If you’ve been cutting with your Cricut for more than a few months, you may have noticed that your blade isn’t as sharp as it was when you first purchased it.
Sharper blades are great for creating crisper cuts, but they can also be very costly to replace. Depending on the type of blade that you want to replace, it can cost anywhere from $10-40 to replace the blade, and that adds up after a few replacements.
Fortunately, there is a way to extend the life of your Cricut blade without breaking the bank. If your Cricut isn’t performing as well as you’d hope, don’t toss the blade away just yet. There’s a way to restore the sharpness using things you can find in your kitchen!
So, how do you sharpen Cricut blades? Cricut blades can be sharpened using a few different methods. The easiest is to let your Cricut machine cut a sheet of aluminum foil. You can also use a ball of aluminum foil to sharpen the blades manually. but you’ll have to be careful not to cut yourself.
Stick around as we explain the best ways to sharpen Cricut blades and how to do it safely.
Can You Sharpen Cricut Blades?
If you are reading this article, you’re probably wondering if it’s even possible to sharpen a Cricut blade.
The Cricut works so discretely that you don’t even see where the blade is most of the time, so the thought of opening up the machine and sharpening the blade can be intimidating. Well, you’d be glad to know that it is totally possible (and super simple) to sharpen your Cricut blades.
Cricut blades come in so many different designs for different purposes, and you can sharpen almost every Cricut blade, including:
- Fine-point blades, which are made from 45-degree German steel and are compatible with most new Cricuts. By design, these blades should be sharpened regularly to keep the cuts clean and precise.
- Deep-point blades, which are harder and more durable steel blades that are ideal for cutting thicker materials (even chipboard).
- Bonded fabric blades, which are premium steel blades that are made to work seamlessly with fabric to make applique and other sewing projects.
- Rotary blades, which are designed to cut fabric, even highly delicate fabric like silk.
- Wavy blades, which are stainless steel blades designed for wavy accents and finishing edges.
- Knife blades, which can cut through thick and dense materials such as leather and balsa wood.
- Perforation blades, great for making stickers and tear-away designs.
Note that when you examine the Cricut, you will see that the blade is shielded away in a rounded tube called the ‘housing.’ The housing is designed to protect the blade when it is not in use, as well as to keep you from accidentally hurting yourself when removing the blade because these blades are very sharp instruments.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Cricut Blades?
You should sharpen your Cricut blade when you find that the cuts are no longer as precise and sharp as when you first got it. Depending on how often you use the blade, it can become dull after a few months or even up to a year.
An average crafter needs to sharpen their Cricut blade after 3-6 months, but if you tend to cut very stubborn material, you will find that you need to sharpen the blade more often. Similarly, if you don’t use the blade very often, it can often last longer than 6 months.
Sharpening the Cricut blade can significantly increase its use by up to a year. Think about this: instead of throwing out a blade every 3 months, which can really add up, you can continuously sharpen it and switch it out after a year, saving the cost of 3 blades in the process.
Before you decide to sharpen your Cricut blade, it’s worth taking out the blade and examining what’s holding it back. Sometimes, if you are cutting sticky materials like sticker paper or vinyl, there can be sticky adhesives on the blade, which is what causes it to become dull.
Dirt and other debris can also be trapped in the blade area and cause the blade to become ineffective. In these cases, you simply have to give it a good wipe down to restore the blade’s performance; there’s no need to sharpen the blade.
However, if your blade is dull because it has been at work for a while, it’s worth sharpening the blade to restore its performance.
How to Sharpen Cricut Blades
There are two simple ways to sharpen your Cricut Blade using stiff aluminum foil. Let’s take a look at these two methods below.
Method 1: Aluminium Ball
To use this method, you only need some aluminum foil and crunch it up into a small ball and use it to sharpen your blade. Here’s how:
- Unplug the Cricut and open it up to reveal the blade and its housing. Open up the lever to release the housing, and be careful at this step so that you don’t accidentally cut yourself. There should see a small plunger on the housing that you can press to reveal the blade.
- Examine the blade to see if it’s dirty. If there’s any dust or adhesive on it, give it a good clean by wiping it down. If there’s any stubborn residue, you can also use soap and water, but make sure that it is completely dry before sharpening the blade with aluminum.
- Using your Cricut blade, stab the aluminum foil ball a few times to sharpen it. You can be quite vigorous in this step, and the aluminum will gradually sharpen your blade.
- Test it out! To make sure that the blade is working well, you can try cutting a piece of cardstock to see if the cut is as clean as you would like. If not, repeat these steps until you have achieved the cut quality you expect.
Also, if you are environmentally conscious, you’d be glad to know that you can save this aluminum foil to use for the next time you need to sharpen your Cricut blade. The aluminum foil does not become ‘dull,’ and it can still work to make your blade sharper next time you need to put it to use.
Method 2: Use Your Cricut To Cut Aluminum Foil
There’s another way to sharpen your blade with aluminum foil, which is to use your Cricut to cut heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Note that before you cut, it’s still worthwhile to remove the blade as we’ve suggested and see if it is dirty before sharpening it. Then, you can follow the steps below to sharpen it.
- Place your blade back inside the Cricut.
- Program your Cricut to cut a series of straight lines, squares, and circles. Then, place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in the machine, and adjust the speed to ‘slow’ and the cut thickness to ‘1.’
- The blade will run back and forth over the aluminum foil and become sharper in the process. The slow speed will allow the proper time for the blade to have contact with the foil and become sharper.
- Test it out on a piece of cardstock, and if it’s not as sharp as you would like, you can repeat these steps a few times to sharpen the blade further.
After you are done, you can also save the aluminum foil used in this process and form a small ball for the next time you need to sharpen your Cricut blade using the first method.
What if sharpening your blade doesn’t improve the cut? If you have repeated these steps a couple of times and the blades are still churning out bad cuts, it may not be the blades but the settings in your Cricut itself.
In that case, you can try increasing the cutting pressure by 2, and try cutting a design on a piece of cardstock to see if it works. If not, crank it up again, and repeat. Increasing the cutting pressure will often make the cuts cleaner and better.
Note that although sharpening the Circut blade can significantly increase its life expectancy, you should still replace the blade after a year or so. After that, sharpening the blade will become less effective, which may be a reason why your blades are still not performing well after sharpening.
Other Ways To Improve Cricut Blades’ Performance
Cricuts can work with multiple blades to work with different materials, so if you are an avid crafter, chances are, you probably have more than one blade to work with your Cricut.
Storing your blade properly is a great way to keep the blades new until their next use. Most Cricuts have a compartment that allows you to house all of the blades at once, so you don’t have to track down the blades when you need to work on a new project.
If you have too many blades to go in the Cricut, it’s good to have proper storage to keep them away from dust, which is a big factor that can cause the blades’ performance issues.
Since each blade is designed to work with a different material, you should always use the blade for its intended purpose. That means a blade designed to work with paper should never be used with vinyl or other hard materials. Using the blade incorrectly can wear them down faster and cause issues when you try to cut.
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