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The Cricut Maker Tools And Blade Guide

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Cricut Maker Tools And Blades

The Cricut Maker gives you the most options of any of the Cricut electronic cutting machines

The Cricut Maker gives you the most options of any of the Cricut electronic cutting machines

About the Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the newest option in complete options when it comes to electronic cutting machines. It gives you the most options when it comes to the amount of materials that it can cut quickly and cleanly.

  • It has 10 times more cutting power than all other machines in the Cricut line.
  • It currently comes in 5 colors
  • It has a docking slot to hold you tablet or smartphone
  • Plenty of storage to hold your tools
  • Easy to learn Design Space Software for IOS, Windows, Android and Mac
  • Can upload other designs

We are however, discussing the Adaptive Tool System that is part of what makes this machine so versatile. The Quick Swap Housing is the heart of this tool system. It allows you to switch tools with a quick release button at the top of the housing. You snap the desired tool in place and you are ready to create your next project in seconds.

We are focusing on the tools that the maker uses. Some of these tools may also be used with the Cricut Explore. But for the most part, they are for the Maker.

What Are The Blades And Tips (Tools) Available?

The Cricut Maker has more tools and tips available than any other model. IT has been said that more will be coming. So as crafters embrace the newest and best model in the Cricut line, expectations are high for more and better options.

What Is Available as of 2021

  1. Fine Point Blade- Either golden or silver in color
  2. Deep Point Blade-Black in color
  3. Bonded Fabric Blade-Pink in color
  4. Knife Blade (Maker Only)- Silver in color
  5. Rotary Blade (Maker Only)-Silver in color
  6. Perforation Blade (Quick Swap Tip-Maker Only)-Silver in color-Etched as 11
  7. Engraving Tip (Quick Swap Tip-Maker Only)-Silver in color-Etched as 41
  8. Debossing Tip (Quick Swap tip-Maker Only) -Silver in color-Etched as 21
  9. Wavy Blade(Quick Swap Tip-Maker Only) -Silver in color -Etched as 31
  10. Scoring Wheels (Quick Swap Tip-Maker Only) Silver in color-Etched as 01 and 02

You will hear the word housing used when it comes to some of these tools. The housing is the metal piece that you touch when switching between different blades (Maker blades have the gears at the top of the housing), this metal piece holds the blade in place.

You will also hear the word Drive Housing. Drive Housing this is the correct term for the Cricut Maker blade housings, the ones with the golden gears on the top. Do not remove the plastic cover that comes on these housings. It is there to keep the gears clean.


Basic Blades For The Cricut Maker

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The Cricut Blades


Understanding which blade will work with which material will help you have more successful projects.

There are many manufacturers making blades that can be used with Cricut machines .If you are buying from another manufacturer, make sure to read and understand the blade you are purchasing.

But generally speaking, the caps are color coated (if they are true Cricut replacement blades)

  • White- premium fine-point replacement blade (1.1 mm) packaging says for Explore machines but it also works in the Maker
  • Red-also a premium fine-point (formerly called German carbide premium) use with all machines
  • Grey-Fine Point Blades (1.1 mm) packaging says for Explore machines, works in the Maker too
  • Black-Deep-Point replacement
  • Pink-Bonded Fabric blade replacement

Premium Fine Point Blade

No matter what kind of Cricut cutting machine you own, the fine point blade is your go to for everyday cutting. It has a gold housing ( older ones may be silver) All Cricut machines are preloaded with the fine point blade. It gives you many options when it comes to the materials that it can cut:

