Best Cricut Machine for Sewing?
As sewists (I seriously cannot stand the word sewer because well I am not the place where refuse goes…) there are literally hundreds of machines being peddled to us each and every day. There are machines to wind bobbins and about a zillion types of sewing machines. There are die cut machines and machines for quilting. One of the machines that is always tempting but also intimidating is the electronic cutting machine. There are LOTS of these to choose from so let’s break them down shall we? Here is the best Cricut machine for sewing.
Best Cricut Machine for Sewing?
This is a sponsored post. Cricut provided me with the Maker and all accessories to aid in my review of the product. All ideas and opinions are my own. See my full disclosure and policies for more information.
Which Cutting Machine is Best?
There are so many options for a cutting machine. Cricut has several options. You have assuredly also heard of Silhouette. Sizzix also makes an electronic cutting machine on top of their die cutting stuff! I have only seen the Sizzix machine at Quilt Market so I can’t speak to how it compares to these other machines. I own a Silhouette Cameo, a Cricut Explore Air 2, and a Cricut Maker so let’s talk about those three and which is the best Cricut machine?
If you are just jumping into the cutting machine arena you should get this machine hands down! It does everything the other two machines we will talk about does but it also does SO. Much. More!
It has a rotary blade which is really the most ideal tool for cutting fabric!
It doesn’t pull on the fabric which allows you to cut even more intricate details. It has been tested on a ton of different fabric types and it can cut just about any fabric you can imagine!!
It has duel chambers so it can house the rotary blade and a fabric marker at the same time! This is great for cutting a project and then marking the seam allowance, which is perfect for beginners!
I could talk at you about it all day but the true test is in the cut right! So I decided to compare the Explore Air 2 with the Maker cutting the same project.
Side by Side Comparison
This cut file is one that I created for our monthly bundle (see it HERE) and it is not ideal for cutting with felt. BUT I had to show you how both machines did cutting this intricate file.
The EA2 didn’t even make it through the felt with the fixed blade. In the picture below you can really see how pained the felt was after cutting on the EA2. The Maker and the rotary blade allowed the felt to stay flat. This made for a beautiful cut. On the EA2 the fixed blade cut through in a few areas but I could just pull the entire piece of felt off the mat without anything sticking because the cuts were so few and far between.
The Maker cut through the felt with zero issue! I could hardly believe how well it cut the intricate lines.
If you already have a cutting machine…
The Cricut Explore Air 2 versus the Silhouette Cameo is an age old debate and honestly one in which I don’t have a strong opinion. My Silhouette Cameo functioned perfectly adequately for the years that I had it before I got my Explore Air 2. BUT I will say there are several creature comforts about me EA2 that I seriously love.
- The dial to select the material you are cutting! This makes it super user friendly! You don’t have to worry about changing the pressure, which is kind of an annoying and not super functional part of the Silhouette design studio.
- The guides for loading the mat! The guess work is totally taken out of where the mat should go. I mean I always got a little anxiety that I didn’t have the mat totally lined up on my Silhouette.
- Mint Green! Ok really it doesn’t matter but you know I love pretty things and the EA2 is way prettier than the Silhouette. Yup I’m shallow, so sue me!
Maybe you have a Cricut or a Silhouette OR more likely you have neither. Because seriously in all honesty as a sewist there really has never been much of a reason to get one of these. They have always been able to cut fabric…KIND OF. It has to be bonded and then it can’t be too intricate or it really won’t turn out. I have spent many an hour going back through with scissors to clean up something that I cut with both machines!
These machines are both great for cutting vinyl and paper. The blade works great for these materials. The dragging blade has never been ideal for fabric.
Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Explore Ideas for Sewists
So would I recommend one of these (non Maker) machines for a sewist?
- You don’t want to cut fabric of any kind.
- You want to draw embroidery patterns with the marker attachments using cut files.
- You want to draw quilting designs on individual blocks with the marker.
- You want to add heat transfer vinyl designs to quilt blocks, t-shirts, or other projects.
Check out these hacks from Sweet Red Poppy for great tips regardless of what machine you choose.
What is the Best Cricut Machine for Vinyl?
So let’s say you sew but you will probably only use your machine for cutting vinyl. Which is the best machine then you ask? If you don’t plan to do a lot of fabric I totally recommend the Explore Air 2. It is way cheaper, especially now that the Maker is out. It is SUPER user friendly with the dial for selecting material. It uses the same design space. It does come with different blades and attachments. The blades are not interchangeable in the machines so don’t buy a Maker blade for the EA2 or vice versa.
Can you Cut a Stencil with a Cricut?
Yes!! Check out THIS POST for step by step instructions for creating a stencil. Then check out THIS POST for tips on using that stencil on fabric. Creating stencils with a Cricut is super easy! There is stencil material you can purchase or you can use transfer tape (as I have done in that first stencil post I mentioned.) The second post shows you how I used freezer paper to create a stencil. Stencils are one of the best things about a Cricut. I often prefer a stencil over vinyl because fabric paint holds up much better than vinyl when you wash it.
What is the Best Cricut Machine to Buy?
So what IS the best machine to buy? As you can tell it totally depends on what exactly you are looking for. If you sew and want to cut fabric frequently then hands down you have to get the Cricut Maker. Check out my tips for the Cricut Maker for sewing HERE. If you are looking for tips on which Cricut Accessories to go with your Cricut Machine check HERE.
Tell me what questions you have about a cutting machine? Ask in the comments below! Are you still asking yourself what is the best Cricut machine??
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
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