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Cricut Explore Crafter Review

Updated on May 3, 2015
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Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

When we first started hearing about the new Cricut Design and Cut system, the anticipation was very high in the craft community. Till the unveiling of the newest addition to the Provocraft line, no one was sure how high they would reach to serve the needs of paper craft enthusiasts and scrapbook artists. I have to say, in my opinion, they have not only met the needs of crafters, but exceeded every need of those of us who have been Cricut users. For those who have yet to experience Cricut, you are in for a very pleasant experience.

What do you get with the package? Of course you get the Cricut Explore, the power cord, the connecting cord to your computer, a 12x12 mat, the cutting blade-pre-installed in the machine, a metallic silver pen, black and jade Cricut cardstock,silver Cricut vinyl,white Cricut iron-on,2 Duck Tape sheets , a machine bag or cover, and a starting guide. Out of the box, I found it set up very easily and I was cutting my first project in seconds

You also get the Design Space program and access to quite a few images. You will also get free images and some basic images. As you register your machine, you will find that the program will guide you through using it. Basic use is easy. I was also appreciative that in the first couple of weeks, I was getting daily emails helping me learn something new every day ! They have made some great videos to really get new users going. That support made the experience better for me.

The very first thing that drew me to this machine, was the new cutting dial. Instead of having to chose the cutting dial setting, it tells you what to set it at for light paper, vinyl, cardstock paper, poster board, iron ons and even fabric. You set the dial and you get precise cuts every time. This makes it easy and so much less time comsuming. No more guessing for me !

Another feature that made me chose the Explore over other cutting machines, is that you can cut and write at the same time. You can use pens to write words and designs on your projects and cut the image in one swoop. Many cutters do write, but not cut at the same time.

Have you heard about the score tool for the Explore? It does not come with the machine, but It sure is a neat option for under $9.00. If you are makes cards, envelopes ect, this tool will, while the project is cutting, actually score your paper. This was another unique feature that I considered.

Now as to the design space, I have seen and tried it and enjoyed every second of my trial subscription. They give you a two week trial to use lots of their images and projects and I have to say, I cut like crazy. I was very pleased with what was available, so more than likely, I will take a subscription which is very reasonable. Access of 25,000 projects and images for under $10 per month. When I tested this part of the design space, not only was there images, but there were paper and vinyl projects. There were also complete scrapbook page elements predesigned. A whole scrapbook page printed in minutes When you consider that you would never have to buy stickers, letters or embellishments again, I think that is actually a good buy. You can either purchase individual images, sets or projects.

But, you really don't have to purchase anything at all ! Another feature that caused me to chose the Cricut Explore over other cutting systems was that I could link and upload all my cricut cartridges into the system and have all the images I owned as part of my Cricut explore experience. It only takes about a minute to load each cartridge. The files organize and are now part of my images.

You can find lots of free SVG files all over the internet and I have begun doing just that. These files are easily loaded into your Cricut Design programing. You can also load other pictures and files easily enough. The program guides you through the process. I am quickly getting a library of images for my use. I can also scan my own artwork into the computer and then get it into my design files. Only takes minutes.

So, to sum it all up, my experience with the Cricut Explore in the last three weeks has been very good. Before I made the purchase, I weighed lots of other systems. I feel the Cricut cuts extremely clean even at projects as small as one inch. I like the writing and scoring options at the same time the projects are cutting. I enjoy the Design Space and all the image and project options that I have. I am learning more and more how to get the most out of every piece of paper that I cut. And that makes me very happy !

More On The Cricut Explore

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Three Options Available For The Cricut Explore

So when I went from the Cricut Expression to the Cricut Explore, there was only one option . Now as of 2015, there are now three options. And there is much to be excited about !

  1. The Cricut Explore One- This is a basic Cricut Explore thar simply cuts . It is the most reasonably priced Cricut. It does not write unless you purchase an adapter. Can be wireless if you purchase a Bluetooth adapter. This unit comes in at about $199
  2. The Cricut Explore- This machine both cuts and writes in one step on your projects. It can be wireless with a Bluetooth adapter that can be purchased. Average price $229
  3. The Cricut Air-Both cuts and writes in one step and is a wireless machine. Average price $299


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