Cricut Explore Air 2 Reviews

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Cricut Explore Air 2 - A DIY Cutting Machine for all...
  • ART AND CRAFT CUTTING MADE SIMPLE, EVEN FOR BEGINNERS - Designed...
  • CUTS 100+ MATERIALS WITH EASE ‚Äď The included Premium Fine-Point...
  • APP BASED CRAFTING TOOL WITH WIRELESS-BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY -...
  • KEEP YOUR SPACE NEAT AND ORGANIZED - Machine comes with built-in...
  • ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES - Compatible with 6 tools for cutting,...

If you've been looking for Cricut Explore Air 2 reviews, look no further. We've taken all kinds of customer feedback to heart to bring you a comprehensive overview of this popular vinyl cutter. So let's jump right in.

What Is A Cricut Machine Used For?

A Cricut Explore Air 2 is a cutting tool that uses smart technology to help you cut and write up two times faster than previous models. This machine can cut over 1oo materials give you endless project possibilities. The Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut everything from cardstock, vinyl, and iron-on to thicker materials like leather. You could also cut a pattern paper, glitter paper, poster board bonded fabric, and heat transfer vinyl.

With the Cricut Explore Air 2, you will be able to create or upload a design on your computer, android app, smartphone, or tablet. The machine uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, allowing you to connect to the device of your choice and create anything you wish. The fantastic thing is you can make cards, shadow boxes, puzzles, fun signs for home decor, sewing projects and even use them to do your own DIY projects.

The personal DIY cutting machine makes it more fun to create things that you know are creative expressions of art. We have put together a comprehensive Cricut Explore Air 2 review to help understand the Cricut explore air 2. Read on!

About The Cricut Explore Air 2

The Cricut Explore Air 2 was first released in 2016 and is packed with unique features that make it pretty versatile and speedy. When the machine was released, it got sold out rapidly, confirming that it was one of the most incredible vinyl cutting machines on the market. It was a bit expensive but has become more affordable over time and is still one of the best deals for a vinyl cutter.

The Explore Air 2 is packed in a box that contains a Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, Cricut Design Space software and app, a German carbide premium blade, USB cord, and power cord. Additionally, it comes with an Accessory adapter, 100+ free images, 50+ free projects, cutting mat Pen and cardstock sample.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

The simple design of the Explore Air 2 might not capture your imagination at first glance. Still, when you take a second look and dive into the staggering number of features it has at its disposal, you'll realize what a useful tool it is for any DIY crafter.

The Explore Air 2 is designed to cut vinyl and a wealth of other materials (over 100, in fact) twice as fast as what previous models were capable of. It has two different modes of use, normal mode for everyday cutting and fast mode for when you're crunched for time. Those using it to meet client deadlines will appreciate using fast mode.

The Explore Air 2 comes with a massive library of over 3,000 available images through their Design Space website, and if that's not enough, you can use your own images and patterns too. With the Explore Air 2, you get unparalleled printing power and tons of flexibility.

Speaking of flexibility, the Explore Air 2 is compatible with many different devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. So if you're working on a project from a personal computer, you can put it down and resume work later from your phone. This also creates the freedom to design and print from almost anywhere.

The Cricut can cut with extreme precision. Those wishing to cut more delicate patterns won't have any trouble getting the Explore Air 2 to create perfect stationery designs or even things of finer detail, such as snowflake patterns.

While there's no real complaint to be had with the Explore Air 2 itself, it is limited by only executing jobs while connected to the Design Space website. So for those without constant internet access, this probably isn't the cutter for you.

1. Design

The Cricut machines are very well designed and are easy to use. The machine will look gorgeous on your desk and yet straightforward when cutting. It has a curved and elegant layout and comes in an incredible number of colors you could choose from. The most common colors are mint, black, sky blue, persimmon, fuchsia, cherry blossom, raspberry, boysenberry, sunflower, peacock, cobalt, merlot, lilac, coral, pale blue and many more.

