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How to use basic Cricut tools for beginners

When first crafting with a Cricut cutting machine, the broad offering of Cricut tools might be a little confusing, but don't worry, today I will cover all the tools and what each tool does, so you can select the ones that you really need for your specific crafting needs.

cricut tools

I know that we all craft different things and in different ways, so in order for you to make an informed purchase of your first or next tool, it's important to know what each one of them does, that's why I am sharing this information =]

So let's jump to it!

cricut wall pegboard

What are Cricut tools?

The Cricut tools are specialized tools to help you with the different tasks while crafting, created to handle different materials and techniques, from weeding to lifting off your mat or getting little tiny pieces off your designs.

Each tool is unique, and most uses are very self-explanatory, but to make sure, I will cover what each one of the Cricut tools is and how they work later in this post.

cricut tools

Does a Cricut machine come with basic tools?

While most cutting machines come with material to make one starter project and also a cutting mat and blade, they do not come with the other accessories that we will cover here.

Most tools are sold separately, but Cricut also offers different kits that bundle a few various tools together, these are a great option for beginners, and it doesn't hurt that the bundles offer great savings in comparison with buying each tool separately.

In the case of the tools you might need for sewing projects, they all only come in the sewing kit, but things like the rotary cutters, mats, and rulers are sold separately.

how to make a t-shirt with iron on

How to use the Cricut tools and accessories

Cricut offers a wide variety of tools and accessories, and as I mentioned most of their uses are pretty self-explanatory, but I will cover all of them just in case =]


1Weeder tools

The Weeder is a hand tool with a pointy, sharp head (they look a little like a dental tool) that is used to separate unwanted vinyl, iron-on, or other materials from the liner to prepare a design for transfer. It's a pretty easy tool to use, and it's a must if you are planning on doing anything with vinyl (no matter the kind). Cricut offers this tool by itself or as part of the weeder tool set.

weeding with the weeder

I have also used this tool for a bunch of projects that have nothing to do with my Cricut, like wallpaper projects in our new house and painting projects.

If you don't have this tool, you can always try to use a toothpick, sewing needle, or pin, but I recommend you grab a weeder along with your machine if you don't already have one.


2Scraper and XL Scraper

The Scraper is a Cricut hand tool designed to remove scrap material from cutting mats. They can also be used to smooth materials onto the cutting mat or application surfaces to burnish materials, so they stick together.

The XL scraper is the jumbo version of the original scraper, it allows you to quickly clear machine mats and apply larger vinyl projects to surfaces with ease.  Also, quickly remove scraps and debris to prolong the life of your cutting mat.


3Cricut spatula

The spatula is one of the tools that mainly comes as part of bundles and kits, you can get it along with the scraper if getting started, or get it in any of the tool kits as well.

The crafting spatula, just like the cooking version, is used to lift things that are stuck or to preventing to getting stuck. This little tool is wonderful to lift the paper off the cutting mat, so if you are using paper as a material, the spatula is a must! The flat part is super thin, so it goes under materials very easily, taking the headache or curling corners or uneven paper away!



You can find tweezers in the weeding tool set, and also in the Basic and Essential tool set. Tweezers are a pretty straightforward tool, they are used for picking materials either from the mat or other surfaces, if you work with glitter or other crafts, tweezers are always a super handy hand tool to have.



The Brayer is a hand tool with a roller at the end. You can get it by itself or in a pack with flat tweezers. It's used to firmly press materials onto a surface to eliminate wrinkles, kinks, bubbles, and puckering. Often used to adhere materials to a machine mat before cutting to extend the life of your mat and also your blade.

6Scoring Stylus

Just like you would use a scoring tool by hand, by applying pressure to create a crease on paper. The Scoring Stylus lets you use your Cricut machine to score fold lines. So much easier than by hand! It's perfect when crafting cards and envelopes, boxes, 3D projects, and more. The Cricut machines (Explore and Maker) can hold both the Scoring Stylus and a cutting blade at the same time, so you can cut and score in one step—without changing mats!

roller cutter

7Rotary cutters

With the rotary cutters, cutting fabric just got quicker, easier, and way more comfortable! Cricut offers two different rotary cutters, the 60 mm wide blade and the 45 mm wide blade, they both have comfortable handles that give you precise control, and a quick-release button safely activates the blade when not in use.

scissors shears snips

8Cricut Scissors, Shears, & Snips

The Cricut scissors, shears, and snips are part of the Sewing kit. While scissors and shears might seem like the same thing, shears are normally bigger than regular scissors, and one of the fingers holds bigger than the other. Both scissors and shears are used the same way, while snips are usually to cut small pieces of thread, they are also very handy for ripping seams.


9Acrylic and Metal Rulers

Cricut has a wide variety of acrylic rulers, they are perfect for cutting fabric and bigger pieces of paper, I like using mine to also make grids for lettering and calligraphy. They have a line on each inch so that you can move them and get perfect cuts each time.


