Scoring wheel vs rotary blade

Scoring wheel vs rotary blade DEFAULT

Cricut Blades: Tips and Tricks for Cleaner Cutting

Never again be confused about what Cricut blades to use for your projects! This handy guide shows you how to install, change, maintain and store your Cricut blades to get the cleanest and best cuts from your Cricut!

When I got my first Cricut, the whole idea of removable blades mystified me a bit. In fact, I didn’t touch that fine point blade for the first couple of weeks. Then I noticed my cuts weren’t as clean as before, and I thought, “Oh, I must need a new blade.” This set me off on a quest to learn about Cricut blades — how to find them, install them, change them, and — of course — use them properly.

For the first six months of my Cricut’s life, I changed my blade regularly. Whenever the blade seemed dull, off I went to the store to get a new one. But at some point I got tired of buying new blades and instead starting looking into how to extend my Cricut blades’ lives. Since then, with what I learned, I haven’t bought a new Cricut fine point blade in over a year!

Now I am a pro at making the most of my Cricut blades, knowing which blades works best for which projects, and getting the best results from each blade. I want you to be a pro, too, so I’ve put ALL my tips and tricks here for you! I recommend you print this out and keep it next to your Cricut so you can check it every time you have a Cricut question!

Cricut Blades: Fine-Point Blade, Deep-Point Blade, Rotary Blade, and Knife Blade

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The Cricut Blades: What’s the Big Difference?

Quick Links to Information in this Post

There are currently three different blades that fit in the Cricut Explore series, and six different blades that fit in the Cricut Maker series. They are:

Silver or Gold Fine Point Blade (fits in Explore and Maker):

The Fine Point Blade is your standard, basic blade. This blade has a 30 degree angle and is 1.1 mm long to fit in a Cricut Explore or Maker. The Fine Point Blade is what most of us start with, and many folks only ever use this blade. It’s used for cardstock and vinyl mostly. I use this blade for 90% of my Cricut cutting projects.

Cricut Fine-Point Blade in a Cricut Explore

This blade comes in a “Fine Point Blade” version and a “Premium Fine Point Blade” version—the blade quality differs (the premium is German carbide and it should stay sharp longer). The Fine Point Blades can be identified out of their packaging by the color of the caps— usually gray for the regular fine point blade, and RED or WHITE for the premium fine point blades.

Note: Some people report that the Fine Point Blades (non-Premium blades) cut a little differently and require LESS pressure. So if you get this type and have issues with cutting, reduce your pressure.

Important: Do not use the blades that have packaging with a big green box (see below image on the right) — these blades are made for older Cricut Expression machines and are too long for the Cricut Explores and Makers. 

Know the right and wrong Cricut blades for your Explore and Maker

If you do not use the right blade for your Cricut, it may cutting TOO DEEP. So check your packaging and be careful when buying replacement Cricut blades. 


Black Deep Point Blade (fits in Explore and Maker):

The Deep-Point Blade is a special blade that cuts deeper than the standard fine point blade. This blade has a steeper blade angle (60 degrees vs 45 degrees for the other fine point blades) and harder, more durable steel. I’ve used it for THICKER projects on my Cricut Explore and Maker. If you find your fine point blade just doesn’t want to cut through a material thicker than standard cardstock, this is the blade to use. You can identify a deep-point blade outside of its packaging by the color of its cap, which is BLUE or BLACK/BROWN. Here is the Deep-Point Blade cutting leather:

Cricut Deep-Point Blade cutting leather on the Maker

Pink Bonded Fabric Blade (fits in Explore and Maker):

If you like to cut fabric on your Explore, the Bonded Fabric Blade is the blade for you. This blade will stay sharper longer when cutting fabric. While it fits both the Explore and Maker, it’s really intended for the Explore as the Maker has other blade options for fabric, like the rotary blade.

How to Cut Fabric With Cricut Explore or Maker - Step-by-Step Tutorial with fabric list, materials, tips, tricks #cricut #fabric #sewing

Rotary Blade (fits in Maker only):

Fabric cutters will want to use the Rotary Blade in their Maker. This blade has a tiny rotary wheel that can cut amazingly intricate designs. You can also use this blade for crepe paper with great success! Basically, the rotary blade is great for any material that would snag on a regular blade.

Cricut Rotary Blade cutting crepe paper on the Cricut Maker

Knife Blade (fits in Maker only):

Got something really thick to cut? The Knife Blade is your solution! This is like a miniature and very sharp Xacto knife and it can really get in there to cut the tough stuff. I’ve used my knife blade to cut wood and leather.

Cricut Knife Blade in the package, ready to put in my Cricut Maker

Scoring Wheel & Double Scoring Wheel (fits in Maker only):

The scoring wheels don’t actually cut — instead, they score. The Cricut Scoring Wheel looks like the rotary blade, but it won’t actually cut through your material. It comes with two tips: the single scoring tip and the double scoring tip. Use the single scoring tip for light materials like cardstock. Use the double scoring tip for harder to fold materials like cardboard.

Engraving Tip (fits in Maker only)

The engraving Tip is a new Cricut Maker Tool that lets you engrave metal, acrylic, leather, and paperThe engraving tool lets you engrave on flat, soft metals (such as aluminum and copper), leather, acrylic, and paper. With the engraving tip, you can engrave unique and permanent designs on a variety of materials for many different projects, such as intricately engraved dog tags, name plates, inscribed art, home decor, jewelry, gorgeous monograms, and heirloom-quality keepsakes. The engraving tool is $44.99 for both the tip and housing, or $24.99 for just the tip. View the Engraving Tip + Housing on And here’s a video that shows the engraving tip up close!

Fine Debossing Tip (fits in Maker only)

Fine Debossing Tip is a new Cricut Maker Tool that lets you deboss leather and paperThe debossing tool pushes the material IN to create pretty effects — it’s the opposite of an embossing tool. Deboss any design you’d like, including decorative flourishes, patterns, monograms, logos, seals, and more. This rolling debossing ball, with a wider range of motion, gives you free reign to customize, personalize, and design with incredible intricacy. Make a dimensional wedding card, thank you card with your monogram, or add flourish to gift boxes, tags, and more. Creates a stunning effect on foil cardstock, coated paper, shimmer and glitter paper, foil cardstock, basswood, and much more. The debossing tool is $44.99 for both the tip and housing, or $24.99 for just the tip.View the Fine Debossing Tip on And here’s a video that shows the Debossing Tip close up.

 Perforation Blade (fits in Maker only)

The perforation bladeis a new Cricut Maker Tool that lets you perforate materials like paperThe perforation tool creates easy perforations for tear-offs and easy peel-aways using paper, cardstock, acetate, poster board, and more! Get the perfect tear quickly and effortlessly with precise perforation cuts for a wide variety of projects. To create uniform, finely perforated lines for any design, just snap this tip onto the QuickSwap Housing and tell your Cricut Maker to “Go!” Evenly spaced perforation lines allow for clean, even tearing without the need to fold beforehand – especially great for shapes with curves. Perfect for tear-out booklet pages, raffle tickets, homemade journals, or for any project that demands a clean tear. For use with Cricut Maker machines. This is a basic Perforation Blade with 2.5 mm teeth / 0.5 mm gaps. The perforation tool is $44.99 for both the blade tip and housing, or $24.99 for just the tip. View the Perforation Blade on Here’s a video that shows the perforation tool close up!

 Edging Blade (fits in Maker only)

The wavy blade is a new Cricut Maker Tool that lets you edge materials like paperThis tool will create a wavy edge rather than a straight edge to give you a decorative edge faster. This is a special sculpted stainless steel blade that lets you make original vinyl decals, iron-on designs, envelopes, cards, gift tags, and collage projects, or any time you need fabulously finished edges and stylish design accents. Perfect for iron-on, vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and more. For use with Cricut Maker machines.The wavy blade is 2.0 mm L / 0.8 mm H. The wavy edging blade is $44.99 for both the blade tip and housing, or $24.99 for just the tip. View the Wavy Edging Blade on And here’s a video that shows the Wavy Blade in action.


Which Blade Do I Use For This Project?

Now that you know each of the blades, let’s look at which blade you should use for which project. Below is a chart that shows you blades and materials. Whenever I have a project here on the blog that used a particular blade, I’ve linked it so you can see REAL results!

Installing a New Cricut Blade

First, it’s important to understand that Cricut blades really come in two parts — the blade itself and the blade housing. You need BOTH to install and cut with them on your Cricut. All new Cricuts come with a Fine Point Blade and Blade Housing, but if you go to the store to get a replacement blade, you only need the replacement blade, not a whole new blade housing (unless you lost yours or something like that).

Here’s what a new Deep-Point replacement blade looks like by itself:

Deep-Point Blade outside of its housing

When you feel it’s time to get a new fine point or deep point blade and install it in your housing, here’s what you do:

  1. Buy a Premium Fine-Point Blade (for a fine point blade housing) or a Deep-Point Blade (for a deep-point blade housing). Note that these two blades have different housings — they are not interchangeable.
  2. Open the clamp and remove the blade housing.
  3. Push the plunger on the top of the blade housing and gently pull out the blade from the bottom. Be careful—it’s sharp! Set it aside.
  4. Remove the little plastic cover from the new blade.
  5. Put the shaft of the new blade into the blade housing. There’s a magnet in the blade housing that will hold the new blade in place.
  6. Replace the blade housing in the machine. (See Changing Your Cricut Blade Housings below).
  7. Put the little plastic cover you removed from the new blade onto the tip of your old blade to keep it from hurting you or anyone else.

What about installing a new rotary blade for the Cricut Maker? Here’s what you do when you’re ready to change it:

  1. Buy a Rotary Blade Kit.
  2. Remove the rotary blade housing from your Maker.
  3. Open your Rotary Blade Kit, remove the protective plastic cover, and slip it over your existing rotary blade with the large opening over the housing screw. Make sure you feel the protective cover click into place.
  4. Use the screw driver provided in your kit to remove the screw from the housing. Keep the blade within the protective cover as you do this.
  5. Remove the new rotary blade, conveniently placed in a new protective cover, from the Rotary Blade Kit package.
  6. Place the new rotary blade over your housing.
  7. Replace the screw with the screwdriver — be careful not to over tighten it.
  8. Remove protective plastic covering carefully (remember, that rotary blade is still sharp) and replace the rotary blade in your Cricut (see Changing Your Cricut Blade Housings below).
  9. Put the old blade (with the protective cover still on it) back into the packaging before you store or discard it.

Changing Your Cricut Blade Housings

One of the things I love about the Cricut is how easy it is to use. That installing and changing blades is no exception to this!

To change the Fine Point and Deep Point Blades, you simply open the clamp (clamp B if you have two clamps), pull up and remove the blade housing currently in your machine, drop in a new blade housing, and close the clamp. Voila!

Cricut machine housing and clamp

To change the Knife Blade, Rotary Blade, or Scoring Wheel on the Cricut Maker, you just need to make sure the gear on the blade housing is facing toward (and fitting into) the gear on the Cricut. Open clamp B, remove whatever blade housing is there, position the new blade housing so it fits in the gear, and close the clamp.

