The Cricut is a personal die cutting machine made by Provo Craft. It is a cartridge based cutter and cuts 6 inches by 12 inches for the personal Cricut and up to 12 inches by 24 inches for the Expression. Both are a big investment for the personal crafter, so it’s important to take proper care of it to get the most use out of it.
It’s recommended to use Cutter Glide on your blades to extend their lives and reduce paper ripping or tearing. It’s very important to have your blade set at the correct depth. If your paper is not cutting all the way through increase the pressure before increasing blade depth. When the blade drags on the mat it causes it to dull prematurely. When it is time to replace your blade, be sure to insert it in the blade housing in the same position as the old blade or your cuts may not be as clean.
It’s important to put the clear plastic cover over the mat exactly how it was brand new. You can take an extra sticker or write with a Sharpie which is the top. If it accidently gets put on upside down it will take off some adhesive. Your mats come with a repositionable adhesive that holds the paper down. If your paper starts to slide first check your pressure and reduce by one if you can. If that doesn’t fix it, try using a brayer to secure your paper to the mat. When your mat loses it’s stickiness, take a regular baby wipe and wipe off the lint and bits of paper. Let dry and it should revive the adhesive. Each time you do this it will last less and less time, but the savings over buying a new mat can really add up.
When wiping with a baby wipe doesn’t revive the stickiness, scrub your mat with a gentle dish detergent and try to get as much off as you can. Then either mask off the edges with tape and spray with a repositional adhesive or use a Zig Two Way wide pen to resticky. Note this may void your warranty, but if your machine is over a year old the warranty is over anyway.
Another way to extend the life of your mat is to place your paper in different areas. We tend to always place the paper in the top left so try somewhere in the middle or bottom so that area doesn’t lose it’s stickiness. You can also flip your mat completely around and load it on the opposite end than the arrow. It will still start at the corner and this can save the stickiness in that corner and let the rest of the mat take some of the wear.
The Cricut die cut machine is a big expense for personal crafting. By getting the most life out of your blades and mats you can offset a little bit of that cost. The more you save on accessories, the more you can spend on other supplies.