Home > Laser Cutters > Cricut vs Laser Cutter: Which one should I get?

Cricut vs Laser Cutter: Which one should I get?

The major difference between laser cutters and Cricut cutters comes down to methods and functionality.

Cricut cutters use blades to cut through the material, while laser cutters use a highly concentrated beam of light to melt, vaporize to cut through a material.

In the Cricut vs. Laser Cutter debate, we see that Cricut’s functioning is more mechanical while laser cutters use concentrated light and are more power-intensive.

Apart from representing two separate methods, there are many other differences between laser cutting machines and Cricut cutters, which are primarily used as die or craft cutting machines.

In this article, we will try to understand the major differences between these two types of cutters so that you can choose the right variety of cutting machine for your projects.

Most of these cutters are not huge and can fit on an average desktop.

Glowforge Plus vs Cricut Maker

Our Pick
Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer
4.5
$5,345.00

The Glowforge Plus is an excellent plug-in-play laser cutter. Prepare to get your creative juices flowing because this beauty is also a cutting beast.

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05/04/2022 10:56 am GMT
Cricut Maker, Blue with Basic Tool Set, Core Colors and Premium Vinyl Sheets

Although the Glowforge is considered the more powerful machine, there is still a lot of flexibility and creative potential with the Cricut Maker. If you are looking for a low cost quality machine then we can't recommend the Cricut Maker enough!

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Comparison between Cricut and Laser Cutter

ricut-vs-Laser-Cutter-Which-one-should-I-get

Despite many apparent and no so-apparent differences, there is also a similarity between the underlying technologies of the two types of cutting machines.

In Cricut vs. Laser Cutter comparison, we can see that methods are different but technologies seem to be similar.

For example, both the cutting machines use CNC actuators that control the cutting equipment – blade or laser. This ensures that they cut through a given pattern.

In the case of die or craft cutting machines like Cricut, the blades come into contact with the material being cut.

As such, vinyl cutting machines such as the Cricut suffer from wear and tear and have to be replaced from time to time.

Laser cutting machines, however, do not have any of these issues because the cutter does not come into contact with the material being cut.

It suffers no wear and tear. The job of cutting is done by a light beam which is released by the cutter machines.

Therefore, a laser cutting machine can cut the material for more projects before anything needs replacement.

But this is not to say that a laser machine would have no issues at all.

What is CNC?

Both laser cutting machines and Cricut use the same CNC technology to control and guide their respective cutting equipment.

CNC is the short form of “Computer Numerical Control”.

It’s a computer program that controls the motorized actuator, which in turn guides the specific tool along the path chosen by computer design.

The tool can be a blade, router, laser beam or bit (aka end mill).

The computer design offers the data in terms of direction, length, depth, width, and speed for the actuator and the cutting tool to work along the chosen path.

These cutting machines work much like computer printers. You create a design and give a print command.

The information about the design is sent to the printer.

While an ordinary printer would place color or pigments on paper, or any other chosen surface, a CNC device would carve, engrave, cut or do a similar activity on a sheet of vinyl or fabric.

Cost comparison

Typically, laser cutting and engraving machines cost much more than vinyl craft cutters such as Cricut.

Not only the machine, but even spare parts required for repair and maintenance of laser cutting machines are also quite expensive.

The blades of vinyl cutting machines often become dull after being used for a certain quantity of cutting work.

A pack having a complete set of blades of all possible angles would cost less than $30.

This set of blades can be bought from a hardware store, arts, crafts, and hobby stores.

Laser cutting machines have more complex and sophisticated engineering often involving filters, lenses, mirrors, etc.

If anything malfunctions in the laser cutting machines, potentially many parts would need to be replaced.

Accordingly, the cost would be higher.

Power requirements

Laser cutters and engravers even of the desktop size such as Glowforge consume significantly more power than vinyl cutters such as Cricut.

For example, the Glowforge Pro Plus consumes 1400w.

The peak power consumption is when the machine is cutting or engraving a design into a material.

However, laser machines have some external components as well that draw some amount of power.

Cricut vs Glowforge cutting capabilities?

