Skip to Content

How to cut wood with a Cricut Explore Air 2

Want to cut wood with your Cricut Explore Air 2? It’s not impossible! You just need the deep cut blade and a little hacking. Here’s how to do it!

Cutting wood is a fun new material to work with with your Cricut cutting machine.

However, if you have an Explore Air 2, you might think that wood is not an option for you.

False! You can cut wood with the Explore. You just have to get a little creative with the settings to make it work.

How to cut wood with a cricut explore air 2 machines

The Cricut Maker vs the Cricut Explore Air 2 vs the Cricut Joy

Cricut has several different cutting machines that are available for purchase.

The most popular amongst them are the Cricut Maker, the Explore Air 2, and the Joy.

Similarities between the Cricut Maker, Explore Air 2 and Joy

Both of these Cricut machines are fantastic.

They are great for crafters looking to make precise cuts and create crafts that look so much better than “handmade”.

All three machines can cut or write on simple materials like paper and vinyl.

All of these machines use Cricut Design Space as the software where you can design your project and then easily send it to your machine to “make”.

You can use a computer, tablet, or phone (via the Design Space app) to access it!

Differences between the Cricut Maker, Explore Air 2, and Joy

The biggest difference between these machines is the materials that they are able to cut.

The Cricut Joy only has one blade – a fine tip blade – so it can only cut basic, thin materials.

The Cricut Explore Air 2 can use a few different blades – including a deep cut blade that can handle some thicker materials.

However, the Maker has the most versatility.

It features the Adaptive Tool System, which handles a ton of exciting new blades (the list is ever-growing) and it can apply a ton of pressure to cut through even thick materials

Read my full comparison of the Maker and Explore Air 2 here.

Read my full review of the Cricut Joy here!

Cricut Explore Air 2

How to cut wood with a Cricut Explore Air 2

Even if the Explore Air 2 isn’t the strongest or most versatile Cricut cutting machine out there, you can still use it to cut wood!

Which Cricut can cut wood?

It is well known that you can cut wood with a Cricut Maker but you can actually cut some wood with an Explore machine, too!

Can a Cricut Explore Air 2 cut wood?

Yes, you can cut some wood using an explore machine!

What kinds of wood can the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine cut?

Wood TypeWood thicknessCut pressurePasses
Heavy Chipboard1.4mm3318x
Basswood1/16″23010x
Balsa Wood 1/16″2208x
Cricut Explore Air 2

Check out my tutorial for how to make wooden silhouette art with a Cricut!

What blade do I need to cut wood with my Cricut Explore Air 2?

To cut thicker materials using an Explore machine, you need to use the Deep Cut Blade.

This blade is designed specifically to cut through thicker materials.

This blade has a steeper blade angle (60 degrees vs 45) and harder, more durable steel.

It works with the Explore and Maker machines.

If you want to cut wood veneer, you can actually do that with the fine point blade!

CLICK TO FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!

What mat do I need to use to cut wood with my Cricut?

All thick materials should be used with the StrongGrip mats.

Materials like balsa wood or even wood veneer should be taped down on all 4 sides with painter’s tape.

Even if your mat is sticky, the force of the cut can move the wood around. So, tape is best!

Can the Cricut Explore Air 3 cut wood?

The Explore Air 3 is the latest Cricut Explore machine. It is actually very similar to the Explore Air 2 but it cuts faster and can use smart vinyl – no mat needed.

So, you can use the same settings as the Explore Air 2 detailed below – it will just work even faster! Awesome!

How to cut wood with a Cricut Maker

What setting do I use to cut wood with my Cricut Explore Air 2?

You will need to set a custom setting! Change the dial on your machine to CUSTOM.

In design space, select CUSTOM MATERIALS.

Look for one that looks pretty heavy – for example “Chipboard heavy”.

Click on it to pull up the dropdown and adjust the PRESSURE and MULTICUT settings.

Try a pressure of 331 and the multicut to somewhere between 4 and 8 – depending on the thickness of your wood.

After your cut cuts, do NOT eject the mat.

Carefully examine your wood and see if it cut the material all of the way through.

If it didn’t, just hit GO and re-run the cut.

If you eject the mat, it becomes very difficult to re-line the project up correctly.

How to cut wood with a cricut explore air 2 machines

How do I cut wood with my Cricut Explore Air 2?

Here is a step by step guide to cutting wood with your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine:

  1. Design your design in Design Space. MAKE the design.
  2. Set the dial on your machine to CUSTOM and change the CUSTOM MATERIAL setting to 331 pressure and somewhere between 4-8 cuts
  3. Place your material on a stronggrip mat. Tape it on all 4 sides.
  4. Load the mat into the machine and hit GO.
  5. Once done, examine the cut. Did it cut all of the way through? If not, press GO and re-run the cut.
  6. Remove the mat from the machine. Remove the tape. Place the mat wood-side down on a table and peel the mat gently from the wood. Enjoy!
Yield: 1 wood cutting

How to cut wood with my Cricut Explore Air 2

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $10-50

Want to cut wood with your Cricut Explore Air 2 machine? You'll have to hack it a little bit, but it is doable! Here is how.

