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Meet My New Cutting Machine: Cricut Maker 3

Meet My New Cutting Machine: Cricut Maker 3 main article image
Posted on July 1, 2021 by Naomi Garcia

It’s a happy day in the craft studio. My desk is clear. My glitter is all lined up the way I like. All of the supplies from my last projects are put away. Next to my work table is an empty space just waiting for its next resident. Just in time! I’ve been waiting, trying to keep myself busy up to this very moment. What moment? This moment: The Fed-Ex guy dropped off my new toy this morning! That’s right! My Cricut Maker 3 has arrived and I am ready to fill you in on all the details.

A Little Background

With the exception of the Cricut Easy Press Mini, the Maker 3 is the only ‘big ticket item’ that I purchased as soon as it was released. I got my first Explore Air in late 2016. The Maker was released in August of 2017, and my husband bought mine in early 2018. In March of 2020, the Cricut Joy was introduced and I tried really hard to not want one. But I did want one. It was around 2 months later that I ordered “the baby” Cricut. Along the way, there have also been the Easy Presses, Maker tools, Infusible Ink products, and the Foil Tool. But I generally don’t rush into making large purchases right away. In fact, I just purchased the Cricut Mug Press right before the Maker 3 arrived on my doorstep.

Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3 (Naomi D. Garcia)

Cricut Maker 3 Features

When Cricut introduced the Maker 3, they also introduced the Explore 3. The huge selling point for both machines is the ability to cut without a cutting mat. The compatible materials for this feature are labeled “Cricut Smart Materials.” Smart Materials were first seen with the introduction of the Cricut Joy, which has a cutting area of 4.5” wide and up to 20’ long. That in itself is why I wanted the Cricut Joy. The Maker 3 and Explore 3 machines each have a cutting area of 13” wide and up to 12’.

Here are a few other features of the newest Cricut cutting machines:

  • Cuts up to 2 times faster than its respective previous version
  • Includes a built-in groove that can hold your mobile device
  • Can add the optional roll holder/cutter to hold your vinyl
  • For a side-by-side comparison of the Cricut Maker 3 and the Cricut Explore 3, take a look at Cricut’s site.

Cricut Maker 3 in Powder Blue (Naomi D. Garcia)

What’s In the Box?

Okay, okay. Let’s get down to it. So what exactly comes with the Maker 3? There are, of course, bundles available. However, I purchased just the Maker 3 alone. (I ordered from Michael’s.  They are available at Joann, Hobby Lobby, Target, and on Cricut’s website.)

My Cricut Maker 3 arrived from the factory (or from Michael’s warehouse) in a plain, brown shipping box. It was well-packed. Inside of the brown box was the Cricut-branded Maker 3 box.  Seriously, my excitement grew with each strip of tape I cut and each flap I opened. Finally, I got to the actual cutting machine. It was tightly packed into the box with styrofoam end caps to hold it in place.  

Peeling the plastic protective coating off made me feel like I was a teenager getting the keys to my first car. I honestly can’t remember being this excited over a new crafting item in so long.  It’s so shiny! It’s a powder blue color. It doesn’t match anything in my craft room. But who cares?!!! It’s a great machine!

 This is what came with my new toy:

  • Cricut machine
  • Power cord
  • Cord for hard-wire connection
  • Fine-point blade and housing
  • Storage tray
  • Mobile device stand
  • Side storage cups
  • Sample materials
    • 1 Sheet of black removable Smart vinyl
    • 1 sheet of black Smart iron-on
    • 1 sheet of transfer tape
    • 1 sheet of white Smart Paper sticker cardstock
  • Welcome booklet

Cricut Maker 3 Bonus Materials (Naomi D. Garcia)

I also purchased the roll holder. It’s a completely optional accessory. Its purpose is to hold your rolls of Smart vinyl, especially for longer cuts. This is sure to help when cutting long wall decals and porch sign stencils. Plus, it has a built-in cutter. No more searching for a pair of scissors even though I know I just had 3 pairs when I started cutting.

The Maker 3 is currently priced at $399 USD and the Explore 3 is $299 USD. Many of us were pleasantly surprised. I expected the prices to be higher for the simple reason that the original Maker opened at the same price. So in my opinion, this was a reasonable price point.

What Now?

Although the new Cricut machines have the ability to cut without a mat using Cricut Smart materials, there will be occasions when you will want to use a mat. For example, if you want to make stickers or do some other print then cut project, you’ll likely be using sticker paper that isn’t “Smart”. Maybe you want to cut fabric, which is also a perfect cutting material for the Cricut Maker. You will definitely need mats for these. The new Cricut Maker 3 does not come with a mat. So be sure to add mats to your cart, either virtually or physically, when you purchase your new machine.  

“But Naomi, what will you do with 3 Cricut machines?” Someone really did ask me that question. My reply? “I’ll make 3 times the projects now.” Of course, that was all in fun. But I know you’re dying to know if I really do have use for the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Cricut Maker, and the Cricut Maker 3 all at once.  Answer: Absolutely! If you want to know why and how, you’ll have to follow me on my social media accounts to find out. *chuckle, chuckle*

How about you? Are you thinking about purchasing one of the new Cricut machines? Do you have questions? If so, please feel free to leave comments below this article. You can also tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms. Stay crafty!

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Sherry Chastain

March 5, 2023

Will this machine cut 10 ml mylar for stencils?

Naomi Garcia's profile picture
Naomi Garcia

March 5, 2023


Hi! I haven’t done it personally. But others have done this. You would need to use the deep point blade, select the “plastic .4 stencil film”, set the pressure to “more”, and don3 cutting passes.

It's so pretty! 😍 Can't wait to see what you do with it!

Naomi Garcia's profile picture
Naomi Garcia

July 1, 2021


Thanks! I’m already loving it.

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