Best Cricut Machines 2021 : Review from an Expert

by Mia M.

If you love design projects, a good way to make your designs come alive is by making use of Cricut Machines to create and cut designs using different materials you can think of. We are in a world where creativity thrives, and a good way to promote your art is to use machines that will create and produce your designs in high quality. That will make the world fall in love with what you have to showcase. You can cut and print designs on many materials like papers, hats, shirts, cardstock, cardboard, vinyl, shoes, walls, plastics, wood, iron-on, and even leather materials.

Basically, you can create and cut your designs on any material to beautify them.

You can enjoy the feeling of making your own craft from ordinary materials by using quality Cricut machines. For some, this machine can be quite strange, so let's explain what it means and the kind of service it offers crafters and professionals in the field of art and culture.

What is a Cricut Machine?

A Cricut Machine is an electronic machine designed for creating and cutting amazing craft designs with materials. Cricut Machines have different versions and models. Each one offers different features and functions that go beyond cutting materials. These features include heat pressing, drawing, embossing, and creating 3D designs with materials. Cricut machines are also used to engrave designs on materials without the designs cracking, fading, or peeling off.

When creating and making your crafts, you can get more ideas by subscribing to "Cricut Access" huge library of fonts and images. You can also create and upload your own photos and images for free through the use of Cricut Design Space software available on most Cricut machines.

A Cricut machine is a great tool for crafters and professionals around the world. It is also a useful tool for anyone that just loves to cut out things. You can use them to die-cut greeting cards, invitation cards, business cards, envelopes, customized labels, and many more. You can also use them to personalize items and make home/office decorations on the walls etc.

In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the best Cricut Machines for your projects.

Best Cricut Machines in 2021 (Product Reviews)

Best Cricut Machines in 2021 (Product Reviews)

Here are five of the best girls' skiing and snowboarding gloves reviewed in 2021;

1. Cricut Explore One Cutting Machine - Link

Cricut Explore One Electronic Cutting Machine Bundle
Cricut Explore One Electronic Cutting Machine Bundle

The "Cricut Explore One Cutting Machine" is an electronic machine designed for cutting fonts and images created on mobile devices and PCs. This machine can cut paper and materials as thick as felt and leather. It uses Cricut cartridges and comes with its own package that includes a blade, USB, power cables, cutting mat, free images, and Cricut Design Space software.

It also offers vinyl samples and project ideas with a detailed instruction manual for new users. The Cricut Explore machine weighs 13.75 pounds and measures 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches in size. This is an incredible Cricut cutting machine because of the great benefits it offers. To cut paper designs wirelessly, you will need to install a separately sold Bluetooth wireless adapter.

You can make use of cloud-based software on your iPad or PC to design several images and prepare them for cutting using a Cricut machine. There are several free cloud-based software you can download from app stores and each one will help you design images of good quality. Once your images are ready, you can perfectly cut them out with the help of the machine's Cut Smart Technology. Selecting materials with a Smart Set dial will ensure precise cutting.

Basic Features

  • Strong Blade
  • Power Cords
  • Cutting Mat
  • Instructions Manual
  • Versatile Cutting Machine

The Pros (Benefits)

  • It allows users to import free images
  • It allows users to upload their images and cut them for free
  • This is an excellent electronic machine for executing DIY crafts and projects
  • It can be used to cut different materials i.e., vinyl, paper, iron-on, and leather
  • This machine can be used to cut wirelessly through a wireless Bluetooth adapter
  • You can create designs on devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac with cloud-based apps

The Cons (Limitations)

  • The Explore One Cricut cutting machine does not have a dual carriage
  • You will have to buy a Bluetooth adapter separately if you want to cut wirelessly

2. Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine - Link

Cricut EasyPress Mini - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts Shoes Hats and Small HTV Vinyl Projects
Cricut EasyPress Mini - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts Shoes Hats and Small HTV Vinyl Projects

This is a heat press mini raspberry machine designed for tight spaces and unusual objects. It is also used for places that are difficult to reach. This machine features three main heat settings that allow users to execute iron-on and infusible ink tasks. It has a ceramic heat plate used for performing edge-to-edge heat transfers on materials such as hats, shoes, t-shirts, and vinyl.

Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine is very portable and has the capacity to perform unusual heat transfer projects across different brands. This mini but mighty Cricut machine has a compact design and works perfectly for those interested in working on unusual objects and projects.

Furthermore, the machine is lightweight because it weighs 1.07 pounds with a 3.4 x 2.1 inches size dimension. This makes it easy to store and maintain after use. It is also an ideal model for use and one of the best Cricut machines because of its excellent heat transfer capability. So, if you are looking for a high-performance heat press machine that can work on unusual objects and tight spaces, ensure you get the "Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine". Highly recommended.

Basic Features

  • Lightweight
  • Compact Size Design
  • Infusible Ink Project
  • Insulated Safety Base
  • Auto Shutoff Feature
  • Ceramic Coated Heat Plate

The Pros (Benefits)

  • It is lightweight and portable which makes it easy to carry
  • It offers precise and highly detailed heat transfer capability
  • It has an auto-shutoff feature that trips off at a certain heat level
  • The base of this machine is properly insulated to provide safety
  • It is highly compatible with major brands when it comes to heat transfer
  • It can be used to customize different materials from basic to unusual ones
  • It permanently infuses ink into the base of materials (No cracking or flaking)

The Cons (Limitations)

  • You can not use it for heat transfer on heavy-duty projects

3. Cricut Explore Air Cutting Machine - Link

Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine

The Cricut Explore Air wireless cutting machine is specially designed for executing heavy-duty projects. You can use it to create and cut series of designs because it offers over 50,000 images, fonts, and projects in the Cricut Image Library. If you fancy creating your own images, you are free to upload them and prepare them for cutting with the Cricut Explore Air cutting machine.

One of the major advantages of this machine is that it allows you to send projects wirelessly. You can create projects using Cricut Design Space software on your iPhone, Mac, or PC and then send them wirelessly to the Explore Air machine without hassle. There are no technical issues with the software and no unnecessary cables found in other cutting machines.

Note that you have to connect to the internet if you want to enjoy the better performance while using this cutting machine. It is the perfect cutting machine for crafters but not the best for professional workers. That said, it is still an incredible Cricut cutting machine because you can use it to make invitation cards, business cards, and also design personalized projects.

Basic Features

  • Cricut Cartridges Compatibility
  • Smart Set Dial and Dual Carriage
  • Embedded Wireless Bluetooth
  • Cricut Design Space Software
  • Integrated Storage Compartments
  • Patent-pending Cut Smart Technology

The Pros (Benefits)

  • It is well made and easy to set up with the Smart Set Dial
  • It allows users to upload their own fonts and images for free
  • You can transfer your design projects wirelessly to the Explore Air machine
  • You will have extra space to cut your projects because it is free of unnecessary cables
  • It has a Cut Smart Technology that allows you to cut different shapes with size precision
  • You can use it to cut wide range of materials such as vinyl, iron-on, cardstock, fabric, etc.
  • You can use it for different projects like personalizing decors and embellishing photos

The Cons (Limitations)

  • You have to rely on a constant internet connection to get better results
  • You have to pay for a subscription service to enjoy the tutorial guides

4. Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine - Link

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9
Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, 9

This is one of the best Cricut machines used for performing heat press on t-shirts, banners, and other materials. This machine has 9 x 9 inches size dimensions which makes it ideal for basic designs on aprons, tote bags, shirts, pillows, and HTV vinyl projects. It made our list of best Cricut machines because of its endless project possibilities. It also has an insulated safety base.

It has a ceramic-coating surface and a heat plate with an advanced shape that ensures iron-on can be carried out on materials within few minutes. You don't have to worry about overheating as it has a temperature control feature up to "400℉" and an in-built timer. It comes with an online heat guide that allows users to set preferred timing and temperature for their projects.

The lightweight and portable feature make it an ideal Cricut heat press machine you can carry with you when traveling out of town. It is an essential iron-on machine that provides a fast and convenient heat press because it offers tested temperature and timing for any type of project.

