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What is a Cricut cutting machine?

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

From cutting machines to crafting essentials, Cricut products make it easy to create just for fun, for friends & family, or even for a small business.

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Back in the day if you wanted a personalized mug or t-shirt made you'd had to go to gift/specialty shops to get that done. You'd have to pay for it, wait for it, and pray it comes out the way you ordered it.

And lets not forget all our crafting days cutting tiny papers with scissors until our fingers cramped!

Enter computerized cutting machines! And the Cricut was my first choice after an extensive long research on all cutting machines in the market at that time.

With the Cricut cutting machines the flexibility to cut a wide range of craft materials and the precision to deliver exactly what you need makes DIY easy, fun, and also profitable (if you plan to start a business with your machine, which you totally can!) and you don't even have to be crafty to use a Cricut cutting machine - there are hundreds of thousands of images available for your use with Design Space.

So What is a Cricut cutting machine?

Simple put, it’s a smart electronic cutting machine, the awesomest cutting machine (in my opinion)!

It is sort of like a home printer (its not a printer) but instead of printing, it cuts using a moving blade that cuts whatever shape or word you chose on Design Space. The Cricut cutting machines help you create a plethora of DIY projects, such as gift boxes, stickers, vinyl decals, greeting cards and a lot more. It uses your computer, tablet or phone to create the designs, and then send them to your Cricut cutting machine and viola! Well there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s the general idea.

At the time of writing this, there are 5 different types of machines:

Cricut Joy: The smallest machine, it cuts most materials, however it does not have the print and cut option.

Cricut Explore Air 2: This one is the oldest machine however it is a step up from the Joy and cuts a lot more materials

Cricut Explore 3: The latest and greatest in the Explore Family, Cricut Explore 3 can do everything Cricut Explore Air 2 can do, plus more.

Cricut Maker (Rose) - (Champagne): A beast of a cutting machine, this one cuts the most materials.

Cricut Maker 3: The latest Maker, the maker family offers more tools, more materials, and more possibilities compared to the Explore family. They cut 300+ materials (more than any other Cricut machine), from the most delicate paper to the tough stuff like leather and basswood.

The Cricut machines work with a software called Design Space, there are tons of images, projects and fonts, they also have a subscription for Cricut Access.

With your machine you will need Cricut blades and mats to cut on (not all machines require mats with Smart Materials). There are also several types of blades for each machine.

Each machine comes with a blade, some come with extra specialty blades. Also in each machine some materials to test drive a small project.

I talk in depth about the blades in this post

Now lets talk a bit about Cricut mats:

Each mat is used for specific type of materials. there are currently 2 sizes of mats, 12x12 inches and 12x24 inches.

There are 4 mats with different grip strengths. They are in 4 colors for easy identification:

​LightGrip (Blue)

​StandardGrip (Green)

​StrongGrip (Purple)

FabricGrip (Pink)

​Most cardstock

Printer paper

Pearl paper


Wrapping paper


Iron-on (HTV)

Glier & embossed cardstock

Infusible Ink™ Transfer Sheets




Truebrush paper


Wood veneer



Aluminum sheets


Corrugated paper


Crepe paper

Taking care of your mats helps prolonging their life, and that's why its advised to keep the included clear cover when not in use.

Cricut Pens:

Yes, your Cricut machines can write and draw. They come in a variety of colors, line weights, and effects.

Gone are the days of bad handwriting on envelopes!

Using pens and markers with your Cricut machine is easy! Simply follow the instructions on the screen for your particular project and watch your machine draw or write on your material.

Which Cricut should I buy?

The kind of projects you want to do will determine which machine you should get. Each machine cuts a variety of materials and comes with the free Design Space software from Cricut.

For example, if you're planning to only do labels, then perhaps the Joy is more than enough for your needs, and if you're planning to cut leather to make leather earrings then you might consider the Maker or Maker 3.

In conclusion:

The Cricut machine is more than worth it to own, whether you're a DIY'er, a crafter, a school teacher, a mom, a small business owner or just simply someone who loves personalizing things around their home, IT IS WORTH IT. There is so much this machine can do that you will definitely love adding it to your home.

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