Additionally, the Explore Air 2 has fully functional features that are reliable, easy and quick to use. The machine effortlessly opens at a touch of a button. Additionally, this cutting machine contains a double tool holder and a tray for th accessory storage. Amazingly, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is one of the most attractive vinyl cutters you can find.

2. Size And Weight

This vinyl cutting machine is average-sized and is relatively heavy. It has 24 x 9. 5x 9. 5 dimensions and weighs about 14 pounds. Additionally, the cutting width is 11.5 inches, and it can easily cut iron-on vinyl. Most people think that Cricut machines tend to lean towards the heavier side, and moving the machine around is difficult. However, the Cricut Explore Air 2 has outweighed the other machines, which may be because they use more quality materials.

In most cases, these Cricut crafts machines are primarily used for both heavy and light duty commercially and for home use. The machine is not the largest in terms of cutting with or cutting depth, but you can be sure that they have great speed. The critical thing to note is that cutters cutting width can reduce based on the machine's functionality or the function you opt for.

3. Cricut Design Space Software

The Cricut Design Space is free online software that allows you to pick one among the thousand pre-made designed or upload Scalable Vector Graphics files of your choice. The Cricut design space is available for Windows, IOS, Mac, and Android. You only need to go to the Ready to Make page to find beautiful photos for your project, the design space app.

The design space has numerous benefits and only one major drawback. One of the advantages is that this design space does not need installation and can be used basically on any device without any compatibility issues. The design space also comes with many images, fonts, projects and can make lace stationery designs, vinyl cardstock, and create different kinds of snowflake designs.

Additionally, you can use SVG files hassle-free to print vinyl decals, and you can make whatever you want with the software. It also offers excellent privacy settings that ensure that your work is well protected. The only significant disadvantage is that you will need internet access to use the design space software.

The Cricut software is essential because you will not be able to cut anything using the Cricut cutting machine without the Cricut design space. The managing software is called Cricut design space software is user-friendly and very easy to use. The other significant advantage of the Cricut Explore Air 2 is that if the design space does not offer everything you need, you could use many other types of software.

4. Connectivity

The Cricut explore air 2 is among the easiest-to-use machines to connect to devices wirelessly. This means the Explore Air 2 has Bluetooth technology meaning you can control your machine with your smart devices. Also, you could connect to an Android app or IOS app, and you could have Cricut access on your hands.

The best thing about wireless connectivity is that it takes the chances of accidents down, especially if you have tiny kids or pets inside the house. Also, if you have tangled cables around, you could accidentally pull on the Cricut explore air machine and even cause breakages making wireless connectivity an added advantage.

5. Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System

The Cricut Adaptive Tool System is incomparable to the Cricut Maker. The system allows you to interchange blades or tips without changing the housing. The Cricut Adaptive Tool System sets this cutting machine apart from other machines in the market.

This adaptive tool system will enable you to interchange tools to move in any direction, which gives even more precise cutting. In addition, the system will offer 10 x cutting force, meaning you could do even more complex projects.

6. Cutting Force

Another factor that sets the Cricut Explore Air 2 from other cutting machines is the cutting Force. Most cutting machines are only limited to 210g of cutting power which is way below the cutting power of this machine. However, only a few machines like Brother's Scan and Cut and Cricut Maker match the Cricut Explore Air 2.

7. Blades And Cutting Depth

The blades used in this cutting machine are made of German Carbide, durable. The German carbide steel is ultra-resistant and durable. The blades can cut through more than 100 materials, including even the heavier ones. The best material you could use to cut using this cutter is paper, vinyl and cardboard.

The Cricut explore air 2 does not come with a rotary blade, a traditional handheld blade used to quickly and accurately any fabric. In most cases, the rotary blade is paired with a fabric cutting mat to eliminate the need for tracing paper, marking pen and paper patterns. However, you could use the explore air 2 for sewing Cricut projects.

Again the  Cricut Explore Air 2 machine does not require Cricut cartridges. However, you could plug your cartridges in the machine and then link the Cricut cartridges to the Cricut account. The Cricut maker also has a double tool holder, which means you could use two tools at once. You could reach Cricut customer support to help connect your older cartridges to your machine if you have issues with that.