  • Adhesive Vinyl -Vinyl setting-Standard green mat
  • Cardstock or Paper-Cardstock setting-Standard green mat
  • Cellophane-Custom grocery bag setting-Light blue mat
  • Chipboard-Custom chip board setting-Standard green mat
  • Copy Paper-Paper setting-Light blue mat
  • Epoxy Paper-Custom epoxy glitter paper setting-Standard green mat
  • Flocked Paper-Custom flocked paper setting-Standard green mat
  • Iron On Vinyl-Custom iron on setting-Standard green mat
  • Kraft Cardstock-Custom kraft cardstock setting-Standard green mat
  • Magnet-Custom magnet setting-Fabric pink ,mat
  • Parchment Paper-Custom parchment setting-Standard green mat
  • Photo Paper-Custom photo paper-Standard green mat
  • Poster Board-Poster board setting-Standard green mat
  • Stencil-Custom stencil film setting-Standard green mat
  • Sticker Paper-Sticker paper setting-Standard green mat
  • Tattoo Paper-Custom tattoo setting-Standard green mat
  • Vellum-Custom vellum setting-Light blue mat
  • Vinyl- Vinyl setting-Standard green mat
  • Washi Paper/tape-Custom washi sheets or tape-Standard green mat
  • Wrapping Paper-Custom wrapping paper setting-Standard green mat
  • Other medium weight materials

This is the blade that you would use to cut most vinyl projects

Use the Light Grip Mat or the Standard Mat most often

Deep Point Blade

Similar to the Fine Point Precision Blade, the Deep Point Blade has a steeper blade angle. That allows it to cut thicker materials. It has a black housing. It can be used with the Cricut Maker as well as all of the Cricut Explore models. You will need to buy this blade and housing separately.

What can the Deep Point Blade Cut?

  • Craft Foam-Custom craft foam setting-Standard green mat
  • Glitter Cardstock or Paper-Cardstock setting-Standard green mat
  • Leather-Custom leather setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Mat Board-Custom flat cardboard setting-Standard green mat
  • Magnet (3mm thick and above0-Custom magnet setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Metal (thin)-Custom aluminum setting-Standard green mat
  • Rubber-Craft foam setting-Standard green mat
  • Some Fabrics
  • And other thicker materials
  • You generally will want to use the Strong Grip Mat for these projects
  • If you are using one of these materials, Cricut Design Space will prompt you to use the Deep-Cut blade in your machine.

The Bonded Fabric Blade

This blade is strictly for fabric and should never be used with paper. Think of your best fabric scissors. You would never use them to cut paper, knowing that it would dull the blade. The same goes for your Bonded Fabric Blade.

It can be identified by its pink housing which matches the pink color of the Cricut Fabric Grip mat. It is compatible with the Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore family.

Here are the only two materials that this blade should cut:

  • Bonded Fabrics
  • Fabrics With An Iron-On Backer


Which Blades Work With The Cricut Machines

Cricut MachinePrecision Fine Point BladeDeep Point BladeBonded Fabric BladeRotary BladeKnife BladeScoring WheelWavy ToolDeboss Tool

Cricut Maker

x

x

x

x

x

 

 

x

Cricut Explore

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

Cricut Explore 1

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

Cricut Explore Air

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

Cricut Explore Air 2

x

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

How To Replace The Basic Blades

There are times when you are going to have to replace a blade, How often that will be depends on the type of materials that you are cutting and how often you use the blades,

Replacing the Fine Point, Deep Point and Bonded Fabric Blade is easy.

  1. Remove the housing from your Cricut machine.
  2. Gently push the plunger at the top of the housing and drop the old blade into a small container or paper towel to dispose of it (I most often put it in the plastic container the new blade comes in for disposal).
  3. Remove the protective cover from the new blade (the rubbery plastic piece). Insert the shaft of the new blade into the housing. There’s a magnet in the housing that will hold the blade in place.
  4. Then put the housing and new blade back into your machine and close the clamp.

More Blade Tips And Information

If you purchase a new Cricut, part of the package will include the housing for the newer Fine Point Blade. If you are having cutting problems. and have tried everything else to solve the problem, replacing the housing might be the answer to the problem. If your machine is still under warentee, speak to customer service first.

Note that there are no replacement blades for the Cricut Wavy Blade or the Cricut Perforation Blade—if you need a replacement (however unlikely) you’ll have to buy a new tool tip.

