Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: A comprehesive guide to all of the Cricut Tools, including the purpose and use of each and which ones are essential for use with your Cricut maker or Cricut Explore machine.
So you’re new to the Cricut Maker or Explore and aren’t sure which tools or accessories you might need. It can be overwhelming, right? Trust me, I was once in your shoes, so I get it. Before the release of the Maker, I wrote a post on my must have Cricut tools, but it’s changed a bit since the Maker launch. In this post, I’ll run through all of the Cricut tools and give my two cents on how to use them and which ones are essential. It’s a pretty lengthy list, so let’s get started!
*For the purpose of this post, I am considering a “tool” anything that is used outside of the machine. Anything used inside, or attached to, the machine will be considered an accessory and looked at in a follow up post.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need:
Sold: individually or as part of a bundle with iron on materials
Purpose: Used to apply heat transfer vinyl (or iron on), the EasyPress is a more compact version of a heat press. It acts more like an iron though, since you don’t sandwich your item between a press like a traditional heat press. However, it is much more consistently heated than an iron, which creates a stronger bond between your HTV and material. It comes with a guide that lists temperature and timer settings, taking all of the guesswork out of the process.
Essential? Abso-freaking-lutely. This is definitely in my top five must have Cricut tools of all time. When I used an iron, my creations never survived the wash. The EasyPress was a game changed in HTV for me.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need:
Sold: individually, in up to five colors that coordinate with the original Explore Air 2 colors.
Purpose: To light up materials after cutting on the Cricut; to light up papers for things like illustrating and pattern making. It looks like an iPad and has a beautiful sleek design. It’s easy to use – simply plug in, turn on, and adjust the brightness to suit your needs using the +/- buttons. It is extremely handy when wedding glitter vinyl, as the cut lines seem to disappear.
Essential? This is one of those tools that depends on the crafter. I tend to use it solely for weeding glitter vinyl, which I could probably do without. However, my daughter uses it a lot – she practices hand lettering using the BrightPad, she uses it to combine illustrations for her school book covers, and so much more. If you find weeding vinyl and HTV materials difficult, the BrightPad will help you, and it may become indispensable for you.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: Weeding Tools
Sold: Individually, and as part of the basic tool set or essential tool set, and in a specialty weeding tool set (shown above)
Purpose: To make it easier to weed excess material (vinyl, iron on, etc) away from your cut design. Weeding tools come in a variety of designs and styles, and are used like a hook to pull the excess material away. The ends are very pointy and stab into the material to pull it up. There are also tweezers to grab small pieces.
Essential? 1-2 weeding tools are absolutely essential. I like the original and find I use it the most, but perhaps that’s because I am used to it. If you work with more intricate designs frequently however, you may want to get the weeding tool set.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: The Brayer
Sold: Individually or in a set with a “remover”.
Purpose: To “stick” materials to cutting mats. The brayer works like a paint roller, and creates a tighter bond between the mat and the material being cut. This ensures it doesn’t pop or peel away from the mat while the cut is in progress. It is especially useful when cutting fabric.
Essential? Without a doubt. Actually, let me rephrase that. You could use a scraper, but it won’t do as good of a job as the brayer. It won’t squeeze the last bit of life out of your old mats either. I have the remover tool but find that I don’t use that piece as much. I tend to use my hands, although I know that causes my mats to deteriorate faster.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: The Scraper
Sold: in a pack with a spatula, in the basic tool set, in the essential tool set, or individually in an XL size.
Purpose: to scrape leftover material off the mat, to smooth materials onto the mat
Essential? I frequently used the small ones that are included in the tool sets, however I recently tried the XL scraper and I love it. It covers so much more surface area, so it makes the task quicker to complete. It’s also easier to hold and use.
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: Sewing Tools
Sold: the rotary cutter is sold individually, and the sewing kit includes fabric scissors, sewing pins and pin cushion, fabric snips, seam ripper, measuring tape, and leather thimble.
Purpose: Used to accurately measure and cut any fabric that needs to be cut or sewn outside of the machine. The rotary cutter makes long cuts quicker and easier than using scissors.
Essential? That depends. Are you an experienced seamstress who already owns these tools? If so, then no. These tools are stylish and cute, but won’t offer anything above what you already own. However, Cricut’s kit offers a very budget friendly entry point to crafters who may need to buy all of the tools at once. For me, it was a steal of a deal because I could never buy all of those items for the price of Cricut’s kit. Plus it matched and looked much better!
Which Cricut Tools Do I Need: Multi-Tool Sets
Sold: in a Basic 5 tool set (scissors, weeding tool, small scraper, spatula and tweezers) or an Essential Set, which includes everything from the Basic Set plus a paper trimmer (includes a cutting and scoring blade) and a scoring stylus (set shown above).
Purpose: We have covered the weeding tool and scraper above, and the scissors are pretty self explanatory. The trimmer is great for cutting larger materials down to size for cutting on the machine. The scoring stylus scores fold lines in materials to make folding easier. The spatula helps lift materials off the mat and the tweezers pick up small items.
Essential? Pieces of these sets have been indespensible to me (scissors, weeding tool, scoring stylus). Other parts I have never used (tweezers, spatula). Then there are tools that I just love having for general crafting use (the paper trimmer and scissors). To buy the essential pieces individually would cost more than the set so spring for this set if you can.
Which tools are your favorites? Leave me a note below!