Keeping Your Cricut Blades Sharp

Remember how I said I’ve been using the same Premium Fine-Point Blade for over a year now? It’s true, and there’s a trick to it! Rather than replacing my blade every time it seems to be getting dull and not cutting like it should, I am able to fix it. There’s two ways I do this:

  1. Ball up a sheet of aluminum foil, remove the blade housing from the Cricut, depress the plunger, and stick the blade into the aluminum foil ball over and over. I poke the point in about 50 times. This helps to remove any bits of paper or vinyl that might be stuck to the blade, working to clean it (not sharpen it). This technique works for the Fine Point and Deep Point Blades.
    Sharpening Cricut Blades with a balled up aluminum foil ball
  2. Spread a piece of aluminum foil on your cutting mat and cut a simple design in it. It will help clean your blade a bit and doesn’t require that you remove your housing. This technique works for all blades. Again, note that this cleans it, not sharpens it, but it does the trick!

Another way to keep your blades cutting better is to use a different blade to cut paper than the blade you use to cut vinyl—it will extend the life of the blade and make for better cuts. Color code your blades by painting the tip of the plastic blade cover with some acrylic paint—white for paper, black for vinyl, etc.

Click here for more tips on fixing Cricut cutting problems!

Storing Your Cricut Blades

I like to store my blades right in my Cricut compartments, inside the drop-down door in the front. The compartment on the left is designed for blade storage and works great. Put blade housings in the back on the raised plastic points. Loose blades go in the front — there’s a handy magnet there to keep them in place.

Store your Cricut blades in the lift-up compartment of your Cricut

The nice thing about keeping your blades here is they are always with your Cricut, even if you transport it somewhere else.

That said, if you have a lot of blades, you’ll need a bigger place to store them. Here’s an awesome Blade Organizer you can make on your Cricut Maker using heavy Cricut chipboard or on your Cricut Explore using three layers of Kraft board! 

My shiny pink Cricut Tool Bench holds all my Cricut tools and blades!

And I have since upgraded to this 3D printed tool holder that Greg designed for me — if you have a 3D printer and want to make this, here’s the STL file:

3D Printed Tool Holder for Cricut Tools and Blades

Do you have favorite Cricut blade tip or trick you’d like to share with everyone? Post it here! I always love to hear from you! I will keep adding to this list, too. And if you want to get more Cricut tips and tricks, check out this list of 45+ Cricut tips and tricks!



Want to remember this list of Cricut Blades tips and tricks? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!

Never again be confused about what Cricut blades to use for your projects! This handy guide shows you how to install, change, maintain and store your Cricut blades to get the cleanest and best cuts from your Cricut! #cricut #cricutmade #cricutmaker #cricutexplore

Cricut Blades Tips & Tricks for Cleaner Cuts #cricut #cricutmaker #cricutexplore

Filed Under: Cricut, Popular


Hi Daydreamer!

Every day is a good day to learn, and today we are going to compare the Scoring Stylus against the Scoring Wheel.

Before we dig in let’s see a quick review of what these tools are.

Both, the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel, are accessories you can use with your Cricut Machines. They allow you to make folds on different types of materials like paper, cardstock, poster-board, etc. If you enjoy making boxes, cards, or other type of projects that require you to make folds, then; these accessories will make your life extra easy and also fun.

Here’s the thing, although the Scoring Stylus can be use with any of the Explore Family Machines and the Cricut Maker; the Scoring Wheel can only be used with Cricut Maker.

Scoing Wheel and Tips 01 and 02 with the Scoring Stylus

Make sure to read this article, If you want to learn all of the differences between the Cricut Maker and the Cricut Explore Machine.

On this post I will be covering all of the differences between the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel. I am also going to show you some pictures of how the score lines look in different types of materials, so you can make and informed choice of which accessory you need.

This is NOT a tutorial of How the Scoring Wheel works in Cricut Design Space. If you want to learn how this tool works check out my completely guide and step by step tutorial.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Differences between Scoring Stylus vs Scoring Wheel

Although, the Stylus and the Wheel have the same purpose – make folds – they both look very different.

The Scoring Stylus looks very similar to other Essential Tools – weeding tools, spatula, etc – that Cricut has to offer. However, the Scoring Wheel looks very similar to a blade.

Something extremely cool about the Scoring Wheel is that it has two different tips that you can use. 01 for light materials like cardstock and regular paper and 02 for thicker materials like poster-board and chipboard; 01 stands for Scoring Wheel, and 02 stands for double scoring wheel.

All Cricut Machines, except for the Cricut Explore One, have two tool holders or clamps. Clamp A is for accessories, and Clamp B is for Blades. The Scoring Stylus is always used with Clamp A and this is why you can use it with any of the Cricut Machines.

However, the Scoring Wheel can only be used on Clamp B. Here’s the caveat; though, just like the knife blade and the rotary blade the Scoring Wheel was built with Cricut’s new technology, the Adaptive Tool System.

  • Scoring Stylus inside the Cricut Maker CLAMP A
  • Scoring Wheel inside the Cricut Maker CLAMP B

The Adaptive Tool System controls the direction of t the new blades and scoring wheel at all times. In fact, This technology is so amazing that it can adjust the pressure of the Scoring Wheel to match the materials you are working with!

That’s why, the Scoring Wheel has 10X the strength and power than the Scoring Stylus has. Therefore, by using the Scoring Wheel you are going to get extra deep and extra sharp score lines.

Awesome Right?

Scoring with different Materials

Now that you’ve learned the differences between the Scoring Stylus and the Scoring Wheel let’s see how they both work on different materials.

For this comparison I will be using the following Materials and using both the Stylus and Scoring Wheel (01 and 02).

  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Colored Cardstock
  • Craft Board
  • Metallic Poster-board
  • Corrugated Paper
  • Craft Foam

In total we will have 2 materials for light, medium-weight, and thick materials.

Note: If you have the Scoring Wheel, Design space will always show you what tip is recommended. However, I decided to try with both tips just so are able to see how each tip would look and all of these materials.

On some of the materials – the ones that Made sense – I also scored a star on top of the design. Sometimes you would want to score other elements, not just just lines.


Let’s see the results!

Beforehand, let me apologize for the way some of these photos look. In order for me to show you the score lines I really had to decrease the exposure and brightness of some of the photos. They don’t look as pretty; However, my commitment to you is far superior than just having pretty photos. 🙂

Colored Construction Paper & Cardstock

For thin materials you can barely see any difference in the depth or smoothness of the scoring line. Honestly they seem pretty much the same. However, if you look at the stars, you will see that the lines that make up the star with the Scoring Wheel 01 are overlapped.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Construction Paper

This is a little disappointing actually, but it’s totally understandable. You see, the scoring tip is driven by the Adaptive Tool System therefore it makes sense for some overlapping in the score lines. You will be able to see this difference in our next materials.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Cardstock Paper

This overlapping doesn’t happen with the Scoring Stylus because there’s no driven process and every line is made in a single stroke.

Craft Board & Metallic Poster – Board

For these two medium weight materials I started to see some differences. As you can see, the score lines look somewhat smoother than the ones made by the Scoring Stylus.

  • Score Lines on Metallic Poster board using Cricut Scoring Wheel And Stylus
  • Score Lines on Kraft Board using Cricut Scoring Wheel And Stylus

The Stars I made with the Scoring Wheel where also overlapped, but they do look smoother than the ones made by the Scoring Stylus.

Comparing smoothness of score lines made with the stylus and scoring wheel

Now let’s look at how the Metallic Poster Board behaved when I folded it. Here’s is where you can see why the wheel is so powerful.

Materials that are coated like Glitter Cardstock and or Metallic Poster board tend to crack on the folding process. When using the wheel with the 02 tip you create a two scoring lines that will make the folding process way smother.

Comparing folds of score lines made  with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Metallic Poster board

Notice how much the Metallic Poster Board cracked with the Stylus. It even cracked with the 01 Tip. However, look the fold with the 02 tip! It’s beautiful.

Corrugated Paper & Craft Foam

For these two relative thick materials I decided not to score the star I stuck with the horizontal score line.

Finally, with these thick materials – specially the corrugated paper – I was able to notice the difference in quality and crispiness for the score lines made with the Wheel.

This is what makes the wheel a one of a kind tool!

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Corrugated Paper

The Scoring Stylus was very tough with the corrugated paper and Craft Foam. Believe or not, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 and 02 on Craft Foam

Think about it!

The Stylus works by exercising pressure on its – pointy – tip. So, it’s expected that when you are working with thicker materials, the pressure of the stylus will be concentrated on a tiny point.

However, with the Scoring Wheel the pressure is well distributed across of the 01 and/or 02 tip. And, in my opinion, this is what makes the scored lines look crispy on thicker materials.

Comparing score line with the stylus and wheel tip 01 on Corrugated Paper

Which one Should you the Scoring Stylus or the Scoring Wheel?

I think the Scoring Stylus is a must have at all times. It’s so affordable, and you can create so may cools with it, that it does’t make any sense for you not to get it.

Now, the Scoring Wheel is a more expensive accessory. You can get it with just the 01 Tip, or as combo with both tips.

Compare Prices: For all of the scoring tools here

The decision of you getting the Scoring Wheel depends on what materials you are going use. As you just saw, when I used the Stylus and the Wheel on Light and Medium weight materials, the differences were very little.

Yes, it’s easier to fold when you score with the wheel, but not in a way that will leave you in disadvantage.

Scoring Wheel with Scoring Stylus and Cricut Explore Air 2 in the background

If you are planning on working with thick and coated materials, like the ones I used on this post, and or chipboard I highly encourage you to get the Scoring Wheel with both tips. Cricut Materials can be quite expensive and if you re planning on doing multiple projects you want optimal results every time.

I didn’t have chipboard on hand, but I am sure if I had used the Stylus instead of the Wheel I would’ve totally scratch it. You don’t want this to happen to you.

Note: Remember that the Scoring Wheel is only compatible with the Cricut Maker, so if you have any of the explore family machines, you can only use the Scoring Stylus.

Pros and Cons

While doing these comparisons with the Wheel and the Stylus I got a couple of mixed pros and cons that I would like to share with you:

  • I love that with the Scoring Stylus you can Score and Write without extra intervention – you can set it and forget it – Since the Scoring Wheel goes on Clamp B – where all blades go – you need to change it and babysit your project till is done is scoring.
  • The Scoring Wheel will work great on any type of material. However, if you have very intricate score lines – like the stars I showed you above – the folds will overlap each other.
  • The Scoring Stylus works wonders to trace and score intricate designs. However, you are limited by the types of materials you can use. It works wonders with light and medium well materials, but not so great on thick materials.

What do you think?

Which tool is right fit for you? The Stylus or Wheel?

I can’t wait to find out, so make sure to let me know on the comments down below.

I love when I have comments ❤ I feel like I am not talking to the wall lol!

cricut design space digital ebook


And just so you know, I also have a library full of free SVG files and Printables for all of my subscribers, a.k.a Daydreamers. You can see a preview right here or get access by filling this form.

Every day is a good day to learn, and today we are going to compare the Scoring Stylus against the Scoring Wheel. #cricut #cricutmade #cricuttutorials #cricutdesignspace #designspace #cricutmaker #cricutexploreair #cricutexploreair2 #scoringstylus #scoringwheel
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Cricut Blades and Tools Explained

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links provided for your convenience.This means, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Cricut beginners, you are going to love this! This post is all about the different Cricut blades and tools. We’ll show you each one and explain the basics of what you need to know about it. From which blade to cut with, to scoring, perforating, and debossing with your Cricut and more, this informative post is sure to be really helpful for you.

