Cricut Maker Review – Spoiler Alert, I’m a Fan

December 5, 2018Allison Murray
Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

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

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I’ve had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most and totally think you should have one, too.

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Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

I remember back when I got my first cutting machine. It was a Christmas gift and it was easily the most expensive thing in my little craft room, surpassing the old and out of date PC on my desk my quite a bit and definitely far more expensive than my little handheld point and shoot camera I used to snap pics of my projects for this blog. A cutting machine, I had declared, would take my projects up a notch. Not really expecting to get such an extravagant gift, when I first opened the box I literally choked. Being the most expensive thing I’d have in my craft room I was terrified of messing it up and it stayed in that box, untouched, for ages. But the day came and went that I decided to jump right into cutting, mostly paper and HTV because I don’t believe it was really capable of cutting much else.

And then the day came and went that I decided to upgrade my machine, purchasing one myself only to find that I had lots and lots of trouble with it. I couldn’t get the darn thing to calibrate and it ruined so much heat transfer vinyl that I just threw my hands up in the air and tossed the thing out in the garage where I’ve got a mountain of junk to deal with. But then I got an entirely new brand of cutting machine… I got a Cricut Maker.

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

Looking at the fancy new machine with the rose gold lid and a super convenient built in tool cup I found myself, yet again, terrified of messing something up and it sat in the box a bit longer than I’d like to admit. I mean, I craft for a living. If anybody should just get after it with gusto it should be me, right? Having talked myself into getting right on after it I promptly decided that I love my Cricut Maker. Granted, I did receive my machine for free this summer, but that in no way shape or form means that I had to love it. Heck, it didn’t even mean that I needed to like it. But, guys, I do. So much. Like a ton.

It’s such a big deal in my life that even Rob’s mother knows I love the thing. Rob was talking with her about some things r.e. this blog which turned into things about my crafts and then my Cricut Maker, she said, “That’s great, you use your Cricut all of the time!” And I do.

And here are all of the reasons that I LOVE my Cricut Maker and would totally recommend it as a fabulous addition… There are lots of materials you can cut with your maker (including wood which blew my mind) and there are lots of presets so you don’t have to figure out how to cut materials on your own which is super convenient. There are also lots of tools for the Cricut Maker to use increasing it’s value, in my opinion, because that means it DOES MORE than just cut heat transfer vinyl. AND there are already lots and lots of amazing projects, from sewing patterns to gift boxes,  ready for you to make in the Cricut Design Space. Now I can say all of these things, but the proof is in the pudding, people… let’s literally list out. I’m sure you’ll be simply amazed… Strap in folks, this is gonna be a long one :)

Exactly what materials can you cut with a Cricut Maker?

Let’s list this impressive business out. They are:

  1. Art board
  2. Cardstock
  3. Fabric (yes, fabric!)
  4. Felt
  5. Foam
  6. Foil and metal
  7. Iron on (HTV)
  8. Leather (huzzah, right?)
  9. Plastic
  10. Vinyl
  11. Wood (What?!? yeah!)
  12. And “other” stuff

Here are the 240+ material presets you can cut with your Cricut Maker:

Did you just do a double-take at the 240 presets? I know I did when I first opened Cricut Design space and scrolled down to find my Iron On for my first project. I couldn’t even believe the variety… Making cards out of paper grocery bags? There’s a setting ready for that. How about making a pair of gloves out of genuine cashmere? Yup, there’s a cashmere setting ready and waiting for you. Is it likely you will use all 240+ of these cut settings? Probably not. But if you find yourself in desperate need of cutting metallic poster board on the quick at 10 p.m. because your kid forgot they had a science fair project due the next day, you can get to cutting things more quickly with the pre-set and without the muss and fuss of figuring out the cut settings for yourself.

