Cricut Expression – Should You Upgrade?

Whether you are looking to upgrade, or are purchasing a die cut machine for the first time, you will probably find yourself weighing the differences between the newer Cricut Expressions and the original Personal Electronic Cutter.  In some ways, the two machines are very similar, but in other regards, they are vastly different.  This post will help you sort out the differences.

Suggested Retail Price

The Expression is more expensive.  It comes with a suggested retail price tag of $499.99, as opposed to the smaller Personal Cutting System, which retails for $299.99.  Of course, there are many places, both online and offline, that have sales and other specials, or simply sell the machines for less than MSRP.  By comparison shopping, you should be able to pay less than the retail price, no matter which machine you decide to buy.


If you want a die cutter that is portable, then the smaller Personal Electronic Cutter may be the best choice.  It even has a tote that you can purchase separately, making it great to take along to scrapbook meets and parties.  The Expression's weight and size makes it more cumbersome to take along, but where there's a will, there's a way!  Suffice it to say, it's not impossible.  That being said, however, it's not very practical for taking along on frequent outings. 

Die Cut Materials

The smaller Personal Electronic Cutter can cut papers as large as 6"x 12".  It functions best when cutting through cardstock.  However, it can be used to cut a wide range of different papers, from vellum to cardstock as thick as 0.5 mm. 

The Expression can cut all this, and more, including poster board, vinyl and even thin chipboard.  It can also cut through much larger materials, with a maximum size of 12" x 24".

Creative Features

Both machines have the popular "Shadows" creative feature key, but there are some variations otherwise.  I will discuss these variations in a future post, as well as discuss the additional modes that are available on the Expression machine.

Other Information

If you do currently own the Personal Electronic Cutter and are thinking of upgrading to the Cricut Expression, there is some good news.  Many of the accessories are compatible with both machines, including the cartridges, Design Studio Software, Jukebox, and blades and blade housing.

In addition, the Personal Electronic Cutter is still a very hot item, and many people are willing to pay a decent price for a good used machine.  Translation:  If you would like to upgrade and need to sell the smaller model first, you should have no problem finding a buyer through your local classified listings or even eBay.


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