Cricut Explore Air 2 vs Cricut Explore 3

Are you looking to purchase a new electronic cutting machine but can't decide between Cricut's two popular models, the Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3?

Well, then this blog post is for you. We'll be examining these machines side-by-side; discussing their features, capabilities, and materials they can cut in order to provide you with an educated selection.

If you're a passionate crafter, DIY enthusiast, or small business owner, owning a cutting machine can be extremely advantageous. Through this post, you'll gain insight into the differences between the Explore Air 2 and Explore 3 models to help inform your decision as to which one is right for you.

Overview of the Cricut Explore Air 2

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The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a powerful and efficient cutting machine that allows you to make the most precise cutouts imaginable. This remarkable device can slice through materials up to 23.5 inches wide and 2mm thick, giving you the ability to work with traditional paper and cardstock as well as vinyl, leather, or even wood.

With its unique dual cutting capability, the Explore Air 2 stands apart from other machines. By integrating a fine-point blade for cutting and a marker adapter for drawing, you can conveniently create beautiful designs in one machine.

Plus, it is equipped with Bluetooth technology that lets you instantly connect to your computer or mobile device – making designing and cutting even easier.

The Explore Air 2 also features various design software programs, including Cricut Design Space, which offers an array of fonts, images and templates to fuel your creative projects. This software is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems.

One of the pros of the Explore Air 2 is its relatively affordable price point compared to other cutting machines on the market. It also has a relatively small footprint, making it a good choice for those with limited space.

However, one potential con is that it can be quite loud when in use, which may not be ideal for those who are sensitive to noise.

Overall, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is an incredibly reliable and beneficial cutting machine that offers great value for its features. It caters to any crafting or DIY project, making it ideal for both seasoned veterans and new users alike.

Overview of the Cricut Explore 3

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Cricut Explore 3 is the newest and most innovative model in Cricut's successful range of electronic cutting machines. This groundbreaking device features several new capabilities that surpass its predecessors, making it a valuable tool for any crafting enthusiast.

Its innovative cutting and scoring capabilities in a single pass make the Explore 3 an impressive machine. It can accurately create professional-looking fold lines on materials such as cardstock, paper, and thin leather with ease.

Additionally, this cutting machine has Adaptive Tool System which allows users to switch between blades without any manual adjustments.

With a maximum cutting width of 24 inches, the Explore 3 can swiftly penetrate materials up to 2.4mm thick. It is compatible with an array of substances such as paper, cardstock, vinyl and iron-on among others. Furthermore, this machine has been equipped with Bluetooth technology for convenient access from your computer or mobile device.

One of the pros of the Explore 3 is its improved cutting and scoring capabilities, which make it a good choice for those looking to create professional-looking projects. It also has a relatively small footprint, making it a good choice for those with limited space.

However, one potential con is that it has a higher price point compared to other cutting machines on the market, which may not be suitable for everyone's budget.

Ultimately, the Cricut Explore 3 is an impressive and adaptable cutting machine that can be used for a wide variety of projects. This model has several enhancements over prior models, making it ideal for both beginners and veteran users alike.

Comparison of the Explore Air 2 and Explore 3

Now that we've gone over the features and capabilities of the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Explore 3, it's time to compare and contrast the two machines.

1. Cutting And Scoring Capabilities

The Explore 3 has the capability to effortlessly cut and score materials in one go, making it ideal for those seeking a polished look with accurate folds and creases.

Furthermore, the Explore 3 also comes equipped with an Adaptive Tool System; unlike the Explore Air 2, which necessitates manual adjustment when exchanging between blades, you can simply switch between cutting and scoring without any hassle.

2. Cutting Width

The Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3 both have ample cutting widths; however, they vary marginally: The former having a maximum of 23.5 inches while the latter being 24 inches, respectively. Though there is not much difference to most users, this is something that may be worth considering if you are dealing with specific size projects.

The Explore 3 also supports more substantial materials, with a maximum thickness of 2.4 mm versus the Explore Air 2's restricted threshold width of 2.0 mm—which may not be an immense disparity for many users, but should still be taken into consideration if intending to cut thicker items.

3. Material Compatibility

The Explore Air 2 and the Explore 3 both can cut a wide selection of materials, like paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, and more. The difference between them is that the Explore 3 has been designed for Cricut's new "smart materials."

These unique substances are available with special adhesive backings which enable effortless cutting without requiring you to use a mat.

Although these smart resources can be limited in colors or type selections in comparison to traditional ones - they could still meet your exact project demands.

4. Speed

The Explore 3 easily outperforms the Explore Air 2 in terms of speed, boasting a maximum cut rate that is three times faster than its predecessor.

Though this may not be too visible to casual users, serious DIYers who are accustomed to handling bulk projects will surely appreciate such an added velocity.

5. Design Software

Cricut Design Space software is available for both the Explore Air 2 and Explore 3, with a wide selection of templates, fonts, and images to use in your projects.

But if you upgrade to the Explore 3 model, you gain access to extra features within Design Space such as "Smart Layer," making it easier than ever before to add multiple layers into any design quickly and easily.


To summarize, the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Explore 3 are both powerful electronic cutting machines that can be used for a wide range of projects.

Especially if you are looking for value, the Explore Air 2 is an ideal choice as it provides excellent features at a reasonable price. Furthermore, with its dual-cutting capability - which allows you to cut and draw with one machine - this device will make your work more efficient than ever before.

On the contrary, the Explore 3 provides several advantages over the Air 2 that make it worth its increased price point. For instance, this machine can cut and score materials in a single pass, which saves time; plus, it has an expanded cutting width and is compatible with Cricut's new "smart materials."

After reading through this article, we hope you will have enough information to decide which of these models best suits your needs.