The Cricut Maker 3 along with the Cricut Explore Air 3 are the latest additions to the Cricut family, these machines are the newer updated versions of the Cricut Maker, launched in 2017 and the Cricut Explore Air 2, launched 2016. However you can still, for now, purchase their predecessors, thus offering crafters a choice and chance to grab a bargain.
I have used Cricut machines since 2016, and for the last 2 years used my Cricut Joy and Cricut Maker daily. Hence I have a fairly good idea of how the Cricut Maker 3 compares to its counterpart the Cricut Maker.
This review is based on 3 weeks of testing on a daily basis, I have not tried the smart vinyl yet but am pondering on a wall design, it’s going to be there a while so I want to get it right. However have used regular and iron on vinyl, card, glossy sticker paper, glitter card and the smart sticker paper and love cutting mat-less.
Guide To The Cricut Maker 3
How Much Is The Cricut Maker 3?
The Cricut Maker 3 costs £399.00 or $399.00 as a stand alone machine. However you can also purchase it as a bundle and make some great savings on smart vinyl and smart sticker paper for an extra £60 at current prices.
What Are The Dimensions?
The Cricut Maker 3 is 22.6 x 7.09 x 6.22 inches, when in use you need clearance behind the machine for the mat to pass thorough. Thus it can be stored against a wall as long as it is pulled out when in use.
Do I Need A Computer For The Cricut Maker 3?
No, you can use the Cricut Maker 3 with a smart phone or tablet using the Cricut app, the app is simple to set up and use and also syncs with the desktop version if you have both.
The Maker has a handy tablet holder just like the last machine and charging usb on the side to plug your tablet in to prevent it running out of power during cuts.
Can You Use Cricut Without Subscription?
Yes, Cricut design space is free to use for all users with a bank of free images and a small selection of text styles, you can also upload images and projects to design space totally free.
However for $9.99 a month you can get over 150,000 images, over 500 fonts and thousands of ready to go projects. This comes with Cricut’s Angel policy which allows small businesses to make products to sell with the images. This enables you the freedom to design your own projects using images in Design Space, or just make the projects already available.
How Is The Maker 3 Different To The Cricut Maker?
After a fair bit or use I would say some difference are more obvious than others. Such as the Cricut Maker’s ability to cut Smart Materials which are 13inches wide rather than 12 on a cutting mat. You can also add a vinyl roller if you plan to work on longer projects. The machine cuts smart materials super quick, I was shocked when I cut the vinyl test cut and the similarly with the Smart Sticker Paper. Also there are slight styling differences too.
However the Cricut Maker 3 is also quieter and has a smoother feel about it, whist also cutting on the mat quicker. I cut a lot of intricate paper cuts and used to set the pressure of 216gsm card stock to heavy card stock on more pressure to get a clean cut. I now cut the same projects on 216gsm card on medium card stock more pressure for the same clean result.
Additionally I have always cut stickers on printable glossy sticker paper on the printable vinyl setting, however this is too heavy on the Maker 3, thus I have switched to the washi setting which kiss cuts perfectly.
Current Smart Materials For The Cricut Maker 3
- Smart Iron On (up to 2.7m long)
- Permanent Vinyl (up to 6.4m long)
- Removable Vinyl (up to 6.4m long)
- Smart Sticker Cardstock ( In black, white, pastel and brights)
How Much Do The Smart Materials Cost?
- Smart Iron On, from £12.99
- Permanent Vinyl, from £6.99
- Removable Vinyl, from £6.99
- Smart Sticker Cardstock ( In black, white, pastel and brights) £12.99 for a pack of 10
Do I Need A Cutting Mat For The Cricut Maker 3?
I would say yes, if you don’t intend to use smart materials exclusively then you will need cutting mats to have the versatility of cutting any materials you want. I use a lot of card-stock and glitter card so for me a mat is essential.
What Does The Cricut Maker 3 Come With?
The Cricut Maker 3 comes with a Fine Point Blade, a sheet of smart iron on, smart vinyl, smart sticker paper, transfer tape and power cord. This is everything you need to have a play, set up your machine and create your first project. However your existing cutting blades from the maker will also be compatible.
What Blades Can You Use?
If you already have blades for your Cricut Maker, Or Explore Air these will work in your new machine. The current Cricut pens and infusible ink also work in the pen clamp.
- Fine Point Blade (comes in the box)
- Deep point Blade
- Rotary Blade
- Knife Blade
- Bonded Fabric Blade
- Scoring Wheel and pen
- Engraving Tip
- Deboss Tip
- Wavy Blade
- Foil Transfer Tool
- Perforation Blade
What Materials Can The Maker 3 Cut?
The Maker 3 can cut over 300 materials including leather, card stock, balsa wood, chip board, glitter card, craft board, fabric and felt. You just need to check you have the correct corresponding blade.
Are There Any Changes In Design Space?
Yes, when you click on the Maker 3 as your chosen machine and send your project to cut you have the option to cut on the mat or off the mat. The great news is you can also select multiple ways.
However make sure you set this up for every mat before you send the project to cut, you can see in the image that you get the option for each mat which takes seconds to set up by clicking on every mat in the left band bar.
If you realise during the cut you need to change, it’s not a big drama, you simply click cancel the cut and re-choose mat or without mat.
Should I Upgrade To The Cricut Maker 3?
Here’s the thing, I adored my Cricut Maker, I wanted the Maker 3 because it’s new and shiny, not because I thought it would be superior to the current Maker. However if I am truly honest it is superior. Yes, the Maker is fabulous, but the Maker 3 gives me butterflies every time I use it.
So when asking the question should I upgrade? I would have said definitely no before, however if speed and smart materials, long projects and a slightly more refined cut are something you will appreciate then yes upgrade.
How To Use The Cricut Maker 3?
I have been using Cricut Machines for 6 years and have a wealth of posts to help newcomers navigate through Cricut Design Space and using all the materials to create great projects, so have included some links below to get you started.
- How To Use Cricut Design Space
- How To Weld And Slice
- Using Infusible Ink
- How To Use Print And Cut
- Using Iron On Vinyl
Hope this all helps you to get to grips with your Cricut Maker 3 or indeed make the decision on whether if not the Cricut Maker 3 is worth is for you, any questions please do drop me a line?
Also please do pop over to Instagram, and give me a follow and if you make a project please do tag me! I love seeing everyone else’s makes and chatting crafting. I could do that all day!
I was gifted the Cricut Maker 3 but all thoughts are my own and honest.