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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Getting Cleaner Cuts With Blades

 

Getting Cleaner Cuts With Cutting Blades




Maintaining your blades makes for easier cuts


No matter what kind of cutting machine you have, getting less than perfect cuts can be very frustrating, We have gathered some tips and ideas that should help you get clean cuts every time. This is the first of a series on how to get the best cuts.



Using A Clean Sharp Blade

It alls starts with the blade, right? Let's face it, if you do a lot of cutting, the blade on your machine is going to get dull! If you are cutting things like vinyl and magnets, the blade is going to dull right away, 

Tip 1-Have different blades for different materials, Most of the time we are either cutting paper or vinyl. You want to try to avoid using a blade that you have cut vinyl with on your paper projects. Have separate blades. Mark one blade with a little bit of nail polish so that you know which is which, The one that you will use for the paper will last a lot longer and cut better.

If Your Blade Is Not Cutting Through The Material

So, now that you have separate blades for different materials, the question is how to sharpen them. The answer for that is the aluminum foil ball. Everyone who has a cutting machine should have one of these at their fingertips. It is inexpensive and actually does work. Not only does it sharpen the blade, but it also cleans the blade. You will want to do this often, especially before an intricate cut!

Tip 2-Create an aluminum foil ball to sharpen and clean your blade. Tightly create an aluminum foil ball. Remove the blade housing from your machine, Expose the blade and plunge into the foil ball at least 50 times. Replace the housing to your machine.

How To Clean And Adjust The Blade On The Silhouette









If  Your Blade Is Cutting Too Much

If your cut is a ripped mess, you may use the wrong blade for the project. Check the packaging, to make sure that you have the right blade for the material you are cutting and for the machine that you are using. 

Cricut Blades

Be careful when you are purchasing new blades that you know which blade is right for your machine and your use. In the case of the Cricut Explore and Maker, you will be using the Fine Point German Carbide Blade for the most part. The caps on these blades should be red or white. These blades last longer. The regular fine point blade cap is grey. These are the blades that you will use most often.

There is also a deep point blade that cuts deeper than the regular fine point blades. It has a harder more durable steel. You could use this blade for materials thicker than standard card stock. Leather is one example where you would use this blade. The color on the deep point blade is blue or black/brown. So if you use its blade and then go to cut thinner cardstock, it might present a problem.

If you are using a Cricut Maker, you want to make sure to check the blade in your machine before you start your project, since there are lots of blades to chose from. 

Again how long your Cricut blade will vary depending on how much you use it and what materials you cut.




Silhouette Blades

There are four main blades on the Silhouette, Each of the blades is color coated. The rachet blade is black, The fabric blade is blue. The deep-cut blade is white with two rows of numbers. It has a silver cap, The premium cutting blade is white with a single row of numbers. Just like the Cricut, it is important to make sure you have the right blade for your project,. 


Examine Your Blade Before You Cut

It is smart to examine your blade before you cut a project, especially if you are cutting an intricate project. Little pieces of paper or other materials will catch on the blade. This will cause a drag on the blade and you will get less than clean cuts. We have all been there and it is frustrating. 



Cleaning The Silhouette Blade

Once you have removed the blade from the housing, it is easy to clean it, 

To clean the blade, simply unscrew the cap and wipe the tiny bits of paper inside, You can use a lint-free cloth or a cotton swab to remove any adhesive that may be stuck on the blade. Unscrew the cap with the blade tab. It is the tab with the two circular holes in it, It is designed for unscrewing the top of your blade. If you have lost the tab, no worries. Use a small set of pliers to unscrew it gently. When you are done, just re-screw the top on.

How To Decide When Its Time To Change Your Blade

There is going to be a time when It is time to replace your blade. If you have cleaned and sharpened the blade and checked that it is the right blade, then replacing the blade might be the only option. 

Always check the mat before you replace the blade. It may just be that your mat is not sticky enough to hold the material well!


Here are some thoughts:

  • Do you have to increase the pressure on your machine regularly? If you are fidgeting with the pressure settings on your machine then more than likely time to replace your blade. As it wears down, it will fight to cut your materials. 
  • Do you find that you have to do a cut a second time to get a clean cut? Then it is definitely time to get a new blade.
  • Is your material dragging instead of cutting? Then yes, it is time to change your blade.


More Cutting Blade Tips

There are a few more things that you can do to prolong the life of your blades, no matter what type of cutting machine you have.

