It’s not easy to choose a crafting and cutting machine. The range is so broad, and technology is advancing so rapidly that there will always be another machine with features that look more desirable than the last.
Cricut Maker 3 is a more specialist tool, making it robust with more cutting power and a wider range of materials that it can cut. It is versatile, child-proof, and fast. The Brother ScanNCut’s primary advantage is that it can scan, eliminating most of the initial config and additional hardware.
A clear winner is impossible to choose, as both devices are robust and feature-packed. Personal preference and your specific requirements will determine which you go for.
The best we can do is point out the features and the flaws of each, so you can decide what you need and go into your purchase prepared and knowing what to expect. Let’s compare their features and shortcomings.
Overview of the Cricut Maker 3
The Cricut Maker series has a proven reputation in the marketplace. Used by professional crafters and hobbyists since 2006, many see it as the defacto standard in personal cutting machines.
This track record is reflected in its technology, with Cricut machines and software having some of the most advanced features available.
Cricut’s Intuitive Yet Powerful Software
The Cricut software is intuitive and easy to use, even for beginners. But that doesn’t mean that the Maker 3 a machine only for beginners. With a 4,000g cutting force and 2.4mm clearance it can cut through 300 different materials, including fabrics, vinyl, and mat board. Even the most stubborn materials will be no challenge for the Cricut Maker 3.
Sometimes these cutting machine can be tricky to operate due to all the different power settings, configurations, etc. But this is not necessarily the case with Cricut. The software lets you choose your material, indicate the cut’s size, and add bleed to the design if you prefer, then it gets down to business.
Additional settings are available for advanced users, but those who are new to the Cricut will be able to cut properly with minimal setting changes. The Cricut’s simplicity is harmed somewhat by the fact that you need additional hardware, such as a scanner, to import your designs, after which you can indicate the cut area, bleeds, and radius.
If you want to get a better idea of the type of projects you can make with a Cricut Maker, you can read one of these articles:
- Vinyl projects for your Cricut
- Leather projects for your Cricut
- Wood projects for Cricut
- Cardstock projects for Cricut
Other Features Of The Cricut Maker 3
Apart from its power and versatility, the Cricut Maker has a few other tricks up its sleeve. The first of these is speed.
The Maker 3 is twice as fast as its predecessor, helping you to complete your projects ahead of schedule. The speed will obviously depend on the type of material that it’s cutting, but there is generally a 2x speed improvement. Cricut is well-known for being faster than its competition.
The Cricut is also child-proof. It includes several safety features that keep the insides of the Cricut Maker 3 out of reach of tiny hands for the protection of both the device and the child. Cricut even boasts that all the Cricut machines are safe and easy enough for children to use.
Pricing Of The Cricut Maker 3
The Cricut Maker 3 is available for roughly $400, although the exact price can differ a little depending on where you buy it and discounts.
If the Maker 3 is a little above your budget, you can also go with its predecessor, the Cricut Maker, which is still a great cutting machine as well.
You can also buy bundle deals which includes the Maker 3 with plenty of materials and extras to start using your cutting machine right away. These bundles are great value for money if you don’t have supplies yet.
Overview of the Brother ScanNCut
The Brother ScanNCut was released in 2013, seven years after the Cricut Maker. Brother has more than half a century on Cricut, though, since the company was founded in 1908 and already has a well-established reputation in the printing industry.
Making the leap from printers and scanners to cutting machines wasn’t much of a change for Brother, and the result is an impressive device.
Brother’s Built-In Scanner
This is the part of the Brother ScanNCut that makes the most difference. Everything that distinguishes it from the Cricut Maker relies on the built-in scanner.
As mentioned, with Cricut, you first have to scan your image using an external scanner, after which you can tweak the settings for your cut using Cricut’s software. With Brother, it’s as simple as inserting your image in the device, pressing Scan, adjusting the range, and pressing Cut.
Many of the tweaks can even be made directly on the Brother’s sizeable built-in LCD screen, eliminating the need for computer software in all but the most intricate cuts. Brother’s blade also auto-detects the type of material being used and then auto-adjusts the blade to that material, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
With all of the effort eliminated by these features, starting your cut is much faster than with the Cricut. The Brother’s cutting speed itself is a bit slower than that of the Cricut Maker, though. The Brother ScanNCut also doesn’t have the same cutting power, with only 350g compared to the 4,000g of the Cricut.
On the other hand, users of the Brother are raving about how quiet it is. Cutting machines are not known for their noiseless operation, but the Brother ScanNCut is soft to the point of almost being silent. That makes it perfect for home use.
Brother ScanNCut’s Pricing
Depending on where you buy it, the Brother ScanNCut sells for roughly $400, so that makes it similar to the Cricut Maker 3.
However, keep in mind that the Brother is both a scanner and a cutter, eliminating the need to purchase an additional device. The convenience of scanning with the Brother makes it worth the price, even if you already own a separate scanner.
The Verdict: Cricut Vs. Brother
The Cricut Maker 3 is unbelievable value for money when you consider the raw power and versatility that it provides. It’s like having a heavy-duty cutting machine in your home, yet simple enough for anyone to use. Serious crafters or professional designers will benefit from the extra power and features of the Cricut Maker 3.
Those who want something straightforward yet less versatile will do well with the Brother ScanNCut. Despite having less cutting power, the Brother is perfect for people who don’t want to spend time calibrating hardware and switching between devices. Brother’s ScanNCut caters less for the hardcore crafters and more for hobbyists. Still, it is a worthy competitor with a great feature set.