The complexity of the cuts is quite surprising, and there are so many projects you can do with the Maker, that if you use this machine often enough, your money will be well invested. The Cricut machine is partly hardware (the machine itself) and partly software (a computer program or application). The Cricut Maker is an incredible craft machine capable of cutting more than 300 materials, including leather, fabric and balsa wood. You can also use up to 13 different tools to cut, mark, write and embellish various items.
In addition, the Cricut Maker 3 allows you to seamlessly cut material up to 12 feet (3.6 m) without interruption. It has special sensors that measure the material before starting a cutting session and that let you know if more is needed (thanks to Design Space, the Cricut software). Depending on the Cricut you have, there are hundreds of materials you can cut with the machine, from cardstock and cardstock to aluminum foil, leather, magnets and more. As a quality-conscious buyer, this translates into more future value because the Cricut Maker is insured against obsolescence in the near future.
There aren't many differences between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Maker 3, the older and newer versions of Cricut's flagship machine. In addition, the cutting speed of the Cricut Maker 3 is dramatically faster when using smart materials, easily twice as fast. For example, imagine that you would make a banner, sign or wall treatment up to 12 feet long with the Cricut Maker. With the help of a Cricut machine, you can create custom designs and cut various materials to beautify your home, make gifts to your family and friends or even start a small craft business.
But your comment on how almost everything can still be done*without* cricut gives me hope, since many of the projects I want to do often have tutorials that only use tools related to cricut. There are many different blades you can buy that are compatible with the Cricut Maker machine, and not with any other Cricut machine, but only the fine point blade and rotary knife come with the machine. Another benefit of using the Cricut maker rotary knife is that you can enjoy more precision in the work. As I said before, the Cricut comes with a fine tip blade, which cuts paper, vinyl and iron on vinyl.
It's just that the Cricut Maker 3 allows you to make some items much faster and more efficiently with Smart Materials. But after seeing it in live action, after getting a Cricut and working with the Cricut team for the past six years, I've realized that this is absolutely one of the best tools I have to do all kinds of things. None of these accessories are strictly necessary if you buy a Cricut Maker 3, but they are good to have. The Cricut Joy is an amazing small cutting machine that you can use to make stickers, labels, cards, paper crafts, ironing clothes and more.
You may love all the beautiful things in the world, but if you find it easier to buy it on Etsy because you don't feel like doing it yourself, your Cricut won't be used. I have the original Cricut with the cartridges, but it's been years since I use it and I'm not sure I remember how.