Cricut’s cutting machines are excellent crafting equipment. With the help of Cricut, you can bring to life all sorts of creative ideas, whether in a craft store or your own home studio. Undoubtedly, they unlock your creative potential and surprise you. However, there is a minor glitch in owning Cricut machines. Even though they are sharp enough to cut the most complex images and patterns, the blades begin getting dull after a few uses, especially on thicker materials like vinyl or cardstock. If you like working with intricate cuts and dense materials, replacing your dulled Cricut blade is essential; a blunt tool can lead to incomplete cuts through various materials.
Replacement blades cost around $12 to $45, so switching to a newer blade each time it becomes dull is not practical. Thankfully, with a few cleaning and sharpening hacks, you can revive your Cricut blade and extend its life to over a year. The best part about these hacks is they are quick and easy and require supplies you already have at home. Let’s learn how to sharpen Cricut blades with different household items!
What Do I Need to Sharpen a Cricut Blade?
You can sharpen your Cricut blades with various materials. Here is a list of things that clean and sharpen the blade. You can choose any of these supplies and methods at your convenience.
- Aluminum foil
- Post-it notes and toothpaste
- Paper and Vim cleanser
- Knife sharpening stone
- Pin cushion
- Leather strop
- Rubbing alcohol, soapy water, and cotton swabs for cleaning
Removing the Blade
Knowing how to remove the blade from the machine is critical. It should be off and unplugged. Now, open your Cricut machine to expose the area that holds the blades. There is a tiny lever that you can pull for the machine to release the blade. Note that the Cricut blade has two components: the blade and the housing. We need to separate them before proceeding further.
Now, gently detach the blade from the canister by pushing the plunger. Be careful as the blade might be dull for cutting through different materials but it could still cut your fingers.
Cleaning the Blade
Now that you have removed the blade, you can apply any method of your choice to sharpen the blade. Clean the blade thoroughly before beginning the process. If you notice anything stuck on it, like paper, vinyl, or cardstock, remove it with tweezers. You can also dip it in soapy water to get it squeaky clean. Let it dry completely and put it back into the housing.
Sharpening the Blade
We are now ready to sharpen the blade. Let’s see how we can do it with all the different methods.
Grab a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil; roll and curl it into a ball. There are two ways you can go about this method. You can stab the ball with the blade multiple times or slice it through the foil to sharpen it. We noticed better results with the aluminum foil ball– you can also save it for sharpening the blade later. No matter which technique you pick, repeat it several times to get a sharper blade.
Sharpening the blade with aluminum foil gives better, more precise cuts. It also removes adhesive residue from cutting vinyl, glitter, etc. You can apply this method sometimes but do not use it each time you use your Cricut. You will have to clean the blade again afterward. Use cotton swabs or a few pieces of tissues. Soak them up in rubbing alcohol and wipe out the residue carefully.
Toothpaste or Vim Cleanser
Toothpaste is an excellent product for sharpening the Cricut blade. You can also use Vim cleanser for this method. Both these products can provide the abrasive surface we need to restore the sharpness of our Cricut blade. Use post-it notes or regular paper and apply toothpaste or cleanser over it. Let it dry for a few minutes; the product will create a rough surface once dried. Drag the blade a few times against the abrasive surface.
Remember to repeat the movement with the other side of the blade. It becomes considerably sharper after this process. You can notice the difference in the sharpness of the blade by using a magnifying glass. Remember to clean it after sharpening it.
Knife Sharpening Stone or Leather strop
You might find it hard to believe, but you can use a knife-sharpening stone or a leather strop to sharpen your Cricut blade. It is a miniature version of a knife blade, so you can use the same technique and tools to revive its sharpness. However, the pressure has to be gentle, as the blade is much smaller than a knife. Also, finding the best angle might be tricky. Before opting for this technique, give aluminum foil and toothpaste a try. If neither of these methods work, go for a new one. But before you throw away that blade, try this method as your last resort.
If you are into sewing and stitching, you must know what a pin cushion is. You can also call it an emery bag. It has fine emery powder inside that helps remove the dust and sharpens the needles. You can use an emery bag to sharpen your Cricut blade and make it as good as new. Just insert it in the bag and draw it out a few times for optimum results!
Whichever method you choose, testing the blade is imperative. Cut a few straight lines or simple shapes like a square to verify whether or not the blade is cutting better. You can use regular paper or vinyl for the test cuts.
Q: What type of Cricut blades can we sharpen?
A: Cricut machines use different blades for cutting through various materials. Cricut Design Space specifies which one you should use for a particular material. You can sharpen the following types of blades to extend their lifespan:
- Deep point
- Fine point
- Fabric blade
- Wavy blade
- Knife blade
- Perforation blade
Q: Can we sharpen a single blade several times?
A: You can sharpen a blade up to three times at most. Each time you sharpen it, it loses some of its carbide. So, at some point, you will have to replace it. But you can extend its life with these sharpening hacks.
Q: How long do Cricut blades last?
A Cricut blade will usually last for up to six months, at which point you should replace it to ensure smooth and precise cutting. But you can use it for over a year if you sharpen it with one of these hacks. But you will have to replace it eventually. The sharpness of the blade depends on how frequently you use your Cricut. The type of material you cut also determines how long the Cricut blade will last.
Q: How do I know my blade is getting dull?
A: If you feel your machine is not cutting as precisely as it used to, and you have to use a Xacto knife more than usual, it’s a sign your blades have become dull.
Q: What’s making my Cricut blade dull?
Cutting through different materials makes the blade dull after some time. Heavy and thick materials affect the sharpness more than lighter materials. However, it also depends on how much you use your Cricut. If you are cutting through lightweight materials but using Cricut every day, it will affect its sharpness. Materials like cardstock, vinyl, leather, and other dense materials will dull the blade quickly as they require heavy pressure.
Q: How do I keep my Cricut blades sharp?
A: You can keep your blades in optimal condition by storing and using them appropriately. Store them properly in the housing when not in use to keep them in good condition. If you use your Cricut machine regularly, clean and sharpen the blades every few weeks. Use appropriate blades for cutting specialized materials; do not force them if they can’t cut through a specific material. Identify which blade works best with which substance and use it accordingly.
Your craft projects need fine, intricate cuts you cannot achieve with a dull, dirty Cricut blade. Replacing Cricut blades all the time is non-viable as new Cricut blades, like Cricut machines, are expensive. Sharpening them with these easy hacks helps save money in the long run and ensures your Cricut machine works smoothly and efficiently. We hope these simple and time-saving tips help you get long-lasting benefits from your Cricut machines.
I am Zamal Fatima, a skilled and experienced writer having a passion for technology, gadgets, printers, crafting, and DIY. As a technology expert, I have a deep understanding of the latest advancements in gadgets and devices and am able to produce insightful and informative articles that provide valuable insights into the world of technology. Always striving to improve my skills and knowledge.