8. Speed

The Explore Air 2 features a dual carriage that allows you to use a Cricut pen and the blade at the same time making it quicker than other machines. The cutter has a cutting force of 350g and can cut through different materials that are 4 inches in just a matter of seconds. The machine's cutting speed is twice as fast as the regular models. This machine will cut up to 1.5 millimeters of thickness.

9. Noise Level

The noise level of this craft cutter is acceptable compared to other cutting machines in th market. It is whisper-quiet, perfect for cutting any time you wish. However, you will find that the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a bit louder when it is new, and it gets better as it ages.

10. Functionality And Price 

The Air 2 comes with unique features like the smart set dial to choose the suitable material you are cutting. You could also use the machine to cut different materials using the Cricut software. The best part is that the Air Explore is reasonably priced compared to the machine's different things.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Accessories

You will need some accessories that you will ned at some point. The Cricut machine has a smart set dial to aid in your projects. However, you will need the right accessories and tools to help with that. Most accessories will come with the Cricut Explore Air 2. However, you will need to purchase other accessories for specific projects. Here are some of the accessories you could purchase alongside your Cricut maker:

1. Cricut Blades

Having different blades will help make your own Cricut out of the different cuts. The good thing is that all blades are compatible with all Cricut blades. So, for example, with the Cricut explore air 2, you could use the blade which comes with the machine called the fine point blade, the bonded fabric blade or the deep point bade, which you will need to purchase separately.

A) Fine Point Blade

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The fine point blade is designed to cut lightweight materials like vinyl decals, iron-on, poster board, or cardstock. The fine blades are made using premium German Carbide that is super durable and cuts pretty quick. The best part is that you could use these blades to do most Vinyl and Paper projects, perfect for medium-weight materials.

B) Bonded Fabric Blade

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Cricut Bonded-Fabric Blade, Multicolor
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The bonded fabric blade is designed to cut through fabric. Amazingly this blade s also made using german Carbide, making it long-lasting. The Bonded blade can be used to cut any lightweight material. This would be the best blade option for sewing projects and creating appliques. Additionally, you could do more than 50 different projects with the blades.

C) Deep-Point Blade

Cricut Deep-Point Blade + Housing, Cutting Blade with...
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On the other hand, Deep cut Blade is made for cutting thick materials. You could use the deep pointed blade to cut materials like leather, stiff felt or magnet. The best part is that this blade can cut thick materials and almost any kind of material. It cuts the solid materials that the fine pointe blade can not cut. The best part is you could cut thicker materials with up to 2.4 mm thickness with the Deep cut blade.

2. Cricut Weeding Tools

Craft Vinyl Weeding Tools Set, HIRALIY 10 Pcs Craft...
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The weeding tools are other essential accessories that you could purchase for creating your own designs. Most weeding tools will come with fine tweezers, tweezers, weeder, piercing device, and hook weeder. However, you could get a Cricut tool pack with other wedding tools to help you do the perfect projects you need.

3. Cutting Mat

Cricut StandardGrip Machine Mats 12in x 12in, Reusable...
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Cutting mats are essential accessories that must be used each time you use the cutting machine. The mats are made using different materials and have different grip strengths and sizes. You can find the cutting mats in 12√ó12 or 12√ó24 sizes.

The cutting mats come in different colors, and the colors can be used to distinguish the different grips. The blue mats are usually the light grip mats that will cut through paper, cardstock, washi sheets, wrapping paper or construction paper. Green mats are medium or standard grip mats, and they could cut through many materials like vinyl, iron-on or cardstock. The purple mat is the strong mat that will help cut through leather, wood, chipboard, magnet, suede, fabric or glitter cardstock. Finally, the pink mat is the fabric that will help cut through any kind of fabric.

The cutting mats have different grip strengths, and you could get a light, standard, strong and fabric grip. If you use the fine pointed blade, you could use the light grip, but the standard grip is the most appropriate if you are looking for a mat that will help do most of your projects. A firm grip is the best if you are using deep pointed blades.

