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Cricut Explore Machine Review – What Works, What Doesn’t

NEW MACHINE RELEASED >>> The Cricut Maker (2017)  See this Cricut Maker Review Post!

IMPORTANT:  The Cricut Design Space software is WEBPAGE based.  You MUST have Internet connection to use it or you cannot access any images including your cartridge images.  You must use the Cricut Design Space software to create anything with the Cricut Explore.  (This is very unlike the Silhouette Cameo software which can be used without Internet connection.  You cannot purchase items from Silhouette without Internet but you CAN design and cut.)   ** The Cricut Maker is the newest machine, but still has these same issues.)

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

I have been really excited about the new Cricut Explore ever since it was announced.  I even hopped out of bed one night when I remembered that it was the HSN launch of the machine and I bought it right away.  I couldn’t wait for it to be delivered and when it finally was, I even Instagrammed it.  I am a long time Cricut fan (proof = 398 posts, one app, one DVD, one checklist and my first set of stamps, Lots of Pun, was created to go with the Create a Critter cartridge).   I’ve purchased and used two Cricut Expressions (a white one and then a red one), the Cricut Expression 2, Cricut Imagine, Cricut Cake, Cricut Personal and the Gypsy.  I was thrilled that Provo Craft finally added .svg and other file functionality to one of their machines so they could be like all the other popular machines.  So, you can imagine my disappointment when the machine and it’s software did not live up to my expectations.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

What they did right: Packaging.  The box is visually appealing.  The contents are well protected by the cardboard inserts.  It’s easy to find everything you need to get started.  They even made a tray to hold important information (see that “Start Here” folder on the bottom left picture above) and included some material samples to the right of that.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

I love that they added a bag to carry the Cricut Explore machine.  As always, they add one mat to the package (just like they did here and here).  If yours is bent a little, don’t worry about it.  It will flatten out over time.  You can also put it under a few heavy books to make the flattening happen faster. 😉

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

It’s not a huge deal but this machine really could use a handle.  Getting it in and out of the bag would be so much easier if it had one.  I was a little afraid that I was going to mishandle it or drop it but I didn’t.  Again, it’s a small thing and not terribly important.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Here’s the front.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Press the “open” button on the left of the machine you’ll get this view.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

You’ll find this storage area if you lift up the plastic doors.  It’s a great place to store things.  Too bad none of those accessories come with the machine. That would be a nice addition.  You do get a blade and blade housing and you’ll find those are already in the carrier (the movable cutting part).

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Where this machine begins to go wrong: Cartridges.

So many of the purchasers of this machine are already Cricut users, which means that they have Cricut cartridges.  Those cartridges can be a big investment, especially if you’ve collected them for many years.  I had over 200 of them before I sold about 150 last summer.  So, owners of Cricut cartridges want to be able to use those cartridges, right? Right.  Can you use them in this machine?  Sort of.  That little place where my cartridge is plugged in allows me to upload the cartridge to the new Cricut Design Space ONLINE software.  The end.  That’s how you’ll use cartridges with this machine.  Online.  Only.  Period.  You WILL NOT be using this machine and your cartridges without a computer AND Internet connection.  At all.  Nope.  Nada.  No.

AND…as I said at the very top of this post: The Cricut Design Space software is WEBPAGE based.  You MUST have Internet connection to use it or you cannot access any images including your cartridge images.  You must use the Cricut Design Space software to create anything with the Cricut Explore. (This is very unlike the Silhouette Cameo software which can be used without Internet connection.  You cannot purchase items from Silhouette without Internet but you CAN design and cut.) 

So, if you’re stuck at home on a snow day and you’re all cozy in your crafty space ready to get your craft on, you better hope you have Internet connection or your Cricut Explore is just another thing that’s shut off from the world.

Additionally, you cannot import projects from the Cricut Craft Room to the Cricut Design Space.

