Cricut Explore vs. Brother ScanNCut

Cricut Explore and Brother ScanNCut are two compact cutting machines that are very popular among hobbyists and designers. You are probably confused in choosing between these two models right now because they both have attractive features. No worries! Below, you can read the comparison between Cricut Explore vs Brother ScanNCut that can help you decide which one to buy.

What we will discuss in this article:
– The size and weight of each cutting machine
– The storage of Cricut Explore vs Brother ScanNCut
– The setup and ease of use of each cutting machine
– The connectivity and scanning features of each model
– The performance in drawing and cutting

If you only use your cutting machine at home and you are not going to bring it along with you when travelling, then you don’t need to worry about the size and weight. However, if you want something portable and easy to bring along, then you want something that is compact and lightweight. See also: Silhouette Cameo vs. Curio.

Cricut Explore is considerably heavier. While the dimensions are only 24 inches wide, 9.5 inches deep, and 9.5 inches tall, the weight is considerable at 14.2 lbs. Well, this is not overly heavy, actually, but you will notice the difference if you are already used with Brother ScanNCut.

Nevertheless, note that Cricut Explore requires more overhead space. This is because it has two doors. One door opens to the front, and the other door opens upwards and requires about 10” of height. So, make sure that you have enough space for the unit.

Brother ScanNCut is more compact and lightweight. The dimensions are 22.8 inches x 10.1 inches x 10.6 inches. The weight is only 9.9 pounds. So, it is easier to bring along. It is a great choice if you want to travel with your cutting machine or take it to a class. Brother ScanNCut is also nice if you have a very limited space in your room, as it does not require a very wide space.

Cricut Explore has a nice storage compartment inside the unit. You can put some pens, rulers, and other tools here. It also comes with a storage bag. There are handy compartments where you can store your cables. Unfortunately, the bag is not padded, so it doesn’t really protect the unit. It is still handy for travelling, but you should be very careful not to bump it into things.

Brother ScanNCut does not come with any bag. The unit does have a pen holder and a spatula holder behind the display screen. There isn’t much space for storing other items. However, you can buy a rolling tote separately if necessary. The rolling tote is very nice because it is quite sturdy, is well-padded, and has several storage compartments. If you want to travel with your cutting machine, this rolling tote is a must buy.

Setup and Operation
Both Cricut Explore vs Brother ScanNCut are easy and straightforward to install. This is true with Cricut Explore, which has a sticker on the lid to show the three-step setup process. Brother ScanNCut is even more intuitive to use because it has an LCD touchscreen to guide you.

With Cricut Explore, you start by taking out the machine from the box and connect all the cables. Then, connect the machine to your computer using the USB cable. You can also use an iPad if you have the Bluetooth adapter, which is sold separately. Since the unit does not have any display, you rely on your computer or iPad to complete the setup.

Cricut Explore has a Smart Set Dial to adjust the blade and pressure automatically. Just select the correct material on the dial, and the unit will handle the rest so that you can cut immediately. The machine can cut through materials of varying thicknesses.

Brother ScanNCut is very easy to setup and use because it has a nice LCD touchscreen. After you turn on the unit, the display will tell you that it will adjust the machine. Then, it gives you two options, “Pattern” and “Scan”. Through the “Pattern” option, you can load an existing design from a USB drive, computer, or iPad. Meanwhile, through the “Scan” option, you can scan an image which you will use to cut out your design.

One disadvantage of Cricut Explore is that you need to be connected to a computer or iPad and the Internet. Any cartridge you use must be linked online. You also need to be connected to the Internet in order to get designs from the Cricut Image Library.

Fortunately, you have some options in connecting the machine to the Internet. You can use the USB cable or the optional Bluetooth adapter. By using the Bluetooth adapter, you can connect the unit wirelessly to your Bluetooth-compatible computer or iPad.

Brother ScanNCut is more flexible because it does not need to connect to any computer. You can just use the on-board touchscreen to use the built-in designs, load from a USB flash drive, or scan an image. This is very convenient.

But you also have the option to work with a computer or iPad. You can use a USB cable or the built-in wireless connection. The ability to send your designs wirelessly from your computer or iPad is very convenient.

Cricut Explore does not have any built-in scanner. However, it is still possible for you to cut from your own design by using the “Print Then Cut” feature. You can do so by opening the image with a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, this option limits the size to only 5.5” x 8.5” and you can only use white materials.

Brother ScanNCut has a built-in scanner, which is very useful. It has three options, which are Direct Cut (scan and then cut immediately), Scan to Cut Data (scan and save the design so that you can edit and manipulate), and Scan to USB (scan and save the design into a USB drive).

The built-in scanner has RGB color recognition with a resolution of 300 dpi. It performs well even with low-contrast images. The smallest image that you can scan is 5 mm, and then you can adjust the size down to 1 mm. The maximum scan size is 12” x 24”.

Drawing and Cutting
With Cricut Explore, you get various options of pen sets. There is also a metallic set available. You can draw and then cut immediately with this cutting machine. However, since the pen will be uncapped, it may dry out during the cutting process.

Nevertheless, the cutting quality is excellent. The cutting range is between 0.25” and 23.5”. The cutting machine is able to cut a material of up to 1-mm thick using the standard blade. Soft materials, such as foam, can be cut as long as it is under 2-mm thick.

Brother ScanNCut comes with 8 pens, two of which are soluble in water and air and suitable for fabric. With this machine, you need to adjust the carbide blade depth manually. You do this by screwing the blade cover to the proper height. The obvious advantage is that you can fine-tune your test cuts. However, this may be difficult especially for a beginner.

The cutting range of Brother ScanNCut is pretty good. It is between 11.75 inches and 23.75 inches. It can cut materials up to 2-mm thick using the standard blade.

Cricut Explore vs. Brother ScanNCut

Cricut ExploreBrother ScanNCut
Key Features- Embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting - Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step - Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, - 300 DPI BUILT-IN SCANNER: The ScanNCut2 machine allows you to turn your scanned images into unique cut designs and patterns

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Between Cricut Explore vs Brother ScanNCut, we recommend you to choose Brother ScanNCut. This model offers a much better value for the money. It has great, useful features, such as the on-board display screen, the built-in wireless connectivity, and the built-in scanner. It can scan from an image and cut directly.

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