Cricut Knife Blade Tips

The entry of Cricut Knife Blade in the market is a game-changer for many reasons, changing the world of precision cutting. With it, users probably have to alter designing, crafting and creation skills. The Knife Blade, which entered the market in 2017 together with Cricut Maker and Rotary Blade, was officially launched in 2018. The number of users who wish to know more about the blade has been increasing since then. This article looks at its uses. It also delves into a few tips that should help you to use the blade more effectively as part of your precision cutting tools.

What can it cut?

To understand Cricut Knife Blade requires a deeper appreciation of its capabilities. First, you’re probably wondering if it’s even necessary when the Deep Cut Blade seems to have been doing a good job, thus far. Well, the truth is Deep Cut Blade has its share of inadequacies. For this reason, it was paramount for Cricut Knife Blade to come into the scene. Its main attraction is the ability to cut much thicker materials. Here, we’re talking about materials with a thickness of around 3/32 inches. Such materials are impossible to cut with the previous types of blades. In this category, you will find the following types of materials:

a) Thick chipboard
b) Thick leather
c) Balsa wood
d) Basswood
e) Matboard
f) Kraft foam

Not for Easy and Fast Projects

Generally, Cricut machines are efficient and boost productivity. For this reason, it’s normal to find users who use them whenever there is a need for completing projects fast and efficiently. However, Cricut Knife Blade isn’t for those kinds of projects. Why? You’re dealing with thicker materials here. Obviously, you would need more effort to cut through such materials. For example, you would require numerous passes to cut through thicker materials successfully. It wouldn’t be abnormal to have to wait for an hour or more for the Knife Blade to finish making a single cut. Therefore, don’t turn to this tool for your last minute heavyweight projects.

Observing Cut Sizes

Do not start using Cricut Knife Blade to cut whatever you want. The first issue to clarify is the thickness of the material you wish to cut. In this regard, ensure that the material has a thickness of 3/4” and above. Anything less than that could present an unwelcome problem to the Knife Blade.

What is more, the material you intend to cut should have a width that’s similar to that of a pencil. Otherwise, you would end up shredding the material to pieces considering how sharp and powerful the Knife Blade is. the best way to go about it is first to test it on a small portion of the material first. If satisfied, you can proceed with the whole thing.

Taping the Material

As you may already know, the Cricut Knife Blade exercises remarkable force on the material the moment you command it to start cutting. To put this into context, it applies a force that is ten times more than what you could get from Cricut Explore. For this reason, you need to tape or hold the material down and in place firmly to prevent it from moving around. If it moves a lot, you could have a cumbersome cutting session, which would then result in unprecise and inaccurate cuts. In this circumstance, a stickier adhesive wouldn’t be a good solution since it could peel the material’s top layer off. Taping is the best solution!

Clearing the Debris

During each cut, the material produces plenty of debris. As powerful as the Knife Blade is, it cannot work with all the debris gathered along its path! The debris needs constant removal though. Otherwise, it would prevent the Cricut Knife Blade from proceeding to cut. For this reason, failure to clear the debris could stop the Knife Blade from cutting your material; hence the need for removing and clearing all of it. Does this mean you should remove the mat or tape to clear the debris? No! To do this, you only need canned air. Get a blower and use it to blow all that debris away before pressing C one more time to proceed with the cutting.

Pre-Programming and Adding One More Pass

As earlier stated, Cricut Knife Blade operates more powerfully compared to all the previous models. Essentially, what this means is it requires more passes, which are often pre-programmed, to cut the material in question. However, at times you might need to add one extra pass. Usually, this happens when the cut is done.

Additionally, this happens when the need for confirming and finishing the cut arises, especially when the pre-programmed passes failed to complete the job. As you do this, it’s good to note that you don’t have to remove the mat. Just press “Go” to set the additional pass in motion.

Post-Cut Procedures

Lastly, it’s important to know what to do once you finish cutting the materials. The first task is to remove the mat from the machine immediately you’re through. Secondly, the tape that you used for holding the material firmly in place should also go. Three, do not forget to review all the cuts, as a way of ensuring that they are all complete. It is possible to find a few pieces that the Cricut Knife Blade has been unable to cut cleanly and completely, as it should. Upon this discovery, you would need to take a few measures. First, turn the materials over before cutting the unfinished sections lightly with a craft knife.

In summary, the Cricut Knife Blade is a must-have for anybody interested in precision cutting. With it, you will never struggle to cut any material regardless of how thick it is! Therefore, go ahead with your project with all the confidence you can muster since the Knife Blade will not disappoint you. Before proceeding, it would be great to remind you that the Knife Blade is not a choice fit for your last-minute precision-cutting projects considering that it takes upwards of one hour to finish a single job. Moreover, the materials it cuts are quite costly; hence, the need for proper planning to avoid rushing through the job.

Cutting Balsa Wood with the Cricut Knife Blade

Do you have Balsa wood that you would like to cut precisely and use for creating decorations for your home or office walls? If that’s the case, you would require a good piece of equipment for that. In this case, you are likely to struggle to find a much better tool than the Cricut Knife Blade. To use it well, though, requires a bit of skill. Fortunately, you can teach yourself to do just that, as you will see below.
Before learning to do that, let’s start with a bit of education regarding Balsa wood first.

One, it is a type of hardwood that weighs almost nothing. More crucially, balsa wood’s strength-to-weight ratio is quite high. What this means is, the wood is surprisingly strong despite its weight. For this reason, balsa wood is one of the best materials for model-building and other similar crafts. Nevertheless, it has a few drawbacks too. For example, it breaks and brittles rather too easily for comfort and is capable of bending. Additionally, it is too expensive!

Now that your understanding of balsa wood is above what most people know, the next objective is to look at its relationship with Cricut Knife Blade extension to your friendly neighborhood Cricut machine. How do you use this type of blade to cut such hardwood? How fast is the blade capable of cutting balsa wood? Consider these questions when deciding whether this Knife Blade is the ideal cutter for the hardwood. In addition to that, remember that balsa wood is hard to find hence the need for using it well.

Get some tips here to help you in cutting balsa wood with Cricut Knife Blade.

Watch the Size

The first thing to note is the balsa wood has to be of a specific size to go under the Knife Blade. For ease of work, you should limit the wood to pencil’s width. Anything smaller than this could prove problematic. Why? Cricut Knife Blade is mighty and strong. It’s capable of destroying the expensive balsa wood if it’s smaller than the width of any pencil. Remember, balsa wood can split along its grain quite easily.

Cutting the Longer Pieces of Wood

You will notice that balsa wood usually comes in small sizes, especially in terms of length. All the same, you may find Yothers that are quite long. These should not worry you a bit. Instead, take your craft knife and use it to cut these longer pieces. The process is quite simple. You only have to use a ruler to draw a straight line on the wood before snapping it into two or more pieces. Using the longer pieces could jeopardize your entire project.

Holding the Wood Down Firmly

Before you start cutting balsa wood using Cricut Knife Blade, you should make sure that the wood is in place. Taping it down usually works effectively. However, you can use brayers first to adhere it on the mat before taping it. Holding it down is good to prevent the wood from moving all over the place and messing your project. Once again, this is for your own good since the wood is one of the most expensive.

Using on Design Space

Design Space is one of your most important tools. It guides you into cutting balsa wood properly, efficiently, safely and precisely. What is more, it saves you from wasting the costly material too. Therefore, it is wise to mirror your image on the Design Space first. This way, you guarantee yourself a final project that has clean cuts all through, especially on the most important side – the front!

Removing Smaller Pieces

Additionally, it would be advisable to keep removing the smaller pieces from the machine. This step is critical the moment some of the pieces start popping or falling out. You can keep the larger pieces in place, but the focus should be on the smaller wood. Failing to remove them could be detrimental to your work. Typically, such pieces could shift a bit thus ruining the entire project and leading to a waste of time and money.

Double Check Your Work

In roughly one hour, the Cricut Knife Blade and Cricut Maker will have finished cutting the balsa wood. Therefore, it would be great to remove the finished products from the machine. However, check your work before doing that. The goal of double-checking is to make sure that the Knife Blade cut the wood cleanly all through. This activity doesn’t mean that the Knife Blade does a lousy job. No, it does an excellent job, but there’s no harm in rechecking and confirming!