When you first get started crafting with your Cricut die cutting machine, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It’s a brand new machine, you’ve invested money into it, and you want to make the most of it. Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

Cricut blades and tools explained

Cricut Blades and Tools Explained

Cricut Premium Fine Point Blade

Premium Fine Point Cricut Blade

This blade comes standard with the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker. This is the blade we use the most. It can be used to cut paper, cardstock, poster board, regular vinyl, iron-on vinyl, printable vinyl, and so much more. It’s made for thin to medium-weight material.

Cricut Deep Point Blade

Comparison Of Cricut Deep Point Blade To Cricut Fine Point Blade

The Cricut Deep Point Blade is similar in appearance to the fine point blade. They made it a different color so that it’s easier to differentiate between the two. The only difference between them is that it’s a deeper cutting blade. This blade is used for intricate cuts on thicker materials such as magnets, thicker cardstock or matboard, felt, foam sheets, and so on. You can use this blade in both the Maker and the Air 2.

Cricut Bonded Fabric Blade

Cricut Bonded Fabric Blade

The bonded fabric blade looks very similar to the fine point blade but once again, they changed the color of it to help you distinguish between the blades. It is recommended for intricate cuts on bonded fabric or fabric with a iron-on backing. If you have an Air 2 and want to cut bonded fabric with it, you need this blade. If you have a Maker, you don’t really need this blade since your machine comes with the rotary blade and you can use that for fabric instead.

Cricut Rotary Blade

Cricut Rotary Blade

The rotary blade comes with the Cricut Maker and only works with the Maker. It is designed for use with fabrics or other soft, delicate, or less dense materials such as tissue paper and cork. With the bonded fabric blade, sometimes you have to worry about pulling or shredding, and this blade eliminates that issue. We use ours to cut a lot of felt and we do find, unfortunately, that dulls the blade. So, make sure to keep a few extras on hand.

Cricut Knife Blade

Cricut Knife Blade

The knife blade is for use with the Cricut Maker only. It’s for cutting really thick material like soft woods such as balsawood, basswood, mat board, chipboard, and so on. You cannot use the knife blade if you are using Design Space with your iOS device and must use your laptop/desktop computer because of the need for a longer cut time.

Cricut Printable Guide available with a Makers Gonna Learn membership

As part of our Makers Gonna Learn membership, you have access to our Cricut Printable Guide which includes many valuable charts and reference materials. One of those is a chart that outlines which blades can be used in which machine and what materials can be cut with each of those blades.

Cricut Foil Tip Kit

Cricut Foil Tip Kit

The foil tip kit has three tips: fine, medium, and thick. It is a pressure-based system for foiling projects and creating beautiful metallic accents on your craft projects. It’s available for use in the Air 2 or the Maker.

Cricut Scoring Stylus

Scoring Stylus

If you have an Air 2, this is the scoring tool you will need to use. It can also be used in the Maker. We prefer the scoring wheel (see below for more information) for standard weight cardstock or copy paper cardstock since it will roll with it a little better and you don’t have to worry about the paper getting shredded by the stylus.

Cricut Quick Swap Housing

Cricut Quick Swap Housing

The Quick Swap Housing is probably something you’re going to want if you have a Cricut Maker because it has so many uses. You use it with several different tips: the scoring wheel 01, scoring wheel 02,

They have numbered each of the tips to make it easy for you to identify them.

Different Tips Available for the Quick Swap Housing:

Scoring wheel 01 –

This is your single scoring wheel. This is perfect for uncoated light materials including crepe paper, light cardstock, and even acetate.

Scoring wheel 02 –

This is your double scoring wheel. The double scoring wheel is great for use with really thick cardstock or even kraft board. It’s the same tool as scoring wheel 01, but for thicker materials.

Debossing tip (No. 21) –

This creates detailed impressions in a variety of materials similar to embossing. It will add dimension to your craft projects.

Engraving tip (No. 41) –

This is quite a powerful tool. It allows you to add embellishments, personalized text, monograms, and other decorative touches to a variety of materials. When used with Cricut aluminum sheets or anodized aluminum, the engraving will reveal the silver beneath.

Perforation blade (No. 11) –

This allows you to make perfectly spaced even perforations in materials. The perforation blade is ideal for making tear-apart tickets, for example.

Wavy blade (No. 31) –

This adds a wavy edge to your design so it’s great to use with decals, cards, gift tags, and many other craft projects.

When talking about blades, one of the questions we get asked the most is, “How often should I change the blades in my Cricut?”. Find out more about when to change Cricut blades here.

You’ll find more information about what blades work best with what materials here.

And you can learn all about how to determine the best cutting pressure in this post.

Cricut blades and tools
What Blades Cut What Materials With Your Cricut Maker?

Cricut Blades: What are the differences?

What are the different Cricut Blades? I explain the difference between each blade and the blades' compatibility with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore and Cricut Joy.  I also talk about which material works best with each cricut blade as well as how to sharpen and change them.

Let's talk about the different Cricut blades.  So why is this important? It's really helpful to have a reference point that explains what each Cricut blade is known for or capable of doing because it can get confusing. As of the date of this post, there are 8 different types of Cricut blades and 4 types of crafting tools. So knowing the difference between the Cricut Blades is definitely a topic worth exploring.

The differences between the Cricut blades are not so obvious. While there are quite a few available, not all blades work with all machines. In this post I will talk about which cricut blades are compatible with the different Cricut Machines, I will also list the materials that are recommended for a particular blade and finally I will share my tips on how to sharpen and replace your cricut blade. There is a video at the end of this post on how to replace cricut blades so scroll to the bottom if you want to check it out first. If you want to read more about materials that are compatible with the different Cricut machine, check out this post.

I never buy any of my cricut blades on their release date. I'm adamant to collect all of them but I wait on a good sale before purchasing. If you want to collect every blade, I suggest you do the same. Do we need every Cricut blade? Probably not, but which serious crafter wouldn't want to! lol! But on the real, I honestly believe the blades, especially the new QuickSwap Tools, definitely challenges us to be more creative and to think outside the box and that's why I got them all.

What is a Cricut blade?

A Cricut blade is the tool that must be inserted into the Cut Smart Carriage (Explore Family) or the Adaptive Tool System (Maker).  This is primary tool that will be making the intricate and precise cuts on the material you've fed into your Cricut.  The Cut Smart Carriage (Explore Family) and the Adaptive Tool System (Maker) are located in the exact same place on both machines.What are the different Cricut blades


Where does the cricut blade get inserted on my machine?

Your blade is always inserted into Clamp B of your cricut machine.

If you have a Cricut Explore family machine, your cricut blade is inserted into Clamp B of the Cut Smart Carriage. This is the assembly that moves left or right along the track in your machine to perform intricate cuts.

If you have a Cricut Maker, your cricut blade is inserted into Clamp B of the Adaptive Tool System.  The name differs because blades used by the Cricut Maker aren't only moving left to right when making cuts on your materials.  The blade moves left or right along the track but, it also intelligently lifts and turns the blades to ensure the most precise and intricate cuts.

Can I insert blades into Clamp A on the machine?

Clamp A of the Cut Smart Carriage or The Adaptive Tool System is not for blades. Clamp A is called the Accessory Adaptor because it is only used to write, draw or score fold lines. In other words, Clamp A is only for pens and the scoring stylus.

What is a QuickSwap Housing Tool?

The most recent blades that were released by Cricut are all QuickSwap Housing Tools so it's important to understand the terminology. QuickSwap Housing tools are only compatible with the maker but they are different than the others. These tools have 2 parts to them; there's a housing and then there's a blade/tip. The blades/tips are interchangeable so as long as you have a housing, you can use either the Scoring Wheel, Engraving Tip, Perforation Blade, Debossing Tip, or Wavy Blade with that one housing.

cricut quickswap tools

What blades can I use in Cricut Joy?

  1. The Cricut Joy Blade is the only blade compatible with the Joy.

What blades can I use in Cricut Explore?

  1. Premium Fine Point Blade
  2. Deep Point Blade
  3. Bonded-Fabric Blade
  4. Scoring Stylus (Not a blade but a tool used to create creases and fold lines)
  5. Foil Transfer Kit

What blades can I use with the Cricut Maker blades?

  1. Premium Fine Point Blade
  2. Deep Point Blade
  3. Bonded-Fabric Blade (The Rotary Blade is the more update version of this and way better)
  4. Scoring Stylus (Not a blade but a tool used to create creases and fold lines)
  5. Rotary Blade
  6. Knife Blade
  7. Perforation Blade
  8. Wavy Blade
  9. Scoring Wheel (Not a blade but a tool used to create creases and fold lines)
  10. Debossing Tip
  11. Engraving Tip
  12. Foil Transfer Kit

What are the 8 different Cricut blades?

1. Cricut Joy Blade

  • compatible only with Cricut Joy

The Cricut Joy blade is a fine point blade and right out the gate I'm going to say this little blade is a powerhouse. I was a little skeptical because it's smaller than the other cricut blades.  My first impression was it's not going to be able to perform but I was wrong! I actually love my little Joy. I always get a nice clean cut when I use it. You can differentiate the Joy blade from the other cricut blades because it's smaller and it's also grey and white. If you want to read more about the Cricut Joy, check out this post.

Here is a list of materials you can cut with this cricut blade:

  • Artboard
  • Cardstock
  • Iron-on
  • Leather
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Vinyl
  • Party foil
  • Window cling

2. Premium Fine Point Blade

What are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Family machines

This Cricut blade is the one you will use most often in your projects. It is a German Carbide blade which means it stays sharp longer and it lasts longer. This is important for obvious reason but I will give you another reason in a minute.

The fine point blade is the cricut blade that cuts most of the materials you will work with such as vinyl, cardstock, printer paper and iron-on (Heat Transfers vinyl). I've had my machine for 2 years and I've only changed the blade once. Looking back, I probably didn't even need to change it, I just needed to sharpen it.  I will go over changing and sharpening cricut blades in more details later in this post.

Fine point Blade vs Premium Fine Point Blade 

I'll be honest, I was super confused when I went to Michaels' to buy a replacement blade because I saw “Fine point Blade” and “Premium Fine Point Blade”.  I didn't know the difference between the two and I didn't know which one was the right one.

I did a bit of research and this is not a thing anymore.  Cricut has completely switched to Premium Fine Point blades  and you can see this when you go to their website. On the contrary, craft stores may still be selling the old “Fine Point Blade” replacement. Get the “Premium Fine Point Blade” because the “Fine Point Blade” was made for the older Cricut machine.  The old “Fine Point Blade” replacement will have grey caps. Do not buy this!

Check out this Michaels' link to see what I'm talking about.  Do not buy this one if you go to the craft store to purchase a replacement blade.

Gold vs Silver housing

I was hella confused over this too because my blade comes in a silver housing so I thought I needed to get the gold one in order to use a Premium Fine Point Blade. They are the same thing so no need to get both.  Cricut simply changed the housing to gold. The Premium Fine Point Blade comes in either the gold or the silver housing.

3. Deep Point Blade

What are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Family machines

This blade is for deeper cuts so I bought it thinking it was the only for glitter cardstock.  While you may use it for glitter cardstock, it can be used for other materials as well. This cuts at a 60 degree angle compared to the Premium Fine Point that cuts at a 45 degree angle.

The 60 degree angle is steeper so it's more effective for cutting harder materials. This is another blade I changed way earlier than I needed to. I was convinced I had to change my blades every year (silly me lol). THIS IS TOTALLY NOT TRUE. Blades should be changed when necessary. Later in this post, I will give you some tips to identify when your blade needs changing.

