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325 of 333 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They thought of everything...and more! Perfection!
I have been a long time Cricut user. I got my first machine 6 years ago and was hooked. But as time has gone on, and my needs have changed, I bought a Silhouette Cameo machine too. I have always used both machines to achieve what I want in crafting. I love to make cards and scrapbooking but also love to do home decor and gifts etc. So both machines offered great ways...
Published 5 months ago by Tami Bergen

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181 of 211 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Expectations Meet Reality
I so wanted to love this machine. When I took it out of the box, I was very impressed with how it looked. I anxiously got it set up to cut. It took a few tries to get registered and connected to the Design Space, but then I was ready to cut. And that's when reality set in.

First off, I found out I could not use the designs I had already spent a great deal of...
Published 5 months ago by Suzie Einstein


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325 of 333 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They thought of everything...and more! Perfection!, February 25, 2014
By 
Tami Bergen (salt lake city, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
I have been a long time Cricut user. I got my first machine 6 years ago and was hooked. But as time has gone on, and my needs have changed, I bought a Silhouette Cameo machine too. I have always used both machines to achieve what I want in crafting. I love to make cards and scrapbooking but also love to do home decor and gifts etc. So both machines offered great ways to do that.

Now comes the Explore. I had some idea of what this machine could do. But let me just say that I am completely blown away. The Explore does things I had never imagined one machine could do. I have no need of either of my old beloved machines anymore. This machine does everything that the other two did and more. Much much more.

First, it is sleek and clean and beautiful to look at from the outside. They really took in to account the aesthetics in the design. Then once you open it up, there are two compartments where you can store your blades in - one on a magnetic strip and your tools in another. Brilliant!! I had never thought of that. No more wondering where my tools are. They are with my machine. This just shows that they really thought of everything.

Once you begin to use the Explore machine you will see that attention to detail continues. This machine is quiet. Something that I am so happy about. I can actually listen to the TV while it is cutting. Love it. And it can cut very small fine details. Something the Expression could never do. At least I didn't think so. But this one can do it no problem. It is so quick and precise. The cut setting dial is great. There are many options from paper to poster board and from what I have tried so far, they are correct. No need for second guessing.

Next is the Cricut Design Space. This is the online website that you connect to your machine. It is simple and easy to get around. There are so many new things it can do, so I do suggest watching the tutorial video before beginning. Without watching the tutorial or reading the manual, you will be missing out on some great features. I am still learning about all it can do and loving every second of it. It is easy to select images and size them how you would like. Once you are ready for that, you hit the "go" button and the magic happens! The machine divides each layer into a "mat" according to how many layers or really how many colors of paper you will need to cut that image. It does the work for you! It is amazing. If you want to change the quantity, it is very simple and it will automatically change that and adjust the mats for you too. I hope I am explaining this properly. Trust me, it is genius.

The Explore also cuts any fonts that you have on your computer. This is fantastic and opens up a whole new world of possibilities. In addition to that, you can now cut SVG files. And it is EASY to import them. I have done this with my other machine and it was kind of a pain. The Explore does it in just a few clicks of the buttons and even guides you along. No guess work. I also love that you can cut and write at the same time. You can design an image to cut and then design words or images that the pen can draw inside that cut image. They then work at the same time. I see lots of invitations in my future with this new feature.

One of my other favorite things is you can change what your "canvas" is. Normally you are designing on a grid from the mat. Now you can select a "canvas" and put your design on the canvas so you can see how it will really look. For example, if you are cutting iron-on vinyl for a shirt for you child: On the grid mat you would have to measure the shirt and then hope you have it correct on the mat preview, hoping will come out how you want it to. Now, you can select "shirt" as your canvas. This then turns the background on your computer into the image of a shirt and not the grid of the mat. Then it give you options to choose adult or child. It will then scale the background to look and be the size of a child shirt. You can even select the size S,M,L for a child shirt. Now you can design your image and place it where you would want it to go and see if it will work. It takes the guess work out if you have the image correctly sized and designed before you cut it out. You now know how it will look on a shirt. There are lots of canvas like shoes, banners, bags, etc for any project you can think of. This concept had never even entered my mind and I use a die cut machine at least 4/5 times a week. I thought I had thought of everything the perfect machine would have. They made it even better.

