Well. I got to use the Cricut for the first time at Michael's this weekend. I demoed it for two hours and spent that ENTIRE time just cutting out words and shapes for the demo scrapbook I am doing for my class next month. Thought I would do a review of the chirpy little thing!
First...it's compact and portable. Very light and easy to carry by it's handle if you don't have the nifty little case for it. I plugged it in and pushed the on button...it was like the Starship Enterprise opening up! Fab! The warmup time is minimal and the Cricut is ready to go in a matter of seconds.
Unfortunately I didn't have the instructions and I had never seen one of these bad boys in action, so it was a guessing game after that. Luckily the little display screen had step by step instructions on it! I, however, was unaware that you needed to stick you paper to a cutting mat BEFORE putting it in the machine! Whoot! So 8 sheets of paper later, I finally figure it out. My EC at Michael's didn't leave them out with the machine, so I was clueless.
Stick paper to cutting mat, load paper. After that it's cake work. Type in the letters you want, make sure you spelled it RIGHT, select cutting style and size, press cut. Simple as that.
Once you unload the paper, you have to carefully peel the paper from the mat because the mat is slightly sticky. It is a bit tricky but it comes up. I found a couple of the tools in the Cricut Tool Kit to be hella helpful with that.
When I was finished with the two hours of demoing, I had a huge stack of die cut things...nothing to do with them...but a huge stack of them. It's a pretty nifty machine, but I honestly cannot say that I would spend the $300 to purchase it. I don't use die cuts that much, and if I need one I can always just bop into the classroom and use theirs!