What is Cricut? All about the hot crafting gadget, plus how to save

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Cricut


Whether you identify as a DIY’er, scroll through Pinterest in your free time, or simply enjoy crafting on occasion, you’ve likely heard of Cricut. In recent years, the DIY-ers have embraced the high-end crafting machine brand, whose multi-tasking cutting gadgets make crafting easier and faster.

The brand offers models at various price points, but they all have roughly the same purpose: To cut shapes and designs in a variety of materials, eliminating the need for scissors or an X-acto knife. The gadget can do a lot, including embossing, engraving, drawing and scoring paper or cardboard to create custom mugs, jewelry, stencils, stickers, greeting cards or decals for clothing. 

Like many smart gadgets, Cricut can be controlled via Bluetooth and downloadable free apps, including Cricut Design Space, similar to Photoshop, and Cricut Joy, available for computers, tablets and phones. A library of around 1,000 images and more than 15 fonts, and the option to make a la carte digital purchases, both come with the free membership, while standard ($96 per year) and premium ($120 per year) memberships include more than 200,000 images, 700 fonts, thousands of ready-to-make projects and other perks. 

Which model should you invest in? CBS Essentials researched all the Cricut models and sourced out the best deals of the moment.


Cricut Joy

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Cricut/Amazon


This entry-level option could be the ideal choice for a beginner DIY’er. It can create labels and custom graphics for T-shirts; cut patterns for photo frames; and create decals to customize anything, including mugs, phone cases and water bottles. Anyone who crafts on-the-go may appreciate its compact size. 

Cricut Joy, $121 (reduced from $160)


Cricut Explore Air 2

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Cricut/Amazon


A more fully equipped Cricut, the Explore Air 2 is a true workhorse. It cuts up to 100 materials more quickly and precisely than the Joy, using commercial-grade technology to control the direction of its blade and the cutting pressure to match different materials.

Cricut Explore Air 2, $149 (reduced from $250)


Cricut Maker

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Cricut/Amazon


This overachiever handles all the same tasks as the Explore Air 2, but quickly and accurately cuts more than 300 materials, ranging from delicate paper and fabric to tougher matboard, leather and basswood. Quilters gravitate toward this model, thanks to its efficient work with fabric. 

Cricut Maker, $229 (reduced from $369)


Cricut Maker 3

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Cricut/Amazon


Cricut recently released the deluxe Maker 3, which handles all the same projects as the Maker but twice as fast. It’s also compatible with an expandable suite of tools that can cut, score, write, deboss, engrave and add decorative effects.

Cricut Maker 3, $397


Cricut EasyPress 2

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Cricut/Amazon


This heat-press machine (available in two sizes, 9 by 9 inches and 12 by 10 inches) eliminates the need for an iron and simplifies heat-transfer projects. In short, it makes applying a decal on a T-shirt a breeze. 

Cricut EasyPress 2, $99 (reduced from $190)


Cricut Vinyl value pack

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Cricut/Amazon


This assortment of colorful, adhesive vinyl sheets serves as the perfect material for stickers, decals and wall decor. Amazon reviewers say the “high quality” sheets don’t bunch up in the machine or bubble upon application. 

Cricut Vinyl value pack, $28


Cricut cutting mat

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Cricut/Amazon


Unless you buy the Cricut Maker 3, cutting mats are a must. Amazon sells a variety of mats, each suited for specific types of fabric. For example, the FabricGrip works for a wide range of fabrics, the LightGrip is better suited for lightweight materials, such as paper and light cardstock, and StandardGrip works for medium-weight materials including vinyl and iron-on.  

Cricut cutting mat, $16


Cricut tool set

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Cricut/Amazon


This set makes crafting with a Cricut easier and more efficient. It includes micro-tip-blade scissors, tweezers, a scraper, spatula and weeder.

Cricut tool set, $20


Related content from CBS Essentials:

https://www.cbsnews.com/essentials/what-is-cricut-all-about-the-hot-crafting-gadget-plus-how-to-save/

Erlando F Rasatro

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