The Cricut Maker is all the rage. Hobby crafters around the world are absolutely loving this clever piece of crafting gadgetry.
And why wouldn’t you? This all-in-one tool can engrave, draw, and score across a wide range of materials. From paper to cardboard to even wood… the Cricut can make short work of it all.
And, just what types of wood can a Cricut Maker cut through?
You can cut through thin Balsa wood and Basswood. The Cricut can also cut through Cricut’s official Chipboard product as well.
But can the Cricut really handle that sturdy piece of Basswood? And what makes Balsa so good for crafting? And, what’s more, why are you only able to cut through official Chipboard?…
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So, What Type Of Wood Can The Cricut Maker Cut?
The Cricut is great at making its way through very soft kinds of wood. Wood types that have straight and very even wood grain are perfect.
Which is why the top two recommended Cricut wood types are Basswood and Balsa Wood.
A Quick Balsa Wood Primer
Balsa wood is a lightweight wood that is surprisingly soft to the touch (for a hardwood species). Used frequently to make crafts such as model airplanes, this light colored lumber is incredibly easy to cut into.
Which is why it is a first choice wood for whittling wood carvings.
Any Balsa wood material that has been cut thinly enough will work with the Cricut.
Related Post: Is Balsa Wood Good For Carving? (Explained)
Basswood is another type of lumber that the Cricut can make quick work of. It’s easy to work with, and it weighs very little. Plus, it has wood grain so fine that it’s barely distinguishable.
Basswood is another great type of wood for carving with too, as a whittling tool can cut into this lumber just as easily as the Cricut can.
Related Post: Where Can I Buy Wood For Carving? (Solved!)
So, Can The Cricut Maker Really Cut Basswood?
Provided you’ve cut that Basswood material down to thin strips, your Cricut will have no trouble carving its way through this light brown lumber.
Related Post: How To Cut Basswood Strips Down To Size
And What About Chipboard?
Chipboard is very different to Balsa and Basswood, in that it isn’t a natural wood at all.
Instead Chipboard, (also known as Particle Board), is what we refer to in the industry as being a ‘Manufactured Wood‘.
Related Post: Just What Is Manufactured Wood Anyway?
This man-made engineered wood is a total derivative of the real stuff. Why? Well, because Chipboard is made by gluing compressed wood chips, shavings and sawdust together.
It’s used in everything from flooring, to kitchen worktops, to scrapbooks. And, if cut thinly enough, it can be used with the Cricut Maker too.
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Can The Cricut Maker Cut Chipboard (Just Like Balsa And Basswood)?
Short answer is, no, it cannot. In fact, you should not use a Cricut to cut any old Chipboard.
And the reason for this is because of all of those random wood scraps found inside Chipboard. If there is a particularly dense/tough wood chip inside Chipboard, then your Cricut cutting tool could end up damaged by it.
Which is why, (if you want to make a Chipboard craft), you should only ever use the official Cricut Chipboard product.
If you use any other Chipboard material, you are going to run into a bunch of very expensive problems later on.
Can The Cricut Maker Cut Birch Plywood?
No it can’t cut through Birch Plywood. Thanks to all of those veneer layers, Birch Plywood is much too tough for the Cricut.
Birch ply is a manufactured wood, one that’s been formed into an incredibly sturdy material. And that sturdiness is reflected in it’s Janka Hardness Rating.
What is the Janka Hardness Rating, you ask? Well, the Janka rating is the woodworking industry standard for measuring how tough a piece of lumber is.
The higher the rating, the tougher the wood. And the tougher the wood, the more difficult it is to cut and carve.
Now, Balsa wood has a very low Janka rating of 70 lbfs (this means it takes just 70 pounds of force to make a real dent in it). And Basswood can withstand a bit more wear and tear, clocking in at a Janka rating of 410 lbfs.
Birch Plywood, on the other hand, has a Janka hardness rating that ranges anywhere between 1260 to as much as 4000 lbfs!
So, long story short, you will have to cross Birch Plywood off your list of possible crafting materials.
Related Post: 7 Clever Cricut Maker Wood Projects
How Thick A Piece Of Wood Can The Cricut Maker Cut? Cricut machines (including the Cricut Maker 3) can cut wood that is up to 3/32 inches thick (which is around 2.4 millimetres).
So To Sum Up…
If you want to add some wooden crafts to your list of Cricut projects, then you won’t go too far wrong in grabbing Balsa wood from your local hobby store.
Basswood machines well too, although you will need to make sure that it is sliced thinly enough (no more than 3/32 inches), for the Cricut to handle.