I cannot say enough about all the fantastic features this machine has. I have only gotten started on it and with each new thing I make, I am more and more impressed. I think I am going to sell my other machines. This machine does everything they do and more! I really could not be more impressed with it. I am a very experienced crafter with my own Etsy shop and 10 years of crafting experience. I will recommend the Explore machine to everyone I know. Even if they already have a die cut machine. This is the future of die cutting and where you want to be. If you are on the fence about buying it, don't be.
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144 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Machine Ever!, February 26, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
I've been using this machine for a couple of weeks and I love it! I own a couple competitor's machines and I will be selling them off. A few of the features that make this machine stand out above the rest?

1) Machine design. Cricut has really listened to it's customers on this one. It's the simple things like tool storage and intuitive buttons/dial that make this tool stand out.

2) No more cartridges (unless you want to use them). I don't know about you, but I don't have the space to store a bunch of cartridges. PLUS, I prefer the freedom of designing my own shapes. THANK YOU CRICUT!

3) Ultra simple design space. If you can turn on a computer and surf the net, you can use the new Cricut Design Space.

4) New blade. The blade in the Cricut Explore will cut anything. I've already used it to cut poster board, light plastic, vinyl, wood and leather in addition to regular 80 lb cardstock. It's awesome.

5) Dual cartridge action. Friends, you can write/score and cut at the same time. It's pretty fantastic.
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108 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Thought of EVERYTHING, February 26, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
When my machine arrived it was simple to take out of the box. It came already in a carrying bag and the machine came out easily by just pulling the handles. It took me minutes to set up my machine. Literally. This machine does require a computer and internet connection, but what the Cricut|explore lets you do is out of this world.

I love that everything is online and I don't have to worry about using up space on my computer to save projects. The design software is free! I love the monthly subscription concept ($9.99 --think Netflix) that allows me access to the 25,000+ image library. If that isn't your thing, most images can be purchased separately for .99. I also love that you can use the images to cut and design with no commitment. You don't pay until it is time to cut!

You can also upload your own images, svg files, etc. This is a free component. You also have access to all the fonts on your computer! Now, instead of trying to figure out how a design will fit on a project you can choose a canvas in the design software. If you are making a shirt you can pick the neckline, size, sleeve length, color, etc. and lay out your design right on the shirt.

The machine can cut through 50+ materials. I have seen it cut through leather like butter! The machine is simple to use and the design program is very intuitive. The design program will lay out your mats and you can easily change the number you want to cut and it will tell you exactly what you need. When it comes time to cut all you have to do is turn a dial to select a pre-established setting like cardstock, vinyl, etc. There is also a custom section on the dial with access to tons of other settings--Just follow the prompts on your computer.

For people who are Cricut users, you can link all your cartridges and anything you have in design space. There are also, "make it now" projects, which allow your to create an already existing project with a few clicks of the button. These are editable too! This is perfect for someone starting out and a great way to see all you can do with this machine. So many great ideas!

A few other notes. The machine has built in storage for your crafting tools. The machine is incredibly quiet, and can cut incredibly thin lines and is very accurate. I imported my 5 year old son's handwriting and created a shirt for him.

If you are considering a craft cutting machine, I highly recommend this one. I know it is a lot, but when simple crafting tools like a punch can run you $20, this is an investment you will definitely see a return on. This goes beyond scrapbooking. Think home decor, wearables, party decor.
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181 of 211 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High Expectations Meet Reality, March 23, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
I so wanted to love this machine. When I took it out of the box, I was very impressed with how it looked. I anxiously got it set up to cut. It took a few tries to get registered and connected to the Design Space, but then I was ready to cut. And that's when reality set in.

First off, I found out I could not use the designs I had already spent a great deal of time creating in CCR. I would have to re-create them in Design Space if I wanted to use them with the Explore.

Second, I found out that I HAVE TO link my cartridges (approx. 50) to the cloud in order to use them with the Explore. I would prefer the OPTION of linking or just using them plugged into the machine as I do with the Expression2. I wouldn't mind if Provo Craft stopped making new cartridges and sold images online, but they MUST CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE CUSTOMERS THAT HAVE CARTRIDGES with any machine they create. We have made HUGE investments into these cartridges!

Third, I found out that I HAVE TO be connected to the internet to use the machine. I know they said that in the demo, but I really hate the Design Space. This software thinks for you and figures out how many mats you need, etc. Sounds great, but the reality is that it doesn't want you to think for yourself. I am very diligent about not wasting paper and cardstock, but the Explore mat setups waste an incredible amount of material and there is no way to force it to be more conservative. WHY would it put that one tiny little image on a second mat when there is PLENTY of room on the first mat? Seriously, I had a design that filled about 2/3 of a 12x12 piece of cardstock, but it still put one little half inch circle on a second mat. Both mats were the same color, and I had already "forced" everything to one mat by making them all the same color and placing the different colors of paper on the cutting mat the way I needed. But the program thinks it's smarter than me and would not put that tiny circle on the first mat no matter what I tried. And every time you go back to the canvas to make adjustments and then back to cut, you have to move all your images around again because it doesn't remember that you didn't want them where it said you should put them. Because apparently you are too stupid to know what you're doing...Grrr.

