The Pluses and Minuses of the New Maker 3

I got my new Cricut Maker 3 just about a week ago and it was just in time!  My old Maker which was bought about 3 years ago used, finally died just the day before.  The timing amazes me.  It is the first Cricut that I have bought new.  All the others I bought used.  So it was a special treat to have the feel of a new machine.  

The new cricut maker 3
The New Cricut Maker 3

I bought the new Maker 3 from HSN on craft day. The special craft day package was $399 and came with 2 rolls of smart vinyl, a roll of transfer paper, a tool set (that I had already), a fine point blade and housing, a pen set (that I didn’t already have!) and a pack of smart cardstock.

Some things haven’t changed. 

The basic footprint is still the same with the tool holders in the front and the cups on the side.  And the blade/pen carriage is still the same.  All the blades that I got for my old Maker still work too.  I would have been pissed if they didn’t.  And it cuts the same materials that the old Maker cuts.

Things That Aren’t Included

This new Maker 3 did not include the fabric blade that came with the last version.  I already had one from my last maker but it still would have been nice.  I was also a little annoyed that it didn’t come with a mat.  But I guess if you are trying to promote your matless cutting, a mat would have taken away from that.  


The new Maker 3 uses what Cricut calls Smart Materials.  These are materials that don’t require a mat to be cut.  They come with the mat built in.  This is great for vinyl.  You can cut longer cuts or multiple cuts of the same thing without having too reload or piece things together.  You are still stuck with the same width of 11.5 inches though.

For smart cardstock to work, all smart cardstock has to be sticky paper.  And you are still limited to 11.5 X 11.5 but maybe they will come out with longer smart cardstock in the future.  I have found that making stickers is much easier now though, since all of it is essentially a sticker anyway.

The new Maker 3 is faster, especially with the smart materials.  Some reviewers have said that on regular materials and a mat it isn’t any faster, but that is not what I have found.  All cutting and drawing is faster.

There is a sensor now to tell when the mat is fully loaded.  If you have ever partially loaded a mat and the cut was too high, you will love this!  I haven’t loaded a mat wrong yet!  And when cutting smart vinyl it checks to make sure you have enough length of materials to make the cut.  No cutting off the end of the material!


There aren’t many but there are a few.  And they in no way change my mind about this machine.

First, to use the smart vinyl, it needs more space than before, especially behind it.  I had to pull the table out a little so that the vinyl would go behind it.  Not a big deal because I have the space but if I didn’t it would take some thought.  And if I had the adapter for the roll of vinyl that would take more room in front of the machine, but I don’t have this so no biggie.

Second, and this is minor, the C button is now an arrow.  Not a problem to use, but all my tutorials now need to mention both the C and the arrow.  Don’t laugh this has already come up!

Also every time I go to make something I have to tell it if I am using smart material or the mat.  It is just one more screen I have to go through.  I am sure I will adjust but for a little while it is a mild annoyance.

Things I Wish They Had Improved

The Print then Cut size is still the same.  I guess this is because the printer is the limiting factor but still it would have been nice.

All the Makers are the same dull color.  I really don’t like it but they will probably release new colors in the future.

I would have liked it if they made the pen holder adjustable so that we could use other brands of pens without the adapters.  But this could hurt pen sales I guess.  If you want to use other pens in your new Maker 3, the old tricks still work.  See them here.


My old Maker was dying for months.  I knew this.  So upgrading was inevitable.  But I don’t think it is worth the price if you have a working Maker now.

If you have an Air machine, the new Maker 3 is a definite improvement and well worth the cost.

This review is my honest opinion and not a sponsored post.  I do make a small commission if you purchase through the links though.  This does not add to your price however.

3 thoughts on “The Pluses and Minuses of the New Maker 3

  1. Thank you for your honest review. My Maker machine is working fine, and it didn’t seem there were enough changes in the Maker 3 to warrant my upgrading. Your review solidifies that opinion, thanks!

  2. This was incredibly helpful as I’d posted this question on one of the Facebook cricut groups and I got hardly any info…. I have the Air 2 and want to expand with what I’m not able to do
    On that but I wondered was it worth the switch and should I get the Maker or Maker 3…… your post was an immense help! Thank you!!

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