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

Art Board

  • Cereal Box
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Flat Cardboard
  • Foil Poster Board
  • Heavy Chipboard – 2.0 mm
  • Kraft Board
  • Light Chipboard – 0.37mm
  • Matboard 4 Ply
  • Metallic Poster Board
  • Poster Board
  • Poster Board (Cricut brand)

Cardstock

  • Cardstock (for intricate cuts)
  • Cardstock, Adhesive-Backed
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Holographic Cardstock
  • Light Cardstock – 60 lb
  • Medium Cardstock – 80 lb
  • Patterned Glitter Cardstock

Foam

  • Craft Foam
  • EVA foam
  • Glitter Craft Foam

Foil & Metal

  • Aluminum Foil

Iron-On

  • Everyday Iron-On
  • Flocked Iron-On
  • Foil Iron-On
  • Glitter Iron-On
  • Heat Transfer
  • Holographic Heat Transfer
  • Holographic Sparkle Iron-On
  • Iron-On
  • Patterned Iron-On
  • Printable Iron-On, Dark
  • Printable Iron-On, Light
  • SportFlex Iron-On
  • Transfer Sheet

Leather

  • 2-3 oz. Garment Leather
  • 2-3 oz. Tooling Leather
  • 4-5 oz. Garment Leather
  • 4-5 oz. Tooling Leather
  • 6-7 oz. Tooling Leather (2.4mm)
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)
  • Faux Suede
  • Genuine Leather
  • Metallic Leather
  • Shimmer Leather – 1 mm

Fabric

  • Bamboo Fabric
  • Bengaline
  • Boucle
  • Broadcloth
  • Burlap
  • Burn-Out Velvet
  • Calico
  • Cambric
  • Canvas
  • Cashmere
  • Challis
  • Chambray
  • Chantilly Lace
  • Charmeuse Satin
  • Chiffon
  • Chintz
  • Corduroy
  • Cotton
  • Cotton, Bonded
  • Crepe Charmeuse
  • Crepe de Chine
  • Crepe-back Satin
  • Damask
  • Delicate Fabrics (like Tulle)
  • Delicate Fabrics, Bonded
  • Denim
  • Denim, Bonded
  • Dotted Swiss
  • Double Cloth
  • Double Knit
  • Duck Cloth
  • Dupioni Silk
  • Extra Heavy Fabrics (like Burlap)
  • Eyelet
  • Faille
  • Faux Fur
  • Faux Suede
  • Flannel

Fabric

  • Fleece
  • Flex Foam
  • Foulard
  • Fusible Fabric
  • Fusible Fleece
  • Fusible Interfacing
  • Gabardine
  • Gauze
  • Georgette
  • Gossamer
  • Grois Point
  • Grosgrain
  • Habutai
  • Heather
  • Heavy Fabrics (like Denim)
  • Heavy Fabrics (like Denim), Bonded
  • Homespun Fabric
  • Insulbrite Batting
  • Interlock Knit
  • Jacquard
  • Jersey
  • Jute
  • Khaki
  • La Coste
  • Lame
  • Light Cotton
  • Light Cotton, 2 Layers
  • Light Cotton, 3 Layers
  • Light Fabrics (like Silk)
  • Light Fabrics (like Silk), Bonded
  • Linen
  • Linen, Bonded
  • Lycra
  • Matelasse
  • Medium Fabrics (like Cotton)
  • Medium Fabrics (like Cotton), Bonded
  • Melton Wool
  • Mesh
  • Microfiber
  • Moiree
  • Moleskin
  • Monk’s Cloth
  • Muslin
  • Nylon
  • Oil Cloth, Bonded
  • Oilcloth
  • Organza
  • Ottoman
  • Oxford
  • Panne Velvet
  • Peau de Soie
  • Pima Cotton
  • Pique Cotton
  • Plisse
  • Plush
  • Polyester, Bonded
  • Poplin
  • Printable Fabric
  • Quilt Batting
  • Ramie
  • Raschel Knit
  • Rayon Lyocell
  • Rib Knit
  • Rip-Stop Nylon
  • Sailcloth
  • Satin Silk
  • Seersucker
  • Sequined
  • Shantung
  • Shantung Santeen
  • Silk China
  • Silk, Bonded
  • Slinky Knit
  • Spandex
  • Suede
  • Tafetta
  • Terry Cloth
  • Tulle
  • Tweed
  • Ultra Firm Stabilizer
  • Velour
  • Velvet Upholstery
  • Velveteen
  • Viscose
  • Voile
  • Waffle Cloth
  • Wool Crepe
  • Ziberline