The Cricut Knife Blade

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The Knife Blade

The Knife Blade

This blade slices through dense materials up to 3.22 inches thick. It works well for moderate cuts Always use this blade with the Strong Grip ( purple mat). The Knife Blade comes in a drive housing. It is only for the Maker Cricut machine.

The Knife Blade will cut:

  • Balsa-Custom Balsa-Strong grip mat
  • Burlap-Custom burlap setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Craft Foam-Custom craft foam setting-Standard green mat
  • Denim(bonded)-Custom bonded denim setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Leather-Custom leather setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Matboard-Custom flat cardboard setting-Standard green mat
  • Rubber-Craft foam setting-Standard green mat
  • Suede-Custom Faux suede setting-Fabric pink mat

The Knife Blade is meant to be used with the Strong Grip Mat

The Knife Blade will need to be calibrated on its first use. You should only have to calibrate it once. ( But if your knife blade does not seem to be working properly, recalibrating it may help)

Design Space will prompt you through the calibrating process once you try to use it for the first time. Following these prompts are the easiest way to get the calibration completed.

Here is an alternative to get the calibration done:

  • Turn on your Cricut Maker
  • Go To the canvas page in Design Space
  • On the left side of the page under the home button, go to the calibration button and select it
  • Choose and click the Knife Blade button
  • Insert your Knife Blade into Clamp B
  • Place some white printer paper onto a mat
  • Insert the paper into your Cricut using the Load and Unload Button
  • Click the Go button on the Maker
  • The machine will cut some test lines
  • Unload the mat and view the test lines.
  • Find the cut lines that overlap the most
  • It may be hard to see on your printer paper, so hold it up to the light and bend your mat just a but. If two or more lines are about the same, just choose one.
  • Once you have selected your overlap and clicked continue, the calibration is complete and you can use your Knife Blade!

'

How To Change The Knife Blade

Cricut Quick Swap Housing

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The Cricut Quick Swap Housing

Many of the tools rely on the Cricut Quick Swap Housing to hold them in pace on the Maker Cutting Machine. It allows you to quickly swap between scoring, debossing, engraving, and more. Simply snap the tip you want into the Quick Swap Housing and tell your Cricut Maker to “Go!”

This housing is a separate purchase from your Cricut maker. You only have to purchase one as all the tips fit into the housing unit. The quick release button makes it easy and simple to change tips.

How To Change The Tips On The Quick Swap Housing

  1. Press and hold plunger on top of QuickSwap™ Housing to release tip.
  2. Gently remove tip.
  3. While pressing plunger, align flat areas inside new tip with flat sides of housing, then slide tip into place. Ensure tip is firmly seated against the housing.
  4. Release plunger to secure tip in place.


The Linetype Function in Design Space

Here is where you will find the drop down menu for the linetype function that will allow you to use the tolls of the Cricut Maker

Here is where you will find the drop down menu for the linetype function that will allow you to use the tolls of the Cricut Maker

What Is Linetype?

Within the Cricut Design Space application, Linetype tells your Maker how to interact with your materials. Cut, Draw, Score, Engrave, Deboss, Perf, and Wavy are all referred to as Linetype

Linetype is important because as you use your tools, you will need to change this line to the correct command for your tool.

More Linetype Ideas

The Cricut Wavy Tool

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The Cricut Wavy Tool

The Cricut Wavy Tool ( also called the Wavy Tip or Wavy Blade) add wavy lines to any project that you would like to create. It does this with a wavy rotary blade. The tool has a protective cover It is similar to the rotary blade, except that it creates wavy lines instead of a straight line. It works with the Quick Swap Housing. IT is designated with an engraved "31" on it so that you can differentiate it from other tools. This creates a whimsical and fun wavy edge on a bunch of different materials. Think wavy tassels, realistic flowers, fun gift tags, envelopes, etc.

You can buy the tool with the housing, or you can purchase the tip separately.

The tool will not work well with curves less than 3/4". Anything smaller than that will cause the blade to dig too deep into the material and mat. Trying to cut small curves will cause damage to your mat and blade.