Here is a list of materials you can cut with this cricut blade:

  •  magnet
  • chipboard
  • stamp material
  • thick cardstock
  • stiffened felt
  • foam sheets
  • cardboard
  • leather

4. Bonded-Fabric Blade

What are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Family machines

I was watching a YouTube tutorial and a blogger was very passionate about not using fabric scissor to cut paper. This was my first time hearing this so I was very curious to hear the reason behind this.  Evidently, paper dulls the blades of a scissors faster than fabric. Therefore to keep your fabric scissors sharp, do not use it to cut paper. The same thing applies here. A Bonded-Fabric Blade is actually a Premium Fine Point Blade. Cricut simply put it in a pink housing (to match the cutting mat) to establish a distinct difference between the blade we should use for fabric and the blade we should use for other materials.

Here are a few materials you can cut with this cricut blade:

  • Bonded Fabric
  • Fabric
  • Felt
  • oil cloth

What is bonded Fabric? Your guess is as good as mine….

The term bonded fabric is way over my head so I had to google it.  Apparently it's 2 or more layers of fabric joined together. In some cases, one side has fabric and on its back you will find adhesive. This is perfect if you want to iron-on fabric letter cutouts on a pillow etc. I've butchered the definition so if you have any type of seamstress background, please chime in and set me straight.

5. Rotary BladeWhat are the cricut blade differences


  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

Let's continue this discussion of fabric. The Rotary Blade is the exact opposite of the Bonded-Fabric Blade.  You do not need to use bonded fabric or any type of backing on your material when you are cutting with the Rotary Blade.  This blade turns, rolls and glides on the material to cut rather than a harsh left to right cut.  This unique blade is delicate enough to cut through tissue paper. How cool is that! Cricut recommends graphics that are no smaller than 3/4 inches to ensure the blade has enough space to accurately turn and roll. Otherwise, the blade won't be able to turn accurately and you wont get a nice cut. The Rotary Blade should be used with the pink cutting mat.

Some recommended cutting materials for this cricut blade:

  • Felt
  • Fabric
  • Tissue Paper
  • Crepe paper

6. Knife Blade

Cricut Blades: What are the differences?

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

This blade is tiny but mighty! You can cut wood and other really thick materials, need I say more? From that description, it's clear this blade is super shape and cuts very deep. Be aware that the blade can only slice through material that has a maximum thickness of 3/32 inches. When you are cutting any of these materials, you must move the star wheels on the roller bar to the side to avoid track marks. Of course, I've cut materials without moving the star wheels and I was sorry I didn't move them to the side. The indents on my project were very uncute.

If you are using the Knife Blade then best practice is to use the purple cutting mat. The materials are really thick and heavy so you need a strong grip to hold the material in place. If the grip on your mat isn't strong enough, use painter's tape along the sides to help secure it.

Here are a few materials you can cut with this cricut blade:

  • Balsa Wood
  • Mat Board
  • Chip Board
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Leather

7. Perforation Blade

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

This blade cut multiples evenly spaced small lines to create a tear-away element out of your project. This is perfect to use for event tickets, coupons, gift certificates, forms, just to name a few.  Cricut recommends images no smaller than 3/4 inches to ensure the blade can cut with precision as well as no intricate cuts.  There are 2 ways to purchase this tool.  You can purchase the quickswap housing and the tip as a combo or you can purchase the tip by itself.  If you only buy the tip, keep in mind you require a quickswap housing in order to load this tool in the Maker.

This blade isn't only limited to cutting light paper.  It was rigourously tested and is able to create a clean cuts on multiple materials. Below I've listed a few.

Some recommended cutting materials for this cricut blade:

  • Cardstock (heavy and light)
  • Acetate
  • Foil Poster Board
  • Tooling leather
  • Kraft Board
  • Construction paper
  • Craft foam

8. Wavy BladeWhat are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

This blade cuts the cutest edges on your projects. Honestly, there is no limit to where you can use this blade. If you want to give your project a unique look, just put away the Premium Fine Point Blade that cuts straight and use this instead.  Cricut recommends images no smaller than 3/4 inches to ensure the blade can cut with precision as well as no intricate cuts.  There are 2 ways to purchase this tool.  You can purchase the quickswap housing and the tip as a combo or you can purchase the tip by itself.  If you only buy the tip, keep in mind you require a quickswap housing in order to load this tool in the Maker.

Some recommended cutting materials for this cricut blade:

  • Vinyl
  • Iron-On
  • Fusible Fabric
  • Genuine Leather
  • Cardstock (heavy and light)
  • Washi Tape
  • Vellum
  • Construction paper
  • Craft foam


What are the 4 crafting tools?

1. Scoring Wheel and Double Scoring Wheel

What are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

This isn't a blade because it doesn't cut the material.  It creates a visible crisp crease so you can fold beautiful lines.  I use the word visible because the scoring stylus was once the only way to create a crease and it was almost impossible to see on the project. The scoring wheels use 10x more pressure than the scoring stylus so you don't have to look for the crease in your paper. The single scoring wheel makes 1 crease while the double scoring wheel makes 2 creases parallel to eachother. The scoring wheel should be used for lighter material and the Double Scoring wheel should be used for heavier ones.

Here are some recommended materials to cut with this cricut blade:

  • Cardstock (heavy and light)
  • Acetate
  • Cardstock
  • Posterboard
  • Cardboard

2. Debossing Tip

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

Debossing is a depressed  image or graphic in a material. It's the exact opposite of embossing which creates raised images. Basically this tools has the ability to make imprints on your projects that are beautiful to see and touch! This is not a blade so nothing gets cut out. Just think about the beautiful decorative patterns and florals you can create on wedding invitations and beautiful gift boxes. You can purchase the quickswap housing and the tip as a combo or you can purchase the tip by itself.  If you only buy the tip, keep in mind you require a quickswap housing in order to load this tool in the Maker.

Here are a few recommended materials for this cricut blade:

  • Cardstock (heavy and light)
  • Faux Leather
  • Poster Board
  • Heavy Chipboard
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Foil Acetate

3. Engraving Tip

  • compatible only with Cricut Maker

The Engraving Tip allows you to engrave multiple surfaces with text, beautiful embellishments and decorative flourishes. You can make dog tags, bracelets, and even inscribed jewellry. Make sure your material is never wider than 11 inches. You can purchase the quickswap housing and the tip as a combo or you can purchase the tip by itself.  If you only buy the tip, keep in mind you require a quickswap housing in order to load this tool in the Maker.

Here are a few recommended materials for this cricut blade:

  • Brass
  • Stainless Steel
  • Metal
  • Metallic Leather
  • Tooling Leather
  • Vinyl Record

4. Foil Transfers Tool

What are the cricut blade differences

  • compatible with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore machines

The Cricut Transfer Tool can only be purchased as a Kit. The kit comes with 3 interchangeable tips which are fine, medium and bold. The tips are also foil transfer sheets and tape in the kit.  With this tool, you are able to create beautiful embellishments on your cards and wall decor. Just think about the intricate touch you can add to a wedding invitations and cards.

These are the recommended cutting materials for this cricut blade:

  • Cardstock (light, medium and heavy)
  • Leather
  • Photopaper
  • Poster board
  • Printable Sticker Paper
  • Vellum
  • Printable vinyl
  • Deluxe paper
  • Watercolor paper
  • Kraft board

How to store Cricut Blades

Cricut has released a storage system for Cricut Blades which is super neat! I'll be honest, I don't have one yet but it is definitely on my list of items to buy. It's just so compact and cute. They are also so many amazing Storage systems for cricut blades that you can buy on Etsy.  If you follow then you know she also has a template for you to make your own cricut blade organization system which is pretty awesome. If you don't want to buy a storage system for your cricut blades, then you can definitely use the storage compartment in the bottom of your Cricut and you can also use the holders on the side too.

Cricut tool organizer for blades

How to sharpen Cricut Blade

Cricut blades can be sharpened with Aluminum foil. Grab some aluminum foil and roll it into a ball. Then take your blade and use stab the aluminum foil repeatedly. That's it! The crafting tools aren't blades so I don't worry about sharpening those.

When to replace Cricut blades?

The following are indicators that I may need a new cricut blade:

  1. My cuts aren't crisp;
  2. My projects aren't cutting with precision; or
  3. The material is being destroyed by the blade.

When this happens, I still run a series of test before I run out to make a purchase. I do the following:

  1. Sharpen my blade
  2. Check if I need a new mat: Maybe my mat wasn't sticky enough and my project shifted.
  3. Try cutting again: this time a use the more pressure button
  4. Double check my design: Maybe there's a really thin cut line or the design is too intricate

If none of these work, then I opt to buy a blade.

How to change Cricut Blades?

These instructions are to change the blade in the Premium Fine Point Blade and the Deep Point Blade.

First you need to remove the blade from the housing and you do this by pushing the pin on the top of the housing.The blade will fall right out. If it doesn't, carefully give it a gently pull. Keep in mind the blade is still sharpe so be careful.

The replacement blade in the package comes with a rubber  protective covering, please remove it and then insert the new blade into the housing. I usually push the pin on the top of the housing while inserting the new blade so it can smoothly grab it.

Watch this video and learn how to change Cricut Blades

How to change the Knife Blade.

How to change the Rotary Blade.

In summary

With the 8 Cricut Blades and 4 Crafting Tools, you are well armed with just about every tool you need to create anything you can imagine; from cutting cardstock to engraving metal. It's important to only work with the materials that are recommended for that specific blade.  This will preserve it and prevent it from breaking. Cricut blades are durable and really sharpe so don't be in a rush to replace them at the drop of a hat.  Do a bit a troubleshooting, they might just need to be sharpened.


What are the differences between the Cricut Blades


Vs rotary blade scoring wheel

The complete guide to Cricut Blades

If you are wondering what Cricut blade cuts vinyl or which Cricut blade cuts wood, I’ve got you covered. This is the only guide you’ll need to learn all about the Cricut tips and blades.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.

When I first got my Cricut, I had no idea there were so many different Cricut blades and tips. Some of the blades (e.g. engraving tip) seemed pretty straightforward. But what about blades like the knife blade? Does the knife blade cut wood? What Cricut blade cuts vinyl?

Let’s take a moment to review the different types of blades and which machine can use what blade.

Cricut Explore Air 2

Additional tools the Cricut Explore Air 2 can use:

Fine Point Blade

The Fine Point Blade comes with both the Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker. It’s considered the default blade that you use for most projects.

It’s made from German Carbide which is a high-quality material and makes it extremely durable. It is mostly used for paper and vinyl projects and is great for iron-on (HTV), paper, cardstockand other medium-weight materials.

The Fine Point Blade comes in silver and it’s premium housing in gold. Either function pretty much the same. The replacement blades are also colour-coded and have silver and premium gold blades. The premium blades have higher durability.

The Fine Point Blade can cut:

  • Printer Paper
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on or HTV (Heat transfer vinyl)
  • Laminated sheets
  • Cardstock
  • Washi Tape
  • Parchment Paper
  • Vellum
  • Canvas
  • Light Chipboard
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)

Popular Fine Point Blade Projects

Deep Point Blade

If you need to cut thicker materials, the Deep Point Blade is perfect for that. The Deep point blade has a steeper blade angle (60 degrees vs 45 degrees on the fine point blades).

It’s made of more durable and harder steel. It even feels more robust in your hand. It’s easy to identify the Deep Point Blade because it is the only one in black.

