very thin, craft version of leather. The Maker, on the other hand, uses the knife blade and can cut both tooling and garment leather up to a thickness of 6-7 oz. Fabric can also be cut on the Explore Air 2, but only once bonded with a stabilizer like Heat-n-Bond. Craft foam can be cut with the Explore Air 2 using the deep cut blade, however, the cut is more precise and cleaner with the Maker’s knife blade.
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: Adaptability
If there was one factor that sold me on the Cricut Maker over the Explore Air 2, it’s this one. With it’s unique Adaptive Tool System, Cricut has left the door open to develop more tools for the Maker. Already we have seen the Maker adapted to use all of the Explore blades, a rotary blade, a knife blade, and two scoring wheels. Who knows what the engineers over at Cricut have up their sleeve next. And this time, they made sure they had the technology in place to adapt their machine to whatever they can dream up.
The Maker is so much more versatile and adaptable than the Explore family of machines. It is so much more of a machine than the Explore Air, and for only $100 more. This is an investment in a machine that will continue to grow with your needs. If you can afford it at all, the Cricut Maker is always the best answer to the question “Which Cricut should I buy?”
And if you need more convincing… Check out some of these fabulous projects made with the Cricut Maker that can’t be completed on an Explore Air machine. I’m sure they will make you add a Cricut Maker to your wishlist in no time!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.