10 things you should know when using the Cricut Knife Blade

Let’s Get Technical! How to Cut with Knife Blade: 10-Things Inquiring Minds Need to Know

May 4th, 2018 • Cricut Team

You have your Cricut Maker™ and recently bought Knife Blade – let’s get cutting. Here you’ll find a few key things – 10 to be exact – you need to know about working with Knife Blade and your Cricut Maker. You could also learn these tips from our video.

1. Calibrate your Cricut Maker for Knife Blade

Before you do ANYTHING, you must calibrate your Knife Blade. Do this first so that your machine recognizes the Knife Blade Drive Housing and executes the best cuts. It’s easy, Design Space® walks you through every step. Just click the account menu and select “Calibration” and follow the on-screen prompts. You may have to upgrade your firmware (this means your Maker), and this only takes a few minutes as well. If you like, you can read more about it here.

2. Always Use Your Desktop or Laptop for Knife Blade Projects

Due to longer cut times that require a Bluetooth™ connection, Knife Blade projects need to be done in Design Space on your computer, not your iOS or Android device (phone, tablet, etc.). Knife Blade is not compatible with these devices.

3. And, 4! Speaking of Using Your Computer … A Couple of Tips

Always use Design Space in a Google Chrome browser, and importantly, always in a dedicated window – try to avoid opening additional tabs. If you absolutely must use the web while working with Knife Blade, open a new window.

While you’re at it, make sure you turn OFF Sleep Mode on your computer. Since Knife Blade projects can take some time, it’s important to make sure your computer doesn’t Pause Out while cutting your project.

5. Tape Your Material to Your Mat

Cricut Maker and Knife Blade cut with 10-times more force than Cricut Explore®. The mat’s adhesion isn’t necessarily going to be sticky enough to hold the thick or dense types of materials you’ll be tackling with Knife Blade.

When prepping for a cut, you’ll use tape to secure your material on the purple (StrongGrip) mat. Blue Painter’s Tape or masking tape works just fine. Start with the left corner and then tape all four sides ... not just the corners. Tape to within 1-inch from the edges; this is what’s going to help hold your material in place. If you think you need to tape the corners, you can do that, too.

6. Slide Those Star Wheels Over

The little white wheels on the roller are called star wheels, and if you are cutting thick materials they could make indentations. Move them to the right so that this doesn’t happen to your design.

7. Keep Cuts Larger Than 3/4” (0.75 of an Inch)

Take a good look at the size of the pieces your design requires and make sure they are greater than 3/4 of an inch. The Knife Blade is not an intricate cut blade and may not be able to make those finely cut or small pieces.

Also, make sure any lines that you cut are at least the width of a pencil. This is important to get clean lines, and not run the risk of breaking your blade.

8. One Word: Time

Knife Blade makes cuts in multiple passes. Depending on the depth of the material – and the size and complexity of your design — cuts can take some time, so plan on it. Once the blade makes its first pass, it will estimate the number of passes the cut will take. Design Space is nifty and will count down each pass right before your eyes.

9. Add One More Pass

When a Mat, or design, is almost done cutting, Design Space will prompt you to check the Cuts. Take a look and see if your design is complete and ready to come off the mat. If the design isn’t cut all the way through, you can tell Design Space to make another pass. Just press the “Go” button.

10. Resume Your Project

If your machine stops due to debris from cutting, a minor defect in your material (like leather that has natural flaws), or the blade just seems to be stalled, look to see if the Cricut “C” button is flashing. If it is, then brush off the debris, press the C again and it will resume cutting.

That's it! We can’t wait to see what you make. Please be sure to share your creations on Facebook or Instagram and tag us. Good luck!

8 thoughts on “Let’s Get Technical! How to Cut with Knife Blade: 10-Things Inquiring Minds Need to Know

  1. Pingback: The Knife Blade and Cricut Design Space | Cricut

  2. I am so disappointed that I could cry, I have spent $400 on the cricut maker and over $300+ on materials over the past 5 months, I recently purchased the knife blade and the 2mm chipboard, I followed cricuts instructions on using masking tape/painters tape to hold down the chip board and I used my strong grip mat, after waiting over 40min to cut a simple shape, I took off the tape only to have it tear off the chipboard and then the knife blade also cut thru my mat that i just bought a month ago. your products are not cheap, and as much money as I spend I expect a decent outcome. I don’t have money to keep buying a new mat every time I use the knife blade. I really hope cricut will improve the quality of the mats. I doubt I will use it again until the situation it fixed, so I guess the $60 I just spent on chipboard and the knife blade is money wasted. I hope to hear back from someone on how cricut can resolve this issue.

  3. Very frustrated! Almost to the point of being angry! I have tried everything to calibrate the knife blade to my Cricut Explore Air 2, only to discover that the machine IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the knife blade housing and blade. (AFTER I spent a lot of money purchasing a blade & housing, of which I opened and cannot return) UGH!
    Why is it not CLEAR on the packaging that the knife blade is for CRICUT MAKER ONLY? And more importantly, why on earth is there settings on my Cricut Explore Air 2 to calibrate a product that it is not compatible with ????
    Please tell me I’m wrong, and that there is a way. SO not happy with my machine right now!
    D. Mitchell

    • Hi. I am so sorry for the confusion. On the bottom left of the package, it notes that it is for the Cricut Maker. Since both Maker and Explore use Design Space, it has a calibration feature in there to work with the Maker.

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