Ever get overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out which Cricut tools to buy and what the heck they actually do? I get it. When I got my first Cricut machine, the tools were one of the most anxiety-inducing things for me.
Over time, I got comfortable with them all, and I’ve mastered all their handy tricks. And now I’m about to pass down that knowledge to you so you can rock your first few Cricut projects like a pro. Here’s a fun and not-so-technical guide on what each tool in the Basic and Essential Tool Kit does and how to use them.
Basic Tool Set
The Cricut Basic Tool Set is the number one thing I recommend to Cricut Newbies as their first purchase to accompany their new machine. It comes with, well, the basics.
The Basic Tool Set is available in a few different color options, but they all contain the same items. Here are the five tools included, along with a quick rundown of what each tool actually does.
Micro Tip Scissors- Don’t let the size fool you. These may look like the scissors you packed in your third grader’s trapper keeper, but these bad boys are not to be joked around with. They’re ridiculously sharp and incredibly precise. And they’ll take a tip off your nail in a hot second.
Weeding Tool- No, it’s not a dentist’s pick, so don’t let your kids try to clean Dad’s teeth with it. The Weeding tool is your BFF when you’re working with vinyl. It helps you pull up the negative cuts easily without accidentally scraping up the vinyl you need to keep. And it’s a pretty zen process, too. It’s like coloring in a coloring book, except without the coloring. And the book. And replacing the colored pencil with a sharp pointy dangerous object.
Tweezers- I’ll be honest, these tweezers take some getting used to. They’re great for lifting and securing delicate materials like thin vinyl, especially if you’ve got less-than-delicate little fingers. The reason the Cricut Tweezers are unique is that they are reversed from the tweezers you use to pluck your chin hairs. Once you are comfortable with them, you’ll love how much less work they are to use versus regular tweezers.
Spatula- This teeny little spatula is useless in the kitchen, but great on a Cricut Mat. It’s used to lift cuts off the Mat, and it’s especially helpful for paper cuts. I really love using this spatula for the Cricut Joy Card Insert Kits, but it can be used for anything you need a help pulling off the mat.
Scraper- The scraper is the Mack Daddy of the tools in your toolkit. It’s super versatile and you’ll use it almost every time you break out your Cricut machine. You’ll use it to get a good grip on your transfer paper, and you’ll use it to scrap off tiny leftovers from your cutting mats. It’s also good for smoothing out any bubbles.
Essential Tool Set
The Cricut Essential Tool Sets come with everything in the Basic Tool Set, along with some extra tools that will up your Cricut game to a “I look like I know what I’m doing” kind of level. Here’s some of the tools you get in the Essential Tool Set variations.
Keep in mind that there are multiple Essential Tool Sets available, along with special edition sets, so not all these items are available in every set.
Scoring Stylus- This handy tool helps you create crisp folding lines. You can use it yourself by hand, or you can actually insert it into a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore machine and let it do the scoring for you. You’ll get perfectly straight folding lines for paper projects, which is great for anyone who sucks at folding a line that’s anything but jagged. *The Scoring Stylus is not compatible with Cricut Joy.
Portable Trimmer- This is my hands-down favorite tool that Cricut offers. It allows you to cut straight, perfect lines every single time, and has a built-in ruler that measures up to 12 inches. I use the Portable Trimmer for EVERY SINGLE PROJECT. Plus you can buy replacement blades so you don’t have to buy a new trimmer every time it gets dull.
XL Scraper- This is the exact same scraper that comes in the Basic Tool Set, but it’s extra large. Ok, duh Lela! But take my word for it, the bigger scraper is definitely worth having. It’s better for those who have trouble gripping small items with their hands, so if you suffer from arthritis or have accessibility constraints, you’ll appreciate the larger surface area to hold onto. It’s also good for smoothing out large vinyl transfer images.
Now Go Try Them All Out!
Now that you’ve got the gist of what every tool in the Basic and Essential Tool Set does, you can confidently open up that packaging and get those not-so-scary tools out to play around with.
If you’re still shopping for tools or haven’t yet hit the checkout button to even buy a Cricut machine yet, GIRL, you ended up in the right place at the right time! Save this post to Pinterest for when you’re ready, and follow this board for all the Cricut learning you can gobble up when you make the plunge.