Cricut Joy - Initial Thoughts


The Cricut Joy is the latest cutting machine from Cricut and, despite the small size, it offers some unique capabilities not shared by its bigger siblings.

So, for various reasons, I decided to pick up a Cricut Joy last week and I've since been doing some experimentation with it. As you know, I have a Cricut Maker, the top end machine of the Cricut line, but I still ended up picking this one up for a few reasons.

1. Card Making

The Cricut Joy is really great for making custom cards for birthdays, anniversarys, events, etc. There are a pretty large variety of cards and inserts available and a great card-making mat to simplify getting everything cut and drawn. Yep, it even supports pens and markers that you can use for writing fancy messages on the outside and inside.

All in all, the Cricut Joy turns card making into an exercise that takes a couple of minutes.

2. Long Cuts

The bigger Cricut machines are, ultimately fairly limited in the length they can cut as everything is tied to the cutting mats. The Cricut Joy, however, has a new "smart" material system that allows for mat-less continuous cutting up to 4.5 feet long or repeated cuts up to 20 feet long. Not sure how much I will use the long cuts, but the smart materials are really great for making a quick project even quicker.

3. Writable Smart Labels

If you're like me and like to do water-bath canning (pickles!) then the smart label function is really awesome when you combine with the long cutting. Basically write out and cut all your labels for projects very quickly and then apply them to your intended surface. Barrier to using, really low!

General Thoughts

Anyways, I just got the machine, so a few words on set up... Pretty simple, used Design Space on the Mac to get it ready, though needed to go to a manual update for the Joy since the set up routine spun forever doing nothing. Outside of that, easy to set up. Just be aware, the Joy has no USB cables, this is strictly a bluetooth operation.

There is also an app for your smartphone that makes some of the quick things I described really easy if you just want to quick run some things through in some place like the kitchen or when you're on the go. The device is small and very portable, so that possibility is much, much, higher.

This little machine is small, but it is very capable. For small, quick, projects it really has the Maker beat for ease of getting up and going. It has limits, the Maker can cut a ton more materials and while the Joy may go long, the Maker can go wide. 

The Joy also caused me to sign up for Cricut Access. I had kind of resisted it, mostly for doing my own thing, but there are number of designs and images for the Joy that pushed me over the edge. So, I'll have it for a year and see if I put it to use.


I think this gadget is a hit. If you want to be able to do small projects and especially things like cards, this device hits a sweet spot nicely. I'm liking it, worth it to me.