All About the Cricut Blade Family

Cricut has many blades and they all have a special purpose.  It is confusing sometimes to tell which Cricut Blade to use, but I’m here to explain the differences.

There are 10 types of blades

      1. Fine Point Blade
      2. Deep Point Blade
      3. Bonded Fabric Blade
      4. Rotary Blade
      5. Knife Blade
      6. Scoring Wheel
      7. Perforation Blade
      8. Wavy Blade
      9. Debossing Blade
      10. Engraving Blade
Fine Point Blade
 
Fine Point Cricut Blade
Fine Point Blade

This is the workhorse Cricut Blade.  It comes with a new Cricut and is used for almost everything.  The housing is gold and the blades have a white rubber covering when new if you get them from Cricut.  There are cheaper places to buy them, like wish.  The blades have a 45 degree angle. It is for both the Explore machines and the Maker.

The Deep Point Blade
Deep Point Cricut Blade
Deep Point Blade

The Deep Point Blade has a black housing and a black rubber cover if bought from Cricut.  Again you can get them cheaper other places. This blade is only used on thicker or harder materials like foam or magnet sheets. It has a steeper angle of 60 degrees. It is for both the Explore machines and the Maker

Bonded Fabric Blade
Bonded Fabric Blade
Bonded Fabric Blade

This blade has a pink housing.  It can be used in both the Explore and the Maker but the rotary wheel works much better in the maker. The bonded fabric blade will cut fabric that is bonded to fusible backing. (The rotary wheel doesn’t need the backing)

The Rotary Wheel
Rotary Wheel Cricut Blade
Rotary Wheel Blade

The rotary wheel blade comes with the maker.  It cuts fabric and is very sharp.  The blade needs replaced quite often if you cut a lot of fabric and there is a kit to change the blade.  By the way, my maker was bought used and didn’t come with this blade housing and you can’t buy one anywhere.  Call Cricut and they will send you one for free.  When cutting fabric you need a fabric mat to keep your fabric from raveling.  I don’t know how it does this but it does.

The Knife Blade
Cricut Knife Blade
The Knife Blade

This blade is like having your own Exacto Knife in Cricut.  It cuts leather, Balsa wood, chipboard and such. It is only for the maker.  You must calibrate this blade when you use it.  If you don’t, Design Space will keep reminding you to calibrate it.

The Scoring Wheel
Scoring Wheel Blade
Scoring Wheel

The scoring wheel is only for the maker.  It is sorta the same as the scoring stylus in the Explore machines.  This blade is very dull.  It also comes in a double scoring blade.  I don’t have a double so I can’t say how much better it is or not.  The scoring wheel is the first of the blades to have the quick change housing.  The bottom pops off and you can attach a new type of blade to it.  I believe all new blades will have this capability.  And if you have a quick change housing you can buy just the tip for the new blades which is a little cheaper.

Perforation, Wavy, Debossing and Engraving Blades

These are the four new blades by Cricut.  I don’t have any of them yet.  They are available in both the full housing or just the quick change tip.  The wavy blade cuts a wavy line like those scissors you can buy which makes me think that there will be a whole line of this type of blade.  The perforation blade cuts dashes for tear offs.  The debossing blade works like the scoring tool on the Explore machine but a little deeper.    The engraving blade with engrave into metal and other materials.  There is a list here.  This is probably the first of the new blades I will get because I can do all the other stuff with  little design tweeks.

In Conclusion

I hope this helps.  There probably will be more blades and tools coming out soon.

You Can Adjust the Cut Pressure

Read the Whole Post Before Changing Anything

Are you using a new brand of vinyl and your Cricut just won’t cut it?  Is your Cricut cutting into your mat?  Do you want to cut a material not on the list of materials?  You can adjust the cut pressure your Cricut cuts with from about 120 to over 300.  You can also change the blade used to cut a material or the number of times it will cut.  

Warning

This is not something for a beginner to try and it is not the first thing you should try when you have a problem cutting a material.  Do not just change settings without thinking about it first and trying other ways of correcting any cutting problem you may be having.  And Cricut does not guarantee that it will cut a material that isn’t on their list.

Cricut has a list of materials and their pressure on their website here.  I have made a table that can be kept at your Cricut.  Download the word file. (No password needed)

This list should give you an idea of what other similar materials cut like if you have something new that isn’t on the list.

Adjusting Pressure of Known Materials

An example of the need to do this would be that my cricut wasn’t cutting through the printer paper I use when I tried print/cut.   Copy paper is usually 20 lb weight.  The copy paper I buy is a little heavier than that.  So I SLOWLY adjusted the pressure up from 163 to 165, 167, 169 and so on.  After each adjustment I tested the cut and it was getting better.  I ended up at 173. 

Do Not Change the Setting More Than 1 or 2 at a time

I know some of you out there want to just grab that number and crank it up.  DON”T DO IT!!!!  You could seriously damage your mat or worse.  This is time consuming I know, but you spent a lot of money on your Cricut and your supplies.  You want to be cautious!  Test each new setting on a small piece of the material after each adjustment.  All you need is a simple star or circle.

Cutting a Material Not on the List

I was looking for cheaper materials I could use as covers for the shakers I was making.  I found some report covers so I set the cricut for the closest material I thought there was, transparencies.  They cut at 307.  That setting cut through my report cover all right but put a serious cut in my mat.  I looked at the list and thought mat covers at 177 was a better idea so I tried it.  That was still a little much but it didn’t cut into my mat.  I backed it off slowly 2 or 3 at a time and finally reached 169 which didn’t quite cut the cover so I turned it back up to 171 which did.

