In this guide, you will learn about all of the Cricut blades for each Cricut machine. Know which mats to use, when to change your blade and how, and more. At the end, you will have information you need to make confident decisions about blades, their associated materials, maintenance and more!
Each Cricut machine has different blades, and some of them even share a few. Some are exclusive. Each of the Cricut blades is designed to cut specific materials, and many work with certain mats based upon the materials that they cut.
With this post, I will give you the tools to be able to find all the right blades for you to use for your machine for the projects you want to make. We’ll discuss the following information by Cricut machine:
- Cricut blades: Basic, QuickSwap if applicable, and other
- How the Cricut blade is used
- Other items
I will then cover additional information such as how to change a blade, swapping blades in the Cricut machine, how to calibrate, and more. Note: The article covers current Cricut machines as of February 2022 (Explore Air 2, Explore 3, Maker, Maker 3 and Joy.)
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Guide
- 2 Cricut Joy Series
- 3 Cricut Maker Series and Explore Series Machines
- 4 Cricut Maker Series Machines – QuickSwap Tools
- 5 When to Change a Blade
- 6 How to Change a Blade
- 7 How to Swap Blades in a Cricut Machine
- 8 How to Calibrate the Knife Blade
- 9 Non-Cricut Blades
- 10 Non-Cricut Mats
- 11 Additional Resources
- 12 Conclusion
|Blade||Cricut Machine Supported|
|Joy Blade||Joy Series|
|Joy Foil Transfer Tool||Joy Series|
|Fine Point Blade||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Deep Point Blade||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Bonded Fabric Blade||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Perforation Blade||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Foil Transfer Tool||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Scoring Stylus||Maker Series, Explore Series|
|Rotary Blade||Maker Series|
|Knife Blade||Maker Series|
|Scoring/Double Scoring Wheel||Maker Series|
|Wavy Blade||Maker Series|
|Engraving Tip||Maker Series|
|Debossing Tip||Maker Series|
Cricut Joy Series
The Cricut Joy and Joy Xtra use their very own blade called the Cricut Joy Blade, which comes with the machine. Its housing is silver and white. Replacement blades are available as well.
How is the Cricut Joy Blade Used?
Recommended Mat for the Cricut Joy Blade
Materials for the Cricut Joy Blade
The Cricut Joy Blade cuts materials such as paper (standard, cardstock, and specialty papers), vinyl, iron-on vinyl (heat transfer vinyl), leather, stencil paper and more.
Joy Foil Transfer Kit
How is the Joy Foil Transfer Tool used?
Recommended Mat for the Cricut Joy Foil Transfer Tool
Materials the Cricut Joy Foil Transfer Tool handles
The Foil Transfer Tool works with Cricut Foil Transfer Sheets used on cardstock, paper, vellum, Kraft board, mat board, poster board, leather and more. It also works with Cricut Joy Foil Transfer Insert Cards.
Cricut Maker Series and Explore Series Machines
The Fine Point Blade
The Cricut Premium Fine Point Blade comes in a silver or gold housing (it is the same blade regardless). It’s a great blade for intricate cutting and will be your most-used blade.
Some recommend having one Premium Fine Point Blade for cutting cardstock and papers and another for cutting vinyl. You can buy single and bulk replacement blades, however, buying bulk is only a deal when they are on sale.
How is the Fine Point Blade used?
The Fine Point Blade makes cards, cuts adhesive vinyl, creates print then cut decals and stickers, cuts iron-on or heat transfer vinyl, and a number of other materials to support many crafts.
Recommended Mats for the Fine Point Blade
Most of the time you will use the blue LightGrip or green StandardGrip mats with the Fine Point Blade, but there will be fewer times where you will use the StrongGrip mat when cutting things like glitter cardstock and glitter vinyl and iron-on. There are off-brand mats available, but they may void your warranty by using them. If your warranty has expired and you want to give them a try, here is one brand that has been recommended. I make no claims as to how they will work in your and others’ machines, though.
