Cricut Maker Review

Several years ago, my Sister-in-law was really into the Cricut machine craze.  She used to scrapbook, and had several kids.  At the time, I didn’t have any kids, and scrapbooking was something that I just wasn’t into.  Fast forward to a couple of years ago and I started sewing, I mean really sewing.  I saw people customizing their makes with iron-on vinyl.  I loved seeing the cute sayings or shapes that were being placed just about anywhere.  Then fast forward to a few weeks ago.  One of my friends contacted me about the Cricut Maker.  Now that I’ve been using mine for a couple of months, I thought I’d sit down and give it a review.  cricut

I think the main thing that people notice, or talk about, with the Maker is the fact that it has a rotary cutter.  This is such a neat feature!  It can cut through a multitude of different fabrics and materials.  Quilting cotton, knit, leather, felt, silk, cashmere, tulle, you name it.  The other Cricut machines could cut through fabrics too, but they had to be bonded, meaning they had to have a backing, like heat and bond.  Because the dragging motion of the blade didn’t allow for the fabric to just sit on the mat without the backing.  With the rotary blade, it doesn’t drag like the regular blades, but rather rolls and then completely lifts up to change directions.  This allows the rotary blade to cut through all the fibers rather than dragging across the fibers.cricut9cricut4

I could see several applications in which the rotary cutter would come in very handy.  If you were a quilter, and needed to cut out several of the same size and shape pieces out of the same fabric, then the Maker could easily do the job for you.  One hundred hexagons, forty cresents, or even fifty diamonds.  I could see how this could come in very handy.  Below, I used it to cut out a heart on a polyester blend knit fabric. cricut10

Despite being very cool, there are a few disadvantages.  You’re limited to a 12″ wide cutting space.  For someone that does smaller crafts, or quilting, this might not be all that bad.  For someone like me that does apparel sewing, this really limits what I can use the rotary blade for in my sewing.  I could see cutting out an appliqué to sew on, especially for the perfectionist that I am.  Another disadvantage is that you can’t cut anything on the fold.  It has to be lying flat on the cutting mat, in a single layer.  Many of the sewing patterns that I use have several pieces that are cut on the fold, so it’s not advantageous for me to use it to cut out my sewing pattern pieces.

Another thing that I noticed about the Maker is just the sheer weight of the machine.  It’s actually quite heavy.  It’s slated to start using a knife blade as another blade later this year.  This means that the Maker could cut materials up to 2.4mm thick.  Because it can cut such thick materials, it needs to be able to apply more pressure than your regular die cut machine. The Maker is up to ten times more powerful than other cutting machines, and they can typically only cut a thickness up to 0.8mm.

The Cricut Maker doesn’t just use the rotary blade to cut, but can also use the regular blades and the deep cut blades.  I’ve honestly used the regular blade more than I have the rotary blade.  I use it constantly to cut out iron-on vinyl for shirts, or other projects.  I’ve also used it to cut vinyl sayings or decals for use around our house, like our “No Soliciting” sign that I put on our door.  Using these blades, you can cut a multitude of different vinyls and papers, like tissue paper, printable vinyl, flocked iron-on, etc.  I used my Cricut Maker and Cricut EasyPress to make my son his shirt, using this design from Thread & Grain. gamer

Did you know that the Maker has the ability to detect color so you can print and then cut?  You can also connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, so there’s no wires to deal with.  There’s also a handy docking slot at the top so your device can rest at the top while you’re working.  The convenient storage tray at the bottom of the Maker helps to hold additional blades or the washable fabric marker.  Speaking of markers, did you know the Maker will hold a regular marker in the slot?  It doesn’t need an adapter to hold a pen or marker for writing. cricut5cricut7cricut6

Overall, the Cricut Maker is way ahead of the competition when it comes to the materials that this thing can cut.  With the new knife blade that’s set to release, the rotary cutter, regular blade, deep cut blade, and bonded fabric blade, the Maker just has so many possibilities for the at home crafter.  You really can’t go wrong with this innovative machine.

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