  1. If your blade comes with a protective cover, make sure it is on when the blade is not in use.
  2. If you have replaced a blade, and have been used to using more pressure on your projects, you may have to go back to default or less pressure for a few weeks. Remember to compensate for the new blade.
  3. When you replace an old blade, get rid of it. You may mistakenly go to use it and ruin a project.
  4. Store your blades properly. Use the storage area on your machine to store your blades. Or you can use a tool organizer. Keep them handy so you know where to find them.
  5. Always have at least one extra blade handy. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a project and being unable to finish it cause your blade has gone bad.
  6. Get into the habit of checking your blade either before you start or when you are finished for the day.
Here are some selected products you may need to replace some of your blades. These products are listed for your convenience. We may receive compensation for sales at no cost to you. All of these earnings are used to enhance this community. Thank you for your support!


Replacement Cricut Blades

When it comes to blades, you cannot beat the blades from Cricut! I have tried the no-name brands from who knows where, and they simply do not compare. You will get better cuts and the blades will last longer when you use the Cricut blades. Always have extra blades in your stash!




Fine-Point Replacement Blades (2 ct) - $14.99

Made from carbide steel, this versatile blade delivers precision cuts at a great price. It's specially designed to take on intricate cuts with your Cricut cutting machine. It cuts most light to medium-weight materials, including cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board, and more. Use with gold Premium Fine-Point Blade Housing or silver Fine-Point Blade Housing. For best results, be sure to replace Fine-Point blades when needed. For use with Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore family machines.




Premium Fine -Point Replacement Blades (10 ct.) - $149.99

The Cricut Premium Fine-Point Blade (Formerly known as the German Carbide Premium Blade) resists wear and breakage for longer life allowing for even more project possibilities with hours of cutting. Blades are designed to cut light- to mid-weight materials such as cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and light-weight fabrics. The number of cuts your blade can perform is dependent on the various types of materials you are cutting, however the improved German carbide blade design offers lasting sharpness for longer blade life.

The Premium Fine-Point Blade is intended for use with the Maker, Explore, Explore One, Explore Air, and Explore Air 2 machines. Use with the Premium Fine-Point Blade Drive Housing.



45 mm Rotary Blade Refill, 3 Replacement Blades - $16.99

Keep your cuts crisp and controlled with this pack of 3 replacement blades for your 45 mm Cricut Rotary Cutter. Made with premium carbon alloy steel, this blade pairs precision with durability to cut a variety of materials, including fabric, fleece, felt, vinyl, leather, paper, cardboard, and wallpaper. Sliding quick-release blade cover offers additional safety when not in use, and symmetrical handle for makes cutting graceful for both right- and left-handed users.


Deep -Point Replacement Blades (2 ct.) - $17.49

Slice thicker material with ease! These blades have a steeper blade angle (60 degrees vs 45) of harder more durable steel. The Deep-Point Replacement Blades work with the Maker, Explore, Explore One, Explore Air, and Explore Air 2 machines.

The replacement blades come 2 per package. You will know when your blades are getting dull because your cuts will not be as crisp.

The deep cut blade is recommended for:

Magnet (0.035/0.80mm thick) with the recommended settings of
Speed 3 (medium)
Pressure 5 (max)
Depth 6
Multi Cut 4

Chipboard (0.059"/1.50mm thick) with the recommended settings of
Speed 3 (medium)
Pressure 4 (high)
Depth 6
Multi Cut 5

Stamp material (0.0415"/1.05mm thick) with the recommended settings of
Speed 3 (medium)
Pressure 4(high)
Depth 4.6
Multi-Cut 1

Also works with thick cardstock, stiffened felt, foam sheets, cardboard, and fabric.

Time To Replace Your Cricut Blade

You will know that it is time to replace your Cricut blade when your cuts are no longer crisp/ 

Other reasons to change your Cricut blades include a few things that will find yourself doing:

  • When you find yourself increasing the pressure on your cuts-More than likely it is wearing down. You can try to get more out of the blade or replace it.
  • When your cuts are getting messy and you find yourself cleaning up your cuts
  • If your material is dragging or ripping-Then it is really time to replace that blade
How often you replace your blades is up to you. But poor cuts cost you time. energy and materials!


We have included some supplies that may be helpful to you. There may be some earnings from these supplies at no cost to you. Earnings are used to enhance this community.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!

Linda

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