How to Change the Blade on Cricut
The Cricut machine is a great crafting tool cherished by crafters all over the world. It allows you to cut out all kinds of shapes from cardstock, paper, plastic, and many other materials, being only limited by your own imagination.
But since it is so much fun to use the Cricut machine, after prolonged intensive use, it will become inadvertently dull one day or another. Once dull, you will notice that it won’t give you the same clean-cut you grew accustomed to. When this happens it’s a sign that the blade became indeed dull and you must go purchase a replacement. You are going to want of course to find the best quality blade available and know how to install it correctly in the Cricut machine.
Once you have mastered the skill of replacing your Cricut blade, you can be more confident about your machine. And more importantly, go back to work and get consistently sharp and clean results.
In this guide, we will show you three different methods to change the cutting blade inside of your Cricut machine.
When looking for the right blade, first you will have to decide what material you will want to cut.
If you want to cut paper, for example, you will have to find a fine-tipped blade. Because that is the one specifically designed for cutting paper and will therefore last longer when used for its intended use.
There are multiple different types of blades you can choose from when purchasing your replacement blade.
The blade that originally came with your machine was most probably fine-tipped, specifically made for cutting thin materials, like paper. But even vinyl or transfers sheets are also often thin enough for this blade. As a rule of thumb: if you can easily tear the material with your fingers, it is a sign that the material is thin enough to be cut with a fine-tipped blade.
If on the other hand, you want to cut thicker materials, such as cardboard or felt, you will have to buy a deep-point blade instead. This will provide not only better results but will also preserve the sharpness of the blade for a longer period.
For special projects, this is the only blade to be used in multiple scenarios. For this reason alone, we think it is worthwhile for every crafter to have such blades in their toolbox. In addition to the regular fine-point knife.
Technically speaking, if you are not certain whether you will really need a blade with a deep point, you could first use the fine-point blade you already have. Be careful though when trying this out, since you do not want to damage the blade accidentally.
Warning signs to look for are if, for example, you realize that the blade does not cut properly all the way through the material. Also if you find that the cutting result is uneven and jagged, that is a sure sign you should be using a deep-point blade instead.
We always recommend having multiple blades that you can replace when needed, depending on what you need to cut. You will see that the more advanced Cricut machines will have even more additional types of replacement blades available for them. The circular rotating blade, for example, is specially made for effectively cutting through fabric. Besides thick fabric, this rotary blade is also fitting to cut other thick materials, such as for example balsa wood.
Be aware though that these rotating circular blades can only be used with the newer, more advanced Cricut machines. So don’t buy one if you are still using an older model, it simply won’t work.
The best place to purchase a replacement blade is from your local craft store or online, at for example Amazon.com. Generally speaking, all stores that sell Cricut machines will also sell replacement blades. Also good to know, is that all official Cricut blades have a universal mount that will fit any Cricut machine, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues.
However, the housing itself, in which the blade is located is not always interchangeable. Therefore, if you have multiple Cricut machines, it is important to keep the specific housing that came with your machine.
In this method, you will first have to find the cutter unit. The cutter unit is the part of your Cricut machine that holds the blade in place. It is fairly simple to identify, it is the box at the front of the machine that moves along an axis. The cutter unit protrudes from one side of the unit and has on the front of it an “A” and a “B” marking.
Now that you have identified it, you can detach the cutter unit by pulling open the lever on the clamp in the front of the Cricut machine marked with the “B”.
After you have successfully pulled open the faucet that is situated on the front of the clamp, lift the circular piece that holds the blade, which is called the blade housing, up-and-out of the machine.
If on the other hand, you can not identify a faucet on the front of the clamp, it means that you have an older Cricut machine model that does not use a faucet. But do not despair, since also on older Cricut machine blades are replaceable.
Instead of the faucet, the older models use a screw. So you will therefore need to unscrew the arm that holds the cutting unit first. This screw is fairly easy to identify since it is a large stew and can be easily loosened just by simply turning it with your fingers.
Once loosened, you can open the clamp on the front of the cutting unit.
Now that your cutting unit is opened, you can push the plunger on the top of the cutting unit that will finally release the blade that is in place at the moment.
This plunger is situated opposite the blade, at the top of the cutting unit. If you look carefully, you will notice a small piece of metal that protrudes from the housing, that is the plunger. When you press the plunger, the current blade should fall out by itself.
If for some reason the blade does not fall out by itself, you should gently grasp the blade with your other available fingers and pull it out manually.
Before proceeding with changing the blade it would be wise to put your old blade in its protective case to dispose of it safely or store it for later use.
Now remove the new blade from its packaging. Once taken out of its packaging, it has a protective cover that also needs to be removed. To remove the protective cover, you will have to hold the blade gently by the cutting end.
Once the protective cover has been removed, you must be careful when handling the blade. Because the blade will be very sharp.
Insert the blade into the mount at the bottom of the cutting unit. Slide the non-cutting side of the new blade into the mount. Which is the same spot where the previous blade came out of the unit. Inside of the mount, there is a magnet that will immediately hold it in place. When the cutting end of the blade protrudes just a little bit from the end of the housing you know it is properly in place. Now that the blade is properly attached, you can snap the cutting unit back in place.
To do this, you need to take the cutting unit with the new blade attached and put it back into the Cricut machine housing. Once the cutting unit is in place, as it was before changing the blade, you can close the clamp that holds the cutting unit housing in place.
As a final check, make sure that the cutting unit is as far as it will go into the cutter unit housing of the Cricut machine. Since if the cutting unit is placed too high in the housing, the Cricut machine won’t cut properly.
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If you want to insert a knife-blade in your Cricut machine, you’ll also have to remove the blade housing from the cutter unit first. As with the other blades, you will have to detach the cutting unit from the housing by pulling the tab that is marked with the letter “B” towards you. This will release the clamp holding the housing.
Once the clamp is released, you can easily lift the unit out of its mount.
This blade guard is designed to hold the blade with a screw. Once you unscrew this screw counterclockwise, the old blade should fall out immediately. It is important to keep the locking screw in the protective guard for future use.
Now you can place the new knife-blade in the cutting unit. Place the new blade in the housing, while gently holding it by the cutting side, making sure the ridge on the blade slides into the blade mount. Then slide back the guard and screw it on, now you can pull the guard off and discard or store it for future use.