Can Cricut Explore Air 2 Engrave Wood

So you’ve been thinking about getting a Cricut. Or maybe you’ve already bought one, and now you’re wondering what to make with it.

Well, you can use this machine to turn paper, card, or leather into signs, model airplanes, and even jewelery.

But what does a Cricut do? And can it really cut through wood? Also, what kind of Cricut maker wood projects can you create anyway?

If you want to discover the answers to those questions (and so much) then keep reading…

A Cricut is a desktop tool that lets you easily create designs out of a range of different materials, such as paper, fabric and wood.

Using a computer, or even a phone, you send your model and craft designs to the Cricut.

And kind of like a printer, the Cricut turns those digital designs into real life cut outs.

Inside the Cricut is an easily interchangeable rotary cutter bit – kind of similar to dremel or router bits. And this rotary bit can cut, score, or engrave directly onto wood.

There are a number of various Cricut versions out there, such as the Cricut Joy and Air 2. However, the best Cricut machine for cutting through wood is the Cricut Maker.

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

Wood Type Wood thickness Cut pressure Passes
Heavy Chipboard 1.4mm 331 8x
Basswood 1/16″ 230 10x
Balsa Wood 1/16″ 220 8x

Can Cricut Explore Air 2 Engrave Wood

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

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!

While the Cricut Explore Air isn’t technically the best for cutting wood, it is possible, and after a lot (and I mean a lot), of trial and error, I think I finally figured out the best ways to cut balsa wood and basswood!

Third, use a fine point blade. This is advice that may be contrary to what you’ve heard before. I kept trying to use the deep cut blade, and it kept just crushing my Balsa Wood. It would cut some of the edges just fine, but then other sides would have huge chunks taken out of it. I tried tons of different settings with the same results.

First off, make sure you cut perpendicular to the grain of the wood. This was the first mistake I made – I got a little lazy and didn’t want to cut it so I would have a horizontal piece. I just put the big vertical piece on my 12×24 mat and called it good.

The first few cuts, I did have to run a box cutter along the lines to get them to pop up better. However, once I got over 300, it was easier to just pop them out. Even at 345, they didn’t just come out of the wood with no effort…but at that point, I did not have to use a box cutter.

You will need the deep cut blade to cut with basswood. If you don’t already have this, make sure you buy the one with the housing – retail is $29.99, but I often see it on sale. I purchased mine at Jo-Ann’s by price matching with the Cricut website (which was on sale for $20.99 that day).


What materials can you engrave with Cricut explore AIR 2?

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.

Can the Cricut explore AIR 2 write on wood?

What Materials Can the Cricut Engraving Tool Engrave?
  • Acetate and Foil Acetate.
  • Acrylic (under 1/8″ thick)*
  • Aluminum Pet Tags*
  • Aluminum Sheets (.5mm)
  • Anodized Aluminum.
  • Copper (40 gauge)
  • Faux Leather.
  • Foil Poster Board.