You will need the Quick Swap Housing to use this tool. This is the housing for the tip—the part of the tool with the gear and plunger at the top that allows you to swap out different tools.

The wavy tool is installed in the cutting tool side of your Maker. To install the tool, just open the clamp in the cutting tool side. Remove the blade installed in the housing. Install the Wavy Blade and close the clamp on the housing.

To make the wave with your tool, you need to change the shape or line.

to a wavy (“Wave”) linetype using the dropdown Linetype menu at the top of Design Space.


How To Use The Cricut Wave Tool

More Wave Tool Ideas

The Debossing Tool

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Cricut Fine Deboss Tool

Debossing is different from the embossing that you are usually used to in your craft experience. Instead of embossing—which is pressure is applied to the back of the material to create a raised 3D-depth effect. Debossing is the opposite—your material is pressed down to create the depth.

The Debossing Tool creates a thicker and deeper line than the Scoring Stylus or the Scoring Wheel.

As with the other tool, the Cricut Fine Deboss tool works with the QuickSwap Housing. You can purchase it with the QuickSwap Housing or by itself.

It has a "21" engraved on it to distinguish it from other tools.

The Deboss Tool will deboss any design without an embossing folder. It contains a small roller ball at the tip that will roll over any line or curve to create a debossed look.

You Design Space will make using the Deboss Tool easy to use. You can change any line or shape into a debossed line. Insert a scoring line into your project and then change it to a deboss using the dropdown Linetype menu at the top of Design Space.

Deboss Tips- Chipboard

  • Move your star wheels all the way over to the right and only use 11-inch wide material.
  • Use the strong grip mat and tape down all the way around the edges.
  • Be sure not to put the tape anywhere that the deboss tool will go. It can “clog” the tip and it will stop.

Genuine Leather Tips

  • Move your star wheels all the way over to the right and only use 11-inch wide material.
  • Use a NEW strong grip mat and tape down all the way around the edges.
  • Be sure not to put the tape anywhere that the deboss tool will go. It can “clog” the tip and it will stop.

How To Use The Debossing Tool

More Debossing Tool Ideas

Materials That Work With Cricut Tools

The wavy tool cuts tooling leather 2-3 oz. (0.8 mm), 4-5-oz. (1.6 mm), 6-7 oz. (2.4 mm)

MaterialEngraving ToolWavy ToolDeBoss ToolRotary Blade

Acetate

x

x

x

 

Adhesive Foil Matte

 

x

 

 

Adhesive Backed Glitter

 

x

 

 

Adhesive Sheet Double Sided

 

 

x

 

Aluminum 0,5 mm sheets

 

x

 

 

Batting

 

 

 

x

Bonded Fabric

 

 

 

x

Burlap

 

 

 

x

Canvas

 

 

 

x

Cardstock

 

x

 

 

Cashmere

 

 

 

x

Chiffon

 

 

 

x

Construction Paper

 

x

x

 

Copper 40 Gauge Sheets

x

 

 

 

Copy Paper

 

x

 

 

Copy Paper 20 Lb

 

 

x

x

Copy Paper 32 Lb

 

 

x

 

Cork

 

 

 

x

Cotton (bonded and non bonded)

 

x

 

 

Craft Foam

 

x

x

 

Crepe Paper-Fine and Extra Fine

 

x

 

x

Deluxe Paper

 

 

x

 

Denim

 

 

 

x

Duct Tape Sheet

 

x

x

 

Iron On -all types

 

x

 

 

Faux Leather-paper thin

x

x

x

 

Felt-all types

 

x

 

x

Flannel

 

x

 

 

Fleece

 

 

 

x

Fleece Plush

 

x

 

 

Flocked Paper

 

 

x

x

Foil Embossed Paper

 

x

 

 

Foil Holographic Kraft Board Neon

x

 

x

 

Foil Poster Board

x

 

x

 

Freezer Paper

 

 

x

 

Garment Leather

x

 

 

 

Genuine Leather

x

 

x

 

