Explore vs. Maker: A Cricut Machine Comparison

Wondering which Cricut machine is the perfect one for your craft projects? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Simply put, a Cricut is a machine that lets you cut & shape a wide range of materials in a variety of sizes. With all its amazing features and the significant amount of time you save when crafting with these power tools, it’s no wonder they carry a fairly hefty price tag. 

This post provides a comparison between Cricut Explore and Maker machines so you can get the best bang for your buck and choose the one you’ll benefit from the most.

Types Of Cricut Machines

First, let’s cut Cricut Joy from the options as it’s mainly for beginners looking to make quick and easy projects.

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Now, if you want to craft big items in one go like large T-Shirt designs, shadow box designs, or big wall decals, Cricut Explore will be the best option.

For cutting and shaping more dense materials like leather, wood, or unbonded fabrics, you may want to splurge a little and invest in a Cricut Maker.

Read ahead for a more in-depth comparison of the Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker series.

Similarities between a Cricut Explore & a Maker

Image Credits: The DIY Mom

Here’s a spoiler alert: Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker are both fantastic options for crafting.

Both machines have the following features:

  • Use them with the free Cricut Design Space program
  • Upload & cut custom designs and projects
  • There are more than 50 free projects on Cricut’s website that can be used for these machines.
  • Both can cut more than 100 materials – the MOST common ones – including paper, vinyl, and light cardstock! To see a full list of materials these machines can cut, visit this Cricut Guide. Please note that the Maker can cut a further 200 materials in comparison to the Explore series machines.
  • Both machines let you cut, draw, score, and add foil effects with the “foil transfer kit” (this kit has been discontinued by Cricut as the Maker now does all of this)
  • They both come with a first Project for you to get familiar with your machine.

What are the differences?

Image Credits: Let’s Craft Instead
  • The Cricut Maker has 10X the cutting force than any Cricut Explore machine. This allows you to cut wood, leather, and fabrics that don’t have a backing material. These materials cannot be cut on the Explore series.
  • The Maker is also a larger machine than the Explore. Many people opt for the Explore over the Maker for that reason alone.
  • The Explore is a little more affordable than the Maker. This means you’ll have a little extra cash to buy more craft supplies.

That’s It! We’ve compared the Cricut Machines

The learning simply never ends when you’re a Crafter! Especially if you’re just starting to try your hands at using cutting machines like Cricut.

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