The Deep Point Blade can cut:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Chipboard
  • Thick Cardstock
  • Stiffened felt
  • Genuine Leather
  • Magnetic Sheets
  • Corrugated Paper
  • Foam Sheets
  • Cardboard

Bonded Fabric Blade

If you’ve ever cut fabric before by hand, you’ll know how difficult it is to cut it with a craft knife or Exacto knife. The Bonded Fabric Blade isn’t a rotary blade (see the Cricut Maker section for that) but it is able to cut bonded fabric.

These blades are pink which makes them easy to identify. The blades can also be used in the Fine Point Blade housing.

The Bonded Fabric Blade can cut:

  • Bonded fabric (such as silk, denim, felt, cotton, polyester)
  • Fabric with an iron-on backing

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker can use all of the Cricut Explore Air 2 blades as well as the following:

Rotary Blade

The Rotary Blade comes with the Cricut Maker machine. It is THE sewing tool and lets you cut all sorts of fabric materials.

Similar to a traditional hand rotary blade, it glides across your fabrics. Combined with the Cricut, it cuts quickly and with such precision.

The Rotary Blade can cut:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Cork
  • Canvas
  • Chiffon
  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Felt
  • Fleece
  • Silk
  • Polyester
  • Microfiber
  • Nylon

Knife Blade

If you thought the Deep Point Blade didn’t cut deep enough, the extra-deep Knife Blade slices through dense materials up to 3/32” thick. It’s perfect for medium in thicker materials. If you are looking to cut wood, this is the one to use.

Note: Due to longer cut times requiring Bluetooth connection, there is no longer support from Cricut for the Knife Blade tool on iOS and Android devices.

The Knife Blade can cut:

  • Balsa Wood
  • Basswood
  • Matboard
  • Chipboard

Quick Swap Tools

The Cricut Maker has an adaptive housing tool system that allows you to switch between different tips. You can easily switch between the different tips saving you space (and money) since you don’t need a full housing system for each one. Here is the full list of tips you can use with the Quick Swap housing.


The engraving tip creates all sorts of fun things from monograms, metal inscriptions, to even etching on plastic.

Here are some materials the engraving tip can work on:

  • Metal (sheets/flat pieces)
  • Acrylic
  • Aluminum
  • Bronze
  • Stainless Steel
  • Leather (thin)
  • Plastic

Related:Engraving tip project – Whiteboard Learning Mats


The debossing tip creates a debossed effect which basically is creating an indented design. Similar to the engraving tip, it is primarily used for lighter materials – in particular, paper.

What the debossing tip can work on:

  • Cardstock
  • Poster Board
  • Chipboard
  • Kraft Board
  • Matboard
  • Leather (thin)
  • Balsa wood


The scoring tip makes paper crafts so easy by making crisp lines that make it easy to fold.

The double scoring tool is great for scoring heavier materials like poster board and cardboard.

Great for the scoring tip:

  • Copy paper
  • Construction paper
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Cardstock
  • Acetate sheets
  • Plastic Packaging

Great for the double scoring tip:

  • Posterboard
  • Cardboard
  • Chipboard
  • Kraft board
  • Laminated sheets

Scoring wheel projects:

Graduation Card and Mug

Mother’s Day Card


Similar to patters craft scissors can make, the wavy tip makes fun wavy cuts into your designs. Use the Wavy tip to create fun wavy ribbons, unique vinyl decals, gift tags, and fun envelopes.

Due to its rotary like shape, it can also cut wavy designs in fabric!

Materials the wavy tip can cut:

  • Copy paper
  • Construction paper
  • Cardstock
  • Cardboard
  • Posterboard
  • Kraft Board
  • Cotton
  • Polyester


The perforation tip allows you to give your projects a tear-apart effect. It’s perfect for raffle tickets, coupon booklets, or homemade journals.

The perforation tip can cut:

  • Copy Paper
  • Construction paper
  • Cardstock
  • Cardboard
  • Poster Board
  • Felt
  • Craft Foam
  • Vellum
  • Plastic
  • Acetate

What do the numbers on the Cricut tips mean?

You might have noticed small numbers on your blades and tips. Each one is number coded to help you identify which tip/blade they are.

Here is the guide:

Tip #Tip/Blade
01Scoring Wheel
02Double Scoring Wheel
11Perforation Blade
21Debossing Tip
31Wavy Blade
41Engraving Tip

Looking for craft inspiration or somewhere to share your projects? Join our Facebook community where I post other free SVG files and resources! I look forward to crafting with you!

What Blades Cut What Materials With Your Cricut Maker?

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2 [2020 update]


Are you trying to decide between the Cricut Explore Air 2 and the Cricut Maker? Want to know which is the right machine for you?

I’ll compare everything about the Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2, so you can make the best decision about which to purchase.

What exactly is the difference between these two cutting machines?

Well, the Cricut Maker can do a whole lot more than the Explore Air 2 can but comes with a bigger price tag to match.

I’ll go over all the most important features of these two machines, so you can decide if the upgrade is worth it for you and the crafting you do the most.

Cricut Maker vs Cricut Explore Air 2: a comparison

Best value
Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
Best choice
Cricut Maker, Champagne


Knife Blade for deep cuts

Max cutting depth

Cutting force

Fabric cutting

3.5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Tools and accessories

4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
Best value
Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint


Knife Blade for deep cuts

Fabric cutting

3.5 out of 5 stars

Tools and accessories

4 out of 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars
Best choice
Cricut Maker, Champagne

Knife Blade for deep cuts

Fabric cutting

5 out of 5 stars

Tools and accessories

5 out of 5 stars


4 out of 5 stars

Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2 – a quick glance

The Cricut Maker was announced in 2017, about a year after the Explore Air 2, to a whole heap of excitement from the Cricut community.

At the release, there were even quite a few grumbles from those who had recently bought an Explore Air 2, wishing they had known a better machine was coming out.

The Maker adds greater cutting power and works with a whole suite of exclusive tools that make it the top choice for fabric, 3d paper art, and cutting thick or exotic materials. However, the Maker sacrifices a bit in design and costs a fair bit more.

  • Cutting technology: The Cricut Maker features the innovative Adaptive Tool System, which offers 10x the cutting power of the Explore Air 2. This lets the Maker cut three times as many materials as an Explore machine.
  • Price: The Explore Air 2 is a much better value, especially for cutting paper and vinyl. It costs ~30% less than the Cricut Maker.
  • Design: The Explore Air 2 has a sleeker design that weighs less, comes in more colors, and keeps the cartridge slot and materials dial that are missing from the Maker.
  • Fabric: While the Explore Air 2 can cut bonded fabric, the Cricut Maker uses the Rotary Blade to cut all unbonded fabric, making it the definitive choice for quilters and seamstresses.
  • Tools: Both machines use the same basic blades for paper and vinyl, and the same pens for drawing. But the Maker has specialized tools for fabric, really thick materials, and for unique functions like scoring, perforating, and wavy cuts.

(If you’re looking for a larger comparison, I have a new article on Cricut vs Silhouette which goes over all of their machines)

Cricut Maker overview

Cricut Maker in Champagne
Cricut Maker in Champagne
  • Adaptive Tool System gives 10x the cutting power to give you the most versatile and powerful craft cutter available
  • Best machine for cutting fabrics with the included Rotary Blade and Sewing Pattern Library
  • Knife Blade can precisely cut materials up to 2.4 mm thick

The Cricut Maker was released just a year after the Explore Air 2, and proved to be one of the biggest upgrades to a craft cutter we’ve seen.

(At least, since everything went digital!)

The Maker does a lot more than basic paper and vinyl cutting. It provides significantly improved cutting for fabric, 3d paper art, thick and dense materials, as well as other creative functions like embossing, engraving, and perforating.

Below, I’ve outlined some of the key attributes that make the Cricut Maker such an amazingly versatile machine. If any of these new features seem like must-haves to you, the Maker is the machine for you.

Adaptive Tool System

The Adaptive Tool System in the Cricut Maker gives you 10x the cutting power, and lets you cut over 300 different types of material.

Do you really need all that?

Well, these new tools are actually able to lift and turn while cutting, which is unlike any other cutting tool we’ve seen. So even when cutting thin paper and vinyl, you get cleaner curves and can cut smaller fonts more precisely.

However, the Adaptive Tool System really shines for powering through thick or tough material like leather and wood, for cutting unbonded fabric, and for scoring, engraving, and embossing more deeply than ever before.

The Cricut Maker has a dock to hold tablets or cell phones.

Knife Blade

The Maker can be used with the Knife Blade (sold separately) which has a steeply angled edge for cutting dense materials up to 2.4 mm thick. You won’t just be making puzzles or fun shapes out of craft foam. With the power of the Adaptive Tool System and the Knife Blade, you can actually cut fine details out of tough leather, matboard, and balsa wood.

All the tools

Cricut has released a wide array of fun and useful tools to use with the Adaptive Tool System in the Cricut Maker:

  • Scoring Wheel (and a Double Scoring Wheel) that gives crisp folding lines for 3d paper art and custom cards make out of cardstock.
  • Debossing Tip actually has enough power behind it to imprint deep, gorgeous designs on your foils or papers for scrapbooking.
  • Perforation Blade so you can make tear-out stickers.
  • Engraving Tip can carve out of wood, metal, leather, and acrylic.
  • Wavy Blade, just for fun!

And best of all, with the Maker you’ll be futureproof: Cricut plans to continue to develop and release additional tools for this machine.

Fabric cutting

The Cricut Maker is the best machine for cutting fabric, making it the top pick for seamstresses and quilters. It comes with a Rotary Blade for cutting unbonded fabric, just like the handheld rotary cutters that you’re used to.

It’s also the only Cricut that comes with access to Cricut’s Sewing Pattern Library, with over 500 digital sewing patterns, complete with markings for seam allowances.

Cricut sells has washable fabric pens so you can cut and mark your fabric in one sweep, without anything getting out of alignment.

The Cricut Maker is shown in three different colors: champagne, rose, and blue.

5 Key Features of the Cricut Maker

  • Adaptive tool system gives 10x cutting power
  • Knife blade for precision cutting of dense materials up to 2.4 mm thick
  • Best for cutting fabrics: Rotary blade and access to the Sewing Pattern Library
  • Top choice for 3d paper art: Scoring Wheel and Debossing Tip give improved performance on cardstock, paper, and foils
  • New, unique tools continue to be released


  • Most powerful craft cutter you can buy
  • Includes all of the best Explore Air tech: Bluetooth, dual tool holder, and 2x fast mode
  • Cuts over 300 different kinds of material
  • Works with great new tools for fabric, leather, wood, metal, and more
  • Future-proof: Cricut’s new tools will be designed for the Adaptive Tool System
  • Built-in mount and charger for your phone or tablet, plus additional storage


  • No cartridge slot
  • No dial for selecting material settings
  • Increased price, plus accessories cost more

Cricut Explore Air 2 overview

Cricut Explore Air 2 in Mint Green
Cricut Explore Air 2 in Mint Green
  • Best value on a Cricut for cutting paper and vinyl
  • Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  • Dual tool head and 2x fast mode to make your cuts a breeze

The Cricut Explore Air 2 was released in 2016, as the absolute fastest version of the Explore series. Since then, Cricut has released the Air 2 in some amazing and vivid new colors. Other than that, there haven’t been significant improvements to the Explore line of vinyl cutters. They remain some of the best priced machines for cutting vinyl and paper, especially since they are almost always on sale these days.

Just below I’ll take you through the features that the Explore Air 2 has to offer. Most of the advanced features of the machine make it easy to use, and improve your quality of life, as you cut out your creative projects.


