Cutting plays a large role in many craft and DIY projects — but you may need a little more than a pair of scissors to get a job done. Thankfully, cutting machines exist; they can perform what is a tedious task in many cases with greater precision than most people are capable of. A cutting machine can also help with multitasking, as you can get on with another part of the project while the machine is doing its job. There are several types of cutters on the market, including waterjet and laser cutters. But for most home projects, you’ll want a well-rounded machine.
SlashGear is on the ground at IFA 2023 where we got a look at the Cricut Joy Xtra, which can handle over 50 materials. While it may seem like a great all-round option, it’s actually ideal for a very specific demographic. If you want to create posters, stickers, t-shirts, or decals, but space is limited, then it’s a potential compact-cutting solution. Despite its compact overall size, the Cricut Joy Xtra has a larger than expected 8.5 inch-wide cutting surface, an improvement on the 5.5 inches the original Joy offers. This means the machine mat can take on projects up to 8.5 inches x 11 inches in size — though you can work on something up to four feet long with so-called Smart Materials.
It’s a compact multi-tasker
Its compact size and the range of materials it can handle aren’t the only positives that come with the Cricut Joy. A “print and cut” feature allows you to “precisely cut around images printed by your inkjet printer,” according to the company, which is an ideal choice for things like stickers and decals. Pairing the cutter with other Cricut products, like the Cricut Joy Foil Transfer Tool and Cricut Joy pens and markers, means you can use the cutter to foil, write, and draw with a great range of creative freedom.
The full release of the Cricut Joy Xtra is scheduled for September 7. The MSRP stands at £219.99 in the U.K. and $199 in the United States. The machine can be purchased from Cricut’s website. A bundle is also available from Hobbycraft, which contains materials and accessories that work with the cutter. While this is a very practical piece of kit, it isn’t the most outlandish thing Cricut has ever produced — long ago, the company sold a machine that could print elaborate designs for cakes.