Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 Comparison: Read This Before Buying!

With the Cricut Maker release, many are wondering whether they should change to Cricut’s most up-to-date machine or stick with their reliable and tested Explore Air 2. Read through this Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 guide and check our final verdict at the end!

As crafters become deeper involved in the art of crafting, the need for reliable and versatile tools has become a necessity. You can make more crafts and DIY projects once you get your hands on the right materials and machines.

The Explore Air 2 is a great choice, and many crafters love how dependable and consistent it is for helping them achieve what they have in mind. However, as Cricut released the Cricut Maker 2, the same crafters doubt whether to keep the Explore Air 2 or switch to the latest machine.

Explore Air 2

Explore Air 2 is a great machine. It really is! If you could use an Explore One or Explore Air, you’ll definitely know for sure that the Explore Air 2 upgrades are a lot better than the previous models from the Explore Series.

The Explore Air 2 works with 100+ materials from paper to vinyl to fabrics, among many others. It has a Smart Set Dial Setting, which you can use for cutting light and easy materials. You can also create your Custom Setting for materials like Mylar, magnetic sheet, fusible fabric, adhesive foil, etc. Creating your own customized settings will allow the machine to cut the material the way you want it.

Furthermore, this Cricut model is the best machine from the Explore Series. It has a double tool holder, which Explore One lacks. And it also cuts and writes faster than both Explore One and Explore Air. This device can handle many projects such as customized cards, boxes, 3D paper crafts, and cutting intricate details.


  • The best of in Explore Series
  • Affordable
  • With Smart Set Dial


  • Limited features

Cricut Maker: What Improved?

Well, the Cricut Maker has everything the Explore Air 2 has to offer. Plus, so much more! It is surely a huge leap from the features of the Explore Air 2. It is compatible with 300+ materials and has 12 tools/capabilities as opposed to Air 2’s 100+ materials and four tools/capabilities. On top of that, it has 10x more power for cutting hundreds of materials at 4,000 grams. This power is a lot stronger and faster than the Explore Air 2, which allows you to work on harder and thicker materials like wood and leather.

The Cricut Maker is also the only compatible machine for the knife blade. The knife blade can cut moderate details that are not smaller than ¾”. While it is convenient to use, it is important to note that the knife blade wears off quickly compared to other Cricut blades. This is because it is used to cut thicker and denser materials.

An additional feature added to the Maker is access to many sewing patterns. With this feature, you can create and adapt more designs to your crafts and DIY projects. Furthermore, the Maker can also cut out fabrics using the Rotary Blade, while the earlier model can only cut bonded fabric.

The Print and Cut attribute on the Maker also allows you to do it on a patterned and colored paper, while the Explore 2 can only do it on a white paper. The Adaptive Tool System also allows more precise cuts as it intelligently controls the direction of the blade you are using. This system further controls the cut pressure to ensure that fabrics and even thicker materials like leather are cut consistently.


  • More features than Explore Air 2
  • 10x more powerful
  • Prints on colored and patterned paper
  • Adaptive Tool System
  • Cuts and marks sewing patterns


  • Noisier
  • No Smart Set Dial
  • More expensive

Our Verdict: Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2

Now that you have reached this portion of our Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 Comparison Guide, which do you think will we recommend?

The answer is both! Depending on your craft ideas and DIY projects, either the Explore Air 2 or Maker works best.

You do not need to get rid of your Explore Air 2 (if you already have one) to purchase a Cricut Maker if crafts are just your hobby, and you do not do it professionally. However, if you still want to discover more crafts and use more materials despite it being a simple hobby, you can go for the Cricut Maker. After all, exploring is not limited to Explore Air 2 alone!

If you are a serious crafter and want to do projects at a professional level, then the Maker’s versatile and advanced level is right for you. It offers a wide range of features and works well with more than 300+ materials. You can explore many more avenues when it comes to arts, DIY stuff, and crafts.

With the Maker, you’ll have almost limitless things to do. Furthermore, since it has commercial-grade cutting technology, you can use it for a craft business. The Maker allows you to cut hundreds of materials with 10x more power than Explore Air 2.

In addition, if you love sewing, then your best fit is the Cricut Maker. It comes with a huge gallery of sewing patterns! It does not only cut the sewing patterns but also marks them too, making your sewing life a lot easier. The marks are made with a washable fabric marker pen. You do not need to worry about it leaving a permanent stain on the fabric.

Did this Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 Guide help you?

So, which Cricut machine do you think is best for you? The final verdict will be yours!