This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I’m so excited to finally share the newest addition to my craftroom… the Cricut Maker! If you follow me on Instagram (@taylormadecreates) then you know how excited I was when the Cricut shipment showed up at my door a few weeks ago! I have been playing around with this machine for about three weeks so I could give an honest Cricut Maker review and have all of the answers to all of the questions ;)
What is the Cricut Maker? It’s a personal cutting machine that can cut a variety of materials such as paper, vinyl, iron on, fabric, leather, felt, chipboard, thin metal etc. Cricut is the brand and the Maker is the model that I received. I have had my eye on the Maker for a while now… literally since they released it haha! In my very early crafting days I had a Cricut but their first model was based on cartridges, so you had to buy a separate cartridge for every font and theme and it only cut paper. A few years later I switched to the other brand, Silhouette and I had that Silhouette machine for years. There was nothing wrong with it, I loved it and used it a lot. BUT… then Cricut came out with their new model, “The Maker” and it cut fabric in a way that would change lives haha! I knew I had to get my hands on one.
The Maker can cut fabric in a way that no other machine can! My other machine could cut fabric but only if you lined the fabric with interfacing. This is because the other machine has one type of blade for all materials so it uses a sharp knife type blade and if you try to cut fabric it will shred. The Maker uses an actual rotary blade that looks like a mini rotary cutter so it is super precise. To be honest I never really cut a lot of fabric with my old machine because it wasn’t a super clean cut even with the interfacing. The Maker can literally cut over a hundred different types of fabric! Felt, silk, jersey, denim, quilting cotton, rayon, tulle, velvet, lycra, canvas… you name it and it can cut it! Below is a screen shot of just a small list of the fabric options the machine pulls up. I couldn’t even sleep the night I got my machine because my head was so full of ideas haha! The only limit is the mat size… they carry a 12×12″ or a 12×24″ but it is perfect for small/medium sized projects like bags, children’s clothing, quilt blocks, zipper pouches, appliqué for clothing etc.
Another huge difference for me is that the Cricut Maker has an intuitive system that scans the material and the tool you are using to determine the settings and pressure needed. From start to finish this makes a single job so much easier. The software is also very easy to use, I felt super comfortable with it within a few days. Cricut software is web based so you do need to be online to use it, the Silhouette software is a downloadable software so it is more in depth. There are pros and cons to both, the Silhouette software is capable of a little more but that also makes it more complicated. I am pretty technically inclined so I like the ability to do a little more, for me this is literally the only “con” in a Cricut/Silhouette Comparison. As far as cutting, on my Silhouette machine, I would set the material, change the dial on the blade (which isn’t something you have to do on the Cricut) and then I would have to do a little trial and error. I would still end up with mistakes pretty often and have to redo things. I have used this machine almost daily for three weeks now and it seems to always know the correct setting. Another game changer that might seem silly but I am LOVING is the little side guide tabs that the Maker has. You can feed the mat right into them so there is no guesswork. The Silhouette machine only has rollers so you can’t always line it up perfectly.
The Cricut Maker has a new “Adaptive Tool System” which is what I think makes the Maker the most unique. It basically means they carry different types of blade tools for different types of projects. Older Cricut models and the Silhouette use a technology that moved the mat in and out and the blade goes side to side but with the new Adaptive Tool System the actual tool in the cartridge can stop and start and go up and down also. It also has 10x the force which is how it can cut balsa wood, mat board and leather. Cricut offers 6 different cutting tools that you can switch out (with more on the way) and 5 different mats that you can use for different materials.
Another huge “pro” for me is the fact that… wait for it… the Maker has bluetooth built into it so it can connect to your machine from across the room!!! SAY WHAT?! As you can see when I discovered this I was super excited. My old machine needed to be plugged in directly to my computer. I don’t have a lot of desk space next to my computer and cutting machines require a lot of room on both sides so the mat can move freely. So, I would usually have to push my computer out a little so the cord could reach and then I would always do all of my cutting on the floor. I have 3 kids and 3 dogs so you can imagine how clean my tile floors are haha! Now I just connect via Bluetooth (super simple to setup in your computers settings) and I can cut on my big center table! Guys…. I am living for this feature! You obviously do have to plug the power cord into an electrical outlet but it is super long and now I have so much freedom. Speaking of Bluetooth, and because the Software is web based the software is available in app format for your phone or tablet. This is also super cool because you can be on your phone and create a little project for example, in the car rider line :) Then when you get home you can connect to your Maker and cut away!
When I was playing around with the app (I downloaded it on both my iPad and my iPhone to see if there were any differences and there really aren’t) I found a really cool feature called “Snap Mat”. It allows you to apply your material to your mat (fabric, vinyl, paper etc…) then snap a picture of the mat within the app and it pulls the image of your material into the Cricut Design Space. The picture of your material now becomes the background of your project on the app. Then you can place a shape or text box and move it around right on top of the scrap material. This is the perfect way to use little pieces of paper or vinyl that aren’t a nice even, square size. It would also be great for creating fussy cut quilt blocks. It works with any material and is so satisfying!
I rarely used the Silhouette store but The Cricut Design store has really impressed me. They have a section called “projects” that include all designs, patterns and instructions to show you from start to finish how to complete a project and list all materials needed etc. Then there is a section called “images” with thousands of designs and pictures. There are also over 50 free projects to get you started and then you have the option to pay for the subscription too. I have added a ton of projects to the “my favorites” section of theDesign Store and even added a few to my immediate to do list haha! I always used my old machine for vinyl projects but I was shocked at how many sewing projects (with patterns) are available. This machine is truly a crafters and a sewists dream!
Overall I am SO impressed with the Cricut Maker! I have used it almost daily since receiving it and have some big plans coming in the near future! Can’t wait to see what else this machine can do :)