Cricut recently released the Cricut Joy cutting machine. Adding to its already popular Explore Air2 and Maker models. Here’s your comparisons.
All three machines use design space. You can use the same software for all three machines, you don’t need anything special for one machine over the other.
The Cricut Joy has a smaller cutting area - 4.5” wide on smart materials and 4.25” wide on cutting mats. Smart materials can have an image/text cut up to 4 feet in length and a repeated 4 foot image/pattern cut up to 20 feet in length. The Cricut Joy cutting mats allow for cuts/text 4.25” wide with a length of 6.25” or 11.75” depending on which mat you use.
The Explore Air2 and Maker both use cutting mats (smart material is not supported unless placed on the mat like regular vinyl) with cutting sizes being up to 11.5” x 11.5” or 11.5” x 23.5”, again depending on your mat size.
TOOLS AND CAPABILITIES
The Cricut Joy has cutting and writing/drawing capabilities but does not currently support any scoring tools.
Both the Explore Air2 and Maker support the scoring stylus and the Maker has its own scoring wheel (as well as a double scoring wheel) as part of its available blade/tools.
CARD MAT JOY SPECIFIC
The Cricut Joy offers the option of purchasing a “card mat” which allows you to slip a folded piece of cardstock (a card) under its cutting area and only cut the top layer. This mat is not supported on the other two machines.
The Cricut Joy also has its own cutting blade and housing as well as its own pens. These are designed to fit the Joy specifically and won’t fit the other two machines.
Whereas the Air2 and Maker can use the same pens (not the joy pens) as one another and the fine point, deep cut and bonded fabric blades are used for both.
The Maker has its own set of blades/tools as well that are specifically for that machine. These are the adaptive tools and include a knife blade, rotary blade, and the quickswap housing which has six blade/tools available to use - scoring wheel, double scoring wheel, debossing tip, engraving tip, wavy blade and perforation blade.
The Cricut Joy can cut 50+ materials up to a paper thin faux leather.
The Air2 has a maximum cutting thickness of 2.0mm which includes over 100 materials (and some thicker material may cut with the Air2).
The maker has cutting ability up to 2.4mm which includes over 300 materials. Wood included (up to 3/32 of an inch).
All Cricut vinyl, iron on, cardstock (and other brands) can be used on the Joy you just need to cut them to size.
All the Joy products - vinyl, iron on, smart material, adhesive paper, label paper, etc. can be used on the Air2 and Maker it just needs to be placed on a cutting mat like any other material.
Overall you can do just about everything on the Cricut Joy you can with the other two larger machines with the exception of materials that can be used. The Joy is an addition to these other machines, it isn’t anything new that requires anything special. Your biggest difference will be your project size. And if you have a larger machine you’ll love how quick it is to cut a small project on versus setting up your Air2 or Maker.