When Cricut released the Cuttlebug (affiliate link) in the same mint green as my Explore Air 2, I knew I had to have one – mainly because it would look great on my desk next to the Cricut Explore. But as I began to work with this little machine, I realized it has capabilities that sometimes make it preferable to using my Explore.
Cuttlebug vs Cricut Explore:
How They Compare and Why You Need Both
How wide can my materials be?
Cuttlebug – up to 6 inches, Cricut Explore – up to 11.5 inches.
What can I cut?
With both machines, you can cut a variety of materials from thin foam to chipboard. The only difference is the Cuttlebug is limited to material 1/8″ in depth, while the Cricut Explore can cut deeper using the deep cut blade.
Can I get matching machines?
The Cuttlebug is is made to match all four Explore Air 2 colors (mint, blue, pink, and gold) but only the mint green is currently available on the Cricut website.
Does the Cuttlebug do anything that the Cricut Explore doesn’t?
Yes, one of the main benefits of using the Cuttlebug is that it embosses, which the Explore line does not do. Also, it does not require a computer or internet connection of any kind, and does not even get plugged in, which makes it the ultimate portable crafting tool.
How does the Cuttlebug work?
The Cuttlebug uses an embossing folder (to emboss) or a die cut (to cut). It is then sandwiched between two mats, and rolled through the machine by using the crank. When it comes through the other side, your material is either cut or embossed – or both!
How much is the Cuttlebug?
As of the date of publication, the Cuttlebug was $89.99 on it’s own, or $279.99 in a bundle with a matching Explore Air 2, available for order on the Cricut website.
If I have a Cricut Explore, why would I need a Cuttlebug?
As mentioned above, the Cuttlebug does have the added benefit of being easily transported, not requiring power, software, or computer connections of any type, and has the ability to emboss. But in some situations, I prefer to use my Cuttlebug, even if I am just cutting.
For instance, when I want to create confetti. I absolutely love that my Cricut Explore can cut teensy, tiny objects. Its amazing. But do you know whats not amazing? Scraping them off the mat without (A) destroying them and/or (B) losing my marbles. The Cuttlebug doesn’t use sticky mats (they hold together by pressure from the crank, or by using the magnetic mat) so once you cut, there is nothing to scrape off your mat. The confetti just falls off, and you can run it through again.
I also love using it to make things quickly – like bows for the top of gifts. If I was wrapping a last minute gift, and wanted a bow, I would have two options. One, I could get my laptop, turn on Design Space, design my bow, and cut it (total time about 7-10 minutes, depending on how slow my internet is being that day), or two, I could grab a scrap of cardstock, sandwich it between the mats, and roll it through the Cuttlebug (total time: 2 minutes tops). So you can definitely see the benefit of using the Cuttlebug in that situation. Now if I was making twenty bows, let’s just say that’s the perfect situation for the Explore.
So, which is better?
Neither is better. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. If you can only have one, I would say grab the Explore Air 2, as it has way more capabilities of course. But if you can get both, the Cuttlebug really rounds out the Explore. It fills in those tiny gaps that you may not have even noticed were there until you start using it. Think of them as a team – the Cuttlebug would definitely be the Supporting Actor but that doesn’t make it’s performance any less spectacular!
Let me know what you think – have you tried the Cuttlebug yet? What did you think of it’s capabilities? And what’s your favorite way to use it? If you’re looking to grab one for yourself, you can find them on the Cricut website.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.