Cricut Maker 3 Review: Is It Worth Buying?

If you are an avid crafter, you have probably been keeping a keen eye on when the new Cricut Maker 3 would be released. And it’s finally here!

Like the old Maker, this new version is great for anyone who likes to frequently create and craft their own designs or small business owners.

In this article, I’ll give you a thorough review of the Maker 3 and go over all its features. And more importantly, I’ll give my opinion on whether the Cricut Maker 3 is worth buying.

image of the cricut maker 3

Cricut Maker 3 features

Just like its predecessor, the new Cricut Maker 3 is strong and versatile enough to be able to cut over 300 different materials. Ranging from hard materials such as wood and leather to more delicate materials such as crêpe paper and fabric.

However, for many of the challenging materials, you do need to buy additional blades, since the standard blade that the Maker 3 comes with can’t handle every material.

Being their premium model, the Cricut Maker 3 is compatible with all the different blades released so far, including:

  • Knife Blade
  • Rotary Blade
  • Fine-Point Blade
  • Pens and Markers
  • Foil Transfer Tool
  • Wavy Blade
  • Debossing Tip
  • Engraving Tip
  • Scoring Wheels
  • Perforation Tools
  • Deep-Point Blade
  • Bonded-Fabric Blade
  • Washable Fabric Pen

You’ll also notice that the Maker 3 finishes its cuts faster than the old Maker. This is due to the powerful motor, which lets the Maker 3 cut up to twice as fast.

And there is more good news. The Maker 3 can now also use the so-called Smart Materials. These Smart Materials can be cut without an annoying mat and up to 12 feet long.

However, the flip side is that currently there aren’t a lot of Smart Materials available and most of them are expensive as well. For example, at the time of this writing, the Smart vinyl is about 25% more expensive than the regular vinyl per square inch.

Just like all the other Cricut models, the Maker 3 is also operated with the Design Space app. And although the app remains free for now, over the years many Cricut users have voiced their complaints about the app being subpar.

You can find a quick overview of all the features in the table below:

Machine dimension22.6″ x 7.09″ x 6.22″
Machine weight15.4 pounds
Max cut length12 ft with Smart Materials
24″ other materials
Max cut width13″
Max cut depth2.4 mm
Cutting force8.81 pounds (4kg)
Material compatibilityCan cut 300+ materials
Tool compatiblityAll 13 specialty tools available
Compatible with Smart MaterialsYes
ConnectivityBluetooth, USB
PriceClick to check latest price

What can I do with the Cricut Maker 3?

The Cricut Maker 3 is an electronic cutting machine that can cut over 300+ materials and has a wide range of tools available for cutting, scoring, writing, debossing, engraving, and more. As a result, you can use the Maker 3 for almost all your crafting projects.

To give a good impression of the things you can make, I’ve listed a few project ideas for the Cricut Maker below:

  • Car decals
  • Felt flowers
  • Gift cards
  • Leather jewellery
  • Labels
  • Stencils
  • Personalized water bottles
  • Scrapbooking
  • Vinyl T-shirts
  • Wall decals
  • Wooden nameplates

What is the difference between the Maker and Maker 3?

By now you might be wondering what is new about the Cricut Maker 3. And you would be right. At first glance they look very similar.

However, there are three major differences between the old Cricut Maker and the new Cricut Maker 3.

image comparing the cricut maker and maker 3

The first improvement they made to the Maker 3 is the motor, which is now extra powerful. In practice, that means you can cut up to 2x faster than with the previous Cricut Maker. So if you use your Maker a lot, you can save yourself a lot of time.

Secondly, the Maker 3 can now use Cricut Smart Materials, which lets you make cuts up to 12 feet long without needing a cutting mat. And the maximum cutting width has increased slightly from 12″ to 13″. This is great news for people that want to cut many smaller designs at once, or if you want to cut big designs.

The last big difference between the Cricut Maker 3 and the Cricut Maker can be found in the price. Currently, the new Maker 3 costs around $50 more than the old Maker, according to the official Cricut website.

Is the Cricut Maker worth the money?

The Cricut Maker is a very powerful and versatile machine that can cut almost anything that you can think of. If you have a passion for crafting or if you are running a small business, then buying one of the Cricut makers will definitely be worth the money.

What really sets the Maker series apart from other machines is the possibility to cut over 300+ materials, while you can only cut ~100 materials with the Explore models and ~50 materials with the Cricut Joy.

So if you like to work with some of the specialty materials, your only options among the Cricut machines are the Maker and Maker 3.

Is the Cricut Maker 3 worth the extra money?

So let’s get to the elephant in the room: are the faster cutting speed and the option to use Smart Materials worth paying $50 extra?

Of course, the answer is that it depends…

Let’s consider both the new features one by one.

The faster cutting speed might be worth the extra money if you use your Cricut a lot. But if you only make a few cuts per week, you probably don’t mind waiting a little bit longer for your machine to finish.

One exception is if you are planning on cutting specialty materials such as wood or metal. Since the blade needs to make several passes to make a clean cut, cutting these materials can sometimes take hours. In that case, the faster cutting speed of the Maker 3 can be a lifesaver, even if you don’t use your Cricut all the time.

The second new feature is the compatibility with Smart Materials, which lets you make super long cuts of up to 12 feet. That’s more than 10 feet longer than the old Maker.

