Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Maker 3: Which is best for you?

Cricut Maker vs. Cricut Maker 3: Which is best for you?

Still strong

Cricut Maker

Latest and best

Cricut Maker 3

Cricut Maker 3 Render Cropped

Cricut Maker is an incredible crafting machine that is capable of cutting over 300 materials, including leather, fabric and balsa wood. It can also use up to 13 different tools to cut, cut, write and decorate various objects.

From $ 329 at Amazon


  • Cuts over 300 materials
  • Use up to 13 tools for cutting, writing, scoring and more
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Can be purchased at a lower price


  • Cannot use Smart Materials

Cricut Maker 3 has all the features you know and love from its predecessor, but it has the added option of using matte smart materials. Smart Materials allows you to create larger projects in a single long cut, up to 12 feet long. Maker 3 can also cut up to twice as fast.

$ 400 at Amazon


  • Cuts over 300 materials
  • Use up to 13 tools for cutting, writing, pointing and more
  • Can use Smart Materials without mat
  • Makes a single cut up to 12 feet long with smart materials
  • Cuts smart materials up to twice as fast as its predecessor


  • more expensive
  • Available in only one color

When it comes to craftsmanship, Cricut is king. Depending on the type of project you are working on, there is a different model for you. From beginners to serious craftsmen, Cricut is a great choice when setting your mind on a craft project. So when you compare Cricut Maker, the flagship machine and Cricut Maker 3, you really want to do your homework to see which machine is right for you. Let’s take a look at what both devices have to offer.

All about Cricut

Cricut makes three different machines: the Creator, the Explorer and the Joy. Cricut Maker is Cricut’s flagship model with ten times the cutting power of Explore. The Maker line is for serious hobbyists and professionals who sell what they make. Cricut Explore is a happy mid-range model, the same size as the Maker, but with some limitations. Cricut Joy is an easy-to-use “mini-Cricut” that is perfect for beginners, for people who want an extra machine when they are on the go, or for people who do not have much space to devote to. a larger machine.

All three machines are great for craftsmen. You can design just about anything you can dream of, upload it to the Design Space app on your Mac, iPad or iPhone and create it on your Cricut. Each Cricut machine has interchangeable blades and pens so you can cut, write, draw and more. There are many Cricut accessories you can use to create a large selection of items.

Cricut has recently released two new machines: The Cricut Explore 3 and Cricut Maker 3. If you were wondering, no, there was never a Cricut Maker 2. Cricut would just keep the nomenclature the same as Explore, which is on its third iteration.

Cricut Maker Vs. Cricut Maker 3: Key differences

There are not many differences between Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3, the older and newer versions of the Cricut flagship engine. Both machines cut over 300 materials and are compatible with 13 different tools to allow a wide range of potential projects. Both machines use Design Space software. In fact, these machines have a lot in common.

Cricut Maker Cricut Maker 3
Price From $ 329 $ 400
Number of materials 300+ 300+
Number of tools 13 13
Software Design room Design room
Color More options Soft blue
Do you use smart materials? None Yes
Using mats? Yes (you must) Yes you can)
Maximum material cut length 24 inches 12 feet (144 inches)
Maximum material width 12 inches 12 inches
Docking slot for iPad Yes Yes
Cutting speed Fast Up to twice as fast as Maker
Commercial quality performance Yes Yes

Functionally, the two machines are almost identical, except that Cricut Maker 3 gets Smart Materials ability and speed. There are some minimal cosmetic differences. The metallic stripe around the machine is shiny on Cricut Maker, but matte on Cricut Maker 3. In addition, the start button on Maker 3 has a more logical triangular “play” symbol rather than a Cricut logo.

It is important to note that you can do as many projects with Cricut Maker 3 as you can with Cricut Maker. You would not lose any skills if you went from Cricut Maker to Cricut Maker 3. It’s just Cricut Maker 3 that can allow you to make some items much faster and more efficiently with Smart Materials.

Cricut Maker Vs. Cricut Maker 3: Smarter, longer and faster

Cricut Maker 3 Smart Vinyl Loading Lifestyle

Source: Cricut

Smart Materials are slightly wider and have a stiffer backing than regular materials, so they can be fed directly into the machine without the use of a mat. Because you can make a long, continuous cut up to 12 feet in length, your large projects can go much faster than they would if you had to reload and reload your mats.

In addition, Cricut Maker 3’s cutting speed is dramatically faster when using the smart materials, easily twice as fast. Cricut Maker 3 has a new power adapter that allows for up to 3 amp output. The power cables cannot be replaced between Maker and Maker 3.

Cricut Maker Vs. Cricut Maker 3: broader projects

Since Smart Materials are 13 inches wide and regular materials are only 12 inches wide, you may be wondering if you can make projects that are an inch wider with Smart Materials. With standard 12-inch materials on a mat, you can make projects up to 11.5 inches wide, as there should be a small margin along the edges.

With 13-inch Smart Materials, the machine needs wider margins to grip the materials themselves. So the maximum width of projects made with Smart Materials is only 11.7 inches. So technically, yes, you can do wider projects, but only 0.2 inches.

Cricut Maker Vs. Cricut Maker 3: Different tools and accessories?

Cricut Maker 3 Loading Smart Iron On

Source: Cricut

You can use almost all the same tools and accessories with both machines, but there are a few exceptions. Cricut introduced two new accessories with the Maker 3: a larger portable trimmer and a roll holder. The new portable trimmer is necessary because Since Smart Materials is 13 inches wide and the original trimmer was only 12 inches. You can, of course, use the larger trimmer to cut smaller materials.

The new roller holder is used to help you insert your Smart Materials into Cricut Maker 3 and is not compatible (or necessary) with the original Maker. Not only does it keep your smart materials neatly in place, but it trims the roll when your project is complete. None of these accessories are strictly necessary if you buy a Cricut Maker 3, but they are good to have.

Cricut Maker Vs. Cricut Maker 3: Which one should you buy?

Cricut Maker 3 Hero

Source: Karen S. Freeman / iMore

If you already own Cricut Maker, it’s worth upgrading to Cricut Maker 3 if you often do big projects. E.g; Imagine if you were to make a banner, sign or wall treatment up to 12 feet long with Cricut Maker. You need to make many separate cuts and take your materials off and on the mat as many as 12 times.

But Cricut Maker 3 would let you do a big project like that quickly in a single cut, using smart materials without a mat. In addition, Cricut Maker 3 can cut twice as fast when using smart materials. This is a great time saver if you often do large projects.

If big projects are not your cup of tea, I would not bother to spend the extra money on Cricut Maker 3. The point of Smart Materials is to do fast work on big, long projects. If you do not do that kind of thing or only do them occasionally, you might as well save some money and pick up an older Cricut Maker. Plus, Cricut Maker comes in a lot of colors to match any decor, whereas Cricut Maker 3 only comes in a soft blue hue.

Still amazing

Cricut Maker Reco

Cricut Maker

Worth buying

Cricut Maker is not an outdated purchase at all. If you do not do large projects quite often, you may feel good about saving a few bucks on the original Maker.

Bells and whistles

Cricut Maker 3 Render Cropped

Cricut Maker 3

Latest model

The latest flagship engine does everything its predecessor does, plus it uses Smart Materials for matte projects up to 12 feet long at up to twice the speed.

We can earn a commission on purchases by using our links. Learn more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here