I am actually dreading this versus post...it is almost making feel like some kind of traitor but in the fairness of versus posts I have been doing and me being a person of honest opinions I am begrudgingly writing a comparison post.
After my DIVORCE from Provocraft almost 3 years ago I started looking at other machines, ones that I felt could cut a little better, heavier material, and allowed me to have more creative abilities with making my own design files and after looking into several different ones I had decided on the Pazzles. I knew it would work with Make The Cut and had heard wonderful reviews. As fate would have it there was a long time reader that wanted to gift me her Pazzles because it was in storage not being used and she wanted me to have it *okie knows she has been very blessed in the crafting sector of her life over the years*. Once I got it set up and started using it I did notice it cut more intricate details than what the Expression would cut and I was in love. The Pazzles was good at cutting most things perfectly but there were still some issues with certain papers and materials.
One area where the Explore has the Pazzles beat hands down is the settings. With the Pazzles there are literally hundreds of settings you can use and it was always hard for me to remember what settings to use with what materials since one little setting off would work for one cardstock or material and not the next. The pressure range alone went from 0-50. I did come up with a method to keep them straight by having little tags with settings written on them. Of course I thought this was wonderful but it was also a pain in the arse to have to look up a tag when I couldn't remember off hand what settings to use.
With the Explore all I have to do is turn the dial or use the custom settings options when I get ready to cut, nothing to pull out and go through, nothing to remember...just turn the dial or use custom settings and POOF, perfect cuts every time. Yes, I mean every time! Okay it did mess up a time or two but it wasn't the Explore's fault but my own for not paying attention and changing the setting from my previous cutting *okie remembers how pissed she was when she first reviewed the Explore and wanted so much for it to cut things wrong and it wouldn't*. This is a total time saver when I'm crafting and one less thing to worry about.
The Pazzles produces about the same amount of sound as the Expression did when cutting so it is quite a bit louder than the Explore, and if you aren't familiar with the level of sound just know that sometimes it seemed like it was loud enough to wake a sleeping baby. There was no sneaking to use your machine with the Pazzles.
When I reviewed the Explore for the first time one of the things I cut was vellum and it cut perfectly. I did try cutting vellum with the Pazzles but never had good luck with anything intricate and even with larger things it seemed to rip the vellum rather than cutting it. There were a few cardstocks the Pazzles had difficulty cutting as well, mostly the cheaper ones and when I tried cutting the same cardstocks with the Explore I had no problems *okie wonders if people really understand how hard she tried to get the Explore to mess up cutting different materials*.
Okay, so far I have said the Explore is easier to get correct settings and that it cuts better than the Pazzles but now I want to talk about the downfall where the Pazzles beats the Explore. It is no secret to anyone that I love Make the Cut and have been using it for a few years now and even sold off my cartridges because I didn't have a need for them anymore and the one thing I loved about my Pazzles was that I could connect MTC directly to my Pazzles for cutting. With MTC there is no need for an internet connection and the program has a lot more features than what the Cricut Design Space program has...A LOT MORE! So POOF there ya go...Pazzles over Explore!
But wait...now let me tell you where I messed up! Pazzles came out with the Pazzles Vue about the same time that Provocraft came out with the Cricut Explore. Both had a lot of the same features including print and cut but I already had a bad taste in my mouth about Provocraft and there was no way I was going to consider the Explore so the Pazzles Vue was coming to my house! All of this was happening during a time where I wasn't doing much crafting and I wasn't keeping on top of all the latest and greatest of things. I did however go ahead and order the Vue feeling fully confident that the developers at MTC would make the plugin for the Vue. My confidence faded over time and now I am quite confident it will never happen. I do have the Pazzles software but have no idea how to use it. I opened a few times and stared at the screen with a WTF look on my face and then would close it. I even tried watching a video or two and with my impatient nature *okie wonders who all remmbers that her motto is "I just wanna make chit"* it just never worked out for me.
*okie takes a deep breath and can't believe she is going to say what she is about to say* I have to say that when I did spend a few minutes with Cricut Design Space I found it quite easy to upload my SVG files I made in MTC and then cut the files. It was much less complicated than trying to use the Pazzles software.
The Explore beats the Pazzles due to being able to cut more accurately and setting the machine is much more simple but the Pazzles is better because I could use it with a program that doesn't require an internet connection and has a lot more features. The Explore beats the Pazzles Vue because I don't know how to use the Pazzles Software and I can't connect the machine to MTC.
So in a final note it's the Explore over both Pazzle machines for me due to the following:
1. Simple settings
2. Cleaner, more accurate cuts
3. Easy of uploading SVG designs I make in Make the Cut
4. Quieter performance
5. Not as bulky
6. Machine closes for self containment
7. Bluetooth capabilities
There are probably a few more reasons that are escaping my brain at this moment. When anyone asks me what machine I recommend I tell them the Explore and give them the reasons I love the Explore, but I also tell them they only drawback I have about the Explore is the dependency of an internet connection.
So there ya go folks...I have finished my series of Explore VS. every other machine I have owned and yep Explore wins over them all. Now with that said make sure you come back tomorrow because to celebrate I think I will do a giveaway of some sort!