If that’s cool with you, then read on…because there’s more.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

There are two ways to look at this “SmartSet” dial.  #1=It’s smart.  #2=It’s dumb.  There is nothing wrong with presets.  It’s not a new innovation.  The Silhouette Cameo has built in settings in their software.  However, the real problem comes when you combine it with the fact that you can make absolutely no blade choices.  Say what?  I’m saying that you cannot adjust the blade…at all…not even one little bit.  That’s what makes this “SmartSet” dial a dunce.  Read on to see what these two things have to do with each other.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Let’s say the “SmartSet” dial we discussed above is dead on.  It’s exactly what I need in every situation.  Awesome.  Well, what if I decide to try something new one day?  Like…cutting cereal boxes.  I’m likely to try that since their past machines could do it see here and the Silhouette Cameo can do it see here.  I’ll make all the changes I can to the custom settings.  Sweet.  I have everything set up perfectly but the blade just won’t cut the box.  I make crying noises until I realize that my blade just isn’t long enough.  No worries!  I’ll just set it to go longer!  Wait.  It doesn’t move, twist or change in any way.  SAD.  I’ll have to abandon that project…or turn to any of my other Cricuts, Silhouette Cameo, Sizzix Eclips or KNK Zing that can cut that like a boss.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

You can’t change the new blade (on left) but you could change the depth of the old blade (on right).

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Cool factor.  The Cricut Explore can cut and draw.  Lame factor.  The Cricut’s always could.

The Cricut Explore can cut and draw without you having to change from a blade to a drawing tool.  Is that really a big deal?  I’ve been changing from the blade to a pen for years.  It’s a neat looking gimmick but it’s just a gimmick.  Cricut has made pens and markers to fit their machines for years.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

Here’s the pen that came with the machine writing out a thank you card that came as a complete project in the Cricut Design Space ONLINE ONLY software.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

It did a great job creating this card.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

TA DA!  That was cool.  Thumbs up to this easy project.

TWO THUMBS DOWN to the user experience with their software when trying to create your own project.  I’ll keep this short.  It’s difficult to locate your cartridges.  They’re missing simple shadowing features.  You can achieve a shadow effect but you have to make a bigger image and size it around the smaller one.  That’s just old school.  No software does things like that anymore and that’s just one example.  Frankly, they’re missing a lot of simplicity present in other software.  Don’t even get me started about their lack of logical search features.

Cricut Explore Machine Review #CricutExplore #Cricut #Review

The back of the machine.

Finally, the Cricut Explore it is not a machine that I would recommend to anyone except Cricut users who are not interested in trying a different brand of machine.  There are better options for those who want .svg functionality.  Take a look at machines like the Silhouette CameoSizzix Eclips (or new Sizzix Eclips 2), KNK Zing (or new KNK Zing Air) machines.  I’ve heard people say that the Cricut Explore is superb in it’s cutting ability compared to other Cricut machines.  That may be true but if you’re looking for machines that cost about the same, have better software, cut just as well or better, you’d do better to pick something else.

All that being said, the best machine is the one that fits YOUR needs. 😉

UPDATE: There is now a wireless adapter available making the Cricut Explore Bluetooth compatible.  Nice addition!

Go get your craft on, my friends!

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  1. Margaret W.,
    You can buy the ink for the Imagine at Office Depot. You the the HP ink cartridge numbers. 97 (tri-color) and 98 (black). You can sometimes also find them on Amazon. I believe there they show up under Ink for Cricut Imagine.
    They are not inexpensive at either place, but at least we can find them.
    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I got the numbers from PC customer service reps. I have been using them and they do work.
    And as a reminder , if you have been out of ink for a while (or if you have not used the machine in a while) remember to clean the heads for best results.

  2. I have had my Explore since May. I am happy but no happier than I was with my Expression.
    Today however, I am not happy. I was making a batch of thank you cards that I needed for a fundraiser. I got part of them done but then the bracket that holds the pen suddenly is loose. I mean loose enough to make the lettering with the pen not look right.
    Have you had this issue? I was leery when they tell you to push up on the bracket and push the pen in. And my fears were realized.
    I am bummed because I am still about 6 cards short, which means I will have to come up with something else. I am afraid I will have to send the machine in to Cricut to repair or replace. I bought it through Amazon because we have Prime and therefore didn’t have to pay shipping.
    Heavy sigh.

    1. I just started having this issue too. I’m so disappointed because I loved using the Explore to write. And I abhor having to call because the wait times are so insane. Did you ever get resolution?

    2. My Explore pen holder bracket is now loose too so it won’t write legibly. Only 3 months old.. any suggestion?

  3. Thanks for a wonderful review. I am disappointed as a Cricut Imagine owner that they abandoned the machine. I wish they would unlock it so that I could use it as a 12×12″ printer. I have not tried the new design software that is online only (not a problem at home but might be a crops). I mostly used the Cricut Craft Room software, since it was much easier to see, size items, and place them on the mat.