Glitter Cardstovk

x

 

x

 

Glitter Craft Foam

 

 

x

 

Heavy Cardstock 100Lb

 

 

x

 

Heavy Chipboard

 

 

x

 

Medium Cardstock 80 Lb

 

 

x

 

Heavy Watercolor Paper 140 Lb

x

 

x

 

Kraft Board

x

 

x

 

Lace

 

 

 

x

Light Cardstock 60Lb

 

 

x

 

Light Chipboard 0.37mm

 

 

x

 

Kraft Board

x

 

 

 

Kraft Cardstock

 

 

x

 

Light Glitter Paper

 

 

x

 

Light Patterned Paper

 

 

x

 

Mat Board

 

 

x

 

Metallic Leather

x

 

 

 

Metallic Poster Board

x

 

x

 

Mulberry Paper

 

 

x

 

Pearl Paper

 

 

x

 

Poster Board

 

 

x

 

Satin

 

 

 

x

Shimmer Paper

x

 

x

 

Sparkle Paper

x

 

x

 

Sticker Paper Removeable

 

 

x

 

Sticky Note

 

 

x

 

Sweater Material

 

 

 

x

Thermal Barrier Fabric

 

 

 

x

Tooling Leather

x

 

x

 

Transparency

x

 

x

 

Vellum

 

 

x

 

Vinyl Record

x

 

 

 

Wool Felt

 

 

 

x

Cricut Rotary Blade

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Cricut Rotary Blade

When you purchase your Cricut Maker, the machine does come with the rotary blade as part of the package. This blade comes with its own housing which is also included with your package.

Thus stainless steel blade cut fabric and delicate material with ease. It can only be used with the Cricut Maker, It glides and turns within a quarter of an inch, so all of your cuts will be accurate.

It can cut three layers of fabric at the same time. So your craft time will not be spent hand cutting fabric.

There is a fabric mat especially made for use with your rotary blade. This is a separate purchase.

When you first use your Rotary Blade , you will need to calibrate it. In actuality, you are calibrating the housing so that the machine will recognize it Design Space should prompt you to calibrate it the first time you use it. Following the Design Space prompts is the easiest way to calibrate this blade. You only have to do this once.

Or you can use the drop down menu on your canvas screen. It is located on the left under home and ckick on the calibration button.

  • The calibration will offer you three options, Click on the Rotary tool option.
  • Insert the Rotary Blade into the Clamp B of your Cricut Maker
  • Put a piece of white paper onto a cutting mat. Align it to the top left corner of the mat.
  • Click Continue
  • You will be prompted to insert and load the mat into your Cricut machine using the load and unload button.
  • Hit the Go button
  • The Maker will cut some test cuts
  • Unload the mat and find the lines that overlap the most. It may be hard to see on your printer paper. Hold it up to a light source and bend the mat slightly. If two or more lines appear the same. just chose one.
  • Once you have chosen your overlap, click continue and you are done.

Materials

  • Bonded Fabric-Custom setting-Fabric type bonded-Fabric mat
  • Non Bonded Fabrics-Custom setting-Fabric type-Fabric mat
  • Cork-Custom cork setting-Light blue mat
  • Crepe Paper-Custom crepe paper setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Felt (non bonded)-Custom felt setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Felt (Bonded)-Custom felt bonded setting-Fabric pink mat
  • Tissue Paper-Custom tissue paper setting-Light blue mat
  • Vellum-Custom vellum setting-Standard green mat
  • Washi paper/tape-Custom washi paper or tape setting-Standard green mat

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How To Change The Cricut Maker Rotary Blade

More About The Rotary Blade

Cricut Scoring Wheels

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The Scoring Wheel

The Scoring Wheel is similar to the Scoring Stylus but takes it a lot farther in versatility and uses. It can only be used with the Cricut Maker. The Scoring Wheels, on the other hand, create a nice, even, visible score line on pretty much every material using up to 10x more pressure than the Scoring Stylus.

