by Christina Walker
Die-cutting machines like the Cricut Expression make it fun and easy to complete a variety of scrapbooking, card-making, and other paper-crafting projects. This newest addition to the Cricut line of cutters is bigger than its predecessors and perfect for making large die cuts. If you already have the original Cricut cutter and want to learn more about the Cricut Expression or if you're interested in purchasing one of these die-cut machines, keep reading to find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Cricut Expression machine.
Does this machine replace the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter?
No. The original Cricut cutter is much smaller, creating die cuts ranging from 1 inch to 5 1/2 inches. Cricut personal die cutters weigh only 7 pounds and are designed to be portable and easy to store while making die cuts perfectly sized for homemade cards and scrapbook layouts. In contrast, the Cricut Expression produces die cuts up to 23 1/2 inches long and is designed to live on a work table or desk in your craft or media room. Use the Cricut Expression die cutter to create die cuts for bigger projects, like decor for a party or themed bulletin boards for your classroom. Because of its size, the Cricut Expression machine is a more specialized die cutter, and not everyone with the original Cricut cutter will need an Expression, too.
What materials can the Cricut Expression cut?
In addition to paper, these die-cutting machines can handle cardstock, vinyl sheets, chipboard, fabric, and plastic. Such a variety of materials means you can make just about anything: signs, posters, cards, bulletin boards, scrapbook layouts, presentation materials. Die-cutting letters, words, shapes, and images yourself saves you the cost of taking these projects to a professional print shop but gives you the same high-quality look.
Which accessories come with the Cricut Expression?
When you purchase one of these die-cutting machines, you will also receive a basic font cartridge and a 12-inch by 12-inch cutting mat in addition to the user manual. Some offers will also include how-to DVDs, a basic shapes cartridge, a 12-inch by 24-inch cutting mat, and replacement blades and cords. If you already have a Cricut machine, remember that many Cricut cartridges work with all Cricut machines, including the Cricut Expression, despite its larger size. Cricut Expression bundles can include the die-cutting machine, albums, book binding, and laminating materials, a variety of blades and the cutting mats. Cricut also makes die-cutting supplies separately from the Cricut Expression; look for scrapbooking kits with extra cutting mats, replacement blades, fun paper, and Cricut-specific tools.