    I too own two other Cricut’s personal & expression and Silhouette Cameo. Since getting the Cameo I have not turned on a Cricut. I was thinking the Explore might change my mind.

  4. Susan Merryman says:

    Can you still use the Design Studio with the Cricut Expression 2 to cut out the images?

  5. I was looking for recent reviews of the newer Cricut machines… I had the original Cricut, and I had a Silhouette Cameo that I never learned to use properly. I donated it to a teacher… but… I wanted another Cricut. I LIKED using my machine at crops, and would not want to have to connect to a computer just to use it… so I’ll go backwards and look at the “older” Cricuts. Sometimes, newer isn’t better. Thank you for reviewing this!

  6. Wanda smith says:

    Can I use my files that are downloaded for my monogram machine…

    Is there a way to use fonts I have already purchased for my monogram machine with cricut explore>>>


  7. Thank you! I have been trying to decide if I wanted to upgrade to the Explore. I live on a mountain in the country (in PA), in the winter we lose power a lot and with a generator we still have electricity and HEAT but not internet. I think I will stick with my Expression (Create, Mini and Cake) and my Gypsy. AND WHY did they get rid of the Gypsy….In my book…..”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!

  8. Margarett,
    You can get the ink for the imagine at Office Depot and sometimes on Amazon. They HP ink cartridges numbers 97 and 98. I do recommend you run the clean prinhead tool several times after you install the new cartridges. This will help it print better. And then also the alighn. This is all in the tool/settings. Hope this info helps.

  9. Margaret,
    You can get ink the Imagine at Office Depot. The numbers are 97 and 98.
    Hope this info helps.

  10. Holly East says:

    I just bought a Cricut Explore and I was wondering if my Gypsy will work on it. I plugged it into the back but it said it was not connected. Is there anything I can do to make it capable?

  11. I cannot imagine what all of you are talking about!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my new Cricut Explore!!! I connected my Gypsy and all of my cartridges loaded into my cricut account. And it’s so much easier to design on a bigger screen. The Gypsy was really too small. It is easy to search for a single image, as well as a certain cartridge, and now with the new print and cut, I can do soooo much more, without having to buy any other ink, since I can use my regular printer! And I love how Easy it is to use the write function. Much easier than my old cricut! And I love love the new dial to set for the different papers… No more guess work! And it is so nice to be able to use any images, or fonts…by uploading them to Cricut Design Space. So now you don’t have to buy any more cartridges if you don’t want too. So yes, if you haven’t figured it out yet… I LOVE MY NEW CRICUT EXPLORE!

  12. Thank you I was concedering it but now not so much … I don’t understand way u have to have all those steps .. I liked it when you just put the cartridge in and presto you have a design .. I will stick to the one I have .. Thanks agine (;

  13. Holly, sadly, NO, it does not. But you can still use whatever cartridges you had loaded on it. If you had linked them to your Craft Room account just use the same info you used with to log in to it to log in to the Design Space account ( you must have an account in Design Space to use the Explore) and your linked cartridges will show up. If you had not linked your cartridges before you will need to link them now to the Design Space account in order to use the Explore. If you need more info give the kind folks at ProvoCraft a call. Their customer service reps are great and will guide you through all the way until you are completely set up. Call 801-932-1144 Or 877-7274288(toll free #)

  14. Holly, sadly, NO, it does not. But you can still use whatever cartridges you had loaded on it. I linked them to your Craft Room account just use the same info you used to log in to it to now log in to the Design Space account ( you must have an account in Design Space to use the Explore) and your linked cartridges will show up. If you had not linked your cartridges before you will need to link them now to the Design Space account in order to use the Explore. If you need more info give the kind folks at ProvoCraft a call. Their customer service reps are great and will guide you through all the way until you are completely set up. Call 801-932-1144 Or 877-7274288(toll free #)

  15. Holly,
    I meant to say, …If you if you had already linked them to you Craft Room account…”
    Not “I linked them…”.

    I hope the info helps.

  16. Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty and also for so much great information. I have been wanting a Silhouette Cameo for such a long time but have to say that i’ve wondered about the Explore since it came out. I have a Cricut Expression that I have never used and always hated the fact that Cricut/Provocraft didn’t play well with others (their lawsuit against SCAL and things like that). I do also own a Pazzles cutting machine which I’ve never really liked, so I’ve longed for a Silhouette for ages now and after reading your review of the Explore I think I’ll still keep the Silhouette on my wish list and forget the Explore!

