I get the question of what Cricut accessories do I need all the time. If you are confused about what comes with the machine and what else you need to buy, this is the post for you. You might just be getting started with your machine or are looking to buy one. However, even if you have had your machine a while, you might see something on this list that you didn’t even know existed! Do you really need a Cricut EasyPress? What mats are right for you? We are answering that and so much more!
What Cricut accessories come with the machine?
First of all, what do you get in the package? It varies depending on the machine you buy so I have outlined those below. This is what comes in a standard package if you just buy the machine. If you buy yours as part of a bundle deal, you will obviously receive more.
- Cricut Maker: Cricut Maker machine, Rotary Blade + Drive Housing, Premium Fine-Point Blade + Housing, Fine-Point Pen, FabricGrip Mat 12” x 12”, LightGrip Mat 12” x 12”
- Cricut Explore Air 2: Cricut Explore Air Machine, Fine-Point Blade + Housing, Fine-Point Pen, Accessory Adapter, StandardGrip Mat 12″ x 12″
- Cricut Joy: Cricut Joy Machine, Joy Fine-Point Blade + Housing, Joy Fine-Point Pen, Joy StandardGrip Mat 4.5″ x 6.5″
What Cricut accessories should I purchase to get started?
So, now that you know what comes with your machine, what else will you need when starting out with your Cricut? Here is a run down of my recommendations!
NOTE: If you purchase any of these items from the Cricut website, you can use code CCC2021 on orders over $50 to get 10% off and free shipping. The discount does not apply to machines, digital products, or Cricut Access.
What Cricut mats do I need?
There are currently four different types of mats for Cricut machines. Do you need them all? How many do you need? First, lets run down what the mat types are and what they are used for.
- LightGrip: Thin paper and vinyl. (Comes in sizes for the Maker, Explore Air 2, and Joy.)
- StandardGrip: Thicker cardstocks, iron-on, and vinyl. (Comes in sizes for the Maker, Explore Air 2, and Joy.)
- StrongGrip: Chipboard, really thick cardstock, poster board, and wood. (No sizes for Joy.)
- FabricGrip: Fabric of all types and crepe paper. (No sizes for Joy.)
From that list, you should be able to determine which mats you need for the types of crafts that you are going to tackle.
Now, how many mats do you need? That really depends on how often you will be using your machine. For me, the mats are the first thing that wears out. I like to keep a few spares of the mats I use most often. They are definitely a must when it comes to Cricut accessories.
Remember that mats for the Maker and Explore Air 2 are in 12 x 12 and also 12 x 24 size. Mats for the Joy are in 4.5 x 6.5 and 4.5 x 12 size. If you want to do larger projects, consider just stocking up on the larger mats and using them all of the time.
PROTIP: The stronger mats will lose their sticky overtime and basically become the lighter grip versions. So, if you can, start with a stronger grip then move it to lighter materials as it wears. This will extend the life overall and save you some money!
What is the difference between the blades?
The following are all of the blades that you can get with any of the machines. See the notes to see what machines they work with and what materials. My recommendation is to change your blade once you notice that your cuts are not as crisp. I would say keep a spare on hand of your most frequently used blades.
- Fine Point Blade: Great for paper, vinyl, and more. Your machine comes with a housing and blade so just buying the blade replacements is the way to go. Remember the housing for the Joy is different than the one for the Maker/Explore Air 2.
- Premium Fine Point Blade: A better version of the one above that will last you longer. Purchase it with the housing the first time then just buy replacement blades. NOT FOR JOY.
- Bonded Fabric Blade and Housing: Bonded fabric can be cut with a fine point blade but you want to keep the one for fabric separate from the one you use for paper, etc. This color-coded option makes that easy. NOT FOR JOY.
- Deep Cut Blade and Housing: You will want this for cutting thicker materials like foam and chipboard. Again it is color-coded so you won’t get them mixed up. NOT FOR JOY.
- Foil Transfer Tool: This is for adding foil to your designs with pressure. You can read more about this tool and using it here. NOT FOR JOY.
- Rotary Blade Kit: The Maker is currently the only machine that the rotary blade will work with. This kit is to replace yours once it is worn or gets chipped. Housing is ONLY for the rotary blade. NOTE: These last a really long time so you may just wait to order one instead of keeping the kit on hand.