I would prefer an offline design program. Provo Craft has been told that over and over and over, but they don't listen. This Cricut is for people who want to pick out a pre-designed project and cut it out. If you are more of a designer or even a designer wannabe, then there are better machines on the market for you. IF you design in the Explore, you MUST upload your design to the cloud...you are not able to keep your own designs on your own computer. Additionally, everything you make and upload shows in the software as a blacked out image...a silhouetted version of your creation.

Frankly, the machine cuts extremely well and could have been the machine to beat, but the design software, the forcing of cartridge linking, the lack of true user control, and the fact that Provo Craft just doesn't get it make this one just so so for me. I own the Expression 2 and it's a good machine. I also recently purchased the Silhouette Portrait and I am far more impressed with it than I was with the Explore. I forgot to mention, I returned my Explore because of all the limitations it imposes and I will likely never buy another Cricut. Until Provo Craft decides to remove the shackles they have placed on the users and set the captives free, there are better choices out there. We are designers and artists...we don't like to be told how and what to create! Let us be free to be creative the way WE want to.

If you're thinking about buying this machine, do your homework first! It could be perfect for you, but check other machines before you commit to this kind of investment.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silhouette Lover CONVERTED! Never looking back., March 29, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
As a long-time Silhouette lover, I was excited to see what the new Cricut Explorer could bring to the table.

First things first; I am a graphic designer and I really appreciate user experience, good design and branding. Cricut did a fantastic job with the 'out of box' experience. From the darling box helping to excite the new owner to the ease of pulling the machine out of the box, it's obvious Cricut had their customers in mind. The box wasn't cluttered with cords or manuals and I didn't need ten people to pull the machine out of the box. Everything was so easy. Just pull out and plug in. And hello carrying tote! I love the idea of easily taking my Cricut & laptop to crafting nights with me. Brilliant.

Now onto Design Space. As mentioned I am a graphic designer and what I loved most about the Silhouette was the ability to cut out my own designs. Cricut has done the same thing, but ohh so much better. Design Space takes all the great features of Illustrator and Photoshop and put it into a very user friendly web-based program that allows the owner to create their own designs, upload svg designs or purchase from the vast Cricut image library. Ohh and you can import and add all those old Cricut and add them to your library. Awesome! I found Design Space gave me much more freedom than the Silhouette design program allowing me to use my own font library, edit the svg within their program and choose which layer to cut on which paper. The whole experience seemed effortless. Like it does all the work for you, you just upload and push GO.

Moving onto the actually cutting. This machine is ridiculous. Like serious crazy town. I wanted to push my baby to the limits and purchased a bunch of different cutting mediums to experiment. It cut through every.single.one. Felt, fabric, card-stock, glitter paper, craft paper, chip board, foam board, denim, leather, vinyl and even burlap. It blew my mind. There were times when I had to change to a thicker mat, but the blade on the Cricut cut through everything. My husband even looked on in awe. And not only does it cut through everything, it can cut teeny tiny shapes perfectly. I made my own confetti! With the Silhouette I never knew which setting would work best for different projects. This machine has different modes that tell you exactly what to do to get the right pressure. You're cutting card-stock, turn the dial to card-stock. So easy!

To sum up, if you are looking for a cutting machine, there really is nothing that can compete with Cricut Explorer. Hands down the best machine out there.

