After I purchased my Cricut Explore One back in 2017 the maker was still relatively new and I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy my machine. I had just started creating SVG files for my digital store and wanted to purchase my machine to test my files. The more I used my files the more I really enjoyed my Cricut. I decided to upgrade to a Cricut Maker for Christmas this year. I ordered from Michael's and even got a little cash back with Rakuten.
The biggest differences I noticed about my New maker vs my Explore air one was there is a weight difference the maker is heavier. There also isn't an open button on the maker or a material dial. You set all materials in Design Space. I also really enjoyed the Bluetooth built in, the explore has an option to purchase a Bluetooth adapter I always just kept mine hooked up directly to my computer. Operating the Maker wasn't much different than the Explore. It does cut faster and more precise. I haven't purchased any of the Maker Exclusive Tools yet but it's on my list!
Current Maker Exclusive Tools
Rotary Blade (this one came with my Maker)
QuickSwap Housing Tools:
Single Scoring Wheel Tip
Double Scoring Wheel Tip
Perforation Blade Tip
Wavy Blade Tip