Adding One More Pass

Assuming that you checked and confirmed that one or two pieces remain uncut, Cricut Design Space allows you to add one more pass. Take advantage of this feature to finish the entire project. Nevertheless, avoid wasting your passes. If Cricut Knife Blade has cut the majority of the balsa wood except for 1-2 small corners and parts, you would have no reason for adding that one extra pass. If all looks good, feel free to:

• Remove the mat
• Release the project
• Use a craft knife for cutting the bits that weren’t cut cleanly all through

How to Remove Cut Balsa Wood from the Mat

Each stage of the cutting process is crucial for many reasons. Skipping any step could cause you a bit of distress. An example of these critical steps is the removal of the cut balsa wood. It’s important to learn how to remove it correctly. In this case, your options would involve bending the mat away. Do not attempt to pull the wood away from the mat straight up as this could cause it to break. Remember, balsa wood breaks and splits easily because of its brittle nature.

In summary, Cricut Knife Blade is the most effective tool for cutting balsa wood. It’s easy to see why Cricut waited a while before releasing this product into the market. You’ll hardly need to replace the blade since it’s sturdy and robust. Again, remember to be careful while cutting the wood. Otherwise, you would damage the wood, which as we established, is one of the costliest and rarest types of hardwood.

What Can You Use a Cricut Machine for?

Do you have vinyl, paper, sticker paper, craft foams or faux leather that you wish to cut and use for decorating your space? Typically, you would probably settle on using a pair of scissors or other similarly small tools. These tools work. However, you may have to be ready to spend what appears like an eternity to do all the cutting. The result is that you may finish the work, but nothing guarantees the quality precision cuts you crave. Cricut machines are a perfect alternative!

What can you use the Cricut machine for? How beneficial is this machine to you?

Making Party Decorations

To anybody who prioritizes precision cutting, nothing does a better job of this than Cricut machines. The machines are quite cool. They are ideal for making fun signs. Cricut machines have also demonstrated their effectiveness in making party decorations. In this regard, they save you the ton of money and time that would have been spent moving around looking for a store where you can buy decorations. Feel free to use it for making amazing buntings!

Making Leather Bracelets

As earlier stated, Cricut machines are capable of cutting faux leather. For that reason, you should not shy away from buying faux leather in case you wish to use it for making various items to give away to friends and loved ones. Therefore, sit behind your desk, switch the laptop on, design the kind of bracelets you would like to give out, and send them to the Cricut machine to not only print but also cut them precisely to your taste.

Decorating Mugs and Tumblers

Mugs, cups, and tumblers deserve some love too. You can give them much-needed love with awesome decorations. Where do you get the decorations? Simple, select the material, design and cut everything with the Cricut machine. This way, your home or office would be full of lively and sparkly mugs, cups and tumblers. What is more, you could always give some of these items out to your loved ones.

Making Vinyl Stickers

Cricut machines can be excellent tools for creating artwork for your car windows too. In this case, you can use them for designing and crafting vinyl stickers. These stickers would make your car look awesome. More significantly, the stickers would offer you an excellent tool for advertising the services that your firm provides. For this reason, invest in these types of machines if you want to excel in advertising via your cars.

Making Customized Handmade Cards

Let’s assume that you run a business and want to show appreciation to some of your most loyal customers. In such a case, you would probably think about rewarding or recognizing them with customized handmade cards, right? The Cricut machine would then be a necessity to help you produce amazing cards. What is more, the level of precision cutting involved would give you more confidence to send the cuts out to the target audience.

Therefore, with all these uses, feel free to place your order for the best Cricut machine today.

How to Use a Cricut: A Beginners Guide

Are you inexperienced in using a Cricut? Then you are in the right place. Here, you will learn everything about one of the most powerful precision-cutting machines. With this machine, you can cut through any material that would be difficult or cumbersome to cut using a pair of scissors. Cricut enables you to cut faster and more precisely. What is more, the fact that it is easy to use makes the machine even more appealing to users of all cadres!

Below are tips to help you use Cricut, as a beginner.

What do you get when buying Cricut?

