Using a brand new Cricut machine is super satisfying. The cuts are crisp and clean, no matter how intricate the design and how difficult the material is. However, over time, you will find that the blade will become duller and duller, and subsequent cuts won’t be as clean and satisfying as the first one.
How long do Cricut blades last? Depending on how often you use your machine and how heavy-duty your materials are, the blades can last from 12-18 months. When you find that your blade is no longer effective and the cuts become messy, it’s best to replace it with a new one.
However, Cricut blades can be quite expensive, so you definitely don’t want to throw away the blade if it’s not absolutely necessary.
In this article, we will tell you more about how often you are expected to change the Cricut blade, how to tell when it’s time to change the blade, and some tips to make it last longer.
How Long Cricut Blades Last
A brand new Cricut machine usually comes with an all-purpose blade, which is a versatile blade that can be used with various materials.
If you are only using your Cricut to cut paper, cardstock, and vinyl, then you can expect the blade to last around a year, although this number is largely dependent on the material you are cutting and how often you use your machine.
If it’s time to replace your blade, you’ll be able to tell right away.
If you’re cutting vinyl and the blade is dull, it won’t be able to cut through all the layers, which means when you remove the excess vinyl from the design (also called ‘weeding’), you’ll find that it’s quite difficult to remove it cleanly.
Another tell-tale sign is when you cut an intricate design. If the blade cannot get into all the tiny details, you’ll see dragged lines and even damaged materials.
The Cricut is known to help you produce crisp, clean cuts no matter how delicate the design is and how tricky the material is. If you see that the blade is no longer doing a good job at cutting out your design, then it’s time to change it for a new, sharper one. However, you can also resharpen your Cricut blade!
But if you don’t feel like putting in the effort, here’s a great tutorial from Avanti Morocha all about changing your Cricut blade.
How Long Do Cricut Blades Last With Different Materials?
The type of material that you cut will have a huge impact on the blade’s lifespan. Understandably, thicker materials tend to wear out the blade faster than lighter ones. The more pressure that you exert on your machine, the faster the blade will start to dull.
Let’s take a look at some common materials that you often use with a Cricut and how these materials can affect a Cricut blade’s lifespan.
Cutting paper doesn’t require a lot of pressure, and a Cricut can effortlessly cut this material with ease without wearing out its blade.
However, the thicker the paper, the more effort it will take to cut, and the faster your blade will dull. If you’re using thick cardstock paper on a regular basis, you can expect that the blade will wear out much faster than cutting printer paper.
Vinyl is another popular material that’s often used with a Cricut. When cutting adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, the Cricut doesn’t have to use a lot of pressure to effectively cut the material.
Therefore, you’ll find that if you exclusively use your Cricut to cut vinyl, your blade will last much longer, even up to 2 years, without dulling.
When using a Cricut with vinyl, a sign that the blade is dull is when the vinyl is difficult to weed, especially around details and corners. This can lead to a messy design, and the vinyl may even be ruined. In this case, it’s best to replace the blade.
A Cricut machine is also often used to cut especially materials, like pleather, fabric, plastic, and even metal sheets.
The thicker the material, to more difficult it is to cut, and the more pressure the machine will need to exert when it cuts your design. Therefore, these materials will wear out your blade much faster than any other intended materials.
Not every material is intended for a Cricut, so you should always check to see if your Cricut can handle your material, especially if it’s a thicker material like faux leather. If you regularly use your Cricut to cut these specialty materials, the blade will need to be replaced much faster.
Tips To Make Cricut Blades Last
Cricut blades are not cheap to replace, and if your blade is becoming dull after a few months of use, there may be another problem here.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can protect the blade and maintain its sharpness so that it will last longer. Let’s take a look at some useful tips below.
Clean Your Blade
If your blade is becoming dull, the first thing that you can do is clean your blade. This is because small bits of the material you are cutting can get stuck on the blade after each cut, especially if you’re cutting vinyl with an adhesive back.
Cleaning your blade can easily help you remove any of the residues stuck on the blade and help restore its efficiency.
If you are switching from one material to another, it’s also a good idea to clean your blade before cutting the new material so that the old material’s residue doesn’t affect the next cut.
Not many people know that you can remove your Cricut blade from the machine. The Cricut blade is housed inside a small tube (called the “housing”), so you can safely remove both the blade from the housing to clean it without hurting yourself.
There are two ways you can clean your Cricut blade: using aluminum foil or rubbing alcohol.
If you have aluminum foil, you can ball up a small piece of foil and use the blade to punch the foil a few times. The foil’s friction will help to remove any small pieces of residue on the blade, and the sharpness should be restored.
If you find that the blade is sticky after cutting adhesive-backed materials, you can wipe it down using rubbing alcohol. You can soak rubbing alcohol in a cotton ball and wipe both sides of the blade carefully.
After wiping the blade, you can leave it to dry for a few minutes and reinsert it into your machine. You’ll find that all the sticky bits are gone, and your cuts will be as clean as new.
Check The Pressure Used
If you use your machine to cut many different materials, you will need to adjust the pressure of the cut.
Thinner materials like printer paper don’t take a lot of pressure to cut, so using a high pressure will dull out your blade much faster without necessarily being more effective. In fact, using high pressure for a thin material will cause the blade to go into the mat, which will dull your blade faster.
However, if you are using low pressure to cut thick materials, you’ll find that the cut is very shallow and not very effective. If you are cutting thick material, check if you are using the right pressure for the material you’re using before switching to a new blade.
If you are using very high pressure without better results, then it’s time to change to a new, sharper blade.
Use Specific Blades For Each Material
Another tip for prolonging the life of your Cricut blades is to use different types of blades for different types of materials and purposes.
Besides the all-purpose blade that comes with the machine, Cricut also offers a wide range of different types of blades for different purposes, like fabric blades, knife blades, rotary blades, etc.
It’s best to use the right type of blade for the material you’re using. Every Cricut machine comes with a neat compartment on the side or the front that help you store all the blades, and clearly labeling and using the right blade for the right purpose will make it more efficient to cut each material.
Clean Your Mat
Sometimes, the reason why your cuts are not as crisp as they should be is due to an old cutting mat. This can cause the material to shift during the cutting process, which can lead to tears and uneven cuts. This is especially true if you’re cutting thin materials like paper or fabric.
There are various ways that you can clean your cutting mat. You can use a lint roller or a baby wipe to get rid of the leftover fibers and dirt. You can also use a non-alcoholic baby wipe to wipe it down so that the cutting mat is fresh and ready for your material.
If the cutting mat is still not doing a good job of holding the material in place for cutting, then it may be time to replace it with a new mat.