Crafts

Cricut Explore Air 2: Can It Cut It?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

 


 

Cutting it with the Cricut Explore Air 2. Can the Cricut Explore 2 cut the materials that it says it can? A review of the Cricut Explore Air 2.

It’s holidays and I’m in the midst of the height of crafting season.  Every year I love making DIY Christmas decorations and this year is no different.  Except for the fact that my Cricut Explore just got upgraded.  This year I have the pleasure of testing out the Cricut Explore Air 2.  I utilized my original Cricut Explore to create this beautiful and festive holiday staircase using removable vinyl.  Past holiday decorations have been a breeze with my Cricut so I’m excited to test out the Cricut Explore Air 2 making this year’s decorations.

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Let’s start by providing a little background on the Cricut Explore Family.  

The Cricut Explore is like the CNC machine of all things paper, except now it can cut fabric and thin pieces of wood. It can cut in excess of over 100 different materials.  Click HERE for a listing of some of the materials that can be cut using the Cricut Explore and Maker.  Even if the material isn’t listed it’s still possible that the Cricut Explore can cut provided the thickness of your material is less than 2.0 mm.  Another thing to note: The maximum thickness that the machine can cut can vary with the rigidity of the material being cut.  In addition, Cricut Explore Air 2, unlike its predecessors is Bluetooth. 

comparison of cricut explore and 2 and maker
Found on Cricut.com

 

The Blade

The blade is everything.  It pretty much determines what can be cut and how it can be cut.  Compared to the Cricut Explore, the Cricut Explore  Air 2, pretty much uses all the same blades.

Cricut Explore and Maker Blades Comparison
Source: https://cricut.com/en_us/essentials/machine-tools/blades/deep-point-blade-housing.html

So, in essence, I should be able to cut all the same items I could in the past with the basic Cricut Explore.  But one item that stands out to me that I can cut with the Air 2 that I don’t think I really could do well in the past with my old Cricut Explore is Corrugated Cardboard.  So now let’s test out the Cricut Explore 2 to the test.  I’m going to see how well the Cricut Explore 2 cut Corrugated Cardboard.

Can the Cricut Explore 2 Cut It?

I call the holiday’s Glitter Season because I am always covered in glitter all the time from working with projects that involve glitter.  This year I thought I’d reduce the glitter levels in my craft room by using glitter paper.  I found the cutest gold glittered corrugated cardboard at my local craft store.  It was perfect for some new ornaments I had in mind. 

 I turned the material knob on the Explore Air 2 to Custom and selected corrugated cardboard on the materials list in Design Space.

 

I made sure the fine blade was inserted and even changed the pressure to “More” and pressed C to cut.

The results: Nothing happened…I mean it didn’t cut through a thing.  I then when to the help area in Cricut for further guidance on cutting this material.  Now in full disclosure, I’m not using corrugated cardboard made by and specifically for Cricut.  So, in all honesty, I had no clue what to expect.   I then found a help page dedicated solely to “Corrugated Cardboard Set: Cutting instructions” on Cricut’s website. It was there it recommended using the Deep Point Blade

I reset the pressure to default and guess what….It cut the corrugated cardboard.

 But it ruined the glittered surface.

So I tried again with “Less” pressure and it didn’t complete the cut.  And it still ruined the glittered surface at the antlers of the reindeer.  

I even turned it over, glittered side faced down on the mat and got the same results.  

I went on to using a flat glittered cardboard for my ornaments and I have to say that it turned out splendid.  

Here’s what I learned

The Cricut Explore Air 2 is still a great quality product just as my original Cricut Explore, except it’s improved with the ability to cut more materials at a faster rate and it has Bluetooth.  

The material I was trying to cut was not a Cricut Corrugated Cardboard product. And that’s ok, the machine is made to cut all sorts of materials Cricut branded or not.  As I stated before, even if the material isn’t listed on the Cricut website it is still possible that the Cricut Explore can cut provided the thickness of your material is less than 2.0 mm.  The glittered corrugated cardboard I attempted to cut was very rigid. So that definitely played a role in the machine’s performance.  Yes, the Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut corrugated cardboard using the Deep Point Blade, but it doesn’t perform very well with intricate cut patterns and with glittered or textured corrugated cardboard.  

 

Check out how to make this Glittered Deer Ornament.

 

 

 

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