There’s nothing like a new Cricut blade slicing through vinyl like a hot knife through butter! However, after a while that shiny new blade will start to dull, and this can cause all sorts of issues.
I’m talking rippled, torn paper and card, not to mention jagged vinyl cuts, along with lots of wasted materials! Been there, done that, got the gold star! If this is happening to you when you’re cutting a project, and you have thoroughly cleaned your blades (see below how to do this) to no avail, you will need to replace your blade.
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Cricut Blades – How Long Do They Last?
Well this varies depending on how much you use your machine. So, for example, a premium fine point blade from Cricut can last 12-18 months if used daily, but lightly ie once a day.
Also note that paper dulls blades quicker than vinyl. Premium fine point blades come standard in the Explore and Maker machines, They are multi purpose blades and what I use on daily basis in my Maker, for vinyl, paper and card.
Also note that the housing is a separate thing to the blade. The housing holds the blade. You only need to replace blades, not housings, unless of course the housing has been damaged somehow.
How Often Should You Replace Cricut Blades?
This is a difficult question because there are so many variables that influence when you should change your blade! However, for light cutters, you can make a blade last anywhere for a year to 18 or more months. I know, that is a huge time frame, and not very helpful. Here’s why I give this broad time frame:
When you replace a blade depends on two main factors:
– How often you use your machine
– The type of materials you are cutting
This is followed by more micro factors like where you store your blades. Are they likely to get additional wear and tear because they’re rolling around in a packed craft drawer bumping into all sorts of things? If so, consider getting the Cricut Tool Organizer to keep them safe and tidy. (Link to tool organizer)
And yet another micro factor: Are you cutting a lot of thick and dense materials like balsa wood or mylar? The thicker the material the quicker your blade will dull.
To make the most of your Cricut blades longevity, use specific blades for specific materials. For example, if you’re like me and cut a lot of HTV, then have a specific blade for heat transfer vinyl and label or color code it so you know that is your HTV blade. You can have another for paper and card and so on.
How To Clean Your Cricut Blades
Cricut blades are sharp, and of course they have to be, to cut through all the amazing materials we love to craft with. To keep the blade in good working condition, you should always remove any residue from it. It goes without saying…be careful not to pierce yourself!
If residue or debris has built up on the blade you can remove it using one of these methods:
– Blow off dust particles from its surface
– Use a rolled ball of aluminum foil
– Use an alcohol solution for stubborn residue or vinyl
– Soak in hot soapy water until all debris has been loosened
Once all of that’s done, simply place the newly cleaned blade back into its housing and resume cutting until your next regular clean!
How To Sharpen Cricut Blades
The best way to keep your Cricut blades cutting well and not dulling, is to keep them clean first and foremost. To do this you can use a rolled ball of aluminum foil as mentioned above. Simply stab the blade into the foil ball repeatedly, or slice the foil ball with the blade from side to side.
You can also lay a piece of foil on your mat and make a few simple cuts. The rolled ball method works with the fine and deep point Cricut blades, while cutting foil on the mat works for all the other blades.
Here’s How To Use The Rolled Ball Technique:
First, make your ball of tightly crumpled foil, then depress the plunger on the top of the blade housing, so that the blade is exposed, but won’t fall out of the housing. Now start stabbing the blade into the foil ball. 40 to 70 quick jabs will help to keep your blades clean and able to cut beautifully and precisely in your future projects.
A last word. Contrary to popular belief, these foil methods do not actually sharpen Cricut blades, but certainly extend the life of the blade by keeping it sparkling clean. And as menitoned before, using different blades for different materials makes all the difference too. Happy Cutting 🙂