Other minor things I love:
- Place for all my tools
- Place for my mat. No more ruining mats by accidentally placing things on top of them.
- It cuts leather. No further explanation needed.
- It's crazy quiet. I can't even hear it going from the other room.
- Best.Customer.Service.Ever! Seriously the Cricut team knows how to treat a customer.
- It's not ugly. I don't feel like I have too keep it hidden in my cupboards.
- It can score and write.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Cricut Explore.... I LOVE YOU!, August 18, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
This machine is the best thing that has happened to my crafty life! I have been a Cricut owner going back about 6 years. I have always been a fan but to be honest I was disappointed I couldn't cut SVG files.When I found out the Explore would cut my SVGs I was over the moon. My Cricut Explore is the best cutting machine I have ever used. The cuts are clean, the machine is very quiet, it will emboss and write when the pens are inserted. I can use all my cartridges and the SVG files I have collected over time. The Cricut Design Space software is amazing! It is very easy to use. I love being able to view my images in colored layers to get an idea of what they will look like before I cut them out. There is also an ipad app! Cutting from my ipad....how cool is that? I am really looking forward to the print and cut feature that's coming. In a nut shell, I LOVE this machine. It is my go to craft item. I use it for everything, parties, school projects, card making. I will never be without it. If you are thinking about purchasing, take the leap. You won't be sorry!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE my new Cricut machine!, February 26, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
Loving my new Cricut machine! It is so easy to use and I've been having fun creating lots of projects. I'm also loving that I no longer need to buy cartridges. They have so many great images already in their design studio. I'm also excited I can use all of my own fonts now. This machine is also super quiet. I can now quietly craft while the my kids are sleeping.
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Customer Support, February 25, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
I'm going to start this review by saying that I am the least crafty person on the planet. I can cook like no ones business, but when I try to create cute projects they just don't ever seem to workout. Ever.

When I got this machine I was so overwhelmed and in way over my head. Luckily the customer support was quick and so friendly. They walked me through the entire process from start to finish. Once I got my machine connected to my computer the rest has been so easy! I started off with a few simple projects that are suggested when you log in for the first time and have actually been excited to create more DIY & party supplies using this wonderful machine!

I love that the possibilities are endless and that uploading my own designs couldn't be simpler. Thank you cricut for providing a great product that helps even the worst crafters be crafty!
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cricut Explore: You'll Never Look Back., February 21, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
If you're the creative type, and have invested in a cutting machine or two, this is not like those. If you're the creative type and have considered investing in a cutting machine, look no further. The new Cricut Explore is about to become your new best friend.

Don't fumble with set-up, settings, and such - this amazing machine can have you creating in just a matter of minutes. The free online software that accompanies this machine is intuitive and seamless. If you're looking for inspiration, browse through the 50K+ image library where you can choose elements to create with a whole slew of ready to make projects. (Some have fees associated, some are free.)

Want to start from scratch? The Explore lets you do that, too. There are canvas templates so creators can make their own tshits, pillows, invites, cards, and more. You can also upload images and fonts from your OWN computer. (Upload .jpg, .png, .bmp and .gif files for free)

It's magical.

The settings options are clear (on a dial) and are set up in a way where you can easily alternate between settings while working on your projects. There's no limit!

Did we also mention it can CUT, SCORE, and PRINT - all at the same time!?

One of my favorite aspects of this machine (aside from it's quality) is the fact that it's so portable. It's lightweight (but not flimsy) enough that I can put it in it's carrying case, and along with my laptop - can go and create anywhere. You'll never want to be far from it once it's in your possession :)

Lastly, and maybe even most importantly - the customer service folks of Cricut are top notch. They're readily available by email, and phone.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Machine with Awesome Features, February 28, 2014
This review is from: Cricut Explore Electronic Cutting Machine with Cricut Design Space Free Online Software (Misc.)
I give this machine a 5 star rating because it is so easy to work with. You pull it out of the box, plug it in, and you are ready to create! I was amazed when I tried to cut very small, very thin letters out of vinyl that it did it with no problems. This machine cut it like butter! Any other machine I've used would not have been able to cut this small.
I like that I am able to cut so many different materials with this machine such as paper, vinyl, cardstock, fabric, etc., and I can also cut leather, metal, duct tape, etc. The smart set dial makes it easy too, so I don't have to figure out the blade depth and pressure. I love that there is a place to store tools and extra blades right in the front of the machine. I'd have to say that my favorite feature of this machine is that I am able to cut my own fonts that are downloaded to my computer. I am a long time Cricut machine user, and I've always wanted to be able to cut my own fonts, so this is huge for me! It is also a nice feature to be able to draw and cut.
The software that is used with this machine is pretty simple to navigate, but it does take some learning. It is a little different than other software that I've used with digital cutting machines. For some projects I really like that I don't have to think about how to layout my images, and fit as many on a page as I can. This software does it for you. But that is also one of the drawbacks. I found that if I wanted to cut 4 images that were on different layers, out of the same piece of paper, I couldn't (at least if there is away, it was not easy for me to figure out). It wanted to cut each one separately, but I needed all 4 cut out of the same paper.
This machine is good sized, not bulky. Comparable in size to my Cricut Expression machine.
I recommend this Cricut Explore machine to anyone who enjoys being creative. Whether you enjoy paper crafting, sewing, decorating your home, or creating unique home decor pieces this machine will be something that you enjoy using.
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