What are the beginner must-have tools and accessories for the Cricut Maker? What do you not need? Here is my complete breakdown.
You got a Cricut machine and set it up.
Pretty sure you are wondering – So, what else do I need now? What is good to have and what is an absolute must-have?
Whether you are getting started with your machine, looking to get a new machine, or just want to figure out if you really need that tool, I have you covered.
Before we dive into the list of accessories, let’s talk about what you already have.
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What accessories come with the Cricut machine?
What’s included varies depending on the machine.
The standard packages include the following:
- Cricut Maker – Cricut Maker machine, Rotary Blade + Drive Housing, Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing, Fine-Point Pen, 12” x 12” FabricGrip Mat , 12” x 12” LightGrip Mat.
- Cricut Maker 3 – Cricut Maker 3 machine, a fine point blade, sample sheets of Smart Vinyl (removable), Smart Iron-on, and Smart Paper- sticker card stock and a sheet of transfer tape.
What are the must have Cricut Maker Accessories?
Cricut Maker is a very versatile machine and can not only cut a huge range of materials, but it can also perform various operations like engraving and embossing, etc.
The basic must-haves for a Cricut maker can be divided into the following main categories –
What Cricut mats do I need?
If you have a Cricut Maker 3 (or Cricut Explore 3), you do not need mats when cutting Smart Material!
However, you do want to have mats handy because:
- you can cut scrap pieces of Smart material on mats
- you can still cut all the older materials on the machine
- Some materials are not available as Smart materials
There are currently four different types of mats for Cricut machines.
Here is what each mat is useful for.
- LightGrip: Thin paper and vinyl
- StandardGrip: Thicker cardstocks, iron-on, and vinyl.
- StrongGrip: Chipboard, really thick cardstock, poster board, and wood.
- FabricGrip: Fabric of all types and crepe paper.
The StrongGrip and FabricGrip mats are not available for the Cricut Joy.
This should give a good idea of the mats you want to buy based on the types of crafts that you plan to tackle.
Mats also come in various sizes. You can purchase various-sized mats according to the type of projects you plan as well.
Must have blades for Cricut Maker
Let’s talk blades.
Blades are the MVP of the Cricut machine and allow you to create what you want.
But there are a LOT of different types of blades.
The blade you pick depends on –
- the type of material you are cutting
- the operation that you want to perform.
Here is a rundown on the blades and what they are used for –
- Fine Point Blade: Great for paper, vinyl, and more. The Cricut Maker comes with a housing and blade but you can purchase replacement blades as you need.
- Premium Fine Point Blade: This is just a better version of the fine-point blade and meant to last longer.
- Deep Point Blade and Housing: Great for cutting thicker materials like foam and chipboard.
- Knife Blade: Cuts really thick materials including wood, acrylic, and so much more.
- Foil Transfer Tool: Adds a foil to your designs with pressure. Read more about it here.
- Rotary Blade Kit: Cuts fabric and delicate materials.
- Scoring Wheel: (single and double): Scores various materials and works with QuickSwap Housing.
- Engraving Tip: Engraves a wide variety of materials.
- Deboss Tip: Adds an indention into materials.
- Perforation Blade: Makes perforated and tear lines
- Wavy Blade: Makes cut wavy lines.
The great thing about the blades is that they are color-coded or numbered and not easy to mix up.
Plus, many of the blades work with the QuickSwap housing making it possible to only replace the blade and not the entire housing – great for your budget!
Machine Tool Organizer – This is a great addition and helps organize and store all the tips, blades, and housings.
Pens to use with Cricut Maker
Writing with the Cricut Maker or any Cricut machine is a lot of fun and opens a whole world of possibilities.
There are many types of pens and markers based on the various styles and functions.
- Classic pen and marker sets with various tip sizes
- Gel pens – glitter and metallic
- Infusible ink pens
- Washable fabric pens – for drawing patterns on fabric!
Obviously, you do not need all of them! I would highly recommend having a few colors to get started and buy more when you have the need for them.
What Cricut tools do I need?
Cricut has a bunch of simple tools and accessories specially designed to make working with Cricut projects easier and more efficient.
Do you really need these?
No. but trust me – these tools will make your life easier and help get better projects.
Many of the tools come in sets as well and are a better value. However, almost all the tools are sold individually as well.
- The Essential Tool Set: This is a great starting point. Comes with –
- Tweezers – great for lifting things from the mat
- Scoring stylus
- A basic weeding tool – essential for vinyl
- Spatula – to lift things from the mat
- A small scissors
- Paper cutter
Another more affordable alternative to the essential toolset is the –
- Basic Tool Set – this is basically the essential tool set minus the paper cutter and scoring stylus.
If you want to just get the very basics, I think you should get a weeding tool set, an XL scraper, and a brayer at the very least!
- Weeding Tool Set: It includes weeding tools with pointy tips plus tweezers to help pick up small pieces.
- XL Scraper: Great for pressing down on the materials to remove bubbles as well as scrape off and clean the mat.
- Brayer: Super helpful to press down material onto a mat. It helps make the material smoth on the mat which helps the machine cut better.
Do I need the Cricut EasyPress?
If you plan on working with iron-on or infusible ink, you need a way to apply heat to your material.
The Cricut has the EasyPress range that is especially meant for it.
It is available in various sizes starting with the EasyPressMini which is great for small or awkwardly shaped projects.
The largest EasyPress is 12″ x 10″.
But do you really need it? Or could you use an iron instead?
The advantage of an EasyPress is the fact that:
- it has temperature control
- a countdown timer
- even heat.
An iron on the other hand:
- has no set temperature
- can produce uneven heat making it a little hard to get iron-on to stick
- you have to have a separate countdown timer available.
If you are making a one-off project, you could possibly use an iron.
But, if you plan on making lots of projects frequently, you may want to invest in an EasyPress.
About Cricut Access
Although not a tool, Cricut Access is something you may want to look into based on your requirements.
The Cricut Design Space is an essential part of using the Cricut. It is free to sign up and get access to a LOT of free images and fonts. Plus you can use your system fonts as well as import your own images.
However, there are many images and fonts that are available for a nominal fee. You do have the option to sign up for the Cricut Access membership which gives you access to over 100,000 images and 400 fonts!
That is an overview of all the tools and accessories you may want to consider purchasing for your Cricut Maker.
It is a long list but as I mentioned, you do NOT need all of them right away!
Purchase them as you have a need for them in your projects.
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- Cricut Easy Press 3 Review: Is it Worth it?
- 27 Creative Cricut Wood Project Ideas
- Cricut Bright 360 LED Lamp Review
- What is Design Space and how does it work?