    1. Maguerite says:

      Thank you for this too. I looked at the Pazzles Creations??? machine and thought the cake decorations looked bulky and infantile. Didn’t like the end products at all. Cheers for now everybody.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Are you able to import your cricut craft room cartridges (some I no longer have) into the design space software?

  18. No. The Gypsy will not work with the Explore in any way. And any cartridges you have linked to the Gypsy must be unlinked to be added to your Design Space account (what the Explore uses to track what you own).

    If you are still a Gypsy user, the Explore is not for you.

  19. Yes, just use the info you use to login to Cricut CraftRoom to sign in to Design Space and all your linked cartridges will show up. You can call Cricut and they will help you get all set up.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just bought my first cricut. Cricut explore, but I can’t figure out how to use it. How did you learn how it works?

  21. Karen Moyer says:

    Hi Joy! Just found you because I just got my new explore a week ago. I have an expression that I never did an update to so I could still use my SCAL but it died. Since you can’t get them repaired I got a pazzles and most recently a silhouette which I do love. My reason for getting the explore was to be able to use the cartridges I own again. I did know about the internet connection piece and even though we have to use our phone hotspot for internet connection I still went ahead and finally got it. I am concerned though because above you said that it’s difficult to locate images in design space. Is that still the case? I am just getting ready to break it out but maybe I should just send it back…I could always just find a used cricut.

    1. Hi Karen! I’m not currently using Design Space, so they might have made some changes since I bought my Explore (the day it was released). I think you should try out Design Studio before you send your machine back. You might really like it! 🙂 You can try it on Cricut’s site here. I hope that helps! 🙂

  22. Karen,
    Do give Design Space a try. I think you will like it. It’s really colorful and easy to learn and use. I felt like I had rediscovered so many new images on my cartridges when I used it. What’s the harm in trying it.? The trial is free…

  23. I too have had nothing but problems since I purchased my Cricut Explore from HSN 3-4 weeks ago. I couldn’t even set up my account initially. I called and was on hold for a V E R Y long time. I finally found an option to chat with someone online so I began that process while I was still on hold. The young woman I spoke to told me I needed to upgrade my browser. I let her know that it was never mentioned during the sales presentation on HSN that you needed a specific browser. Her response was that the required browsers were printed on the box. Hmmmm…. well I’m not sure how that would help me since I purchased mine from the TV and didn’t see the box until it arrived, plus… my box has NO printing on it what-so-ever. Anyway…. not particularly important except that it speaks to their customer service not to mention the quality of the Design Space software. Which brings me to your review which I wish I had seen before ordering mine, this is my first experience with Cricut.

    My problems didn’t end there, I haven’t been able to design as I want to because of Adobe Shockwave issues that Cricut can’t straighten out. I keep getting the error message *image is too large/complex”. I finally called Cricut Support again, I had been putting it off after my first experience. I was on the phone for 1 hour and 10 minutes all told and my problem was still not resolved. I did speak to a young woman who put me on hold several times while she checked on the next step, none of which worked. I should also point out that my hubby is an IT Professional and he couldn’t fix the problem with the Shockwave crashing either. In the end, I was told several things:

    1) I was the only one having this problem (I never believed that)
    2) She was going to have to forward my problem to their programming staff because she couldn’t fix my problem, and…
    3) I would hear from them on Monday (it was Friday the 24 of October), she promised that she would call me personally but I sit here at 6:40 PM on Thursday evening on Oct 30, 2014 and I have not received any phone calls or emails and it’s been a week since my call to them.
    4) I was also told that my free trial membership would be extended by 2 weeks because of the short comings of the software, well… that didn’t happen either.

    My personal opinion, proper testing and evaluation was not done on this product before it was released to the public. Their customer service is ill-equipped to deal with customer issues and makes excuses when a better answer isn’t available to them. They also make promises they don’t, can’t or won’t keep. To give the girl I spoke with the benefit of the doubt, she may be so overwhelmed with other customer complaints that she simply lost track of mine.

    Whatever the case, I intend to box my Cricut Explore back into the original boxes and return it to HSN. I’m not happy at all with this product and I don’t think I’ll ever purchase another Cricut product again. I know a lot of people love Cricut products but this is my first experience and I just not impressed. And in case you are thinking I’m technically challenged, I’m not.

