We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Cricut vs Cricut Mini (2020): Comparing The Latest With A Legacy Cutting Machine

Years of innovation and experience have led to the latest and most powerful cutting machine from Cricut, the Cricut Maker. To show just how advanced it is compared to previous models, here’s a side-by-side look with a legacy model, the Cricut Mini.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Mini Comparison Chart

ModelCricut MakerCricut Mini
PriceCheck PriceDiscontinued
Weight9 lbs5.25 lbs
Max Cutting Area12″ x 24″8.5″ x 12″
ToolsAdaptive Tool SystemBlade, Gel Pens
SoftwareDesign SpaceCraft Room
Upload Own DesignYesNo

Design and Size

The Cricut Maker has a more modern look than the Cricut Mini.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Mini Design
Cricut has given the Cricut Maker (left) a more robust build than the Cricut Mini (right).

While their overall look shouldn’t be too important, it’s easy to see how the Cricut Maker is designed in line with the streamlined aesthetics popular today. Its plastic exterior has a more robust thickness to it while the Cricut Mini definitely shows its age in that regard. Though the Mini is lighter by quite a bit, the Maker is still very portable, and it actually seems to take up less space than the former.

A few thoughtful additions to the design of the Cricut Maker enhance its place in your craft room. There are two storage cups on its left side for markers and other slim tools, and the tray has a cover that you can lift up to store even more accessories. With the possibility of expanding your suite of tools, the extra storage space will definitely come in handy in keeping your Cricut tools organized.

RELATED  Best Cutting Machine For Fabric (2020): Top Fabric Cutters From AccuQuilt, Cricut And Hercules

Inside, you’ll notice that there are two tool holders in the Cricut Maker compared to the single slot of the Cricut Mini. This makes it a bit more versatile especially with the number of tools you can use with it.

Cutting Power

The Cricut Maker can cut more types of materials than the Cricut Mini.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Mini Cutting Power
You can work with more diverse materials using the Cricut Maker.

When it was released, the Cricut Maker was the most powerful die cutting machine in the market. Since then, only a few models from other brands have been able to reach the downward cutting force the Cricut Maker can attain. Needless to say, the Cricut Mini is only designed to cut a smaller range of materials, such as paper, vinyl, fabric, chipboard and fabrics. The Cricut Maker can cut balsa wood up to 2.4 mm thick, though it needs a separate tool for it.

Aside from the capability of cutting more than 300 materials, the Cricut Maker can also cut and write up to two times faster than models newer than the Cricut Mini. This lets you complete projects quicker and lets you make more items as a result. Finally, the Cricut Maker features the company’s Adaptive Tool System, allowing it to do more than simply cut and write like the toned down Cricut Mini.

Ease of Use

The Cricut Maker uses improved design software that lets you cut your own design.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Mini Ease of Use
Cricut has improved the interface and software of new cutting machines like the Cricut Maker.

One of the most common gripes about the Cricut Mini was that you were limited to the available designs in the Cricut Craft Room design application. There are also a limited amount of free digital images in that library; you had to buy the rest. The Cricut Mini won’t run without the Craft Room connecting online, so now that Cricut has closed down that software, Cricut Mini cutting machines are no longer usable.

RELATED  Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2 (2020): Should You Upgrade?

The new design software for later generations of Cricut die cutting machines, Design Space, has improved on Craft Room immensely. There are still some limitations but you’re now able to upload your own design to the software and edit it according to your base material. Using the interface is more intuitive, too, and you can take advantage of ready-made sewing patterns, quilt blocks, and more premium designs. With Bluetooth connectivity, you’re also able to use a mobile device to operate the Cricut Maker.

Other Features

The Cricut Maker can engrave, score, deboss and more.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Mini Features
You can discover more creative possibilities with the Cricut Maker.

Cricut’s Adaptive Tool System expands the capabilities of the Cricut Maker beyond simply cutting and writing. Sold separately are tools such as the Knife Blade, Wavy Blade, Perforation Blade, Debossing Tip, Engraving Tip, Scoring Wheel Tip and more. These allow you to create more projects and customize items even further.

The company’s extensive store features a huge array of crafting tools, materials, accessories and designs have all been developed to be easily used with the new range of cutting machines. Simply put, there’s a lot more project possibilities with the Cricut Maker than the Cricut Mini ever had.


The Cricut Maker is better than the Cricut Mini in every way.

Cricut Maker

Cricut Mini

Cricut continues to offer creative hobbyists with more innovative tools and machines, and their latest offering, the Cricut Maker, is simply better as a result. It’s an improvement in every regard and you can do more with it than what was even possible with the Cricut Mini.

RELATED  Cricut Alternatives (2020): Best Die-Cutting Machines From Brother, Silhouette And Sizzix
Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.