The Explore Air 2 features embedded Bluetooth for wireless cutting. In fact, that’s the “Air” in Air 2. You don’t technically need Bluetooth to cut, you can always leave your phone or computer tethered to the machine via USB cable instead.

But for me, having wireless cutting is essential. I don’t have enough space on my cutting station to park my laptop next to the cutter, and, well, I just don’t want to give up my phone for 20 minutes while it cuts out a big project.

This bright pink Cricut Explore Air 2 opens to reveal the dual tool holder.

Dual Tool Holder

The Air 2 also has a dual tool holder that can hold two different tools: blades, pens, or the scoring stylus. This means you can cut & draw in a single pass, or write out a birthday message & score the card for folding in a single go. It’s so much easier not having to change out tools between each individual use. And it really enables you to create more multimedia projects than you otherwise would even consider.

2x fast mode

And best of all, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the speediest cutter from the Explore line. It has a 2x fast mode for cutting thin materials like vinyl and paper at twice the speed of the old Explore. This saves so much time, whether you are making a whole run of stickers for your volleyball team, or cutting out a long complicated vinyl decal to put on your bedroom wall.

The more time you save cutting means the more projects you’ll get to do!

Design features

On the top of the machine body, you’ll notice features missing on the Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2: the Smart Set Dial and the cartridge slot. The cartridge slot lets you easily insert your old Cricut cartridges so you can link them to your Cricut account and access the designs within Cricut Design Space.

The Smart Set Dial is a smooth knob where you can select the material you’ll be cutting, and the machine automatically selects the appropriate cut settings for Design Space to use. The Smart Set Dial enables you to easily cut over 100 different types of material with this craft cutter.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 Smart Set Dial lets you select the material and automatically adjusts the cut settings.

5 Key Features of the Explore Air 2

  • Bluetooth for wireless cutting
  • Dual tool holder, so you can cut & draw in a single pass
  • 2x fast mode for quick cuts on paper and vinyl
  • Cartridge slot for linking your old Cricut cartridges
  • Smart Set Dial automatically selects machine settings to cut 100+ materials


  • Best value of any Cricut for cutting thin materials like paper and vinyl
  • Weighs less than the Maker
  • Gorgeous design comes in a vibrant array of colors
  • Deep-point blade for cutting material up to 1.5 mm thick
  • Easily upload your own images, fonts, and SVGs to Design Space for cutting


  • Doesn’t work with the Rotary Blade for fabric or the Knife Blade for very thick materials
  • The Scoring Stylus doesn’t score as strongly as the Maker’s Scoring Wheel (used with the Maker)
  • Fabric must be bonded to a stiffener before it can be cut

Feature Comparison of the Cricut Maker vs Explore Air 2

Cutting technology: Adaptive Tool System vs Smart Set Dial

First, let’s take a look at the cutting technology that each machine uses. When buying a craft cutter, what’s more important than how it cuts?

The Maker is one of the first Cricuts to actually use an entirely new control system for controlling the tool heads. This is where you’ll find the most important differences between these two models of Cricut.

The Cricut Maker Adaptive Tool System offes 10x the cutting power of the Air 2.

Cricut Maker

The Maker uses the innovative Adaptive Tool System to cut, draw, score & more. This system moves left, right, up, and down, and it also lifts and turns the cutting heads as it navigates your design. This lets the blades use more pressure with finer control, giving 10 times the cutting power of the previous Explore series. The Maker can cut 300+ different materials.

The Adaptive Tool System design also lets you use rotary tools, which simply don’t work with the Explore. The cut settings are controlled entirely from within the Cricut Design Space software; there is no longer a materials setting dial on the top of the machine.

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Explore Air 2 uses a drag blade technology that moves up and down and cuts side-to-side. It works similarly to other brands of home vinyl cutter, to give clean cuts on over 100 different materials. It has a dual tool holder so you can cut & draw, or cut & score in the same pass.

The Air 2 also features a Smart Set Dial so you can easily select the material type. By just turning a knob, the machine will automatically select the appropriate cut settings for your chosen material.

Verdict: the Maker

This one is no contest. Both machines have dual tool holders, and a fast mode for cutting vinyl and paper. While the Explore Air 2 cuts similarly to other popular home cutters, the Cricut Maker is absolutely in a league of its own.

The Maker utilizes an incredible new technology to truly open up a new world of cutting. You can cut 3x as many materials, including dense leather, matboard, and wood. It engraves better, scores better, and debosses better. It even cuts paper and vinyl more accurately, as the turning technology of the Adaptive Tool System lets you cut out smaller lettering out of thing materials.


Looking past all the bells and whistles, something that must be on your mind is price. How much do these machines cost? Is the more expensive Maker actually worth it? Which is a better value for what you get?

A woman pulls dollar bills out of her pocket.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is the most expensive personal cutter on the market. It typically costs about 1.5x as much as the Explore Air 2. However, there is a lot of utility packed into those extra dollars.

The value of the Maker will depend on what you want to do with it. As just a regular vinyl cutter, it is overpriced, even if it does cut a bit more nicely than the Explore Air 2. But if you want to cut fabric or make 3d paper art or if any of the new functions are appealing to you, then you may decide that the additional cost is worth it.

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Explore Air 2 is a fantastic cutter, at a fantastic price. It actually ranks as my top overall pick for best vinyl cutter. And what pushes it over the edge is that it is simply an awesome value for what you get. Most of its utility is geared towards making paper and vinyl cutting easy and successful, and so it proves to be a great value for that purpose.

Since the machine is a few years old now (released in 2016), it always on sale, and actually keeps getting cheaper and cheaper!

Verdict: Explore Air 2

Okay, you can probably guess this one. The Explore Air 2 is not just more affordable, but I also think it’s the better value. As much as I dearly love the Cricut Maker, I just can’t ignore its price tag. For most people who just want to make simple vinyl and paper projects, the Cricut Maker will be overpriced and overkill. But for those who will take advantage of the versatility and power, it will be worth it.

Cutting fabric

Seamstresses and quilters were some of the early Cricut fanatics, and for good reason. It is just so useful to have the cutting taken care of for you, so you can get straight to the business of sewing your work together. And of course the digital designs provide so many fun patterns for applique, as well as sewing plushies, pillows & more.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker was designed to elevate electronic fabric cutting to an entirely new level. It comes with the Rotary Blade for fabrics, which is able to cut unbonded fabric cleanly and precisely. It’s just like a rotary cutter you might use by hand.

No more ironing your fabric onto HeatNBond or freezer paper before cuts, which will save tons of time. The Rotary Blade is able to rotate around curves as it cuts, giving better cuts out of more difficult fabrics than a regular blade.

The Maker also comes with access to the Sewing Pattern Library with over 500 digital designs, from real designers.

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Explore Air 2 is able to cut bonded fabric, meaning fabric that is adhered to a stiff backing that makes it easier to cut. You can buy a special Bonded-Fabric Blade, though this is actually identical to the regular blade that comes with your machine, but in pink. Still, it’s useful to keep the fabric blade separate so it is only used on fabric and stays sharp.

Verdict: the Maker

Both machines prove quite useful for making neat fabric projects. Remember that they both do have the dual tool holder, so they can both cut fabric and label it with washable fabric markers in the same pass, without getting out of alignment. But if you’ll be doing more than the occasional fabric piece, the Cricut Maker is definitely the machine for you! It will save you so much time, and allow you to cut more fabrics than ever before.

Tools and accessories

Cricuts are defined by the tools they use. Initially they were solely electronic cutting machines (with cartridges!). Then Cricut added a pen holder and colorful pens to scribe fonts or drawings. After that came fabric cutters, deep-angled blades, and scoring tips. And now, the options have exploded with debossing, engraving, perforating, & more.

There is a vast array of tools available to the Cricut Maker.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker works with an ever expanding array of tools designed to work with the Adaptive Tool System. The Rotary Blade for fabric (discussed above), is the best electric cutter for fabric yet. The Knife Blade cuts through materials thicker than any other sharply angled blade, up to 2.4 mm thick.

The single and double Scoring Wheels can deeply score cardstock for 3d paper crafts. The Debossing Tip is essential for scrapbookers to create gorgeous foils. And there’s the Perforation Blade, the Wavy Blade, all the colorful pens, fabric pens, washable pens, plus whatever else Cricut dreams up next.

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Explore Air 2 has a standard lineup of tools you can use. There is a regular blade for thin and easy materials. The Deep-Point blade can cut thick materials like craft foam up to 1.5 mm thick. The Bonded-Fabric Blade (described above) is a pink version of the regular blade that is useful for keeping separate from your regular blade.

The Scoring Stylus can score into cardstock, though not as well as the Maker’s Scoring Wheel. And there are all the regular and fabric pens as well. Interestingly, because the Explore series has been around for so long, there are also a bunch of DIY hacks and off-brand tools you can try for embossing, engraving, debossing, and more.

Verdict: the Maker

The Maker is practically swimming in amazing tools to try out. And the tools work better than on the Explore Air 2. The scoring and debossing are sharper. The fabric cutting is easier and cleaner. The Knife Blade cuts deeper.

The Cricut Maker is the clear winner for selection and quality of tools. Best of all, with the Maker you’ll be at the forefront for new tools, as Cricut is continuing to develop fun additions for the Maker. It doesn’t look like the Air 2 will be getting additional tools any time soon (outside of new hacks that the community can try out).


For the design of these Cricuts, I’ll discuss how the machine bodies look and feel when you use them. Are the machines attractive? How big are they? What sort of storage and buttons and knobs are there?

The Cricut Explore Air 2 comes in an incredible range of vivid colors.

Cricut Maker

The Cricut Maker is a solidly built machine, coming in at 21 lbs. The machine has a black base, a white body, and the lids come in a handful of colors: lilac, blue, rose, mint, and champagne.

Cricut has moved towards simplicity in the design of this machine. There is no button to open, you simply lift the lid and the rest of the machine unfolds. There is no more slot for cartridges, instead you’ll have to buy a special adapter.

[Reader tip: You can also just email Cricut support with pictures to have your cartridges linked to your account!]

Similarly, Cricut removed the material dial, and instead the machine settings are set within the design program.

With the extra space on the machine’s body, Cricut has added additional storage for pens and accessories (which you’ll need with all these tools!). There is also a dock for a phone or tablet, and a 3.0 Amp USB port for charging that device.

Cricut Explore Air 2

The Explore Air 2 has a gorgeous design that comes in an amazing variety of full-body colors. First were the original pastels, and more recently it was released in 8 additional imaginative colors like boysenberry, cobalt, fuchsia, sunflower, and persimmon.

The Air 2 automatically opens at the touch of a button. It has a Smart Set Dial (which I love!) to easily select machine settings without going into the software. It also has a cartridge slot to link Cricut cartridge if you still have some lying around, or pick up a batch at a yard sale.

Verdict: the Explore Air 2

I’ll be honest here, I was tempted to pick the Explore Air 2 as the winner here based solely on the color selection. But the basic design of the machine, beneath the colors, is more attractive as well. I also sorely miss having the material dial on the Maker, though the additional storage and iPad perch it has instead is quite nifty.

Final Verdict: the versatile and powerful Cricut Maker!

The Cricut Maker vastly outpowers the Explore Air 2 with the Adaptive Tool system. It is the better machine for fabric projects, 3d paper crafts, and for makers craving versatility out of their cutter.

