With all the new advances in cutting machine capabilities, it’s no surprise that Cricut has come out with another improvement on their own top-line product: the Cricut Maker 3. But which one is really better, the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Maker 3?
In this side by side comparison of the Maker and the Maker 3, we cover all there is to know about the 2 machines.
There’s nothing saying that just because a new machine is an available means, for certain, that it’s better – maybe it’s just a different set of tools – or maybe it’s just a cool new color option. We’re about to find out because I’m ready to find out if I should buy the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Maker 3.
I completely understand. I literally searched for “should I buy the Cricut Maker 3” when I heard it was coming out. Because even though there was hardly any information yet, I felt like I might need this – and maybe I didn’t. How was I supposed to know?
Once I got that out of my system though, I got into some hard-core information hunting. I mean, we’re talking notebooks and jotting here.
This is an investment in your crafting, maybe in your business, or your favorite hobby. And you want to make sure to do it right.
Let me share what I have discovered and see if it will help you figure out which cutting machine is best for you.
Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Maker 3
So, here’s the meat and potatoes of it. If you want to make a decision between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Maker 3, you need to know all there is to know about them both. Informed decisions require information.
So, I put together this super-efficient table to throw all the information at you that you might need. However, don’t get upset if you don’t care for tables. I’ll go a bit more in detail below, so keep reading – because tables can only get you started on your information-gathering.
|Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3 Side by Side Comparison||Cricut Maker||Cricut Maker 3|
|Size||22.6″x 7.09″ x 6.22″||22.6″x 7.09″ x 6.22″|
|Cutting Speed||Standard Speed||2x Faster Than Maker|
|Adaptive Tool System?||Yes||Yes|
|Smart Cutting Machine?||No||Yes|
|Cut Larger Projects?||No||Yes|
Yes (see attachment)
|Etch?||Yes (see how here)||Yes|
|Score?||Yes (see attachment)||Yes|
|Compatible Media||Vinyl, Heat transfer material, Cardstock, Photo paper, Corrugated paper, Chipboard, Fabric, and more (300+)||Vinyl, Heat transfer material, Cardstock, Photo paper, Corrugated paper, Chipboard, Fabric, and more (300+)|
|Mattless Cutting?||No||Yes, with Smart Materials (over 6″ in length)|
|Cut Size||12″x2′||With Mat: 12″x2′|
With Smart Materials: 12″x 12′
|Deep Cutting||Yes (2.4mm)||Yes (2.4mm)|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what these two Cricut cutting machines are all about.
The Cricut Maker 3 is a smarter version of the Cricut maker. What I mean by that is that you can cur materials on a mat, or use Cricut smart materials and you can cut smart materials off mat.
Which of the 2 Cutting Machines Use SVGs?
The full line of Cricut cutting machines use SVGs and other cut files. You just upload the images to Cricut Design Space, follow the prompts to tell the software what you want to do and the software will then turn your files into precise cutting lines, draw lines or printing lines that are perfect for sewing patterns, cut and emboss paper projects, or vinyl lettering and designs.
Whether you’re drawing the files or buying them elsewhere, the Cricut machines can use SVGs, JPGs, PNGs and more. Which one you select will help determine the project type – but that’s a whole different discussion.
In the meantime, if you need some ideas or a free SVG to get your creative juices flowing, you can check out my library here.
You can also make your own designs in Cricut Design Space, with new capabilities they seem to always be adding to it.
What are the Materials That the Cricut Maker Cutting Machines Can Cut?
For instance, both machines can cut the same materials. They can cut:
- Balsa Wood (or Bass Wood)
- Craft Foam
- Poster Board
All in all, the Cricut Maker can cut over 300 different materials, and the handful I noted above are just the most popular ones I’ve personally used.
With a downward cutting force of 4kg, the Cricut Maker to cut materials up to 2.4mm thick – and the list of what those materials are is long.
What Are All Of The Blades That the Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3 Can Use?
Both machines can use the same blades – which is fantastic for someone who already owns a Maker and wants to upgrade to the Maker 3. And because the housings are also sometimes interchangeable with the Cricut Explore Air machines, you can sometimes use those, as well, depending on the blade. The following are the blades the Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3 can use:
- Rotary Blade | This blade works much like a rotary blade for cutting fabric yourself. It’s a small, circular blade on a wheel that can cut fabrics with ease.
- Scoring Wheel | Score all your projects with a nice, quick clean line to help with folding.
- Knife Blade | This is the blade you’ll want to use to cut the thicker leather, craft foam, and even items like balsa wood, which is what made the Cricut Maker so awesome when it initially came out.
- Basic Perforation Blade | Perforate paper, cardstock, acetate, poster board, and more to make tear-offs and peel-aways so much cleaner.
- Wavy Blade | Cut all your standard materials with this on the edge for a fun, squiggly edge.
- Fine Debossing Tip | Detailed debossed designs no longer require a Cricut Cuttlebug when you’re using this ‘blade’.
- Engraving Tip | Engraving with a cutting machine is one of the best ways to make precise, clean designs on lots of crafts.
Does The Cricut Maker Come With Blades?
The Cricut Maker comes with two blades:
- Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing – This blade will be the most-used of the blade options for general crafting needs. Easy to use and easy to clean, this particular blade is a workhorse.
- Rotary Blade + Housing – Generally for cutting fabrics. It will be your second favorite blade for general crafting because it’ll make quick work of your sewing patterns.
Does the Cricut Maker 3 Come with Blades?
The Maker 3 comes with one blade:
- Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing – Like with the Maker, this will be your standard, everyday blade for your general crafts.
Other Items in the Box with Your Cricut Maker
- Fine Point Pen, Black
- FabricGrip™ Machine Mat, 12″ x 12″ (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
- LightGrip Machine Mat, 12″ x 12″ (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm)
- Welcome Book
- USB cable
- Power adapter
- Free trial membership to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers)
- 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns
- Materials for a practice project
Other Items in the Box with Your Cricut Maker 3
- Welcome card
- USB cable
- Power adapter
- Free trial subscription to Cricut Access™ (for new subscribers)
- 100 ready-to-make projects online
- Material for a practice cut
Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3 Price Comparison
The Maker costs: $329 and you can buy one here.
The Maker 3 will cost: $399 and you can buy one here.
Although I don’t feel like an experienced cutting machine-owner needs to buy the essentials bundle with all the materials to practice on, the extra blade sets, etc., I would recommend that if it’s your first time owning a cutting machine, that you explore this option as it will give you all the supplies you need to get started.
In addition to the cost of the base machines, you’ll also want to add a couple of blades to your tool chest, trust me. So, look at the pricing on those before you make your final decision.
Which is Best: Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Maker 3?
At the end of the day, if speed is what matters to you, then you have to try the Cricut Maker 3. I mean, it’s awesome having the full capability of the Cricut Maker available, but if you’re a professional trying to make big projects, it can be a whip if just cutting your party supplies for a handful of clients takes all day.
But, if you’re not pumping out ten projects a day – if your business doesn’t require that load or you’re just in the cutting game for a hobby, then maybe the cost is what matters to you.
So, because the capabilities of the machines are so similar. The price and speed being the only major differences, I feel like it’s very much a personal decision regarding which cutting machine is best.
And if you appreciated this comparison post, but aren’t quite ready to make your buy, be sure to pin it to your favorite crafting board on Pinterest so you can find it again when you’re ready!
To sum things up the Cricut Maker 3 is definitely an upgrade from the Maker. You can still use your SVG files in design space, make your favorite cards with your scoring stylus, and all the other decorative effects you are used to. Only more.