4. Cricut Pens

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The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a machine that coed with a double tool holder that allows you t hold your pen and blade at the same time. This way, you will need to use the Cricut pens, and you will need to purchase them separately.

If you find the idea of using the pen and the blade simultaneously, you must get the pens. Additionally, if you love to make signs, invitations, or cards, we recommend having different colors of Cricut pens.

5. Scoring Stylus

DODODUM Scoring Stylus for Cricut Explore/Air 2/Maker,...
  • DODODUM Scoring Stylus is for Cricut Explore/Air 2/Maker.
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  • DODODUM Scoring Stylus is for Cricut can make your work more...

The Scoring Stylus are accessories that will let you use the Cricut Exprole Air 2 machine to score fold lines for envelopes or cards. The scoring stylus will allow you to use your Cricut machine to create many projects.

Specialty Cricut Materials

If you purchase the Cricut cutting machines, you need to have a couple of materials to help you get ready to create projects. There are tons of materials that the smart cutting machines could cut through. In addition, most cutting machines have blades made of German Carbide, making them super suitable for cutting through any kind of material.

Depending on the kind of blade you have been, it is the deep point blade or the fine point blade you need the suitable materials. There are different materials that you could use for beginners, and they include Adhesive Vinyl, Paper, Cardstock,iron-On or Heat Transfer Vinyl.

1. Adhesive Vinyl

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The adhesive vinyl is one of the commonly used materials, and they are different types of these materials that include essential, premium outdoor, patterned, mosaic, glitter, stencil or premium removable.

2. Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl is another type of material that you need to have if you are looking for the best material to use. Some of the different materials under this category are every day, foil, patterned, mesh, mosaic, and sportFlex.

3. Paper And Cardstock

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The other ubiquitous material you need to own is paper and cardstock, especially if you need to make cards. This category includes scrapbooks, foil embossed, cardstock, and poster boards. Again, this is the best material if you love papercrafts.

4. Maker-Only Materials

28pcs Thick 1.4mm Soft Felt Fabric Sheet Assorted Color...
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The maker-only materials are the best fabrics if you want to create some extra special projects. These materials are used mainly by people who are experienced. These materials include chipboard, the leather felt, corrugated cardboard, wood, kraft boards and aluminum. It is crucial to note that this kind of material should be used with the deep point blade since it can cut through thick materials.

How Do I Use The Cricut Explore Air 2?

When you have purchased your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, and it's time to start creating your crafts, you could use the steps to ensure you get the best out of your machine.

  1. The first predominant step is to ensure that your machine is well set up in your desired design space. If you have a laid-out working area, you need to create space for the machine. Place it properly to avoid accidents.
  2. Then set up your design space in the Cricut. You could pick designs or images from your Cricut image library, or you could upload some from some free library that comes with the Cricut.
  3. You could size the design or the images when you have selected the design or the images. Then, you can go to "Make It" when you have the image well-sized.
  4. When you click on to make it, you need to choose the appropriate material. Here the material you use will mainly be determined by your personal preference. However, some factors like the blades you have could affect the material you use. For instance, if you only have a fine point blade, you have to use light materials, unlike with the deep point blades.
  5. After you have chosen the material you will use, you need to choose the matt you will be using. As discussed early the mat, your pick will also depend on the blade you are using. So, now you have the blade and the mat, you need to place the mat in position.
  6. When you are all set with the mat, you will need to turn the smart set dial on the Cricut machine. You can leave this in custom since it will allow you to choose the material in the design space.
  7. You will then require to line up the cutting mat and put the end of the mat into the cutting machine. Then squeeze the double side arrow to completely load the cutting mat into the machine.
  8. Check the design space screen to see which tools you need to use to load into the machine when that is done. Basically, the tools you will use will depend on the kind of design you settle for. When making complex crafts, you need to use different tools to get the perfect outcome.
  9. You will need to clip on the flashing C and get your craft ready in minutes when you are done.
  10. When the cutting is complete, you will need to click on the double side arrow again to unload or remove the mat. Then you will have yu complete craft done.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Affordable compared to many other cutters
  • You can design on different devices
  • High precision cuts
  • The machine has a beautiful and well-built design
  • Automatic settings for over 80 materials
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless cutting
  • Perfect for beginners and hobbyists
  • Offers 50 free ready-to-make projects as well as 25 sewing projects.
  • The cutter has a double tool holder or tool holders the speed up the job
  • They have some cutting tools that you could add to your craft room
  • Has a smart set dial for easy cutting
  • Offers more cutting speed with twice the speed as other machines
  • A perfect option to create acetate pinwheels, 3D paper crafts, and envelopes
  • Design Space software is free and is completely easy to use