Materials for the Fine Point Blade
The Fine Point Blade cuts materials such as cardstock, paper, vellum, iron-on vinyl (HTV), adhesive vinyl and more.
How Often Should You Replace the Fine Point Blade?
Because the Fine Point Blade is the most often used blade, it will most likely need to be replaced every few months, or maybe a bit longer, depending on how often it is used and what materials are frequently being cut. There are things you can do to slow down how often it needs to be changed. It is important to keep your blade clean. Use the aluminum foil method frequently to keep dust and debris off the blade. You can also use the aluminum foil method shown in the video to sharpen your blade every now and again when it seems like it is getting dull, or as a proactive measure.
The Deep Point Blade
The Cricut Deep Point Blade is a black blade that comes in a black housing. The blade handles complicated cuts on thicker materials. You can also buy replacement blades.
How is the Deep Point Blade used?
The Deep Point Blade makes calendars, cake toppers, puzzles and more.
Recommended Mats for the Deep Point Blade
Use the purple StrongGrip mat when cutting with this blade.
Materials for the Deep Point Blade
The Deep Point Blade cuts materials such as corrugated paper, thin cardboard, craft foam, real leather, magnetic sheets and more.
The Bonded Fabric Blade
The Bonded Fabric Blade is designed to cut through one or more layers of fabric. It should be used with fabric only. The blade housing is pink to match its FabricGrip mat. Although intended for bonded fabrics (or those with backing), others have cut fabric with the Rotary Blade without heat bonding. You can use either for cutting fabric.
If you find that the Bonded Fabric Blade isn’t cutting as desired, try the Rotary Blade and see if it gives you the results you are looking for.
How is the Bonded Fabric Blade used?
The Bonded Fabric Blade is used to make sewing a fabric-related crafts. Some project ideas include cutting quilt squares, patches for clothing, monogram fabric for embroidery, stuffed animals, dog toys, fabric jewelry and more. There are almost endless projects to be made with fabric!
Use the pink FabricGrip mat only when cutting with the Bonded Fabric blade. This mat has a special liquid adhesive that holds fabric in place while it is being cut.
Materials for the Bonded Fabric Blade
The Bonded Fabric Blade can only cut fabric-related materials. This includes cotton, linen, felt, and other fabrics like satin or silk.
The Rotary Blade is a special blade that was designed for use with delicate materials.
How is the Rotary Blade used?
The Rotary Blade is designed for intricate cutting tasks for projects such as paper flowers. fabric, cork, and other softer and delicate materials.
Recommended Mats for the Rotary Blade
Materials for the Rotary Blade
The Rotary Blade can cut fabrics, cork, tissue paper, crepe paper and more.
The Knife Blade is a red blade that comes in a red housing. The Knife Blade can cut materials up to 2.4 mm thick. It should not be used for detailed cuts, but it safe and very effective on thick materials with modest designs.
How is the Knife Blade used?
The knife blade can be used to make wood projects such as ornaments, decorative boxes and organization solutions, signs, journals and more.
Use the purple StrongGrip mat with the Knife Blade.
Materials for the Knife Blade
The Knife Blade cuts thick materials such as Balsa wood, Bass wood, leather, mat board and more.
Foil Transfer Kit
How is the Foil Transfer Tool used?
The Foil Transfer Kit is used to add foil embellishment to various Joy projects like cards, bridal memorabilia, party décor and more. It is used with the Cricut Maker Series and Cricut Explore Series machines.
Use the blue LightGrip cutting mat with the Foil Transfer Tool.
Materials for the Foil Transfer Tool
The Foil Transfer Tool works with Cricut Foil Transfer Sheets used on cardstock, paper, vellum, Kraft board, mat board, poster board, leather and more.
How is the Scoring Stylus used?
The Scoring Stylus is used to create fold lines for paper crafts.
Materials for the Scoring Stylus
The Scoring Stylus is typically used with paper, cardstock, envelopes, and 3 dimensional cardstock projects.
