How Much is a Cricut Machine (And Will I Use it Enough to Justify the Cost)?

A Cricut machine is a highly powerful crafting tool for people who love to make! And today we’re answering the question: how much is a Cricut machine, and will I use it enough to justify the cost?

cricut machine sitting on a table

I’m so excited to be continuing our in-depth series on the Cricut cutting machine!

If you missed the first post, be sure to check it out here: What is a Cricut Machine And What Does It Do?

Some of my most frequently asked questions center around the Cricut, what it can do, how to use it, and the costs associated with it. So in this post we’ll dive into exactly how much the various machines cost, and how to know if you’ll use it enough to justify the price.

And be sure to sign up below for my VIP group, where I’ll send more of my very best DIYs, recipes, and ideas straight to ya!

Types of Cricut Machines

If you’re researching Cricut machines in the hopes of adding one to your arsenal of craft tools, let me start by saying that it’s my most-used tool by far. I always recommend it to people who ask how I create projects so quickly, or with such a clean and polished finish.

But! I also know that budgets are real, and a machine like the Cricut can be an investment. So as you’re looking into the machines, it’s important to know the difference between them with regards to performance and cost.

Here’s a breakdown.

Cricut Joy. This is the newest and smallest of the Cricut cutting machines. It’s simple, compact, and perfect for quick projects. It can cut materials up to 20 feet in length (!), and up to 5.5″ in width. Perfect for hobbyists, or for crafters working in a small space.

Cricut Explore Air 2. This is the machine that I have. It can cut about 100 different materials, up to 12″ wide and 2 feet long. You can use it to cut, write, and score. I’ve used this machine for years and it has been a great workhorse.

Cricut Maker. For advanced makers who want to create professional-level pieces! The Maker can cut about 300 various types of materials, including leather, wood, fabric, thin papers, and lots more. It can do everything that the Explore Air can do, along with debossing and engraving. I hope to upgrade to a Maker soon.

how much is a cricut machine

How Much Is a Cricut Machine?

These three machines obviously vary in price, as they each serve very different purposes! Here’s the cost breakdown:

Simple + Compact Cricut Joy $179.99

Most Popular Cricut Explore Air 2 $249.99

Pro Level Cricut Maker $399.99

Something to note! Cricut often has great promotions for a discounted rate or for bundles that includes lots of extra materials when you purchase a machine. At the time of writing, for instance, the Explore Air is $229 and the Maker is $349.

I encourage you to keep an eye on their site to catch any deals that might come along.

Another thing to note is that when you purchase a machine, it comes with a cutting mat (at least 1), a pen, a blade with housing, and some materials to test out so that you can get started right away.

Cricut machine cutting vinyl

How Long Do They Last?

In my personal experience, Cricut machines are built to last. The Cricut team (who I’ve had the pleasure of working with closely) are in tune with makers and the fact that they’re looking for tools that are well-built.

In the time that I’ve been using Cricut, I’ve used two machines, total. My first was a Cricut Explore 1, which I used until the Explore Air 2 was released.

I upgraded because the Air (along with all of the other current Cricut machines connect wirelessly using bluetooth to your computer, and that feature was a huge benefit! No more being tethered to cords.

I have had my current machine for about 5 years, and it works as well as it did on the day I got it.

Do note that you’ll need to replace blades and mats every so often. I estimate that if you use your Cricut machine semi-regularly, you’ll need to replace your blades and mats every 3-6 months or so.

open cricut machine on a table
open cricut machine on a table

Types of Cricut Projects That Can Save You Money

To start to explore whether you’ll use your Cricut machine enough to justify the cost, imagine the instances in your life where you could see yourself using the machine. Here are a few thought starters.

Birthday or celebration attire. Make fun shirts for birthdays, vacations, showers, or parties (instead of purchasing them elsewhere).

Theme park attire. Create t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, backpacks, and more for a trip to your favorite theme park.

Classroom projects. Assist your child’s teacher in putting together classroom decorations or art projects for the students.

School supplies. Label your kids’ clothing, backpacks, and supplies. Also create new, fun designs on binders, pencil boxes, water bottles, and more.

Home organization. Make a label for everything! We’ve used Cricut to organize our spice cupboards, file folders, photo albums, and lots more. Also use it to create one-of-a-kind home decor.

Holiday decor. Create signs, garlands, art, and other custom designs during your favorite holidays.

Gifts and cards. Use the Cricut machine to make cards in a snap, or to create fast and easy gifts for holidays and special occasions.

How Often I Use My Cricut

On average, I use my Cricut machine about 1-2 times per week. My frequency of use goes way up around holidays and birthdays, especially if I’m preparing for a party.

If I were to estimate that I use my machine an average of 75 times per year, that means I’ve used it about 375 times over the 5 years that I’ve owned it.

Because I own a Cricut Explore Air 2, that means that each use has cost me about $0.66 (because the machine costs $249). To me, that’s well worth it!

But to see a further breakdown of cost analysis and savings accrued by creating projects with the Cricut machine, read on.

DIY Iron On Shirts and Coasters with Infusible Ink

Cost Savings Breakdown of My Cricut Projects

To demonstrate cost savings that I’ve accrued over the last few years using my Cricut machine, let’s look at a few past projects.

Theme Park T-Shirts. Instead of buying shirts for our kids at theme parks, I make them a new one for every trip. I purchase a $5 shirt and add iron-on designs cut with Cricut. I’ve done this about 5 times for both kids, which I estimate to be a savings of about $150.

How to Make Disneyland T-Shirts
How to Make Disneyland T-Shirts

School Supplies. Rather than purchase branded school supplies for Henry this year, we created a suite of Harry Potter supplies that he designed with me, customized to his preference. We used the Cricut machine to cut the designs from iron-on vinyl and regular vinyl, then added them to blank suppies. This was an estimated savings of $40.

Harry Potter school supplies

Cards and Gifts. Almost every time a birthday or holiday sneaks up on me, I use the Cricut to cut out customized cards or gift tags. Over the last 5 years, I estimate this savings to be about $75.

Printable Easter Cards
DIY Typography Mother's Day Cards

Birthday Party Prep. I rely on the Cricut machine heavily for planning kids’ birthday parties (when we used to have large gatherings!). I’ve used it to create signs, cake decorations, party favors, favor bags, food labels, and much more. I buy next to nothing from party supply stores, so I estimate this savings over the years at around $200.

How to throw a Harry Potter birthday party
A Pixar Cars third birthday party
How to Throw A Banana Birthday Party

I could go on, but you get the point! Just these few categories have saved hundreds of cumulative dollars, while I get to flex my creative muscles and have the joy of knowing that I’m making things for our family with my own hands.

See More Projects!

For more inspiration, see some of our other past Cricut projects below. I hope this helps clarify the price of a Cricut machine, and whether you’ll use it enough to justify the price!

Feel free to leave a comment with any other questions. Be sure to check out this post that answers the question: What is a Cricut Machine And What Does It Do? Also: How Do I Choose Cricut Materials?

And if it’s time for you to jump in and get a machine for yourself, I recommend visiting the official Cricut shop!

This post is sponsored by Cricut. All ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

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  1. Hello, great post, thank you! I’m wondering what are the additional ongoing costs like vinyl, ink, blades, you already mentioned tshirts… I’m not sure what else you need to regularly buy?
    Thank you!

  2. Hey, awesome article, many thanks. In addition to the t-shirts you mentioned, I’m curious about the recurring expenses coreball of things like vinyl, ink, and blades.

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