Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cutting Chipboard with the Cricut

Found this post by Loves2Smock on the Cricut message board and thought others might want to this! I am working on a "word book" project using Design Studio that I hope to have finished soon to show you. I will be using this chipboard info to make my covers strong.

Here are the details about cutting chipboard with the Cricut:
Finally! A handy dandy chipboard cutting guide! Now YOU don't have to go to the trouble and expense of finding out what will work, and what wont! I went thru and test cut several thicknesses (gauges) with and without the clay coat (white shiny-ish side) and here's the skinny!

*A new blade and mat work best!*

.022- this is like a med-heavy cardstock, blade:5-6, pressure:max,
speed: 4, multi cut:2
.024- think cereal box- same as .022, if clay coated, multi cut:3
.028- IDEAL for cricut usage! blade:6, pressure:max, speed: 4-5
multi cut:4
.032- depending on the way your blade was cut (some are cut with a deeper bevel than others) this will work with the above settings. A long bevel works better, than a shorter one. With a short bevel, the blade on some sections of the cut did not make it all the way thru (like you'd see cutting cartstock with a dull blade) and I needed to go around it lightly with my craft knife. It was just barely attached. I did get a very clean edge running around it with the craft knife though. Compared to the .028 the difference in thickness is nominal.
.040+ is too thick, the blade depth is insufficient to make it through the thickness. It will go thru the machine, but you will have to hand cut it the rest of the way. ANYTHING thicker than .040 is too thick and will damage your machine rollers! I do NOT reccomend anything thicker than .032! It's just not worth damaging your machine and voiding the warranty.

Other info: I prefer the look of plain chipboard, but the clay coating really does make a difference in the stability of the peice. It makes it more rigid, and is ideal for tag books/word books where you want the strength. The grain is finer, and smoother and is also easier to adhere papers to. Stamping/inking and writing on it will vary depending on the specific product.

The good news with the "way too thick chipboard" is it works beautifully with the Bind-it-All machines, and works well for making your own hard-bound book bindings. You can watch a video and download printable instructions on hard binding here:

I hope you all can use this information! Chipboard is really very fun!

*update* The above depth and pressure settings do NOT change because of the new blade housing and blades. You may be able to get away with fewer passes though. You still can not cut anything thicker than a .040! It simply will not feed thru the machine, and you run the risk of breaking it. This has NOTHING to do with the new blade housing's capabilities. This is simply the limit of the machine.

If you are having problems with the edge shredding it can be due to a number of reasons.
-your blade may be dull
-your stock may not be of appropriate quality or density not all chipboard is meant to be cut in this manner
-you may have bits of chipboard debris in the blade housing preventing the blade from swiveling perfectly. How to fix this will come a little later in the post.
-your stock may have shifted slightly
-the mat may be warped or just plain worn out.
-the blade did not line up perfectly on multiple cuts. This can be an intermittant problem, or a flaw in the machine. Try letting the machine rest a while, cut something else, and then changing mats and blades. I find the more times I cut the same thing in the same spot, this is more likely to happen.

I have been using a 60 degree blade (Cricut calls this the deep cut blade) for several months now to cut .028 chipboard. It makes a HUGE difference. They will work in the green blade housing to improve your cuts. They can be purchased from vinyl sign suppliers under the name "roland compatable 60 degree blade". These are not a new item. They have been in use in other plotter machines for many many years.

To remove debris from the blade housing you will need a toothpick, and some tape style adhesive.
-remove your blade and remove any debris you can easliy with your fingers
-add adhesive about 1/4" wide around the tip of the tooth pick and gently poke it into the blade housing. This will stick any paper bits to it. You can pull the bits off and do it agian. Just make sure you aren't ramming anything down into the housing.
-lubricate and reinsert blade into housing

To lubricate the blade and housing you will need a tiny bottle of sewing machine oil.
-remove the blade
-make sure the housing is clean
-add a tiny drop of sewing machine oil to the non sharp end BLADE SHAFT. DO NOT put it into the housing!
-spread it around and wipe any excess off with your FINGERS and wipe your fingers off. You don't want it all drippy, you just want a nice light coating. This will also help keep your blades and housing from rusting if you live in a high humidity climate.
-reinsert blade

All this being said, keep trying. It works. It may take some practice, and some individual adjustments for your own machine...but it does work! Oh, and since I do not work for PC or any other entity, this is all SUGGESTION. I will not be held responsible for anything you choose to try. Every machine is different, as are the users.

< Message edited by Loves2Smock -- 10/4/2008 3:40:48 PM >

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  1. thanks so much for this info!! Very helpful!

  2. Thanks for reposting my post! Chipboard is soooo very addicting!

  3. I bought deep cut blade and housing unit, but when I went to go cut my chipboard it made this AWFUL clacking noise and stopped cutting--it worked the first time, but didn't cut all the way through my chipboard.

    Is there something I need to do? I'm not the only person that's had problems with the deep blade and housing fast people have told me to buy a 60 degree blade (which from what you posted should be the same thing).

  4. In my opinion, and after many many hours of chipboard cutting, I have found that the deep cut blade and housing is useless. It jams up the machine, it takes just as much effort to cut the chipboard, and you STILL can not cut anything thicker than mentioned in my post above.

    You CAN however, put that deep cut blade in the green housing and cut chipboard with it. Acrylic too. I have more about both on my blog (click my picture and it should list it there) I am the Sarah that originally wrote this chipboard guide.

  5. Awesome Sarah, thanks so much...

    My last question is how do you know the thickness of chipboard if you just buy it and say through away the package?? (oops)

  6. Well, if you know what brand it is I might be able to help. Most packages don't have a thickness listed anyway, but a lot I am familiar with. Most readily available chipboard is too thick and too dense to be cricut compatable. The brand I love is Mementos by Pixie Press.

  7. Sarah, you're awesome! Thanks so much--and no I don't know what brand it is. I just got it at Hobby Lobby on clearance and it was Black...So I'm assuming it's not the right thickness--I'll give it one more shot without the Deep Housing unit and if not, at least I can try it on something else :)


  8. yeah, I have some of that too! It's too thick! It would have been awesome if it did cut though!

    I did hear from someone on the Cricut message board that she got through the thicker stuff by hitting reload, repeat last and cutting it 5-6 times, each time deepening the blade and increasing the pressure. If youc an get a good score mark, you can finish cutting it with an xacto knife.

    Good luck!

  9. I forgot, the lady that cut the thick stuff did use the deepcut housing and blade.

  10. You are. the. BOMB!
    I have looked all over the flippin' internet for setting for the Cricut to cut chipboard. And Ta! Da! Your awesome! Thank you! Thank YOu!
    Okay..when you say "multi-cut" ??? What does that mean?

  11. Multi cut is a setting on the cricut expression. You can choose 2,3 4 and it will cut through the same lines that many times. There is more info on my own blog at I believe it is in the January archive from 2009.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Thank you for the helpful tips.


  14. this chipboard info is great I've been wondering about all of this so thanks so much it works great.


  15. Thank you! I wish I could print this. Thanks for sharing. Edwina Brown

  16. Do you know what blade angle the original blade is?

    If I don't respond back to you, could you please email me at Thanks! :)


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