Felt

  • Felt (Cricut Brand)
  • Felt, Acrylic Fabric
  • Felt, Craft Bonded
  • Felt, Glitter Bonded
  • Felt, Stiff
  • Felt, Wool Bonded
  • Felt, Wool Fabric

Paper

  • Clear Printable Sticker Paper
  • Construction Paper
  • Copy Paper – 20 lb
  • Corrugated Paper
  • Crepe Paper
  • Deluxe Paper
  • Deluxe Paper Foil Embossed
  • Flocked Paper
  • Foil Paper – 0.36mm
  • Freezer Paper
  • Grocery Bag
  • Handmade Paper
  • Heavy Patterned Paper
  • Heavy Watercolor Paper – 140 lbs
  • Kraft Cardstock
  • Light Patterned Paper
  • Mulberry Paper
  • Notebook Paper
  • Paper, Adhesive-Backed
  • Parchment Paper
  • Pearl Paper
  • Photo Paper
  • Rice Paper
  • Shimmer Paper
  • Sparkle Paper
  • Sticker Paper
  • Sticker Paper, Removable
  • Sticky Note
  • Tattoo Paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Vellum
  • Wax Paper
  • Wrapping Paper

Plastic

  • Acetate
  • Cutting Mat Protector
  • Foil Acetate
  • Gel Sheet
  • Plastic Canvas
  • Plastic Packaging
  • Stencil Film – 0.4mm
  • Transparency

Vinyl

  • Adhesive Foil
  • Adhesive Foil, Matte
  • Chalkboard Vinyl
  • Dry Erase Vinyl
  • Glitter Vinyl
  • Holographic Sparkle Vinyl
  • Holographic Vinyl
  • Matte Vinyl
  • Metallic Vinyl
  • Non-Adhesive Vinyl -16 gauge
  • Non-Adhesive Vinyl-20 Gauge
  • Premium Outdoor Vinyl
  • Premium Vinyl
  • Premium Vinyl – Frosted Glitter
  • Premium Vinyl – Frosted Gray
  • Premium Vinyl – Frosted Opaque
  • Premium Vinyl – Pearl
  • Printable Vinyl
  • Sandblast Stencil
  • Stencil Vinyl
  • Vinyl (Cricut Brand)

Wood

  • Balsa – 1/16 in
  • Balsa – 3/32 in
  • Basswood – 1/16
  • Basswood – 1/32
  • Birch, Permanent Adhesive

Other Awesome Materials

  • Adhesive Sheet, Double-Sided
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Colored Duct Tape
  • Duct Tape Sheet
  • Glitter Duct Tape
  • Kevlar
  • Magnetic Sheet – 0.5 mm
  • Magnetic Sheet – 0.6 mm
  • Metal – 40 gauge thin copper
  • Neoprene
  • Outdoor Vinyl, Bonded
  • Paint Chip
  • Party Foil
  • Printable Foil
  • Printable Magnetic Sheet
  • Transfer Foil
  • Washi Sheet
  • Window Cling

These are the tools available for your Cricut Maker to make it DO MORE:

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

  1. Fine point blade (what you’ll probably use the most)
  2. Deep point blade
  3. Rotary blade (for cutting fabric cleanly)
  4. Knife blade (it’s like a craft-knife)
  5. Single scoring wheel (for, like, scoring and folding paper)
  6. Double scoring wheel
  7. Fine point pens (your Cricut can draw!)
  8. Washable fabric pen (perfect for embroidery patterns!)
  9. Calligraphy pen (for a hand-lettered look if you aren’t actually able to hand letter)

My biggest wahoo moment was when I realized that with my new machine I could cut fabric. Most other cutting machines can cut fabric, too, but the Cricut Maker is the only one I know of that has a special rotary tool to do it for amazing and consistent results.

What can you make right away with your Cricut Maker?

