Sick of paying through the nose on Cricut supplies?
Yeah, I hear you.
I go through a lot of material to make crafts for this site. It’s not just the material cost that adds up, it’s also the equipment and the accessories that come with like blades and mats.
I know you’re technically not supposed to use non-Cricut brand accessories. It voids the warranty. But really, who’s going to find out with some of these.
So I’ve made a little list of all the generic (more importantly, cheaper) brands of materials and equipment that I like and my thoughts on it compared to the Cricut branded stuff.
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I make A LOT of intricate papercraft projects. I go through way more material than what you see in the finished good because I had to test my designs sometimes a dozen times before I get it right.
About 5 Cricut branded fine point blades in, I gave up and just ordered the generic stuff.
EWISWAY Blades – Nevermind the terrible name, there are just as good as the real stuff and cost a fraction of the branded ones. I’ve tried all of them. The blue and red tip ones are the most similar in terms of the blade angle but the yellow one works too. I’ve only noticed a subtle difference in cutting some brands of vinyl, I have to put it on the “less” setting but that’s a small sacrifice I’m willing to make.
The top blade is the Cricut branded one, the rest are generic brands. The red cap one is the closest in terms of a blade angle but it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.
This is where I really save money. Yes, you can wash your mats but I like to use the Light Grip mat a lot because it is so much easier to clean up. It’s already not super sticky so washing it doesn’t help much.
Also, something happened with the recent batches of Cricut Standard Grip mats. They super sticky and peel off with some materials. I just stopped buying them altogether.
Nicapa – This is my favorite brand of generics. They smell a little but I just put it by a window for a day and it’s fine. I dare say I might like it better than the Cricut branded ones. I might be imagining it since I’m saving so much!
Monicut – This one is just as good but I find it smells even worse.
There’s some reviews on Amazon that talk about how the size of the mat is wrong. I have no had issues with this.
I’ve never bothered with the Cricut branded paper. I find there’s plenty of other cardstock that have better color selection. Here are some of my favorites:
- Recollections 65lb Cardstock from Michaels
- Favorite Assorted Pink/Blush 12″x12″ Recollections Set
- Favorite Assorted Purple 12″x12″ Recollections Set
- Metallic Shimmer Assorted Set from Amazon
- Neenah Collections Assorted Set from Amazon
- Kraft Cardstock from Michaels
For vinyl, I found the Cricut branded stuff cuts most precisely with the Cricut machine. (big surprise!) It is also the easiest to weed partly because the cut not too deep but always cuts through.
Oracle 651 – I find this is probably the closest for adhesive vinyl. My only advice here is to use the light grip mat because the backing sticks too much to the Standard grip mat.
EZ Crafts – I have to mention this one because of the price. I have to warn you, the standard vinyl cutting setting is a little deep so it’s not perfect. I just put it on “less” and deal with a few trouble spots. Again, use the Light Grip Mat.
HTV, glitter, metallic – The rest of the varietals are a mixed bag in performance and no notable winners. I’ll be honest, I don’t use a lot of glitter. It gets everywhere, terrible to clean up and I’m terrified it’ll get into my kid’s eyes and cause permanent damage. (more common than you think!)
A Few Cricut Branded Materials and Accessories Worth Splurging on
Rotary Blade – The Maker is not necessary but it really opens up a lot of materials mostly because while you can cut a lot with the Explorer, it doesn’t cut well or it ruins the mat. I resort to my rotary blade a lot for materials like soft leather, felt and everything else with stretch.
Cricut Leather – Both the metallic and genuine leather are beautiful and more importantly, cuts well with all Cricut Machines. The generic stuff I can only reliability cut with the rotary blade which is limited to the Maker.
Cricut Pens – People on the internet love to talk about hacking their way with other branded pens. I’ve never gotten this to work. Plus, the pens are like the cheapest accessories they have! I love the metallic medium sized markers. I use them to do my faux calligraphy projects.
Wood Veneers – I love the Walnut wood veneer. It makes faux wood projects look so good!
Basswood – If you are doing any wood cutting with your Cricut, I would highly recommend the branded stuff. Other brands are too thick or split or both. Not worth the time.