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Best Cricut Machines

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 8 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 117 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Cricut Machines

    Last Updated April 2018

    Crafters around the globe have come to love and appreciate Cricut machines. These handy devices allow anyone to create beautiful lettering, shapes, and decorations for all kinds of crafts, using cartridges with preloaded designs or downloadable patterns. There are now several machines on the market, and each has its pros and cons. Deciding on which Cricut machine is right for you means taking your budget, crafting needs, and how frequently you’ll use the machine into consideration. We’re to help you find the machine that will meet your needs.

    At BestReviews, we do the hard work of interviewing experts, testing products, and reading through consumer reviews, so that we can bring you an honest, unbiased opinion. We don’t accept free samples from manufacturers, which means we can maintain an objective view. We’ve provided a shopping guide to help you decide which features will be important to you. Be sure to check out our top recommendations for a good place to start your search, when you’re ready to buy your own machine.

    You can find numerous tutorials online that demonstrate how to use a Cricut machine. You’ll not only get some good basic tips, but learn how to make intricate patterns, and get new project ideas. Tutorials can help you get the most out of your purchase.

    Features to consider

    Cutting speed

    Not all Cricut machines cut at the same speed. Some of the top machines can cut up to two times faster than beginner models.

    Occasional crafters may be happy with a less expensive machine that doesn’t cut as fast.

    If crafting is part of your business, or you do it every day, you may want to invest in one of the models that cuts at high speed.

    EXPERT TIP

    When cutting thicker materials, you’ll need to use a slower cutting speed to be sure the blade cuts all the way through the material.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Automatic depth and pressure adjustment

    Paper and materials of different weights require depth and pressure adjustments to the blade.

    Some machines have an automatic adjustment system, setting the blade correctly for you.

    You’ll still need to be sure you have a blade appropriate for the material you’re cutting, but this feature takes a lot of guesswork out of starting a new project.

    Lifting images from the cutting mat is a sticky business. You may need a Cricut spatula tool to lift images off without tearing them.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Scoring

    Scoring lets you create a depression for decorative and folding purposes. Machines that have this ability are more expensive, but can take your crafting to the next level. You can always score manually with a scoring stylus, but if you score a lot, you may want to spend the extra cash on a machine that can do it for you.

    Writing

    Some Cricut machines can hold a pen, and write in different fonts, or draw images. This premium feature leaves a professional look, but also comes with a high price.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Cricut machines that can write can also draw intricate pictures on a wide variety of materials. Machine drawn images add a professional quality to all your work.

    Wireless capabilities

    Some Cricut machines have Bluetooth capabilities that allow access to Cricut’s downloadable online library of pictures, patterns, and images. Some of the images are free, while others must be either purchased individually, or with a subscription.

    Bluetooth gives you access to all that information without any extra wires. When you’re busy making cards or putting together a project, wires can clutter your workspace. Machines that don’t have Bluetooth can still get access to the online library, but they require a USB cord.

    You can also use Cricut cartridges to access patterns and fonts without any online access at all. These cartridges have a preloaded set of fonts and designs, and must be manually loaded into the machine each time you want to use one of those items.

    EXPERT TIP

    When removing paper away from the cutting mat, pull the mat away from the paper by rolling it, rather than pulling the paper away from the mat, as this can make the edges curl.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Workable materials

    Originally, Cricuts were designed to cut paper, but today they can do so much more.

    Basic Cricut machines still cut paper, but other machines can also cut vellum, vinyl, cardstock, adhesive foil, and faux leather.

    New technology allows advanced machines to cut cardboard, fabric, metal, chipboard, and balsa wood to name a few.

    Some of the most advanced machines can cut over 100 different materials. Keep in mind that the more materials the Cricut can cut, the more expensive it will be.

    Keeping the surface of the cutting mat clean can prolong its life by protecting the sticky surface. You can use a lint roller to clean the sticky surface of a cutting mat. Also, replace the protective sheet over the cutting surface when not in use.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Compatible accessories and software

    There’s a long list of accessories available for Cricut machines, and you may not need them all. Always check what accessories are compatible with the Cricut machine you want to purchase, to be sure you’ll be able to do the projects you want.

    • Accessory Bundles: Accessory bundles are often designed to be used only with a certain Cricut machine. Bundles may include items like vinyl transfer tape, replacement blades, deep cut blades, different types of vinyl, scoring stylus tools, and more.

    • Software and Images: Many Cricut machines include access to Design Space, Cricut’s free design software. Through the cloud, you can access thousands of images and fonts. Some are free with the purchase of a Cricut machine, while others can be purchased individually or through a monthly subscription. The subscription service comes in three levels — fonts, standard, and premium. Some subscriptions also include discounts on other Cricut products. For machines that cut fabric, you can also access sewing patterns from popular pattern retailers.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Cricut’s Design Space can recognize the system fonts on your computer. You can download free fonts from online, then use them on your Cricut machine.

    Price

    Inexpensive

    For less than $100, you can get a manually cranked Cricut machine that die cuts and embosses paper, vellum, tissue paper, foils, thin leather, and acetate ribbon.

    If you’re an occasional crafter, this might be all the machine you need.

    EXPERT TIP

    Do a test cut with the materials and settings before you commit to cutting a full page. You may need to adjust the positioning or depth and pressure of the blade, and check the size and placement before beginning.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Mid-range

    In the $100 to $200 range, you’ll find machines with automatic depth and pressure setting, Bluetooth, and the ability to cut a wide variety of materials like vinyl, faux leather, adhesive foils, and poster board.

    Expensive

    From $200 to $300 are many of the same machines in the mid-range price category, except they come with accessory bundles that include different cutting materials, pens, and idea books for projects.

    Keep plenty of cutting mats on hand. They come in 12” x 12” and 12” x 24” models. Use a large mat for big items, or when cutting a lot at once.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Premium

    In the premium price range, above $300, are machines capable of cutting fabric, felt, leather, wood, and some thin metals.

    They can write and score materials as well.

    Cricut has an online guide that specifies all the materials each of their machines can cut, along with which blade should be used for that material. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check.

    Faq

    Q. Can I create and upload my own designs to a Cricut machine?

    A. Uploading custom designs is possible with some machines. However, you’ll need to check carefully about the specs before purchasing, because this is considered a specialty feature that not all machines have. Design Space only accepts certain formats as well, so your uploads will need to meet Cricut’s requirements.

    Q. Do you use the same blade to cut all materials?

    A. Every Cricut machine comes with a standard blade, but specialty blades will need to be purchased separately. Machines that cut the widest variety of materials may come with a toolset, but there will still be some specialty blades you might need to purchase.

    Q. Are there attachments that allow the Cricut to hold more than one tool at once?

    A. You can use two tools at once using a special attachment. However, it doesn’t work on all Cricut machines. Machines that write and score use this type of attachment. You’ll need to be sure your machine is compatible with the tool before purchasing.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Heather
      Heather
      Chief Content Officer
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer