When you open your Cricut Maker for the first time, all you want to do is cut something—a piece of paper, an old t-shirt, anything. You want to know what you could cut and where you could scrounge up the materials. But, you can’t do much cutting if you don’t know your Cricut cutting capabilities.
It’s an all-too-common story—you didn’t read the Cricut Maker page too well and planned your first project using foam sheets. You finally opened the box and read what blades you received with the machine: the Fine-Point and Rotary Blades. And you have to wait to buy the correct blade to start your foam project. *sigh*
So let’s help you avoid those initial delays and tell you what blades come with the Cricut Maker.
Cricut Fine-Point Blade + Blade Housing
With your Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3, you’ll receive the fine-point blade as well as the blade housing pre-installed in clamp B. The blade’s housing is a gold color, so you can easily differentiate it visually from other blades you may buy. Cricut designed the fine point blade to be highly durable, using German Carbide. German Carbide is commonly used for cutting tools.
The fine-point blade is perfect for cutting intricate designs on light to medium weight materials like:
- Basic printing paper
- Card stock
- Iron-on vinyl
- Poster board
- Adhesive vinyl
- Washi Tape
- Thin faux leather
If you want to purchase a replacement fine point blade, make sure you look for the ones with a white cap. A white cap indicates the blade is for newer models of the Cricut machines. Grey is for older makes.
Cricut Rotary Blade + Drive Housing
The rotary blade comes with the Cricut Maker and is only compatible with the Cricut Maker specifically. That’s because the Maker uses the Adaptive Tool System to drive the blade. You’ll need your very own kit to replace the blade since the drive housing isn’t compatible with other blades, and you can only use it with the fabric grip cutting mat (which comes with the machine as well). The rotary blade applies a lot of pressure, and not every cutting mat can withstand it.
The rotary blade is mainly for sewing projects. It can cut through materials like these:
But even though the list of materials goes on and on, Cricut does recommend that you only use the blade for projects at least 19mm (¾”) long. This will ensure that the blade lasts longer.
Installing the Blades
When you first get your Cricut machine, you’ll need to install the blades. Don’t worry; the housing is already there for you.
- The first step is to open up camp B on your machine. Remove the clamp housing (this should be the housing for the fine-point blade).
- Next, place the blade into the housing. When you place the housing with the blade back into the clamp, make sure the top ridge is resting flush on the clamp (it isn’t seated too high). If you’re installing the rotary blade, the housing gears should interlock.
- Finally, close the clamp. Don’t be afraid to apply light pressure, so the plastic tab locks the clamp shut.
- If your clamp isn’t shutting correctly, check the seating of your blade housing. Make sure it isn’t too high.
Blade installation is a breeze!
Removing and Replacing Your Blades
I know we said that the fine-point blade uses a material known for durability, but eventually, you’ll need to replace your blade. For a fine-point blade, expect it to last 12-18 months. A rotary blade can last about the same time, too. It depends on how much you cut and what you are cutting. Heavier materials and daily use may result in a blade damage much sooner than a year.
- Open up clamp B and remove the blade housing to replace your blades.
- Pull the blade out from the bottom of the housing–carefully!
- Remove the new blade from its packaging and install it in the housing.
- Once replaced, put it back into the clamp and close the arm.
What If I Want a Blade Other than Rotary and Fine-Point?
If you’re not satisfied with the two blades the Cricut Makers come with, you can always purchase one of the Cricut’s other blades. The Maker series is compatible with every blade (except only the Maker can use the rotary blade):
- Deep point blade
- Bonded fabric blade
- Knife Blade
- Scoring Wheel
A Cricut Maker comes with the blade they expect you to use as you learn how to use the machine. But once you’re ready to tackle materials beyond cardstock, invest in the proper tools. Nothing can kill your blades faster than trying to cut through a material a blade was not built to take.