Given the popularity of this clothing item, it’s understandable that we’d like ours to stand out, and the best way is to produce our personalized products for your small business. You have to do it yourself if you want a job done correctly, and if you’re the crafty type, you’re familiar with a Cricut machine and how you can use it to make all sorts of handcrafted items, you can sell on Etsy or your own eCommerce store.
All Cricut cutting machines can perform nearly identical tasks, with differences in size, cutting power, cutting lengths, and general purposes like bulk cutting vs. occasional cutting. Professionals use the Cricut Maker 3, whereas the Cricut Explore Air 2 is a consumer-grade cutting machine.
In terms of criteria, we’ll consider the machine’s capabilities, price, and other factors to determine which Cricut is best for your small business. Each has advantages and disadvantages, with printed designs being more versatile in terms of graphics and colors and sewn-on designs being significantly more resistant to washes in the long run.
Best Cricut for Small Businesses
One of the most common reasons people purchase a Cricut is to create gorgeous custom shirts. If you have a Cricut machine and haven’t used this feature yet, I strongly advise you to do so. Even in the cooler seasons, everyone has a few shirts in their closet, and we all have to admit that we have more than we can wear.
You’ll notice that almost all Cricut machines can be used to make shirts, and the only criteria you can use to rate them are if you want to do it as a hobby or if you are going to use it for a business. You will need a Cricut to cut out your designs for your shirts, and then you will need a Cricut press to transfer the design to your shirt. Let’s look at the different models to decide which one will suit your needs the best.
1. Cricut Joy
The Cricut Joy is an excellent entry-level for beginner small businesses because it’s simple to set up and use. It just weighs 3.9 pounds and is a great travel companion. It fits in a cubby and is ready to use right away. Iron-on, cardstock, vinyl, paper, and other materials can all be cut with the Cricut Joy. It draws and writes in a wide range of styles. Individual shapes of up to 4 feet in length can be cut and repeat cuts of up to 20 feet in size.
The Cricut Joy has Bluetooth wireless technology and is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You load the blank card into the Cricut Joy using the Cricut Access app on your phone, and it auto-feeds the card and cuts out the design. It comes with a welcome card, a standard grip mat of 4.5 x 6.5 inches, a blade, a fine-point black pen, and a power adapter.
Because the Cricut Joy is so lite and portable, you can get a tote bag accessory for it to travel. The tote bag is 11.6 x 6.3 x 4.5 inches. It also has a padded interior to keep your Cricut Joy safe with its snug fit. It has a magnetized back pocket for the cutting mats and convenient interior pockets for your pens. There are dividers to organize the card storage.
Price: Around $180.00
2. Cricut Explore Air 2
You can cut more than a hundred different materials on the Cricut Explore Air 2, including cardboard, faux leather, vinyl, and iron-on, as well as glitter paper and bonded fabric. Make personalized stickers, personalized home decor, homemade gifts and party favors, one-of-a-kind greeting cards, and custom-designed apparel, among other things.
The cutting area on the Air 2 is 11.5 inches by 23.5 inches, which is ample for any shirt design. One of the most significant features of this machine is how quiet it is. However, if you don’t mind a little extra noise, you can use the Explore Air 2’s Fast Mode to execute all jobs at twice the speed without sacrificing cutting quality.
The Explorer Air 2 comes with six cutting, writing, and foiling tools and Bluetooth wireless technology for convenient device management from a smartphone, Macbook, or PC. It also has a free design app and is easy to use.
Price: Around $200.00
3. Cricut Explore 3
With the Cricut Explore 3, you can cut, draw, score, and more with astonishing speed and precision. You can cut more than 100 different types of material with the Cricut Explore 3 for super-easy, super-long cuts up to 144 inches without a mat. You’ll be able to produce everything from bespoke iron-on to enormous banners in no time because it’s up to 2 times faster than its predecessor.
Cricut Explore 3 comes with six tools for cutting and embellishing various materials, including cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, glitter paper, cork, and bonded fabric. It also includes a premium Fine-Point Blade with housing, a welcome card, USB cable, extra material for a practice cut, and a power adapter.
The Explore 3 has a docking slot for mobile devices & built-in storage and has Bluetooth wireless technology. You can also use the free subscription to Cricut Design Space which is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Price: Around $300.00
4. Cricut Maker
Meet Cricut Maker, the original cutting machine that revolutionized the industry. You may make nearly any item on your wish list with its advanced array of tools, from 3D art to home decor, jewelry, iron-on, vinyl, paper projects, and so much more. From the most delicate paper and cloth to strong matboard and leather, cut 300+ materials swiftly and correctly.
To add texture and depth to thicker and denser materials, switch to the Knife Blade, or use the Rotary Blade to cut fabric for a sewing project. Additional scoring, engraving, debossing, and decorative effect tools are available.
Cricut Maker features unparalleled adaptability and ten times more cutting power than the Cricut Explore family of machines, delivering a pro-level cutting performance that anyone can use. The Cricut Maker can be controlled wirelessly, and the Design Space app may be used to make anything.