The Scoring Wheel is actually two tools in one. There is a main housing and both a single and a double scoring wheel. The Quick Swap Housing lets you swap the wheels with a push of a button. You never have to change housing.

The Scoring Wheel makes one deep score line while the Double Scoring Wheel creates two parallel score lines (useful on heavier materials).The Double Scoring Wheel allows for the inside of the fold to “collapse” cleanly—it really is the perfect solution for those coated and thicker materials.

The Single Scoring Wheel has a "01" engraved on it. The Double Scoring Wheel has an "02" engraved. That enables you to tell the difference between the two tools.

To change, just push the plunger on the top of the housing to remove one wheel and put on the other wheel.

Scoring Tool Tips

  • Unlike other tools, the Scoring Wheel does not have to be calibrated.
  • If you are using paper like glitter card stock, mirror your project and put the pretty side of your paper face down on your mat. The score lines will then be in the back and will fold properly.
  • Cricut Design Space will tell you which scoring tool to use based on the material you have selected
  • Unlike the Scoring Stylus, you will have to place the blade after using the Scoring Stylus


How To Use The Cricut Scoring Wheels

More Scoring Wheel Ideas

Quick Swap Tool Bundle

Materials That The Scoring Wheel Will Score

Single Scoring WheelDouble Scoring Wheel

Acetate

Cardboard

Cardstock

Cereal Box

Construction Paper

Cork

Copper

Corrugated Cardstock

Copy Paper

Craft Foam

Corrugated Paper

Foil Paper

Crepe Paper

Poster Board

Embossed Foil Paper

Heavy Cardstock

Flocked Paper

Heavy Paper

Foil Acetate

Kraft Board

Foil Posterboard

Light Chipboard

Glitter Cardstock

Shimmer Paper

Grocery Bag

Sparkle Paper

Handmade Paper

Watercolor Paper

Holographic Cardstock

Kraft Cardstock

Origami

Parchment Paper

Pearl Paper

Photo Paper

Plastic Canvas

Sticky Note

Tattoo Paper

Vellum

Wax Paper

Wrapping Paper

The Cricut Perforation Tool

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Perforation Tool

The Perforation Tool was designed to cut a perforated line on your materials. It does this using a notched rotary blade .It has an "11" engraved on it to differentiate it from other tools. This creates those small perfectly uniform slits in materials for easy peeling or clean tear-offs. Perfect for tickets, coupon books, surprise cards, homemade journals, etc.

This tool is primarily for card stock and paper. But it can also be used on faux leather, craft foam, and acetate.

It is made to be used with the Quick Swap Housing. You can purchase it with or without the Quick Swap Housing.

Within Design Space, you can change any line or shape into a perforated line. You simply chose the Perf choice in the drop down menu under Linetype

How To Use The Perforation Tool

Perforation Tool Ideas

The Cricut Engraving Tool

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Engraving Tool

The Engraving Tool (also called the Engraving Tip) is designed to inscribe into your material (like metal or acetate) and create an etched, permanent imprint. It does this using a tiny metal point which is pressed into your material. It will only work with the Maker.

It has a "41" engraved on it to differentiate it from other tools.

It is made to work with the Quick Swap Housing. You can buy it with the Quick Swap Housing or on it's own.

You can change any shape or design into an engraved line in the drop down menu under linetype

How To Use The Cricut Engraving Tip

Cricut Tool Holder

More Engraving Tip Projects

Which Cricut Tools Or Blades Do You Need?

The Cricut Maker tools are an investment, so the question is, which tools do you really need?

The answer to that question depends on what kinds of projects you might like to do.

Paper crafters might consider the Scoring Wheel, The Debossing Tip, and the Wavy Tool and the engraving tool.

Sewers should probably consider the Bonded Fabric Blade and the Rotary Blade

So, decide which tools fit the crafts that you most do. Then purchase the tools that most go with the areas of crafting you are interested in.

Cricut is promising more tools in the future. So keep your eyes open for what might be coming in the days ahead

© 2020 Linda F Correa