I'll admit, I was very curious. I love my Expression but after spending so much for the Explore (well, actually I used up all my Christmas Amazon gift cards ;-) ) I wanted to see if I got my money's worth.
So let's start with the crab from the Fisherman's Wharf image I used on my tag a few days ago with the Explore.
The crab is pretty small. He is 7/8 of an inch tall and 1 1/4 inches wide.
Here is a close up of cuts from both machines (Expression is on the right).
Not bad, huh?! I was surprised that the Expression didn't 'munch' up the tips of the legs and claws more than it did. I am very impressed with my pink baby. But if you look closely and really compare, you will see that the Explore image is more detailed. Notice more definition in the legs, the cuts for the claws are more defined (meaning bumps and hooks) Is it enough to say one machine is better than the other? Not on this cut. Both are wonderful. :-)
Now let's compare that rice bowl from last week cut with the Expression.
The original bowl was cut at 5/8 of an inch tall. I manually sized the bowl in Design Space to be the same height. A few others have commented on this issue and this was the first I have seen it (notice this did not happen with the crab above)
Here is the image from Design Space so you can see what was supposed to cut.
Explore cut the bowl larger than 5/8 of an inch. Not much bigger, it is just over 3/4 of an inch. I'm not sure why and I may try this again and see if I can get it to cut it at 5/8 but won't mess with the detail layer again lol.
Anyway, notice the detail cuts. Neither machine did what I would call a great job but you have to figure the detail cuts are about 1/8 of an inch tall so the fact that either one is even remotely decipherable is pretty amazing.
So let's compare the actual detail of the cuts. The corners and edges of the Expression cuts are rounded. But the Explore cuts are squared, just like the actual cut image. And even though the 'curls' got a bit munched up, the outside edges of the design are nice and crisp.
So, even though neither is perfect, you can see the Explore is still more precise in it's cutting.
I am thinking my Explore is going to be my go-to machine for all my precise and intricate cuts and my Expression is going to be THE machine for all my big projects....like today, I need to cut a couple dozen tags. I can load in a 12x12 piece of paper, hit auto fill and it will knock them out in just a couple minutes. The Explore doesn't have this feature and cuts at a much slower pace.
Each has machine has it's place and will both get used. :-)
But I did more than just compare cuts yesterday. I played too!
I have a nautical themed bathroom....fish, seagulls, fishing floats... and we have a HUGE mirror (I am talking about 8 feet long and 4 feet tall. It fills the wall! So nice when we are both in there getting ready to go someplace. I thought it needed 'something'.
This was my first time layering vinyl. It looks like I didn't line it up right but that is because the bottom layer is reflecting in the mirror. :-)
Hubby wasn't too sure about me decorating the mirror until he saw it then said we need seagulls in the upper corners. So an image search is in my future. :-)
And the Explore cuts SVGs. There are tons of freebies out there that are really cute! (I am all about saving money and getting stuff for free!) I found this little guy last night at Treasure Box Designs in their weekly freebies.
Isn't he adorable? Hubby is a sock monkey freak! He insisted I make him a real one years before the craze hit so it was no surprise that he swiped this guy from me and has him living on his desk. This picture is from the cabinet door on hubby's desk (I didn't even own him long enough to get a picture! lol)
I guess I am off to find seagulls for vinyl and whatever else strikes my fancy.
Have a wonderful week!