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Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter Machine

*Est. $225
Reviewed by ConsumerSearch
Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter Machine

Neat tool for scrapbooking, but expensive

Pros
  • Cuts a variety of sizes of each font and image
  • No computer needed
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Pricy accessories
  • Blades, mats need frequent replacement
  • Misleading advertising
Where to Buy
 

The Pitch: "Simply by touching a button, Cricut can cut beautiful designs and alphabets"

April 2009. The Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter Machine is a portable die-cut machine that can cut out letters in a variety of fonts and 12 sizes, plus images and shapes in different sizes. Reviewers say it's very useful for scrapbooking and decorating, as well as creating teaching aids and greeting cards.

The Cricut comes with one memory cartridge that contains 250 preprogrammed designs (including fonts). If you want additional image and font templates (as shown in the TV infomercial) you'll need to buy more cartridges (*est. $30 to $90 each) -- which can make for a large investment. The cutting mats, which are used to hold the paper in place while cutting, (*est. $6) lose their stickiness and need replacement after about 30 to 50 sheets of paper -- though some users complain about even shorter life. Blades, which are adjustable for different types and thicknesses of paper, also must be replaced (*est. $10 for two) periodically. In the end, reviewers say the Cricut is a neat tool for crafting, but the ongoing costs are a big drawback.

Users give the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter Machine mostly positive reviews. Some scrapbook enthusiasts, in fact, rave about it despite the hefty investment in cartridges and supplies. A few users don't like the images, however, or find the Cricut tricky to use. We didn't find any praise for the manufacturer's technical support, either -- or for ads that list a low "trial" price and don't mention the remaining payments. However, the main drawback seems to be the cost -- so whether or not it's worth buying depends on how much you'll use it.

We found the most user-written reviews and ratings of the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter Machine at Amazon.com, where more than three dozen users weigh in. Users also review and rate it at Viewpoints.com (a product-review site) and at InfomercialRatings.com. The About.com guide to family crafts offers a Cricut review based on personal testing. We also found two useful blog reviews, plus a brief video at YouTube -- where there's also a plethora of video tutorials and tips on making the most of the Cricut.

Where To Buy
Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter, Bundle With 2 Cartridges

 
Buy new: $339.98   2 Used from $189.99

 

Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

More than three dozen users give the Circuit cutting machine mostly positive reviews, though a few complain that the images are more for kids, and that extra cartridges, accessories and replacement blades and mats are expensive. One user calls it a "money pit" for this reason. Several note that the TV ads are misleading, since you have to buy a lot of optional memory cartridges to create all of the images shown in the infomercial.

Review: Cricut 29-0001 Personal Electronic Cutting Machine, Contributors to Amazon.com

2. Viewpoints.com

At this product-review site, more than two dozen users review the Cricut, with the clear majority of reviewers giving it a thumbs-up. Most use it for scrapbooking, but several say it's also great for teachers. The only complaint is about the price; users say it's not worth it unless you'll use it frequently.

Review: Cricut Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com

3. InfomercialRatings.com

More than a dozen users praise the Cricut cutting machine and accessories here, saying it's great for home decorations and teaching as well as for scrapbooking and making greeting cards. One user complains that the TV infomercial is extremely misleading about the price, mentioning only the "trial" price and not the remaining four payments. Also, the image count includes every size of each image and font -- not unique images.

Review: Cricut Reviews, Contributors to InformercialRatings.com

4. About.com

The About.com guide to family crafts is skeptical, but becomes a fan after testing the Cricut electronic cutter. Despite its price, she concludes that it can pay for itself over time if you'd otherwise buy cut-out letters and shapes, or buy greeting cards already made. She finds it easy to use, and quite effective. One user adds a glowing review, while another is furious about the lack of technical support from the company, Provo Craft. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter, Sherri Osborn

5. In Otter Space

This blogger, an artist and writer, expresses disappointment with her Cricut, which she had long coveted before purchasing: "In the seven weeks that I have owned it, I have felt totally ripped-off and more and more unimpressed." She says the blade is either too sharp or too dull, the mat either too sticky or not sticky enough. About 10 readers add mixed reviews -- some sharing the "thumbs down" but others sharing tips on how to make it work well.

Review: Cricut Review, "Dancing Otter", Nov. 29, 2006

6. Molten Networks

This Cricut review is especially useful because it includes some illustrations and explains the basics of how to use the Cricut. The author finds it easy to use for "non-techies."

Review: Review: Cricut Die cutter, "abanks", Jan. 10, 2007

7. YouTube.com

This brief video-review of the Cricut shows some sample scrapbook pages the author has made. Her comments note that she's had no problem cutting a variety of paper weights.

Review: Product Review ProvoCraft Cricut, "jazznjava", April 29, 2008

8. Scrapbook TV

This Australian website is dedicated to all manner of scrapbooking, with video and written reviews of products and accessories, as well as a gallery of scrapbooking projects and more. This video review, one of eight, describes in clear detail how each feature of the Cricut works.

Review: What is a Cricut?, Michelle Hartjes

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