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Being small isn’t the Cricut Joy’s only trick for crafters

Cricut has smart cutting machines in millions of households worldwide, already, but they decided to come out with another machine. This one is aimed to entice the crafter with limited space. The new Cricut Joy is a compact cutting machine that works much like its larger predecessors, the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore, but takes up around one-third of the space and is 75 percent lighter.

Cricut Joy and cards
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“Cricut Joy was designed as a simple solution for people to discover their creative talents,” says Tom Crisp, Head of Design at Cricut. “At only 5-by-8 inches, the machine can be used anywhere in your home, giving you the flexibility to make projects wherever you are—plus it looks just as good on the kitchen counter as it does on a bookshelf.”

Narrow options

With the smaller size comes limitations, of course. While it can draw and cut like the other Cricut machines, you are limited to designs that are no bigger than 5 inches wide. If you’re a crafter that likes to dabble in design, the size shouldn’t be too big of an issue. It can still cut vinyl the perfect size for coffee mugs, coasters and small projects.

If want to make images for tees and other clothing, you’ll need to break your design down into parts that the Joy can handle. For example, if you wanted to cut out words you may need to cut it out one letter at a time. This will take longer, but if you don’t have room, or the budget for the larger Cricut machines, the extra time spent is worth it.

Cricut Joy cutting a flower
Alina Bradford/Digital Trends

New features

Just being small isn’t this crafting machine’s only trick. The Cricut Joy has several features the bigger Cricut machines don’t offer. The Cricut Joy can cut single designs up to four feet long and can make repeated cuts up to 20 feet long thanks to sensor technology that can tell how long your material is automatically. So, if you have a project that is narrow but very long, you can get around the size issue by turning the item you want to cut in the app’s work space, so that the Joy will cut the project in portrait mode instead of landscape mode.

Not surprisingly, Cricut has rolls of crafting paper and vinyls perfectly sized for the Joy, so all you need to do is feed one end into the machine and it does the rest. Plus, the Joy has a special mat that can be used to create customized greeting cards and, of course, Cricut has a line of greeting cards and envelopes specifically designed for the Joy machine.

Cricut Joy Accessories
Alina Bradford/Digital Trends

Another feature that sets Joy apart from Maker or Explore models is that it has no buttons. The machine is completely controlled by the Cricut app or the Cricut Design Space software. Like I mentioned earlier, all you have to do is load the paper, vinyl, Infusible Ink, cardstock or other crafting material (it cuts up to 50 different types of materials). I really like this feature because clicking in the app and then tapping buttons on the machine all to get the drawing or cutting process started seemed a bit redundant with other models.

Coming soon

The Cricut Joy isn’t out on the market yet, but it’s coming soon. You’ll be able to find it at cricut.com as well as online and in-stores at major retailers, including Walmart, Target, Michaels, JOANN, Hobby Lobby and Amazon starting March 2020. It will retail for $179.

The Cricut Joy is a fantastic addition to your crafting supplies. It cuts 50 different types of crafting materials and can draw shapes and fonts to give your crafts a finished look. While it can’t handle jobs that are very large all at once, a little clever planning can work around its limitations. If you’ve been wanting a Circuit, but couldn’t afford the larger models or didn’t have the room, this the Joy is a great alternative.

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been a tech, lifestyle and science writer for more than 20 years. Her work is read by millions each month…
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