My second Cricut was the Expression. I didn't think I needed the Expression since I was completely happy with my baby bug and at the time I really couldn't afford to put the money out for an Expression. Back in the days of the Cricut Messageboard there were so many generous people and one of the members made it her goal to have me own an Expression machine and to keep things short about that in this post you can read about how I came to own the Expression >HERE<.
Anyway the purpose of this post is for me to think about how the Explore compares to the Expression. First off I have to say that the Explore does seem to be better built than the first Expression machines. The first one I had wouldn't cut nice scallops and I actually ended up going through about 3 machines before I got one that would cut some scallop circles half way decent. Another thing that happened with the first Expression I had was that it BROKE and I do mean BROKE. A replacement was quickly sent and I was back in business.
The Explore blade holder is made in such a manner that it is faster and easier to get the blade housing out of the machine. Instead of a screw that tightens the blade housing in there is a latch that opens and closes. As you can see in the pictures the way the holder on the Explore is manufactured the blade housing is more stable due to the length of the holder.
I never knew what all the buttons were for on the Cricut machines since I never used them without either using Design Studio or Make the Cut. I did try one time...it was a disaster. I do like the sleek design of the Explore better than the Expression and it doesn't seem to be as large, well as tall anyway and there aren't all those unnecessary buttons, well unnecessary to me anyway.
The cuts between the machines are non comparable as there were many things the Expression seemed to have difficulty cutting. There were many cardstocks and papers that the Expressions would shred when trying to cut and I have no idea what those techno head designers of the Explore did to make the machine cut so well but I'm just glad they did! I have only found one piece of cardstock that seemed to have problems and I might have actually had the settings wrong at the time.
Now about the settings...EXPLORE WINS! Although I am still not a fan of Cricut Design Space I do love the little feature of "custom" settings and the list of materials available in the program. With the Expression there were the dials that had to be set, blade depth, cutting speed, etc and it was a guessing game a lot of times because one time you would cut with a certain setting and it would be great then the next time there might be problems. The Explore is consistent with the cutting. I am beginning to think there are little beings in the machine that make sure it cuts correctly and cleanly every time because I can think of no other reason for the invariable cuts.
I honestly believe that if anyone liked the Expression they would LOVE the Explore. Well of course there will be those few disgruntled, for what ever reason, people who will not like the Explore but if they are honest with themselves I don't think they will find fault in the machine and it's cutting capability but only find fault with having problems with the software that has to be used with the Explore.
Oh and if ya haven't noticed I am going down the line of the machine's I've had over the years and comparing them to Explore so expect a few more versus posts because I owned a few more than just the baby bug and the Expression.
If you guys are really good and pay attention I might even have a little surprise at the end of my series of versus posts so PAY ATTENTION AND KEEP COMING BACK!
I too started with the 'baby', but HAD to have the Expressions when it came out..lolReplyDelete
OK, I think I have my Google account fixed now so that I can post. Love your comparison of the Expression vs. the Explore ... it's very enlightening. I hope I will have my other computer issues resolved soon so that I can start playing with the Explore.ReplyDelete
Like you, I loved the Baby Bug (and still do, as I use mine for crops now) ... however, I also love my Expression. I know that many had a problem with wonky scallop cuts, but I was fortunate and did not have that issue, so the E still gets thumbs up from me. Since you rave about the cutting capabilities of the Explore, then I am more anxious than ever to get my Explore up and running. Because I have to admit that the Expression does fall short with it's abilities to cut such a wide range of materials. Plus, from what I've seen, the Explore is exceptional at cutting tiny and intricate pieces ... again, the Expression fell short in this area too. Thanx for the review Shirley!