The metal cutting rulers are pretty straightforward, but unlike my other metal rulers, this one has a protective guard to shield your hands, I love it! I have the lilac color and I am obsessed.

portable trimmer

10Cricut Portable Trimmer

The portable trimmer lets you precisely cut straight lines, they are perfect for cutting your rolls of vinyl. A unique easy-glide blade system yields precise, straight cuts every time, while an ergonomic, custom-fit handle provides a smooth grip over hundreds of cuts. The dual-hinged rail makes it simple to quickly load materials, measure, and cut from either side. 

cricut brightpad

11Cricut BrightPad (to help weed materials)

The BrightPad illuminates hard-to-see cut lines for faster, more accurate weeding of vinyl and heat-transfer projects. But you can also use it to light up every detail while tracing, paper crafting, and quilt piecing.

weeding vinyl

Cricut now offers two BrightPad options, a corded version (the mint) and a battery option (the blue) that allows you to take it anywhere.

cricut brightpad

I purchased the BrightPad Go because I really like hot having to find a plug when I want to use it, and as you can see above, both look very similar with only colors being different, they both offer adjustable LED light and an ultra slim profile.

tool organizer

12Machine Tool Organizer

I love this little thing! If you are anything like me, you like to have a place for your blades and tips, and this tool organizer does just that. It helps you keep your Cricut tool housings and QuickSwap tips safe, organized, and easily accessible.

tool organizer

Not only does this handy organizer keep your table tidy, but it also limits the wear and tear that comes from your tools rolling around in a drawer.

cricut tools

Cricut tool kits

basic tools

Basic Tool Set

If by now you are convinced to get some Cricut tools for your machine, this is the perfect beginner set for you! This 5-piece set gets you started with the basic tools you need for a Cricut crafting session.

essential tool kit

Essential Tool Set

If you want to go a little extra, this 7-piece set comes with just about every tool needed for Cricut crafting to make the most out of your machine. You'll be equipped to handle any material that strikes your fancy – vinyl, iron-on, cardstock, and more.

joy tool kit

Joy Starter Tool Set

The Cricut Joy starter tool set, not only matches the colors of the Cricut Joy machine. But also supplies you with the 3 most popular must-have tools. The included tools are the Spatula, Weeder, and Scraper. Perfect for all projects, large or small, including custom cards, organizational labels, and stylized decor.

truecontrol knife

TrueControl kit

This amazing cutting hand tool has a razor-sharp edge, piercing tip, and superior blade lock system. You'll enjoy hours of fatigue-free work with a comfortable, cushioned grip, anti-roll feature, and patented no-touch experience. The TrueControl blade kit includes five replacement blades and a convenient storage cartridge to track and dispose of used blades.

truecontrol weeding

TrueControl weeding kit

The TrueControl weeding tool set takes advantage of the fantastic grip of the TrueControl system and gives you all the necessary tools to complete any vinyl and iron-on project. Includes 3 specialty weeding tips and 1 razor-sharp nonstick blade with a piercing tip. Its ergonomic cushioned grip, anti-roll feature, and patented no-touch experience help you craft comfortably for hours with peace of mind.

sewing kit

Sewing kit

It is no secret that I love sewing, and while I already had most of the tools in this pack, I really wanted to try the Cricut shears, and I was happily surprised! The quality is great, and they are now my to-go fabric shears. This kit comes with seven pieces: a pin cushion, fabric shears, seam ripper, thread snips, pins, measuring tape, and a leather thimble. 

cricut tools

How to use the basic tools: Let's make a tumbler!

make a tumbler

Simple tumbler with Cricut glitter vinyl

Make a simple tumbler to learn and use the basic tools


  • Cricut Glitter Vinyl
  • Transfer tape
  • Tumbler or Cup


  • Cricut Joy
  • Weeder tool
  • Scrapper
  • Brayer


  1. all the materials for a tumbler Gather your supplies and let's cut a super cute tumbler!
  2. using the brayer Use your brayer to ensure your glitter vinyl stays in your cutting mat.
  3. cutting the vinyl Cut your design, for this tumbler I selected the design #M346913F1 (you can just do a search for this on Design space to find it)
  4. weeding the vinyl Use the weeding tool to lift the vinyl around your design.
  5. brightpad without turning onwith turning on the brightpad I used my BrightPad to see the lines of the inside of the design, it's crazy how much it helps (check the comparison of the pad on and off in the pictures)
  6. attach vinyl to tumbler Once the design is weeded, get your transfer tape and scraper to add the design to the tumbler.
  7. use transfer tape Cut a piece of transfer tape the same size as your design, peel it off and place it on top of your design.
  8. using the scraper Use the scraper to ensure your design adheres to the tape and peel the backing.
  9. placing the sticker Now that the design is on the tape, align your tumbler and place the design.
  10. finishing the tumbler Use your finger and also your scraper or brayer to make sure your vinyl attaches to the tumbler.
  11. peeling the transfer tape Peel the transfer tape off, and you are ALL DONE!

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Did you make this project?

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make a tumbler

What Cricut tools do I really need?

As I've mentioned before, the basic tools that you really need 100% correlate to the kinds of crafts you are making, since we all create different things for different occasions, what you need is different from what I need. So when choosing tools, you should think about the kinds of craft and projects you are or want to tackle.

If you don't have any tools and would like to get started with vinyl or iron-on, the basic tool kit is a perfect match for you. If you want to add a trimmer and also get a great price, the Essentials tool kit is a great option! And depending on what other things you want to do, you can always add as necessary!

And that is what I love about Cricut tools the most, they are meant to just make crafting so much easier =]

I hope this helped, and come back for more Cricut goodness!

what are cricut tools


Sunday 15th of January 2012

That's so cool!


Thursday 1st of December 2011

Thank you for covering all this Joy!


Wednesday 30th of November 2011

I need one of those kits!

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