Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cricut Explore Review 5 - Cutting Vinyl

Thought I better get this posted before I get busy making more projects for Christmas *okie looks at the calendar and panics a tad see that Christmas is only a week away*. I actually could have written the vinyl review before but I kept making things for gifts and then would be like "CCRRAAPPPP! I can't post that!". Last night I decided to try and cut the Grinch file because I needed a gift for Dirty Santa at school today and figured it was as good as any for the review.

I found an 8x10 inch frame at Goodwill for 99 cents and was a little apprehensive about trying to cut the file at this size, which was actually 7.25 x 9.25 inches. I knew some of the lettering was delicate but then also I thought it was perfect since I am trying to put the Explore through it's paces. I have read that some folks are having a tough time with vinyl and to be honest I think most of them are using Cricut vinyl, which I do find inferior to the Oracle and Avery that I tend to use. It seems to be too rubbery or something and I have seen it tear and snag where I generally get crisp cuts with the vinyl products I have around my craftroom.

Even though vinyl is a lot easier to cut when doing delicate work than most paper I still wondered how the settings on the Explore would handle the different vinyls I used. I actually used some Avery, Oracle and then some kind that said graphic film on the back and I'm not sure of the brand. I didn't change the settings for any of the vinyls and they all cut beautiful. I will say that on another project I did use the custom setting for glitter vinyl and it worked perfectly. 

Ignore that my Grinch is a little off in placement. I did the mirror image so the vinyl would be on the inside of the glass instead of the outside and I need to work on my skills of layering backwards on glass.

Now where I thought there might be problems were on some of the letters that had very small cuts on the interior of the letters and also some small *okie wonders what to call them because all the sudden her brain isn't working properly* I guess finger like projections on the ends. I actually smiled at one point because I thought one of the interior cuts had messed up but when I weeded the piece it was fine *okie is still bound and determined to find a fault in the Explore's cutting abilities*.

MY HONEST OPINION: I am quite impressed with the built in settings with the Explore and the setting worked perfect every time no matter what brand of vinyl I was using. The precision of the cuts, no matter how small is splendid. At no time did the blade go through the carrier material which is a problem I would have with my Pazzles and Expressions. Each and every color was cut flawlessly with a kiss cut and there were no places where I had to take a craft knife or scissors and complete a cut.


  1. Love this project you created and glad to hear you are happy with the Explore!

  2. I don't know whether or not to buy this machine or not. Cricut is offering $75 for 5000 points and I have a $75 credit. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Have a Merry Christmas.

  3. The machine has superior cutting capabilities to anything I've used or seen.

  4. Wow, I'm impressed too Shirley! I can't get over how well it cut those fine pieces in the lettering. Your vinyl project is too cute! Thanks for giving an honest review just as I knew you would. Hugs, Brenda

  5. I am impressed too. So far, the Explore has been performing amazingly well, even with the battery of challenges you are putting it through (and I know you are doing your best to find it's breaking poing). Sooooo .... are you ready to really give this thing a "REAL" workout??? Not that you haven't been giving it a real workout, because you have, but how about trying a few materials that other machines struggle with (even the Expression), I am talking about fabrics (including felt and wool), leather, foils and thin metals, thin wood, chipboard, acrylic, plastic, etc. The kind of unusual materials that we don't use everyday, but find particularly difficult when we do. The Explore claims it can do it ... perhaps it's time to check it out?

    BTW ... Your Dirty Santa gift is fabulous. The quote is a great Christmas reminder. LOVE IT!