Materials

  • Thin Cricut wood
  • Painter's tape

Tools

  • Cricut Explore Air 2
  • Deep cut blade
  • Stronggrip mat

Instructions

  1. Create your design in Design Space, being sure it's set to CUT. MAKE the design.
  2. Set your dial to CUSTOM.
  3. Change the CUSTOM MATERIAL drop down on your computer to 331 pressure and somewhere between 4-8 passes.
  4. Place your material on a stronggrip mat. Tape it on all 4 sides.
  5. Load the mat into the machine and hit GO.
  6. Check your cut. Do not remove the mat from the machine but see if it cut all of the way through. If not, hit GO and cut again.
  7. Remove the mat from the machine. Remove the tape. Place the mat wood-side down on a table and peel the mat gently from the wood. Enjoy!

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Any more questions about cutting wood with the Cricut Explore Air 2?

 
Charleston Crafted Logo heart

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

CLICK TO FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

    Subscribe

    We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Looking for something?

    We’ve been doing this since 2012 so we have a LOT of blog posts! Use the search bar below to find what you are looking for!

    Search stuff like: Ceiling Projects | DIY Plant Stands | Thrift Flips


    Can we send you our newsletter?

    Another great way to keep up with out latest projects is by joining our weekly newsletter! Get alerts of our latest projects and special peeks behind the scenes!

    Follow along on Instagram

    Join our online community where we share real time behind the scenes looks at our DIY projects and peeks inside our home + family!


    top photos banner
    Charleston Crafted logo banner

    Nieves

    Monday 30th of August 2021

    Hi! This is a great post! Thank you for sharing all the information. I want to create something for my wedding, and I am using your tips. I have one question, though. When you explain the types of wood that can be used, what do you mean by 'passes' on the last column? Thank you in advance!

    Morgan

    Tuesday 31st of August 2021

    The Cricut goes over the outline several times, or "passes," to get all the way through. It doesn't cut all the way through the wood on one pass.

    Lysa Robles

    Tuesday 6th of July 2021

    Hi!

    I order some supplies to try this tomorrow. I wanted to ask what you used once you cut the wood to seal it. Any recommendations?

    Can’t wait to try this!

    Thanks!

    Morgan

    Friday 9th of July 2021

    Hi Lysa! I didn't seal mine but I would suggest a spray sealant (in a can like spray paint, but clear) for wood this thin!

    Tara

    Tuesday 25th of May 2021

    I'm a new owner of the Explorer Air 2 with zero experience. I was unable to choose the Heavy Chipboard option. It was greyed out for me but when I reviewed the details of all materials I could select, I found the Natural Wood Veneer option fit the criteria in this tutorial pretty well. I used the Natural Wood Veneer setting, Deep Point Blade with the pressure on "Default" and it cut a 1/16 Basswood almost completely through! I did have to use a utility knife to release some of my pieces but it wasn't hard at all. I think if I used the "More" pressure option it might have gone all the way through or maybe given it a couple more passes. Even still, this saved me so much time and effort. I am so happy with the outcome. This tutorial was very helpful! Thank you so much!!

    Julie

    Tuesday 5th of October 2021

    @Morgan, I just bought a cricut 2 weeks ago. I had the same issue with the Heavy Chipboard option. So, far I haven’t been able to get it to cut through but, I’m going to try again soon. It got late and I was tired last night LOL!!

    Morgan

    Tuesday 25th of May 2021

    Hi Tara! Thank you for sharing your experience. These are excellent tips! I'm sorry the chipboard option was grayed out, that's strange! I'm glad wood veneer worked for you!!

    Cheryl

    Saturday 5th of December 2020

    Tried this several times and could not cut through the wood. Left the wood in the cutter and tried a second time and it didn’t line up. Circuit Explore Air 2 set on 8 passes at 331 pressure with deep cut blade in black housing. Any tips?

    Sean

    Saturday 5th of December 2020

    Hey Cheryl - I am sorry that happened. If it's not lining up, the wood must be shifting between passes. Do you have it taped to the mat? I like to use painter's tape to secure it since it can shift if the mat isn't sticky enough.

    Becky

    Tuesday 10th of November 2020

    You're tutorial is great but I did find you were interchanging the deep CUT blade and the Deep POINT blade. These are 2 different blades. The Deep CUT blade is for an older machine and shouldn't be used for the Cricut Explore Family cutting machines. This has a blue protective covering for the blade and uses a blue housing.

    Sean

    Saturday 14th of November 2020

    Thanks so much Becky for the point of clarification.

    Comments are closed.
    Skip to Instructions