Personal Cricut Machine Review
What is the Cricut?
The Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter was first introduced in 2005 by Provo Craft and has forever changed the face of die-cutting machines. Without the use of a computer, the Cricut creates thousands of die-cuts in the shape of letters, numbers and many more designs which are used for all paper crafting projects. Though the original Cricut could only cut images 1” to 5 ½”x 11”, the Cricut Expression can cut images 1” to 11” x 23 ½”.
How Does It Work?
The Cricut uses small cartridges to load a catalog of designs which can then be sized and modified to fit any of your paper crafting needs. Once the cartridge is inserted into the machine, a keyboard overlay with corresponding design symbols is then placed atop the Cricut keypad. As designs are chosen, they are shown on the Cricut’s display and then customized options and effects can be added. The Cricut has built-in precision blades that will cut your die on any vellum, designer paper, or cardstock.
Pros vs. Cons
- Lightweight and portable for easy traveling
- No computer required
- Extensive variety of die-cut cartridges available
- Die-cuts can be completely customized by size, shape or color
- Cuts vellum, designer paper and cardstock
- Upfront cost ($200-400)
- Cost of cartridges ($40-100)
As an avid paper crafter and die-cut machine user, I have found my Cricut to be a godsend. I remember back in 1999 when scrapbooking first took off, you would have to go to the store to buy die-cuts. Those die-cuts were limited in design and generally only found in one color and size. If when you got home, it wasn’t the right size, shape or color, you’d have to go back out and buy another one. When the original Sizzix first came out, I bought one right away, and quickly fell in love with the idea of being able to make my own die-cuts at any given time, and in any color. However, you were still limited. Though the color could now be changed, you were stuck with the size and shape.
With the Cricut, you’re in total control. Each Cricut cartridge comes with 30-40 designs that can be slotted, charmed, tagged, and shadowed to create thousands upon thousands of combinations. And though each cartridge can be a little pricey, you’ll find that they will quickly pay for themselves. I would highly recommend this machine to not only crafters, but to anyone that has any ounce of creativity flowing in them. You will quickly find this to be a product you can’t live without.
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