If you’ve been gearing up to buy the
Cricut Explore 3 vs
Cricut Explore Air 2 Comparison Chart
|Model||Cricut Explore 3|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Material Compatibility||Over 100 materials||Over 100 materials|
|Smart Material Compatibility||Yes||Yes (but mat is needed)|
|Maximum Cutting Width||13 inches||12 inches|
|Maximum Cutting Length||12 feet||1.9 feet|
|Tool Compatibility||6 Cricut tools||6 Cricut tools|
|Adaptive Tool System||No||No|
|Connectivity||USB and Bluetooth||USB and Bluetooth|
The design differences between the
In terms of design, there aren’t too many differences between the
While not very noticeable, the Explore 3 has also ditched the Explore Air 2’s glossy surface for a textured finish. This is actually quite a nice touch because fingerprint smudges are no longer an issue. As for Cricut Explore 3 colors, it’s only available in powder blue which is quite disappointing given that the Explore Air 2 comes in a bunch of different hues. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more colors later on in the year.
Another difference between these two models is their names. You’re probably wondering why the new model isn’t named Cricut Explore Air 3 after its predecessor. That’s simply because when the Explore Air 2 came out, Bluetooth was still fairly new territory for Cricut machines but now it’s a standard feature for all models.
While they’re tied in terms of material compatibility, the Explore 3 does have a couple of advantages over its predecessor. With the Explore 3, Smart Materials are fed directly into it which eliminates the need for a mat. The only other Cricut machines with this feature are the Maker 3 and the Joy. Because the Explore 3 doesn’t need a mat to cut Smart Materials, this allows it to cut much wider and longer pieces. While the Explore Air 2 is limited to a maximum cut width of 12 inches and length of 1.9 feet, the Explore 3 can cut a maximum width of 13 inches and length of a whopping 12 feet.
In addition, the Explore 3 is so much more powerful and efficient than the Explore Air 2, able to cut Smart Materials twice as fast. So if you’re all about saving time, then you might find it worthwhile to spend more on the Explore 3.
Do note, however, that the mentioned tools don’t come with either the Explore Air 2 or the Explore 3 and need to be bought separately. The only tool that’s included with both models is the Premium Fine-Point Blade plus housing. This tool is quite basic and is good for general arts and crafts projects. Speaking of inclusions, other things that come with the Explore models are a USB cable, power adapter, some materials to practice with, as well as ready-to-make projects.
Splurge on the Cricut Explore 3 if power, efficiency, and bigger cutting sizes are important to you. Otherwise, save your money and go for the
The Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Explore 3 are similar in a lot of ways. They sport nearly identical looks, save for a couple of details, and they’re compatible with the same tools and materials. So why is the Explore 3 more expensive than the Explore Air 2 by a hundred dollars? It seems like the difference in price is justified by the Explore 3’s power, efficiency, and ability to cut much bigger sizes. It’s completely up to you if those three things are worth the extra money. But if you don’t mind a slower and more basic crafting experience, then the Explore Air 2 should be good enough for you.
If you’re wondering how the Cricut Explore 3 stacks up against the other new Cricut machine, take a look at our Cricut Explore 3 vs Maker 3 comparison.
If you’re after power, speed, efficiency, and bigger cutting sizes, then it’s better for you to spend an extra hundred dollars on the Cricut Explore 3. But if you don’t mind a slower and more basic crafting experience, then save your money and pick the
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API