  24. Anonymous says:


    I’ve just bought the cricut explore and love it, I’ve been going on you tube to find out how to use it

  25. hi, im thinking in buying one of this machines for my scrapbooking business. i might buy more than one machine so i must take the best choice. i have two questions for you, the machines are gonna be continously working so which one will be best for it and also the thing i love the most about cricut explore is that i can not only cut but print (write), is there another machine that offers me that option?

    1. Hi Diana,
      Here is a post where I list and discuss the machines I recommend.
      All of the machines can write, you just need to buy pens for them and in the case of some, a pen holder. The Silhouette Cameo is simple to use with pens. They even have their own brand of pens made to easily fit into the holder. Want more variety? Check out these pen/pencil and other kinds of holders by Amy Chomas. Here are a few posts where I’ve used her products.
      If you’re looking for a machine that can print, the easiest one that I’ve used is the Silhouette Cameo. Here are some posts and tutorials about printing and cutting with the Cameo.
      I hope that helps!

  26. Somewhat happy says:

    I purchased my explorer from HSN. I can use the design studio but I can’t connect to the craft room where all my cartridges are installed. So I am in a bit of pickle. When I try to connect it says it doesn’t recongnize. Any suggestions?

  27. Janine hotchkiss says:

    Hi all I have the new explore and absolutely love it, I live in the uk so thought I would have problems as we don’t have the same support as the U.S. but it worked straight out of the box
    I have emailed the support team and find them really helpful.
    I did loads of research on you tube etc prior to my purchase so I was informed prior to receiving my explore there is loads of info out there if you look,
    I am a cricut imagine owner and still love that also, but find the explore fantastic the design space is a little different to the craft room but once you get used to it the additional features are great. I would certainly recommend this machine it’s so quiet and yes the cut is great. And as for the not being able to cut other materials not sure why just use the deep cut blade and play around till you find the best setting??

  28. A friend loaned me a Cricut Mini for a holiday project. I had not seen these machines and was amazed with the potential (I craft and sell). I was even more amazed at the difficulty in setting up and learning how to use it. The information presented on the site falls very short of effective, right now, the power light is blinking red and green, “trouble shooting” says “error”, nothing more… typical. I originally set up the Design desk, no information on the site told me the Mini works only with “Craftroom”, that I learned after days of trying to find out why the machine, correctly hooked up to the computer, says it is not connected, not that it never will work, the information was found after days of searching on a message board (I am not home during Cricuts limited service hours, I cannot stay home to call support), I was not the only one frustrated by that situation. The patterns I purchased hoping to use will not show up in “Craft room”. Even searching for designs is a struggle, I finally found what I wanted on ebay and used the full title of the cartridge to find it on Cricut (not wanting to wait for delivery) to no end since I can’t solve the error message…. I’m intrigued by the potential but I would not purchase a Cricut, and having to be on the internet for it to work is another issue where our service sometimes goes down. I’ve wasted so much time so far, I could have hand cut these items by now…. thank you for the review, you covered them very thoroughly.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Bought a cricut explore yesterday and the writing function started out awesome, but same thing happened with loose bracket. I am terribly disappointed and will be contacting cricut.

  30. I too have a problem with a loose “A” arm for the pen. I’ve been using my Explore for almost 2 months now with no issues (except the Shockwave) but last night all of a sudden, while doing a print then cut, this printing I got looked horrible! Not anything at all like what I had done previously. I don’t even know if my machine is under warranty yet! NOT AT ALL HAPPY! If you find out anything from Cricut Service, please let me know. My hours for work don’t allow me to be on hold for hours at a time! 🙂

  31. Hi Carole, I just read a review you did about writing with the Cricut Explore. My machine has been doing the same sloppy thing while writing. The holder is very loose just as you described. Did you get your machine fixed? Did you have to send it back to Cricut?

  32. I’m actually a cutting machine newb and am doing research to purchase my first one. I bit the bullet and purchased a Silhouette Cameo for Black Friday but was having such a spectacularly awful customer service experience that I ended up canceling my order (I was waiting 2 weeks for processing, it hadn’t even shipped yet). Now, I’m thinking of going with the Explore instead. I have zero background or history with either company so I feel like this is a Apple/Android situation. It’s very confusing!

