Cricut explore machines reviews

Today, I am going to take you through the “Cricut explore” family of machines reviews. I am going to focus mainly on Cricut explore one, Cricut explore air and its improvement the Cricut explore 2.

Cricut explore one features reviews

Cricut explore one is the first creation of the vinyl cutting machines from the explore family.

Circut explore one

Design

The Cricut explore one has a really neat design. It is a 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches machine. It comes only in white and grey which I personally like. It is possible to open it from the front to put your mat, and also your accessories in two little storage rooms

Most of the buttons line in the left of the machine. There is a power button, one for loading the mat, one for starting the cutting or drawing, and finally one for suspending the operations. The last “button” is what they call the Smart Set button. It is used to select the material you want to cut. Depending on your choice, the machine makes the required adjustements for your cuts.

Single cuts

The explore one can be used either for cutting or drawing. To do so,all you need is to put the correct accessory in the holder.

Use

To use the explore one, you have two options:

  1. plug in a USB cable and connect it to your computer
  2. Buy the wireless adapter and connect it to any device that has a bluetooth

In both cases, there is a free application provided by Cricut which will help you get started on all your projects. It can be installed on Mac, windows android or iPhone or it can be used on the browser. In the latter case, internet connection is required.

User experience

The feedback from the users is without any surprises highly positive. However, most of the negative reviews are because of the cricut design space. Some users don’t like the interface of the software or find it slow to load. However, since it has occurred for a while, I am expecting the problems they faced to be solved by the developpers.

Pros

For me, these are the best points of the cricut explore one:

  • Easy to use
  • User friendly
  • Precise cuts and drawings
  • Supports many materials
  • Possibility of addition of new configurations for new materials
  • Great reference manual
  • Great adoption by the community

Cons

  • Usable only with the cricut design space
  • Some of interesting designs are not free

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Cricut explore air functionnalities reviews

Cricut explore is the spiritual successor of Cricut explore one. It came to overcome the limitations of the cricut explore one. This is not totally true …

Actually, the explore one was released after the release of the Cricut explore air as a cheaper alternative. To avoid repeating myself, I will just highlight the differences between both of the machines.

Cricut explore air

Design

The explore air two comes in two different colors: blue and wild orchid.

As you can see from the picture above, it looks pretty much the same as the explore one. However, it is slightly bigger. With its 25.4 x 10 x 9.2 inches, it will be easier to store.

Integrated wireless connection

Unlike explore one, explore air 1 has an integration Bluetooth connection. It is of course still possible to use the cable to connect the machine to a computer but why bother? With the wireless connection, you can connect your machine to any device with a bluetooth connection: a tablet, a laptop or a smartphone.

Double carriage functionality

With explore air, it is possible to draw and cut materials at the same time. With this feature, projects which were impossible, hard to do or time-consuming are easier now. The following video will help you understand how it can be used.

Customer reviews

As for the explore one, the majority of the reviews are highly positive. However, there are some negative feedbacks. The main reason for them is the Cricut design space. Some users say that it is limited compared to an image editing software while other faced some slowness in the performance of the software.

Pros

Pretty much the strenghts of the explore one are still valid for the explore air:

  • Easy to use
  • User friendly
  • Precise cuts and drawings
  • Support many materials
  • Possibility of addition of new configurations for new materials
  • Great reference manual
  • Great adoption by the community
  • The possibility of drawing and cutting at the same time
  • No need to use a usb cable

Cons

  • Cricut design space is limited and sometimes slow
  • a bit expensive

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Cricut explore air 2 features reviews

Cricut explore air 2

The Cricut explore air 2 is the newest born from the explore air 2 families. It is as expected an improvement over the Cricut explore air 1. It has all the features from cricut explore air 1. However, there are 2 main differences between the machines.

Design

The Cricut explore air 2 comes in multiple colors unlike the Explore air 1: mint, black, sky, flamingo and raspberry. It is slightly smaller than the explore air 1: 24 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches. However, to be honest I don’t really think that you can tell the difference unless you put both machines side by side.

Raspberry explore air 2
Raspberry explore air 2

Fast cut

The main new feature for Cricut explore air 2 is its improved speed. It is possible with it to cut materials up to 2 times faster than the previous one . They don’t specify what technical improvements they made. Still, I am expecting them just to have improved the mechanisms and the blades control .

The fast mode is available for vinyl, iron-on, and cardstock based materials. It is accessible for these materials on the design space software. However, the device is expected to do much more noise when cutting.

Customers reviews

Like its older sisters, the air explore 2 is well appreciated by the users. However, most of the negative feedback isconcerning the cricut design studio. Some experienced users say that it doesn’t manage well the available space in your cutting materials.

Pros

  • All of the positive points from cricut air explore 1
  • Faster to use
  • Available in more colors

Cons

  • Can be used directly only with design space
  • As for the others, design space is not stable enough
  • Expensive

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Cricut explore one vs cricut explore air vs cricut explore air 2

The following table summarizes all the available features for the 3 machines from the explore families.

FeatureCricut explore oneCricut explore air 1Cricut explore air 2
Cutting,writing more than 100 materialsXXX
Double cutsXXX
Usb connectionXXX
Free access to cricut design spaceXXX
Uploading custom images for freeXXX
Integrated wireless connectionXX
Up to 2X faster cutting and writingX


Conclusion

In general, if you are just a beginner and want machine to get started in vinyl cutting, I highly advise you to go for the explore one or the explore air.

However, if you feel that you need a fast machine for vinyl cutting for your small business, I highly recommend the explore air 2.

Finally, If you are looking for a machine which doesn’t require a computer to be used, you will have to go for something else. For instance, I highly recommend to go for a brother CM350 or a brother sdx125.

Check out the brother CM350 review and the brother sdx125 review if you are interested.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Cricut explore machines
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