5 Little Monsters: All About the Cricut Knife Blade

All About the Cricut Knife Blade

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. 

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When the Cricut Maker was first announced about a year and a half ago one of the really exciting parts of that announcement was the adaptive tool system that included the rotary blade and the knife blade. Since then the scoring wheels have also been added to that lineup, and who knows what may be added in the future.

I have used the rotary blade a ton, including in the quilt post I shared a couple weeks ago, and I love it. But that being said, I was also really excited to try out the knife blade. I didn't get one right when it came out but eventually I did get one last year. I used it several times around Christmas time to make Christmas ornaments. I loved being able to cut thicker, heavier materials that I could use to make sturdy ornaments.

My favorite material to cut with the knife blade is chipboard, but it is only one of several materials that it can cut. There are also a few tips and tricks for working with the knife blade and today I am going to share a few of those.

First lets talk materials- The knife blade can cut thicker materials than you can cut with any of the other blades available for the Cricut. Some examples of the materials it can cut are:
  • Chipboard, 2mm
  • Leather
  • Basswood, up to 1/16"
  • Balsa wood, up to 3/32"
  • Matboard, 2 ply or 4 ply
  • Craft Foam, up to 3mm
  • and more...
Just make sure that your materials are thin enough to meet the requirements, for example you can get basswood or balsa that is too thick, so pay attention to that when you purchase your materials.

Next, prepping your material for cutting- There are a couple extra steps here. One, unlike other blades, when cutting with the knife blade you want your material no more than 11" wide, instead of the usual 12". When you place it on your mat, you will want the strong grip mat, place it in the top left corner, leaving an inch on the right side of the mat empty. 

Then use masking tape, tape all the way around your material. This helps secure the heavier material to the mat. 

On your machine push all of the little white star wheels all the way to the right. This is why you want that empty inch on the right side of your mat, because you are working with thick materials if you forget this step you will end up with marks on your project.

Also, your machine will prompt you to do these things so if you follow the prompts on the computer you will not miss any steps. You may also be prompted to calibrate your blade which will help you get the most precise cuts.

Now let's talk about designs- One mistake people sometimes make with the knife blade is trying to cut designs that are too intricate and detailed. Unlike the fine point blade that can cut super small, intricate designs the knife blade does better with larger, less detailed designs. It is not recommended that you cut designs or details smaller than 3/4". 

One more important thing to know when using the knife blade is that it doesn't work from the mobile apps, only on a computer. Also, it only works with the Cricut Maker, not the Explore machines.

Now, you have your design ready, your materials and machine prepped and it is time to cut. One of the big differences between projects you make with the knife blade and other Cricut projects is time. Usually projects cut quickly, I have mentioned before that that is one thing I love about working with iron on projects, they are so quick and easy. The knife blade is definitely an exception to that. When cutting the knife blade makes multiple passes adjusting the pressure as it cuts, because of this it takes a much longer time to cut out your project. 

It will tell you as it begins to cut the number of passes it intends to do, it will say something like "Pass 1 of 20". Sometimes it doesn't take quite as many passes as it thinks to cut the design and if you let it go too long it could cut through your mat. I have never had that happen but I have seen pictures of it happening to other people. I usually start checking a little over halfway through to see if it is cut through. If my project has 20 passes I will start checking around pass 12 or 13. That has worked well for me and as soon as I see it has cut through I will stop the cut and unload my mat.

Those are all of the tips I thought of as I was preparing for this post, if you have other questions feel free to comment and I will try to answer. 

There are so many possibilities that open up when you are able to cut these thicker materials. Next week I will be sharing a project that I made for my craft room using the knife blade. Have you tried the knife blade yet? If so, what have you made?

1 comment :

  1. Wish I'd read this before I tried my first knife blade project. Mine cut straight through my brand new, only used once, mat after a little over halfway through the cut :-( :-( :-(