  33. pascosunshine says:

    I teach scrapbooking classes for a local craft store. They want me to begin teaching the Explorer. I have had an Expression since they first came out and about 60 carts. I DO NOT WANT TO TEACH OTHERS HOW TO USE THIS NEW MACHINE especially now after reading about all the problems others are having. I don’t think I would every buy one.
    I love the one I use at home, was hoping to use it for the classes. Don’t know what I will do. Pray for me, as I am afraid I will fail miserably at this one. thanks in advance.

  34. My internet goes out repeatedly. I’m so sick of the spinning dial in Cricut Design Space. I’ve been telling Cricut for years that they need to join forces with SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot), but they simply won’t listen. If it comes down to giving up my new Cricut Explore or giving up SCAL, the Cricut is gone. LISTEN TO US!!! Swallow your pride and join forces with SCAL. Their software is so much better than yours.

  35. Anonymous says:

    George Garrison,
    You were not the only one having the “Shockwave” error problems. I have had it for moths. It’s gotten less frequent, but it does still happen.
    They were not able to help me either.
    But, I still like my Explore very much (specially when it does work smoothly) and I do think highly of their customer service reps. My experience with them has been good regardless of the issues with the product.
    Just wish I could use my cartridges straight on the machine so I can use them at crops and when I do not have access to a computer and the Internet.
    This is the biggest negative I see with this Cricut machine.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Don’t think of it as trying to sell the machine, think of it as those who already bought one how to make the best of it. You would still be teaching a good thing.
    Maybe you can ask the store if you could teach how to use the different machines. Not necessarily as comparisons, but just to cater to all customers.
    The Explore, as any other machine, has its pros and cons.
    I don’t think you would doing anything wrong.
    I do not own a Cameo, but I would like to take a class on how to use one.
    But, as a cake decorating teacher myself, I respect how you feel.

  37. I really enjoyed reading your post! I have been using my Explore for about a month now and I love it. The preset blade settings have worked well for me, personally. When I have tried something new and the preset didn’t quite cut it (ha, lame pun), I turned the knob to custom and adjusted the settings on my computer. Between the presets and the custom option I am yet to encounter a project that has suffered because of the inability to change the blade depth on the machine.

    I don’t mind everything being internet based. I have dependable internet and rarely lose connection. I will however, be purchasing the bluetooth piece soon. I hate getting tangled up in the cords, but, at least they are long enough to get tangled in and not leaving me struggling with finding a space to work within a short distance of an outlet.

    The software itself is fairly easy to use once you are familiar with it. I do have issues with it crashing fairly often. I do LOVE that I don’t HAVE to use a cartridge and that I can use any font that I already own. Lately, I have been downloading fonts that are actually images for a labeling project I am working on. Overall the Explore has lived up to my expectations and if given the opportunity, I would make the decision to purchase it again.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your comments. My personal Cricut died and I’ve been looking online for feedback on the explore. I hate that it has to be computer generated and your treatment by Cricut suggests that they have gotten too large to remember those with the old ones.

  39. This just happened to me as well. What solution did you all come to?

  40. Crystal Spencer says:

    You cannot adjust the blade itself but you can on the computer. After you load your mat and it tells you to adjust your dial, set your dial to custom, then you can change the blade pressure and how many times it cuts under material settings.

  41. I am wanting to buy my first cricut machine. I wanted to get a cricut expressions 2. I lost my job and was looking for a way to make some extra money by making items with the vinyl to sell. I am very crafty. I have read all of your reviews on the cricut explore and don’t think that is the machine for me. At this time I am most interested in being able to do lettering and monogramming on things to sell. Can you advise me on what I would need to get started. I have to clue about the products. Thank you.

  42. Hi if i have a chance of purchasing some cartridges to use with my explore that have already been linked can i still use them and what do i need to do to get the images from them to cut out

    Thanks Ann

  43. Thanks joy for this review regarding the Cricut Explore. I just finished watching HSN advertisement for the Cricut Explore Air. Like everything else, they make it look so wonderful. I’m glad I read your reviews. I like using my cartridges and I don’t like to have to depend on Internet access. I am a big fan of the Cricut imagine. Mine works beautifully. I still print out pattern paper and use it for some of my cards. And I can use the Cricut craft room to make other projects that I can print out on my Imagine. I agree that portability is important and this should be a selling point. And I definitely don’t like the fact that you cannot control the cutting blade. I also agree they should have not discontinued the Imagine. Thanks.

