The Cricut Maker Engraving Tool allows you to do all kinds of projects with your Cricut Maker that you may never have dreamed are possible. It can engrave acrylic, wood, and my favorite, metals. I love engraving metals SO much, I just spent the summer writing a book all about it. And in the process of experimenting and crafting, I discovered what I think are the best tools and supplies for engraving with your Cricut Maker or Cricut Maker 3.
Best Tools for Engraving with a Cricut
In this section of this blog post, I have the tools I recommend, and in the next section, you’ll see the materials and supplies.
If You’re New to Engraving with a Cricut-
The Cricut Engraving Tool is part of the adaptive tool system that was created for the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Maker 3. The Cricut Explore, Explore 3, and Cricut Joy can not use these adaptive tools.
The tool system has two main components, the quick swap housing and a variety of quickswap tips. These include the debossing tip, the scoring tip, the double scoring tip, and the engraving tip. There is an entire collection of Cricut maker tools that can only be used with the Maker, like the perforation blade, the knife blade, the rotary blade, and the wavy blade. These are not quick swap tools, as they do not have interchangeable housing.
The Cricut Engraving Tool is a gamechanger if you own a Cricut Maker because it can create personalized projects with your favorite quotes or inspirational messages that stand the test of time, as metal is much more durable than materials like paper. And although I love to use it on metal, you can use it for a striking effect on leather and acrylic as well. It’s an amazingly easy way to add a special touch that creates a lasting impression!
The Basic Engraving Kit You’ll Need to Start Engraving
- Cricut Maker Machine * THE electronic cutting machine I love best for engraving! The Cricut engraving tip was made for this machine an can not be used with any other Cricut machine.
- Cricut Engraving Tool (w/ quickswap housing) *OR the Cricut Engraving Tip (w/o housing)
- Strong Grip Mat *- This is recommended for engraving, however, you can use a new standard grip mat and just tape your blank down well.
- Standard Grip Mat– Used with double-stick tape for the Sensor Jig method.
- Painter’s Tape *- A must-have so that you can tape down your blanks on the mat. I like the blue painter’s tape best.
Metal Cutting Tools
- Guillotine Cutter, 8.5” * OR get the Guillotine Cutter, 12” *- If you plan to use the flashing then I’d go for the 12″. I just upsized myself.
- Jeweler’s Shears *- I LOVE LOVE LOVE my jeweler’s shears! Any jeweler’s shears probably work the same but this pair from Vintaj is inexpensive and what I use.
- Tin Snips– These have a serrated edge so I don’t use them for detail work- I use the Jeweler’s Shears.
- Bolt Cutters, 12″– This is to cut bracelet blanks in pieces to make rings, or to cut the stems off of silverware.
Metal Hole Punch Tools
- Hole Punch Pliers– This is the size you’d use for jewelry.
- Screw Hole Punch– With two sizes this another tool used by jeweler’s
- Power Hole Punch– A versatile tool because it does lots of different sizes as well as punches holes in leather and thicker gauges of metal.
- Crop-a-Dile *- A tool you may already have for scrapbooking or crafts. It has two sizes of hole punches. The smaller size is perfect for cap rivets and the large works well for grommets or snaps. Punches through both metal and leather.
Metal Shaping Tools
- Ring Bending Pliers– A small shaper that helps you get a rounded bend but making multiple small movements. A smaller circumference than the bracelet bending pliers.
- Bracelet Bending Pliers– Similar to the Ring Bending pliers but it has a larger curve for bracelets.
- Bracelet Bending Bar– A metal bar that you can use to curve your metal bracelets.
- Flat Nose Pliers*- A must for working with aluminum flashing as it will help you avoid cuts (you use to gently flatten the edge). I also use mine for opening and closing jump rings all the time.
- Needle Nose Pliers– A good precision tool.
Metal Finishing Tools
- Buffing Block (matte) and (high polish)
- Metal Files– These are designed to help you get a smoother edge to your cut metal edges or ends. Mostly used with higher gauges of metal.
- Mini Grinder/Polisher– Totally not a necessity but I LOVE having mine. It’s a pretty inexpensive buy that you’ll be happy you have if you plan to do any production work at all. It grinds the cut ends, but it also buffs and polishes out scratches to a beautiful shine. Use with compound polishers.
- Crop-a-dile Corner Chompers (rounded)– Another new fave of mine! These are great for rounding the corners of metal flashing pieces, or Cricut Aluminum. They give a nice finished look to your engraved designs as well.
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Best Materials/Supplies for Engraving with a Cricut
What Metals Can We Engrave with a Cricut?
There are more metals that you can engrave than you may know! Cricut lists two metals in their official list of what can be engraved, although their Material Settings give us six settings for metals.
So far I’ve found 14 different metals that can be engraved.
If you want to know the wide variety of materials that you can engrave, and you’d like to know what Cricut Material Setting to use for different materials then you’ll want to check out my blog post, 14 Surprising Metals You Can Engrave with Your Cricut Maker. In it, I have a cheat sheet with all the different metals and the customized material settings that’s best for each.
Where Do You Find Your Engraving Blanks?
I get my blanks primarily in the jewelry section of my local craft stores, and I find my spatulas and servers on Amazon. Depending on what you want to engrave, you really just have to consider the depth of the project. Cricut allows you to engrave max at 2.44 mm. I have the links to these in the section below!
Probably my favorite source material for engraving is Aluminum Step Flashing. You’ll really appreciate how inexpensive and easy to source this metal is.
