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The Cricut scoring wheel is set to be released next week and I am so excited to be able to have one ahead of time. Cricut sent me one to play with and I am giving you the low down on everything this new tool for the Cricut Maker can do. I am even comparing it with the scoring stylus so you can see which one is right for you!
Links in this post may be affiliate links which means that you do not pay anymore, however, I will recieve a small commission.
Want the information in a video? You can watch my comparison below along with everything you need to know about the Cricut scoring wheel.
Can’t watch the video or missed some of the steps? Read on below for more information!
What is the Cricut scoring wheel?
A new tool exclusively for the Cricut Maker, the scoring wheel is all about making crisp creases in materials. It uses up to 10x the pressure of the scoring stylus for better score lines on all your paper crafts. You can see how it looks below. It is actually one housing with two different wheels that you can change out as needed.
The 01 tip is a single roller while the 02 wheel is a double roller. You might be able to tell the difference in the image below. Even if you can’t, however, do not fear! They are engraved with an 01 and 02 to easily tell them apart. Just push the plunger on the top to remove one and put on the other. You can see me change the tips in the video above.
Now what is the scoring stylus? You can see it below as compared with the scoring wheel. The stylus has been the only Cricut tool for scoring for some time. You can still use the stylus in both the Maker and Explore models. In Cricut Design Space, when the software calls for the scoring wheel, just click “edit tools” and select the stylus instead. However, if you are an avid paper crafter, you might just want to read on to see what the wheel can do for you!
How do you use the Cricut scoring wheel?
How do you use this new tool? Here are a few tips and tricks that you might need to get started.
- The scoring wheel does not need to be calibrated like the knife blade did. Just put it in your machine and go!
- The software will tell you whether to use the 01 or 02 wheel.
- You can’t use fast mode when scoring whether you use the wheel or stylus.
- Use the mat that is recommended for the material you are using. No special mat is needed when scoring.
- The pressure cannot be adjusted when scoring. The “more” and “less” functions do not apply here.
- The Cricut Maker will check to see that you have a scoring wheel installed in your machine, however, it cannot check to see if it is the 01 or 02 wheel. I always say to use the one that is displayed in Cricut Design Space and recommended for your material type.
- The machine will ask for the scoring wheel first, then score your material, then stop and prompt you to change to the blade. After changing, it will complete the cut on your project.
What materials can you score?
There is actually a huge list of materials that can be scored using the scoring wheel and stylus. I picked just a few to experiment on below. For the sake of these tests, I cut a rectangle with two score lines with both the wheel and stylus. I then did one fold towards the score line and one away from it. That way I could compare the tools as well as any cracking or imperfections created on the materials.
I started with simple materials like construction paper, copy paper, card stock, and corrugated paper. I didn’t really notice any discernible differences between the tools in these cases. Both made adequate score lines that could be used for your paper crafts.
I then moved on to more specialty materials like shimmer paper, embossed foil paper, foil poster board, glitter paper, and sparkle paper. With these types of materials, cracking along the fold can be a huge issue. I found in these cases the scoring wheel makes a huge difference. It helps when it comes to finding the score lines, getting a crisp fold, and reducing the cracking.
I will say, however, that in order to get the best folds on these materials you will need to fold your paper towards the fold in all cases. So, you may need to actually make your cuts with the pretty side down on the mat depending on what your final project will look like.
Most of these materials will call for that double score line that is made by the 02 wheel in order to get the best folds. You can actually see a double line on the sample on the left in the image below.
Yes you can go beyond paper with the scoring wheel. This is where the differences really show up!
- Acetate – Frankly, I could not get this material to score with the stylus. The Cricut scoring wheel, however, did an amazing job!
- Cork – The stylus ruins this material by dragging through it. The scoring wheel however made perfect fold lines. Always be sure to fold towards the score line in this case as it will crack otherwise.
- Metal – I found that thin metal (in this case 40 gauge copper) is hard to bend no matter which tool you use. If you have a project using this, be prepared to go slow and be patient. The wheel sample did perform slightly better.
- Foam – Both tools did a great job adding score lines. I will say, in this case, the stylus is a bit cleaner as the wheel leaves additional marks in the foam.
- Chipboard – Yes, you can score chipboard! Here I would say the scoring wheel is the way to go as the folds are much easier.
Now, it is not recommended to score wood but I wanted to give it a try! I used a soft balsa wood and ran both tools over it. Both worked great! I am sure you can dream up a project using this technique. I will say if you bend along the score line the material will break there.
Which wheel should I use?
I also ran some experiments comparing the 01 wheel, 02 wheel, and stylus. I found on this kraft board they performed almost the same but it was much easier to fold the ones scored using the wheel. In all cases, use the wheel recommended by design space first then try the other if you are not happy with the results.
Bottom line, if you are an avid paper crafter that wants to score and bend specialty paper and other materials, the scoring wheel is well worth the investment. If you don’t have either one currently, I would say consider just getting the wheel as you may want to expand your crafting later. Already have the stylus? You might wait until such a time that you are either not happy with your folds or you want to expand into some of the materials above.
Where to buy?
Alright, where do you get it? You can buy the tools using the links below.
The wheel is set to be released next week so you shouldn’t have to wait too long!
Now, what other questions do you have about scoring and these tools? What is going to be your first project when you get your own wheel?
Need more information on what machine to buy? See our comparison of the Cricut Maker and Explore here.
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