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.
Image from Cricut Design Space.

Well, first of all, there is a sample project that comes with every machine. I made an adorable little card with a kite on it after I finally opened my box that was the PERFECT introduction to what my machine can do. As I sat there and watched it make its first cuts in awe, I realized that it wasn’t just me making SOMETHING, it was me getting comfortable with making ANYTHING I wanted. That in and of itself showed WHY I love my Cricut… because there is so much you can do, confidently because the company behind these machines really GETS it. They KNOW that you’re going to be intimidated by your machine at first and they’ve got the materials and a tutorial right there in the box to help you get over that initial concern.

But besides that first project, there are TONS of things you can make using all of those materials above. You can even make a QUILT. Yep, there are patterns available so that you can cut all of the little quilt pieces with a machine. How brilliant is that?

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

Can you even believe it? If quilting isn’t your thing you could also sew a fanny pack, make the cutest Christmas gift card holder out of paper that I’ve ever seen, make a piece of wood art to hang on your wall, make an adorable floral headband for baby out of felt… the list goes on and on and it’s pretty darn impressive.

Oh, and the Cricut Maker is SMART.

I’m a huge fan of technology and I LOVE trying new things. It’s something I get teased about pretty regularly because some see some of the things in my home as unnecessary. But turning four lights off and on with a 3-word voice command is pretty amazing when your hands are covered in paint and glitter and you’re in a bit of a rush so I could really care less about getting teased. Which is why I’m a big fan of the fact that I can work on projects in Cricut Design space on my iPad or my cell phone. And when I’m happy with them, I then hook either one straight to the Maker with a USB cable and then you’re informed what materials to place on cutting mats, which tools to load and then you go step by step cutting out everything you need to make that project. And that’s darn cool.

Not only that, say you have a big project going on and you’ve got lots and lots of pieces to cut.

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

In Cricut Design Space you can give each shape, letter, whatever, a color. Every item of the same color will be placed on the same mat, in the best way space-wise automatically for you. At first, I didn’t get the value in this but after I made eight reindeer candy can cozies out of felt, it dawned on me how AMAZING THIS FEATURE REALLY WAS. In one cut file, I had all of my shapes that I needed. There were TONS of them and for each shape, I selected a color for it on-screen to match the color of felt it would be cut out of.

When I sent the file to be cut, it then showed me which color of felt I needed to load and walked me through getting everything cut in one swoop. And when I had an issue because I didn’t press the felt onto the mat well enough and it came up and ruined my cuts I was able to re-run that color before continuing on to the next. Everything I needed was cut out in maybe 10 minutes. Quick. Easy. Super satisfying :)

All of this is cool, and all, but what’s the most important reason I love my Cricut Maker?

Hands down, the people at Cricut have been SO HELPFUL. When I had a problem and got in touch via chat my problem was solved, quickly and easily and in plain language, I could understand. When I couldn’t find something in the Cricut online store and I hopped on the online chat to find out what was up, I was told that it wasn’t something that was currently available, but if I signed up for an email I’d be notified when it was. It wasn’t necessarily the answer that I wanted, but it was given to me quickly and easily so I could plan what my next step would be. And then when I had another question about an item in the Cricut online store, I got, yet another quick answer with really helpful information that helped me make an educated decision quickly. Having dealt with bad customer service in the past that basically meant that my other machine wasn’t much more than a big paperweight on top of my desk, getting this kind of customer service is a reason I can genuinely tell you that Cricut is the brand to go with.

And there it is. If for no other reason, when looking at cutting machines to buy, I’m going to suggest you get a Cricut because when things go pear-shaped, as things sometimes do, you’re going to get polite and helpful service to fix your issue quickly.

Interested in getting one now? This is a link to the Cricut Maker which does all of the stuff I said above. It’s the machine you definitely want to get if you’re wanting to cut some of the more difficult materials like fabric or wood. BUT if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, there is a chart that compares ALL of the Cricut models so you can find what works best for your needs and budget.

Thinking about getting a cutting machine? I've had others, but check out why I love my Cricut Maker the most.

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