NOTE- DO NOT spray paint the aluminum until you are able to engrave it between 8-24 hours later. The paint bonds to the metal making it impossible to engrave through after about 36 hours. I HIGHLY recommend you read my post on How to Spray Paint Metal for Engraving for more info on how to make this work for you.
ETA– My SECOND favorite source material for engraving is Cricut Aluminum Sheets.
I’m adding these to this list because recently I discovered that I could use Infusible Ink on Cricut Aluminum metal and engrave through it. To see more on this visit my post, How to Engrave Infusible Ink on Cricut Aluminum.
- Aluminum Flashing Sheets (5″ x 7″) * (Important- Don’t get galvanized!) OR get the Aluminum Flashing 8″ Rolls *
- Cricut Brand Aluminum Sheets (they come in 4″ x 4″, 5″ x 7″, and 8″ x 8″) These are AMAZING paired with Cricut’s Infusible Ink.
- Anodized Aluminum Sheets, Colored (6″ x 6″ 24 gauge)
- Anodized Aluminum Business Card Size
Engraving Blanks- Jewelry or Accessories
- Stamping Blanks, Assorted
- ImpressArt Ring and Bracelet Blanks
- Engraving Blanks, varied
- Anodized Aluminum Heart Shaped Pendants/Tags
- Stainless Steel Asst. Shapes Pendant (Pack of 60)
- Anodized Aluminum Key Fobs in Misc. Colors– These are fun to engrave and simple to find. You can get a standard dog tag shape, a business card shape, or dog bones for dog tags as well.
Engraving Blanks- Serving/ Flatware Pieces
- Grill Spatula– The grill spatula I use in my book. I like that it’s not HUGE and it’s heavy duty.
- Cookie Spatula– I use this in my post on How to Engrave Cookie Spatulas.
- Spreaders– I tried a few types of servers but I liked how these had more area for engraving than the more pointed spreaders.
- Pie or Cake Servers– This started the trend! I love this brand from Amazon. They have a good weight, are inexpensive, a modern design, AND they engrave really well! This is also a GREAT first engraving project.
Supplies to Darken Your Engraving
- ImpressArt Enamel Marker, Black– An enamel marker that is useful for darkening jewelry designs.
- Sharpie (Industrial)– Totally doable. It does wear off over time but it’s a great beginner’s hack.
- Patina Gel– This is Liver of Sulphur in gel form. It requires some special handling so you’ll want to make sure you read the instructions. This is a more pro solution to darkening your metals and it can give a really nice, aged look to brass and copper. CAN NOT be used with aluminum.
Supplies to Color Your Metal
- Vintaj Patinas– Like fluid paints these marble really well.
- ImpressArt Set of Colored Enamel Markers– Used primarily for darkening small engraved surfaces like jewelry it also comes in colors to add glam!
- Multi-Surface Craft Paints
- Gilder’s Paste, Assorted (Rich Gold, and Black)– I really like this product. It’s a bit like shoe polish but more dry. It wipes on easily and can cover a larger area quite easily. Comes in colors that can be mixed.
- Rustoleum Hammered Metal Spray Paints– A spray paint that’s designed to adhere to metal. This has a nice texture to it which makes cheap aluminum flashing look much more high-end. You can see it in action in my post, How to Spray Paint Metal for Engraving.
- Cricut Infusible Ink Pens (Note: infusible ink can only be used with Cricut Aluminum or Sublimation Blanks because it’s been treated with a sublimation coating to accept the ink)
- Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets (see note above) SEE the POST on engraving infusible ink for more info.
Affiliate Disclosure: Jennifer Swift is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Where to Find Engraving Designs
Right here! I have dozens of free engraving designs that you can download and use for both personal use and limited commercial use in my Free Library. These designs are ready to upload into Cricut Design Space and then engrave. They already have a fill pattern added so you don’t have to change the design at all and you’ll get GREAT results!
You can also look at Cricut Access for engraving designs. Many of the multi-layered images can be adapted to engraving if you add a pattern fill. There is a monthly fee for Cricut Access but you get so much out of the membership (1000’s of images, fonts, and projects) as well as a discount on the Cricut website.
Interested in Learning More About Engraving Metals with Your Cricut Maker?
First time engraving? You’ll find a lot of engraving tutorials and designs on this website! I have a Getting Started Engraving Guide as well as a downloadable Quick Start Guide to Engraving that you’ll find in my Free Library along with all the free engraving designs I mentioned above. This library is a password-protected free resource for my email subscribers that you can get access to when you subscribe. Feel free to unsubscribe at any time- really!
Some of the Most Popular Engraving Tutorials…
- Engraving flattened vintage spoons to make bookmarks (my first engraving project!)
- Engraving pie/cake servers (the post that started it all!)
- Engraving spreaders
- And engraving snarky desk signs.
Each of these has a YouTube video to go with it. You can check out my Engraving Tutorials YouTube playlist for more inspiration!
Get the Book on Engraving Metals with a Cricut Maker!
I also have a book, Engraving Metals with Your Cricut Maker that I’m really proud of. It solves the common problems, and expands the limits of what’s possible with the Cricut Engraving Tool! Hundreds of my readers say it’s well worth the additional cost of this ebook to be able to jump into engraving with the knowledge in this guide.
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I also have a Facebook group, Engraving Metals with Your Cricut Maker that I’d love to have you join. It’s a great group and I’m trying to go live regularly to answer your questions!