Which Cricut Machine Should I Buy?

Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from crafters and artists who are wondering two things. First, “should I purchase a Cricut machine?” and second, “What’s the difference between the machines?” The answer to that first question is, YES! A Cricut will open up all kinds of fun crafting possibilities for you, and I promise you will love it, no matter which one you choose. As far as the differences, I wanted to address those here so that you can easily compare the three Cricut options and see which one is the best fit for you. Check out this 10 minute video I made for all the info you’ll need, or scroll down and read the comparison!

What is a Cricut?

The Cricut machines are a family of electronic cutting machines. Basically, they take digital images, either from the image library in the Design Space app OR images you purchase or create, and cut them out of a wide variety of materials. Paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, and infusible ink are some of the standard materials that are compatible with all of the machines, which means you can create all kinds of incredible projects with your cut designs. As an added bonus, the Cricut machines also have the ability to use a pen in place of a blade, allowing them to write or draw certain images too. All three machines use the Design Space app, and all three can connect to your devices wirelessly via Bluetooth for a simple, easy process from start to finish.

Now, let’s take a look at the three options so you can find the right Cricut machine for you. (Note: the following are affiliate links.)

Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy is the newest, smallest Cricut machine. It’s perfect for folks who have limited space for crafting, people who like to craft on the go, and anyone who is just starting out on their creative journey. It’s great for small, quick, everyday projects.

Special features:

Uses “Smart Vinyl” and “Smart Iron-On,” which means you don’t need to use a cutting mat for these materials

Can cut designs up to 4 feet long, or repeated designs up to 20 feet in length

Compatible with Insert Cards/card mat

Small, compact, and very portable


Only works with 2 tool types: blade and pen

Can only load material 5.5″ wide


Cricut Explore Air 2

This is the most popular, best-selling Cricut machine. It’s great for hobbyists and crafters of all experience levels and allows you to do a ton of project types. I had this machine for several years before upgrading to the Maker.


Cuts 100+ materials including specialty materials like faux leather, glitter paper, and cork

Fast mode allows you to cut designs 2x faster

Compatible with Foil Transfer System to add foil to projects

Works with 5+ tools to cut, write, score, and foil

Works with your home printer to create print, then cut designs

Cricut Maker

This is the ultimate smart-cutting machine. It’s ideal for professional crafters, and for folks whose main creative pursuits include working with specialty materials the other machines are unable to cut, like basswood, leather, aluminum, etc.


Cuts 300+ materials, including specialty materials like leather, aluminum sheets, basswood, fabric, felt, etc.

Compatible with Foil Transfer System

Works with 12+ tools, allowing you to cut, write, score, foil, deboss, engrave, perforate, and more

Works with your home printer to create print, then cut designs

Commercial-grade performance

I hope this helps you to compare the three machines and figure out which one is the best fit for you! You can also check out this comparison chart on the Cricut website.

Also, be sure to check out the many Cricut projects and tutorials I have here on the website and on my YouTube channel! In fact, I will be posting a beginner Cricut projects series starting soon, so be sure to subscribe and keep an eye out for those brand new videos. See you there!

Which Cricut Machine Should I Buy?

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