Discover the 8 best Cricut machines for crafters of all levels and budgets

best cricut machine

by Adejumoke Ilori |
Updated on

A Cricut machine would make a great addition to any crafting kit. Essentially, it is an electrical cutting machine that can cut all kinds of designs from materials such as paper, vinyl, card stock, and iron-on transfers. Some Cricut machines can cut leather and wood.

Wondering which Cricut machine is best suited for you? That all depends on the kinds of fascinating projects you have planned or you'd like to have a go at. Also, bear in mind the types of materials you’ll want to cut before choosing which Cricut machine to buy.

Cricut machines can work similarly to a label maker. With a Cricut in your home, you’ll be able to make handmade greeting cards, paper banners, and party decorations, quilt blocks and applique shapes, stencils for a painted doormat, custom pantry labels, leather earrings and bracelets, and those special invitation cards (that you have always wanted to do).

The best Cricut machines at a glance:
Best Cricut machine for beginners: Cricut Joy Starter Pack - buy from Very, £209
Best for Bluetooth: Cricut EasyPress 3 - buy from Amazon, £176
Best for efficiency: Cricut Explore 3 - buy from Ryman, £263.99

If you’re thinking about getting one of these cutting machines for yourself, and want to bring to life your inner creativity skills, we have rounded up the best Cricut machines for you. Some of these options also come with Cricut machine accessories.

The best Cricut machines 2024:

Best Cricut machine for fitting in any space

Cricut Joy Xtra cutting machineCricut
Price: £219.99

cricut.com

Introducing the latest model, it's one step up from your favourite budget Cricut cutting machine, but this one does more and still fits in small spaces so you can tuck it away when not in use, but easily pull it out again to make fun things. It looks really nice too. One reviewer said: "Love this machine, especially when making stickers. Easy to use and the size is perfect even for slightly bigger projects and does not take much space."

Cricut Joy Xtra™ cuts, writes, draws, and foils. You can enjoy making all sorts of popular projects from full-colour stickers, custom cards, T-shirts, vinyl decals, and more. It works with the free Design Space™ app too; if you're stuck for design ideas, there are plenty to choose from, and you can connect from your mobile device via Bluetooth.

Another happy customer describes it as "a great little machine and a major upgrade from the Joy." They said that they continue to use both machines as a back-up to their Cricut Maker 3, but that the Xtra really stands up to the task for A4 projects and print and cut projects; they continued: "I am more likely to use the Xtra if I don't need the size of the Maker 3. The original Joy is still used for labels and small projects." The only downside for them is that they found the mat seems to get caught and fold at the corners a fair bit.

Mother and Baby Digital Writer Zara shares her full review of the Cricut Joy Xtra, saying, "I can see that there is the potential for lots of creativity and fun family projects. I think it will be very useful towards Christmas for making personalised gifts for friends and family, and if you have kids they can join in as a fun seasonal activity. I can imagine other personalised gifts throughout the year too, like teacher gifts, party decorations and rainy day activities. Vinyl decals and heat-transfer designs open up all sorts of opportunities for personalising clothes and belongings too."

Pros

  • Compatible with a huge range of 50+ materials
  • You can use your home inkjet printer to print and then cut full colour designs
  • Handles intricate designs when cutting, also writes, draws, foils and more
  • Enjoy peace of mind with the Cricut Manufacturer Warranty

Cons

  • One customer reports the mat seems to get caught and fold at the corners
  • Works with 50+ materials
  • Compatible with your home inkjet printer
  • Cuts intricate designs
  • Writes, draws, foils, and more
  • Works with popular material sizes
  • Free, easy-to-learn Design Space™ app
  • Bluetooth® wireless technology
  • Cricut Design Space library
  • Free live workshops, online courses & beginner cheatsheets
  • World-class customer support available via phone or chat
  • Cricut Manufacturer Warranty

Best Cricut machine for extras

Cricut Joy Xtra Materials Bundle cutting machineCricut

With this bundle you get the latest model plus all the extras. As well as the awesome cutting machine we mention above, you get a basic tool set, plus a variety of mats, paper, and samples to have fun and experiment with. It's the perfect compromise if the higher-priced models are out of your price range, and ideal if you want to get started with this new hobby without investing in a large machine.

Check out the huge list of extra materials included in the bundle in the 'Features' tab below.