If you work with bigger designs such as wall decals, then having the Maker 3 for the extra cutting length would definitely be worth it. Moreover, if you are a small business that has to cut a large number of small designs, then the extra cutting length will let you cut a whole bunch of them at once.

However, keep in mind that for now, the only Smart Materials available are Smart Paper, Smart Iron-On, and Smart Vinyl. So you can only make the long cuts with these materials. And the Smart Materials are more expensive than the regular materials.

With any other material, you’ll need to use a cutting mat and can only cut up to 24″ long, which is the same as the old Cricut Maker. If the cutting speed isn’t important to you, and you don’t use smart materials, the old Cricut Maker would be your better choice.

For a more thorough comparison of the different machines available you can read our Cricut comparison article.

Is it worth it to upgrade to Cricut Maker 3?

If you already own the old Cricut Maker, it is probably not worth upgrading to the Cricut Maker 3. They can both cut the same materials and are compatible with the same blades.

For most crafters, the extra cutting width/length, the ability to use Smart Materials, and the faster cutting speed aren’t worth spending an extra $400.

Which one is better: Cricut Maker 3 or Cricut Explore 3?

In terms of raw power and versatility, the Cricut Maker 3 is better than the Cricut Explore 3. However, the Cricut Explore 3 can cut over 100+ materials as well and is more affordable. In general, the Explore 3 is the more beginner-friendly cutting machine, while the Maker 3 is the premium version.

If you are interested in learning more, you can also read our full review of the Cricut Explore 3.

Cricut Maker 3 comparison chart

I wrote a complete article comparing the different Cricut machines that you might want to read to see how the Maker 3 stacks up against the other Cricut machines.

However, for a quick comparison, you can check out this chart below:

Frequently asked questions

Newcomers often ask which materials the Cricut Maker can and can’t cut. So I tried to answer the questions that come up the most frequently below.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut acrylic?

Although the Maker doesn’t have a setting specifically for cutting acrylics, it can cut thin acrylic sheets. The 0.007 and 0.020 acrylic sheets often give the best results. The Maker might struggle with anything thicker than that.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut wood?

The Cricut Maker can cut both basswood and balsa wood. If the wooden sheets have any knots in them, make sure to cut around them. Since the blade might have difficulty cutting through knots.

If you want to know more, you can read our article on the top 10 fun Cricut wood projects.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut metal?

Yes, the Cricut Maker can cut metal such as copper or aluminum foil up to ~2.4 mm thick using the fine point blade. You can also inscribe something in the metal or create an imprint using the engraving tool.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut felt?

The Cricut Maker can cut several types of felt. For regular, stiff, and wool felt you want to use the fine point blade. For craft, glitter or acrylic felt you should use the rotary blade.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut leather?

Yes, the Cricut Maker can cut leather but you might have to experiment a bit with the settings depending on the type and thickness of your leather. In general, you want to use the fine point blade for paper-thin faux leather and shimmer leather, and use the deep point blade for genuine leather, leather garments, metallic leather, and tooling leather.

Also read our article on simple leather projects for your Cricut.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut fabric?

The Cricut Maker can cut most types of fabric by using the rotary blade. However, for some types of fabric such as wool fabric, fusible fabric, and printable fabric you can use the fine point blade.

Can Cricut Maker 3 use regular vinyl?

The new Cricut Maker 3 can use both regular vinyl and Smart Vinyl. It can cut almost any type of vinyl with the fine point blade such as stencil vinyl, printable vinyl, outdoor vinyl, metallic vinyl, glitter vinyl, and flocked vinyl.

If you want to know more, you can read our top 10 vinyl projects for Cricut machines.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut foam board?

The Cricut Maker can cut various types of foam sheets up to 2.4 mm thick. However, since the standard thickness of foam boards is 5 mm, it’s too thick to be cut by the Maker. If you want to cut foam, you can consider buying craft foam, EVA foam, flex foam, or glitter foam sheets directly from Cricut.

Can Cricut Maker 3 engrave metal?

Yes, with the engraving tool the Cricut Maker can engrave various soft metals such as copper, brass, bronze, copper, and stainless steel.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut cardboard?

Yes, the Cricut Maker can cut cardboard up to 2.4 mm thick using the fine point blade. Make sure the cardboard isn’t any thicker because else it won’t fit in the machine.

Can Cricut Maker 3 cut cardstock?

Yes, the Cricut Maker can cut a wide variety of different types and weights of paper and cardstock using the fine point blade. The heaviest cardstock it can cut is 100 lb. or 270 GSM. Other types of cardstock it can cut include adhesive-backed cardstock, glitter cardstock, holographic cardstock, kraft cardstock, and sticker cardstock.

Can Cricut Maker 3 engrave wood?

The Cricut Maker can engrave softwoods such as balsa wood and basswood that are no thicker than 2.4 mm. However, it’s best to keep the designs simple to get a clean cut.

Can Cricut Maker 3 etch glass?

No, the Cricut Maker can’t etch glass directly. However, you can use the Maker to prepare stencils that you can then use to etch the glass yourself.

Conclusion

The Cricut Maker 3 introduced some new features to the old Cricut Maker model. However, for most causal crafters the new options will probably feel like incremental changes over the older model. If you only use your machine to make a few cuts each week, you might want to stick with the old Maker. But heavy users, the Cricut Maker 3 might be worth the money.

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