If your Cricut machine isn’t cutting like it used to, you could be dealing with a dull blade. After all, blades that don’t cut through your selected material don’t do anyone any good.
So exactly how long do Cricut blades last?
The average Cricut blade should last you anywhere from two months to up to a year. Really, the life of the blade depends on the following factors:
- How much pressure you’re using with each cut (i.e. the depth of cut)
- What types of materials you’re cutting
- The frequency of cuts you make
There are certain signs which will tell you when you should switch out your Cricut blade for a sharper one. Alternatively, you can also sharpen your current blade and continue using it. Whichever method you choose, it’s always important to have a sharp blade when cutting with your Cricut machine.
Why a Sharp Blade Matters
Cricut machines enjoy a lot of popularity because they are a great way to cut various types of materials without having to strain your hand with an X-Acto knife. Allowing your Cricut machine to precisely cut out numerous shapes and designs gives you the freedom to create with greater ease.
However, Cricut blades that don’t cut cleanly defeat the purpose of the machine. Sharp cuts help with the weeding process. They can also create definition where a small flick of the knife is key. Clean cuts are necessary when cutting thin material such as paper or vinyl. But a razor-sharp edge is critical when cutting things like card stock and leather.
The bottom line is that if you don’t have a sharp Cricut blade, you’ll know it. There are plenty of warning signs to know when to switch your blade out; it’s just knowing what to look for.
How to Spot a Dull Cricut Blade
Watching the Cricut cut your design out is probably something you’ve done a couple times. As the knife moves over the material beneath it, it’s hard not to follow it with your eyes. Once that circle completes itself on the screen and a “100%” flashes, the fun of seeing your project come to life takes over.
But the joy of creation can be dimmed by a dull blade. If your Cricut blade leaves behind jagged edges, torn up material, or conversely, barely cuts the material at all, it’s time. It may appear that the blade has cut through your material, but when it comes time to weed, the suffering begins. These are all indications of a dull blade that needs replacing.
Cricut experts recommend: “when the cuts are not crisp, then it is time to change your blade.” If it doesn’t seem like the blade is cutting like it should be, it’s probably time to replace it.
Factors that Affect the Life of Your Cricut Blade
As we mentioned, there are a few characteristics you should pay attention to when it comes to diagnosing and replacing your Cricut blade. These will vary from one Cricut operator to the next. Consider these factors if you think it might be time to replace your Cricut blade.
Depth of Cut
One of the most useful features on the Cricut machines is the ability to choose the depth of cut for the type of material you’re working with. For instance, if you want to cut poster board, your depth of cut will be greater than if you were to cut vinyl or paper.
Cricut does integrate a wheel to accommodate different thicknesses of material. In addition, you can also buy different types of blades for each machine. At the same time, a blade is a blade. It’s going to degrade over time, the same way any knife blade does.
When it comes to your Cricut blade, larger depths of cut will have a greater effect on the longevity of the blade itself. A deep cut will put more pressure on a blade because it has to pierce further into a material. If you think of it, it’s much easier to cut through a piece of paper with a pair of scissors versus cutting through an apple with the same tool.
While you will still want to choose the correct depth of cut for the material you’re working with, just be aware that these deeper cuts will adversely affect the Cricut blade. In essence, a greater frequency of deeper cuts will result in replacing your blade more often.
Again, the Cricut machine remains popular because you can cut anything from paper and vinyl to cardstock, iron-on vinyl, poster board, and leather. There are certain thickness requirements you’ll need to abide by when it comes to cutting on the Cricut machine.
Each material type will stress the Cricut blade in its own unique way. Thinner materials won’t stress the blade as much, because there’s less resistance to the blade in terms of mass. At the same time, thicker materials need a bit more pressure to get the job done.
Cricut blades are built to withstand continued use. Cutting through thin materials won’t degrade the Cricut blade as fast as if you were to cut through thicker pieces. Therefore, if you are consistently working on projects that require heftier materials, you’re more likely to go through blades at a quicker rate.
Frequency of Cuts
Speaking of projects, a larger workload for the Cricut machine will definitely shorten the lifespan of your blade. Like any tool out there, the more you use the Cricut blade, the duller it will eventually become. It’s the same reason why shoes worn for years at a time have shorter heels than their brand new counterparts.
As you can see, Cricut blades can last anywhere from two months to twelve months, depending on how much you use your Cricut machine. It’s a good rule of thumb to replace your Cricut blade more often if you use it on a daily or even weekly basis. Average use should result in replacing the blade anywhere from three to six months.
Lengthening Your Cricut Blade’s Life
Dull Cricut blades need replacing, but did you know there’s a life hack out there for this particular scenario? In fact, crafters around the web have reported they don’t buy new Cricut blades; instead, they sharpen the blades they already have.
One crafter recommended using aluminum foil to sharpen a Cricut blade. After removing the blade from the machine, clean it to remove any residue left from materials you’ve cut. Then, either cut with it across a sheet of aluminum foil or crumple the foil into a ball and plunge the blade into the ball’s center. Either method should clean up the edge of the Cricut blade and sharpen it.
To extend the life of your blade (sharpened or new), Cricut also recommends using several shallow cuts in a multitude of passes to preserve your blade. Instead of increasing pressure and pushing the machine, allow it to cut through the material in multiple passes to create the cleanest cut. It may take longer, but it’ll definitely be worth it.
A Dull Blade is a Working Blade
We hope you’ve found this article on how long Cricut blades last useful. Cutting more often on thicker materials will wear out your Cricut blade faster. However, you should be able to get around two to six to twelve months out of your Cricut blades. The important thing to remember is that a dull blade isn’t a bad thing; after all, it means you’re letting your creativity thrive!