Pros

  • This machine gives much more scope for projects with the bigger size than the Joy
  • Works with popular sizes, inlacing US Letter and A4
  • It's still small enough to slot away when not in use and looks very stylish
  • There are loads of samples to test out and experiment with for starter projects
  • Handles intricate designs when cutting, also writes, draws, foils and more
  • Compatible with a huge range of 50+ materials from vinyl, iron-on & yardstick
  • You can use your home inkjet printer to print and then cut full colour designs
  • Get skilled up and take your ideas to the next level with the free Design Space™ app
  • Take advantage of free live workshops, online courses & beginner cheatsheets
  • You're not alone with a World-class customer support available via phone or chat
  • Enjoy peace of mind with the Cricut Manufacturer Warranty

Cons

  • One customer had issues with the bluetooth connectivity
  • The materials bundle include:
  • Light Grip Machine Mat
  • Card Mat, 4.7in x 6.6in
  • Basic Tool Set
  • Printable Sticker Paper – A4 x8
  • Printable Vinyl – A4 x10
  • Standard Grip Machine Mat
  • Gel Pens, 1.0 mm x3
  • Smart Iron-On™ Sampler, Classics x3
  • Smart Iron-On™ Sampler, Holographic x3
  • Smart Vinyl™ Writable Vinyl – Removable x3
  • Smart Label™ Paper – Permanent x4
  • Smart Vinyl™ – Permanent, Pinwheel Sampler x3
  • Smart Vinyl™ – Permanent, Roller Skate Sampler x3
  • Transfer Tape 3ft
  • Insert Cards, Glitz & Glam Sampler
  • Insert Cards, New Romantic Sampler
  • Cutaway Cards, Corsage Sampler

Best affordable Cricut machine

cricut machine
Price: $151.98

So, you’ve popped all of your ideas on to your inspiration board? Great; now all you need to do is make them. This pint-sized powerhouse is an affordable creative tool from the Cricut series that will help make it easier than ever to bring your projects to life. Although one reviewer says: "I wouldn’t say amazing value for money as you only get a small amount of vinyl to start you off but it’s not a bad starter package." They also felt it was a bit of a fiddle to begin with as they were a Cricut beginner, but thought that the instructions for set-up were clear.

You can download a free app to help with designs; another reviewer says: "The Cricut Joy app is easy to use and means I can instantly create basic labels, stickers, and paper crafts. The starter set came with everything I needed to experiment." But do note that there is an additional charge if you want to subscribe for a greater selection of designs; some reviewers find this disappointing to have to pay extra.

While the machine is very small and handy, the power cable pin is really thin and could be vulnerable to damage, so this is something to watch out for.

This is the smallest Cricut machine, which means there will be limitations as to what you can achieve with it because of the smaller size of the machine compared to some of the others. You won't be able to do any of the more fancy things either, like embossing leather or cutting for larger projects like bigger T-shirt motifs. It's great for small crafty activities to do with the kids though, and ideal for creating labels for home organisation.

Pros

  • A small and portable powerhouse
  • Little but highly versatile and weighing only 1.75kg
  • With Smart Materials you can cut super-long cuts without a cutting mat
  • Packs away easily and sets up instantly when you need it

Cons

  • Small size means limitations to what the machine can cut
  • The power cable pin is very thin
Dimensions:‎21.41 x 13.79 x 10.8 cm; 1.75 kg
  • Weighs only 1.75kg
  • Cuts 50 materials
  • Draws any shape
  • Writes in a variety of styles
  • Cuts shapes up to 1.2m (4ft) long
  • Makes repeated cuts up to 6m (20ft) long

Best Cricut machine for beginners

CRICUT MACHINE
Price: £179.99 (was 209)

www.very.co.uk

Set your creativity free with this amazing Cricut Joy Starter Kit. It has everything you need to get started on your creative projects; a bundle including the Joy mentioned above, plus materials and extras. It comes with a rose weeder, Joy transfer tape, Joy fine point pens, a card mat, and more to help get you started and feeling confident; one reviewer described the machine as being fantastic for doing crafty jobs of all sizes - they said: "Heat Transfer Vinyl is my new favourite thing to do, my iron has never been used so much!"

You might even get a bit addicted; one reviewer who bought this for their daughter said she loves the machine and has hardly stopped using it: "From vinyl decals on everything to making key rings, gift tags, cards and cake toppers to name just a few."

