What is a Cricut?
If you’ve been to a craft store or read a DIY blog lately, you’ve probably heard of a Cricut, but you may not know what it does or why it’s so popular with people. hobbyists and artists.
Simply put, a Cricut is a branded cutting plotter or intelligent computer-controlled cutting machine that engraves shapes and designs from an array of materials. Devices have become a versatile but expensive tool used to craft everything from home decor and greeting cards to posters and t-shirts. Here’s an overview of the Cricut brand of cutting plotters and what they can do.
What does a Cricut do?
Cricut is a brand of smart cutting plotters that create exciting DIY projects by cutting custom shapes and engraving lettering and designs into a variety of materials, including paper, vinyl, cardstock, fabric, and paper. aluminum, to name a few.
Cricut offers three cutting plotter models as well as several discontinued legacy products: Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker, and Cricut Joy. Each template has its intended use and unique features, but all perform the same primary function of cutting custom designs using proprietary software accessible through smartphones or computers.
The company also offers two heat transfer products, the Cricut EasyPress and the Cricut Mug Press, which apply designs to t-shirts, coffee mugs, and more.
How does a Cricut work?
A Cricut machine, like other commercial cutting plotters, is similar to a standard computer printer. You create a design and send it to the machine via Bluetooth or USB, but instead of printing an image onto paper, the Cricut uses engraving and heat transfer technologies to create a custom project from materials as various as leather, denim, vinyl and wood.
There are several interchangeable blades and tools to perform specific actions and cut the design into the material. With its design platform and smart app, you can access an extensive library of ready-to-use images, fonts, and projects to inspire your creativity or easily create a craft.
What is the difference between Cricut models?
The Cricut Joy is the base model. It is smaller than the other two and with fewer features. It can handle less width than other models, but it supports materials up to 20 feet in length. It is simple, compact and suitable for small crafts and daily projects.
The Cricut Maker is the top model and is billed as “the ultimate smart cutting machine”. It has more tools and capabilities than other models and works with over 300 types of materials.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 handles materials no larger than 20 inches by 12 inches and can cut over 100 different types of materials. It’s more advanced and has more features than Joy but is surpassed by the Maker in both areas. It is suitable for a wide variety of DIY projects.
Should you buy a Cricut?
If you’re an avid crafter or DIY maker and seller, a Cricut cutting plotter is a solid investment, but you should consider your budget as well as your crafting needs before purchasing. Cricut machines cost between $150 and $400, with plans up to $600.
A Cricut Joy is likely to suffice for casual users and small projects, while a Cricut Explore Air 2 is for more advanced crafters and more detailed designs. Professional crafters and sellers should invest in the more expensive Cricut Maker, which can take your Etsy shop or Pinterest board to a new creative level.
What you need to buy for a Cricut
Cricut Essential Tool Set
This seven-piece tool set includes a scoring stylus, scissors, handheld trimmer, and other add-ons to help you start or finish your Cricut project. Ideal for experienced users.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Cricut Starter Bundle with Iron-On Combo Pack
This bundle is for first-time Cricut users and includes a getting started guide, project ideas, tutorials and resources, and several custom tools. It also includes adhesive vinyl, glitter transfer material and transfer tape.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
EVISWIY Replacement Mats and Blades, Variety
This set includes all four different-grip cutting mats, standard, lightweight, heavy-duty, and fabric, plus replacement five-point, deep-cut, and shallow-cut blades to keep your projects going after extended use.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Matt Fleming written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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