Cricut maker 3 review unboxing bundle tool materials and design space

Cricut Maker 3 Review – The Ultimate Upgrade From Maker 2

  • Price
  • Portability
  • Ease of use
  • Safety
  • Supported materials

Cricut Maker 3

If you are a beginner, then I would say that it is worth the investment. It is easy to use and has many features that will make creating projects easier. If you are a more experienced crafter and don’t need all the bells and whistles, the answer would be no. But, if you are starting and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, it is worth it.


  • Beginner-friendly
  • Best for small batches
  • Cut paper, fabric, vinyl, or whatever you want.
  • No Cricut mat required for Cricut smart materials
  • Swap or store the tools easily.
  • Active community


  • Design space freezes sometimes
  • Decreased print resolution
  • Cut sizing restriction
  • It can be expensive if you buy all tools
  • Limited cutting space

The Maker 3 lets you tackle anything, from vinyl plotting to cutting. With thirteen machine tools and so many options, there’s no project too big or small.

Looking for some inspiration? Here are a few ideas of what you can make with Cricut Maker 3: jigsaw puzzles, calligraphy scrolls, wood carvings, wall decals, thank-you notes, glassware decorations, and so much more!

Now, the benefit of this option is that it can be done without overwhelming yourself. This way, you can purchase the tool for engraving materials separately when you are ready. It’s all very paced to what crafting level would suit your needs best.

From novices to professionals, everyone can use the Cricut Maker 3. This machine provides a unique range of features, making it accessible to nearly all users. With new tools and designs now on display with this machine, you’ll develop your ideas in seconds, not hours.

If you’re willing to compromise on minor issues, the design possibilities will offer something for everyone.

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What is in the box?

  • The Cricut Maker machine
  • Power Cord
  • Start box (A quick start guide, safety instructions, warranty card, USB cable, test cutting fabric, and bonus materials).
Cricut maker 3 box


This Cricut Maker 3 is a lot more streamlined than previous models. It has a split tool cup to help distribute any tools you might need when closed. It also has a USB port and power outlet on the rear.

After unboxing, the first thing revealed is the buttons and rollers of the Maker 3. Along with those, the user will see its material guides and additional parts like an accessory clamp. The groove at the top will accommodate a tablet for easy use.

The Maker 3 is available in a pale blue robin’s egg color and is just as beautiful as ever. You’ll still find some things to enjoy about the unit while also finding new features to appreciate. Moreover, it is easier to clean.

Cricut maker 3 design


Dimensions7.1 x 6.2 x 22.1 in
Weight23.3 pounds
ColorsBlue, rose, mint, champagne, and lilac
Cutting force4 kg
Cutting size12.992 inches x 12 ft
Cutting speed8 inches/second
Cutting materials300+ including thicker materials like balsa wood
Compatible bladesFine point, deep point blade, rotary, knife, engraving tip, and a foil transfer tool
Builtin storageYes
SoftwareDesign Space Software
Adaptive tool systemYes
Our ratings
Recommended forBusinesses, Experienced crafters, Frequent use

The Cricut Maker 3 shares many of the same features and specifications as the original Cricut Maker, including its 22.6 x 7.09 x 6.22-inch frame and its USB connection for design transfer. However, there are some improvements.

First, Maker 3 uses new Cricut Smart Materials, which cut much faster. Even if you have used a regular old Maker before, you will notice that it cuts faster now with Cricut Smart Materials when compared to older cutters.

Moreover, Maker 3 can cut harder materials with ten times the force as compared to Cricut Explore Air 2. This feature is important in helping you cut into harder materials and make your project perfect.

Due to these specifications, Maker features in our list of best fabric cutters.

I think when you buy this machine, you will forget about craft stores.

Difference Between Cricut Maker 2 and 3

When looking at the differences between Maker 3 and Cricut Maker, the benefits of smart materials come into play. The first difference is that Maker 3 has updated its operating buttons. This update changes the load/unload button and lets you save digital copies of your projects.

The note is really helpful because I didn’t see the changes they made until I clicked the Cricut logo, and that led me to think the company may be changing its design without much connection. This is an important thing to point out.

Previously, you had to work with either a 12” x 12” or a 12” x 24” mat if you were using Cricut, and now, it’s easier than ever because Smart Materials come in pre-cut sizes. This results in less waste and improved efficiency.