- Knife Blade: Only for the Maker. Cut really thick materials including wood, acrylic, and so much more. Housing is ONLY for this knife blade.
- Scoring Wheel: (single and double): Only for the Maker. Score various materials with a QuickSwap housing to use both tips with one. Want to score with the Explore Air 2? Try the scoring stylus instead.
- Engraving Tip: Only for the Maker. Works with the QuickSwap housing and engraves a wide variety of materials.
- Deboss Tip: Only for the Maker. Add an indention into materials with this tip that works with the QuickSwap housing.
- Perforation Tip: Only for the Maker. Make perforated and tear lines in minutes with this blade that works with the QuickSwap housing.
- Wavy Blade: Only for the Maker. Want to cut wavy lines? Add this tip to your QuickSwap housing.
The blade and the mat are obviously the most critical Cricut accessories but there are others that you may not know about below!
What types of pens can I use?
Yes, you can also write with your Cricut machine. There are a variety of pens available on the Cricut website here. Pens marked “Cricut Joy” are the only ones that work with the Joy. All the other pens will work with the Maker or Explore Air 2.
You can also look for an adapter that can modify the hole size to fit a wide variety of readily available pens. You can find my experiments with an adapter for the Joy here. I find that the Cricut pens do everything that I need to do but you may find that you need a different type of pen for certain projects. I would keep pens on hand if you really want to use that function for your crafts.
The best thing about the Cricut Maker is that it cuts fabric! No bonding required! To go along with this, Cricut has made a washable fabric pen that fits the Maker. You can pick up one here. These are really a must if you are cutting many patterns on the Maker and want to mark your pieces.
Other Cricut accessories that will make your life easier!
Sometimes you don’t really have to have a tool but it sure does make crafting easier. I find this with a ton of the Cricut supplies. I thought I would list some of my favorites below. You can find even more on the Cricut website but these are a few Cricut accessories that I have found really useful.
- The Essential Tool Set: Comes with a ton of tools and some that I really do love. The tweezers are perfect for lifting things from your mat. Especially critical to keep your mats as clean as possible. The scoring stylus above is included in this package along with a basic weeding tool that is essential for vinyl. The spatula in this set is one of my faves. Lifting things from the mat is easier with this tool. The small scissors and paper cutter are nice but you may already have tools like this that you love.
- Basic Tool Set: Basically everything above in the essential toolset minus the paper cutter and scoring stylus. This is also a more affordable option.
- Weeding Tool Set: A must for anyone working with vinyl. Seriously these will save your sanity. It includes weeding tools with pointy tips as well as tweezers.
- XL Scraper: Ever used a credit card to press down your vinyl? This is actually the perfect tool for it. You can also scrape on your old mats to clean them. Overall a handy tool!
- Brayer: If you are cutting fabric with the Cricut Maker, this one is a must. Use it to press down your fabric onto the fabric mat and extend the life of your cutting mat. I also use this to press down paper, vinyl, just about any material. It really helps your mat last longer and your machine cut better.
NOTE: A ton of these are sets which offer the best value if you are going to purchase multiple tools. However, most tools are sold individually. Just see one tool that you want? Click here to see all of the tools offered.
Do I need the Cricut EasyPress?
This is one question that I get asked A LOT! I would say do your research before buying this. You may or may not use this a bunch. Will you be tackling HTV or iron-on projects? Then an EasyPress will make those easier. But do you really NEED it to get started? Perhaps not. Try these posts to help you decide!
Do I need Cricut Access?
Now that you have your accessories on order, do you need Cricut Access to run your machine? Absolutely not. You can use your machine without paying any monthly fee. Some people, however, really like the ease of having free images and fonts right in Design Space. Read this post and decide if Access is for you!
Can I use my cartridges with my Cricut Maker?
Yes you can! The Cricut Maker does not come with a cartridge adapter but you can buy one! Click here to get it on the Cricut website. Remember that you can download your existing cartridges to Cricut Design Space and then use them on any machine, anytime, anywhere!
I hope this gives you an overall better understanding of all of the Cricut accessories available. Be sure to pick up a few from their website or on your next trip to the craft store. After all, you want to be prepared for any crafting emergency! Be sure to leave any questions you have below and I will get to them as quickly as I can!