Still, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is the best value cutter for a narrow range of use. If you will be cutting almost entirely paper and vinyl, then I recommend that you pick this more affordable option.

However, if you don’t want to limit your options or your creativity, then I recommend the Maker. It will cut unbonded fabric, score cardstock more deeply, cut thicker material, and allow you to more precisely cut a greater range of material than ever before.

–> Here is the best place to order to receive a Maker right away.

Best Maker and Explore Air 2 deals and bundles (where to buy)

You can often get a great deal on a Cricut machine by picking out a bundle, which comes with a starting selection of vinyl, paper, tools, and guides. I’ve scoured the web and picked out some of the best bundles and deals for both the Explore Air 2 and the Maker.

Cricut Maker deals:

Cricut Explore Air 2 deals:

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I trade in my Explore Air 2 for credit towards a Cricut Maker?

A: Not that we’ve seen. Unfortunately, Cricut has remained completely silent on if they will ever offer a trade-in option for those who want to upgrade to the Cricut Maker. However, you could try to sell your used Explore Air 2 on eBay or Facebook Marketplace to get money to use towards a Cricut Maker.

Can I use the Rotary Blade or Knife Blade with the Explore Air 2?

A: No, the Rotary Blade and Knife Blade work with only the Cricut Maker. The options for the Air 2 are the Bonded-Fabric Blade and the Deep-Point Blade, which don’t cut quite as well as the Maker versions.

Which machine should I get for cutting felt?

A: The Maker is definitely better for cutting felt. It is able to cut all thicknesses up to 2.4 mm. The Explore Air 2 is good for dense, thin felt up to 1.5 mm, but has trouble cutting out smaller pieces and finer details. And with the Explore Air 2, weaker felt will need to be bonded like other fabrics in order to be cut.

I cut mostly foam sheets, do I need the Maker for that? Or is the Explore Air 2 enough?

A: The Maker is better for cutting foam sheets because you can move the rollers all the way to the sides, so they won’t leave indents on your foam. However, the Explore Air 2 is still able to cut foam, but only up to 1.5 mm thick. (The Maker goes up to 2.4 mm.)

Will the Maker be coming out in any other colors?

A: Probably! But no one knows yet! The Maker was first released with three colors, then they added an additional two more. It is still the best cutter that Cricut offers, so I’m guessing they will roll out some bright colors in the next year or two. However, their focus on the Maker seems to be for new tools, while the Explore Air 2 is getting all the new colors.


  1. What Makes Cricut Maker Different From Cricut Explore Machines?
  2. Ready. Set. Cut. … With Cricut Knife Blade!
  3. Meet the Cricut Explore family.
  4. The New Bold Cricut Explore Air 2 Family – There’s a Hue for You!

Now discussing:

Let me help you avoid the headache of learning and figuring out what you need to know about the Cricut blades.

If you want to learn the differences, types, care, and everything about them, you are in the right place!

Before I got my Cricut, I didn’t understand anything about blades. I even thought that I just needed one blade for everything. You see it’s not that simple, but once you finish reading this post, it will be!

Before we dig into this topic, let’s have a little overview.

Blades allow your Cricut machine to cut all of your projects. However, and depending on the types of materials you want to work with, you’ll need a different kind of blade.

Right now, there are eight types of blades and four other crafting tools available:

  1. Fine Point blade – Gold/Silver
  2. Deep Point blade – Black
  3. Bonded Fabric blade – Pink
  4. Foil Transfer Kit – Blue
  5. Rotary blade – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  6. Knife blade –  only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  7. Quick Swap Perforation blade – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  8. Quick Swap Wavy blade – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  9. Quick Swap Debossing tip – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  10. Quick Swap Engraving tip – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  11. Quick Swap Scoring Wheel tips – only works with the Cricut Maker – Silver
  12. Cricut Joy Fine Point Blade – Silver with a white top – Cricut Joy Only.

Each one of the blades and Tips I just mentioned has different superpowers and can cut different materials. Failing to use the right blade can damage your materials, or even the blade itself.

You don’t NEED to worry about this though, because before you are going to cut a specific project, the Cricut Design Space software will tell you WHAT blade you need with any material.

However, I still think it’s a good idea for you to learn the Cricut blades differences so you can see if you need a specific blade before you purchase materials, or even more important before you buy a Cricut Machine (Not all blades work with all machines).

NOTE: If you are still deciding what Cricut you should buy. I highly recommend you reading this post. It took me a whole week to put it together and multiple hours of research. That post will help you to find out if the – or what – Cricut is the right machine for you!

Are you ready for some fun? Let’s go ahead and get started.

Everything you Need to Know about ALL of the Cricut Blades

When I bought my Cricut, I thought I had everything I needed, I sort of thought it was like a printer, but instead of printing, you just cut. Right?

Oh, boy, I was wrong!

The Cricut Machine is way more complicated than a printer, and there are many things to keep in mind before, during, and after the cutting process.

One of the variables that will set you for success is knowing about the Cricut blades and the materials each one of them can cut.

Photo Left to right - Knife Blade, Scoring Wheel, And Rotary Blade - Cricut Maker ONLY

I am blessed to own all of the blades and that combined with my own experience and all of the research I’ve done, I am entirely sure that in this article you will learn everything you need to know about all of the Cricut blades.

Make sure to read my article on the differences between the Cricut Maker and Explore Air 2 for a more in-depth comparison of all of the things you can do with each machine.

Cricut Blade Anatomy

Cricut blades are exceptionally well designed and you can feel the quality of the materials once you are holding them in your hands. They are beautiful and do their job to perfection!

While I was learning about this topic, I was quite confused with some of the terminology that I read across the web regarding the Cricut blades. If you find yourself in the same spot, here I am to make it easy for you to understand.

Besides, colors and functionality when you see a picture of one particular blade what you are seeing is not just the blade itself, but also the housing.

Cricut Blades Anatomy Info graphic Differences, which ones are for maker and explore.

Let me describe it better here:

  • Housing: is what holds the blade in place. When your blade is due for a change, you don’t need to change the housing.
  • Drive Housing: This type of housing is specifically designed for the Cricut Maker only, and they differ from standard housing blades because they have a golden top gear. The Cricut Adaptive Tool System drives these gears. Drive Housing blades come with a plastic cover that should be left at all times to keep the gears clean.
  • Blade: blades look somewhat similar to a small nail, and are inserted inside the housings. Blades can be replaced when cuts are not as sharp as they used to be. Note: blades for drive housings look all different.

Cricut Blades and Tips – Quick Reference Table

For a quick reference of which blade and tool work with each machine, check out the following table.

Blade / TipMakerExploreJoy
Fine Point Bladexx
Deep Point Bladexx
Bonded Fabric Bladexx
Foil Transfer Kitxx
Rotary Bladex
Scoring Wheelx
Knife Bladex
Perforation Bladex
Wavy Bladex
Engraving Tipx
Debossing Tipx
Cricut Joy Fine Point Bladex

What are the different types of Cricut Blades and What can they cut?

Right now, there are seven different blades and three different tips available. All nine tools can be used with the Cricut Maker, but only three of them can be used with the Cricut Explore Family Machine.

Let’s dig in!

Fine Point Blade

Golden Fine Point Blade

The Fine Point blade is the most common, and it comes with all of the Cricut Machines. It’s made out of German Carbide, which an extremely durable and high-quality material most commonly used for cutting tools materials.

This blade is perfect for making intricate cuts, and it’s designed to cut medium-weight materials. It used to be silver, but it now comes in a beautiful golden color.

It works with any of the Cricut Explore Family machines and the Cricut Maker.

Note: Besides color (from silver to gold) there’s no difference between the housings silver and gold housings, including the blade there’s inside it when you initially purchase your machine.

However, when you purchase a replacement blade for the Cricut Maker/Explore ALWAYS MAKE SURE that you purchase the blade with the white cap. The grey cap it’s for older Cricut machine models.

Check Fine Point Blade Price

What Materials can I cut with the Fine Point blade?
  • Printer Paper
  • Vinyl: Glitter vinyl, printable, outdoor, holographic
  • Iron-on or also HTV (Heat transfer vinyl)
  • Cardstock
  • Washi Tape
  • Parchment Paper
  • Vellum
  • Canvas
  • Light Chipboard
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)

Deep Point Blade

Black Point Blade & Housing

If you need to cut thicker materials, the Deep Point blade will be your best friend. You can use it with any of the Cricut Explore Family machines or Cricut Maker!

The angle of this blade is so much steeper – 60 degrees compared to 45 degrees for the fine point blade – This allows the blade to penetrate and cut intricate cuts in thick materials.

The color of this blade is black and must be used with its respective housing. And by that, I meant that you can’t interchange other blades like Fine Point and Bonded Fabric.

Check Deep Point Blade Price

What Materials can I cut with the Deep Point blade?
  • Craft Foam
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Genuine Leather
  • Metallic Leather
  • Magnetic Sheet – 0.6mm
  • Corrugated Paper

Compare the Angle Differences between Deep Point and Fine Point blade

  • Fine Point Blade 45 degree angle
  • Deep Point Blade 60 degree angle

Bonded Fabric Blade

The Bonded Fabric blade is like the Fine Point Blade, but it’s color-coded so you only use it with fabric. To have a better experience when cutting fabric, don’t use this blade paper, or vinyl.

Bonded Fabric Blade & Housing

There’s a big caveat with this blade though. The fabric you are going to cut needs to be bonded to a backing material.

If you are a sewer, you might know what bonded fabric, but if you are like me and have no prior experience with fabrics, let me explain to you real quick.

“Backing” is a type of material – like heat & bond – that you need to adhere – bond – to your fabrics so you can cut with this blade; hence the name Bonded Fabric blade.

If you don’t bond your fabrics properly, you risk tearing apart and stretching out your materials, and you might also damage your mat.

Not fun, right?

This blade is compatible with the Explore Family Machines and Cricut Maker, the color is pink and can be used with the Fine Point blade Housing and with the Pink Fabric Mat.

If you don’t have a pink mat, you can also use it with the Standard Green Mat.

Note:If you are confused about the Cricut Mats. Let me help you out, go and Check out this fantastic post. I spent multiple hours putting together, trust me, you will learn all there’s to know about the Cricut Mats.

Bonded Fabric Blade being held

Check Bonded Fabric Blade Price

What Materials can I cut with the Bonded Fabric blade?

Like I just mentioned above, ALL of these materials need to be bonded.

  • Oil Cloth
  • Silk
  • Polyester
  • Denim
  • Felt
  • Burlap
  • Cotton

Foil Transfer Kit (New)

The “Foil Transfer Kit” allows you to create beautiful and crisp foil effects on your projects. It’s compatible with the Cricut Maker and any of the Explore family machines.

I love using foil on my projects and I on many occasions I used iron-on. However, with iron-on you don’t have the intricacy that the “Foil Transfer Kit” has.

This kit is a 3 tools in 1; to best suit your project, Cricut has a fine, medium, and bold tips.

As far as I know, the foil tips only work with Cricut foil transfer sheets, they are available in a wide variety of colors.

Here are some of the materials you can use when working with the “Foil transfer kit.”

  • Cardstock
  • Deluxe Paper
  • Pearl Paper
  • Vellum
  • Printable Vinyl
  • Printable Sticker Paper
  • Matboard
  • Poster Board
  • Copy Paper
  • Photo Paper
  • Faux Leather

Rotary Blade (Only Cricut Maker)

The Rotary blade is fantastic and it’s driven by the Adaptive Tool System, that’s why it’s only compatible with the Cricut Maker Machine.