Changing the number of cuts and the Blade Type

I was cutting some cork that I found trying to make a frame so I tried the cork setting, which call for repeating the cut 4 times but after the third cut my material was cut through and the additional cut was making the material coming off the mat.  So I looked at the settings and  the pressure setting was pretty low already at 135.  Instead of adjusting the cut pressure, I cut back on the number of times it cut.  Setting it to 3 did the trick.  

I was trying to cut felt on my Air for flower week.  The air doesn’t have a fabric wheel so I used the setting with the fine point blade and the blade kept catching on the top of the material, switching to the deep point blade fixed that.  You can just put the other blade in and just use it but I knew I would forget.  I changed the setting to the deep point blade so that the Cricut would remind me that I needed the other blade.

How to change the Settings

Now that I have given you warning about when to adjust the cut pressure  and when not to adjust the cut pressure, I will tell you how and where to do it.  But I am going to give you one more warning.  This is not the first thing to try when something doesn’t cut.  Cricut has done research on the materials in their list and they are more of an expert at it than you or me.  This is a last resort if nothing else works.

New Material

Under the menu on the home screen when you first open Design Space (the three bars next to the word Home) select manage custom materials. This will give you the list of custom materials.  At the very bottom you can select the Add New Material button and Name your new material.  Adjust the settings to what you want to try and press save.  It will be added to the list and only to your list.

Edit an Existing Material

Under the menu on the home screen again, find the material you want to change.  Click the Edit button.  Adjust the cut pressure using the slider or press the plus or minus.  You can choose another blade or the number of times it cuts here also.  Click save. Only change it in small increments and test your new setting each time.

Final Warning

I know this whole post is full of warnings but I can not emphasize enough not to go changing settings on a whim.  Try other things first and use this only as a last resort.

 

Common Questions and Answers to Them

Basic Questions

Where do I find beginner tutorials?

The “Design Space – There is nothing to be scared of” tutorials cover beginner and advanced topics and they are free.  Find them here

How do I load a font into Design Space?

 To load a font into Design Space, first you have to unzip it.  Then install the font on your computer.  (To do this right click the name of the font and on the menu that appears click install)  Open Design Space and it will be in your font list.

My project doesn’t cut the first time.

Check your cut settings.  Is it set to the right type of paper or vinyl?  If that doesn’t help, cut the project a second time.  Do not unload the mat first.  Then press the C on your machine.  It will cut again over the same lines.

My machine stopped in the middle of a cut.  What happened?

This happens when your wifi or bluetooth cuts out for just a second.  Reload the mat and cut again.  It SHOULD cut the exact same line.

How do I load an SVG?

First you need to unzip the file.  Then go to Design Space.  Click the upload button and brose to where the SVG is located.  Double clickl the file name and click save.that appears

How do I copy a design from Design Space to share with someone else?

There is no way to copy a design directly.  You can share the project link if the person has design space and you did’t use any outside SVGs or you can take a screenshot of the Design Space project and share that file.  (To take a screen shot use the snipping tool app that comes with Windows)

What is the biggest size for  Print/Cut?

The maximum print area size for Print Then Cut images is 9.25″ x 6.75″ even if you printer can do larger.

Vinyl Questions

Where do I buy vinyl?
JoAnns or Michaels have good sales sometimes but if you shop online the best place is 651 Vinyl.
 
I can’t see the lines to weed.
If you are not using a Brightpad (or other light source) under your project, try that.  If you are or that doesn’t help, Rub baby powder over the cuts.  This should help you see them.  Be sure to wipe the baby powder off when you are done weeding.
 
Can I use other brands of shirt with Infusible ink?
Yes as long as they are 60% polyester
 
What is the best vinyl for car windows?
If you are putting it on the outside use permanent vinyl.  If you are putting it on the inside use either type.
 
How do you remove permanent vinyl?
You can catch an edge with a pick then pull it off. (permanent just means is sticks better, it really isn’t permanent).  Any residue can be taken off with alcohol.
 

What transfer tape works best?

People use contact paper, masking or painters tape, even Glad Press and Seal.  They all work fine, many as well as the  Cricut brand and are cheaper.  Press and Seal works best on small projects.  It is just too flexible for large projects.

Which side of the HTV do I cut?

If you only knew how many times I have cut the wrong side of HTV. LOL.  I use a pick to separate a very small part of the HTV in a space I am going to weed anyway.  It is easy to tell which side is the HTV and which side is the “paper”.  Put the “paper” side down.  BTW if you ever cut the wrong side, just turn it over and re-cut. Most brands the backing is thick enough that you didn’t cut all the way through it anyway.  It makes weeding a little more difficult because you now have two images, one reversed on the wrong side, but at least the vinyl isn’t wasted.

Computer and Printer Questions

What Printer do I need?

Pretty much any ink jet printer will work with Design Space.  Some of the nicer ones will print 12 X 12 but this doesn’t change the print then cut sizes you can cut.  Laser printers do not work with vinyl(they “melt” vinyl) but they work with Design Space.

What computer is NOT compatible with Design Space?

Design Space will not work on chromebooks. Also design space does ny work with internet explorer.

Can my Expression connect to Design Space?

No.  The expression only works with cartridges.  Cricut Craft Room will connect with your expression if you can find a copy, but Cricut does not support that software anymore.