Pros

  • A great beginner kit that comes with everything you need to get started
  • Lots of extra materials included as well as the Joy machine

Cons

  • This is the smallest machine so you'll be limited with what you can do with it
Depth: 18 CM
Height: 24.7 CM
Width: 27 CM
  • Cricut Joy™ cutting machine
  • Rose Weeder
  • Cricut Joy™ Card Mat
  • Joy Insert Cards Pastel Sampler 
  • Joy Smart Vinyl Elegance Sampler
  • Joy Transfer Tape
  • Joy Fine Point Pens 0.4 Black, Brown, Grey

Best Cricut machine for Bluetooth

This great Cricut EasyPress connects to the Cricut Heat app via Bluetooth connection to offer precise temperature control settings. It works well with the iron-on vinyl (HTV), infusible ink, and sublimation products, so if you have plain T-shirts that need jazzing up with cool logo designs, this is a must-have product.

One reviewer who had used the machine on T-shirts and tote bags, both with heat transfer vinyl and sublimation prints, described it as an excellent heat press with consistently great results. They said: "The app is great as it advises on temperature and time depending on material used, although it is a little limited. For any materials not listed, you can search online and input settings manually. It’s a sturdy unit and not overly heavy. Very impressed!" Others said that it is easy to use and that the tutorials and guides are very useful.

Pros

  • It is available in two sizes to offer more scope for creative projects
  • Enjoy precise temperature control by connecting to the Cricut Heat app
  • Edge-to-edge heat
  • You can use it with brands of iron-on (HTV), Infusible Ink and sublimation products
  • Easy-to-use tutorials and guides

Cons

  • Accessories not included
Dimensions:Available in two sizes - 22.5cm x 22.5cm (9" x 9") and 30cm x 25cm (12" x 10")
  • Connects to Cricut Heat app
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Available in two sizes
  • Precise temperature control up to 205°C (400℉)
  • Heat plate with ceramic-coated surface
  • Compatible with major brands of iron-on (HTV), Infusible Ink and sublimation products

Best Cricut machine for efficiency

The Cricut Explore 3 cuts, draws, scores, and more, twice as fast as the previous model. It works with six different cutting tools and is compatible with Smart Materials for cuts up to 3.6m without a mat – meaning you can create big banners without a cutting mat. The variety of materials you can use the machine with is immense, from card stock to bonded fabric; the possibilities are endless. With the free Design Space app you can connect via iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac to find loads of inspiration and templates to use. Do note that for the full range of designs and inspiration you can subscribe in the app for an additional cost.

One reviewer said it was worth the money just to watch her daughter's eyes light up when she opened the box and saw the Cricut 3 (her daughter is a teacher); she says her daughter "picked it up and ran like the Grinch into an empty room and started using it. Thankfully we brought the bundle and press machine which included the practice assignments for learning! Excellent investment for the whole family!" Another reviewer who had never heard of Cricut before said: "The fact you can make your own T-shirts was enough for me to take the plunge."

Some say the instructions aren't great, but with so many people online doing demos you shouldn't have a problem. One customer advises: "I'd highly recommend doing research before buying and see how it all works before making the purchase. It really helped me get up and running within minutes of the machine arriving." In particular, they recommend watching as many YouTube videos as possible.

Pros

  • This machine is twice as fast than previous models
  • Create cuts of up to 12 feet (3.6 metres) without using a cutting mat
  • Use it with over 100 different materials
  • The free Design Space App is compatible for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac
  • Docking-slot for mobile devices

Cons

  • Only one colour option
  • Some say the instructions aren't great
  • Compatible tools are sold separately
Dimensions: (mm) H241 W341 D609
  • Twice as fast than Explore Air 2
  • Compatible with Smart Materials
  • Cuts up to 12 feet/3.6 metres in one go
  • Compatible with other tools (sold separately)
  • Cut over 100 different materials
  • Built-in storage
  • Docking slot for mobile devices
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Free Design Space App
  • Materials for a practice cut

Best Cricut machine for a multipack

CRICUT EXPLORE 3 EVERYTHING MATERIALS BUNDLE
Price: £439.99 (was £545.91)

cricut.com

The Cricut Maker 3 + Essentials Bundle + Cricut Access Subscription includes the Cricut Maker 3 machine, plus a bundle of accessories and materials, and one month's subscription to the design app.

The Maker 3 can cut anything from delicate fabrics to heavy chipboard, leather, and balsa wood. It cuts up to 3.6m without a cutting mat, and the bundle comes with 13 tools to cut, score, write, deboss, engrave and more. Once you realise the possibilities your creative juices will really start to flow. We're not just talking T-shirts and greetings cards any more; this machine helps make leather jewellery and even personal picture puzzles. In fact, the only downside we came across was that if you're new to Cricut, this bundle might overwhelm you, and new users might prefer a simpler starter pack.