We have already mentioned that laser cutting machines use concentrated light beams to melt, burn, or vaporize a material that needs to be cut or engraved.

The process makes certain materials verboten.

Vinyl Cutters can typically cut paper, iron-ons, and vinyl decals for sewing projects, leather crafts, and balsa models.

Laser Cutters ultimately depend on the power or wattage of the laser machine.  

They can cut wood, paper, leather, plastic, glass, and engrave some metals.

Cricut Cutting Machine Specs

Cricut Explore Air 2, Mint

A Cricut cutting machine can cut and engrave vinyl and PVC material without much of a hiccup.

But the same material cannot be put through a laser cutter because instead of cutting or engraving, it can burn and melt these Cricut materials.

In fact, cutting a material like PVC on a laser cutter will release hazardous chlorine gas, and get stuck on the internal components of the laser cutters and damage them.

However, both of these cutting machines can cut some thin materials such as fabric and paper flawlessly.

They can also cut materials such as wood.

Please bear in mind that not all models of Cricut are capable of engraving while most laser cutters can do this.

As of now, only Cricut Maker with a bit of attachment can do the engraving. The laser cutters can, however, do the engraving at greater depth.

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05/04/2022 12:21 pm GMT

Available in multiple colors such as champagne, blue, champagne, lilac, mint, and rose, Cricut Maker offers extreme freedom to engage in making paper crafts, vinyl decals, and iron on.

You can also use it for sewing projects and leather crafts.

It has a great range of accessory tools including powerful blades, scoring tools, and pens to create unique fonts for Cricut.

Overall, the Cricut Maker is one of the best vinyl cutters on the market.

This machine is simply addictive, and the creative possibilities seem limitless.

With this machine in your workshop, you will always feel short of vinyl, paper, and makers. You think you will work for a couple of hours but you never realized that the entire day has passed by while you were busy crafting one thing after another.

Pros:

  • It makes quilting and sewing projects utterly simple.
  • You can choose from a multitude of digital patterns and this machine marks and cuts all the pieces.
  • You only need to stitch them together.

Cons:

  • The design software can sometimes not work properly, especially in applications where precision dimensional accuracy was required.

Glowforge Plus Laser Printer

Our Pick
Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer
4.5
$5,345.00

The Glowforge Plus is an excellent plug-in-play laser cutter. Prepare to get your creative juices flowing because this beauty is also a cutting beast.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/04/2022 10:56 am GMT

This is a powerful, fast, and easy cutting tool for wood, craft, leather, paper, and fabric.

If you have a design idea, this 40-watt laser cutter converts your most complex ideas into extremely well-executed design motifs.

It creates unique products and meaningful gifts for you and your business.

If you are looking for a machine that takes care of all your design cutting needs for materials such as wood, leather, mild metals, this is perfect equipment for you.

If you have owned and used a CNC carving or router machine, you would instantly understand the value of this high-end cutting tool.

Usually, a CNC system often suffers from dust issues and takes up a lot of space.

But that is not the case with this machine.

Its appearance gives the feel that of a very high-quality and solidly-built machine.

It also has its fairly intuitive design software. Although, you would do better by purchasing designing software from Adobe Design or Fusion 360.

It also has a plug-in for converting SVG files.

Pros:

  • It works with a wide range of materials such as wood, leather, anodized aluminum, and Plexiglas.
  • It’s quick to learn and very fast to complete designs with.
  • You can use any of your favorite design software to carry out your activities.

Cons:

  • Customer service falls short of people’s expectations.
  • They have a customer service department but it does not have an efficient technical support team.

Final thoughts

Both laser cutting machines and Cricut are useful tools for your designing needs.

Both of them have their respective benefits and depending on what your project needs are, you can choose one of them.

However, in the Cricut vs. Laser Cutter discussion, we can see there is a huge difference between their prices and it can influence your decision.

About Maker Industry

Joshua Garcia, Founder

Hi, I'm Joshua. I created Maker Industry to share my passion for maker tools and help others learn about 3D printing, CNC systems, laser cutting and more. Learn More