Cons:

  • The Cricut access cutter software can be demanding for newcomers
  • Cricut customer service can leave something to be desired
  • Requires internet access to use
  • Some reported reliability issues after long term use
  • Lack of advanced design options
  • The Explore Air 2 lacks a rotary blade

Frequently Asked Questions About The Cricut Explore Air 2

1. What Are The Differences Between The Explore Air 2 And Cricut Maker?

The two machines will offer the same results, but the main difference is the cutting versatility and cost. The Cricut Explore Air 2 can use different blades and cut through different materials, whereas the maker can only cat through limited materials. In addition, the Cricut Explore Air machine is pretty powerful and has a higher cutting power, and can cut through thick materials easily.

2. What Is The Variation Between The Cricut Explore Air 2 Vs. Silhouette Cameo 3

The silhouette cameo 3 is among the list most significant competitors of the Explore Air 2. most people looking for a crafter machine have a hard time deciding which among the two is the best. But the Cricut is definitely superior to the silhouette. The Cricut machine has a larger cutting capacity and is much faster, making it the most preferred. However, the fantastic thing about the Cameo 3 is that it has advanced software and has a larger cutting size.

3. Is Cricut Explore Air 2 Simple And Easy To Use?

Yes, the Cricut Explore Air is pretty simple and easy to use. This Cricut maker s one of the most straightforward machines that most people love. The  Explore Air 2 is the perfect machine that allows you to make the perfect homemade gift ideas, including cards or invitations, using simple steps. The best part is that you will thoroughly learn how to use the machine in a matter of days.

4. Is The Cricut Explore Air 2 A High-Quality Machine

Of course, the Cricut maker is a high-quality machine that will help you make the best DIYs. The best part is that the explore air machine is a high-quality material, making it super durable. The best way to confirm that your machine stays in the proper condition is to ensure that you don't force anything on the machine. For instance, use the appropriate blade for the appropriate materials.

The machine comes in different colors, perfect to suit your style. Amazingly you could make cards worth $10 with only $1 and custom make it to your desire. The other fantastic thing is that you can spend fewer hours making the perfect gift for your friends or family than looking for a gift that suits them in the store or online.

5. How Can I Connect My Cricut Explore AIR 2 Machine To My Computer?

The good thing is that you can connect your computer to the Cricut Explore Air 2. There are two ways to connect your computer or laptop to your machine. First, you can connect your computer or laptop using a USB cable to Explore Air. The process is pretty straightforward, and you will not need a professional to help with that. Secondly, we could connect the Cricut machine to your computer via Bluetooth. Of course, you have to have an internet connection to use the machine's software.

Conclusion

Our conclusion is that the Explore Air 2 is the perfect machine for beginners and those interested in vinyl cutting at the hobby level. It cuts quickly, provides you with an impressive number of free designs, and is highly accurate. It's held back by being tied to the internet but gains bonus points for its overall flexibility. The best part is if you want a cheaper option of these machines, you could get the Cricut Joy, which is also perfect for beginners.

The Explore Air 2 is the best Cricut Machine in the market, and it offers incredible value for your money. The best part is that it is an easy-to-use, reliable and versatile cutter that will help you create exactly what project you imagine. In addition, the fact that the machine comes with a well-thought-out storage compartment. The Cricut Air 2 is still a perfect deal for beginners and hobbyists.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.