Price: Around $400
5. Cricut Maker 3
The Cricut Maker 3 features a maximum cutting length of 144 inches and a maximum supported material width of 13 inches, allowing you to make cutouts and pieces of vinyl for several Shirts in a single cutting session. It can cut more than 300 materials, from the most delicate fabrics to more solid materials like strong chipboard, tooled leather, balsa wood, and other materials.
The Cricut Maker 3 is compatible with all-new Smart Materials for super-long, super-precise cuts up to 144 inches without a mat, with speeds up to 2 times faster than the previous model. With pro-level power and precision, choose from 13 tools to cut, score, write, deboss, engrave, or add other creative effects. The Cricut Maker 3 uses Scoring Wheels to make razor-sharp creases and precise folds, and the Foil Transfer Tool adds professional-looking foil decorations.
Cricut Maker 3 offers ten times the cutting power of Cricut Explore family machines, giving you the versatility and performance to push your creativity to new heights. The Cricut Maker 3 has Bluetooth wireless technology, a docking slot and a USB port for charging devices, and built-in storage and is compatible with iOs, Windows, Android, and Mac. You can use the Design Space app to help you create all your designs.
Price: Around $400.00
6. Cricut EasyPress 2
Traditional irons can be used to apply HTVs (heat transfer vinyl) at home, but they lack a level surface. Traditional irons aren’t meant to cover the square-shaped surface of HTV templates to the best of their ability. The biggest problem is that head distribution on the iron surface is never consistent, especially when steam holes are present.
You’ll spend a lot of time ironing to make sure the HTV is printed evenly, maybe ruining your garment and the HTV in the process. The Cricut EasyPress2 is optimized for HTVs and is a no-stress heat press that makes it simple to tackle any heat-transfer vinyl or sublimation job with temperature control.
The insulated Safety Base and auto-shutoff features ensure safety, while the lightweight, portable, and easy-to-store design makes it a perfect travel heat press. It is a sophisticated heat plate design with a ceramic-coated surface, accurate temperature adjustments up to 400°F, and a built-in timer.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 has two sizes, a heated surface of 9 x 9 inches and 12 x 10 inches. Cricut offers a smartphone app that allows you to adjust the machine’s temperature precisely and time based on the qualities of your HTV and the materials used to make your Shirt.
Price: Around $190.00
7. Cricut EasyPress Mini
Not only is this gadget convenient to take around due to its size and weight, but the considerably smaller plate also makes it excellent for transferring HTVs to smaller pieces of fabric, such as a crazy cartoon on a 3-month-old baby’s Shirt. Of course, the EasyPress Mini’s small size makes it excellent for particularly small or complex heat transfer crafts like hats, shoes, or stuffed animals, so you’re not limited to flat surfaces like you are with the larger EasyPress.
Of course, smaller sizes don’t mean that Cricut skimped on materials, as the Cricut EasyPress Mini features the same high-quality ceramic-coated heat plate that gives the same dry, uniform heat distribution from edge to edge. On the other hand, The Mini lacks the smartphone app features of its larger cousin, instead offering only three heat settings.
It is compatible with any iron-on or Infusible Ink project. The EasyPress Mini has an insulated Safety Base and an auto-shutoff mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about your children’s safety around the gadget.
Price: Around $50.00
Add-ons For The Cricut Cutters
One can always buy add-ons to make life easier for you. Some add-ons do not work with all the models, so make sure it will work on your model before you purchase it.
Smart Materials create materials that don’t require a cutting mat, allowing you to load them directly into your Cricut Explore 3 or Cricut Maker 3 machine and cut right away. Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-On, and Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock are just a few of the material kinds available. You can cut a single picture or several images up to 11.7 inches wide and 12 feet long with Smart Materials.
The size of your design would be limited by the size of your mat for all other materials. When it’s time to load your Smart Materials, the program will notify you and inform you how much you’ll need. After the material has been loaded, your machine will measure it to ensure that you have enough for your project.
The material is gripped and loaded by the rollers. Then the sensor detects enough material loaded, and the materials are fed back and forth through the machine. As a result, your device leaves a tiny amount of material above and below your design for the rollers to grab and load. The sensor detects that enough material is loaded and flows materials back and forth through the machine.
The software considers this allowance when calculating the number of Smart Materials required for your project. Wait to trim your Smart Materials until after your cut is finished to ensure you have enough for your design.
Cricut Weeding Kit
Fine tweezers, hook tweezers, weeder, piercing tools, and hook weeder are among the five specialty weeding tools included in the Weeding package. Make weeding vinyl or ironing on the creative process using equipment that makes it quick and straightforward. With speed, ease, and accuracy, lift, remove, and put the most delicate cuts. For maximum efficiency and comfort when working with all vinyl varieties, use a variety of tip designs and angles.
Cricut is a flexible producer for the machines they create for small businesses. Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, and Cricut Joy are three of the most popular cutting machine families. What you choose is entirely determined by your requirements and preferences. But any of these machines can get your products up and ready to sell just in time for the holiday season!
Bryan E. Robinson is the owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.