The price is, of course, very high; but, as one reviewer points out: "you get solid features and good quality for your money." They warn that the cutter must be connected to a computer to transfer the designs, which may be a limitation for some users. One other thing to be aware of is that the Cricut won't connect to an iPad, but you can use your iPhone.

Pros

  • Tool set included
  • Cuts pretty much any material you can think of from delicate fabric to balsa wood
  • Compatible with various tools for cutting, writing, scoring, foiling, and embellishing
  • The machines handles super-long and precise cuts up to 12 ft (3.6 m) without a mat

Cons

  • New users may prefer a simpler starter pack
  • The Cricut will not connect to an iPad
  • Twice as fast as previous model
  • Cuts 300+ materials
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Docking slot
  • USB port
  • Built-in storage
  • This bundle includes one month's subscription to the design app
  • Also includes:
  • Everyday Iron-On Sampler, Elegance
  • Premium Vinyl Sampler Removable, Elegance
  • Transfer Tape
  • True Control Knife, Blue
  • Cutting Mat Varietry Pack, 12 in x 12 in (3 pack)
  • Tools Basic Set
  • Portable Trimmer

Best Cricut machine for mug making

We’ve all got that special mug that we don’t like to share. Well, the Cricut mug press will help personalise your favourite mug so that no-one can mistakenly use it again. Alternatively, use the machine to create gorgeous personalised gifts for friends and family. All you need to do is create your design using the Circuit infusible ink material, attach it to your mug, and let the press machine do the magic. If you're not very arty though, don't worry because you can use the cut-and-press ready-made projects found in the Cricut Design Space app; do note that you need a subscription at an additional cost to benefit from all the designs in the app.

It's really easy to use, with simple one-touch settings you can't go wrong. It even has an auto-off function. The only thing you need to worry about is using it in a well-ventilated area, so make sure you open a window. One reviewer liked that everything you need to get started comes with the machine; they said: "I had my first one printed off in an hour after opening the box. Simple instructions are easy to follow, obviously need to get more colours as time goes on, but all-in-all a great starting point."

Pros

  • Create your design with Infusible Ink™ materials for 'life-proof' designs
  • Easy-to-use one-touch settings
  • Mugs and ink included so you can get started on your project immediately
  • Find templates in the Cricut Design Space app
  • Design your own or use the cut and press ready-made projects in the app
  • Visit the Cricut Learn Portal for an introduction to mug design
  • The machine has an auto-off function

Cons

  • Use in well-ventilated area
Dimensions:Packaged size L43.9 x W21 x H23.8cm
  • Infusible Ink™
  • One Touch Settings
  • Cricut Design Space app
  • Cut-and-press projects
  • Auto-off button
  • Cricut Learn Portal
  • No manual temperature or pressure settings

The best Cricut machine alternatives

Best lightweight Cricut alternative

Want to save money on your little one's birthday invitation cards? Then this is for you. The Silhouette Portrait 3 will leave you in awe and features incredible designs that will allow your craft projects to stand out. Not only does it come with the compact cutting machine, but it also comes with cutting-edge updates, giving your work the best experience.

One review said: "Brought this cutting machine in January, l have used it loads making personalised cards, paper bunting, gift tags, I’ve cut vinyl to decorate key rings, glasses, bottle and tiles. This is my first cutting machine and I love it. I’m very happy with my purchase and like the fact that I can use any brand of vinyl in this machine."

Pros

  • 50 exclusive designs
  • Comes with an adapter for Silhouette Sketch Pens

Cons

  • Doesn't include tools

What does a Cricut machine do?

Essentially, a Cricut machine cuts different materials so that you can use them for crafts. Some people use Cricuts to make labels for storage boxes, water bottles and food jars, but there are so many other things you can do with them. They can cut through paper, vinyl, and card, and more-advanced machines can even cut through plastic, wood, fabric, and other denser materials.

How to use a Cricut machine

Of course, this will depend on what model you have, but there are many ways to use a Cricut machine. If you are completely new to the world of Cricut crafting, this tutorial will tell you everything you need to know so that you can have the basics mastered in no time.

Are Cricut machines wireless?

You can use Cricut machines wirelessly by connecting to Bluetooth. There is software called Design Space which can be added to an Android or iOS device, or desktop. You don't even need to be connected to the internet either, as you can scroll through your pre-made projects or downloaded content and select the ones you want to make.

Adejumoke Ilori is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. She is a mum to a little girl, and has worked for various digital platforms. She has produced content that empowers women from all walks of life by sharing real life stories based on relationships, loving yourself and motherhood.

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