While the Maker 3 still requires some cutting mats, you can cut a length of up to 12’ without using one. If you have less than 6” leftover, it’s necessary to use a material mat to make it into a regular cutter.

difference between cricut maker 2 and 3

Cricut Smart Materials

Unlike Explore and joy, Cricut Smart Materials allow for materials ready to be cut from the packaging. Load the material on top of a left guide, then slide it under the guides, aligning it with the loading cord, before pressing the “load” button.

You can now cut back on the number of mats you use because they lose their stickiness over time, making them less expensive to use.

Regardless of whether you’re using a cross-section or flat paper, make sure to leave plenty of space behind the Cricut for material sheet and measurement.

Smart Materials can cause unwelcome issues sometimes, such as bunching or distortion. To resolve these problems, you will need to reload the material quickly.

The scoring wheel and scoring stylus mean your life will be easier when it comes to cutting and foil transfer.

After you’re done with a project, a built-in trimmer makes it easy to cut paper or plastic materials.

Cricut maker 3 smart materials

Design Space

Design Space is easy to use and allows you to start a creative project with step-by-step guidance. You can choose to look at projects made by Cricut users that are actively displaying their Cricut coordinate cut files for other users to use. Similarly, you could choose to look at projects created by a specific machine version.

Cricut Access will let you unlock exclusive content, benefits, and savings from your Cricut Maker 3. You’ll also be able to update the firmware and activate it for new users or use a trial period so that you can try it out first.

If you want to opt for the most expensive version, the Cricut Access Standard package is $9.99 a month or a $99.99 yearly subscription for unlimited access.

For people already familiar with Photoshop or Illustrator, the Cricut design space is a very simple & intuitive process. It’s not so much about what you have to do but more about the task of finishing & bringing your project to life.

For some users, Canvas is a great toolset to use. Some of the lesser-known slower behaviors can be problematic, leading you to seek help from other software in your arsenal. The Force Reload option is also an option that might come in handy when you’re having trouble with canvas.

The best thing is if you are an access member, you get a discount of almost $40 when you buy the Maker 3 directly from Cricut.

Cricut design space


There are specific types of projects that require calibration. Maker 3 provides a feature that lets you calibrate. It has a few options that include calibration modes for rotary tools, knife blades, or cutting lines in the print and then cut option. They are best used to make this process accurate. For testing, I primarily stuck with the premium fine-point blade focusing on using the print then Cut option instead.

This simple method took a few iterations to get just right. You’ll print out the test page on a piece of standard copy paper, then attach it to a Cricut mat. You’ll be able to see where the cutting will happen and make any alterations you need until you’re satisfied with your settings.

I wanted to test out the program’s printing capabilities, so I decided to try a sticker design. After noting it as a complex image, It was very easy for me to go through the design space process afterward and set it up for printing straight away. The simplicity of this task makes it ideal for beginners.

There were two barriers to the otherwise simple process. First, Design Space has a size limit for all prints and cuts. You cannot exceed the print area size of 9.25” x 6.75”. Secondly, your image can’t be bigger than 9.25” x 6.75”.

Cricut maker three may not be able to print at the maximum resolution of your printer.

Cricut maker 3 calibration

Cutting Smart Materials

Cutting stickers, decals, & iron-on designs are easier with the maker 3’s speed. Design Space was easy to use, and I got great cuts that were clean and efficient.

Controlling the design of your T-shirt, mug, or pillowcase from start to finish is made easier when you upload it to Design Space. However, Design Space doesn’t allow for any changes, but this does make things a bit simpler.

You’ll find plenty of content on Design Space that can be tweaked and customized, so this is a good option for beginners looking to experiment.

I didn’t need any of Cricut’s heat presses for this design because I used a standard iron and transferred a patchwork onto it. They are not mandatory, but there are a lot of advantages to them. If you’re new to using Cricut’s heat presses, the company’s heat guide may make the process more straightforward.

custom smart material with cricut maker

Custom Art Draw and Cut

Another function of Maker 3 is the “draw then cut” feature. This allows you to load a Cricut pen into the cardstock accessory slot for drawing. I uploaded a simplistic design to test this out with a smart paper sticker cardstock.

Cricut Access has several fonts to choose from. Design Space in Cricut Access also detects any system fonts that may be installed on your computer, which made it possible for me to tweak one of the sample fonts I tried and make it an alternative color.

