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The Canadian Guide to the Cricut Explore 3 and Cricut Maker 3

The Canadian Guide to the Cricut Explore 3 and Cricut Maker 3

Let’s go over these two new beauties, the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3. Lets also talk about where and when Canadians can get them!

Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Cricut announced two brand new Cricut cutting machines on Saturday May 22, 2021 — the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3.  They’ll become available in a few exclusive retailers in the US June 10, and in Canada June 27th along with the rest of the US.  I’ll have more on where you can buy the new machines in Canada in the next few weeks! (wink wink! I’ve got some big news here!)


  • Cricut Maker 3 – $549CAD – $599CAD  (same price as the orginal Cricut Maker when it came out) although you can now find it on sale in Canada at Costco & Michaels for less.
  • Cricut Explore 3 – $399CAD


  • Michaels Canada
    • Lists Maker 3 as COMING SOON at a price of $599.99CAD with FREE Shipping.
    • Lists Explore 3 as COMING SOON at $399.99 with Free Shipping
  • Amazon. ca Unknown
  • available June 27
    • Reports Cricut Maker 3 to be $549CAD with Free Shipping and Duty for Canadians.
    • Reports Cricut Explore 3 to be $399CAD with Free Shipping and Duty for Canadians.
  • More retailers to come! – is the American website, however is offering Canadians free shipping and duty on it’s products when they order directly from  Also, Cricut is in the process of providing Canadians with a website with Cricut products listed in Canadian dollars for less confusion, more inclusion. I think that’s great.  The free shipping and duty for Canadians I think is a nice gesture of good will, as so many of us Canadian crafters know that it’s tough sometimes to get supplies at affordable prices.


Both machines offer the same new upgrades.

  • 2x faster cutting
  • Cuts 8 inches per second.
  • no mat cutting with Smart Materials
  • 12ft long cuts with Smart Materials.
Cricut Maker 3 12ft Smart Materials

Cricut Maker 3 12ft Smart Materials

Cricut generously sent me a both machines to have a play with, and I waited to open it until you could be with me, and my thoughts are my own.

Cricut Maker 3 Canada Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Cricut Maker 3 Canada Cricut Explore 3 Canada


The Cricut Maker was the original, Cricut Maker 3 is the evolution, don’t worry…there was no Maker 2, you didn’t miss anything. But Cricut reported spending millions in R & D and leap frogged right ahead to 3rd generation. The Explore 3, is the third generation, so the upgrades here to faster, no mat cutting are hefty.

Cricut is promising improvements to Design Space to make scaling to fit the new long cuts easier.

No mats or tools are provided with either machine. Instead, Cricut is giving us samples of the new larger smart materials, which measure 13×12. So we can give all this new technology a try.  If you’re new to Cricut and this is your first machine.  You previously always had to cut on a cutting mat.

Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Both machines can and will regularly still use mats for cutting.  I used my scrap smart vinyl on my mat, so small pieces that were no longer wide enough to fit into the machine on their own wouldn’t get wasted.

I’ve made a few things on the Maker 3, and my first impressions were that it looked gorgeous in that icy blue/grey finish. Feels solid, the metal top is heavy and feels a bit like a luxury car ride.  I was taken aback at how quiet the load was, I guess I was used to the little vroom of my old machine.  I found it to be significantly quieter.  Much much quieter than some of the other competitor machines.

The Explore 3 no longer has the dial to choose your materials, now everything is driven from Design Space.

Cricut Explore 3 Canada

Cricut Explore 3 Canada


There are some esthetic differences, although both colours are gorgeous. The Explore 3 doesn’t feel as hefty, it has a more mat casing, that feels like a lighter plastic type material.  The Maker 3 feels heavier, metal top, and a glossy casing. The Maker 3, has wifi capabilities.  I still have to plug in my Explore 3 into my computer via USB.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3

The Original Cricut Maker on botton, Cricut Explore 3, (middle) the Cricut Maker 3 (top)

The biggest difference can’t be seen, it’s in the guts.  The cutting force in the Explore 3 models works by dragging the blade across the material, however the Maker 3 positions and repositions actively turning the blade during cuts.  This difference means the Maker 3 can cut with 10x the cutting force and can cut over 300 materials, including bass wood, crepe paper, leather & my favorite, fabric!  Maker 3 also allows for additional tools, like the knife tool, deboss tool, scoring wheel and engraving tool.


The Cricut Maker 3 can use Smart Materials for no mat cutting, and  will cut 8 inches per second, making it 2x faster than the orginal Cricut Maker.

I raced my original Cricut Maker with the new Cricut Maker 3.  It was pretty fun actually.  I chose a slightly more detailed cut, so that it wouldn’t be super quick on either machine.  It had repetitive cuts and some long smooth ones too.


Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Maker 3



If you’re looking to cut more variety, tougher more specialized materials, the Maker 3 is for you. (Any version of the Maker series would be).  The Maker 3 is going to allow you to do some no mat cutting up to 12ft long at 2x the speed on those smart materials, Smart Vinyl, Smart Iron-on, Smart Sticker cardstock etc.   It still cuts more than 300 other materials.    The Explore still cuts more than 100 materials, which is amazing, and more affordable. It also offers ALL of those speed and no mat cutting upgrades.  So ask yourself, what do you want to make?  If you’re mostly into papercrafts, vinyl, T-shirts, then the Explore 3 will serve you amazingly.  But if you think you’d like to cut out your sewing patterns, or applique fabric, make a leather wallet or wooden puzzle, for the the Maker will grow with your ideas.  You will still need the mat for these specialty materials.   It’s nice none of our old tools go to waste with either machine.  Cricut is promising upgrades to Design Space to accommodate more scaling options for the larger no mat cuts.

For the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with my original Cricut Maker, or my Cricut Explore, they’re still great machines!  But I can see my self enjoying the luxury ride and the extra speed!

I hope this helps you decide what machine is right for you.

Cricut Maker vs Explore Canada

Cricut Maker vs Explore Canada

If you’re looking for some cool classes to learn more about your machine, register for HomeMade, A Virtual Event with Cricut.  Here many Canadian Cricut experts are going to guide you through projects in English and French, there will be workshops with the best tips and and tricks for how to care for your Cricut and get the most out of it. There will be product workshops and more.  The best part, we’re going to send you a GIANT box of supplies! Everything you need to make all of the projects!  So register today!!

Cricut classes

Cricut Virtual Class



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