  44. Dianna Hartley says:

    Thank you that was very helpful

  45. Emma Shuker says:

    Thank you so much for an honest, detailed and helpful review. I’m an occasional crafter, mostly making cards but due to a health condition I decided to look into buying a die cutting machine to help take away the effort and physical work of cutting out shapes. I loved the idea of an electric or printer type machine, but the idea of a old fashioned machine appealed more (like the sizzix big shot machine ) as there is less likely to be an electrical fault or break down. I so wanted to have a nifty electronic one but after reading your review I think I may just go with the old fashioned handle/ crank/ roller type machine (and get the husband to do the work ha!). Where I live I have terrible Internet connection and can’t even open simple internet pages at times – having to reply on the Internet would drive me bonkers! You have just saved me time, money and my sanity 🙂

  46. I just purchased and received the new cricut explore. I also purchased the Bluetooth adapter for it as I had read the reviews and knew I would need one. I love my cricut! But before I could use it, I needed to download the firmware update and will tell you it was most difficult because it did not update as indicated on the instructions that popped up before I was able to cut my first form. This is my first experience with a die cut machine and plan on using it for making cards and scrap booking. I use the Design Space on my iPad air 2 and it works great. However, I am hoping that someone will tell me how to use the 2 cartridges I purchased to use with it.
    Thanks for your help and happy crafting.

  47. Kim Ullrich says:

    I have owned 2 Expression2 machines and the original Cricut. I just purchased the Explore or got it for xmas this year.
    My cartridges are linked but will not bring up any of my font. I can not believe that cartridges are linked but still the fonts are not showing. I already tried to link it, thinking maybe it wasn’t. Already states cartridge is linked
    Can I cut letters with the Explore from my owned cartridges?

    I have to admit while the Explore offers more than just scrap booking, what they offer to cut is very childlike.

  48. Maguerita says:

    Hi there than yo SO very much for your fantastic critique overall. See, that’s how intelligent women really think – men should know that! Joy, and you do not seem persuaded easily – hence, which machine do you personally think (will NEVER hold anything against you) for me to do ONLY cake decorating with (not interested in box making – we can buy those at fractional costs) – I need it for gumpaste work. Because of our rand/dollar exchange rate they are almost prohibtively expensive to import. I was going to buy this explore but cannot find a single press or promo statement about cake. And no-one has mentioned that you cannot download their old stuff of have that as a sideline. Why don’t they think more like Bill Gates and Jobs – make their stuff work for everyone. Sometimes inventors will have this wonderful thing but keep it so inhibited in fear of the world out there.
    So which one will it be for me? I want to do wonderful work and be totally flexible and inventive. Sorry about the straight question -no-one does that anymore – cheers

  49. Maguerita says:

    so sorry Joy to hog your site. Last question. Does this Explore (which I don’t think I want) actually cut real gumpaste and do the other machines like Cameo and KNK not cut gumpaste but wafer paper only? Is there such a thing as a edible printer and cutter in one? SOOO sorry – my questions now look daft but I need to make a purchase.

    1. Maguerita,
      I’m not sure which machines best cut gumpaste. I wish I had that answer for you! I just haven’t used them for that purpose since waaaay back when I used the Cricut Cake (no longer manufactured). I will say that many people will mention that the machines you mentioned are not “food safe” so should not be used for that purpose. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be used for that purpose. 😉
      I wish you luck on finding one!

      1. Maguerita says:

        Thank you so much. I guess it’s a case of researching – but because the cake fraternity is not a major component it’s difficult to get answers from any of those manufacturers. I kinda like the KNK Zing you mentioned above. We shall see. Cheers and thank you

      2. Maguerite says:

        Thank you so much Joy – in fact only on Cake Central did I see one single lady who used this Explore for cakes and she’s over the moon, but apparently it’s not food safe – Many expressed that, hence their total ignoring me on the question (the company that is). I kinda like that KnK Zing still but it’s expensive so I think I’ll get the silhouette. Oh dear. Too many choices in a cluttered world. Thank you so much again for your unbiased straightforward advice. Cheers

      3. Maguerite,
        You are so welcome! I hope the Silhouette works out for your cake needs! Best of luck and happy creating! Let me know how it works out!

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