Cricut Maker Series Machines – QuickSwap Tools
What are QuickSwap tools?
QuickSwap tools, designed for the Maker Series machines, are blades that share a housing. A housing is the piece that you “plug” the blade part “into”. You can easily swap the tips (the blades) between the single housing, reducing the amount of space you need for your blades which reduces your costs.
Each QuickSwap tool is assigned a number that is located on the tip so you can easily identify it. The QuickSwap housing is silver along the body and gold colored on top. It is notched and round.
The Perforation Blade (#11) cuts thin strips of paper, cardstock, and other materials. The blade is also used to perforate lines into the material being cut for easier separation after cutting.
How is the Perforation Blade used?
The Perforation Blade scores and creates tear off pieces for architectural designs, tickets for games, journals, child’s play and more.
Materials for the Perforation Blade
The perforation blade scores and cuts lines to easily tear off pieces of material. It is used with paper and cardstock projects mostly.
Scoring Wheel / Double Scoring Wheel Tip
Patented Wheel Design, Up To 10X More Pressure, Crisp Creases on Basic Materials, For DIY Crafts, Compatible with Cricut Maker Cutting Machine
The Scoring Wheel (#01) and Double Scoring Wheel (#02) are QuickSwap tools. The Scoring Wheel scores one line, and the Double Scoring Wheel scores 2 parallel lines. You will need to buy a QuickSwap housing to go with these tips if you do not have one yet.
How is Scoring/Double Scoring Wheel used?
The Scoring Wheel scores lines into greeting cards for precising folding. It also creates precision folding lines in cardstock objects such as villages, animals, money holders, and other cardstock and paper projects. Use it instead of the Scoring Stylus for the Maker Series machines.
Materials for the Scoring Wheel
The Scoring Wheel cuts a variety of materials, but is typically used with paper and cardstock.
The Cricut Wavy Blade (#31) creates a wavy edge to your materials. It is fun and adds a playful look to any project. You can buy the tip only if you already have the QuickSwap housing.
How is the Wavy Blade used?
The Wavy Blade is used mainly for vinyl and paper projects such as envelopes, letters, gift tags and cards.
Paper and vinyl projects primarily use the LightGrip and StandardGrip mats, so use Wavy Blade mostly with the blue LightGrip and green StandardGrip mats, unless you’re working with Glitter cardstock and vinyl.
Materials for the Wavy Blade
The wavy blade typically cuts paper, cardstock and vinyl.
The Engraving Tip (#41) is used to carve out words and designs for various materials. You can also buy the Engraving Tip without the housing if you already have the QuickSwap housing.
How is the Engraving Blade used?
The Engraving Tip is used to make dog tags, engraved bracelets, keychains and more.
Materials for the Engraving Tip
The Engraving Tip can typically engrave faux leather, acrylic, aluminum, soft metals and more.
The Debossing Tip (#21) creates a recessed design into materials. It can be used to create style in paper crafts and more. You can also buy the Debossing Tip without the housing if you already have the QuickSwap housing.
How is the Debossing Tip used?
The Debossing Tip creates elegant paper products, leather journals covers, wedding invitations and more.
As the Debossing Tip works with materials from light cardstock to heavy chipboard, use the blue LightGrip, green StandardGrip and purple StrongGrip mats.
Materials for the Debossing Tip
The Debossing Tip debosses cardstock, Kraft board, copy paper, genuine leather and more.
When to Change a Blade
From time to time, you will need to change out your blade. Most of the time, it will be your most frequently used blade, the Premium Fine Point Blade.