As you would mostly discover by visiting the official Cricut website, you can get different items with this machine depending on the package you select. That simply means that you should not expect to get the same items that somebody who paid more than you did. For more money, you get more items. The opposite holds true when you go for a less costly package. That is just how Cricut operates. Nevertheless, the most common items you get for settling on the basic package are:

• Storage bag
• Cricut machine (such as the Cricut Maker or similar)
• Blade
• Power cord
• USB cable
• Getting started manual
• Silver Pen
• Samples
• Standard grip cutting mats

While you will not get the all you will ever need with a basic package, you will get enough items to help you get started. A starter set is a great place to start your journey into the world of precision cutting. Why? It offers you more accessories that will prove beneficial to you. In addition to the above, the starter set also exposes you to other incredibly useful stuff that makes your work easier. This stuff includes the following:

• Extra mats
• Tools craft basic set (spatula, scraper, scissors, and tweezers among others)
• Additional blades (such as the Knife blade)
• HP instant ink subscription
• Essential tool kit
• Scoring stylus

Always Read the Instructions

Since you now know what to expect with your Cricut do not forget to read the manual or instructions that come with it. Some users can try their luck and get the machine working without reading the instructions. However, skipping the instructions can make it unnecessarily difficult to operate the machine. You are better off familiarizing yourself with the machine by going through the instructions. This way, you will know its parts and features and how to operate it quickly.

Moreover, you are likely to retrace your steps easily if it does not work by following instructions.

Set Up

The first step is to set Cricut up. To do that, you have to understand its features. More importantly, you need a deep appreciation of what each part or feature does. After all, each one has a specific role. As you will discover from your Cricut Explore Air 2, your precision-cutting machine will most likely have seven parts. These seven parts are:

• Button for opening lid
• Smart set dial
• Power on/off
• Dual cartridge
• Accessory cup
• Accessory drawers (2)
• Cartridge port

Creating Space

The second issue to tackle as you learn how to use Cricut is that of space. Where do you intend to set it up? Now that you’ve ordered and received it, the most important issue to contemplate is its location in your home or office. The two critical factors to remember when thinking about its location are access to power and flat surface. Use an extension cable if the socket is a bit far from the place you have chosen for the machine. You should also set it up next to the computer you intend to design from!

Role of Design Space

Now that everything is set up, you have to learn how to use the Design Space. First, download the app which you get here! Thereafter, install it in your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. While doing this, confirm that the machine is plugged into a source of power. In addition to that, enable Bluetooth on the device you intend to use for designing the stuff to cut with Cricut.

Pair your gadget’s Bluetooth with that of the Cricut. The name to look out for is CricutAIR. Enter 0000 as the passcode if prompted to do so. However, where it’s difficult for you to enable Bluetooth or pair the two items, you can take a different approach. Here, get the USB cable that came together with the Cricut. Then connect it from the machine to your phone or computer. This way, the two machines would communicate easily with each other.

Cutting for the First Time

Being a beginner, you’ll probably kick off your ‘career’ with the “Enjoy Card” Project. Don’t worry about where to find this project. You only have to check the machine since that’s where it is. The project welcomes you gently into the world of precision cutting. More importantly, it offers you more insights into the different ways of using Cricut. What is more, Design Space will prompt you to embark on this project thus saving you the hassle of looking for it.

What do you need for this project?

a) Follow the step-by-step instructions
b) Use the appropriate tools, features, and accessories

The project has a simple objective. It seeks to fill you with confidence to take on more jobs or projects. That will happen the moment you finish this project and are happy with the results. Within no time, you would be moving upwards to the more difficult projects. Strive to complete this first one since it will open the door for you to more exciting tasks. The Enjoy Card Project is the key that opens the world of precision cutting to you.

Changing the Blade

The first time you buy a Cricut, you will notice that it comes with a pre-installed blade. That should be a big relief to you since it means you don’t have to worry about installing it. However, the blade will get blunt with repeated use thus calling for the need to replace it with a new one. For this reason, it’s vital for you to know how to replace blades on this highly impressive precision cutter.
To change the blade, you would have to access the cartridge. As you will notice, this part of the machine has two sections; namely, A and B. A refers to the accessory cartridge. B refers to the blade housing. A comes pre-installed with the machine and has an adaptor too. B is the area of interest for anyone interested in changing the Cricut blade. First, however, you would have to remove the blade housing before doing anything else.

