Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cricut Explore VS. Expression 2

Sorry for the delay on this versus, I had some life stuff that had to be taken care of *okie figures cleaning house is considered life stuff* and didn't have time to sit down and type out the post.

I remember all the excitement at the launch of the Expression 2, which will now be referred to as the E2 for the remainder of this post, and how there were a lot of people upset after purchasing because they felt the "exclusive" machine they bought from HSN should  not have been sold again and I even made a POST about my thoughts on the matter. I was not one of the ones who jumped on the bandwagon to buy one because I was happy with my Expression and didn't want to put out the money for another machine. I did however end up with two E2's. The first of the E2's I acquired was one of the gifts on the Cricut Cruise and the other was won from the HSN contest and I had submitted a few layouts and they chose one of my layouts as a winner. 

I liked the idea of the E2 and I did use it a few times but man oh man was it a pain! I couldn't use Design Studio with the E2 and of course the tiny screen on the machine was impossible for me to see to be able to do anything. The process that I had to use was as follows...
1. Design using Design Studio
2. Save the file
3. Close the file
4. Open the file and save as a Gypsy file
5. Upload the file to the Gypsy
6. Hook up the Gypsy to the E2 and cut my design.

I know Cricut Craftroom was available and yes it probably would have been less time consuming than using my Gypsy but I hated that program. For me it was glitchy and never ran smoothly and I only tried it a few times. 

The cutting abilities of the E2 was comparable to the Expression from what I remember. I don't think it really cut any better and it didn't cut any worse. I know a lot of people who loved the E2...I was just okay with it. 

With the Explore I still can't use Design Studio, which would be silly anyway since that program is now a dinosaur but I can't use the Explore directly with Make The Cut so I have the following process...
1. Design in MTC
2. Export design as SVG
3. Upload SVG into Design Space
4. Cut the design
So while there is a process for me to cut with the Explore it is a lot less time consuming than using the Gypsy or the glitchy Cricut Craftroom software. So far I haven't had any problems with using the Cricut Design Space with the method I am using and I love having the ability to design offline with MTC and then just using CDS for my cutting. I never use cartridges anymore and haven't for about 3 years now and my design abilities are only limited by my imagination and I love not having to depend on cartridges for images.  

Once again the Explore wins over the E2, but then again the Expression would win over the E2 in my book. 


  1. I completely agree with you Shirley. I have the Anniversary E2 and, yes, it cuts okay. It cuts as well as the Expression, but there were no improvements on the cutting capabilities. And to be honest, using the E2 has so many more steps than the Expression when using it as a stand alone machine ... it's way too complicated for me. You can Not place the images exactly where you want them on the mat. I know it is possible to do this using Design Space, but like you, I do not like that program. I was too impatient to bother learning to use the E2, perhaps if I had, I might have liked it more. But the Expression is just so user friendly, it cuts just as well as the E2, and my Gypsy works with it. I've now moved my E2 to a shelf where it does nothing more than take up space and collect dust. So if anyone knows of someone looking for an E2 that has hardly been used (I know a lot of people love that machine)... have them contact me. I'd be more than happy to sell them mine .... CHEAP!

  2. Very true comments. I had the E2 but sold it. It cut no better than my Expression.

  3. I still love my Expression. Of course it has a lot of sentimental value to me. I am half scared to use it because of that reason. I have always love it though.
    I remember when you got the E2 on the cruise and then won with you LO.
    It seems they had them all laying out in the floor.
    I never had a gypsy. Tried my hardest to win one when they had that guy running all around and then you had to tell why you wanted to win one.
    I never wanted the E2 much.... if I would have won one I then that might have been different. Thank you for going this as this is something you can go back to for your instructions on the different machines.

  4. i never cared for the E2 either. it collected dust long enough for me to decide it was time to get rid of it. i sold it for 'almost' what i paid for it, so that was a lesson that didn't cost me much.


  5. I started out with an Expression 2, but never got used to it. It always felt clunky, but I thought the problem lay with me. I soon sold it (I got what I had in it - lucky there) and bought a Cameo. I really enjoyed working with that after the Expression. Then out came the Explore and for over 18 months I heard wonderful things about the machine. I got one Black Friday last year and the Cameo has been on the shelf since then. I realized that DS is lacking compared to Silhouette's software, but the other advantages of the Explore outweigh those differences. I don't use my Explore daily, but am really happy with my purchase and really looking forward to all the new upgrades coming soon. Julie

  6. Great reviews on the Cricut line. I also started with a baby bug, graduated to an Expression. Then came the cameo silhouette. I thought I just had to have have it. Sold my expression and ALL my cartridges that I had drooled over for ages until I could afford it. NEVER could figure out the cameo and regretted selling my expression. Fast forward to Cricut Explore. I promptly sold that cameo on craigslist and purchased my explore on a black friday purchase at walmart. Yep, I had to repurchase some of my favorite cartridges, but heck I didn't care. I LOVE MY CRICUT EXPLORE!!!! Hands down the best.

    Marilyn C.

  7. Thank you for the comparison of the Explore vs. the E2. Although the Explore has many features and I hear the praises of many, I'm still hesitant to invest in another machine. Maybe one of these days I'll break down. Thank you Okie for taking the time to put together this information for us. Have a great day!

  8. I have the E2 and while it was an ok machine it could be a pita in learning all the steps to it. No it didn't cut and better or worse than the Expression, but I loved my Gypsy and used that with the E2 and was happy. Now I couldn't tell you what all the E2 screens did because I never used them. I was never happy with Design Studio either, it just wasn't user friendly to me. But the Explore changed all that and now I don't mind using Design Space as it is much user friendly to me and while I don't always like having to be on the internet to design, I can live with it for now. I think the advantages of the Explore outweigh having to use the Design Space and I simply love how the Explore just simplifies cutting by separating your mats out with each color. Yes, I do love, love, love the Explore and can't wait to see what upgrades are coming as well. Hugs, Brenda

  9. Was the E2 the one that had printable ink? I couldn't see having that machine since I only saw it as wasting ink...I'm still using the original Expressions (and I have Scan N Cut)

  10. I have to admit, I was one who jumped on the bandwagon when the E2 came out. I oooooo-ed and awwwwww-ed over it once I took it out the box. I read the booklet and just tried to get familiar with the buttons and the screen. I NEVER cut anything with it and it sat on my shelf until last summer, when I sold it. I just was so used to my expression and the Design Studio. Didn't want to give it up. I've had a Cameo for a couple of years now and that's what I use. I just love the capability of creating anything and I'm not bogged down to a cartridge. So now my expression sits on a shelf. I refuse to get rid of it and all the cartridges due to sentimental value but now I'm really intrigued about the Explore. I'm so tempted!!! UGH! what to do? What to do? :)

  11. I loved my Expression and never saw a reason to buy an E2.