Ginger Snap Crafts: Which Cricut is Right for you? Joy, Explore Air 2 or Maker?

Which Cricut is Right for you? Joy, Explore Air 2 or Maker?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Good morning! Purchasing a Cricut machine can be a huge decision. Which machine do I need? Which one will fit my needs best? Which one is most budget friendly? Which one would I use the most? Where will I store it? How often will I use it? What can I make with it? What materials can it cut out? What tools and accessories are available for each machine? Today I am trying to answer all your Cricut questions. I hope it will help answer the biggest question of all ~ Which Cricut is right for YOU? So keep reading as I share all the 411s of the three most popular Cricut machines ~ the Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker. Let’s get started! :)

First up, is the cute little Cricut Joy! Cricut launched this brand new machine last year. I love that it’s small enough to put anywhere (you do not need a craft room!). It’s great for the craft newbie and so versatile that even experienced crafters would love one as well. My oldest daughter just got married, and I got her her own Cricut Joy. ;) This little machine is so handy, and there are so, so, so many different ways you could use the Cricut Joy in your home. :)

Cricut Joy is the perfect companion to have in your home to quickly & easily personalize anything & everything! I love using the Joy to make labels & cards. You can see how easy it is to make cards with the Cricut Joy here. The Cricut Joy is extremely simple to use. Since it’s so small, it’s easy to get out & get to work. Practical, everyday projects have never been more accessible or easier to make! My most favorite thing about Cricut Joy is that it offers mat-free projects (yes, mat free!) and long cuts (up to 20 feet!). It opens the door to make amazing DIY projects as well. FYI: You can also use a cutting mat with the Cricut Joy which makes using up all those vinyl scraps a breeze! :)

Cricut Joy uses blue tooth technology. So, you have less cords to worry with. Not having to transport a mat in addition to the smaller material size, less cords & how the whole system is so compact makes it super portable for crafting when the mood hits. :)

Cricut makes tons of specialty items exclusively for the Cricut Joy from smart vinyl & labels to pens, iron-on & deluxe paper. You will find the perfect materials to use with your machine. :)

Some must haves if you own a Cricut Joy:
Cricut Joy (of course!) (Retails for $179.99)
Cricut Joy™ Smart Label™ Writable Vinyl
Cricut Joy™ Smart Vinyl™ – Permanent
Cricut Joy™ Adhesive-Backed Deluxe Paper
Starter Tool Set
Cricut Joy™ StandardGrip Mat, 4.5" x 12"
Cricut Joy™ Fine Point Pens

You can see how I organized my home with the Cricut Joy here.

Next up is the Explore Air 2. It is also known as a DIY speed machine! Ha! It combines time-saving performance & class-leading simplicity. I love to keep it simple….especially when I’m crafting. :) This machine is so simple to use, yet powerful enough to create whatever you can dream up! It is quite a bit bigger the the Cricut Joy with a 12 inch cutting area. It can cut up to 24 inches, and you must use a cutting mat with this machine. The Explore Air 2 can cut 100s of materials. It cuts everything from cardstock, vinyl, paper and iron-on to a range of specialty materials like faux leather, felt & more. This machine is ah-mazing!

Check out this list of just *some* of the materials you can cut with your Cricut Explore Air 2. Wow!

  • Adhesive Magnetic Sheets

  • Aluminum Foil

  • Canvas

  • Cardstock

  • Construction Paper

  • Cork Board, Adhesive Backed

  • Craft Foam

  • Foam

  • Iron-On Material

  • Magnet Sheets

  • Paint Chips

  • Paper

  • Watercolor Paper

  • Photo Paper

  • Poster Board

  • Premium Outdoor Vinyl

  • Stencil Vinyl

  • Sticker Paper

  • Transparency

  • Vinyl

  • Washi Sheets

  • Wrapping Paper

The Cricut Explore Air 2 would be great for a new or experienced crafter who wants to make bigger cuts with their machine. I love that 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper fit perfectly in this machine. So, you can make paper cut outs easily. This machine makes a bigger footprint in your craft room, and it is so worth it. It comes in a variety of colors. The Cricut Explore Air 2 would make the perfect addition to your craft room. :)

If you are thinking of investing in a Cricut Explore Air 2, considered grabbing some of these supplies. :)
Cricut Explore Air 2 (Retails for $249.99)
Cricut Patterned Iron-on
Cricut StandardGrip Cutting Mat
Cricut EasyPress 2
Cricut EasyPress Mat

To see all the reasons why I love my Cricut Explore Air 2 click right here.

The Cricut Maker is Cricut’s powerhouse. With its amazing tools (designed exclusively for the Maker), Cricut Maker cuts, writes, and scores more materials – with greater precision and control – than ever before & more than any other machine on the market. Plus, with more tools coming out all the time, the Cricut Maker grows with you. It really is an exciting time to be a DIY creator! :)

One of the biggest reason to buy a Maker is the Adaptive Tool System. It is one of the biggest advantages of the Cricut Maker has over the Explore Air 2  & Cricut Joy & really over any other cutting machine on the market today. Let me show you!

The Adaptive Tool System gives you commercial grade cutting power. There is no more dial to turn (like the Cricut Explore Air 2) or setting to adjust or blade depth to worry about (like other cutting machines). All you do is select your material in Design Space, put in the correct tool & then your Cricut Maker does the rest….perfectly! Every cut comes out flawless when Adaptive Tool System makes the decisions. :) This special cutting technology controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your material. Annnnnnd with 10X more cutting power, you can take on more materials than ever before including things like fabric, wood, chipboard, leather & more. It’s ah-mazing!

Let me tell you about a few of my favorite tools. First up, the rotary blade.This blade is so unique. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It cuts fabrics quickly, safely & perfectly. It’s really amazing! Plus you can find tons of Simplicity patterns in Design Space & create with fabric to your heart’s content. :) You can use the Maker to cut cotton, fleece, denim, felt & more. It cuts just about any fabric quickly and accurately – without any type of backing material. Ah-mazing!
Another favorite tool of mine is the knife blade. The extra-deep knife blade cuts through materials up to 2.4 mm (3/32”) thick. It is perfect for thicker materials like balsa wood, matboard & heavy leather. You can see my DIY Teacher Sign here that I made using my knife blade.
Another fun tool is the scoring wheel. This tool makes every fold of paper sharp, crisp & to the point. ;) The scoring wheel makes very deep, razor-sharp score lines. Scoring wheel tools can take on everything from origami paper to corrugated cardboard and coated poster board. It gives every paper project with a score line a flawless finish with no cracks. :)

You can check out a fun Maker project using felt right here.

The Cricut Maker is quite the investment for your craft room, but it is a definite must have for the serious crafter/DIYer.

If you are interested in adding a Cricut Maker to your craft room. Here are few must haves:
Cricut Maker ($399.99 retail price)
knife blade
rotary blade
scoring wheel
StrongGrip Cutting Mat
Cricut Basswood

More questions? Check out my Cricut Question Series for more. :)

Which machine do you have? Do you have one on your wish list? Let me know! :)

Connect with me on facebook or instagram. I’ll be sharing more there.
Question or comment? Shoot me an email at :)

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
If this is your first time visiting, I’d love to keep in touch.