Creating cutting patterns has the most variables to contend with, but it’s just as easy as switching pens if you’re using Cricut Maker 3. You know when your next color is ready because they’ll guide you through the process.

Cricut maker 3 custom draw and cut

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Cricut maker 3 worth it?


Again, the answer to this question depends on what you want to make with it. If you are a beginner, then I would say that it is worth the investment. It is easy to use and has many features that will make creating projects easier.

If you are a more experienced crafter and don’t need all the bells and whistles, the answer would be no. But, if you are starting and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, it is worth it.

Does the Cricut maker 3 cut wood?


Yes, it can cut wood. You have to make sure that the wood you are cutting has no knots when doing a project with your Cricut Maker. If there is, then the blade won’t go through the knot and will have to be removed before it can continue cutting.

Can you engrave with Cricut maker?


The Cricut Engraving Tool allows you to engrave with your Cricut Maker machine on various materials. You can use it on softer metals, acrylic, leather, paper & plastic to create various custom project options.

Are Cricut Maker 3 tools worth the extra money?

I would say yes. It’s worth it to have a machine with many tools that can help you cut and engrave perfectly. It supports a lot of materials, and if you also buy the accessories, it’s worth the extra money.

What does a Cricut Maker 3 do?

Cricut Maker 3 is an electronic cutting machine that allows you to perfectly cut designs out of vinyl, paper, cardstock, and other materials.

Is the Cricut Maker 3 easy to use?

The Cricut Maker 3 is easy to use. It is easy to find and set up tools, kits, materials, and cartridges. Using the software is a little more complicated, but it is easy to run once you catch on. The ease of use allows it to be used for projects like rubber stamps and vinyl cutting in no time.


If you’re interested in upgrading from a Maker 2 to 3, the upgrade will be seamless. The quality is also much higher on the newer models than their predecessors.

The Maker 3 probably doesn’t cost much more than the Maker currently, although Smart Materials can save you time and money with quick, mat-less cuts. Cricut also offers a bundle that will likely help you get started for newer users.

Cricut Maker 3 has a lot to offer. It’s convenient, allows the user to play around with new ideas, and can lead to some amazing creations. But whether or not you should use it depends on your personal preferences.

Additional Questions

Is the Cricut Maker 3 superior to the Cricut Maker 2?

Indeed, the Cricut Maker 3 excels over the Cricut Maker 2 in terms of performance and features. The most noteworthy improvement is the capability to cut materials without necessitating a Cricut Mat. This not only eases the craft process but also offers greater space and flexibility for your creative exploration. Furthermore, the Maker 3 takes productivity to the next level by operating twice as fast when employing Smart Materials. However, if affordability is a significant consideration for you, the Maker 2 is still a competent device worth considering.

Is it a smart move to upgrade from a Cricut maker to Maker 3?

Whether or not to upgrade from a Cricut Maker to a Maker 3 largely depends on your crafting needs and ambitions. The main distinction between the Maker and the Maker 3 lies in their compatibility with Smart Materials. If speed and efficiency rank high in your priorities, the Maker 3 won’t disappoint. With the addition of Smart Materials, you can cut at double the speed compared to the capabilities of the original Maker. The decision to upgrade ultimately boils down to whether you find the increased speed and efficiency valuable for your crafting projects.

Does the Cricut Maker 3 outperform the Cricut maker significantly?

The Cricut Maker 3 indeed stands out significantly compared to the original Cricut Maker. I’ve always appreciated the speed with which I could complete projects with the Maker 3, specifically when using smart materials. It works at a pace that is twice as fast as the original, cutting up to 20.32 centimetres per second. Imagine the convenience of completing your craft projects in one go, especially with a capability to cut 3.65 meters of material at once. From personal experience, I found this feature extremely productive when working on larger scale projects or when under time constraints.

Does the Maker 3 have the edge over the maker?

When compared to the original Cricut Maker, the Maker 3 does have a definite edge. As per the review by Cutting Simply, it accentuates the main contrast being the integration of Smart Materials in Maker 3. This denotes two primary improvements – it accelerates cutting speeds, and it provides the flexibility to work without a mat on projects scaling up to 12 feet in length. I remember working on a crafting project that stretched beyond the usual size, and the Maker 3’s benefits were utterly convenient in overcoming those challenges.

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