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Cricut Machine Review & Comparison

Category: CTMH Cricut Collections  |  Permalink

Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011

Are you looking to purchase a Cricut Machine so that you can use one of the Cricut Cartridge by Close To My Heart? We now have the Art Philosophy Collection, the Artiste Collection, the Artbooking Collection and the Artfully Sent Collection. I've had a few fabulous customers email me about this so I thought I'd put this review together to help you all choose which is the best Cricut for you to purchase since there are several of them on the market. All the machines typically come with a cartridge, cutting mat, cutting blade, and the necessary cords and manuals that you need but it's a matter of which size and model is best for your needs. They also all can easily cut through several types of materials like paper, cardstock, vinyl, vellum, chipboard and even thin plastics.

After returning from convention where they announced that CTMH was releasing an exclusive Cricut cartridge I quickly hopped on my computer and ordered a new cricut for me. Yayyy! I wanted the AQUA Cricut Expression.... have you seen it? It's so cute! It matches my black & white damask and aqua craft room perfectly. Brooklyn, my 6 year old who loves to craft with me is going to be very excited when she finds out she gets my other one. =)
****UPDATE: I now have upgraded to the new Cricut Explore Machine and am LOVING it!!*****

Cricut Explore (24" Personal Electric Cutter):

This machine allows you to also use the big 12" x 12" and 12" x 24" cutting mats and it cuts from 0.25" up to 23.5". This machine is absolutely AMAZING and is the current machine I'm using. Here are some things I love about itů you no longer need to figure out what your pressure and speed dials need to be set at since this machine does the work for you. Instead you just set the dial to the type of material you're using (Paper, Vinyl, Cardstock, Fabric, Poster Board, Acetate and more). You do need to have an internet connection to use this machine as it all works with Design Space online. However, there is a Bluetooth Adapter that makes it nice so you're machine and computer do not have to be next to each other. The Design Space program is super user friendly. It allows you to upload your own designs to cut for FREE or you can purchase images to cut and even access free ones. And OF COURSE you can still use all your cartridges on this machine! Wahoo! I couldn't survive without my Close To My Heart Cricut Collections so that was a must that I could still do that on this machine. It's super easy too.. you insert your cartridge in the slot and they sync up with your Design Space. Once they are loaded you don't need to put the cartridge each time.

A few of my favorite features is you can use markers and a scoring stylus with this machine. You simply insert the Cricut Marker into the slot or the Cricut Scoring Stylus and it will Cut, Score and Write directly on to your project. Talk about easy! Did I mention this machine cuts like butter?! OMG it's amazing! Perfect every time. I can't say enough good things about this new machine. Way to go Provo Craft for nailing it on this one.

Cricut Expression 2 (24" Personal Electric Cutter):

This machine allows you to also use the big 12" x 12" and 12" x 24" cutting mats and it cuts from 0.25" up to 23.5". The really cool features this machine offers is the full color touch screen, a LED light that shines on the paper as it's cutting, you no longer need the keyboard overlays, you can save settings for when you're cutting different types of materials and the new Expression 2 uses wi-fi for transmitting data. Now if you need all that fancy stuff and don't mind the color then this one sounds pretty awesome!


Cricut Imagine (Electronic Print and Cut System):

This machine allows you to cut, design and print together. If you're looking to add full color and patterns to your project this is the cricut for you. This machine uses the 12" x 12" cutting mat and comes with ink to get you started. Personally it does more than what I would need it to do. I love Close To My Heart paper and colors so I don't need the printing or design feature but if you do then this one is awesome.


Cricut Expression (24" Personal Electric Cutter):

This machine uses the big 12" x 12" and 12" x 24" cutting mats and it cuts from 0.25" up to a whopping 23.5". This machine has all the bells and whistles featuring 6 modes and 4 functions to offer greater customization of cuts, it also has new settings and menus which add even more functionality. This one is my favorite and does everything you need to use the new Art Philosophy Cartridge!!! Although I haven't tried the new Cricut Expression 2... that one may be awesome but I decided to stick with the Expression because of the colors. The Expression 2 has bright green on it and would clash with my craft room. I know, I know, I'm pretty picky with everything having to match. Maybe they will come out with fun colors on the Expression 2 like they did with the Expression. You can find it in black, yellow, magenta, aqua, pink and ones with just the edges colored in blue, red, and more. So FUN!

Cricut Create (Personal Electric Cutter):

This clever little machine is portable like the Original Cricut yet it has some similar functionality like the Cricut Expression machine. This machine uses a 6" x 12" cutting mat and it cuts from 0.25" to 11.5". This machine also features a large display screen and several modes and functions. This too is a great machine but also limits how large you can cut. If you're wanting to do everything you can with the new cartridge I would recommend the cricut expression.  


Original Cricut (Personal Electronic Cutter):

This machine uses a 6" x 12" cutting mat and it cuts from 1" to 5.5" tall or 11.5" wide. Although it is an excellent machine I just wanted to point out that since the cutting mat is only 6" x 12" you are shorting yourself on how large you'll be able to cut when using the new Art Philosophy Cartridge. However if you don't think you'll need large sizes or if you don't have an interest in creating boxes then this would be perfect for you. It is also very affordable.




© Copyright 2014, | Mandy Leahy CTMH Independent Consultant

Posted by: Alicia
Thursday, December 10, 2015 @ 4:57:53 AM

Do all of these hook up to a computer where you can create something or only three newer models that work that way?

Posted by: Tiffany
Sunday, November 2, 2014 @ 6:22:34 PM

I want one like the explore but I don't want to have to be connected to the internet. Do they have one like that?

Posted by: kj
Monday, September 8, 2014 @ 9:43:15 AM

So if you had to recommend a machine that does everything plus more from small to big desgns and the most up tto date features it would be the explore not the expressions 2 am@ correct? Just wondering because I've been saving and want to buy the best one i can and not worry about the features not having something another does. thank your

Posted by: Sonia French
Monday, July 14, 2014 @ 3:08:19 PM

Can you please tell me if the CRVOO1 Provo will cut fabric? Also is this the one you refer to as "the original Cricut machine"?

Posted by: Jackie
Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 2:22:43 PM

U really appreciate your information. I went to a scrapbook retreat and loved it. I'm trying to get my scrapbook stock together and this is one of the items I want. I've been confused about the difference. You saved my mind from being so overwhelmed!! Thanks.

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