Cricut is a brand known for making smart cutting machines for home crafters, and by using these machines, you can create almost anything out of paper, vinyl, leather, wood, and more. Of the various models available on the market, Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3 are the same size and offer similar features. Both models are excellent devices and can cut, emboss and engrave many materials. Due to this, people often get confused about which machine is right for them.
Maker 3 and Explore 3 are Cricut's newest models, released in 2022. In this blog, we will look at their overall performance, design, features, and more to better understand which one is right for you. Note that we are not determining which machine is best but which craft-cutting suits your needs.
Maker 3 Vs. Explore 3: Overview
Both machines come with a standard fine-point blade, and it's good enough for most projects. The biggest difference between them is the cutting technology. Maker 3 features Adaptive Tool System, enabling the machine to work with 13 tools, whereas Explore 3 is compatible with 6. Other than cutting, writing, scoring, and foiling, Explore 3 can do a lot more, including engraving and more.
Both machines use the Cricut Design Space app. Use the app to access pre-made designs and create your designs. Create your designs using third-party apps such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW to get the best out of Cricut Design Space. You can also manage materials and accessories.
Maker 3 Vs. Explore 3: Design
Maker 3 and Explore 3 can be used via the Design Space app. Both these models have been smartly designed. They both feature subtle but eye-catching colors, Explore 3 comes in a soft mint green color, while Maker 3 comes in an off-white pale blue color. They both take up the same surface area and require the same height between shelves to open freely. In terms of size, The Maker 3 is 22.1×7.1 x 6.2 inches in size, whereas Explore 3 is 22.2x7x5.9 inches.
Maker 3 Vs. Explore 3: Performance
The biggest difference you will notice between them is their performance. Maker 3 is more powerful and faster than Explore 3. This is justifiable as Maker 3 can use over 300 materials while Explore 3 can use 100 materials, not even half of Explore 3 capacity. Explore 3 can cut thicker materials such as balsa wood, thin metal, thin acrylic glass, and leather. This is also evident in the number of accessories; Maker 3 is compatible with thirteen accessories, whereas Explore 3 is compatible with six.
In action, both machines seem quiet and quick, performing better than their predecessors. Cricut Explore 3 has a standard cutting pressure and can cut up to 2mm thick materials. In contrast, Cricut Maker 3 boasts ten times more pressure than Explore 3, so you can cut up to 2.4 mm thick materials. Cricut Maker 4 exerts 4 kg pressure while performing cutting action. Explore 3 will need to make two passes over the same material for the same output.
Maker 3 and Explore 3 can cut vinyl and paper without a mat. Both machines performed at the same speed; when using smart materials, both cut 8 inches per second. To sum it up, Maker 3 is a superior, more powerful, and more versatile machine than Explore 3. You can cut thicker and more heavy-duty materials with Explore 3. The Explore 3 is a decent Cricut machine that can perform basic tasks such as making cards, keyrings, quilting, and more, but it's not in the same league as Maker 3.
Maker 3 Vs. Explore 3: Unique Features
On Explore 3, you don't get a lid or cover, so all the buttons are exposed on top. In contrast, Maker 3 features a lid to conceal the buttons. It gives the machine a sleeker and less cluttered look. To open Explore 3, you have to push a button on the machine's left side; it will open the lid and front door. To open the maker 3, you must pull up on the notch of the top lid; it will automatically open the front and top doors.
The storage cups on top of the Explore 3 are slightly smaller and more shallow than the Maker 3. And the hidden storage compartment located at the front door of Explore 3 has two sections, whereas Maker 3 has three. Maker 3 also features a USB charging port on the side to charge your smart devices, but the Explore 3 doesn't have this feature. This feature is handy when using Design Space on your mobile or tablet or shooting time-lapse videos of your machine in action.
Maker 3 Vs. Explore 3: Pricing
The Cricut Explore 3 costs around $319.99, but on sale, it is available for under $300. The Maker 3 costs around $429.99, and on sale, it is available for under $390. There is a price difference of $100.
So, the main question is what you need your Cricut machine to do and how much crafting you plan to do. If you require a Cricut machine for materials like paper, vinyl, or iron-on, then Explore 3 would be perfect. But if you need a Cricut machine for printing on heavy materials, then the speed and versatility of Cricut Maker are for you. Both machines use the same app and process, so neither is easier or harder.
Is there any difference Between the Cricut Maker 3 and Explore 3?
Yes, there are a few differences between these two models. Each machine has its advantages and disadvantages. Regarding physical features, Maker 3 is a bit bulkier than the Explore 3 and weighs 11 pounds. It's slightly easier to lift and carry around, making it more manageable. Explore 3 may be a better option if you are concerned with weight.
What accessories do you get with each machine?
Cricut is known for offering a wide variety of accessories; the same goes for both these models. Several different accessories are available, but we will include the most popular ones. These accessories include the Foil Transfer Kit, pens, markers, machine mats, and toolsets. With Maker 3, you get a wide variety of tools, and it can cut over 300 different materials.
Which one fits your budget and needs?
These are the two main factors that you need to consider before buying a Cricut machine. If you need to cut a few pieces of paper and vinyl quickly, the Explore 3 will do the job. However, if your project involves wood, fabric, or multiple materials in one go, then the Cricut Maker 3 is the machine for you. Ultimately, you decide whether to go for Cricut Maker 3 or Cricut Explore 3.
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