Keeping your blade clean helps it to last longer as well. To help keep your blade clean, ball up some aluminum foil and poke your blade every 10 or so cuts. Push the plunger at the top in to push the blade out so you can plunge the blade into the aluminum foil. Poke it 25-50 times. This may help if you notice a drag on your cuts, as there may be bits of debris on your blade.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether or not cutting aluminum foil with your blade will sharpen the blade. I don’t have real data on which is correct. I know that it doesn’t hurt to do it. Break off a piece of aluminum foil and tape it to a mat. Create a bunch straight lines for cutting in Cricut Design Studio. Run your mat through the cut. The blade will cut the straight lines and will theoretically sharpen a bit.
My opinion, but not fact, is that it may be a bit like realigning the burr of a knife as opposed to sharpening it, but I don’t know this definitively. Give it a shot and see if it works for you before you replace your blade.
If you notice a drag on your material, any ripping, or poor cutting, try the above. If those don’t work, it’s time to replace your blade.
How often you change your blade will depend on two things: how much it’s used and the materials it’s cutting regularly. If I use a regular Fine Point Blade, I have to change it every 3 months with 10+ daily cuts. My latest Premium Fine Point Blade has been in my machine and going strong with no sign of needing to be changed for 4 months now.
Last, some people really like using different blades for vinyl and cardstock. So if you’re running through blades quickly and want to keep a sharp blade for your card and paper cutting, consider keeping a separate one for just cardstock and paper.
How to Change a Blade
Changing the basic blades is straightforward. Depress the plunger on top of the blade housing. When the blade pokes out of the bottom, carefully pull it out. Continue to depress the plunger and push the new blade into the blade hole. Release the plunger, and it should pull the blade up into the housing.
The process is similar for QuickSwap Tools. There is a plunger to depress on top of the housing like the basic blades. The blade, however, is more like a “cap” that pops on and off. While depressing the plunger on top of the housing, pull the blade “cap” on the bottom off. Continuing to depress the plunger on the top of the housing, press a new blade “cap” onto the bottom. Release the plunger. The new blade should now be on the housing.
The Knife Blade and Rotary Blade have special instructions. To change the Knife blade, see this Cricut tutorial which also includes a video, as it is all inclusive. And here is a video on changing the Rotary Blade created by Cricut.
How to Swap Blades in a Cricut Machine
The objects inside of the Cricut machines that hold the blades are called clamps. The Cricut Joy has a single clamp to swap between the Joy Blade, the Foil Tool and Joy pens, The Explore and Maker Series have 2 clamps each; Clamp A and Clamp B. The Cricut Maker Series, Explore Series and Joy have similar clamp structures for swapping blades out. Use Clamp A for pens and the Scoring Stylus, and Clamp B for blades.
The structure of the clamps between the machines is similar and the swap is simple. Once you’ve done it once or twice, it will be old hat. Cricut has a great picture tutorial on swapping the blades in the clamp.
How to Calibrate the Knife Blade
Cricut has an excellent tutorial / walkthrough on calibrating your knife blade. I recommend reading and following along with it to calibrate your blade before using it for the first time.
You may find blades for Cricut machines on Amazon that are not made by Cricut, and wonder if they work well. I haven’t used them, but recently saw a video where they were mentioned positively. I don’t know if these blades void warranty, but I might consider holding off until the warranty has expired if you are thinking about trying them. I make no claims to the blades, but did want to mention them in case you might be wondering or had seen them. Proceed at your own risk.
There are off-brand mats available as well. Using those mats may void your warranty, so you may want to wait until your warranty expires before trying them if you are thinking about doing so. I have used them from time to time without issue but I make no claims. Proceed at your own risk, I do not recommend that you re-stick your mats. It’s easy to over-stick them which can gum up the rollers and definitely mess your machine up.
- Cricut.com help: Blades Tools and Accessories
- Cricut.com help: Materials you can cut by blade
- Cricut.com help: All About Cricut Blades and Machine Tools
- Cricut.com help: All About QuickSwap tools
There are a lot of options when it comes to Cricut blades. If you’re looking for the right blade for your machine and materials, I hope this blog post has been helpful! Don’t forget to leave a comment with any questions or notes. I always love hearing from you!
Happy, happy crafting!