Since its release last month by Provo craft, I have been quite intrigued with the new Cricut Explore.

Cricut Explore

In the words of the manufacturers: “Cricut Explore is a design-and-cut system for making amazing, affordable DIY and craft projects. It’s our easiest way ever to turn an idea into a finished project! Cricut Explore allows you to create DIY crafts and projects from wedding invitations to DIY home décor to scrapbooking.

Featuring Cut Smart™ technology, the Smart Set™ dial for easy material settings, and the ability to upload your own designs, Cricut Explore is our easiest and most innovative design-and-cut system yet. Use Cricut Explore with Cricut Design Space™, the free cloud-based software, to make your ideas a reality.”

Cricut Explore Closeup

Cricut Explore Closeup

Cricut Explore Closeup

Cricut Explore Closeup

I’ve been looking around at some of the blogs where ladies have been “exploring”. There are some good and bad points about Provo craft’s newest product.

 On the good side (in no particular order):

1. No need for cartridges any more. You work directly from your computer, which is linked to your machine.

2. You can cut and draw/write or emboss AT THE SAME TIME!

3. Works with a variety of materials, including some fabrics, cork board, leather, plastics.

4. You can make use of any design from anywhere (including your own!).

5. You have access to tens of thousands of images in the Cricut Design Space.

6. If you have already linked your cartridges in the Cricut Craft Room, you can easily transfer those links over to the Design Space.

7. You can save all of your projects in the Design Space and then access them from anywhere.

8. The cost is no more than a conventional Cricut Expression. I believe Michaels has them on the shelf now for $299.00

9. They are somewhat smaller than the Cricut Expression, so won’t take up as much space.

10. You can buy a subscription through the Design Space which gives you access to 25,000+ designs and 200+ fonts for $9.99 (US) a month, or $99.99 (US) yearly.

On the down side (also in no particular order):

1. If you have lots of projects saved in the Cricut Craft Room, they ARE NOT transferable to the Cricut Design Space.

2. If you have never made use of the Cricut Craft Room in the past, you have a lot of catching up to do, as accessing the designs on all of your cartridges can only be done through the Design Space.

3. If you do not like working on the computer this is NOT the machine for you!

When I look back over the list, it seems like the good outweighs the bad. The accessories look like a pretty good price: $12.99(US) for a set of 5 pens, although there is no word out there yet about how long they last. Or you can get a starter set, which includes: Two sets of 5 pens (all different), the scoring attachment, and the deep housing assembly, $49.99 (US), a $66 value if purchased individually.

Having been through too many updates and fixes to count, in the development of the Cricut Craft Room, my feeling is that I’m going to wait awhile and see how this all pans out. At the very least, with the release of this newest generation, the older generation of machines is sure to start coming down in price!

What are your thoughts? Have you taken the plunge yet? Do you know someone who has? Let us know!

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