I LOVE my Explore!ReplyDelete
SandyR : "I'll be back."ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review and the walk down memory lane. I can still remember how excited I was that Christmas bob bought me my baby! Little dis he know the monster he createdReplyDelete
You have brought back some memories with this post Shirley! And not all so great ones either. lol I didn't like the wonky circles or scallops either. And while I had issues with my baby bug and had to send it back a few times, it cut well. Much better that the Expression. But I adored the sizes I could cut with the Expression so I put up with the wonky cuts and trying to get the papers to cut without tearing it all up. I do agree with you about the Explore though, it cuts so clean and beautifully that their must be little people inside the machine doing all the settings. lol This is fun, can't wait to see what machine is next because chances are I've owned it too. Hugs, BrendaReplyDelete
Thank Okie. It is so nice the the Explore actually cuts a real circle not flat on one side.ReplyDelete
i'm glad i bought a dust cover for my expression. i saved all my cartridges, but have a long line of friends just chompin at the bit to have first choice when/if i decide to sell them. i just can't 'let go' yet. i know there is a reason i'm holding on.....just don't know what that reason is 'yet'. i 'do'....occasionally take that dust cover off!ReplyDelete
thank you for this blog. I have had an expression since 2008 and am okay with it since I don't have a lot of time for crafting at the moment. I said I will upgrade when my expression gives out. I have had the explore is on my wish list but think Santa (me) might be making an early stop even though my expression is fine.ReplyDelete
I always love your reviews because you are honest. Some people seem to have an issue with that though. I'm not biased just because you are my BFF either!!ReplyDelete
Great now I want one. My expression is almost as old as me. LOL thats old. alove you blog.ReplyDelete
Ditto. Bug and Expression. If you want a challenge, cut out Cinderella to see if the Explore mangles her fingers. I got so mad I sold my cartridge! -- Kathy WyattReplyDelete
As you know (because it was all your fault, lol!) I went from the baby bug to the Expression. I even bought a "back up" Expression when PC moved away from Design Studio because I was afraid the newer versions of that machine wouldn't work with the program. I don't think I ever had any real issues with my Cricuts or Design Studio. It was only when they went to the online software that I moved away from PC's products to the Silhouette. Since you think so highly of the Explore I'd consider getting one if PC would only have stand alone software to use with it. I love that you've been able to cut such intricate things on light weight paper using your Explore. We both know that just wouldn't work on the Expression!ReplyDelete
I am looking at a backup Expression or Expression 2 for my cartridges. You make me wonder if the Explore would be better. I love Make the Cut and prefer to work in that whenever possible.
I don't doubt the explore is "much" improved sad to sad PC has hurt and upset many crafters... I also bought and sold my baby bug and bought the expression but with all the craziness PC stirred up that the machine can "only" be used in their craft room and they have the right to your designs still is questionable to me... I went with the Zing where I can design on my laptop using any and all fonts and dingbats that are free is more of a freedom to design and cut... this is jmho cause I do hear a lot of "good" things said about the explore glad you did this review!!!ReplyDelete
Well.... I gotta agree with ya! I did enjoy using my Expression for the longest time but like you never used all the buttons! LOL Did use my Gypsy a lot with it.... I own the Silhouette and I LOVE the program and how easy it works.... I also bought the Explore and hands down.... it cuts better than my Silhouette.... BUT... And that's a big but! The software for the explore is terrible.... this is my opinion of course... so I don't use my explore because of it... I find my Silhouette program so easy to use and I can whip anything up in a matter of minutes with it, compared to the Explore Program... If the program was better... I would switch in a heart beat because of the better cut..... I still have all 200+ cartridges... I couldn't part with them, and that's why I bought the explore... and yet I don't use it unless I have a really detailed cut that I need that I know my Silhouette can't do.... I just sold my expression about 3 weeks ago... figured I didn't need it anymore either.... SO I'm finally down to 1 cricut machine - where before I had them ALL!! :) Look forward to reading more of your reviews on the machines.... :)ReplyDelete
I guess I'm not the only one having trouble with their Google account. There have been a number of occasions I comment, have to log back in and everything is gone. There is no longer a comment box. I see Carol was having problems also with her account.ReplyDelete
Thank you for taking the time and effort to put together the comparisons. I for one truly appreciate it. Perhaps I've missed out by not investing in the Explore, honestly I lost faith in the company. I am glad that they have now improved their products and I hear nothing but praises from so many. Thanks again for taking the time and have a great Thanksgiving!
Enjoying these compare posts and the walk down memory lane. I've been following your blog that long and I was so gaga over your images and free cut files. One of my favorite that I used over and over were your little Ghiradelli candy boxes. I sold my Expression and now have both a Silhouette Cameo and an Explore. I love them both for different reasons. I love the Silhouette software - it's so much more reliable than Design Space. I also love the images from the Silhouette store. If I have something tiny or intricate, it's the Explore hands down. I also like the Explore better for scoring.ReplyDelete
Every time I read your reviews I want the explore. I still have my baby bug and still use it when doing a lot of one cut. Kinda like a assembly line. I still have all my cartridges and still use them even though I did get the Cameo with the DE and I have the MTC.ReplyDelete
I remember when you got the expression. Then you sold it to get a RED one I think and some people had something to say about it. I loved those days back on the OLD CMB. It was so much fun. But you have did a great job with The Old Cricut Community. These posts are making me want the explore but with all that has happened it must wait awhile longer. BY the way loved the song. It was fitting.
I have the original Expression, and I registered all my cartridges and have from time to time used the Design Space. Will I still be able to use the cartridges (or Design Space) with the Explore?ReplyDelete
You can use your cartridges with the Explore.Delete