The Cricut Explore Air wireless cutting machine allows you to handle a number of different materials from vinyl and paper to wood and leather when you choose the right settings. This type of versatility allows you to experiment and really let your creativity shine. With this machine, you can do so much more than just cutting. While many models of die cutters will allow users to insert a pen to draw your own unique patterns, this one allows you to insert both a pen and a blade at the same time, so you can draw up a pattern and cut it in one shot. So, read on to learn exactly what this innovative Cricut model has to offer and what type of features and accessories you can expect in this popular package.
Cricut Cutting Machine Assessment and Features
Using a simple dial, you can select the type of material you want to cut, such as fabric, poster board, vinyl, or paper. Some users didn’t like having to depend on the machine to make cutting settings based on material type, but it does take a lot of the guesswork out of setting the blade depth, especially for beginners. Knowing how to properly set the blade depth definitely, involves a learning curve. There are also half settings to consider, with a one click difference between certain types of materials such as vinyl and poster board. These custom settings will help users to get the perfect cut for each type of project based on material type, for the best results.
If you’ve used Cricut machines for years before purchasing this model, you’ll be happy to know that you can still use your existing cartridges. You’ll also be able to use Cricut’s free online software where you’ll find templates and fonts, or you can design your own. If you upload an image to your PC, the design program will help you to convert it into a useable image that can be cut. However, this machine isn’t compatible with Sure Cuts a Lot or Make the Cut software, so if you commonly use those programs, you’ll have to become familiar with the Design Space software program. Fortunately, it’s very user-friendly.
The Explore Air is also highly portable. While it doesn’t come with a built-in handle, it does come with a carry bag that makes it incredibly easy to pack it up and go. The machine’s Bluetooth capability is another feature that greatly adds to the machine’s portability. Using a companion app you’ll be able to send designs to your tablet or PC wirelessly. Additionally, since Design Space is web-based, you’ll be able to access projects from any PC, which is not possible with other brands of die cutters.
While this feature is very unique and a huge selling point for many buyers, unfortunately, it’s not compatible with Android devices.
The max cutting width is eleven and a half inches with a max height of twenty-three and a half inches. This is a relatively small machine and weighs a little over ten pounds.
Cricut Machine Pros and Cons
Pros: This machine makes beautiful and precise cuts on cardstock, vinyl, felt, and much more. It’s also incredibly versatile when it comes to blade depth changes, and it’s easy to use, even for beginners. You can use this machine right out of the box, no complicated setup required. You’ll love the included carry bag and the cutting mat. The fact that old Cricut cartridges can be used with this model is also a big selling point with longtime Cricut users.
This model features a more streamlined operation, allowing you to draw and cut without having to change from a drawing tool to a blade.
When it comes to the quality of the cutting, Cricut never disappoints. This machine is excellent for small intricate designs and provides incredibly precise cuts.
For the price, it’s impossible to deny that this machine is a total steal.
The Explore Air benefits from a dual carriage, which works to significantly reduce machine time spent on the cutting process. This carriage design allows for scoring, cutting, and writing. This essentially cuts the production time in half.
The machine’s low price point makes it clear that this model is an entry-level machine that’s perfect for hobbyists just starting out. Fortunately, the user interface is easy to navigate, allowing you to get started quickly.
On top of the machine, the smart set dial will be the go-to for most users, allowing you to easily select the type of material to cut, while the machine does the rest including adjusting the machine’s speed, depth, and correct pressure. Novice craft cutters will relish this feature, instead of having to spend hours of trial and error trying to adjust the blade.
Cons: With this model, you may have to get used to a new software program, and the machine itself lacks a handle which does take away from the machine’s overall portability and makes it somewhat difficult to put it in or take it out of the carry bag.
While many people raved about the Design Space software, others were disappointed that you have to have an internet connection in order to access it or to access your cartridges too, making it a real deal breaker for anyone who doesn’t have a reliable Wi-Fi connection.
If you’re looking for a more advanced model, seasoned hobbyists recommend the Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine.
Cricut Explore Air Conclusion and Rating
While some buyers had reservations about the software restrictions, there’s no doubt that the Explore Air by Cricut is an excellent cutting machine, thanks to its wireless operation, versatility, and ease of use. It’s currently one of the most popular machines on the market and a consumer favorite. Consumers who purchased this Cricut machine gave it a rating of four out of five stars for the easy user interface, design options, preset cut settings, and the overall versatility that you normally won’t find at this price.
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