After removing the housing, the next task involves opening the gray clamp B. Next, pull housing right out of the cartridge. As you pull the cartridge out, watch out for the thin plunger that is located directly over the housing. Push the plunger inward while removing the small blade you encounter carefully. If you do this right, you will notice the blade being released right under the housing. Once it is out, dispose of it safely.

Since the dulled blade is now out, you are ready to replace it with a new one. First, though, you have to remove the green cover that protects the new blade. After that, insert the new blade into the housing’s shaft. Again, you will notice that the blade locks itself automatically in this part of the machine if you do it correctly. Feel free to drop the housing right back into the B section of the cartridge. Finish everything by closing the gray clamp.

Taking Good Care of the Mats

The mats are essential to successful precision cutting. You need them for holding the materials in place. Without the mats, you will struggle to cut through the entire material. For this reason, the mat needs more attention from you. Take good care of it since you now realize that it could determine how your entire cutting project goes. Failing to grant them the care they richly deserve would mean opening the door to a great deal of mess.

What is more, a test cut that involves the mat is highly recommended.

Otherwise, you end up damaging a perfect mat by setting the cut excessively high.

The best care you can give the mats is to wipe them down using non-alcoholic baby wipes. Water wipes would also serve you just as well. Wipe using these items after each cut. As you do this regularly, you will be helping the mats to remain cleaner much longer. Other than that, you would also be ensuring that the mats remain sticky for a longer duration. On top of all of that, cleaning the mats makes them last longer too.

Importance of a Test Cut

As stated above, a test cut is essential before determining whether the mats are effective for the job you have planned to do using Cricut. A test cut helps you to know whether you have everything in place for the project. Moreover, the test cut saves you some of the costly losses you stand to incur if you go straight into cutting the material. More significantly, you only need a few seconds to perform the test cut. In essence, a test cut:

• Determines whether extra cuts will be required
• Determines whether the pressure from Cricut can cut right into the mats

What Materials Can You Cut with Cricut?

Cricut is capable of cutting diverse types of materials. However, it’s worth noting that different models of this machine exist in the market. Each model has specific capabilities. For example, you will find that one model has no problem cutting specific types of materials compared to another one. Therefore, select your Cricut based on the types of materials you wish to cut now and in the coming days. Nevertheless, you can cut the following materials with Cricut:

• Paper such as poster board, vellum, cardstock and standard
• Vinyl such as chalkboard, dry erase, premium and standards
• Iron-on such as Heat Transfer Vinyl, which is also known as HTV
• Craft materials such as glitter paper, craft foam, and washi tape
• Upcycled materials such as aluminum cans, cereal boxes, and chipboards
• Fabric such as canvas, burlap, polyester, denim and felt
• Plastic such as silicone, window acetate, and stencil
• Thick stuff such as magnetic materials, leather, and balsa wood

Tips for Cutting through Fabric

As shown above, Cricut is capable of cutting through all types of fabric. However, always be ready and on the lookout for a bit of disappointment. Why? Because the machine cuts some fabric better than it does others. One day it could be cutting a specific type of fabric cleanly only to create a mess the following day. In such instances, what you need to use to protect your fabric is heat and bond.

Heat and bond make the fabric stronger and thicker thus able to handle the pressure and force that Cricut bears down on it. Bond the fabric to something that makes it resistant to tears. On top of that, you could always attach the fabric to a bit of interfacing. Remember, you’re doing all this to protect the fabric and save yourself some money in the process. Failing to do this could mean spending more money on new fabric to replace those you already damaged.

Machine Cleaning Tips

Lastly, keep the machine clean and neat at all times. This way, you are guaranteed the sort of machine that will not disappoint you. Instead, it will perform optimally at all times. At times, you may be required to clean the machine during the cutting session, especially when debris seem to be gathering massively thus preventing Cricut from functioning, as it should. If that doesn’t happen, limit yourself to cleaning it after each cutting. Schedule the cleaning sessions.

Therefore, enjoy using your Cricut now that you know more about it.