Rotary Blade & Housing

The drive housing for this blade isn’t interchangeable with other blades. For you to change the blade itself, you need a particular kit.

The Rotary blade cuts through, pretty much, any fabric. And the best of all, you don’t need any backing material to stabilize the fabric on the mat. That alone should get you super happy!

This blade also comes with the Cricut Maker (this is a big deal because you usually have to buy these sorts of tools separately or in a bundle) and can only be used with the Fabric Grip Mat.

Although this blade is very cool and potent, it does have a small restriction. The image or project size you are trying to cut should be at least 3/4 of an inch (19 mm). Cutting smaller projects will result in shortening the blade’s life.

Check Rotary Replacement Kit Price

What Materials can I cut with the Rotary Fabric blade?
  • Bamboo Fabric
  • Bengaline
  • Canvas
  • Cashmere
  • Chiffon
  • Corduroy
  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Felt
  • Fleece
  • Gauze
  • Silk
  • Lycra
  • Microfiber
  • Nylon

Knife blade (Only Cricut Maker)

This knife blade is one of a kind, and it’s only compatible with the Maker Machine.

Knife Blade & Housing

I think this blade is what makes the Cricut Maker a total making machine. The projects you can cut with this baby are just amazing. You can create wood signs for your home, boxes, extremely sturdy cake toppers and more.

The Purple or StrongGrip Mat is the mat you should be using with this blade. Sometimes that mat it’s not even enough for you to keep the materials in place, especially is you are cutting wood.

If you need to add extra grip because of the material you are using, use painter’s tape on the edges of it to secure it to the mat.

The drive housing for this blade isn’t interchangeable with other blades.

Check Knife Blade Price 

What Materials can I cut with the Knife blade?
  • Tooling Leather
  • Balsa – 1/16 in & 3/32 in
  • Basswood – 1/16 in & Basswood – 1/32 in
  • Heavy Chipboard – 2.0mm
  • Matboard 4 Ply

QuickSwap Tips and Blades (Only Cricut Maker)

Unlike the rest of the blades that have a different housing, The QuickSwap system allows you to use five different tools (2 blades, and 3 tips)

  • Scoring Tip
  • Engraving Tip
  • Debossing Tip
  • Wavy Blade
  • Perforation Blade

Something cool, and that I am quite thankful for is that you can use all of these tools with the same housing and that my friend equals savings!

Let’s see a little bit more about all of these tools:

Perforation Blade
Cricut Perforation Blade & Housing

This particular blade will allow you to create projects with a tear finish. With this tool, a new world of possibilities has open. You can create coupons, raffle tickets, etc.!

Some of the materials you’ll be able to use with this blade are:

  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Metallic Poster Board
  • Cardstock Glitter
  • Cardstock Heavy Cardstock
  • Felt
  • Craft Foam
  • Glitter Craft Foam
  • Iron-On
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)
  • Tooling Leather – 2-3 oz. (0.8 mm)
  • Vellum
  • Plastic
  • Acetate
  • Foil Acetate

Learn how to use the Perforation Blade.

Wavy Blade
Cricut Wavy Blade & Housing

Instead of cutting on straight lines like the rotary or fine point blade, this tool will create wavy effects on your final cuts.

Getting curved lines in Design Space is quite complicated, so this tool will come in handy if you like these sorts of effects.

Gift Tags, banners, cards, envelopes, and unique vinyl decals are some of the projects that will benefit from this tool.

Oh, did I mention that you can also cut fabric with it!

Some of the materials you can cut with this blade:

  • Heavy Cardstock
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Foil Poster Board
  • Kraft Board
  • Metallic Poster Board
  • Poster Board
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Cotton Denim
  • Flannel
  • Fleece Fusible Fleece
Engraving Tip

The Engraving Tip is something that many crafters have been waiting for! With this tool, you’ll be able to engrave a wide variety of materials.

Cricut Engraving Tip & Housing

Do you have a dog? What about making a dog tag!… You can create monograms on aluminum sheets or anodized aluminum to reveal the silver beneath.

Here are some of the materials you’ll be able to use with this blade:

  • Anodized Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Stainless Steel
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)
  • Garment Leather – 2-3 oz. (0.8 mm)
  • Genuine Leather
  • Tooling Leather
  • Vellum
  • Acetate Foil
  • Acetate
Debossing Tip
Cricut Debossing Tip and Housing

This tip will push the material in, and it will create beautiful and detailed designs. The debossing will bring your projects to a whole new level because of the detail you can now add to your designs.

Just imagine debossing a beautiful gift box with flowers, hearts, stars, etc.! You can also make 3D Cards and monograms!

Here’s a list of some of the materials you’ll be able to use with this tool:

  • Foil Poster Board
  • Heavy Chipboard – 2.0 mm
  • Kraft Board
  • Light Chipboard – 0.37 mm
  • Matboard 4 Ply
  • Metallic Poster Board
  • Poster Board
  • Foil Acetate
  • Vellum
  • Faux Leather (Paper Thin)
  • Genuine Leather
  • Tooling Leather
  • Craft Foam Glitter Cardstock
  • Heavy Cardstock 
  • Balsa – 1/16″ (1.6 mm)
  • Balsa – 3/32″ (2.4 mm)
Scoring Wheel (Tip 01 and 02)
Scoring Wheel & Housing

The Scoring Wheel is a tool that allows you to create beautiful, edgy, and crispy folds on your materials.

To give you the best results, Cricut has designed The Scoring Wheel with two different Tips, 01 and 02. Depending on the material you select, Design Space will suggest you the tip you need.

Tip 01: It is ideal for light materials such as print paper, regular cardstock, etc.

Tip 02: It is ideal for heavy and coated materials such as chipboard, glitter cardstock, metallic poster-board, etc.

Read my tutorial to learn how to use the Scoring Wheel.

Here are some of the materials you can use with this tool:

  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Damask Chipboard
  • Flat Cardboard
  • Foil Kraft Board
  • Heavy Chipboard – 2.0 mm
  • Kraft Board
  • Cardstock
  • Foil Acetate
  • Plastic Packaging
  • Copy Paper
  • Corrugated Paper

Check Quick Swap Tools Price

Cricut Joy Blades

The Cricut Joy only has a “Fine Point Blade.” The blade housing has a white cap, and the blade itself it’s quite different from any other blades.

  • Cricut Joy blade and housing
  • cricut joy blade showing the blade inside the housing

The Cricut Joy Blade is not interchangeable, therefore you need to use its respective housing.

Here are some of the materials you can cut with this blade:

  • Smart Iron-On and Vinyl (Without a Cricut Mat)
  • Copy Paper
  • Cardstock
  • Insert Cards with a Card Mat.
  • Writable Vinyl
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Foil Poster Board

Discontinued Blades

The blades listed down below have been now discontinued. That’s why I will not be mentioning them across this post.

  • Standard blade housing
  • Deep Cut Blade & housing
  • Scoring tip & housing
  • Cricut Cake blade & housing

Are Cricut Blades Interchangeable?

The Fine Point blade and the Bonded Fabric blade can use the same housing. Also, the QuickSwap tools can use the same housing, so if you already own one, from now on, you only need to get the tip or blade.

The other three remaining blades (Deep Point, Rotary, Knife) can only be used with their respective housing.

I mentioned this in every blade description. But if you were skimming this post, there’s the quick answer 🙂

Where Can I buy Cricut Blades?

All Cricut blades and tips are available on any Craft Store like Michael’s and Joann. Even Walmart carries them!

I like to get them on the Official Cricut Website; I have a baby and no car, therefore online shopping is the most convenient for me!

Check out all of the blades prices here

How long does the Cricut Blade Last?

This is not a size fits all kind of question

Although Cricut blades are made to last for a reasonable amount of time, there comes a time where replacing the blade is necessary.

The blade’s life depends on the kind of materials you are working with, how often you use them, and of course how you care for them.

For instance, paper and cardstock are harder on the blades than a much more smoother material like vinyl is. So, if paper is your jam, then you’ll go through blades more often.

Blades that cut through really thick materials like the Deep Point blade and, especially, the Knife blade need to be replaced more often because of the pressure that the blade needs to execute to get smooth and clean cuts.

You’ll know you have to replace the blades when your cuts are dull and not as sharp as they used to be.

How to replace Cricut Blades?

Cricut blades are very easy to change. Just be careful because they are very sharp and I don’t want you to get cut!

The Fine Point, Deep Point, and Bonded Fabric are very easy to change. Just press the top of the blade, remove it with your hands and insert the new blade with the housing upside down.

The other blades – Rotary and Knife, are a little bit more tricky. So the best way for you to learn how to change the blades is by watching! Check out these YouTube videos, and become an expert to change the blades.

Note: I will be creating my videos soon, so Subscribe to my channel and press the bell, so you get notified! It’s also a great way to support me 🙂

Learn How to replace Rotary Blade

Learn How to replace the Knife Blade

How to Care for my Cricut Blades

Caring for your Cricut blades will increase their life. Blades and housings are quite the investment, so make sure you are doing your best to care for them at all times.

Here are a couple of tips for you to take care of your precious blades.

The best way to care for your blades is by using them with the right materials. It can be tempting to try to cut something thicker with the fine point blade if you don’t have have the Deep Point one.

However, not only your project won’t be appropriately cut, but you will also add extra wear and tear to the blade.

Make sure to keep the plastic cover for blades – and also scoring wheel – that has a drive housing. This cover protects the gears of the housing. When you remove the cover, you are exposing the blade & housing to small particles like hair and dust.

Put them away when they are not in use.

How to Store your Cricut Blades

My favorite way to store my blades is inside the Cricut itself. I love that they wherever my Cricut is. You can also have them in a small box or container.

The Compartments inside the Cricut Machines are specifically designed to hold your blades – They thought of everything – For the replacement blades there’s a metallic magnet that will keep them in place at all times.

The Cricut Maker has even more storage for you to keep the blades in place!

  • Storage compartments of Cricut Explore Air 2 for blades and other essential tools
  • Storage compartments of Cricut Maker for blades and other essential tools

However you decide to store them, make sure to put them way far away from your children’s – or anyone else that doesn’t know that’s a blade – reach.

How to Sharpen Cricut blades

Honesty is key!

I haven’t tried to sharpen my Cricut blades yet. They are still very sharp, but since I wanted you to give you all you needed to know in this article, I wanted to share something cool I found out about.

While researching and learning about the Cricut blades, I found out an excellent way for you to sharpen your Fine and Deep point blades!

The secret is, Aluminum Foil!

Make a little ball with aluminum foil, press the top of the housing so you can see the tip of the blade and poke the ball for about a minute or so.

Frequent Cricut Blades Problems

There might be a point where you’ll feel frustrated about your blades.

Maybe your blades are not cutting well, dragging the materials, cutting too deep, or simply not cutting at all!

Most of these problems can be solved by checking out your settings, especially if you modified them in the past to cut a custom material.

Maybe your mats are not stabilizing the material correctly, and you need to change them, or perhaps it’s time for you to replace the blade.

If these little things don’t solve your problems, check out this post from the Cricut Website for this particular problem. They walk you through everything you need to know!

Don’t leave yet!

I love creating and designing printables. However, I don’t have enough time to create a post for every single design, but I still want to create them!


And just so you know, I also have a library full of free SVG files and Printables for all of my subscribers, a.k.a Daydreamers. You can see a preview right here or get access by filling this form.

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