Basic Features

  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Auto-Shutoff Feature
  • Insulated Safety Base
  • Ceramic-Coated Surface
  • Advanced Heat Plate Shape
  • Precise Temperature Control

The Pros (Benefits)

  • It is lightweight, portable, and has an easy to store design
  • It provides precise temperature control to avoid overheating
  • It is an ideal Cricut machine for creating and executing large craft designs
  • You have the freedom to set the timing and temperature you want for projects
  • The in-built timer and insulated safety base provide the needed safety precautions
  • You can use this Cricut machine to take on any heat transfer or sublimation projects
  • It is compatible with infusible ink products and brands involved in heat transfer vinyl

The Cons (Limitations)

  • It is quite expensive when compared to other Cricut machines
  • You will need to apply extra pressure if you want to get an excellent result

5. Cricut Joy Machine - Link

Cricut Joy Machine - Compact and Portable DIY Machine For Quick Vinyl, HTV Iron On and Paper Projects | Makes Custom Decals, Custom T Shirt Designs, Personalized Greeting Cards, and Label Maker
Cricut Joy Machine - Compact and Portable DIY Machine For Quick Vinyl, HTV Iron On and Paper Projects | Makes Custom Decals, Custom T Shirt Designs, Personalized Greeting Cards, and Label Maker

Just as the name implies, this compact and portable Cricut machine will give you outright joy when performing quick vinyl, HTV iron-on heat-press, and paper projects. This machine is specially designed to make custom decals, customize designs on t-shirts, make label designs, and create personalized greeting cards. This portable DIY machine is easy to set up and use.

Cricut Joy Machine is a rather small lightweight cutting/heat-press unit but one that is smart and offers amazing features for crafters and beginners in the vinyl design and projects field. The machine is affordable and used for cutting vinyl decals, precise cutting, matless cutting, and creating custom cards. It is your basic day-to-day tool for personalizing and customizing items.

It is also classified as a writing machine used for creating wall decors and customizing items like water bottles. You can use this Cricut machine for other projects like making household labels, designing event banners, and creating greeting/business cards. You don't need a cutting mat to make long cuts, which means you can quickly make and cut your designs without stress.

Basic Features

  • Compact and Portable
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Cricut Design Space
  • Power Adapter
  • Fine Point Pen
  • Premium Fine Point Blade

The Pros (Benefits)

  • It is lightweight, compact, and very portable
  • It is highly compatible with cutting a variety of materials
  • It is reliable writing, cutting, and label making machine
  • New subscribers can enjoy free trial membership to the Cricut access library
  • It comes with free design software for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows
  • It works with Smart Materials for a long and continuous cut with a cutting mat
  • You can upload and create your personal designs with Cricut Design Space for free

The Cons (Limitations)

  • It is not a good fit for commercial-grade projects
  • You have to subscribe monthly to gain access to its huge library of fonts and images

Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Cricut Machines

There are different types of Cricut Machines used for cutting and heat press projects. Each version comes with its own features and functions, so it is important to review them and decide which one will be best for your projects. You need to make the right choice be it cutting business cards, customizing shirts, making labels, or even creating office wall decorations.

Therefore, this section of the article will provide you with a buying guide that will help you make the best decision when choosing a Cricut machine to purchase and use for your projects.

Here are some crucial factors to note to help you choose the best Cricut Machines in 2021;

Ask Yourself If You Need a Cricut Machine

You need to ask yourself if you need a Cricut machine before purchasing one. Some people just buy these machines and leave them lying around the house because they can't find a need for them. If you love craft designs or you tend to cut materials a lot, you should purchase a Cricut Machine. However, if you don't fancy any of these things, don't bother buying one.

Consider The Material You Want to Use

Another factor you need to consider is the type of materials you want to work with. So, ensure you purchase a Cricut machine that is capable of cutting the material you want to work with. The thickness of materials varies, so purchase a Cricut machine that can slice your materials.

Consider If You Can Afford a Cricut Machine

Some Cricut Machines can be expensive but they offer all you need when it comes to cutting and heat press services. Whether you are a beginner, crafter, or professional, it is important to compare the price range of different Cricut machines so that you can get a budget-friendly one.

The price range table of the best Cricut Machines reviewed in this guide is stated below;

1. Cricut Explore One Cutting Machine Unavailable
2. Cricut EasyPress Mini Machine Unavailable
3. Cricut Explore Air Cutting Machine Unavailable
4. Cricut EasyPress 2 Machine $129.00 - $143.99
5. Cricut Joy Machine $131.06 - $150.99

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are frequently asked questions that should be of help;

What are the materials I can use a Cricut Machine to cut?

You can use Cricut machines to cut a variety of materials that include paper, vinyl, cardstock, iron-on, fabric, vellum, poster board, and materials that are as thick as leather. So, if you have any material within this category, be rest assured that our recommended Cricut machines can cut them without hassle. Their cutting range ensures users can cut hundreds of materials.

What is the difference between Cricut Explore Air and Cricut Explore One?

These two Cricut cutting machines look quite similar when you compare their basic features but there are definitely some differences between them. The Cricut Explore Air comes with an embedded Bluetooth wireless feature for wireless cutting and a 1-Step cut, write and score feature. However, you will have to separately purchase a Bluetooth wireless adapter and 2-Steps cut-write-score feature if you want to perform these functions on Cricut Explore One. If we are to recommend the one to buy, we will recommend buying Cricut Explore Air.

Is it worth paying for Cricut Access monthly subscription?

As a beginner who is into basic projects and personal designs, you might not need to pay for Cricut Access. However, if you are a professional, it is essential to pay for Cricut Access because you will get to enjoy the premium service it offers. This includes access to a huge library of fonts and images that will make your crafts better. On average, Cricut Access costs $6.00 - $8.00 monthly, and you will get to enjoy premium access to over 500 fonts and 75,000 images.

What is the difference between a Lacer Cutter and Cricut Machine?

What differentiates a Lacer Cutter from a Cricut Machine is its mechanism of operation. Laser cutters cut through materials with heat and pressure without making any contact. It involves pointing the laser beam towards the material to cut through a nozzle. However, Cricut Machine makes use of a blade to cut through materials or paper designs, and a pen to write on them.

In terms of quality, Lacer cutters offer better service because their cutting is more accurate and comes out in high-quality as compared to the ones from Cricut Machines.

Do I need to download any special software to maximize the use of my Cricut Machine?

Every Cricut Machine comes with a Cricut Design Space software that allows users to import and export files from their mobile devices and personal computers. This Cricut Design Space software is free and compatible with most versions of Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices. You don't necessarily need to download any special software since Cricut Design Space software will provide you with every feature you want from an external software online.

Should I upgrade my current Cricut Machine to the latest version?

You might find the need to want to upgrade your Cricut machine to the latest one but you have to ask yourself why you need the upgrade. Just like mobile phones and cars, do you decide to go for an upgrade the moment a new model is in the market? I bet the answer is NO.

So, ensure you've explored all the features of your current Cricut machine before going for an upgrade. However, if you want to learn new techniques on the latest models, you can upgrade.

Buy on Etsy, Walmart, eBay (subject to availability)

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Raspberry, - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Cricut Explore 3 White, Mint - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Cricut Explore Air 2, Mint - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Cricut Joy Machine - Compact and Portable DIY Machine For Quick Vinyl, HTV Iron On and - Walmart, Etsy, eBay

Cricut EasyPress 2 - Heat Press Machine For T Shirts and HTV Vinyl Projects, Mint, 12" x - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay

Cricut Joy Cutting and Writing Machine, Portable, Blue - Walmart, Etsy, eBay


The Cricut Machines reviewed in this article are all incredible and worth buying if you're on the lookout for a good one. You can visit the Cricut stores to purchase any of these machines and also subscribe to Cricut Access if you want to gain access to a huge library of fonts and images.

Cricut Access will provide you with premium service when working with your Cricut machine but you have to ensure it is worth it. Consider how often you use the machine and if the extra images you have access to are necessary for your level of the project. You should also consider if you're going to make the most of the Cricut machine by participating in the "Make it Now" projects available. The answers to these thoughts will help you decide if you need Cricut Access.

Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section and tell us your favorite Cricut Machine.

About Mia M.

I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.

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hey, i’m mia

tattoo lover, plant hoarder, DIY addict and overall stoner grandma

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